Imagine trying to build the motivation to write about procrastination! I’m not really on a deadline, I could do this tomorrow… and I do have other things to do, more important things like tend to my social media sites and then there’s my email. There’s more to procrastination than meets the eye, and what follows is a list of things that you need to know. Are you a sufferer? Find out now.
First, let’s agree that procrastination is not a good habit to have. It damages the likelihood of achieving any goal – pretty obviously, if you never quite take action then the goal can never be reached. So why would people do this to themselves? Remember that everything people do, they do because it makes sense to them at the time.
Procrastinators can be made, not born. People who grow up in a family where there is a very controlling influence never develop the habit of making their own decisions. Later in life they still don’t make decisions, and now since the controlling parent is no longer there to call the shots nothing happens.
They can also be self-made. People who procrastinate lie to themselves. “I’ll feel more like doing this later” or “I do my best work under pressure” are examples. There are times when these statements can be true – writing a report when the builders next door take a break seems like a better time to think than when the jack-hammers are pounding, and a little pressure can add a clearer focus to the proceedings. These kinds of thoughts only become procrastination when they appear even when there are no external stimuli.
There are three types:
Did you know that about 20% of people procrastinate? Procrastination is for them a lifestyle. Christmas or birthday shopping is left until the day before, bills are not paid on time and they arrive too late to buy tickets for events such as concerts. It isn’t a lifestyle that leads to a bright future, but they do so much of it that it is accurate to describe it as a lifestyle choice.
Procrastination isn’t a trivial problem. It can have a substantial effect on the sufferer and their immediate family and friends. The problem compounds because Western societies tend not to challenge people who procrastinate. “I’m too busy right now”, “There was a death in my family” and we normally just accept it, even when we don’t believe it. We just do the extra work, or figure out another way to get it done that doesn’t involve the procrastinator.
Studies at Universities have discovered that people who procrastinated suffered more colds and flu, more gastrointestinal problems and more insomnia than the general population. It also flows on to associates who must take the extra load – making decisions, motivating or forcing the sufferer to make a team deadline and that can lead to resentment on their part.
By the way, procrastination isn’t a time management problem. They are just as good at estimating the time that a task will take, and arranging a schedule to complete the necessary tasks in the right sequence. Research shows that they may be a little more optimistic than the general population, but not everyone who is optimistic procrastinates.
They also look for distractions, things that do not take a lot of commitment on their part. Checking email is an almost perfect example of this. It can be justified as an important task, absolves the reader from making any decisions since now they can simply react to what is in the email, and it really can be done later without measurable penalty. (I wonder of writing or reading articles counts?)
The good news is that it can be ‘cured’. It takes effort on the part of the patient, and the solution depends upon which type of procrastination they suffer from.
Finally – since procrastination is a self-regulation problem people who suffer tend to drink more alcohol than others. (I wonder of there might be a self perpetuating system here? More alcohol can mean less ability to make decisions, not making decisions is a symptom of procrastination, procrastinators have problems regulating behaviour.)
I think I’ll grab a glass of red and check my emails while I think about it. Or maybe I’ll think about it tomorrow, I’m far too busy today.
What do you think?
Every so often science develops something of real value to a business, and this is one of them. Learn how playing the right music might increase your sales by 200%
To work it must be out in the open, clearly available, and yet connect deep down inside the potential buyer. Let me give you an example.
A liquor shop created a display with two similar red wines, one French, and one German. The wines were of similar price and quality, both attractively presented, and again both were on the same display, so everything was as equal as possible. During the experiment – because that’s what this really was – the shop played music that was clearly German or clearly French on alternate days. One day the shop would play German music, the next day it would play French music.
On the days that German music played the German wine out-sold the French wine by three to one. On the days that French music played the French wine out-sold the German wine by – you guessed it – three to one.
University studies have gone as far as complete brain scans while people look at business logos. Some logos trigger a flight response! How much better would those businesses be if their logo was even neutral?
Hippocrates documented four types of people over 2,000 years ago, and many profiling systems have reaffirmed that over the intervening years. In recent years experiments with brain scans have confirmed that – for any given image there are four patterns of brain scans. That’s important because the different types are motivated by different things. Let me say that a different way.
