Do you sometimes feel lousy, sluggish and lethargic? Recently, I was telling myself, “Hey, I need to do something to better improve my mind-set and be more productive”.
One fine afternoon as I was walking past our in-house library shelf, a prominent book caught my eye, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. I picked it up and, deciding to step out of my comfort zone, started reading.
There are 3 parts to this book, and in this series of blog articles, we will be covering part 1. It speaks of the private victory that needs to be inculcated as a personal habit. Private victory means to have self-mastery in our personal life and to become independent with 3 pointers, the first of which is shown below.
Imagine 2 sales people, one of middle age who is only ever complaining about how tough it is to do sales today and how customers are ever demanding and always comparing prices. Moreover with the high cost of living, the stress level is overwhelming. His habit: always reactive.
The other, a young chap who understands and seeks to improve the situation by finding ways to gain more commission from his sales, in order to generate passive income to better provide for his family. His actions: always proactive.
Being the first guy is the easy way out, it requires less effort and all that is needed is to be negative and compliant. On the other hand, being the young chap requires the spending of countless hours to understand the customers, to propose solutions to upsell to them and research on the best options that can allow him to make passive income to the best of his abilities.
Responsibility – ‘response ability’ is the ability to choose your response. With this ability, the freedom to choose based on self-awareness, imagination, independent will and conscience, our proactive response will be determined.
Recently, taking over a key customer from the previous sales person, there were many gaps and unknowns such as:
- No customer part number tag to manufacturer part number
- No project names of existing orders
- No project names of upcoming models
- Uncertain about the allocation of the awarded parts.
- No annual usage
- No account plan
Two options were available, to sit there and complain about the missing information and put the blame on everyone else who is and was involved for not doing a good job, or to take the initiative to go to the customer and fill up the gaps and missing information.
Coming up with a proactive plan in mind to understand the customer, giving customers the assurance and security that we are interested in their business and to provide the best support that they can get, is the game plan.
It is not an easy path, but the rewards will be reaped after we sow the seeds.
Finally, I will leave you with some food for thought.
Stay tuned for the other 2 habits in my future blogs.