Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Getting In Sync With Your Partner



A relationship between two people can be one of the most rewarding and life-giving experiences known to man, but it can also be the source of much pain, disappointment, and frustration. There are countless books, movies, poems, and songs written about both successful and unsuccessful relationships. How can we ensure that ours has a greater chance of succeeding? One suggestion that may help is to get in sync with your spouse.

The Problem

It was during a recent conversation between my girlfriend Brandi and I that we realized how opposite we can be at times. It was clear from our discussion that she had her list of priorities and I had mine. I also recognized that we both were feeling a bit frustrated, hurt, and disappointed.

At this point in our relationship, there were countless incidences of missed opportunities, unmet expectations, and frustrations with not getting the support that one needs or wants. She wanted me to participate in what was important to her and I wanted the same. However, since I knew she wouldn't be interested in what I was doing, I never asked her and as a result, she felt left out. In turn, I was so busy working on my own list of priorities, that I wasn't much interested in hers. Do you see the problem here?

The Solution

As soon as we understood what the problem was, we both agreed to make time each week for a strategic discussion about our priorities. The idea is that each of us would bring a list of items that we want considered, for some this may begin with the "Honey Do" list.

As we sit down in our discussion, we each bring our individual lists and calendar. I personally like using a shared document on Google Drive, but a simple paper and pen works, too.

What Went Right?  

The first question we agreed to ask was, "What went right over the past 7 days?" Using this as a starting point for discussion allows a couple to focus on positive events, memories, comments, and actions. What things were appreciated? What did the other person do to create feelings of love? What made you smile or laugh? Whatever you come up with, write it all down.

What Needs Improvement?

Once completed with the "What went right?" question, then take focused energy to address those things that weren't so good. What things could we have done better? How can we take challenging moments, poor decisions, arguments, and extra "colorful" comments to learn from them? Like in the previous section, write it all down.

What Will We Do This Week?

Once you have a list of things that went right and a list of things that could be improved, now is the time to focus your energy on what action the two will take over the next 7 days. This is where everyone gets to brainstorm ideas on the top priorities for the week.

This list may include actual items off of the "Honey Do List" or it may take the more pressing ideas from the things that went right to the things that need improvement.

Here are a few examples:
  • Fix the refrigerator
  • Paint the guest bedroom
  • Pray together each morning before we go to work
  • Talk over dinner without distractions (no phones at the table)
  • Put up Christmas decorations both inside and out
  • Agree to take a short break when arguments begin to get heated
The list can and should include everything that comes to mind. Nothing is off limits. The point of this list is to identify those things that you want to include in your relationship and actions that must be taken over the upcoming week.

Prioritize The List

Once the list is complete, it's time to prioritize your top 3-5 items. It is at this point where the couple gets to discuss what's important and work together to develop a collaborative list of priorities. Remember, this is not about you alone. Compromise on what should be on that list. Let it be about giving and receiving. Maybe you give up getting something this week with the understanding that it becomes a top priority next week.

All in all, have fun with this process.

Taking It Further

While our current effort involves only a weekly gathering of the minds, I see value in doing a monthly or quarterly review as well. Using the same process as outlined above, one can look at larger spans of time.

Another great idea that I received from my pastor, Matt Fry, was an annual retreat for couples based off the book, "Mountaintop of Marriage: A Vision Retreat Guidebook" by Jimmy Evans.

It is during this quiet time, couples would review the past year and create a vision for their relationship and family. Isn't that awesome? Just think about how close you and your spouse could become when you work together to build a life you both can be proud of.

Next Steps

I hope you found value with this post. If so, please leave a comment in the discussion area below and share it with someone who you think may find value.

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

BAMFAM (Book A Meeting From A Meeting)


Recently, while reading Eric Worre’s book, Go Pro, I was reminded of how important the follow-up meeting is to business. In this post, I would like to provide a helpful guide to the strategy of BAMFAM.

What is BAMFAM?

There are some who may be reading this and asking themselves, “What in the world is this BAMFAM?” Well, the answer is simple, BAMFAM is the acronym for Book A Meeting From A Meeting and it is a powerful strategy to follow up with prospective or existing clients, customers, and sales representatives.

Why is BAMFAM valuable?

