Contrary to popular belief, your biggest problem may not involve your failure to communicate.
A few years back the movie Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman identified a universal concern as it pertained to the business world. In a famous scene, the feisty prison warden directed his wrath toward Newman and said in a threatening tone. ”What we have here, is a failure to communicate.”
This single scene may very well be responsible for the popular communication movement today. It is the “in” thing to blame most business problems on “communication” or the lack thereof. As far as I am concerned, this does not properly frame the problem. Nor does it do justice to this problem.
I concur that marketing communication along with “customer service” are two business topics that deserve our attention. But based on the belief that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks, I am afraid that your communication skills may be just as good as they are going to get. You already know how to talk and you already know how to listen. Why you don’t perform either of these skills at a higher level may make for an interesting article for another day.
What I believe the problem is as it relates to the home- based entrepreneur is not a failure to communicate, but rather a failure to THINK.
I’m betting that next to the phrase “How are you doing?” the most often-used question is directed internally and sounds something like: “WHAT WAS I THINKING?”
If small business entrepreneurs in all shapes and sizes could manage to slow down long enough to think about the many available opportunities, think about the possibilities, think about the ramifications of every action and reaction, think about what got them this far, think about what and who is paying your bills, think about the gaps that are ever present in the marketplace, think about the wants and needs of their prospects and customers, and think about what is important in their lives, they all would be far better off than they are.
I’m the first to endorse the benefits of taking action in a timely fashion. I’m just as quick to chastise the slackers who drag their feet and offer meaningless excuses for their lack of success.
“He who hesitates is lost,” is definitely a phrase that promotes proactive behavior. But just as valid is the phrase, “Haste makes waste.”
Activity for activity’s sake is nothing more than “spinning one’s wheels.” Continuous movement might satisfy your urge to keep busy, but in and of itself, doesn’t help pay the piper.
As you work your way through this highly competitive industry you simply do not have the luxury of wasting time, money, effort, or resources. It is imperative that you focus on your target base of prospects and do everything in your power to move the selling process forward.
The winning strategy may be as simple as a five-letter word. THINK. Thinking has become a lost art, a luxury, a practice long gone and forgotten. Thinking coupled with reflection is often mistaken for laziness and goofing off. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I am quick to defend the mid-afternoon power nap if it helps to stimulate creativity. Slowing down, resting, and allowing our minds to work at a more leisurely pace just might be what our frantic world needs. Taking long walks at lunch and even longer showers are both on my personal to-do list for the remainder of this year and all of next year. Why? Because these activities have proven time and again to stimulate “thought.”
I now will tell you why I think so many people don’t think. They have given up reading. Reading has slowly become a time consuming chore. In its place, people have become comfortable watching television; too many mindless reality shows and just plain nonsense.
My respectful recommendation to those of you who are serious about growing your home-based business is to find more time to think. Not only will you find yourself thinking about some pretty cool ideas, strategies, and ways to propel your business forward, but you will find the return to be more rewarding. As a bonus, you might like to know that thinking is habit forming and non-fattening.
So make it your business to clear your mind of all useless clutter and allow that out of shape brain of yours to do some work. Thinking just may be the fastest way to distance yourself from your competition. Think about it.
Mike Marchev is recognized for his down-to-earth, street-savvy and honest delivery of useful sales and marketing advice, suggestions, tactics and strategies. For a complimentary copy of his Special Report titled: 11 Sales Mistakes You Must Avoid send Mike an email with the word TRO-11 in the Subject Box. email@example.com
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