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This year, I made a trip to Japan, which was a year long adventure in coordinating and planning with a group of college buddies. Despite a tragic earthquake and tsunami followed by a real nuclear threat, we continued to plot and chart our big adventure. It was during all this adjusting, forecasting and maneuvering that I had an epiphany. Making arrangements for an adventure is akin to building a pathway for success in my professional life. Consider the following steps:
Prospecting: All adventures start off with looking for a prospective destination. The who, what, when and where of an adventure. At work, I spend my time understanding my products and services and identifying the individuals and organizations that could benefit from these products and services. Once I discover my target audience, I find a tool to reach out to that audience.
Planning and Information Gathering: Once a destination is selected, the information gathering begins. With my target audience identified and method of communication with that audience at hand, I start the process of gathering information about potential prospects so I can develop a message that will spark their attention. Even while working with a prospect, I continue to gathering information to best understand my potential client’s needs, desires and concerns.
Pathway and Process: Once information is gathered, then the process of making arrangements for an adventure begins. There is airfare to book, ground transportation to arrange, hotel reservations to make, etc. While working with a client, there are defined steps that move me through the process and allow me to coordinate a client’s needs, desire and concerns with my services and products.
Preparation: Now that arrangements have been made, I need a clear understanding of what to expect from my planned adventure so I can prepare and pack. When interacting with a prospective client, having a clear understanding of the products and services I provide, allows me to interpret the values, features, advantages and benefits for my prospect and further synchronize with the client’s expectations.
Presentation: Adventures are always best shared with others. Therefore, my next task is to enroll my travel companions with the possibilities this adventure could bring. In my career, presenting a solution with confidence, competence and comfort allows my prospect to see the possibilities that my products and services can bring to their experience of life.
Patience and Flexibility: Even with the best laid plans, their will be bumps in the road. Being prepared for this possibility and having problem solving skills ensures that my adventure will not get derailed. When engaging with my clients, a dose of patience and the ability to be flexible while, understanding my role as a business problem solver is an insurance policy for the pitfalls that may lie ahead.
So the next time you find yourself hitting the snooze button and dreading going to work….remember, it is not a job….it is an adventure!!!!!
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