By k | September 30, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

So how did I handle that new assignment? 
The one where I was unfamiliar with
both the task and the industry? 

I had a weekend to prepare. 
First I sent out an email to buddies,
looking for someone in the industry or
someone experienced in cash controls documentation.  

I stopped at the library where
I loaded up on industry related books. 

By the time I received the response I needed,
I had absorbed enough lingo and key concepts
to not sound like an idiot.  

With the books and the interviews,
I walked into the workplace Monday morning,
confident that I could add value. 

Was I the ideal candidate? 
Hell no. 
But I got the job done.

By k | September 29, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I mailed a letter this week to a loved one. 
Since I mailed a similar letter the week before
(and ended up overpaying the postage),
I didn’t go to the fuss of weighing it again. 
Simply stuck two stamps instead of one
(over paying the postage, I thought, once again)
and sent it off. 

A couple days later it got returned
with a sticker on it,
asking me to add two cents worth of postage
(note to self: pink bracelets are heavier
than the identical ones in blue). 

And you read that right. 
Two cents! 
The sticker attached was worth that much.  
Someone was following the policy
to the letter (literally). 

Look at your own policies. 
Is there any flexibility for borderline cases?
If not, it could cost you…
goodwill, customers, money… 

By k | September 28, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A huge entertainment venue was opening soon. 
The owners hired a specialist to come in and
set up controls and accounting systems. 
This specialist needed help
so they called me in. 

I told the owners up front that
since I had no industry experience and
hadn’t formally documented controls in a decade,
I was not the right person for the job. 
They insisted on hiring me anyway (only for a week). 

The control they assigned me? 
The all important cash. 

There are two key lessons in this story. 

One is if a specialist is hired to do
a task outside of her core strengths, 
she is no better, yet higher paid than a junior jammer. 

The other is to not delegate
the most important task to a junior jammer.  

By k | September 27, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A local business held an event recently. 
The press came,
the press received their goodie bags (press bags),
the press had a good time, and 
the press wrote long stories on the event. 
Then instead of using the local business’ name,
the location of the event was identified quite deliberately
as “a local bookstore.”  

A President of a certain country visited
a U.S. University recently. 
Before he even said a word,
before he could even thank his hosts
for the invitation,
he was treated to a berating of his policies and actions. 
A berating that went on and on, 
that had to be translated so
he could be insulted in his own language.  

The bookstore will likely never treat
the press so well again. 
The next guest of the University is likely right now
rethinking his or her decision. 

Being a bad guest or a bad host 
does not hurt others as much as it hurts yourself.   

By k | September 26, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In the August edition of Reader’s Digest,
the first American Idol Kelly Clarkson
talks about going to the record label
and fighting for her songs. 

“The song I wrote that they hated
the most was “Because Of You.” 
I fought and fought for it,
it became successful and
they finally got behind it.” 

I have yet to launch a product
that I didn’t have to fight for first. 
Resistance is part of the process.

By k | September 25, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I have a loved one
who used to complain
I never thought of her. 
Despite calling her semi-regularly,
sending her emails, etc.,
I would hear that repetitive complaint. 

Then I started sending her weekly letters. 
Now for a cost of a stamp and a postcard,
she’s happy. 
She feels loved. 

What does this have to do with sales? 
Most customers have a tiny, tiny ”thing”
that if supplied, they feel loved. 

For me, as a customer,
it is the follow up phone call/email/letter
after I buy. 
Do that and I’ll be a customer for life. 

How to find out that one thing?
Simple. Ask.
Ask about their best buying experience
and what the salesperson did during it.

By k | September 24, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was on a site selling blogs
(doing research for a friend). 
Listing after listing had the same information. 
Page Rank, Monthly Revenue,
Unique Visitors, Links In…  

Then there was a listing
with none of that. 
And no bidders. 

The comments? 
Asking about the common information. 
It was common because
that was what the buyers were looking for. 
That was how they valued the blogs. 

By not listing the information,
the seller looked like a junior jammer,
out of touch with the market.
Not likely to get premium pricing.

By k | September 23, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in General

From my recent adventures
in blogging partnerships,
I’ve learned that,
as with marriages,
its often best to decide
how the partnership will end
before the partnership starts. 

This “prenup” is needed even for
the most informal partnerships
(as my blogging relationships were). 

Launching a new venture is a tough, tough business. 
To expect all partners to survive is unreasonable. 

By k | September 22, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I’ve read on different blog posts
that the business card is dead,
that email signatures are the new method
of recording contact information. 

I disagree

A few weeks ago, I won a contest. 
The holder of the contest, an author,
included her business cards as part of the prize mailing. 
She gave me a dozen and
by the end of a week 1,
I had given them all out. 

Why? 

It was the quickest way to
convey her information during
a face-to-face conversation. 
The business card had
a picture of her new book and her website.

By k | September 21, 2007 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

People buy on emotion and
no where is this more apparent
than in collecting. 

Why do people collect? 

Terry Shoptaugh,
University archirist and instructor
at Minnesota State University Moorhead says
“We use keepsakes to stimulate memory,
especially to trigger fond memories.” 

The top collectibles? 
Coins, stamps and teddy bears.