The answer to this question really depends on your goals. What value would you expect to receive by holding another meeting with someone?

BAMFAM helps keep the calendar full of activity.

If you are in sales or provide a valuable service, keeping the calendar full of appointments could mean more money. Consider a barber, beautician, dentist, lawn maintenance technician, doctor, lawyer, or any other professional who gets paid each time you see them. If there are no appointments, then it probably means there are no opportunities to be financially compensated.

BAMFAM helps keep the sales process moving and ultimately prevents the loss of momentum.

I’ve heard through the years about the Rule of 7. In essence, the Rule of 7 suggests that most people do not hear a marketing message or consider seriously buying anything until after they’ve been exposed to the product or service at least 7 times.

While the following statistics appear to be referenced often by executives, speakers, authors, and bloggers alike, there is a growing number of critics that argue against its accuracy and authorship. For this post, I share it with you simply as a point to consider in support of the following-up.
  • 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the 5th – 12th contact

BAMFAM creates accountability by putting an actual follow up event on the calendar.

At my job, where I assist university colleges, schools, departments, and programs establish a web presence, I find that BAMFAM helps ensure that we actually finish requested projects and tasks.

In business, as in life, people tend to have a lot going on at the same time. With so many competing projects and to-do items, it’s easy to see how folks get distracted and things fail to ever close. This is where BAMFAM shines best. As we bring a meeting to a close, I like to revisit “Next Steps” and then schedule our follow-up appointment or meeting where we will revisit homework from our last gathering. 

BAMFAM fights procrastination.

Have you ever found yourself or a friend saying the following, “Hey, we should grab lunch sometime!”

If we’re being honest, how often does that lunch date actually happen? The answer is rarely. People tend to have great intentions of getting together, but until that lunch is put on the calendar with an actual date and time, the lunch will remain just a good idea.

BAMFAM stops sales people from “chasing” or “bothering” a prospect.

One of the biggest complaints people have about salespeople is that they can be worrisome. They call at the wrong times, they leave numerous email and voice messages, and they just become a bit of an aggravation. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Another benefit of BAMFAM is that people who are in sales can follow up with a potential client or customer at an agreed upon day and time. Instead of “hounding” someone, a salesperson is simply following up on a request. The call or meeting is expected and individuals may be more prepared to ask questions, provide feedback, and ultimately open to suggestions on how to move forward. To a salesperson, this has to feel much better than chasing prospects. Wouldn’t you agree? 

When should you use BAMFAM?

My immediate response to the question, “When should I use BAMFAM?” is “always” and “right now.” This is especially true for things that you want to keep in front of you.

As I write this, I see BAMFAM in use all around us. Take for example the following situations:

Dentist Office

If you are a regular patient of the friendly neighborhood dentist, then you know that before you leave a regular cleaning or specific procedure, you are being asked to schedule your next “visit.” In the case of a dentist, this could be a follow-up cleaning or an appointment to get rid of the “yuck mouth” (aka cavity).

Church

Yes, I have found that churches are well known for BAMFAM, too. Take for example my own pastor, Matt Fry. During last week’s sermon, he made mention of a special Thanksgiving service on Wednesday, but made sure to remind all of his members (and guests, too) that we will continue our sermon series next Sunday morning. 

The opportunity for BAMFAM is endless

In this post, I’ve covered a few ideas and places one could use BAMFAM. Here are a few other suggestions for when to use it:

  • To review information you’ve shared with a client or customer
  • To connect a prospect with upline leader or 3rd party expert
  • To initiate a “game planning” session with new sales representatives
  • To establish a focused discussion on how to use a product or service
  • To help new network marketers create their warm market list and schedule a home party
  • To revisit customers and answer questions about their product or service
  • To get an edge up or touch up on a new hair-do
  • To get feedback on how college freshmen, transfer students, or new employees are settling into the new environment
  • To move a telephone conversation to a lunch or dinner date
  • To discuss weight loss progress with support group or personal trainer
  • To evaluate the success of pest control solutions
What other ideas do you have?

How to BAMFAM

At this point, we defined BAMFAM, discussed the value, and even shared some ideas on when to use it. In this section, I’ll share an example on how to BAMFAM.

