Selling Services Newsletter #222: Listening, Stress, Naps

Sales and marketing Newsletter

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

  • Beginning Monday, if you don’t do this already, have your people submit a list of 3 things that if done by Friday, they’ll think to themselves, “You know, this was a good week.”
  • Listening and giving someone undivided attention is hard when you’re face to face, harder when you’re on web meetings, and hardest when you’re on the phone. Knowing this, use more listening tools like verbal acknowledgments “yes, go on,” restating “so what you’re saying is,” and questioning “wait, let’s go back to your earlier point.”
  • If you need someone to talk to, commiserate with, listen without judgement, give me a call.
  • No one knows what the next 9 months have in store, so be patient with your fellow humans. Assume everyone is doing the best they can, but some are just better at it than others.

Being Human – Stress

“Everyone remembers the remark of the old man at the point of death: that his life had been full of troubles, most of which had never happened.” – Winston Churchill

​​​hypnotist-hypnotizing Image from Pixabay

This week I’ve been talking to some stressed out people. In my vision/strategy/planning workshops we use a big sheet (or two!) of paper labeled, “Big Issues for Later” and it’s a holding place for big questions workshoppers don’t have time to answer now, but will have to deal with at some point. Selling a business unit or dealing with an ownership issue for example.

We use this technique because, while these Big Issues are pressing and stress inducing, for the task at hand we don’t need to address it to make progress. It’s like this grid:


Every day we are dealing with things we can control and things we can’t control. Sometimes these same things are in other people’s control, sometime they’re not.

Right now, there are a lot of unknowns. Try not to let your brain dwell on them too much or for too long. Control what you can and influence what you and the other party have control over. Leave the rest for later.

Good stuff.

Random stuff

Cada Cabeza Es Un Mundo

Paris-a-year-ago (almost one year ago)

Spring is sputtering to life here. Warm weather followed by a cold wind. Buds pressing out from tree branches and my neighbor’s lawn already thick, lush, and green. I have seasonal allergies so I wander through this time of year in a semi-daze because if I sit still for too long the anti-histimines in my system demand an instant 30 minutes of hard sleep.

The problem is, I have new co-workers in my space and I want to make a good impression. I’m guessing they have no idea what I do for a living because when they wander through I’m alternately listening to someone on the phone, yelling at someone on the phone, nodding along to a web meeting, sending inappropriate texts, staring at my computer, doodling, or . . . fast asleep in my chair.

It has to be jarring to experience. I mean, if I’m supposed to be the breadwinner, am I exuding confidence? If the economy continues to slide, will I still be able to provide for them? Can they count on me? I wonder if they think I’m lazy or crazy. So I ask leading questions like, “So, do you wonder what I do all day?”

“Not really.”

Oh. I see.

I guess it makes sense. When push comes to shove, I don’t know if I could tell you what they do all day either.


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