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Always Be “On Your Game” — And A Tool To Assist

Business-Building Action From Terry Brock

[Note: Be sure to enjoy the audio version of this article at the bottom of this page.  You can listen online or download as MP3 to listen on your MP3 player of choice.]

Today’s business world is a 24/7, always on, always on the move environment.  For today’s successful salesperson and entrepreneur, you need to be “on your game” whenever opportunity strikes. The most successful salespeople are those who are always alert to new opportunities and take advantage of them whenever possible.

This morning I was having breakfast with a good friend who is in sales for a major company.  He not only lives a life of helping others but he teaches those principles to his daughter as well.  This morning he shared with me how his 16 yr. old daughter recently got a job as the hostess at a very nice restaurant in town.  She is an out-going, very intelligent, personable young lady who we all know is going to go very far in life.

However, we what — and more importantly what she —- didn’t know was that she was “shopped” recently by the restaurant.  This standard procedure involves the use of mystery shoppers who come by and pose as customers to test the level of competence and professionalism in employees. My friend’s daughter had no idea what was about to happen.

Later that day, after the mystery shopper had left the restaurant and filed the report, my friend’s daughter received an invitation to come into the boss’ office to discuss the matter.  She didn’t know what was going on when the boss said she had been shopped earlier in the day.  Well, the good news is that she scored a perfect 100% on the evaluation.  The mystery shopper had purposely thrown a lot of curves at this astute 16 yr. old.  Yet in the midst of numerous attempts to “trip her up” my friend’s daughter came through brilliantly.  The boss said that most of the regular employees came through with only a 45% rating.  He was most pleased with her performance and her future at that restaurant looks very bright.

This was a big moment in my friend’s daughter’s life.  Not only was her rating perfect but she handled challenges which were purposely thrown at her to find out how she would do.  She did brilliantly in it by always remaining professional and going above and beyond the call of duty.

This is what you and I face on a regular basis.  When we least expect it, we can have one of  “those encounters” with that customer who is very challenging.  We have to be “on our game” at those times.  However, you don’t know exactly when that special opportunity will arise.

Like an airline pilot who has to be “on game” even if she has logged several thousand hours of flight time, we have to ready.  You never know when that special customer is studying you and your company.  Usually it comes without great pretense and/or warning.  Even when it is over, you often don’t know what has happened and what they thought.

This is a good reason to always be professional — no matter what.  It doesn’t mean you become a doormat for a few obnoxious customers.  However, you can always be professional no matter what.  Keep calm.  Think of this very rude customer as a mystery shopper putting on an act to try and trip you up.  Just thinking that way can help you smile (at least inside) and weather whatever storm that rude customer can throw at you.

My friend’s daughter did very well with that experience.  I predict she is going to do exceedingly well in this job and in life.  You and I can increase our chances of success by adopting a “roll with the punches” attitude and always being professional.  Enhance your technical and sales skills continually and you’ll do even better.  Being “on game” is a never-ending process.

Contact Management Tool To Stay “On Game”

I’ve used contact management systems like ACT! Telemagic, Goldmine and others through the years.  Today we see tools like Salesforce.com, Infusion and many others that help to maintain vital information online.

Recently I signed up for a program with a system that has dazzled even this jaded journalist.  I’m using an online service for contact management called Oprius which provides unlimited contacts, keeps track of email, contact messages (name, phone, email, notes, etc. ) and more.  The cost is less than $15/month per person with unlimited contacts.

The best part of using Oprius for me has been the extremely professional and highly competent support staff.  As with most software systems there is usually a few bumps in the road when starting.  Their support staff not only showed me how to do what was required but they even did the process for me when necessary.

I’m delighted to pay my $15/month (payable annually) to have a service that is online, synchs with my iPhone and can be accessed from most any web-accessible device.  It frees me from fears of losing my database in the event of a hard disk crash, theft or other loss of a computer.

Think mobile and be “on your game” 24/7 with a tool like Oprius.  I’m a customer and it is a tool that I’d recommend for any sales rep or entrepreneur to consider.

(Oprius.com, $15/month, Online Contact Management Service)

Copyright (c) 2010, Terry Brock and Achievement Systems, Inc.  Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and professional speaker who helps businesses generate profitable results.  He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected] or through his website at www.terrybrock.com.  Join the Twitter adventure with Terry through his Twitter address: @TerryBrock.  Join Terry’s Facebook Fan Page at: http://www.facebook.com/SpeakerTerryBrock

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