Any individual is only interested in one quarter of the reasons to buy an item. The other reasons either mean nothing, or are actively reasons to not buy – for that specific person. The next person you try to sell to might well be positively inspired to buy by the exact reasons that turned off the last one.
Neuro Marketing can tell you which reasons the person you are talking to will respond to. Do you need to treat them as though they are the most important person in the room? Or get them to participate, and show them how much fun it will be if they buy from you? Maybe you need to tell them how their family will benefit, or perhaps the better practical result they will get?
What that means is that in the average sales presentation about 75% of the time you are actually talking the person OUT of buying from you!
Does it make a difference, and if so – how much? One sales person who used these techniques achieved a 97% sign-up rate. Most companies are happy with 10% or 12%! (And for the facts based folk reading this – the 97% were stronger, more loyal customers than those signed up by other sales people.)
Neuro Marketing costs almost nothing to implement other than a little effort involved in getting trained, and of course some course fees. Here is knowledge that will at least double your current sales for zero extra (ongoing) costs. Would you like double your current sales?
Neuro Marketing works both face to face and in the online/print media, and all forms of audio/video marketing. In fact the techniques allow parents to talk to, communicate with and be understood by their teenage children!
If you want to know more then contact us and I’ll send you details of the most valuable course you will ever attend. (No, it isn’t my business, but I have done the courses and I know the difference they make).
Have you heard of Neuro/neural Marketing, or maybe experienced it as shopper or owner? Just click on the Comments link below and let us know what your think!
Yesterday we learned about networks and the spread they must have. Today we focus on a different kind of segmentation.
Would a network of 10,000 people, all customers, all regular purchasers, be a good network? Well, it may not be a bad network, but there are better networks, and I don’t mean one that has 10,001 customers!
To make the absolute best from your network you need to have at least a couple of people in it who regularly bring you new opportunities. Otherwise you can get stuck doing the same old same old.
You need another couple of people who help you evaluate these opportunities, and still others who will finance the business that results from the new opportunities.
Then you need some people who you can trust to look after – to manage, to lead – these new opportunities, and still others to work in them.
You need financial wizards who can take your money and make it work for you, to in effect create another opportunity, or at least another income stream.
You also need a group of peers who keep you grounded, who stop you from believing that every opportunity is a winner, or that somehow you have become infallible.
You need solid support from friends and family, and you need to look after your physical, emotional and spiritual health. Each of those adds another group into your network.
Can you see that you need a network that contains many different types of people, and that you need a good, strong connection with them all as per the previous article?
How do you build a network like that? That’s in our next article.
What experience do you have with you network that you’d like to share? Do you agree or disagree with this article
If you’ve read the last two posts then you know that your network is already bigger than you think – or it needs to be, and you know that it has to have the right kinds of people in it. So – what do you need to do to build it?
Strictly speaking there are as many answers to that question as there are people who need to know the answer! With that in mind we will still discover how to build a network, though you may have to change a detail here and there.
If you are not a natural networker you need to understand that you need to develop at least some skills in this area. I’ll share a shortcut soon, but you still need to participate in your own network building!
Every technique described below applies to both natural networkers and everyone else. All that changes is the degree to which you embrace each technique.
Now let’s talk about the shortcut for those who are not natural networkers. Make sure that someone who has a substantial network is in your network. Make sure that one of the few that you trust is very well connected, and that they are OK with sharing their network with you.
They may be more inclined to share their network, or more correctly bring you into it, if there is a clearly understood benefit that you bring to them and/or their network. Let them know what value you bring, help them look good to their friends by having someone like you as a resource. (Not a free resource, but a valuable and valued resource that is paid a fair price for what they do).
First, attend any formal networking events near where you work and live. Just showing up at these events marks you out is a great networker! Be prepared that your new friend might ask you questions, so be know what your answer is going to be.
Informal networking events include school and college reunions, trade shows (especially where you are not a stall holder), public talks held at a local University or other business premises.
