|Yesterday Owen Frager sent out a great read in his newsletter, after reading I asked for permission to repost at Owen graciously agreed. I am posting unedited, for more information on Owen you can check out Frager.us or FragerFactor.blogspot.com.
Owens article does a great job of explaining what many people have forgot, salesmanship matters to a business, its all about relationships, and on top of that its important to not try to hold on to what has been, but look at what will be or even more important, could be. Happy reading!
Good Morning Folks,
Change is one of the most guaranteed things in life, but few people want to accept that fact, and fewer can deal with it.
==> Salesmanship: Ultimately, Nothing Else Matters
Just look at history and you don't have to go far back to see how fast things can change. Take 250 years ago. That's not very far when you think about it. The United States of America didn't even exist. Look how much this one little band of rebels against the British monarchy accomplished in that time. We took on the most powerful nation in the world at the time and kicked ass and started our own country from scratch.
Go back 500 years ago. What did the United States look like then? There was nothing here but Indian tribes. No buildings. No roads. No corporations. No electricity. No water systems. No airports. No cars. No financial system. No banks. It was better than when the dinosaurs ruled our continent but not by much.
What was life like 5,000 years ago on this planet? Civilization was just starting to take root.
Let's move up in time. When I grew up we had 3 major tv networks and 3 UHF stations. TV was in black and white. There were no cell phones. No personal computers. No video games. No Internet. None of the great stuff like we have today. I remember going to the World's Fair and seeing the World of Tomorrow pavilion and being totally fascinated by what visionaries expected the world to be like in the 21st century and what has come to be was even beyond that vision.
But the bottom line is time changes everything and does it continuously. It is a destroyer and creator both. It 's the way the Universe operates and we and everything on this planet are at it's mercy. In 125 years from now all 6 Billion people that are here today will be long gone. We'll all be nothing but dust and ashes. That's a hard reality to swallow but that's the fact of life and the worst aspect of change which is accepting the ultimate component of change which is death. In a few more Billion years no life will exist at all on Earth. The Sun will have grown into a Red Giant star past our orbit and incinerated our beautiful planet. So the point is the clock is ticking and everyone and everything exists on borrowed time.
The world is in financial chaos right now. But there is a reason it is and change will heal it. There was gross exploitation in the financial systems and capital markets of the world. There was excessive and charlatan like manipulation of money and wealth. There was total ignorance of the primary law of nature that nothing is forever and denial of the fact that real estate could not continue to rise in price year after year without a matching rise in incomes and buyers to support that ponzi game.
But, change is remarkably efficient at taking out what is not right, what is not healthy, what is not good and productive, and what is no longer needed in a system. In that respect change is positive and it is vital. Change kills things and at the same time change gives birth to brand new things and brand new opportunities. Change is what we need right now and it is doing its job vorociously to get us back to a solid financial foundation again.
So to succeed when everything is falling apart you merely have to accept the reality and destructiveness of change and join its side and adapt as things are changed. Don't fight it, because you can never win trying to keep and maintain what needs to be changed. This is when those who know how to do well when life becomes overwhelming and each day brings another unforeseen punch in the face from change, thrive and succeed most.
The key is to make change your partner and look for the brand new opportunities that are being created from the destruction and cleaning out of the economy. The new gardens that change is now planting and seeding.
You have to be an optimist and creative, pessimism and doing things the same way will take you down the toilet with everything else going downhill now. The strong will survive this mess and actually prosper from it. The weak will not. That's just how it is in life. You've got to take your pick which side of the fence you want to be on.
From a practical perspective, there's a great amount of inefficiency and unproductiveness in many aspects of business these days. You can go to any mall in the US and it all looks the same. You can instantly spot the stores that are well managed, with great staff, great products, great marketing, good value, good prices, etc. and those that are not. The stores going out of business deserve to and need to. They are not being run well or what they are selling is no longer marketable. And that's the bottom line. You can only get away with running a business badly for so long and then change will take you out.
I find it amazing how cluelessly and bureaucratically most businesses are run. It's a wonder they survive for as long as they do. In today's dynamic world things move and change at a lightning pace. You have to be fast and nimble to adapt and keep up with it each day. The dinosaurs in business are getting killed because they are just that running their businesses like dinosaurs and not able to keep up anymore. Someone is doing a better job. Someone has better trained salesmen. Someone has more innovative products or services. etc. etc.
When my friend Kevin was in high school in Philadelphia he worked in a local department store in the men's clothing department. He thought he was the only one who actually WORKED in my department. Most of the other salesmen would stand around either chatting or pretending to be doing something. When he didn't have a customer to wait on, he would go around and straighten up his area and make sure it looked pristine. When that was done he would pickup the phone and call his customers and tell them about upcoming new styles coming in and sales for the next week. Kevin was the only salesman in the entire store that would ask customers for their first name and phone number to keep in touch with them and build a relationship with them.
Kevin manager, Dan Bonner, said he'd never seen anyone do the things he did in all his decades of retailing. He'd never seen anyone look so happy to be working. He would even organize all the inventory in the back stock rooms perfectly which wasn't even in my area of responsibility. His sales per hour for the store were 4 times and higher to the norm and higher than anyone else. Customers would come in the men's department and specifically ask for Kevin to shop with them and help select their clothes and suggest what'd look best on them. They obviously loved the fact that someone actually enjoyed and was enthusiastic about waiting on them, and showed a genuine interest in them.
How many retail clerks are you on a first name basis with? How many retail clerks know what style and color shirts you prefer when you shop? Salesmanship is an art and most companies don't have any real salesmen working for them that truly enjoy what they do, go the extra mile for their customers, nor build any genuine relationship with their customers. This is one of the biggest problems and deficiencies in business today. And this permeates into other aspects of businesses as well. Management at most companies is atrocious and incompetent. They don't know what they're doing and most times they are just "coasting" instead of doing what they're supposed to do which is managing and building business.
I could go on and on. The mess, mismanagement, and incompetence out there permeates so much of our lives today. In business, big and small. In government, federal, state, and local. Even in the way families are run and kids are raised. So many people just don't know how to do things the right way anymore, have no enthusiasm, and aren't productive.
So I believe it's necessary right now to let all the crap crumble. Let things that aren't right fall apart and fade and be replaced by better things. It's going to be painful and much of what we've grown to think of as forever, like the value of real estate, we will have to accept it really wasn't and will not be so in the future. Don't feel vulnerable and scared, nothing is forever anyway, we're all here on borrowed time, so just accept that reality, smile, work hard, create and innovate new things and enjoy living in the chaos. We all have talent and lots of skills. More than most. People in here will do fine because we are Entrepreneurs and are used to "dancing" with business challenges every day.
The quote that always comes to mind at times like this, by Napoleon Hill, and which you can use in your life to truly relax your soul, quit worrying about everything which you have no control over anyways, and attain inner peace of mind with is:
"Ultimately, Nothing Matters!"
In the big picture of the Universe, we are all just dust in the wind . . .
Now get to work, ignore the negative energy, stay positive, smile, be happy, and energize your mind to its maximum potential to think of new ideas, create, innovate and build your business.
Have a GREAT day!
"Simple is harder" - Steve Jobs