What You Need To Know

Uncle Frank Asks....

How Tough Are You?


Are you tough?  I don't mean in a fist fight, but can you stick it out? Building a business is way more than planning, and money, and ideas.

You must be tough.  Can you make the tough personnel decisions?Can you tough it out when you may not have enough cash at the moment?

I recently was talking to a top manager, of a sort of successful company. He was very frustrated with the founder and president. He liked his job but not the way the company made decisions.  He told me that decisions on personnel (a area of major mistakes) were made by the president on whether or not he liked the person.  The result was lots of unqualified, nice people.

So, as the company floundered, the company president hired a no-nonsense sales manager he was lucky enough to meet socially. What do think happened?  Well, sales tripled in 9 months and everyone hated the sales manager.  Existing low producers were fired and the pace in every department of the company accelerated to keep up with the new sales direction.

What if that president had not been lucky enough to meet that sales manager?

Do you trust that luck will save your business? I hope not.  Successful business people and especially entrepreneurs must be tough. They must look at any problem in their company with a cold eye and decide what will benefit the business.  If this is not done, brains and hard work just are not enough.

Some of Uncle Frank's thoughts on..."So What!"

Have you ever listened to a salesperson or a tv ad or looked at a magazine ad and thought “So What?”  Of course you have.  So, the question is, do people, clients, customers, employees  think that to themselves when you speak?

I bet it has happened.  But, does it happen often?

Quite a few years ago I discovered a basic truth that addresses how to speak to people, it doesn't matter what you say, but rather how you say it and what the  listener chooses to hear.  The sooner someone gets comfortable with this idea, the sooner they will improve their communication ability.

For a salesperson “So What?” is critical.  Salespeople are often trained on the features and benefits of their products.  But do they get training on presenting only the benefits that matter to the prospect?  Usually not.

Think about it.  The salesperson is  speaking  to a prospect across a desk or on the telephone and then begins presenting the product.   Does that salesperson present the entire product or just the benefits and features  they KNOW will gain the prospects attention.

Of course, they should have done some needs analysis prior to this point of the  sales presentation, but the point here is that salespeople need to avoid presenting “So what” information.

If a salesperson doesn't have any idea what the “So What” is , then there hasn't been enough information gathered.

These ideas also apply to just about every interaction between people in business and often on a personal level.  Have you ever been at  a party as someone is gushing about something  and all you can think of is “So What”.  This goes on all the time in business within a company, in company advertising, on and on.  People get excited about what they think is important (often only to themselves), they ignore what others think is important.

To be a great communicator avoid the “So What” in the conversation and focus on topics and information that matter to whoever you are addressing.

From today on, start listening to the “So What” in every conversation and listen to yourself.

Your communication ability will skyrocket.

"What do you get if you win?" 

One of Uncle Frank's Favorites

It just so happens that in my life I have learned a great deal from those people (usually bosses) that I liked the least. So of course that's where I learned the importance and power of keeping "what do you get if you win?" in mind as you build your life and your business.

Decisions on your life and/or your business are often not made considering  "what do you get if you win?".  Those decisions are often made with other considerations as the leading motivators.  Of course, as a Christian sometimes it may seem that winning is not always the prime objective, but a good result is most often the desired result.

More simply,  "what do you get if you win?" is a way to start the thought process of who benefits?, who may lose? and what is really the result that is desired.  "What do you get if you win?" is a way to start thinking about how your decision affects more than just you.  In the end, the decision will affect you, but will it affect the accounting department?  The sales department?  Manufacturing? Will it affect your family, the community? On and on.

"What do you get if you win?" is a thought process to avoid unintended consequences.

How many times in your life have decisions not turned out as intended?  Why did those disappointments occur?  Many times for many people it's that they just didn't think deeply enough on how the decision will affect others.   "What do you get if you win?" helps a clear thinking, well intended person to avoid unintended consequences in their life.

On the other hand,  "what do you get if you win?" is not only a thought process that is used to avoid unwanted consequences.  It can also help you think out of the box in your business.

"What do you get if you win?" is certainly basic to sales and revenue planning.  To achieve a projected sales goal, the level of investment in advertising and sales force expansion is determined by how much can the company afford? and what will we get in return( "what do you get if you win?" ).

So, Uncle Frank hopes that more people will keep  "what do you get if you win?" in mind when making all their decisions.  Life and business will go a lot smoother and you will be more comfortable with your decisions.