Here’s the unvarnished, uncensored truth about success. Even if you’re a rock star sales person who knows how to sell, if you don’t put at least as much effort into taking the deal and your client relationship successfully through the back end post-closing process, you will not ultimately achieve the success that you initially thought you had “in the bank”. And, any gain realized at closing, could be lost, or even worse, cost you more than you initially banked.
I don’t want you to think this post only relates to business, because it relates virtually to every aspect of your life. The success of your life (personal, financial, physical, emotional and spiritual) is contingent upon an on-going commitment to actively engage in efforts to do what you need to do to keep all your affairs operating in good working order.
Too many times, I’ve either witnessed or been a part of a deal gone bad because someone who sold something dropped the ball on delivering the goods, services or warranties that were promised.
Baby, if you ain’t got back end, you’re gonna regret it down the road. It just ain’t worth the risk. Take the time to take care of the deal, transaction, contract, relationship, or account. If you do, instead of regrets, you’ll achieve maximum sustainable success…and be a whole lot happier, healthier and wealthier in the long run.
You don’t close a sale; you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise. ~ Patricia Fripp
Here Are the Top Six Things You Must Do to Achieve the Optimal Back End Strategy for Long-Term Success:
1. Live the Reality the Sales Cycle Does Not Stop at Closing the Sale. See it as phase 2 of building a successful long-term relationship and nurture it.
2. Maintain A Balanced Achievement of Pursuing New Sales and Servicing Existing Customers. Repeat business is the biggest payout you can achieve. If you’re only focusing on new sales and new leads, you’ll shortchange your success.
3. Realize Achieving a Successful Deal Is Found in the Details. Fearlessly pay attention to the details of the deal. Many people fear losing a deal if they assert their boundaries on deal points and contract terms.
4. Be Honest with Yourself and Others. Don’t offer something that you realistically can’t manage to maintain over the term.
5. Value and Prioritize Your Relationships Over Money. When you care more about people than money, you will begin to see both your wealth and well-being skyrocket.
6. Habitually Go the Extra Mile. Exceed in delivering more service and value than necessary or expected.
At the end of the day, your relationships are what makes you or breaks you. Whether it’s your relationship with yourself, others or God; as you consistently and continuously serve, appreciate and value them, they will, in turn, serve you by adding long- term value to your wealth and well-being. If you got back end, they’ll in turn, cover yours.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I had just signed a long- term lease agreement with a great company to provide their product to my enterprise. The terms of the deal allowed them hefty earn outs and commissions during the life of the contract which would far exceed the purchase price. Both the provider and I were very excited about our new relationship and we sailed through the closing. They banked the purchase price. And, within 60days, all the problems began. A whole host of issues arose from not having the support staff as promised, to constantly charging for non-contract driven items. After months of friendly attempts to get them back on track, they finally come forward in stating they didn’t have what they had promised and didn’t have the resources to deliver on the contract. However, they expected me to honor the terms of the contract by solving and financing their problems for them! Their belief that they “had me over the barrel” for all the time, effort and expense I’d invested, emboldened them to attempt to extort more from me. They didn’t believe I would walk away. I’m sure you can guess what I did? I cut my losses and got out. And, legally recouped cash.
This article originally published at Forbes.com
Entrepreneurs are routinely reminded that they need to “stay hungry” to sustain competitive advantage and success. Though that may be true, what you don’t always hear is that there is a real and present danger in becoming too hungry for success.
The difference between being hungry and too hungry can be summed up in one word: discernment. When you’re hungry for success, you are driven to go to great lengths to achieve your objectives — short of sacrificing your boundaries, values or integrity. But in being too hungry for success, desire overtakes discernment. You dive headfirst into dangerous territory where managed risk is no longer present.
In my many decades coaching, from Main Street to Wall Street, I’ve borne direct witness to the consequences of being too hungry for success. The financial and personal losses ranging from mild to life-threatening are consequences that can be avoided if one learns to recognize the warning signs
How do you know when being hungry is manifesting into being too hungry? Here are the top five signs.
1. You desperately make decisions: High achievers often feel pressure to outperform and prove themselves to others — at an accelerated pace at that. In a too-hungry state, your ability to maintain rational analysis amid challenges or crises is compromised, resulting in a false self-narrative that justifies unethical conduct to solve problems.
2. You’re impatient: When you’re too hungry, you take imprudent action, rationalizing that you must do something right now. Successful entrepreneurs understand the prudence in waiting for the right opportunity.
3. You have false pride: In a normal hungry-for-success state, you care more about successfully solving problems and overcoming challenges than about how you are being perceived, even if that means exposing your losses or mistakes. In a too-hungry state, ego rears its head, causing leaders to care more about the opinions of others. That includes shutting out those who can help them during critical times.