They are great for making connections with the members of your extended network – yes, you can catch up with customers too, and these events are ideal for widening your sphere of influence.
You widen your sphere of influence by (for example) sponsoring local events or teams, by being a part of the social fabric of your community.
Speaking of ‘social’, you also make use of online social networks. There are many social networks now, and you can even build your own via WordPress and a few plugins! You can spread as far as you want or as targeted as you need by being particular about who you accept as friends and what groups you belong to.
In principle, any gathering of people, either where you are or via an internet connection, is a possible networking opportunity. Now here is a bonus for you: remember that they are ‘networking’ opportunities, not ‘sales’ opportunities.
Most people attend so they can build their network, not so they can listen to your sales pitch. If you discover that you can help solve a problem for someone (the basis of all marketing is being able to solve a problem for someone and telling them) then arrange to meet them at a convenient time and place to explain your solution. You may give them your elevator pitch while you describe your solution, but don’t turn it into a sudden presentation. You will lose more sales than you gain.
And that’s networking. In principle, anyway. All you have to do is practice it, or have someone practice on behalf of your business.
What are your best networking experiences? Funny, foul or fantastic, share your story and learn from others.
Everybody knows that they need one, but – what exactly is a ‘network’? How do you build one and what use is it anyway?
There is no single answer to the question of networks. It is in fact easier to say what it isn’t, and that is a simple list of names. Let me explain that before I continue – if a list of names was all a network was then building one would be easy. Just grab a copy of your local phone book! That’s got lots of names in it! Of course you are right, a ‘network’ is the combination of a list and the relationship, the personal relationship, that you have with the people on your list.
The reason the phone book is not a good ‘network’ is that you have little or no direct, personal relationship with most of the people in the book. And that gives us the first clue as to what your network is.
Obviously it is made up of people with whom you have a direct, personal relationship. And it is made up of different groups. Let’s focus on that next.
Obviously your existing customers would be part of your network. Hopefully, they are a strong part of your network, happy to continue to be connected with you and even to encourage others to connect (and do business) with you.
Your potential customers are also part of your network. They do need to be treated differently than your existing customers, but this is where your next long-term customer is now, so they do need to be treated well. When you communicate with them be sure to let them know that you already value them.
Obviously family and friends are also part of your network, and they too need to be treated well if you want to maintain a good relationship with them. You need to encourage them to buy from you, but you may need a different approach than you take with your existing clients.
The people that your customers, potential customers, family and friends know are also part of your network. True, you can’t directly communicate with them, but just like the other segments you need to understand this group exists and plan & implement a strategy for getting in touch with them. An obvious place to start is a referral bonus scheme.
What do you need all these people for, anyway? Well, networks are great places for referrals. Quite simply unless you are very gregarious then you probably can’t make a living from the people you directly know. It would be easier to make a living from people THEY know, but even that – for most people – wouldn’t be enough buying customers. You need you network big enough so that there are people who don’t know you who are happy to refer your business. The extreme view of this existed in the 1970s – back then people in big business used to say “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”. People who had never heard of Mr Watson were happy to buy from IBM, and recommend to their friends that they buy from IBM too. The same is true for other large, especially global organisations – can you name any?
Some of you are comfortable with the idea of going out and making a good connection with all those people, others are shaking at the very thought! That’s because some people have lots of friends and others have only a few, really close friends. If everyone needs to communicate with the network we’ve just described then how do the people who like to have only a few close friends do it?
They make sure that at least one of their friends is a person who likes to have lots of friends! The real value in your network isn’t the people you know, nor the people they know, but the people that second group know. Not a friend, nor a friend of a friend, but the people beyond that.
That’s because that’s where the real referrals come from, the referrals that are constant, the referrals that keen you in profit. You do need your own network, and in general the bigger the better, but always remember that you need to cultivate a direct relationship from the referrals you get from the other groups.
Is this the only way to segment a network? No, there are others, and we discuss that in tomorrows article. Make sure you read it to get the full picture about networking!
Do you maintain a great network or is it hard work for you? Leave a comment and tell us your networking story.