GREG’S BUSINESS GROWTH NEWSLETTER #224
Quick notes to help you grow your business in less time with less effort. . . sometime next week.
In this issue:
– Techniques for FIT
– Being Human
– Random Stuff
Techniques for FIT
- At the time feedback is offered, do your people open up with ideas or come up with reasons for their actions? Check your phrasing. “What can be done. . .?” and, “How could we . . .?” have a way of unlocking discussion.
- Telling people what to do and making fast decisions is an effective management style in wartime. During a time of peace or prosperity other styles are more effective. How many management styles do you have in your toolbox?
- The best insights come directly from your customers. The people interacting with the most customers are on service teams. The people interacting with the most potential customers are in sales. What do you have in place to capture insights in those areas?
- Hearing what your customers say is great, but hearing and transcribing is better. The value in recording is getting a transcript, and the value in a transcript is it lets you use the customer’s exact words.
Being Human – Conclusions (jumping to)
“Before a man speaks, it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks it is seldom necessary to assume.”
~ H. L. Mencken
A lot of talk about talking this week. Meeting after meeting. The fastest way to get through it is to make assumptions and jump to conclusions. The way I check assumptions is to send a “what I heard” note. I structure the key points in bulleted lists and try not to move on to next steps until I get agreement my assumptions are correct. The only problem with the approach is it assumes the recipient is a close reader, which isn’t always the case. It works well. 85-90% of the time I get confirmation on the first note. It wasn’t always this way, but since communication is a skill, we can improve over time.
When I work with business development people, I advise them to do whatever they can to avoid assumptions or jumping to conclusions, in the moment. You’ll never catch all of them, but if you’re alert you’ll catch most. The reason to do it is it will save you tons of time and buckets of heartache down the road. Here are some interrupters you can use to check understanding while sounding natural.
- “Name, hold on to the next thought. Let’s go back to something you said, I think is really important . . .”
- “Name, I’m happy to talk about industry term. We’re experts in the field and as experts one thing we’ve learned is industry term means different things to different people. When you say industry term, what does it mean to you?
- What if they’re interrupted by a 3rd party? A call, a knock, a passer-by interrupts and bumps your flow. When it happens, write down the last word or two you remember before the break. When they return and say “where were we?” read it back, get on track. (easy when you’re taking notes on paper)
- “Name, let’s pause and summarize where we’re at. We’ve been covering a lot of topics and I want to be sure I’m hearing you accurately.”
You get the point. The benefit of doing something over and over is you learn to anticipate possible outcomes. Knowing what’s ahead let’s you avoid some time-wasting traps. You’ll never get rid of all of them, but using a few tools like these will help.
“This is too f’ing big for you, you know that?. . .It’s a mystery! It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma! . . . Don’t you get it?! F**k, man! I can’t keep talking like this!” – JFK
Who doesn’t enjoy a good conspiracy theory? I mean, it’s a pain when someone gets really wrapped up in one, can’t stop thinking about it, then it impacts their day-to-day life and relationships. Other than that, they can be fun to ponder. For me, the best part is when someone tosses one out in casual conversation because it gives you a glimpse into their head. “Cada cabeza es un mundo,” right? Getting a peek inside is a trip!
The CT I hear most often is “the phone is listening and ads are showing up in my social media.” I can’t seem to replicate it, but I try. I whisper about mattresses, fly fishing, comfortable underwear, and non-stick omelet pans. Nothing.
Today I think I made a breakthrough. I have a big desktop PC. An iMac from 2012 or so. Lately it’s been struggling with tasks and it may be time to update. At the same time, my old Macbook Pro is being used by my lovely bride who is instructing online this semester. It’s acting up and in need of an upgrade too. This Macbook you see me typing on is circa 2017. It works well but maybe it’s time for 3 new PCs? I get to apple.com and spec out three new rigs, note the price, and even take a look at trade in values for the old machines.
Guess what happens next.
Yep, Apple has somehow frozen my big PC. I don’t know how they do it, but they know I’m looking and they did something to the operating system. I looked at the source code to the page and found some suspicious stuff, but I don’t know how it’s done. Yet.
Those jerks are going to force me to upgrade this month!
Don’t you get it, man! These big companies do it all the time. Planned obsolescence in the digital age. And you know what? I’m held hostage. I can’t break free.
Thanks, ghost of Steve Jobs. Thanks a lot.
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