While at a meeting, before you and the other person(s) leave, make sure to review your next steps. This could be considered homework or to-do items, it could be answers to questions, more information, or any number of things. Immediately following the review, pull out your calendar and suggest two alternative date and times.

“Bob, thank you for such a productive meeting today! In reviewing my notes, I see that you want more information on our widget and that you would like to talk with an existing customer. What I will do is get that information out to you today. Let’s schedule a follow up meeting to discuss that information in detail or answer any questions that you may have. I am open Monday at 11 am or Wednesday at 2 pm. Which one is best for you?”

If available, the person should pick a time. If not, they will suggest some times good for them.

The main idea behind BAMFAM is to move people from one exposure to the next, from one meeting to the next, from one event to the next, from one blog post to the next, and from one service call to the next. In the short, the goal of every contact (or exposure) is to schedule another contact (or exposure).

With that written, never leave a meeting without a call to action (another meeting). As smarter people than me have said, “The fortune is in the follow up.”

Next Steps

I hope you found value with this post. If so, please leave a comment in the discussion area below and share it with someone who you think may find value (friends, co-workers, or your team).

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

How To Create Massive Value And Leave A Legacy For Tomorrow

Invest, Learn, Teach

What is your purpose? What value do you bring to the marketplace? What lasting contribution will you leave to your family, friends, co-workers, congregation, readers, supporters, and team members? What will be your legacy?

These are just a few questions that I have asked myself over the years. Quietly, I would respond with an, "I don't know."

Then, during an evening webinar on Ray Higdon's 3-Minute Expert program, I found my "a ha" moment.

It was when he asked me to consider my passions and interests that I recognized a burning desire for personal development. Yes, I'm aware that I buy a lot of books, attend seminars, webinars, conferences, and trainings all of the time, but I didn't understand how that passion would lead me to my purpose.

What value can I bring to the marketplace? What contribution can I offer others?

I believe the answer rests with helping others identify and achieve their goals. By striving to become my best self, I can uncover solutions to aid others in doing the same. How awesome is that?

Where does one begin? I asked.

It starts with a simple philosophy: Invest, Learn, and Teach (ILT)

What Is ILT?

The concept behind Invest, Learn, and Teach is quite simple. Ray publicly outlined it in a 2014 Facebook post:

Here's the millionaire model...

1. Invest in your education
2. Take action based on what you learn
3. Teach what you learned from your education and implementation
4. Repeat

Benefits of ILT

It's Good For You And For Those Around You

What resonated with me about the ILT philosophy is that it encourages individuals to work on themselves. In a world where were people question the ROI from self-help and personal development, I see it as a necessity. Thanks to Mr. Higdon, I am reminded that my growth is not only good for me, but it's also good for those around me. You never know how far your investment of time and money will travel. Consider the finite number of seeds within a single apple, it's measurable. However, can you tell me how many apples that single seed will produce over the course of it's life? Like knowing how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, "The world may never know."

It Encourages Action That Leads To Results

Armed with information, it now becomes our responsibility to apply the knowledge in an effort to change things for the better. As we take action, we have an opportunity to put those new ideas to the test. What worked? What did not? What would you do differently? What would you keep? What kind of results did you experience? What are you willing to pass on to others?

It Promotes You As A Valuable Resource And Authority 

Based on your understanding of the material and personal experience, you can now package those lessons into something that brings value to others. Consider the time you can save people by sifting through tons of information and offering it to those interested parties in need of what you now possess. Isn't that exciting? While you learn, you get to help others improve their lives, too,

In the quest to uncover my purpose, I have found a model for bringing value to me as well as those around me. In the words of Zig Ziglar, "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

Next Steps

If you found value in this post, I would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. How will you apply this information in your life? Also, please feel free to share this with someone who may need to hear this message.

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Friday, September 30, 2016

Impact


A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. ~ Jackie Robinson

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Lesson from the Stairs

Changing ourselves can be extremely hard work. Sometimes it feels like we take one step forward and five steps back. As a result, we may feel depressed, defeated, deflated, or simply disappointed. When this happens, remind yourself of how far you've come. Making progress doesn't require you to go back to the beginning, but simply to start where you are.

Look back for motivation and forward for inspiration. You got this...one step at a time. 

Let's go, Champions!

Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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