A Message From Howard
CEOs, Presidents and Business Owners:
Your business success is determined every single day. Business success doesn’t take place because of a good or even a bad marketplace. It takes place because of you. You’re the one that has worked through the difficulties and slogged through the challenges of your business. But one day something happens in your business that…
The business landscape is littered with business failures. News headlines feature companies in trouble, with weak earnings reports, or worse yet, going out of business. It’s not limited to just companies. It’s also about individual business people from top ranking CEOs, founders and business owners to every level of management on down through a company’s organization.
Business leaders often do not view themselves clearly. None of us do.
We get up in the morning, look in the mirror, get dressed and may even do one final check in the mirror before walking out the door to work.
But do we really see ourselves as we really are? Do we really understand ourselves? Doubtful.
As a business leader, especially if you are a CEO, president, founder or business owner, in order to continue to be successful you do need to have a plan. But it’s much more than that.
The big question is:
As a CEO, president, founder or business owner, how do you view yourself as a business leader?
1) Ask yourself these questions:
— What words (in general) would you use to describe yourself as a business person?
Then ask yourself (regardless of what business title you currently hold):
— What kind of a business leader are you?
2) Write out what words or phrases you think best describe you either on paper or on your favorite computer device.
– Where are you strong as a business leader?
– Where are you weak or need to improve as a business leader?
– Are you competent as the leader of your company?
– Are you on “top of your game” always at work?
– Do you always have the right information or know how to access it quickly?
If yes, why?
If no, why not?
It’s important you get to the core of how you truly see yourself as a CEO, president, founder or business owner when running a successful business.
What words truly describe YOU?
3) Next, go to someone you respect and trust. Someone who knows you very well from a business perspective.
Ask that individual:
– How would you describe me as a business person? As a business leader?
Encourage them to be candid with their answers.
It’s not about how we see ourselves. It’s about how other people view or see us.
If you can begin to realize, more and more each business day, how other business people view you then you can make the necessary adjustments to:
– The way you think about business
– The way you lead your business
– The way you do business
– The way you interact with others including employees, customers and vendors.
For example: You may think you were really reasonable and respectful when talking with a co-worker. Yet the co-worker may feel quite the opposite from the experience. More like a 10 pound hammer just came down on their head!
Remember: Always think about how what you do and say may impact upon others.
By doing this exercise with yourself and really taking the time to consciously think about the answers; then putting into action the necessary changes to improve your business approach, you will become even more successful business leader than you already are.
To your business success!
If you’d like to discuss your business leadership role and challenges or how to improve and grow business at your company with Howard call him directly at 888-738-1855 or connect with him on LinkedIn.
This post was also published on Linked Into Business.
As a CEO, president or business owner do you know what business you are in?
You may answer: software, creative, manufacturing, construction, financial, chemicals, public relations, biotech, robotics, information technology, to name a few.
That may be what you do each day when you go to work but the business you are in, regardless of industry, is: prospecting, sales and marketing.
Every day you need to be consistently following a plan of prospecting, sales and marketing. Without it, the company fails. With it, the company has the potential to be successful. Even very successful.
Success in business is about asking questions as you go about your work day.
- You get the answers you need
- It opens your mind to more information that otherwise you may not have gotten
- Improves your decision making
To generate more business success every day, here are two questions to keep in mind:
- Does it work for the business?
It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be almost anything involved in successfully, profitably running a business. It could be about goal setting, a new hire not working up to expectations, the pressure of a looming deadline, change in plans, client demands, cash flow, scheduling, production – even your management style.
When you ask the questions, then listen for the answers. Listen to what you’re telling yourself. Feel what’s going on around you. Try to understand what is best and most appropriate for the business. Remember, the business takes care of you and everyone around you including co-workers, vendors and service professionals.
- Does it work for me?
We tend to live in a “me-oriented” society today. Yet this is an important question to ask for business success, on a company level and on a personal level. It could bring you and the business a lot of money but it could also bring you something you don’t want or would be happy with. Always consider the short term as well as the long term vision with many of the issues you encounter each business day. It may sound good now but will it be in six months or a year from now? Always think it through.
Remember why you are in business: To make a profit. That’s the bottom line.
Yes, it is also to help people that are your customers with your product or service. But the company still needs to make a profit in order to operate. You’re also in business simply because you want to be.
Which leads to the next point: Being comfortable with what you are doing. When you are comfortable with what you are doing, when what you do has a certain comfort level to it, you will:
- Come up with great ideas to improve the business
- Be more creative with your thought process
- Enjoy coming to work each day
- Enjoy working with the people you encounter each day
- Ready to take on any issues or problems
For business success, you can’t always be in your comfort zone or always enjoy everything you do. For example, many business people don’t like to do paperwork. Yet it’s necessary so you do it.
