Pinnacleceo's Take

Experiences put to paper…

Archive for the month “March, 2017”

Valuable Lessons From March Madness

Ahhh, it’s that time of year every college basketball fan loves…March Madness. I must confess, I enjoy watching the tournament and filling out my bracket only to see it destroyed by the end of the first weekend. Which brings me to my topic today.

Most people when they are completing their brackets use a logical approach to their selections. They take into consideration a team’s seeding, their record, the conference they play in and their opponent. For those of you who have participated in this activity over the years, you have learned that what appears to be a given, is not always the case! Without question, almost every year on the first weekend of tournament play, there is an upset. Some are not so unexpected and some are shockers. Why? Good question! Regardless of whether you are a number one seed or a Cinderella, there is an explanation and a lesson in this for all of us…Here we go!

In 2013, a small school on the gulf coast of Florida seeded number 15, upset number 2 seed Georgetown 78-68. At one point Florida Gulf Coast led by 19 points. Should Florida Gulf Coast ever had a lead like that yet alone win the game? How?

In 1976, The Indiana Hoosiers began the year ranked number one and finished with an undefeated mark of 32-0, the last undefeated team in college basketball. During the NCAA tournament they cruised their way to a national championship winning every game by an average of 17 points per game. Were the other teams that less talented? Again, the question, How?

In the first case with Florida Gulf Coast, I believe they had a point to make and a will to make it. Think about it, except for a very few, the only people that believed they could win were inside the Florida Gulf Coast locker room. They had to believe they could win…If they didn’t,they should have never left the locker room.

First lesson…always believe you can win. Regardless of how things might be stacked up against you, you must believe BEFORE you begin, that you will WIN! I have seen many examples of a “defeated” approach to business and to life that clearly demonstrates that person has already lost. You see it in their attitude and even in the way they walk! You have no chance of winning anything unless first you expect to win and you put forth your BEST effort to do so PERIOD!!!

In the second example, the 1976 Indiana team knew full well that when they played any team on any given night, that team would put forth their best effort. Why? To be the team that knocked off the best of the best. Imagine the pressure to always perform at peak performance to maintain their status of being number one. Think of how the team viewed an undefeated season and wanted to protect it with all they had. Think how it felt going into the tournament knowing that just one loss, would not only ruin the undefeated season but would end it as well!

As the record shows, this team was well equipped to handle the situation from the top down. The result: An undefeated championship season.

Second lesson…Never take your competitor lightly and keep your foot on the gas! Perhaps the Bible says it best, “Pride cometh before a fall.” Never take your competitor lightly. If you are at the top of your game, they would like nothing better than to find your weakness and expose it so they can defeat you! In sports or in life, never take your opponents, or your opportunities lightly…to stay on top you must earn it EVERY DAY. Never take your foot off the gas is a metaphor I have heard for years. It simply means, don’t slow down, don’t ease up, give it all you’ve got until the results are decided. This is clearly the banner championship teams and organizations display consistently season after season, year after year!

These are powerful lessons for each of us. I hope you like me, are never at a place where you stop looking for ways to learn! If you are a fan of March Madness, pay attention to the way each team approaches their game and how they play it. Does their body language from the bench to the court demonstrate they can win regardless of who they are playing, or are they defeated before they walk out of the locker room? Is the higher seed playing as if their opponent will just fold up and quit?

These lessons are a great reminder to each of us that we can determine our outcomes simply by the approach we take to our livelihood and our lives every day. If you are at the top of your game, take nothing for granted, do all you can to stay there. If you are a Cinderella, set your expectations high and believe in every opportunity that you are going to WIN!

Here’s to winning your championship game every day!

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The Logical Flow of Developing Great Business and the Number One Reason it Stops!

