I will admit it: I do not love to read. How many other business owners, sales leaders and marketing executives agree?
Yet, reading has been vital to my success and my ability to serve clients so they can realize more success. Moreover, reading for business development is key. Plus:
- Reading allows me to know the latest in my industry and clients’ industries.
- Reading keeps me up-to-date (and sometimes ahead) of what my clients know.
- Reading connects me with thought leaders — and their thoughts.
- Reading ALWAYS gives me something new in terms of knowledge, inspiration, understanding, empathy.
And consuming content has become easier than ever in today’s information age.
Here are three steps I follow to stay up-to-date and ahead of the ball when it comes to the industry, my clients’ industries and the marketplace.
Get Information Delivered to You
I start my day by powering on my systems and opening up my email. I save business emails for later. Instead, I open the industry e-newsletters, updates, reports. I look forward to my Top Sales World “Today’s Top Sales Contributions” content and newsletters like Private Equity Professional, VentureBeat, Sales & Marketing Management (SMM) Monitor, The Daily MarTech Digest, MarketingProfs, local business journal daily wrap-ups and others relevant at the time. I review Google alerts I have triggered on topics, companies and people that I’m monitoring. Every Friday, the local business journals for cities I’m tracking release their weekly newspaper – so I invest come cycles weekly on that.
This works for me. I think it – with publications relevant for you – could work for you, too. Why?
Because it is easier to consume content and consume information regularly when it is coming direct to you — rather than you having to search the endless expanse of blogs, websites, news outlets and more.
Consume Information in Bursts
I spend about an hour every morning reading the latest news and insights. You could spend an entire hour reading just one whitepaper. If the whitepaper is relevant to you or your clients, then go for it.
Chances are, most days you will find more value in reading news bites and listening to sound bites and clippings.
- Read headlines and the first paragraph.
- Keep reading if the information is extremely relevant.
- Do not hesitate to move on to the next piece of information.
- Journal personal notes on what you are reading and applications for it (I leverage Evernote, so I can not only save the relevant article, but also highlight in it and capture some notes about it).
Pass Information Along
When we seek to serve our clients, we can seek to serve them more than products and services. Did you learn a potential challenge coming down the pipeline for your client through an e-newsletter? Hit “forward.” Did you post something to your blog that answers something your client just said was a major pain for them? Send them a link.
It is one thing to stay in the know yourself — it is another to share your knowledge with the people you seek to serve. I challenge you to take at least half an hour every day, in the morning, over your lunch break, after your family disperses in the evenings, to consume information that helps you lead.
Have a minute to consume some insights?