The key is to make sure that every action taken is something that will add substance to your life and to the bottom line of the company.
Remember – Two questions to keep in mind every business day:
- Does it work for the business?
- Does it work for you?
Once you begin to ask these two questions consistently, you’ll find your daily work life to be better, business will be better, profits will be better. The decisions you make will work for both the business and for you. To your success!
Would you like to have a conversation with Howard about the two questions featured in this blog post and how they personally relate to you leading your company to more success and greater profit with less stress? Howard Lewinter advises CEOs, presidents and business owners across a wide variety of industries throughout the United States. To connect with Howard check out his LinkedIn profile – follow him on Twitter or dial direct at 888-738-1855. There isn’t anything Howard likes better than to see business people succeed, prosper and to have a better life.
Blog post also published on Nimble.
As time goes on future generations tend to not remember or relate to what happened in the past. Many people today are not students of history. In fact, some find it hard to imagine what life was like before the internet and mobile computer devices! Going back centuries, long before most people could read or write and have access to the written word, each village designated an individual who was responsible for its history. This person passed on to other generations, verbally, the important stories of the village and its people so that history could be preserved, honored and provide wisdom to others. Today, if we want to know something, we just “Google it”, check Twitter or read news headlines online.
Being successful in business comes down to the same thing it did long ago in, what we consider, ancient times: Telling a story.
Ask yourself: For sales success, are you creating a vision for your prospect?
Ask any members of your company’s sales and marketing team as well.
When you’re selling, you ARE creating a vision for the prospect.
1) Are you sharing with prospects an effective story, that creates a vision, they can relate to?
2) Or are you just talking at them dumping as much information as possible that it becomes an exhausting experience for both you and the prospect?
3) Is the story you are sharing with others giving them what they want and need; and giving you the sale and solid customer base you need for business success?
Here’s an example with some help from one of my favorite pop music composers and singers, Carly Simon. For the moment, clear your mind and envision the lyrics of the classic song, You’re So Vain:
You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte…
As you read the lyrics and reflect back on times when you have listened to the entire song did you instantly get a picture in your mind about the words Carly is singing? It’s long been a music industry rumor and mystery as to who the song is in reference to. Carly has never confirmed such publicly which only further adds to the story and what we think about when listening to the lyrics.
Can you imagine someone:
– walking onto a yacht
– wearing an apricot scarf
– looking in the mirror and
– gavotte (which is a dance step)
Carly goes on in the song with the lyrics:
I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee
Clouds in my coffee, and…
You’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you…
She skillfully crafted the song to paint a picture within our minds instantly every time we hear the lyrics. So skillfully that the song and its lyrics are now timeless and will be with us for generations to come much like the village historian who crafted the stories to share with generation upon generation.
– What happens when you go into a sales presentation?
– Are you painting a clear vision of why the prospect should buy your product or service?
– Can the prospect “see” what you are presenting or is there a disconnect? Can the prospect “see” why you should do business and how you can improve their business?
– Are your words as classic as those of Carly Simon’s?
If you look at enough websites… If you look at profile upon profile on LinkedIn… Eventually, they all look and sound alike. Same is true during a sales presentation.
When presenting to your ideal prospect, you must precisely paint a picture in their mind of doing business with your company. If you can’t paint that picture… If you can’t capture their imagination and intrigue them with your message… Then you are not going to get the business.
The person who is the best salesperson is often the best storyteller. When I use the word “story” I’m not suggesting to not always tell the truth or to not be factual. Rather, I’m talking about how you create the vision and how the prospect sees the vision you are describing so they are convinced to buy your product or service. If you do, there’s not much to close as the prospect will often close the deal for you by saying “Yes, let’s get started”.
Have you been to the movies lately? There’s always a series of upcoming attraction movie trailers before the main feature film begins. The movie trailer paints a picture as to why you should go see the movie when it’s released. Unfortunately, sometimes the movie trailers are better than the full length movie! Still the movie trailer did its job and convinced you to see the movie. Just make sure, for business success, that your presentation matches what the prospect ultimately buys.
Remember: To stay on top of your sales game; to be the success with sales you know you can be:
– Paint the vision.
– Practice. Over and over again till it becomes part of you and your sales presentation.
– See it in your own mind.
Say to yourself:
– Would I buy this particular product or service?
– Do I see or visualize what I am communicating to the prospect? Or am I just throwing words at the prospect?
Be part of a company that is known for customer service but also for anticipating the needs of customers and delivering what the customer wants.
If you do, your words have the potential to be as memorable as those of Carly Simon or this year’s Oscar winning film.
Wishing you and your company sales success!
If you have any questions about sales or how you as a CEO, president or business owner can improve and grow your business to more success, greater profit and less stress, just give me a call at 888-738-1855. Look forward to the business conversation with you!
This was also posted on Robert Terson’s blog, Selling Fearlessly.