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.
You’re most likely thinking “This has to be a clickbait title. Surely, can’t be true that one word could cause rapid rise to success.”. But, this is not clickbait. This is a truism that too many talented people either don’t know about or fail to utilize in their quest for success.
Have you ever been part of a taste test or witnessed one? The taster is blindfolded and given two or more items that they then need to taste to identify which one is the “real” deal. The others are imitations. Uncovering and discovering the real you is the prerequisite to achieving maximum success in minimum time.
How does one do that? Well, since I’m the inventor of the Maximum Riches Formula™, of course I’m going to inform you about the one thing you must do and follow through on by applying it each and every day to all areas of your life. It’s the one thing that will sky rocket you to success in minimum time and most importantly, will cause you to sustain success. What’s success if it’s here today and gone tomorrow?
Here’s the One Thing You Must Do Right Now:
Answer this Question: What is the one word that describes you?
Yes, only one word. If you don’t already know the answer, odds are you are not achieving the success that you desire because you aren’t living in congruence with the unique truth of who you are.
A word of caution here in identifying your one magic word. It can’t be an exterior description. It must be an interior one-word description.
When I first started my journey to success, I thought my one word was “determined”, but that wasn’t it. I had to drill it down to uncover what was driving me to be determined. I call this uncovering your core driver. That core driver then becomes your one magic word that you must, in every and all circumstances, remain loyal and true to. If not, you’re not being the real deal. They say that imitation is the purest form of flattery. But, that DOES NOT mean being someone that is not true to you.
Once you’ve discovered your one magic word, it becomes your biggest asset to achieving maximum success in minimum time because it’s the one thing that you know you must apply to all your thoughts, words, plans, procedures, decision-making and strategies. It is, in essence, your personal brand and what makes you uniquely you. That’s what gets you the real and right traction, attraction and results that will sky rocket you to sustainable success.
Now, be honest with yourself….What’s your magic word?
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I thought my magic word was “determined” early on in my life. Yes, I was very determined, but what was driving me to be so determined? I was on a quest to find out. But, something kept getting in my way of uncovering the answer. Every time I began to have a glimmer of light, darkness would fall and I couldn’t see it. I had to get real honest with myself. I had to get out of illusion and into truth. The truth was that the one word defining me at that point in time, blocking me from uncovering my magic word, was “addict”. Yes, unless and until I shed the behavior that was blocking me from being my authentic self, I would be powerless to become successful. I am now 28 years sober. My magic word is God-Centered.
I’m going to share a shocking truth that I experience practically on a daily basis. It still, even after decades of entrepreneurialism, never ceases to render me speechless. I want to share it so that it will help you to attain far greater success in shorter time frames. So, here it goes…
The truth is that there exist two classes of achievers. There is the genuine achiever and then there is the counterfeit variety. And, here’s the tricky part. It’s sometimes very difficult to discern which one a person is. One of the reasons why it’s so difficult to decipher is that a large segment of the counterfeit achiever class truly believes they are the real deal! They go to work each day, have all the key social media channels up and running, network, make sales calls and set appointments. On the face of it, they appear to be doing what successful people do. But, they have certain habits that if you aren’t aware of or chose to ignore, will rob you of achieving maximum success in minimum time.
Here Are the Top 6 Habits of the Success Bandit:
1. Catfishes: Lures prospects into a relationship (business or personal) by means of a fictional online or offline persona. Yes, they do this not only on Facebook, but also on Linked In.
2. Disrespects Your Time: Sets appointments only to cancel at the last minute, stand you up or show up late. And, often has the gumption to continue to contact you time and time again.
3. Doesn’t Follow Through: Has a great offering, but doesn’t ever put in the work to close the deal.
4. Talk and No Walk: The smooth talker. Charismatic, smart, knows what they are talking about and repeatedly makes promises and fails to honor them.
5. Regularly Goes Dark: Here one day and gone the next which always leaves you wondering if you will ever hear from them again. Until, yep, you get that text, email or call saying, “I haven’t forgotten about you. I’m still here and working on it”, only to disappear again.
6. Unrealistic: They frequently pursue that which is beyond their level of expertise
The number 1 way to avoid both the intentional and unintentional success bandit is to do your due diligence no matter how good something sounds or looks. Due diligence means you never rush into anything regardless of your need to have something happen right away. Before you formally engage someone, ask for and call 3 references that they’ve done business with in the last 6 to 12 months. And, most importantly, do not ignore the signs of the success bandit!
Lastly, if you identify with some or all of the signs, and consistently wonder why you aren’t achieving the kind of success you feel you should be having, be honest with yourself, modify your habits and behavior, and watch as you finally become a genuine achiever.
This is not a personal rant. This is me, sharing my direct experience, to help you in becoming hyper-vigilant to quickly and expertly recognize who to choose to associate with that will most easily and effortlessly expedite your time to achieving the outcomes you desire. Cut to the chase and weed out the chaff! It doesn’t make you mean, it makes you smart and successful.
In Closing My Shocking Confession: I was interviewing companies to award a contract to handle a very important aspect of a global operation. I reached out to my colleagues to get recommendations feeling like that was the smartest way to cut to the chase and weed out the chaff. I was excited and confident about the prospects because they came from high profile and highly reputable corporations. Wow, was I shocked and disappointed. The CEO of the #1 prospect arranged three separate conference calls over a protracted period of time (often leaving me wondering if she was ever going to follow through) pulling in different senior executives each time to be a part of the needs analysis. I documented each call with a follow up email. On the last call, we clearly defined next steps. I never heard from them again, they never sent the needed documents. I moved on to my next best candidate. Lo and behold, many weeks later, I get a phone call from the CEO asking me to call her back. There was nothing more to talk about. The Success Bandit had already wasted enough time and energy.
My mistake here was that I had failed to perform my standard due diligence practice of talking to at least 3 references and had ignored the red flags because she had been referred by a hugely successful global corporation.