4. You lack faith: When you’re too hungry for success, you don’t make time to develop or practice habits that lead to maintaining positivity, confidence, faith and hope. Devoid of faith, you fail to gain the courage, strength, endurance, inspiration and direction drawn from having the mindfulness or spiritual practice necessary to grow and sustain success.
5. You’re a workaholic: In a too-hungry state, you prioritize work above everything, including your own and others’ wellbeing. You falsely believe you can’t afford to take a break, lest you risk failure.
Here’s a very important fact to know about becoming too hungry for success: Every single person can get into that state of being. In my book, I share real-life stories of good, ethical people who slipped into the too-hungry-for-success state, resulting in avoidable hardships. One of these stories is about a very successful entrepreneur — a charismatic president of his church — who got so angry and tired of being falsely accused of a petty crime that he began to fight back unethically. His justification was that because these people did him wrong, they deserved to be treated the way they treated him.
The takeaway here is that the pathway to prevention is to never allow yourself to become too much of anything, whether it’s hungry, angry, lonely or tired. What does that mean? Recognize and honor your most valuable asset (you) by maintaining healthy habits of self-care, no matter what is or isn’t happening in your life. Optimal self-care is doing all the things that you would advise your child or client to do to maintain a healthy body, mind and spirit.
Become vigilant in recognizing the too-hungry-for-success warning signs — and when they do begin to manifest, halt. Stop for a time-out to refuel yourself via rest, relaxation, sound nutrition, exercise and meditation. Your body needs to regain an objective state of mind. There is no risk in halting, only reward.
Success experts are routinely saying that achieving success is hard. But, that simply is not true.
It’s not what you have to figure out, what you need to do, get or even how you need to go about it that’s hard. There is only one thing alone that can make it difficult, IF, you let it. You see, it’s all within your own power and control, to either let it get in your way or not get in your way.
The one thing that can make it easy or hard to achieve success is fortitude. Without it, the road to success is hard, if not impossible.
www.dictionary.com defines fortitude as: Mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously.
Here are a few examples of how a lack of fortitude manifests itself:
- When encountering a “no”, you accept it and don’t try to overcome the objection.
- When told “It’s never been done that way before for a reason”, you accept the statement as fact and don’t investigate further and give up on your idea.
- When an expert tells you, “It’s just not standard practice and I don’t advise you to pursue that path”, you readily accept their opinion without doing further research and analysis.
- When encountering early failure you give up, making failure final rather than a sign to approach your goal from a new angle.
- When in fear, you freeze up and turn your decision making over to someone else.
- When tempted with a “sure thing” that would take you away from your major goal, you give in to temptation and give up on your own dream.
A person with fortitude, however, does not easily roll over, give up, quit or turn their power over to others. In fact, they redouble their effort when they are hardest hit. Rejection, naysayers, and challenges cause them to become more determined than ever to find the means and ways to make their dream become a reality.
“Fortitude implies a firmness and strength of mind, that enables us to do and suffer as we ought. It rises upon an opposition, and, like a river, swells the higher for having its course stopped”.
– Jeremy Collier
How then, does one develop fortitude? To get the mental and emotional strength you need to achieve maximum success in minimum time, you’ll need to take a holistic approach to your life. That means taking care of the whole person that you are, mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.
Here are the top Four Ways to Fortify Yourself to Achieve 10X Success:
1. Reduce Decision Making: We’re bombarded daily with countless opportunities to drain our mental energy. Prioritize your decision making and focus only on what you need to do to advance your goal. Eliminate frivolous and unnecessary decision making.
2. Take Sound Care of Your Physical Body: Aside from the obvious of eating a brain/body smart diet, getting enough rest and exercise; be discerning what invitations you accept and events you decide to attend. Every physical demand placed on your body, is a demand placed on your mind and time. Be sure the expense is supportive of your overall wealth and well-being.
3. Regularly Engage in Spiritual Practices: Faith replaces fear and becomes fortitude. Keep your faith strong, emotions in a rational state and mindset positive through prayer and/or mediation.
4. Manage Your Money Mind Set: Don’t allow your mind to manage you. Take command and control of your mind. When financial fear strikes and takes hold of you, immediately replace it with a positive though, visualize a positive outcome, and then take rational action.
You are stronger than you think. You can do more than you can possibly ever imagine. You can succeed amidst seemingly impossible odds.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: The renowned doctors told me “It can’t be done and you will die if you do that”. The attorneys told me “If you do that you will lose everything”. People in my industry told me “You’ll never succeed because you’re too honest”. In the face of every mental, physical and financial challenge, I listened, read, researched and then took a time out to turn to my higher power for faith, courage and direction ….and, in every instance, to the shock of many, succeeded against all odds.