When I was in my early 20′s, typing offers and answering the phone in a busy real estate office in Toronto, the agents disappeared for a day to go and see a motivational/sales speaker at a downtown hotel. They all came back full of excitement about the possibilities that existed in their future.  

This was my first experience of “workshop”, my desk suddenly surrounded by inspired and energetic people. I was fascinated and since then have welcomed into my life people I consider to be champions of motivation. One of them is Brian Tracy http://bit.ly/zIL8ni. I follow him faithfully on Twitter (@BrianTracy) and subscribe to his newsletter and daily emails. He inspires me and reflects back many of the core principles I weave into my work – seminars and coaching, and prospecting on the phone. 

This past week his daily messages included two quotes that complement what I believe, what I teach: 

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.” H. Jackson Brown, Author 

This is why I bring antique telephones to most of my workshops. Of course they are fun to look at and play with, but I also bring them to remind everyone that, not too long ago, when we spoke on the phone we gave the conversation all our attention. The equipment was too heavy, too awkward, to allow for multi-tasking. When we were on the phone, we focused solely on the conversation – on listening, asking questions, being within the ebb and flow of dialogue.  

It was powerful. It was intimate. It built relationships.  

It still does, of course, or there wouldn’t be a Phone Lady. But today we take it for granted, take the time to shift email out of our inbox to various folders, or click through to websites, or shuffle papers around our desk all while we are talking on the phone. And this robs us of our ability to truly engage, to deeply listen, to respond. And, I believe, it robs us of opportunities. We miss the word or phrase or small silence that would allow for a larger conversation with a customer or supplier or associate, a conversation that could easily lead us to more orders, more opportunities, more growth.  

I”ll sum this up in a different way, acknowledging one of my own daily challenges: It is important to be in the moment you are in – not analyzing the moment that’s past or planning the moment that’s to come, but fully present in the now. For now is where opportunity lives and waits to be recognized. Don’t miss it! 

The second quote was one of Winston Churchill’s: “The price of greatness is responsibility.” 

In my workshops the topic that gets discussed the longest and generates the most controversy is follow up as in “How many times should I call a prospect?”  

Everyone is always amazed, and challenged, when I say “Don’t give up. Keep calling until you reach them.”  

One of the reasons for this advice is that, if you start calling a prospect and then stop … well your sudden disappearance sends a message doesn’t it? It tells the prospect that you aren’t that interested in their business, that you give up, that perhaps you aren’t organized, that you don’t have confidence in your product or service.  

But I want to take this idea of responsibility a bit further . . . You are responsible for promoting/selling your product or service therefore you are responsible for reaching your prospects. It is not their responsibility to contact you and get more information – although that’s lovely when it happens. It isn’t even their responsibility to return your messages. No … it’s your responsibility to reach them and when you take that responsibility seriously … well, that’s the price of greatness – great sales, great growth, great success.  

So I send my thanks out to Brian Tracy for inspiring this week’s blog and I ask you “Who inspires you?” Is there a newsletter or an email or a Twitter account that keeps you motivated, keeps you growing? It would be great if you would share it with us.  

I wish you all a week filled with wonderful phonework – persistent follow up and great conversations!  

Tune in next week when I’ll be able to tell you about two opportunities that have recently arrived in my world and to which I have energetically said “Yes”. I look forward to sharing them with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Thomas Nolte says: February 6, 2012 • 02:25:45

    Who inspires and motivates me is Jesus, his love for others, his example of servant leadership and his interactions with others in general, as described in God’s Word.
    It offers practical guidance for any situation I face, and reading the Bible daily with prayer, looking for wisdom, makes a huge difference in my day. Not reading it makes a differnece too, but usually one I don’t like as I see myself drifting quickly away from the ideals and goals I cherish.

    True motivation seems to me is coming from deep convictions and moral values that direct my every decision, which in turn form my character and my habits of acting and reacting. If nothing else comes from it but a forgiving spirit and peace in my heart, I feel I gained and learned a lot.

    Sorry it is not an email, newsletter or twitter, but grab a bible and start reading about the man who certainly changed this world and inspired many. If I can be of any assistance in this, I’d be happy to help.

    Thanks for reading.

    Reply

  2. Laurie Dolhan says: February 6, 2012 • 14:21:07

    Thank you Mary Jane! Of late, a message from my very supportive husband echoes again and again, “The man who never took a chance, never had a chance.” Or, in this case, ‘woman”. I’m picking up the phone…I’m paying attention…

    Reply

  3. Graham Hooper says: February 7, 2012 • 11:36:56

    What motivates me?

    This poem…pretty much says it all…

    It doesn’t interest me
    what you do for a living.
    I want to know
    what you ache for
    and if you dare to dream
    of meeting your heart’s longing.
    It doesn’t interest me
    how old you are.
    I want to know
    if you will risk
    looking like a fool
    for love
    for your dream
    for the adventure of being alive.
    It doesn’t interest me
    what planets are
    squaring your moon…
    I want to know
    if you have touched
    the centre of your own sorrow
    if you have been opened
    by life’s betrayals
    or have become shrivelled and closed
    from fear of further pain.
    I want to know
    if you can sit with pain
    mine or your own
    without moving to hide it
    or fade it
    or fix it.
    I want to know
    if you can be with joy
    mine or your own
    if you can dance with wildness
    and let the ecstasy fill you
    to the tips of your fingers and toes
    without cautioning us
    to be careful
    to be realistic
    to remember the limitations
    of being human.
    It doesn’t interest me
    if the story you are telling me
    is true.
    I want to know if you can
    disappoint another
    to be true to yourself.
    If you can bear
    the accusation of betrayal
    and not betray your own soul.
    If you can be faithless
    and therefore trustworthy.
    I want to know if you can see Beauty
    even when it is not pretty
    every day.
    And if you can source your own life
    from its presence.
    I want to know
    if you can live with failure
    yours and mine
    and still stand at the edge of the lake
    and shout to the silver of the full moon,
    “Yes.”
    It doesn’t interest me
    to know where you live
    or how much money you have.
    I want to know if you can get up
    after the night of grief and despair
    weary and bruised to the bone
    and do what needs to be done
    to feed the children.
    It doesn’t interest me
    who you know
    or how you came to be here.
    I want to know if you will stand
    in the centre of the fire
    with me
    and not shrink back.
    It doesn’t interest me
    where or what or with whom
    you have studied.
    I want to know
    what sustains you
    from the inside
    when all else falls away.
    I want to know
    if you can be alone
    with yourself
    and if you truly like
    the company you keep
    in the empty moments.

    Oriah Mountain Dreamer

    …very I was lucky enough to see Deep Purple tonight.. perfect music therapy… of to bed.looking forward to a good week!

    Reply

  4. Steve Leveille says: February 7, 2012 • 11:39:06

    My 65 years mother whom successes highly in all areas of her life leaving with me and my sister 4 and 5 years hold of age., with $25 and only one set of clothes. Leaving our patrimonial home with nothing!…absolutely nothing…The brand new car staying in the drive way and house fully equipped! than getting a Chief Executive Nursing Position with huge office and close to $100,000 with expenses account and more.
    I have learned to get out of poverty and manage with nothing around.

    Today, driving what will become a $1 trillion dollar radio, television and movies productions and broadcasting company out of Nova Scotia, Canada.

    Reply

  5. Lana Larder says: February 9, 2012 • 20:22:26

    Hi Mary Jane,
    Thanks for all your articles – my champion motivator is Warren Buffett! Best Lana

    Reply

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