“Good morning Eddie,” with a broad smile I enthusiastically shook hands with the potential new client, conscious of positively transferring my energy and providing him with a strong sense of importance. #YouAreImportant
However, in the back of my mind dwelled a purposeful and self-serving intent….Don’t dare waste my time!
These words pierced from my eyes, not with a malicious intent, but from a calm place and deep understanding of just how valuable my time in business and on this earth really is. I have no time for time-wasters!
Every time-waster you meet — takes time you will never see again. It’s also time that could have been spent with people who genuinely value you and your offering.
Here’s the thing, time-wasters also steal time you could be sharing with family, your friends or those causes you care about, that makes them deadly creatures!
When you meet with a new potential client be there for a reason, show up with purpose. If it is clear this intent is not reciprocated, filter them quickly and move them on swiftly, respectfully of course.
When navigating stakeholders, it’s important you are having the right conversation with the right person. This will, again, mean circumventing time-wasters to quickly get to those people who can influence the outcome.
To get to the point and cut through quickly you’ll need to activate your silent sales weapon (your ears) and listen for what’s really being said.
Sales people often miss or overlook critical information because they aren’t paying attention to the intent. This could mean they miss clear signals because they are too focused on “selling” and what they think they need to say to impress — so the client’s true intent washes straight past them.
Here are some of many examples:
- Can you provide me with a proposal (without consultation)? = Time-waster
- My manager has asked me to gather some quotes = Time-waster
- We don’t want to meet until we know your prices = Time-waster
- Can you respond to this tender in two days? = Time-waster
- Thanks for proposal, I’ll present at next committee meeting = Time-waster
- Price is not an issue for us = Time-waster!
These seemingly innocuous statements appear harmless, but they are laced with time waste. If you respond with a ‘yes’ to most of the above requests regularly, chances are you’re wasting your time — most of the time.
Less successful people float from one time-waster to the next, with no structured engagement method or genuine understanding of how valuable their time is. Ultimately this makes them the ‘time-waster,’ because they are investing their own time into activities or people that offer no value or outcome.
Remember, the clock is ticking! Like most things in life we receive for free, seconds are not often valued. Time is a precious and finite resource many of us take for granted, until it’s too late.
As for Eddie, yes, he was a time-waster, but this was identified after a five-minute conversation, instead of five months worth of follow-up.
In your next meeting remember, You Are Important, (but don’t dare waste my time!)