Veteran rocker Steven Tyler of Aerosmith often comes up with catchy phrases. Recently he offered one of his humorous paradoxical insights as part of his role as a judge on American Idol. He said, “I’m too young to be this old.” On one hand, he certainly looks like he has a lot of miles on him. At the same time, he always exudes high energy and an amazing zest for life.
Like him or not, Tyler is always very entertaining. His comment about being too young to be this old should get all of us thinking. There are lots of situations in almost every profession that are equally paradoxical. Here are a couple of examples I hear quite often:
1. I am working too hard to be this broke.
2. My service is too good for my customers to keep saying no.
Are there certain situations in yours professional life that are paradoxical… that do not seem to make sense (or even seem unfair)? Probably. Sometimes working harder is not the right answer. Often there are other keys to making things happen the way you want them to. Here are some suggestions:
1 .Your work habits. The statement, “I’m working hard” is very subjective. Sitting at your desk for three hours preparing for your strategy for the day may not be as productive as making 20 calls to key prospects. Driving around for three hours to be in the face of three potential buyers may not be as sitting down with one prospective client to have a casual cup of coffee. Always be thinking about the best way to get to the best prospects.
2. Are you spending your time wisely? Are the people you are approaching in a position to afford your service? Do they share your work ethics and vision?
3. When you make contact with prospective clients are they the decision-maker? The best sales presentation in the world is wasted if the recipient is not the ultimate buyer.
4. Make sure you are presenting the benefits of what you offer to your prospects. They don’t want to know what you have… they want to know why it will help them. This is the essence of being successful.
Give some thought to what Steven Tyler said. Is what you are trying to accomplish out of sync with the situation/customers you are pursuing? Every once in a while it is very helpful to step back and take a look at your business and your efforts from 20,000 feet. All businesses need to do this, big or small. That way you can ensure that your efforts and your activities are on a straight line to your goals.
Don’t try and sell a Ferrari to someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license. Make sure there is no paradox between your efforts and the customers you are pursuing. No excuses.