||He who fails to prepare, prepares to fail.
Let’s face it, ‘winging it’ hasn’t worked since high school and even then I can recount the numerous times I’ve flopped a big presentation or bombed a quiz because I wasn't fully prepared. When it comes to business lack of preparation only leads to embarrassment, angry customers, and empty pockets.
VP of Sales Ken McCormack says it best, "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight." First impressions count so always put your best foot forward. Whether you are sending out a quote or attending a sales meeting, sometimes you only get one chance to make or break a sale. It is important that you not only understand your customer's needs, but also address any potential concerns. When you are prepared, you appear more professional, intelligent and competent.
For example, if you are meeting with a CTO or CIO, make sure you bring a sales engineer; if you are meeting with a Fortune 500 company, then bring your VP. Use your resources as a competitive advantage.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
Kids are question-kings and masters of nagging. They are resilient and will stop at nothing until they get what they want. So what happened to that courage, that no holds barred, ask anything attitude? Now, as adults, we’d rather spend countless hours spinning our wheels and coming up with excuses rather than to simply 'just ask'. So why the hesitation? For some it may be fear of rejection or embarrassment, and for others, just plain ego. Regardless, I bet for every ‘no’ you've received, you've received triple, if not quadruple, the yes’es. So the next time you want something or have a question, what’s the harm in asking? Asking is a skill that functions like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger you get.
The early bird catches the worm.
Does ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ sound all too familiar'? Don’t let procrastination run your life. Success comes to those who act on what they want today, not tomorrow. Some opportunities are only available to the first competitors.
Honesty is the best policy.
Don't make promises unless you can keep them. Reliability is critical to any good relationship. It is important that you deliver on your promise and if you cannot for any reason, address the situation (be honest and upfront no matter how difficult it can be), and determine why you failed so it can be prevented in the future.
Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. Respect is perhaps the most important component in any successful relationship, whether business or personal. Respect is not given, it is earned.