Allow me to preach for a moment to all the sales/business development people out there. But before I do, please let me preface my sermon…

I have been fortunate to be in business for myself for 32 years. I love all it affords. The potential, the flexibility and the opportunities to help others. I have always and will always take the approach that I have much to learn. Any time I can gather any knowledge, concept or an idea that will make me better, I will always be open to it. The minute or even the second I believe that I KNOW IT ALL, is the beginning of my downfall.

There are some things however I have learned and experienced first-hand that I believe to be unconditional truths about business development. One, there is a logical flow to great business development and two, there is one primary reason it stops! Based on that preface and supported evidence from my personal experiences, I’ll begin my sermon.

Basic logic when it comes to developing great business is simple: Grow business and revenue through products/services purchased consistently from loyal customers and clients who are identified through promotion activity.

To grow your business and generate revenue, you must have a product or service that provides and perceives value.

In order to sell your product or service to make revenue, you must have a market. You need customers and clients. Some markets are vast and some are specialized but regardless, you must have enough people willing to consistently purchase what you are offering.

To identify customers and clients, you must promote yourself and what you are offering. For me the very best way to do this is prospecting. I believe regardless of the product or service you provide, regardless of the set up or means of delivering your product or service (that is people coming to you or you going to them), to secure a constant logical flow of business development you MUST prospect!

I’ve seen a lot of different negative approaches and attitudes about prospecting over the years. Here are a few. See if you can identify with them.

  • Prospecting is tough. It can be. The main reason salespeople feel this way is a result of a fear factor of being rejected. No one likes to hear “no” but some get to the point to where they fear it so much, they can’t muster the courage to go again. Remember, when you hear that word, it is not a personal attack on you.
  •   I don’t have any prospects/I’ve run out of prospects. Why not? How? If you have truly exhausted every opportunity to promote yourself, gathered every referral possible, sought out every alternative market or situation and you have no one to talk to and you are not generating the livelihood you want or need, then you need to seek other opportunities. I do not want to be rude but if you have genuinely run out of market, then you need to do something else. Be honest, is that the truth or an excuse? If it is the truth, you need to find another way to generate revenue and enjoy your life!
  •  The economy is bad right now. You still have to eat don’t you? About ten years ago I had a very profitable market that I prospected that went through some major changes. For a period of about one year, when I prospected them I heard the same thing time after time, “No” things are very tight now, budget cuts, etc. Regardless of the reason, I still had to provide for my family.

I’ll admit it was very tough for a while. But the reality was I had to do something. Just because things were not going the way I planned was no excuse for me to quit.  Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that regardless of how your business is flowing, or how the economy is doing, you keep getting things from the electric and phone companies, (to name a few), every thirty days?

The only way to remedy this was to take control of the situation. The only way I knew how to do that, was to turn up the prospecting activity. It was either that or seek other means of earning a living. Since I had poured my life into what I believed and what I loved, there was only ONE option for me…I got productive in prospecting!

My efforts awarded me a new market that I had never worked in. Had I not been in the position I was in, I might not have found this market as quickly as I did. Additionally, after two years, the industry that I lost earlier came back and now I have two markets in my prospecting mix to develop business in!

Over the years, the example above has happened time and time again. External circumstances, economic conditions and other variables out of my control have impacted my business flow, but I have always been able to successfully ride every situation out because I believe in and I know how to prospect.

The number one reason I have found great business flow stops is when prospecting stops. When you stop filling your funnel with potential…your potential stops. It’s simple logic!

Most successful sales people regardless of how long they have been in business will tell you that it’s not difficult making a sale, or building a relationship. If you are professional and offer value to improve the lives of those you serve, closing the deal is an enjoyable experience. It’s the continued, constant process of finding those relationship building situations that requires the most focus.

So there you have it. My experience has shown me there is a logical flow to building and sustaining great business.  A great product or service requires long term loyal customers and the way to find long term loyal customers is to constantly have your funnel full of great prospects. The only way to have a funnel full of great prospects is to…I think you get the idea.

It is my hope that each of you find great business opportunities consistently flowing your way!


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