Once “mo” I am back with some business advice. This time: valuable insights from my friend and mastermind client Mo VandenBergh of VandenBergh and Associates. What does Mo do? Lots of things, but three things I’ll share today.
Mo offers a highly technical service to his clients: he works in the spray coating industry and offers industrial chemicals and services. He uses the software program Microsoft Visio to map out virtually all of the process of his business with as much ease as you and I put salt on french fries.
Taking a Gander
Recently Mo visited a client and the first thing he did when got to their location was to give a good thorough “look see” at their equipment, followed by ensuring it was correctly calibrated.
That is my first takeaway from Mo: make sure you know what you’re dealing with. It may not be spray coating equipment or equipment of any kind. It could be the people in the company you’re about to work with or the leaders of a firm you’re interested in developing.
I can’t stress enough the importance of this initial “work see”; especially for anyone in sales be it consulting, coaching, virtual services, or advice-giving of any kind. Make sure you take a look to see what strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities there may be. Make sure you know too who the important players are–those that influence, the leaders, and the stakeholders.
Understanding the System
Here’s the second piece I gleaned from my good friend Mo. After he looked over what he would be dealing with, Mo set out to calibrate the equipment. In Mo’s words, “this saved them a ton of money!” You have to know what is really happening. How do the interconnected mechanisms work, how does the communication work, and how does the business operate? Or more importantly: how does it fail to work?.
If you use your smart phone when traveling you’ve done this as many times as you’ve used that device for navigation. When getting from here to there, the first thing we all do is enter the address of our destination. What we don’t consciously think about is the most important part of the trip: where we are now. Your app then calculates a route from your current location to your desired location, and offers several options for the journey.
When working with a customer it is vital to determine what they want (where they want to go.) It’s also just as important to figure out exactly where they are when you start to work with them. From experience, it’s the where they are (or where they think they are now) that is very telling.
My third lesson from Mo is taking time to work on yourself. On regular intervals, evaluate your goals. Examine your values. Review your daily plan. According to John Maxwell, “The secret of our success is discovered in our daily agenda.” Take a big step back and examine the objectives and appointments for your day. Were they designed by you or created as a reaction to all the many things happening in your life?
Thanks to Mo!
Remember three little things: Examine what’s happening now, calibrate your systems to both the beginning and the destination, and lastly carve out the time to work on you. A few minutes here and there will make a huge difference over time.
And guess what… the time is going to pass anyway! Make the most of it! Find your own Mo and get your own inspiration. Good advice, when followed, can change everything.