Become effective through prioritization

You do never have time to do all things but you always have time to do the most important things. The sad thing is that most people does not know what the most important things are which lead to low progress and results. According to Pareto, 80% of your activity accounts for 20% of the results which also mean that the opposite is true i.e. 20% of your activities accounts for 80% of the results. How would your output be affected if you contineously focused your effort on the the most important things? In order to increase the likelihood of succeeding in life, you need to learn how to prioritize.

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The Myth of Multi-tasking

An important character trait in many recruitment adds for sales people is to be able to handle “many balls in the air simultaneously”. I think this is a harmful perspective on a salesman since the only way to handle this many balls (read tasks) simultaneously is to throw the balls as far away from you as possible in order to do some real work before catching the next ball. I claim that no one can do anything effective while multi-tasking (no not even women).

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Intention is more important than technique.

Let’s imagine you meet two salesmen to find out if they can help your organization with a problem. The first salesman is acting professional, is well spoken and showing you several alternatives and ROI but you have this feeling that he is hiding something or you are not sure you can trust him. The second salesman is not so well dressed or does not have as impressive slides as the first salesman but you feel that this guy really are here to help you rather then just making the sale for his own. Who would you like to do business with? Sales people are putting much money and effort in improving their sales technique to increase their outcome but are sometimes working under dysfunctional paradigms ignoring the fundamental aspect to help the customer whether it happens to be with their own product or not.

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Do not try to change people, change their behaviour

People do not like to change and it will take much time and effort to break this resistance. It is a natural behaviour to choose the easiest path if you believe it lead to the same results as a perceived rougher path. As a leader you will need to influence your team’s behaviour that will lead your company through the path that lead to success even if that path seems though. To drive and lead behaviour is a critical skill for any leader and therefore I will share some insights within this area.   Read more »

What is the cost of quality?

Quality is a subjective measurement that is critical to the success of all products and services. The cost of quality is not the price of creating a quality product or service. It’s the cost of NOT creating a quality product or service. Imagine what the cost in lost revenue would be if a product includes a critical defect that need to be fixed but found after it has been shipped or if a web site like amazon.com would crash. Yet, too often quality is handled in a unprofessional manner.  Read more »

Social media: Business opportunity or playground?

Is your company actively involved in the online communities via social media or have you decided to stand outside? Well the second alternative is not really possible since your company already is present in Facebook comments and tweets whether you like it or not. So, the question should be revised to “is your company actively involved or do you leave the control of your company’s brand on the web to the community?” Read more »

Understand your colleagues and customers

As a leader it is important to get the most out of your team. When it comes to compose the most efficient and versatile team it is important to include several different personality styles. Each group of personalities have its own strengths and weaknesses and it is a valuable to understand the dynamics between them in order to manage them the best way.
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Make compelling presentations

Presentation and communication skills are essential for all sales people and leaders. If you can not get your message across appropriately there is a risk people do not understand, or worse, not buying in to your ideas. Yet so many people ignore the value of professional presentations and settle for mediocre ones. Many people are looking down on PowerPoint presentation with comments as “The best sleeping pill” and “Death by PowerPoint” but I think it is too easy blaming a tool when the real problem is the operator.
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Your employees are NOT your most important resource

Many companies proudly state that “Our employees are our most important resource” but I would like to see the customers as an more important resource beacuse without customers it does not matter how great employees you have, you will not have a successful business. This may be ok for charity work though… I regard a customer as a resource because it is something you have at least some control of, can invest in and develop and if you do not take care of it properly this resource will diminish or fade away.

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Find your competative edge

If the perceived value of two products are the same, price will conquer. Imaging you are looking to buy a melon in the grocery store. You find two melons that look exactly the same but one of them cost 4$ and second one cost 5$. You investigate them a bit further and notice that the first melon is from Brazil and the other from Argentina. If you perceive them to have equal value to you, you will buy the cheaper melon. On the other hand you could choose e.g. Swedish pork over Danish pork even if the Swedish pork is 20% more expensive if you perceive its value e.g. the taste and quality is superior. This is where marketing comes into play. Read more »