Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for February, 2015

Our actions and words can stick like glue.

With all that’s being published, said, and felt about the current situation with Brian Williams, I’ve become hyper-aware of all of the notable and/or famous people who have nearly or completely ruined their careers through poor or thoughtless judgment, a lack of integrity, or a simple human error. Now there’s a level of vulnerability I’m glad I’m not dealing with.

I was thinking though, about the vulnerability we do have as professionals when it comes to our own actions and communication with our customers, employees, colleagues and community.

I often have the opportunity to talk with individuals confidentially about their perspectives (or perceptions) of the people they work for, or with. Certainly, there are situations when a person demonstrates consistent negative behaviors that turn people off over time. But what I find more interesting, is when someone behaves or speaks to someone in a way that generates bad feelings during an isolated incident, and the receiver of those actions or words holds onto unresolved negative reactions and feelings for months, or years.

What I’ve learned is that our actions and/or our words can stick like glue. What I’m reminded of is that although we may not have the same level of vulnerability of a famous news anchor or celebrity, it can’t hurt to be more thoughtful and aware of the impact that our integrity and day-to-day communications have on our relationships, credibility, and success.

Treat your prospects like clients.

Had this article published in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle this week. Thought I’d share it . . . .
Originally Published, Business Section, Democrat & Chronicle, on Tues, February 3, 2015:
Treat your prospects like clients.

If you provide a product, a service, or propose an idea you undoubtedly find yourself in “sales,” whether you serve as a resource within or outside of an organization.

For most of us, our passion is centered on delivering our product or service.

Fewer of us might enjoy the sales process and/or relish prospect communications and the sales cycle. Yet, the sales cycle and our working relationships with our prospects are crucial components to our overall success.

One way to increase your enthusiasm about the sales cycle and working with prospects is to treat them with the same care and service you offer your clients.

Take the time to generate engaging communications. Seek to understand their needs and respond and serve them accordingly. Establish objectives and deliver on agreed-upon target dates.

Respect confidentiality and maintain integrity at all times.

Your intentional value-added service to your prospects is an investment that may produce immediate business results, nurture future business opportunities or offer an opportunity to enhance your reputation and demonstrate your professionalism and capabilities.

If you are the prospect, remember that service providers, salespeople and/or your employees put a great deal of time and service into proposal writing with the understanding that the desired results may, or may not, come to fruition.

A simple acknowledgement that the proposal has been received — especially when you’ve invited it — is always appreciated. And if and when you know that you are not going to retain that person as a resource, or approve their proposal, it’s a great professional courtesy to offer them an honest update and/or guidance as to when you might appreciate reconnecting for further discussion.

Regardless of the nature of our business relationships, we get the best results when we genuinely value and serve each other.