Sometimes Things Don’t Go Your Way, But You Have To Keep Trying

Posted by dscaringi on November 10, 2016

This year’s Presidential election was quite an experience for many people regardless of their preferred candidate. As election night unfolded, anxieties rose about what many people thought was a ‘done deal’ for Hillary Clinton. There were many reasons Americans voted the way they did, which I won’t get into here. But what I think surprised Hillary Clinton supporters along the coastal states of this country, was that something they thought was so sure, well… wasn’t. What does this have to do with marketing and business development? A lot. Here are just a few take-aways:

  • Nothing is a sure thing. There are times where you feel confident that you have connected every dot and secured back-up plans to your back-up plans to earn a piece of work. However, the outcome is very different than you expected. You scratch your brow, muttering, ‘how can that be?’ The reality is, if you are prepared from every angle, anticipate the possible hurdles and put your best foot forward, most times, things go your way. You hope for the best that all of the other pieces will fall into place. However, hope is not a strategy.  It is a very singular experience. Business development is definitely not only about you.
  • There is always an other opinion. Part of a good sales process includes doing your homework and trusting your instincts. What is overlooked in the sales process, is an open conversation with people to get perspective along the way. Ask someone you trust (but who may not see things the same way you do) to provide honest feedback on your sales strategies. Perhaps most importantly… take their input seriously and be willing to adjust if you need to.
  • Keep on going. We all have moments when we need to stop and tend to our wounds, and we should honor those moments. In your reflection, remind yourself that you will lose sometimes and that is ok. But, most importantly, keep trying. If you lose a piece of business to a competitor, review your sales effort with a critical eye and look for ways to improve or adjust your approach.

As President Obama stated, “no matter what happens, the sun will rise in the morning, and America will still be the greatest nation on earth.” Likewise, if you keep striving to build the strongest relationships and genuinely help solve problems, you will be successful over the long haul and be the best version of yourself possible.

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The Secret to Keeping New Year Resolutions… and Other Goals

Posted by dscaringi on January 6, 2016

Many of us do it.  Yup… we make new year resolutions.  But then… we drop them. So why do we keep setting them every January?  I am not sure about other folks, but I do it because I believe that the act of setting a resolution makes me a better person, even if I am not successful sticking with them. You see… any effort to become more self-aware is positive.

New year resolutions have always interested me. I have been reading a lot about how people help themselves be more successful when setting and keeping resolutions. Then it occurred to me… many of the recommendations were consistent across the resources I found. What I saw across the board was not solely tips to keeping new year resolutions, but rather solid practices for reaching any goal (business or personal) at any time of year! Jackpot!

Armed with this new inspiration, I need to share a snapshot of what I walked away with from this research:

  • Keep the Resolution/Goal Top of Mind Around the Calendar. Keep reminding yourself of your goals.  This could mean a repeating reminder in your iPhone, or simply a sticky on your bathroom mirror.
  • Create a Habit. The saying goes… it takes 21 times to solidify a change of behavior. If you can make a concerted effort over 3 short weeks, no matter how small the activity, you will find a change in yourself. For instance, if you want to improve your relationships, make a daily connection to people you want to get closer to.
  • Believe in Your Goal. To be successful, you need to feel jazzed up about your goal. It is far harder to achieve something that is hanging over your head because it seems like you probably should do it.
  • Write it Down. By writing your goal down, you are committing to it.  Research shows that people who have written marketing plans achieve them 85% more often than those who don’t write it down.
  • Share it with Others. Tell someone about your goal. By letting someone in on your goals, you are creating your own source of accountability.
  • Partner Up. Do you know others who have similar goals?  Work together to achieve them. Mutual support, even if it’s simply moral support, pushes you further towards success.
  • Track Your Progress. Knowing where you want to get is important, but knowing how you got there is where the fun comes in. Create frequent check-ins for yourself. Always pat yourself on the back for what you accomplish, and then strategize on how you will get further along for your next check in.

Resolutions can get a bad reputation because they often get left behind before the month has expired.  It doesn’t need to be this way!  Try some of these tips that I have gathered from a bevy of resources and my personal experience.  I think you will start to see your perspective, and success rate, change!

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Tips for Setting Goals in 2016

Posted by dscaringi on December 17, 2015

As the new year rapidly approaches, it’s time to consider your goals for the new year. Sometimes this process can make people feel anxious.  Questions start to fly through your head… What if I can’t reach them? What if they aren’t reasonable? How do I begin?  Ignore those doubts.  Goals come in all shapes and sizes.  They are meant to be set just outside of your reach, so that you stretch yourself a bit.  All that being said, people with defined goals, that are written down, tend to make more progress than those who avoid verbalizing where they want to go in a given timeframe.  So where DO you begin?  Rest assured… goals do not need to be world-changing.  They do, however, absolutely need to be personal and specific.  Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Select Small, Short-Term Goals.  Many people think all goals need to be lofty and long-range. While it is good to think big, it is perhaps more important to consider short term goals as a pathway to reaching the big ones. Break down large goals (i.e. bring in one new client in the first six months) into smaller goals (i.e. identify three targets and have lunch with them quarterly).  Dissect large goals into easier steps, tracking how and when you accomplish them.
  • Commit to Your Goals By Writing Them Down. By physically writing down your goals, you makes them real. Keep written goals in a visible place and schedule reminders in your Outlook calendar to execute upon your actionable items and check your progress.
  • Avoid Distractions.  When planning your actionable steps to reach your goals, only take on steps that further your goals in a meaningful way.  Prioritize your marketing activities, undertaking those that will give you the most result for your time investment.
  • Ask for Feedback. Ask someone you trust to evaluate your goals.  This person can be a colleague, mentor, family member or marketing guru.  The point is that a reality check helps you know if what you are setting out to do makes sense.  Ask your advisors to give you honest feedback, both positive and negative.  Remember that negative feedback can be difficult for the giver and receiver, so remain calm and take their input for what it is.  It is always helpful to consider the perspective of the people around you.
  • Take Action.  Once you have your goals in place, don’t waste any time getting to work.  Plan to participate in reaching your goals from the very beginning.
  • Check Back Often.  Don’t make annual goals that sit on the shelf until December of next year.  Check your progress at least quarterly so that you may make adjustments and tweaks as you go along.  This will help you assess if your goals are appropriate and that your actions are furthering your progress.

Planning for success is an important step in achieving it. Plan a strategy to reach your goals and you will be more likely to accomplish them. Along the way, play to your strengths while working on your weaknesses.  I think you will find that you can reach your goals with focus, determination and solid effort.   Good luck!

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