Thousands of locks line the rails of the Pont des Arts near the Louvre in Paris. For those who haven’t heard of it, here’s the story. A couple writes their names on a padlock and locks it onto the bridge. They then throw the key into the Seine River as a symbol of their undying love.
As I spend New Year’s Eve here with my wife, Holly, this popular site in the city of love reminds me of not just my love and passion for her, but for life itself. Each day is filled with opportunities to live passionately, love deeply, work eagerly, and play with excitement in my heart.
In my widely read post from Christmas Eve, I referenced this zest for life, which is evident in the children of our world. These amazing little beings approach even the simplest of activities with passion. On the streets of Paris, I continually see them skipping with joy, gazing in wonder, and appreciating the present for what it truly is – one precious and fleeting moment in time. Children don’t squander these opportunities; they live them to their fullest. Even when they have their moments of discontent, they tend to move through them swiftly.
While adults are here to protect and nuture the growth of children, our children are here to teach us many things including the value of passion. Take their example and make 2013 your year of passion in all you do at work and at home.
While the world most likely won’t end on December 21, 2012, it can be the end of ineffective business practices in favor of true best practices that achieve better results.
Always be collaborating versus always be closing
Yes, it’s the job of sales to facilitate a process that ultimately closes the deal. However, over-used and ineffective closing techniques, such as the assumptive close and the hard close, are hardly the way to build a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship. A fully collaborative approach where the buyer talks themselves into buying allows the best closer in the room, the buyer, not the salesperson, to close the deal.
Stay with the basics versus back to basics
If you have to get back to basics that means you got away from them in the first place. Maintaining consistent accountability to true best practices ensures customers are always well served and time is well spent on enhancing your business instead of reimplementing what should already be in place.
Client facilitation versus client control
Do you like to be controlled? Most likely not and your customers feel the same way. Free-will dictates that you can’t control anyone, yet, you can advance a process that identifies needs, provides solutions that addresses those needs, overcomes objections, and closes the sale. If the buyer’s needs are always kept front and center, and the solutions you provide meet those needs, no control is required. All that is necessary is for you to guide the buyer through the process to acquire those solutions.
So, on December 21st say goodbye to ineffective old school practices and usher in a new era of collaboration with your customers. Maybe, just maybe, that’s what the Mayans had in mind in the first place.