Roundup for Weeks Ending 8.1.2016 and 8.12.2016
What makes us human? When I ask the question, I am not asking you to compare us, the human species, with other species, like animals or birds. My question is more basic than that. What I am asking is what makes us alive – not dead or inert. To me, what makes us human is the life-force that courses through us all. It may be perceived as intelligence, awareness, emotions, feelings, or sensations.
But underneath it all is a source that’s as mysterious as it is intimate. You might say that that mysterious life-force is us.
As useful as processes are, a risk in making anything a “process” in business is that as we go about making it a process, we take the life-force out of it. We take something as human as a group of real people working together and make them a “thing” that’s inert and lifeless.While processes are important, what’s also important is to preserve the part of us that makes us human so that we are still passionate, engaged and perhaps even occasionally inspired as we work through a process.
So the question I implore you to ask yourself is: How do you – and the people who work for you – stay alive as you consider and put in practice the many tricks, tips, strategies and processes I share below that have the potential to make us feel mechanical and mechanistic?
Leadership & Management
This is not an endorsement of the product featured but the article makes a good point about communication, organization, and collaboration. However, what I do like to emphasize is that most businesses I have worked with have a tendency to jump too prematurely into “automating” work without having a manual process that works without technology. Technology can only help as a tool to aid human intelligence, not as its replacement. (How to Improve Your Collaborative Project Management)
The trick is to have a process that does not imprison and stifle but frees us up to do our best, like a cyclist who gets in a “zone” or a figure skater who performs effortlessly. (Focus on the process and get great results every time)
If you are an established business, can you still experiment with the “lean process” in launching a new product or a project? In a nutshell, a lean process allows you to get the absolute core of your product or service out to the market so you don’t fiddle around getting it 100% right the first time. I can argue both ways on this. For example, I can think of many scenarios in which it’s best to wait and get your product as “perfect” as possible before launching. Putting a house on the market is a good example. But in certain scenarios, it’s best to get the absolute minimum right and get it out there, get feedback and then release the nest iteration. Which process is a better fit for the products and services in *your* business? (How our guy Vincent applied ‘Lean Startup’ by launching his own startup)
Sales, Marketing and Branding
TIP: If you lead a team within a corporate environment, consider a social media strategy for the team. Remember to check in with the corporate so you are within their social media guidelines too. (A Beginner’s Strategy for Social Media Marketing)
Also helpful if you are an existing business launching a new product. (Branding Essentials: How To Come Up With The Best Name For Your Startup)
TIP BEHIND THESE TIPS: Think like and act as if you are a business owner. (Ten Ways Salespeople Can Crush)
I add: Interrupt the pattern. Don’t sound or look like a killer, closing, crunching [backgorund sound of a shark approaching in the movie Jaws] salesperson. In fact, do exactly the opposite of what your prospect expects a salesperson to do. (How to talk to new buyers who don’t know your business)
Productivity and Personal Development
Ask yourself: Do I care to increase my productivity? If no (nothing wrong with it!), why not? If yes, read this article. (25 Ways To Get More Done In The Workplace)
How to model growth for two-sided marketplaces, like drivers and riders (Uber) or landlords and renters (Airbnb). Are you a business that can create (or help create, or invest in) such a marketplace in your industry? Think twice before you say “No.” (How Segment Models Growth for Two-Sided Marketplaces)
Love this: “Risk = Consequence x Likelihood.” The longer I live and the more I have to lose, the more I realize that defense is more important than offense. (Effective Risk Management Strategies – OTUS Group)
And last but not least…
A Rant on Recruiting Young Salespeople!
TIP: Always pay at least some base salary to an independent sales rep. I am approached almost daily by companies looking to hire salespeople. You will be surprised how many companies are looking for a FREE (read: commission only) salesperson. I can tell within a fraction of a second if someone is looking for a free sales rep. How? By the way they phrase the job description or how they paint a rosy picture of the “huge growth potential.” I have seen too many of these to be fooled by it.
Sorry, I won’t be referring my ambitious, hard-working, intelligent niece over to your company to toil for free. If you are not committed to the people who work for you, I guarantee that they won’t be committed to you. One way to show commitment to someone’s success is to take a chance and pay them a base salary while they learn the ropes. The only situation in which commission-only salespeople will work is for an established company with a solid product and a good reputation and following in the marketplace.
In my experience – and yours might be different – most people who are looking for free salespeople are a new company with a half-baked product suite with zero following in the marketplace. Unless you find a certifiable pro with a deep rolodex, this commission-only salesperson is bound to fail. Sure, you can get a few free leads that you can close long after the free salesperson is gone, but will you sleep well at night knowing that you built your success on the back of those who failed? [rant over] (How to Hire the Right Lead Generation Representative – Pipeliner CRM Blog)
‘Till next time,
Is your business built around your people’s strengths? You can find out here by taking Business Health Check AQ. It’s free and comes with a strategy guide to help you leverage your people’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.
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