My mom, Sherry Goldberg, lost her battle with Parkinson’s disease last week. She had been a shell of herself over the last ten or so years and, frankly, it’s very difficult to remember the good times. The great times. Even the sound of her words is difficult to recall.
Growing up, mom was always the voice of reason. She was a school mom that attended class trips. Kept score when I was bowling in a league with Stanley and Roxanne. Helped me with math and social studies homework. Made me laugh. Made me cry. Took rides to the beach with me and listened to my problems over hot chocolate on the boardwalk. Solved my problems. Helped me shop for an engagement ring on a fun day trip to the diamond district. Took care of my dad. Took care of me and my brother. Took care of the house and the checkbook. Rarely made waves. And never complained when she got sick. I still hear her saying in a whisper, “It is what it is.”
Ironically, Muhammad Ali lost his battle with Parkinson’s the very same week as my mom.
Both did great things in their lives. Both fought the good fight in and out of the ring. Both are my heroes. Both made me proud. Both were champions. Both will live forever. Both will be missed.
Both the Greatest.
Here are some quick tips that might help you become the Greatest.
Get It Done Quickly
A guy that I collaborate with (a wholesaler friend actually) handles things when I’m still on the phone with him or immediately thereafter. Introductions, purchase of baseball tickets, and other information. I imagine he must do a great job for his clients. It makes a great impression to make a promise to someone and then handle it as quickly as possible.
See Things from the Other Person’s Point of View
Instead of using language with the words I, me, or my, focus on questions and comments that contain words like you and your. “What are your biggest challenges?” “How have you worked with your team in the past?” “What are some solutions you’ve put into practice?” “How have those approaches worked for you?” “What has been your experience with that?” Stay focused on your prospects’ experiences and outcomes and less focused on yourself – products, services, and company history.
Similar to “Get It Done Quickly,” following up is taking a face-to-face connection (usually) and initiating an additional conversation. Or providing someone with additional information which could be an article, name of an organization, or an introduction. Following up keeps things moving, especially when you’ve made a promise to do something. So do it!
Stay in Touch
It’s so important to stay on the radar of your top 100 or so most important connections. These could be prospects, referral sources, or clients. Social media is a great way to do this by availing your network with articles and posts, but taking a more personal approach may be more powerful – especially with everyone focused on posting, liking, commenting, sharing, tweeting, and snap chatting. Send a personal email, pick up the phone, or send a handwritten card. Out of sight is out of mind (OOSIOOM)!
Persistence Wins the Day
Everyone is busy. If your phone calls and emails are not getting returned, try not to take it personally. Everyone is busy. (Did I say that already?) Just be tastefully persistent – maybe touch base every two or three weeks, depending on the circumstance. If a prospect asked you to contact them and you’re not getting a response, you might want to leave a “final” voicemail message. “Hello Sam. I hope all is well. You suggested I contact you and I’ve left three messages over the last couple of weeks. I hope everything is alright with you but I’m just assuming you’re just busy. This will be my last message as the last thing I want to do is bug you. When you can, please let me know everything is good with you. When you’re ready, we can reconnect. Thanks Sam.” Good chance you’ll get a call back with an apology.
Be a Connector
Make priority one connecting those you meet with those they want to meet. What a great way to help others and establish yourself as a giver. How do you know how to introduce others (in person or through email)? Just ask! Who are your typical clients? Who is in the best position to refer you business? Who are you looking to potentially meet? Why? Very old adage – help those you like and trust to get what they want and they’ll help you right back. Rinse and repeat!
Have a Daily System
Having a structure in place that helps keep you focused on the above activities is the key to everything. Especially when you’re not as busy as you would like to be. Activity drives activity. Call five clients. Email five prospects. Make five introductions on LinkedIn. Send five handwritten cards. Research five target companies. Help five referral sources. Every day! The number may not be five, but whatever it is, do it every day. Keep your numbers low enough to be achievable on a daily basis while driving your desired activity. Again, activity drives activity. So be consistent!
Go get ‘em champ!read more