If you really want to break away from the pack and take your selling trade craft to the next level you must understand and master the Money Value of Time. Elite, highest-producing sales pros understand this concept; it is the motivating focus for their actions and prioritizations.
Unlike the time value of money (the financial concept that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow) the money value of time serves as the basis for all compounding interest, and discounting of future cash flows to establish value used in financial investment analysis. The Money Value of Time recognizes that time is probably the only truly non-renewal natural resource. Time marches on, and no one can slow or speed it up, let alone stop or reverse it.
In recognizing that time stops for no man, we have to acknowledge that it is nearly impossible to manage time, as time is beyond our control. What we can do is choose in which activities we will invest our precious, finite amounts of time. It is the allocation and investment of time we control and decide, rather than time itself.
The principle of the money value of time, from a business perspective, is that we should invest our time in activities that yield the highest value for the amount of time invested. We have the power to choose if we invest our time in reading this book, watching a movie, writing a blog, meeting with a prospective client or performing a good turn.
Wisdom: Focus on the money value of time, and invest your time wisely in activities that yield the highest reward for the time invested.
It’s Action That Counts
The power of this pillar is that it builds upon the prior two and moves them to the immediate in terms of time and frequency (“daily”) by moving giving, serving and helping (“good turn”) to the forefront of our conscious thoughts (“do”). The word turn in this case is synonymous with the word act. This pillar sharpens our focus on being intentional in “walking our talk” through daily action. It further calls us to personal accountability, in that we should make an honest assessment of ourselves throughout the course of any day by asking a very simple question: “What have I done today to help ____?” And then not close the day without doing it.
Wisdom: Better than the brilliant thought is bold action upon a less-than-perfect thought.
In the business world, one of the most powerful good turns is to provide your colleagues, current and prospective clients, vendors and channel partners with referrals. This is can be done easily, effectively and quickly using email. By providing an intro email to a business contact saying, “Bill, I want to introduce you to Laura with XYZ. Laura is one of my personal heroes, as she and her firm have helped us in reducing our spend on printing costs by 35%. I know you do almost twice the amount of printing we do, so she might be able to help you even more!” This simple email intro takes less than 5 minutes to write, but the multiplier effect is doubled because you’ve helped both parties with the good turn.
Another great example of a good turn is to email or retweet articles or blogs to people they may help. When others know you’re thinking of them and investing the time to take action, there is a natural desire to balance the scale through reciprocation or, at a minimum, simple appreciation.
Join and participate in charities your clients or prospects are involved in, both individually and collectively. I engaged a new target client after reading that their CEO had just assumed the chairmanship of a local charity benefitting youth. I signed up, showed up and rolled up my sleeves with time, treasure and people. Not only did we engage in a long-term, rewarding professional relationship, but via the law of like attraction, we found two other clients through our active participation in the charity. Our team members also found a rich reward in the higher calling of serving those in need in their community. This form of a good turn is a win-win-win proposition – a business, personal and community win.
Building Your Reputation
Can you imagine what it feels like each and every day to know you have helped someone achieve something they could not have done without your help? Talk about building self-esteem! What will increase more than your personal self-esteem, and at an even greater rate, is your reputation. A reputation as someone who goes above and beyond in putting the interests, needs and desires of others first. A reputation for taking action without requiring payment or expecting reciprocity. A reputation as an action hero who establishes the standard by which all others are measured.
Failing to act diminishes virtually all of the value of the time invested in reading and considering these ideas, as it is only through action that we can truly make change happen. Status quo is the enemy; it is to be challenged and defeated through action on a daily basis.
One great way to build your network reputation on a daily basis is to use the “Connections” function in LinkedIn. This function notifies you daily of everyone in your network with a birthday that day, as well as anyone who has received a promotion in their current organization or taken on a role in a new enterprise. By simply monitoring these Connections, you can send a brief, personalized birthday note, or congratulations on their new role. Three key things people love are seeing their name in writing, having their birth acknowledged, and a promotion or recognition in their profession. All three can be achieved in less than 15 minutes per day with the LinkedIn technology. The key is to invest those 15 minutes every day into your schedule. Beyond maintaining our ever-growing number of relationships, this tactic has proven a profitable technique in staying front-of-mind when a potential business need arises that we can satisfy. Remember: Out of sight, out of mind. At least once a year, on that person’s most important day, you should be there to say, “Happy birthday.”
Be the Change
In the famous words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The power of a human taking but one single action is terribly misunderstood and unappreciated. Every great thought, discovery, belief or movement in the world did not start with an idea (as we are often told), but with one person taking action on a single idea. Don’t get me wrong, ideas and thoughts are the truly wondrous sparks of creativity. But I would trade a whole bushel of ideas for a single action upon one. Sadly, ideas not acted upon become delayed, stunted and in many cases lost forever. And so do lives.
Energy follows focus. Even though a laser can burn through steel, it is but a concentration of energy through focus. In the case of the laser, that’s light energy. Isn’t it odd that you cannot focus darkness? Darkness is but the absence of light, which is energy, and the absence of that energy cannot be focused.
The laser metaphor is directly applicable to people as well, both individually and collectively in organizations. The more diffused (lack of focus), the more confused (inefficient) and less effective (performance) we become in achieving our goal (success, however defined). Oftentimes this is evident in statements such as, “I’m not sure we’re all on the same page,” “We’re not all in alignment,” or, even more telling, “Why in the world are we doing this?”
The power of “Do a Good Turn Daily” is the focus it provides with its clarity and brevity. All we have to do is define for whom we will do a good turn daily. The key lies in first being intentional in doing a beneficial act for someone each day, and then, most importantly, doing it! Keep it simple, and make an honest assessment during the day, asking yourself, “What have I done today to help ____?” Haven’t done anything? Then do it now.
Wisdom: Thoughts, ideas and words without acts and deeds are but dust in the wind.
This is an excerpt from the first book “BREAKAWAY – The Secret of Limitless Selling Success: Heroic Service“.