You know there are three kinds of people – those who make it happen, those who let it happen and those who wonder what happened!
How many times have you lost a deal, lost a customer, lost a good staff member – and wondered what happened? Where did I go wrong? What did I do that didn't work? What did I do that DID work, so I can do it again?
A lot of the time we wing it, don't we? And there's nothing wrong with that – the use of our intuition, our experience and our spontaneity brings a freshness and reality to any situation. But I learned years ago when I first began in sales management, that when you create a system, you take the guess work out of life and provide more opportunity and energy (and safety) for that freshness. It's like knowing what side of the road to drive on!
Once upon a time I was shown a puzzle. It's now shown to you, right here. I know you're busy – but take just a moment and count how many squares you can see. (And give us some graphics licence – they are all squares, OK?)
16? 17? 21? 26? That's all most people come up with.
There are actually 30 squares.
The big one around the outside, of course. Then the sixteen small squares. That's 17. There is a square of four in each corner, a square of four on each side and one in the middle. That's 26. Then there is a square of nine small squares in each corner also – an extra 4, totalling 30. Amazing, isn't it? SO WHAT you ask? Look for the metaphor.
It's a difficult puzzle for most people to do, at least in a short time. Because you are looking at a muddle of lines and spaces, and it's tricky to sort out what you have counted already, and what you haven't. Keeping track is challenging, unless you have coloured pens at the ready. So we either give up (and lose) or we get it wrong, or we spend a lot of time sorting it out.
Life's like that. Selling is like that. Service is like that. Management is like that.
Leadership is like that. Negotiating is like that. Presenting is like that.
We are usually dealing with a fairly complex circumstance, of communication between at least two different people with different styles, mindsets, agendas, attitudes and beliefs. We struggle and muddle trying to sort out each circumstance individually, trying to remember everything we know, and it's hard work. Or we just wing it and risk that we get it wrong. Or we give up because it's too hard (and lose).
Life can get so much easier when we use a system!
Let's go back to the squares for a minute. There's a system we can use to make the puzzle easy to solve. There are four rows of squares. If we square the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 individually, and then add them (that's 1, 4, 9 and 16) we get 30! Brilliant, isn't it? It works every time. And it works for more rows of squares too. It works because there is a system.
In your life, in your business, what systems could make life easier? Here are a few we teach:
There's a System for understanding different people's behavioural styles. At our organisation, we have a theory that there are no difficult people – just different people! (Actually, just about everyone other than us is totally weird, aren't they?) And if I can use a system to recognise their style and their needs, and treat them the way they need to be treated, they become very co-operative. And life gets so easy.
There's a System for Selling. It works every time. If you can't sell, it's because you didn't complete every step of the system well enough. Or because you forgot to use the System for screening deals.
There's a System for Negotiation. Every time we fail to win in a negotiation it's because we left out a vital ingredient. Can you afford that?
There's a System for Service. Easy as pie. Complete the process and they love you.
There's a System for Leadership, for Sales Management and for Coaching too. And for presenting. Follow the numbers, bring your heart and soul, skill and will to the steps and strategies, and it will work for you.
Every morning when you wake up you follow a system – a well worn set of steps and processes that gets you ready for the world outside. If you leave any bits out you just don't feel right all day! When you start your car you follow a system. It's become unconscious competence by now – but miss a step and it won't go.
Systems make it so easy. Learn them, use them, and you get to save heaps of time and energy. Isn't that the way to go?
Catherine Palin-Brinkworth presents powerful business and personal success strategies, as Managing Director of BEST Training Systems – with a proven track record in building sales, service and leadership skills. Call her on (07) 5527 9947 or visit www.catherinepalinbrinkworth.com.