‘Will you slow down – you’re like bloody bull in a china shop’ he would yell at me as I sped through the hallway, flew past him on his favourite chair in the lounge and skidded around into the kitchen.
If I heard it once, I heard it a hundred times – ‘Does that girl have to rush everywhere?’
And there it was again on the tattered pages of my school report, ‘If Bernadette slowed down she might just…..’
How ironic is it therefore, that I am attracted to an approach to business that espouses the virtues of ‘slower’?
Slow is not the same as anti-fast…
because we will always do certain things fast – like outrun our competitor, work to reach a deadline or be first to grab the remote control.
It is more about giving ourselves permission to do business a little slower, or in some cases, do life a little slower.
Sounds so left of field from what we know with the fast and frenetic pace of ‘do a deal’, ‘make your numbers’ or ‘end of month deadlines’.
And it is.
It is slower.
People are wanting to stop the world so they can get off, stress levels are the highest they have ever been, people are desperately scraping the bottom of the barrel to make themselves different, stand out from the crowd yet continuing to do the same thing.
Whilst we have more technology than ever before so we can connect with others, are we really connecting? Or are we just doing things faster to fit more things into our day?
What happened to savouring the sweetness of a win, or lingering a little longer over a conversation, or asking questions a little deeper because you were truly curious?
It may take you a little longer to sign a deal with this approach, but when you do, the intention felt is grounded, the trust received is golden and the ongoing referrals are a given.
Author of ‘In Praise of Slowness’, Carl Honore coined the phrase The Slow Movement where he says,
“It is a cultural revolution against the notion that faster is always better. The Slow philosophy is not about doing everything at a snail’s pace. It’s about seeking to do everything at the right speed. Savoring the hours and minutes rather than just counting them. Doing everything as well as possible, instead of as fast as possible. It’s about quality over quantity in everything from work to food to parenting” .
Even Mae West says, ‘everything is better when done slowly… ‘;)
In the sales environment, being first to market, first to ask, first to close, first to connect is necessary. It makes commercial sense. But first does not necessarily mean fast.
The key is knowing when to slow down and when to ‘go for it’.
Your intuition will tell you when to slow down and if you don’t listen to that intuition or that gut brain, then:
- your body will eventually tell you,
- your relationships will ultimately tell you,
- your life will definitely tell you and
before you know it, you will be wishing you had listened to all those intuitive, internal, gut feelings.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to see if you need to consider slowing down, fast:
In which part of your conversations are you not slowing down or being truly present, when if you did, your questions would be deeper and more real, your connections more solid and your ability to differentiate yourself, more powerful?
In which part of your day to day life are you missing cues, are you stressing out, are you beating up on yourself because you are speeding through too quickly?
Where might you be flying by the seat of your pants, unprepared, out of sync and maybe even forgetting things because you aren’t taking the time to slow down and plan?
Perhaps Simon and Garfunkel had it right when they told us we had to slow down because we were moving too fast.
Or perhaps my grandfather knew all along. Perhaps he saw the writing on the wall. Perhaps he was preparing his granddaughter to stand still with him long enough to really get to know what the impact of his message might mean in her go, go, go approach to life.
Where can you slow down a little more in order to nail an important sale?
How about right here, right now… close your eyes and breathe in through your nose…2.3.4….. and out through your nose….2.3.4… for just 30 seconds…. feel yourself slowing down…. now off you go!
Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant
Bernadette McClelland is CEO of 3 Red Folders – a modern day saleswoman and keynote speaker on business growth, personal leadership and sales performance.
BIO: Business environments wanting to increase their revenue and profits, and differentiate themselves in a competitive market, ask for Bernadette McClelland because of her thought leadership on sales performance, her ideas on thinking beyond resilience and her fresh perspectives surrounding personal leadership skills — all designed to master the outcomes that matter.
Bernadette has proudly coached Harvard MBA students on their sales enablement curriculum, been the Master Asia Pacific coach for Anthony Robbins across twelve countries, authored five books on leadership and sales transformation, won a coveted Telstra award for Business Excellence, and continually shares her ideas around behaviour, the brain and business growth on stages in the UK, Europe, Thailand, India, NZ, Australia and North America.
Believing that sales performance is a leadership issue, you will also find her heading Melbourne’s human potential based sales performance consultancy, 3 Red Folders, as she navigates lead generation, message to market and digs deep into sales process activities with her clients in the mid-tier sector as well as founding ‘Women Who Sell’, an initiative designed to bring more women up to speed in their sales success.
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Photo Credit: Daniel Jensen