Stalled Thinking Stifles Innovation

WYP ButtonsmWhat’s Your Point?—as blog and book—is a whisper in the ear, a tap on the shoulder, a pat on the back, and a mental kick in the pants for those with years of hands-on experience thinking, analyzing, creating, improvising…and deciding for others—their clients. No dummies here, but there is Room for Improvement and there is need for INNOVATION.

Experience can be valuable to the success of everything and anything, including communication, but not always. The professional wisdom, knowledge, creativity, and decisiveness that experience generates are frequently the driving force behind improvement and innovation. Ironically, these two essentials can be forestalled, particularly in times of dramatic shifts, by resistance to change and other distractions originating from past experience.

Merely saying, “I’m thinking outside the box,” or even making an effort to do so—alone or in a group—does not guarantee Continue reading

Determined Futurist or Wish-Distracted Fatalist?

Futurist or Fatalist

Is the difference clearly visible to you?

We are often more aware we have a future when a new year begins or we make a fresh start, like going back to school or launching a new venture. The rest of the time, the future is all but ignored. 

Even when we think about the future, “wait and see” is a common response to “How’s this all going to turn out?” However, you aren’t a leaf passively blowing in the wind of change, but a proactive agent for your own future—when you chose to be! “Wait and see” is the passive approach few can afford. It’s already cost too many too much.

Are you a determined futurist (“If it is to be, it’s up to me”), or a wish-distracted fatalist (“I guess it wasn’t meant to be”). I can’t help you achieve the latter, but the shift to determined futurist is right up my alley and a key “What’s Your Point?” themeContinue reading

10 TIPS for Complex Decisions Made Simple

triminii  Professionals, including advisors, executives, and entrepreneurs, are decisive by nature and training, so it’s not surprising that many often think they are great decision-makers.

Some professionals even believe that making decisions quickly is a sign of decisiveness, which it isn’t necessarily. Commonly, after a few years on the job, most professionals feel they have learned all there is about the decision-making process. They believe it’s just content in the form of product specifications, office procedures, and client “hot topics” that change, not decision making.

The more you understand about the PROCESS OF DECIDING relative to your target market and business, Continue reading

5 Foresight Strategies for Avoiding Hindsight Remorse

You can be certain in the face of uncertainty.

Beforehand, success is less about knowing you’re right, and more about taking steps to ensure you’re not proven dangerously wrong after you decide.

For instance, pundits and professionals usually can’t agree on the state of the market and where the economy is headed, but if you’re certain you want to become a business owner, or you feel ready to move on from this business and into the next, go for it.

That’s not encouragement to “jump in over your financial head,” or to go against obvious economic or social warning signs in your industry or area. This is encouragement to take a close look at Continue reading

“Big Data” & Other Communication Illusions

Big Data has become big news and although this term keeps popping into conversations and content, do we really understand what others mean by the term? Do we understand what we mean by “Big Data” when we use this term? This explosion of references is a good example of how professionals can be valuable as communication watchdogs for their clients.

As new concepts and trends pop into our language, the illusion of communication increases. The problem is that words that are tweeted, texted, said, heard, written, seen…a lot of times a day are not better understood because they are repeated so many times. What examples of new concepts, technology, or trends crop up in your industry to add Continue reading

LEAN Customer-Centric Thinking

CUSTOMER-CENTRIC LEAN Manufacturing: Excerpts from a conversation with Association for Manufacturing Excellence CEO Paul Kuchuris

PJW: What is LEAN Manufacturing?

AME/Kuchuris: LEAN Manufacturing is basically processes that address waste in the process. This is waste from the stand point of material waste, as well as the stand point of time, from the standpoint of money and effort. So, LEAN will go through a process of saying… Continue reading

Ice Breakers: Communication Illusions or Fast-Trackers?

Speakers often start group sessions with “ice breakers” that get participants talking to each other about personal topics they would otherwise not discuss with a stranger.

Facilitators kick off meetings by asking attendees for self-introductions which include personal tidbits.

Sales people search for common ground as a focus for a friendly chat before getting down to business.

In all cases, the goal is to “break the ice” and quickly earn trust to expedite effective communication.
Whether you are intent on bringing strangers together quickly to form a common-purpose group, on learning exactly what colleagues care about, or on closing a sale with a new client, how you “break the ice” can determine whether you end up with genuine reactions or later-reversed acceptance that leaves you feeling blind-sided.

