Improvement Requires Change

I am frequently surprised by people who want something “better” in their life. I guess that’s not really the part that surprises me, after all, who wouldn’t want “better”. The part that surprises me is that they want something better but they are not willing to accept any amount of change in their life to get it.

 

Any improvement, even a little one, requires that something must change. 

 

Just because you may not enjoy change (you’re most certainly not alone there) does not mean there will be no changes in your life. Change happens whether we want it to or not. 

 

Once you accept the fact that change is one of life’s certainties then you have the choice of whether those changes will drive you or you will drive them. That means the real question is will the changes in your life happen to you or because of you.

 

If you want to drive the change in your life then you must decide what changes you want. You must be very specific about what you want, “better” isn’t nearly specific enough to make it happen. Knowing exactly what you want to be better is a key to having it. You’ll also find that being able to effectively communicate, to yourself and others, exactly why you want the improvement is a big help too.

 

When you know what you want then set your goals and make a plan on exactly how you’ll make the change come about. This is the part many people miss, they want to see a change but they have no plan to make it happen. You need a plan! 

 

Now here’s the thing about your plan… it’s very unlikely to work, at least exactly as you had drawn it up. Expect disruptions in your plan, your path to successful change with be littered with obstacles and nay-saying people. Push on!

 

While you may find your plan wasn’t perfect it’s likely your planning process was sufficient enough to allow you to get right back on course when someone or something pushes you off. 

 

Be patient but be sure you’re not just procrastinating. The very best time to begin your journey to successful change is the moment you’ve identified the change you desire. “Later,” “tomorrow,” and “someday” are just words that slow you down, or stop you all together. The word you need is “now” as in right now, immediately, today. 

 

Be sure to surround yourself with supportive people. Change isn’t easy but like everything else, it’s easier when we get some morale support along the way. Never allow anyone to tell you that you can’t succeed and for heavens sake, never say that self-defeating horrible thing to yourself. 

 

You are going to experience change in your life; for some people that’s pretty bad news, for others it’s pretty good news. I guess it just depends on if your sitting behind the steering wheel of the change bus or if you’re just along for the ride.


So…where are you sitting today?

You’re Gonna Get the Beep

I haven’t done any real research on this but it seems to me the odds are pretty good these days that when we call someone we’re going to get their voicemail rather than actually talking to them. 

 

There are probably several reasons for that but I think a big one is the simple fact that people are really busy. The convenience of letting a call go to voicemail is just easier than stopping whatever we’re doing to take a call. 

 

It’s gotten to the point where I’m almost surprised when a real person actually answers the phone. I expect to get someone’s voicemail and I’m prepared for the moment I hear the beep. You know the beep, it is the indication that you should start talking. 

 

I’m amazed at the number of people who use the phone for business who are apparently surprised when they get someone’s voicemail and who then go almost totally braindead when they get the beep. 

 

They stutter, stammer, hem and haw, start and stop their sentences and generally sound like it’s the first time they have ever gotten the beep. 

 

Folks, I have to tell you if you’re making phone calls then you’re gonna get the beep. Often!

 

Be prepared for it…

 

If you’re in sales and you get the beep then every stutter and stammer, each hem and haw, and all the false starts impact not only your professionalism but your credibility as well. A customer or prospect might just get the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing, no matter how experienced you actually are. 

 

The lack of preparation for the simple task of leaving a coherent message is easily spotted by your prospect or customer. Plan as if you’re going to get the beep and know exactly what you’re going to say. Know why you’re calling and why the person you’re leaving the message for should return your call. Say everything as if you’ve said it before. Say it with the confidence of someone who has said it a thousand times and with the enthusiasm of someone saying it for the first time. Give the appearance of a professional who is prepared to have a professional conversation. 

 

But…

 

When I say know “exactly” what you are going to say I mean that you should say it, really just say it, speak it as if the other person is on the phone. Do not read it. If your message is really just something you read from a script then in my little opinion you probably don’t deserve a call back. 

 

Professionals prepare to succeed. Professional salespeople prepare for every customer interaction, even for interactions with the customer’s voicemail. Every time you call someone you should be prepared to leave a message, a clear, compelling and concise message. 


Leaving only your name and phone number by the way is NOT a message, it’s just some information that the person you’re calling will likely never use. Prepared professionals provide the other person with a solid reason for calling them back. 


If you use a phone to call other people you’re gonna get the beep. If you’re using the phone for business purposes then you best be prepared for it cause if you’re not the beep may be the only thing you ever hear from your prospect or customer.