Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Power of Focusing on the Present.

When was the last time you were talking to someone and they pulled out their cell phone to answer a call or read an email that just pinged its presence? What was your response? Did you think to yourself, “Wow, I would never do that – very disrespectful and unprofessional.” Or did you pull out your own cell phone to check for messages and emails glad the other person reached for theirs first.
We all feel the demands of our jobs. And yes, we have technologies at our disposal that make staying in contact easier, but that’s not the same thing as connecting. Regardless of the excuse you are using – multitasking, juggling priorities, making the most out of the time you have, etc. –be prepared to admit that trying to do everything at once is NOT the best recipe for success.
Consistency builds confidence. When you apply the idea of consistency to the ways you connect with your clients, it builds their confidence in you. Here are five simple consistency solutions that will show your clients how much respect you have for them and their time:

1.  Set specific times for answering phone calls, correspondence, and email. Make sure to communicate your daily ritual to people so they'll have a good idea of when you'll be responding to them. If you absolutely have to interrupt a conversation to take a call, let the person you're speaking to know you might be interrupted before your conversation begins.

2.  When you're in a meeting shut off your portable devices and focus on the meeting. Think about the message you're sending when your phone rings (loud enough for everybody to hear) and you stand up and run out of the room like a rabbit being chased by a hound. Yes, you’re important, we get it. But is that the way you do business? Here one minute – gone the next?

3.  When you're sitting down to focus on work that needs to get done, turn off your cell phone and portable devices, and shut off the email notifications function on your computer. If you've been setting yourself up for success, your clients already know you do this. Nothing beats getting a project done early as the result of your focused thought.

4.  If you have to take calls while you're driving, commit to using a headset or speakerphone. If you need to look at notes – or take notes – please pull over. You're putting both yourself and everyone in the path of your car at risk when you don’t.

5.  Don't restrict these solutions to work. It’s just as rude to interrupt the conversations of family and friends. Turn your devices off when it’s appropriate.
Our devices may put us in contact with each other quicker, but no device can do the job of making the connection that’s necessary for building relationships. Relationships, both professional and personal, are built when you treat people with respect.

Alan Luoma is a Sales Coach and Speaker with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, and sales and product training. He holds key accounts with a national sustainable packaging company, is a motivational speaker, and provides sales training to individuals and groups. He is a member of the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network. You can view his profile on LinkedIn, or contact him at Luoma@snet.


  1. Al, you make make a lot of sense as usual! I heard someone say, "It's about attention management more than time management." Your thoughts are aligned with that.