Believe it or not, every occupation has an underlying drive, a mission as it were. It is the concept or idea that allows you to get up each morning and find new ways to earn a living, help others, and yes, try to make the world around you just a little bit better.
My mission, at the very core is to lead, teach and inspire others to apply timeless principles that produce life-changing results. There are a number of different ways to accomplish this goal; some have proven their worth, while others have fallen away as ineffective. Here are a few ways that I try to accomplish my mission each day.
Make the Call
One of the most useful tools that a business professional has even in these days of e-mail and instant messaging is the phone itself. However, it is a tool, and like any other tool it is most effective when it is used correctly. So before I even think about picking up the phone, I take a few moments to consider the following.
- What is the purpose of the call?
- Who is this person and why am I calling this at this hour?
- What is the game plan?
- What is the potential solution?
- What is the next step?
By taking the time to plan ahead, and focusing only on the task at hand, I have found that I am much more effective, and my results from the phone conversations are much more productive. It takes only a few moments to map out what I want to do, and the pay-offs are certainly worth the time. If spending a little over a minute before each call could almost double your success rate, wouldn’t you give it a try as well?
Time Management is Essential
Like most business professionals, the need for organization is paramount in my world. Without it, it would be simply impossible to keep track of everything that needs to get done in a day. Thankfully, technology has made the task of keeping everything in order so much easier. I am constantly using my IPhone to keep my schedule with me at all times, as well as the important information of all my networking contacts. Also, the IPad is a great way to take notes and make changes to your schedule without having to carry around extra paper. A few touches of the screen and the changes are made. These tools help me make the most of every moment I have.
While in the past I would have used a classic day planner, today I use items such as the MacBook Pro to help make sure my life runs smoothly. And for those times when I have a brilliant idea, MindNode is a great way to transform my thoughts into an understandable presentation. Remember, it’s never a good idea to do anything only from memory- instead jot a note down on your IPad or other device. That way appointment times won’t be missed, and key elements of a conversation won’t be forgotten.
Next, avoid the idea of multi-tasking. While getting six things done at once might sound great for getting more done in your day, scientific studies have actually shown that those six tasks will be done at a much lower quality than if they were done one at a time. So instead of filling out your expense sheets, working on a new marketing idea, all while on the phone to a valued client, consider tackling each task by itself. I’ve always found that they are accomplished easier, and the work I produce is of a much higher quality.
Finally, when it comes to time management, make sure that you eliminate as many distractions as possible. For me, nothing slows down a productive day faster than having to deal with the little everyday items that could easily be handled by others or at a different time.
Listen to Clients and Educate Them
Perhaps one of the most important tools that I use in the fulfillment of my mission is to actually understand what my clients need. This means that I need to actually listen to what they say, avoid the common distractions during a conversation, and most importantly have the confidence in myself, and my service to not run away with the conversation. By letting the customer talk freely, I can better know what I need to do to make their situation better.
Beyond the very important act of listening, there is the idea of educating a client. Like almost all business professionals, having a clientele that can understand the basics of what is happening makes my job so much easier. One of the easiest ways to do just that is to sit down and tell a story. A story allows a person to relate and understand concepts easily, when sometimes facts and figures are simply not enough. Anyone can cite numbers or historical information. But if you tell the tale of what you do, what makes your company tick, and how their efforts can mean good things for them. Yes, it takes a bit of research, and a bit more time, but most people are conceptual in nature. Facts and figures can be forgotten; a story will stay with a person.
Accomplishing my mission as a professional and a person takes time, effort, and definitely no small measure of perseverance. By remaining organized, using my time wisely, and truly understanding what my clients need, my success, and well as their success can quickly become a certainty.
What tools do you utilize to help accomplish your mission?