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Category : Entrepreneurship

By The Leasing Group

Listen First

Best selling author and speaker Seth Godin advocates the practice of patient listening, understanding, and cooperation in all aspects of work and play, including business.

 

“…every great treaty causes both signatories to change something substantial, something important, in exchange for accomplishing a bigger goal via cooperation…Your customers need an ambassador, someone who is open to hearing what they have, need and want, not merely a marketer intent on selling them a particular point of view.  Once you understand someone, it’s much easier to bring them something that benefits everyone.  The goal of a long-term relationship is to figure out what you’re giving up and what you’re getting in return.” (http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/10/ambassadors-and-treaties.html)

 

So, are we marketers first, intent on selling?  Or, is it better to propose solutions only after we have first listened to what our customers want and need?  The answer seems so obvious, especially if our goal is to cultivate long-term relationships.  So why is it so rare?

By The Leasing Group

No Shortcuts

Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways and Stanford Business School, finds humor in the numerous internet lists which promise a simple path to success, such as… “Develop these five traits and you will enjoy a rich and happy life.”  Instead, he offers another prescription…

 

“As fun as it may be, simply reading through grab bags of traits and attributes won’t ensure success in work and life.  The very reason success is elusive is that it still requires a lot of hard and often tedious work.  Not just daily work at the office, but the constant work of making ourselves into more effective, more adaptable, more thoughtful people.  That’s what it means to build character.  No secrets here.  Just hours, days, months, and years of persistence in doing what matters most, honoring commitments, and working well with others.” (Joel Peterson LinkedIn blog post, 10.24.13)

 

We have all been drawn to the easy road.  But there are no secret formulas here, rather years of persistence and hard work.  Fortunately, the reward of being “more effective, more adaptable, and more thoughtful people,” is worth the trip.

By The Leasing Group

Courage as an Entrepreneurial Must

Ben Horowitz, a founding partner of a Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm, once made the observation that the entrepreneur himself/herself is more important than whatever idea said entrepreneur might have. He noted that the two key qualities he looks for in an entrepreneur are brilliance and courage.

Obviously a successful entrepreneur benefits from being smart and savvy beyond pure book intelligence. The benefit of brilliance likely rings true across all professions.

But courage?

“The reason for the second,” said Horowitz, “is that the other virtues we generally associate with success – honesty, integrity, etc. – all flow from courage. Without courage, the others go by the wayside in times of stress. For example, without courage, you won’t be honest, especially when the idea you staked your fortune and reputation on proves to be lousy and needs to be changed.”

Horowitz did not mention the influences of determination, self-sacrifice or focus, all very important traits commonly associated with success. Maybe that’s because these traits, too, each have their root in courage. It takes guts to believe in yourself, to trust your intuition and stay the course, especially if and when you find yourself surrounded by voices of negativity and doubt.

Perhaps Horowitz is right. Perhaps courage really is the single most important characteristic an entrepreneur can have. 

(The thoughts on courage and brilliance are credited to the following Business Insider article, which reported on comments Horowitz made at this past year’s Digital-Life-Design conference: http://www.businessinsider.com/ben-horowitz-courage-2013-1 .)

 

By The Leasing Group

Thoughts from Seth Godin: Your Alphabet

Click here for a blog by Seth Godin called “Your Alphabet,” and then read on for some thoughts from TLG leadership on what it might mean for them.

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Godin’s use of a printing press as a metaphor for life is pretty brilliant. Think about it–when we were young, first learning how to take in, process and then communicate back out everything around us, we developed new letters almost every minute of every day. We had to!

It seemed easy at five or six years old, even if only in retrospect. Now “creating letters” is hard work–it takes us out of our comfort zones, forces us to try new things and think in new ways (this can be exhausting).

The work’s worth it, though. And, when we find the new letter–the idea we’ve been dreaming about or the problem we’ve been anxious to solve–we realize how worth it.

This is certainly true for organizations, and TLG is no exception. The world doesn’t work quite the way it did when we first started up. We’ve had to learn new ways of doing things, and it hasn’t always been easy.

But it has been–and will continue to be–worth it.

 

By The Leasing Group

Thoughts from Seth Godin

Thoughts from Seth Godin
(a regular feature incorporating the blogs of Seth Godin that click with TLG’s leadership)

This blog post by Seth Godin inspired the thoughts below it from TLG:

Buying is selling

If you’re negotiating to buy something–a house, a company, even as the purchasing agent for a big company–you’re also selling.

That’s because it isn’t a faceless transaction involving a list price and a credit card. The purchase involves faith and trust and risk and someone caring enough about the other person to do more than seek the highest possible/lowest possible price.

If you hope to buy for less than the clearing price, or get better work than average, in fact, you are selling when you’re buying.

A friend was selling his house, and every time he showed one particular prospective buyer a new feature, the buyer discounted it, demeaning its value. This is a common strategy–denigrate the thing you are hoping to buy, question the judgment of the seller, make them feel desperate. After all, the thinking goes, a desperate person will sell for less.

Perhaps. But more often, a person being made to feel desperate will take her valuable goods somewhere else, to someone who cares more.

Why not say, “that’s fabulous! It makes the house worth even more, well done.” Recognizing the good work of those you hope to buy from puts you on precisely the same side of the table as the seller.

The brutal purchasing manager who uses RFPs like a club and nickels and dimes (not to mention dollars) suppliers–do you think he’s actually getting their best work? When we’re talking about emotional labor, it’s not often about the money, it’s about how the transaction makes the seller feel.

Or consider the used car dealer. His business is only as good as his inventory, of course. So where to get the cars that get sold? One strategy is to only buy cars from desperate folks, folks with no options. (Or to make the people you meet with feel desperate). What sort of inventory does that leave you with? Last resort cars from people with no options. When the dealer who sold me a car recently tried this tactic with the car I hope to sell, I walked away.

The good stuff is more likely to be sold to people who care. The things you’d like to buy are probably going to be sold by people who have other options now.

Posted by Seth Godin on October 09, 2013

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The Leasing Group is not always the lowest financing provider.  More often we fall somewhere in the middle.  Fortunately for us, our best business clients appreciate that:

  • We stay local.
  • We make the process as painless as possible.
  • We approve difficult transactions by taking the time to understand them.
  • We’re there if there’s a problem later.

We’re proud of these things and are glad to have pleased clients.

If you insist on a rate which is below our cost, you will still get our best effort.  We will always treat you with respect.  However, the next time you come to us we will politely ask you to consider the value of our other advantages before going to another provider.

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