For those of you who are new to my writing, I like to give lessons from those people and things who have gained great success. No need to recreate the wheel if we can just emulate the characteristics and qualities of those who have proven success over the years. I’ve written about Prince, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and even Nancy Reagan. Given that we are in the midst of the holiday season, I think we can all learn a thing or two from Santa.
Whether or not you celebrate Christmas or even believe in Santa, you can’t argue that he has stayed popular and successful for almost 350 years so he must be doing something right. Here are some qualities he possesses that we could help all of us to be more successful:
- Santa is instantly identifiable. I’m not going to encourage you to buy a red suit or gain a lot of weight, but I do want you to ask yourself what sets you apart? Do you have a look or style that distinguishes you from everyone else? What makes you unique and different? And then, are you using that characteristic to brand yourself in all your marketing so when people see you they immediately recognize you?
- Santa has a great attitude. He has been called jovial, gleeful, jolly, happy, merry and always has a hardy Ho Ho Ho. People stand in line for a chance to be around him. A positive attitude and a great disposition keeps those around us at ease as well as exudes a certain confidence about our abilities. No one want to be around an “Eeyore” or “Chicken Little”. So stay positive and share a smile with all those you meet.
- Santa asks questions. The first thing Santa does when you sit on his lap is to start to ask questions: What’s your name? Have you been a good little boy or girl? What do you want for Christmas? To be successful in any relationship, you need to ask questions. Find out what your client’s needs, wants and expectations are. What makes them happy? What makes them sad? What is their timeline? When you ask questions you can create a lasting bond and strengthen your relationship.
- Santa is a good listener. Not only does he ask questions but he then listens for the answers. It is only in listening for the answers that he knows whether someone has been naughty or nice. If he doesn’t listen, then he won’t know what to put under the tree. If you don’t listen, you will miss what your clients really wants or buying signs they are giving you. Listening is more than words. Keep an ear out for tone and an eye out for body language.
- Santa is amazing with time-management. He not only need to make all the gifts in a very limited amount of time, but he then needs to deliver them all in a very finite window. Create a time management system for yourself to keep you on task and to keep you focused on your priorities. Don’t confuse activity for accomplishment.
So as we move through these next three week until Christmas, keep an eye on Santa and see if there is a little Santa in you that will help you be more successful this holiday season and into 2017.