Front Line Marketing
November 2009
Girl smiling
Sparks Fly!
Your spark can make a connection and that can change everything

"You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you ever achieve anything worthwhile." Brian Tracy

I like this quote. But I hope that Brian Tracy means that success comes from the little connections that you make that build on one another. These points of contact that people do notice, maybe if only subconsciously, that work in your favor.

Like grains of sand on a scale. One grain won't tip the scale, it's the accumulation of each bit of sand that eventually makes the difference. So too with Tracy's 'tiny efforts'. Each is valuable (successful and worthwhile) and necessary in it's own right. When done with awareness and honesty those tiny efforts result in visible connections, manifested. And you can't get to visible connections without tiny efforts.

I think that's what he means.
So it's you and the Prince of Darkness....

I was talking with a web developer the other day and he was sharing that he was preparing to go through a full mock interview as part of his employers training criteria. He had gone on to Microsoft's site to see some of their interview questions as preparation. Here's the interview question he shared with me.

"You're in a 4' x 8' stone corridor, you're on one end and the Prince of Darkness is on the other. What do you do?"

Like you are probably doing, I laughed, said, "What?" "Huh?" "Silly geeks..."

But as we talked more about the question and his answer, should they ask him that question (seems he played Dungeon and Dragons as a kid so actually had a pretty good answer), I came to believe in the merits of the question. A question salespeople as well as CER's and leadership should maybe ask themselves as well as their teams and their potential hires.

You can actually learn a lot about someone. Like how resilient they are, or how creative they are. It's the kind of question that makes you freeze, or challenges you to look at situations differently. It creates questions. It expands your brain.

Everyday we are faced with the reality that it is no longer business as usual. "So what do you do?"

Opportunities are there, but we have to be willing to seek out and embrace different perspectives to see them. It means learning to listen all over again. It means not giving the usual right answer, but reaching for the new right answer. Not the easy answer, but the solution that moves their business forward.

Your spark can make a connection and that can make all the difference, for all of us.
Sparks Fly!
The stone corridor
What if?
You can get what you want
Your spark can make a connection
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What if?
Have you recently played the 'what if' game before your presentation or at your crew meeting? You know it. It is taking the time to rehearse all the possible outcomes, questions and scenarios. In sales it means being able to change strategy when the situation changes. In the restaurant it means rehearsing customer requests or CER scenarios.

Don Shula, former Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins undefeated Super Bowl Champions, used this training tactic to win consistently.

"So what would you do if....?"

"You can get what you want as long as you help enough people get what they want." Zig Ziglar
Your spark can make a connection and that can change everything

We may never know the connection our spark will make. But sometimes, if we're fortunate, we'll be rewarded by seeing its light.

A client this past month was bathed in light as they received the highest honor possible within their industry.

This past week a friend told a story of a person from when they went to high school who contacted them on face book just to tell them how much it meant to them when this person would smile and say hello to them passing in the hall many years ago.

And the payoff? Each of us feels better about ourselves and a little more confident about our place in the world. And that feels good.

So let your Sparks Fly!
You're Not Being 'Nice'

The Gallup organization has put together a list of 12 questions that help measure your organizations level of engagement. The thought being, the more engaged your associates, the more productive and engaged they will be with their clients.

The first question of Gallup's 12 is, "Do you know what is expected of you at work?" The answer we often receive continually surprises me because over and over again we find that the answer is, "No".

As leaders we put people into positions without making sure that they know what is expected of them. And even if we tell them what to do, we very seldom encourage questions. Take customer service as one example. Everyone on the service line (and that is all of us) is expected to be 'nice' to the customer. But really your interpretation of nice is different than my nice. Not right or wrong, but different. So when you confront me and tell me I'm not being nice, I don't know what is expected of me.

Encourage conversation to arrive at consensus.

Download Gallup's 12 questions at the Front Line Marketing web site.
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them."

Henri Matisse