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Taming The Pavlovian Entrepreneur
Who Says When The Phone Rings You Have To React Like One of Pavlov's Puppies?
Our own "outrageous" approach for (not) responding to email and incoming phone calls has: been praised as "genius", been openly criticised as "a stupid idea", been commended as "a brave decision", caused shock and outrage, left people "gobsmacked", and led many others to question our sanity. But, whatever people's feedback (good or bad), the approach we employ works for us. In fact:
"You know you're really doing the right thing when other people, who still have the problem you've solved, criticise you for it!"
What we do is part of our bigger "lean philosophy" that has enabled us to rid ourselves of the burden of staff and still get more done while simultaneously boosting profits.
What we do works for us and it could work for you too.
So, if you're interested in how we've managed to tame the phones, confound the "spam-meisters", and get more done in less time and with less stress then read on...
10 Tell-Tale Signs You're Acting Like One of Pavlov's Puppies?
1. You jump to answer the phone as soon as it rings (and have been known to salivate at the chime of other bells too)
2. You check your email more than twice a day (or more likely - every hour!)
3. You find yourself spending more and more time taking phone calls and less and less time doing anything about them.
4. Your working day begins with you deleting messages about genital enlargement and exiled princes who want to put their billion dollar fortune in your bank!
5. After deleting all the junk email the second half of your working day is spent responding to everybody else who decided to have a "brain fart" (a term coined by Dan Kennedy) and email it to you.
6. You spend more than an hour a day having "unplanned" conversations with people you barely know.
7. You answer the home phone with your standard "Hello, XYZ Enterprises" even on your days off!
8. You take your business mobile on holiday with you "Just in case of emergencies" (and there always IS an emergency too!)
9.You finish the day realising half of the things on your to do list (if you even have one) didn't get done!
10. You have no idea why you seem to be working harder and getting less done!
Now, if you're guilty of any of the above, I want you to know that I'm not criticising you.
I've been guilty of all these things too and if anybody had told me, "You can stop all this madness just by making a decision" then I'd have thought they were crazy.
But you do have a choice. You're your own boss right?
So why do you give up so much control of your time?
Our Contact Policy In A Nutshell
* We accept no un-scheduled incoming calls
* We don't accept or listen to answer phone messages
* We have a series of forms designed to help people contact us in the most appropriate manner
* Most of our email addresses don't receive email and have an autoresponder directing people to these forms
* We only check enquiries sent via our forms once per week
* We have a small list of "inner circle" contacts who can email us direct while we're working on their projects
* Our businesses that require faster customer service (www.bookshaker.com for instance) are built with FAQs and a "customer helpdesk" which is checked regularly throughout the day
See it in action at www.cabalgroup.com
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Who Said Your "Client" Was Your "Boss"?
Seriously, if you don't prize your time as absolutley sacred then who will?
If you run your own expert business then you've got to drop the subservient, domesticated canine, act - and fast.
This might shock you to read but: Your client is absolutely priveleged that you have agreed to share your expertise with them. If your pricing is fair and you deliver what you promised then you've kept your part of the bargain. Paying for the benefit of your expertise does NOT give ANYONE the automatic right to dictate what you do with your time.
Some clients (especially the "big important" ones) won't like this idea one little bit - but you have to question whether you want someone who's out to own your time as a client in the first place.
By knowing what value you're really providing and what you won't accept you automatically disqualify the types of client that, in our experience, are bad for your productivity, your sanity and your business success.
All it takes is confidence in your abilities. By making yourself hard to get hold of you send out a strong message:
"My time is important. What I do is valuable. If you want what I've got then I expect you to respect me and respect my time."
As a result of this you'll attract clients who value you more and pay you more too.
We had a choice, and took it, aware that some people wouldn't like it. The choice is worth it.
You have a choice too!
'Dangerous' Debbie Jenkins
© Copyright 2003-2006 - Cabal Group Limited
About the Author: Get More Business Success By Doing & Spending Less
The 9 eBook set based on Debbie Jenkins' sell out workshops gives the inspired entrepreneur access to the complete Lean Marketing (TM) methodology for eradicating waste and improving the success of all your marketing activity.