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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The FINAL Question

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The FINAL Question
By Adam Shaivitz

The following story is great:

During my second month of nursing school our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"


Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.


Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you can do is smile and say hello."


I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.


--JoAnn C. Jones, Brockville Ontario

Get to know the people whose paths you cross, remember their names, and smile and say hello. ... We meet so many people in organizations who seem to have amazingly strong technical skills and abilities. How do the ones at the top separate themselves? It's often that they have developed the ability to relate to all the people they pass--from the mail room to the board room. A few basic applications from the lesson above:

Smile and say hello. ... Be the person who looks the other person in the eye and smiles with a friendly greeting. You'll be amazed at whom you'll meet, how great it will make you feel, and one day, one of those people will be able to help you.

Gatekeepers. Joel, a successful sales rep with 35 years experience uses the line with gatekeepers: "I know you're really in charge. I'd like to speak with the person who thinks he's in charge." All the time, we hear stories of deals that were won or heavily influenced because of a relationship with someone involved in the process other than the "decision-maker." People buy from people, and they would always prefer to do business with people they like.

Names. ... Multiple studies show that people who use names in conversation are generally seen as being more friendly and likable. Think about the last time someone remembered you and your name, when you didn't expect him or her to. It makes you feel important, because you were memorable to that person. Imagine how much more success you would experience if you made everyone in your network feel that important.

Close out a strong year by taking the initiative to greet people in your path and use their names. You'll be amazed at how you accelerate your performance.

***

Cover of Cover via AmazonAdam Shaivitz is a well known sales expert. He is the co-author of the best-selling book "Selling is Everyone's Business: What it Takes to Create a Great Salesperson." His company, Accelerate Performance, specializes in sales performance development programs for salespeople and sales managers. You can learn more about Adam at www.accelerateperformance.com or contact him at info@accelerateperformance.com.

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