Running Silent, Running Deep

Periscope

Based on the notion that the most beautiful things in life are the simpler ones, I have to admit that simplicity dominates or must dominate also in Communications.  In this post we will discuss the “Silent Treatment” in Communications, all its prerequisites and results.

Surprisingly remaining silent is one of the most effective strategic decisions you can make, especially if doing so, results an increase of information that you will eventually collect from your interlocutor. Usually, if you restrain yourself from immediately answering on somebody’s words, you will observe that he/she keeps adding information to these words, providing you with an added value that they wouldn’t have done otherwise. For example:

Case 1

-I really like Linda, she is a very interesting person.

-Oh yeah, me too! She is great. 

Case 2

I really like Linda, she is a very interesting person.

-(Silent but focused)

-However, there was this time that she got angry with me and she became really aggressive and mean. For that reason I am a bit suspicious on her.

In the second case by holding your answer for 5-7 seconds, you immediately gain valuable information on the relation between Linda and your interlocutor.

As it is obvious being silent all the time is not the best of a strategy.  However, every move of your should serve one main objective, to collect as many information possible. On this reason, second on the list of strategies comes “Asking”. No matter how much information is on the table, you need to ask for more. What you receive from asking is information, and what you give is empathy and interest, two of the most important offers, in order to bring your interlocutor closer to you.

Ask ..

  1. Close-ended questions: Yes or no questions designed in order to gather information quickly, overtaking long answers or further explanations.
  2. Open-ended questions: Questions expecting broader answers that except of information directed to the question, they can also provide you with the way that your interlocutor thinks. For example, if you ask you customer “what brings you to the store?” and he/she answers “my car” you can easily understand that he/she is either a humorous personality or a mocker, and treat him/her accordingly.

Finally, observe. There is a high possibility that your client is either “anti-social” or really smart to use the same tactics that you do. In that case observe his body moves. Always remember “60% comes out of your body, 30% comes out of the tone and 10% comes verbally”. From the body move of your client, you can understand if he is mad, sad, worry, anxious, calm, etc. Be focused and try to understand which of these is their case and handle them accordingly.

PS1. Show empathy and enthusiasm to your interlocutor.

PS2. Be honest.

PS3. Smile.

PS4. Keep a sense of humor.

Sun Tzu, “A market warrior”

Sun-Tzu-Strategy

Sun Tzu  also rendered as Sun Zi,  was a Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China. The strange thing with the quotes of this general, is that they can be applied and taken into consideration in every task of our every-day lives. For today’s post, 8 out of them have been collected and analysed in such a way so to fit on an entrepreneur’s life.

  1. “The art of war is vital for society. It is a matter of life and death, the road that leads either to prosperity or destruction. For that reason every step must be analysed carefully”. 

The same way the art of war is vital for society, your decisions are vital for your company. For that reason your measures should be taken into consideration 5 pillars of decision making, according to Tzu.

  • Ethics: Be ethical. Your brand and identity are two of the most important parts of your company’s public image. Your actions need to provide services and products that evolves society and living. Only when you show respect, you can also gain it. And respect is the only reason why your customers will follow you, buy your products and finally become committed to your brand.
  • Weather and Ground: By whether and ground Sun Tzu refers to the natural environment and the influence that may have to the troops. In your case, the natural environment refers to the market that you want to join. Today, with technology and globalisation market has been transformed into an easy in, easy out platform. For that reason you need to be really careful with your market entry decisions and research well before you do.
  • Management: By management Sun Tzu refers to the virtues of the general, his wisdom, honesty, courage and responsibility. These are the the most important characteristics that you as a leader need to embody and defend every day.
  • Dogma: This term refers to the Human Resources management and delegation issues that you will face in your every day job as a leader of your company. You need to be very careful with who you choose and the position you place them. Put aside emotion and choose strategically.  Find in what your employees are good, and let them focus on that. Be open minded and always listen to them.

2. “Every war is based on misleading. When you are strong, show weakness. When you are weak, show power.”

This quote might be the most helpful for your career as an entrepreneur. When your company and you are both ready for the next step, enjoy calmness of your competitors, by not exposing your next strategic move till the very last moment. This mentality will give you the opportunity to always be one step ahead. On the other hand, when you have many problems to handle, do not expose the either. Do not provide your competitors with an emotional boost full of positiveness and self-belief. Prefer to face balanced emotions and well-weighted strategic attacks.

3. “When the army fights for a long time,  the financial and material resources disappear”.

Do not fight for a long time. Competition will always be there, but your resources won’t. Despite of that fact though, participate in small wars that secures you great wins (only if necessary). Look for the opportunity carefully and do not rush. Never start the fight, but fight to win the war. You should always end what your competitors begin.

PepsiCokeHalloween_475x333

We will never forget this fight

Continue reading

Lost Vegas

Vegas.jpg

Time is (=) Money. So, Surpluses of time can bring somebody, surpluses of money. According to that principle, money can buy time and the time purchased can eventually bring more money to someone’s pocket. We finally reached a stage in our conversation, where money buys money.

But what if the time spend comes in full divergence with the financial outcome? For example, what happens if in 2 hours somebody makes 500.000 $ in Vegas. And what if the same money go to a new venture creation? What problems will this venture and its owner face?

Now think of the “Vegas money” as any amount of money that is not an outcome of your own personal work or external fund (earned the same way). Which did you think, would be the biggest management issue that you will face?

The main  problem lies mainly in the internal management and cash flow issue. The business decisions that you have to make while being an entrepreneur are really important and requires enough, if not much “hands on” experience. Experience that can be acquired, only by having worked for a few years for “someone else” and you have clearly understood how a business operates and how most people make their money. Only then you will have a clear business operations image that will eventually help you to handle your company with high levels of responsibility.

Next on the list comes your entrepreneurial ability and the “easy come, easy go” mentality that spending “easy earned” money may bring. When you are entrepreneur there are some entry challenges that you will face, such as, 1. picking the right business, 2. when to quit your daily job, 3.managing your stress & money,etc.  These dilemmas require a lot of time and thinking in order to be answered.  However, the ability to spend money may decrease the time-frame of the thinking and working process, leading to pitfalls that cost money that could be used for later company operations.

Concluding, experience could be a great asset while risking and trying to set-up your own business. For that reasons, old personal processes that led you to an increase of your humility and carefulness levels can be found really helpful. When you spend, try to remember your own sweat and tears included in that money. If you cannot, be really careful and remember that Las Vegas can Easily become a LOST Vegas, at least in today’s market.

PS. Enjoy “easy come, easy go” hyperlink

I met SARAH today. She is a model.

image

Chris Duffy in his book “once a customer always a customer” provides a reader with a model that can be characterized as the 5 steps of success. As we mentioned before your client is your God. And God is the reason you live and survive, according to religion at least. The food you eat, the rent you pay and the car you drive, is the immediate result of a healthy seller-customer relationship. If this relationship for any reason gets rusty, the balance of your whole life will change immediately. Continue reading