By k | May 31, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One clear message
the Jon And Kate Plus 8 drama
has reinforced
is that no one,
not the client (viewers or the networks)
or the media,
has your best interests first,
not unless they align with theirs.

The average person
(myself included)
is selfish.
They will try to convince you
to support their goals first
(In the Jon and Kate situation,
the viewers, network, and media
want drama and family strife).

How to ensure your goals get met?
First, have goals, clear goals.
Then review them.
With each decision,
ask ‘does this bring me closer to my goal?’
If it does, say yes.
If it doesn’t, say no.

It sounds very easy
but sticking to goals is, in reality, challenging.
Ask Jon and Kate.

And yes, I know I’ve talked about this before
but since I need reminding,
I figured you might benefit from a reminder also.

By k | May 30, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

According to a LinkedIn survey
conducted for AdWeekMedia,
the code word for marketing during a recession
is
value.

No big surprise there.
Except that the word is value,
not price.

Value does not have to
mean the cheapest product
(though it could).
It does not have to mean
to-the-death price wars
(though, again, it could).

Value can mean quality
and innovation
and speed
and great customer service.

It completely depends on your customers
and what they, yes, value.

By k | May 29, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Janet Napolitano
announced Wednesday
she now knew
the 9/11 terrorists
did not enter the U.S. from Canada.

Ummm…
if your job was to keep a nation safe,
would you,
in a press conference,
volunteer that
it took almost 8 YEARS
to figure this information out?

There are loud ways to
spread information
and quiet ways to
spread information.

If the information is not flattering
(or so delayed that it isn’t flattering),
choose the quiet way.

By k | May 28, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Your product will never be perfect.
Never, ever, ever.

But most people can’t accept that.
They tweak, and tweak, and tweak.
They’d tweak the second
before the product goes live
if you allow them.

This messes up
government approvals,
production schedules,
marketing material,
sales pitches,
and ultimately the entire launch.

The solution?
You don’t let last minute tweaks happen.
You give a drop dead date
for product changes.
(Save any additional changes for the next edition.)

By k | May 27, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’m guest blogging on a certain site.
I offered a selection of topics
I could cover.
None of them were acceptable
to the host.

No problem.
I obviously didn’t understand
what the site’s goals were.

But then she quoted her readership numbers.
Low.
Very low.
Lower than the site I was promoting.

Of course, I’ll still guest blog
(I made a commitment)
but now,
I’m a little less anxious to please.

If you want to impress someone
with your numbers,
make sure those numbers are impressive.

By k | May 26, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Everyone likes to hear (or read)
their own name
and this rule holds true for assistants.

Tony Parinello and David Mattson,
authors of
Five Minutes With VITO,
(Very Important Top Officer)
says
“The first thing you want to do,
in any correspondence,
is you want to salute
the uniform of the private assistant.
The private assistant’s name
has to be in any correspondence
you send to VITO.”

And by any correspondence,
that includes email.
Acknowledge the gatekeeper
and you will be more likely
to get past.

By k | May 25, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In the upcoming horror flick
Drag Me To Hell,
the heroine is billed as
‘a nice girl.’
She may be a nice girl
(I don’t know,
I haven’t seen the movie)
but her customer service skills suck.

First
she ‘fires’ a customer publicly
(were there no private meeting rooms vacant?).
Then she fails to provide
that customer with alternatives.

There are ALWAYS alternatives.
To simply cut a customer off
without providing them
with other sources
IS cruel.
(Here’s a hint…
If you have to call security
when you fire a customer,
you’re doing it wrong.)

Is it cruel enough
to warrant spending an eternity in hell?
I don’t know…

By k | May 24, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Four weeks ago,
Invisible, my second novel,
was number 18
in sales for my publisher.

I then took 3 weeks off,
during which time
I didn’t do any promotion
or fan response.
It sunk to number 43.

A week after I came back
(back to promoting
and back to talking to readers),
Invisible is number 21 on the list.

Promotion works.
Selling works.
Responding to customers (readers) works.
Stop doing all that
and your sales will stop also.

By k | May 23, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

We’ve all had it happen.
A laptop dies in the middle
of a presentation.
The product we’re demonstrating
doesn’t work quite the way
we expect it.
Something happens on CNN
that distracts the buyers we’re pitching.

Most people try to
continue on
like nothing happened.
The best salespeople, however,
address the interruption.

Stephen C. Lundin and Carr Hagerman
talk about this in their book
Top Performer.

“Yet even in the West End
when a baby cries
or a cell phone rings,
the best actors make a witty comment
that flows from their character
and then continue with the script unperturbed.
Any other approach creates
negative energy and tension
in the audience.
The audience is more upset
because of empathy for the actor
than for themselves
and a good actor understands
that he or she
needs to relieve the tension.”

By k | May 22, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I hear tell
in the golden age of unions
(which is long past),
more years = more job security.
Always.

It doesn’t any more.

The average person,
as they age,
gets slower.
It takes me longer,
at 38,
to pick up completely new skills
than it did when I was 20.

That’s okay
because,
in my knowledge based career,
I have an offset.
I’ve continually updated my skills,
taking new courses,
building up 18 more years of education
than a 20 year old has.
I give myself more time to learn new skills,
learning them well before they’re needed.

A loved one moves books
from boxes to bookshelves.
As he ages, he gets slower.
Although he is paid more than his 20 year old coworkers,
he is adding less value on the job.
Soon he’ll be replaced.
That’s simply good business.

You WILL get older
(hopefully, that’s the goal in life).
If you can’t offset the detriments of age
in your current career,
get a new one.