Subscribe to Making Rain by Email

Posts Tagged “Confucius”

Geoffrey Chaucer says in “The Merchant’s Tale,” “There n’is no werkman whatever he be/That may beth werken wel and hastily.”

When you are in a rush, slow down. Or, as the Roman Emperor Augustus says in the 1st century A.D., “Festina Lente.” (Make haste slowly).

I’m a fairly hyper guy. That’s not an uncommon state for any entrepreneurial salesman. The day I am not up to my ass in alligators is the exception. However, though it may be counter intuitive to the credo of most entrepreneurs, I’ve personally found a multitasking frenzy ain’t the answer to this conundrum.

Perhaps I’m just slow and a dullard, but what occurs when I rush to get everything done in the seemingly inadequate time frames I’m presented with, is that I pay a price. The personal price I pay for speed is sometimes accuracy, sometimes quality, sometimes verboseness, sometimes oversimplification–but there is always a diminution in quality, exactitude and in depth of communication. That loss of precision is particularly a negative in presenting a compelling sales tonality to a corporate leader. Casual mistakes can sink you with these folks.

Finding time not to speed through things is a question of prioritization and time allocation. Any important project, RFP, or business communication needs to marinate. I personally have to allow the space for this.

One of my concerns about our burgeoning social media is simply the time it sucks up. How many online miracles and digital wonderments can I absorb? I personally find an overabundance of data makes important things fuzzy and harder to find. It actually impedes good decision-making and my business intuition. For me information overload withers efficiency. So personally, if I have to eliminate my attentiveness to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, et. al., that is a prioritization that creates time for me to find empathy, understanding, and subtlety in all my sales outreach. I simply decide not to speed through to cover everything our new media seems to demand I be up on. For me speed is the enemy of doing the core executive sales chores well.

The wisdom of the ages has cautions for the time-pressured entrepreneur. In the sixth century B.C. Confucius said, “Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.” Or to quote Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, “Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.”

So thank you Confucius, Chaucer, Augustus and Shakespeare.

Comments 1 Comment »

Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Last week a kick-ass young entrepreneur of my acquaintance called me to ask my advice about his integrated AI platform to improve corporate sales and marketing. He had just won a major entrepreneurial contest, had serious investment interest and had a beta-tested technology product. He had an ivy-league degree, was good-looking, full of brio, and genuinely expert about his field. Yet he was having trouble making his sales case.

After making his pitch to me, however, I quickly understood his problem: He didn’t understand simplicity. He was so in love with his product (appropriately so) that he could not keep himself from waxing prolix about it. He was a veritable firehose of knowledge, enthusiasm, and rococo detail. He threw in everything but the kitchen sink. It was overwhelming and hard to practically focus on.

In my friend’s case less would certainly have been more.

Buyers want simplicity. They want direct talk about what they can apply to improve ROI. They are like Jack Webb, who played Sgt. Joe Friday on the old TV show Dragnet. He repeatedly said “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Yup. That is what most buyers want. More than half of any initial sales job is articulating a result–not the process, not the whole detailed magilla, and not your complex brilliance. Winnowing down a simple core value can often seem a process of almost insulting oversimplification to someone who has pored their heart and soul and essence into a new product or service. Yet it is only the final result that is the compelling factor in initiating a dialogue leading to a sale.

A buyer is interested in an outcome. (“All we want are the facts, ma’am.”) If the result of a service or product is clear and compelling, the buyer will then be enthused to explore the details about how the sausage is made. Otherwise–not.

(This is one thing President-elect Donald Trump well understood in the recent election. He made simple–perhaps overly simple–claims about results. It worked.)

The minister of my church recently told the following story in his sermon to illustrate a biblical point, the story works fine as a lesson about sales simplicity.

Two ranchers from Texas are bragging to each other about the size of their respective cattle-raising operations. One of them says, “Well, I’ve got 15,000 head of cattle out there on the range, all wearing my ‘Flying A’ brand.”

“Flying A!” the other sniffs. “My brand is the Bar T, Circle L, Cross Creek, Flying Z, Bent Fork, Double Back, North Canyon brand.”

“Wow!” says the first rancher. “How many cattle are you running?

“Well.” the second rancher confesses grudgingly, “Not as many as you have. Most of mine don’t survive the branding.”

Beat novelist Jack Keruoac says in his novel The Dharma Burns, “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” So with the compelling entrepreneur. Thanks, Jack Keruoac.

Comments No Comments »

When you’re in a rush slow down.

I’m a fairly hyper guy. That’s not an uncommon state for any entrepreneurial salesman. The day I am not up to my ass in alligators is the exception. However, though it may be counter intuitive to the credo of most entrepreneurs. I’ve personally found a multitasking frenzy ain’t the answer to this conundrum.

Perhaps I’m just slow and a dullard, but what occurs when I rush to get everything done in the seemingly inadequate time frames I’m presented with, is that I pay a price. And this  is particularly true in the micro niche of my specialty, executive selling, where I find refinement, service and attention to detail especially important.

The personal price I pay for speed is sometimes accuracy, sometimes quality, sometimes verboseness, sometimes oversimplification–but there is always a diminution in quality, exactitude and in depth of communication. That loss of precision is particularly a negative in presenting a compelling sales tonality to a corporate leader. Casual mistakes can sink you with these folks.

Finding time not to speed through things is a question of prioritization and time allocation. Any important project, RFP, or business communication needs to marinate. I personally have to allow the space for this.

One of my concerns about our burgeoning social media is simply the time it sucks up. How many online miracles and digital wonderments can I absorb? I personally find an overabundance of data makes important things fuzzy and harder to find. It actually impedes good decision-making  and my business intuition. For me information overload withers efficiency. So personally, if I have to eliminate my attentiveness to Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, that is a prioritization that creates time for me to find empathy, understanding, and subtlety in all my sales outreach. I simply decide not to speed through to cover everything our new media seems to demand I be up on. For me speed is the enemy of doing the core executive sales chores well.

(I’d love to get feedback on this one.)

The wisdom of the ages has cautions for the time-pressured entrepreneur. In the sixth century B.C. Confucius said, “Desire to have things done quickly prevents their being done thoroughly.” Or take Chaucer, who says in The Merchant’s Tale, “Ther n’is no werkman whatever he be/That may beth werken wel and hastily.”  Or Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet, “Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.”

Thank you Confucius, Chaucer, and Shakespeare.

Comments 6 Comments »

Corporate Rain International on Facebook