Problems can arise when you latch on to an icebreaker that you feel comfortable using, but Continue reading

SELF-TEST: What’s a Failed FOLLOW UP Cost You?

There’s no crying in baseball and there’s no “slipped through the cracks” in business follow-up with prospects and clients, external and internal.

Yet, time and again, entrepreneurs, executives, and professionals explain the cost of their failure to follow up with a prospect or client by saying, “They just slipped through the cracks.”

As if the prospect or client had caused the problem!

First of all, there’s no “slipped” in effective communication.
When you fail to do what you said you’d do, prospects and clients don’t slip away from you. They run. Today’s smart-phone-savvy consumers want answers now and results even faster. Disgruntled prospects and frustrated clients will quickly turn to receptive professionals who can be trusted to do what they say they’ll do. Wouldn’t you if you were intent on doing business, but an unreliable executive or salesperson got in the way?

And, there are no “cracks” either, just the pockets of more organized, efficient professionals.

The prospects and clients who you let down or ignore don’t abandon their plans, they abandon you, because you abandoned them. Their business transaction will still happen, just without you. The income or commission that could have been yours ends up in the pocket of the professional who followed through, earned trust, and enabled the client to achieve their goals.

Don’t kid yourself. When you say you’ll do something, then in the minds of over-stressed prospects and clients, you just made a promise. When you promise to do more than you deliver on—whether that’s failing to return phone calls, email information, or…you let down those who you need to earn trust from. You also let yourself down—now and in the future.

WYPt SELF-TEST: WHAT IS FAILURE TO FOLLOW UP COSTING ME?

Let one prospect “slip through the cracks” when you don’t follow up on emails, promises to call, or on anything you committed to do, and you’re the loser on many levels. As you read through the following list of repercussions of abandoning a prospect or client, use the average income or commission you earn on your typical preferred transaction to add up how much just one failure to follow up may cost you:
1. Lost commission for that first prospect or client transaction: $ ____________
2. Lost commission from subsequent referrals from that individual if they had been well-served by you (let’s say 2 more deals you won’t get): $ _____________ X 2 = $ ____________
3. Lost commission from that new client’s next transaction: $ ____________
4. Lost commission from future business from that client and future referrals: $ __________
5. Those un-followed-up-on prospects and clients will spread word of your failings to anybody who’ll listen. Every time your name or industry comes up, those disgruntled individuals will chime in with “promises were made.” You may never know how many more clients and referrals you lose. Or, social media may reveal exactly how wide ranging the prospect’s or client’s negative reach is. Be optimistic and only dock yourself two deals here, but add to this amount your advertising budget for counteracting your proven bad service rating:  $ __________ X 2 = $ ___________ + $ _____________ = $ _____________

What’s your TOTAL COST OF A FAILED FOLLOW UP?  $ _____________

Even If your average income or commission per deal were only $3000, this list could represent a loss of $21,000 plus the cost of advertising that is undermined by word of mouth and social media activity. Failure to follow up is expensive!

Since not following up is a bad habit, those who do it once will repeat this self-defeating behavior again and again.

This means your total from one missed deal multiplied by how many times a year you drop the ball with a prospect or client is…. Do yourself a favor and do the “bad habit” math: $ __________ .

Attach a dollar figure to follow through, so you always relate the promises you make—from phone calls, texts, or emails to research or marketing—to your bottom line. This enables you to move from “it’s only a phone call or email” to making business decisions about opportunities to lose or to earn credibility and income.

Back to HOME … The Catalyst.com

CE Course: Big Gains with WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

WHAT’S YOUR POINT?
Avoid 7 Top Communication Mistakes &
Sharpen Your Competitive Advantage

“Making mistakes is not the problem—in fact, it’s essential to progress. Consciously and unconsciously repeating the same mistakes over and over, without learning from these short-comings, is the real mistake.” — PJ Wade

Do you know what “my point” is and how to make it, that is, how to be understood, effectively, confidently, and consistently, in any situation, in any medium? If you don’t understand why a particular point is relevant to a prospect or client, you’ll make mistakes which may appear to the other party as disinterest, incompetence, or self-interest—eroding preciously-accumulated trust.

This dynamic session, based on PJ Wade’s research and her new business book, What’s Your Point?: Cut The Crap, Hit The Mark & Stick! demonstrates that business success in the future—next cell call, next post, next conversation, next meeting, next day, next week, next year— Continue reading