The High Cost of Waiting

I just sat there stunned. The phone call had ended a minute ago, but I was still holding the phone.

I was stunned, because my brother-in-law just told me that my Mom was being rushed to the hospital and they believe she may be having a stroke.

Apparently, she was watching TV last night and she suddenly felt pain in the right side of her head and she couldn’t see anything on the right side of her head. Also, the right side of her arms and legs felt tingly and started to go numb.

She called up to my sister-in-law, who lives with her and my sister-in-law (who doesn’t drive) stayed with her and quickly called my Sister (who lives 4 blocks away and who drives).

My sister arrived quickly, but it took the two of them almost 30 minutes to convince my Mom to go to the hospital. (She was also disoriented and very scared) I live 30 minutes away and I almost arrived there before them.

They arrived at the Emergency Room at the St. Mary’s General Hospital where they were quickly ushered in and looked at right away.

The doctors and nurse quickly went to work diagnosing her situation and one of the key questions that they needed to find out was what time this occured. Aparently, the treatment is different, depending on how long it has been since the stroke began. They have a small window of opportunity to administer a certain drug, so receiving this information was critical.

It turns out that that treatment was not available, not because of the time window, but because of another complication that we originally forgot to tell the doctors about. And if that information was not provided, the complications from the treatment could have made the situation worse. Much worse.

The doctors and nurses provided another treatment and the symptoms started to subside. Her headache was gone, the right side of her body was going back to normal and she started to regain some of her right side vision.

As the situation was stablizing, she was even able to get some rest.

At the time of writing this she has improved even more and has been transferred to Grand River Hospital, which apparently has a specialized Stroke Team that will assess her and take over her care.

From this experience, I take away several different life and business lessons.

  1. When there is trouble, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes we need to seek out professional help and advice. If we have a business challenge and we don’t seek answers outside of ourself, we can end up doing more damage.
  2. When assessing needs, full disclosure can be critical, because it may alter the decision that is made. Although you may risk losing that sale, your customer will appreciate your candor and you will greatly increase your odds of gaining a customer for life.
  3. Timing can be critical. If you find out that you can’t deliver on what you have promised and don’t tell your customer right away, you risk losing the sales (and your reputation). However, if you let them know right away, they may still be able to make alternate plans and still get their needs met. They still will not be happy that you couldn’t deliver this time, but they will know that you are working in their best interest and they may give you a second chance in the future.

Because the high cost of waiting can cost you a sale, just like the high cost of waiting could have cost my Mom her life.

But thankfully, it didn’t. Now she is not out of the woods yet, but she is doing much better than she was 12 short hours ago.

One other thing… the reason that I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital was to:

Support her at her time of need, make sure she was O.K. and to tell her that I love her. The last one was critical, because I needed her to know that in case this situation turned fatal.

Why did I tell you this?

I told you this because I have a 2 favours to ask.

  1. Please include my Mom in your prayers today.
  2. Take the opportunity to tell the people in your life that are important to you that you love them. Pick up the phone, write them a note, or whatever, but do it today. Don’t wait, because if you don’t, you may find that the cost of waiting is just too high.

Motivational Quote: Congruency

“Do what you say you will do and you will stand out from your competition.” – Richard Elmes CSP, The Sales Dating Guy

Motivational Quote: Conversation

“Next time you are having a conversation ask yourself if you are really communicating or are you just taking turns talking.” – Richard Elmes

How do you become an expert? Part 2

In my last post I talked about how to stand out from your competition by becoming an expert.

But just how do you become an expert?

Well it isn’t as hard as you might think.

Here is how you do it:

Study: The more you know about your industry, your customers and your products the more credible you will become.

Specialize: Narrow your focus and specialize in something that will allow you to know more about that subject and you will have the knowledge of an expert.

“Study the three best books on any subject and you will know more about that subject than 95% of the population.” – David Peoples, Author of an excellent Presentation skills book, “Presentations Plus” and an awesome Sales book “Selling to the Top”

Showcase: Let people know what you know or they won’t know that you know and that is just as bad as not knowing what you know.

Got that! What I am saying is that if you don’t communicate your expertise in ways that others can easily grasp, then you may as well not invest the time increasing your knowledge.

“A thinking person unable to communicate stands at the same level as those who cannot think.” – Pericles

So increase your knowledge, narrow your focus and communicate that knowledge in easily digestible ways and you will be percieved as an expert.

By the way, just how can you communicate your expertise?

What are some of the communication vehicles you can use to get your prospects attention?

Check out my next post to find out.

How to stand out from your competition? Become an Expert!

Customers don’t want to be sold anything. But they love to be helped by experts.

By positioning yourself as an expert in your industry, you can enter that promise land where instead of approaching your prospects, they will approach you. Already pre-qualified with:

  1. a need
  2. and the thought in their head that you are uniquely qualified to satisfy that need.

Instead of you trying to sell them on your solution, they will be selling you on providing that solution.

So, how do you become an expert?

Check out my next post to find out.

Communication Skills on the Election Campaign Trail

Well it’s official!!!

It was just announced that Canada is going to the polls on October 14th, 2008 in order to elect a new government.

Now with election campaigns running full steam ahead on both sides of the border (Canada and United States of America) we have an amazing opportunity to experience more leadership speeches and debates than ever before.

Whether it is Stephen Harper or Stephane Dion,  John McCain or Barrack Obama, in order to be able to lead effectively, you need to be able to clearly communicate and sell your agenda.

This experience will allow us to experience just what a difference communication skills will make.

Stay tuned as we wait for the results.

Motivational Quote: Attitude

“The People who turn out best are those who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden (Legendary UCLA Basketball Coach)