By k | May 21, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Princess, as with most cruise lines,
rewards cruisers for coming back.
The first level is the new cruiser.
The second is the 2nd time cruiser.
Etc.

I recently sailed on two back to back cruises.
Was I bumped up to the second level
after the first cruise?
No.
Because I booked both at the same time.

Yep, I was punished for booking twice in a row
with Princess.

I have a policy that any reader
giving me feedback on my books
receives the next eBook I have published
free.

I have readers
who won my first novel Breach Of Trust,
gave me feedback on it,
received my second novel Invisible for free,
gave me feedback on it,
and are slotted to
receive my third story Selling Forever for free.

They may NEVER buy one of my novels.
Am I going to punish them
for repetitively giving me feedback?
Of course not.
That’s what I want.

Don’t punish people
for doing what you want
twice in a row.

By k | May 20, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I recently met a group of people
while on a three week cruise.
Everyone in the group
had been laid off from the same company.
They were young,
highly educated,
highly skilled,
and now unemployed.

I’d be surprised if
there was a single person in the group
returning from that cruise
without at least one interview lined up.

Why?

Because they networked
with the 3,200 other passengers,
many of them executives and board members.
Everyone on the ship knew their story.
Many people admired their confidence,
their positive reaction to the lay off.

Not everyone can afford such a networking opportunity.
However, everyone CAN network
in equally unusual and effective ways.

By k | May 19, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A week into an intensive training program,
new employees at Zappos
are offered $2,000
(as well as their pay for hours worked)
to quit.

This is absolutely brilliant.

Building a great company is tough work.
Employees tempted by this cash
are unlikely to stick it out.

Getting that offer up front
is a test for how badly you TRULY want it.
How many new bloggers,
if offered $2,000 to never blog again,
would save themselves time and money
by quitting early?
Isn’t finding out
today rather than a year from now
worth $2,000 of your own cash?

Next time you start something,
think
‘If someone gave me $2,000
NOT to start,
would I still do it?’

By k | May 18, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

People like looking at…

People.

So why
don’t we use photos of people
in presentations
and more marketing material?
(Why don’t I have a photo of someone
on THIS site?
Bad marketer that I am)

As Carmine Gallo states
“Your presentations probably
contain plenty of
text, charts, and data.
It’s time to add some photos of faces
so that your audience gets a visual cue
when you talk about
how your product, service,
or company
improves people’s lives.
Ideally, use professional photos of real customers.
But at the very least,
buy stock photographs and
avoid the cheesy images
that come standard with PowerPoint.”

Put a human face on your company.

By k | May 17, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In Forbes,
Becca Brown, founder of SoleMates,
says
“No one else will be as invested
in your business as you are,
so don’t expect everyone
to follow through
when they claim they can help you.”

I saw that with the release of my first novel.
I have over 1,000 people on my contact list,
my novel was priced at a very inexpensive $6
(before discounts),
yet I only sold 40 copies
that first year.
Why?
Because other than being ‘nice’,
there was nothing
to motivate my contact list to buy.

So they didn’t.

No one will be as excited
about your success or progress
as you are.

There are a number of great reasons
to build a business
or publish a novel.
Pats on the back from friends or family
is NOT one of them.

By k | May 16, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

There is a myth
that older managers/employees/superstars
become obsolete.

The happy truth is
that myth is false.

If you constantly learn
and develop yourself,
you will NEVER become obsolete.
There is no way a kid fresh out of school
can compete with your experience
IF you’ve studied the same things.

You’ve had 40 years of learning.
She’s only had 20.

The BIG problem is
that most of us are lazy
and stop learning.
We stick with the same 20 years of learning
we graduated with.
Those 20 years are
now 20 years out of date.

We don’t become obsolete.
Our knowledge does.

Take a course this summer.
Dust off those brain cells.

By k | May 15, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Right now,
you likely know of one supplier
suffering from the bad economy.
Often, another customer will take that opportunity
to scoop the weakened supplier up.

What to do?

You can’t afford to buy them out yourself
but
if you let them be bought out by another,
you’ve lost a valued partner
(one with insight into YOUR company)
and your competition has increased in strength.
Not a good scene.

One solution is
to help the supplier out as best you can.
Strengthen them so they can resist the takeover.

As Hiroshi Moriya outlines in
The 36 Secret Strategies Of The Martial Arts

“Should a small, weaker country
be sandwiched between your own country
and that of your enemy
and the enemy shows signs of military hostility
toward that small country,
then your own country must set out militarily
and come to its aid,
and later you can bring it
under your control.
If you make verbal promises
but do not follow through with aid,
you will be unable to gain their trust.”

By k | May 14, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Women in business
constantly have to fight
the ‘emotional’ label.

Does that mean we can’t get angry?

Nope.
But it does mean
we have to manage that angry.

Cathie Black in
Basic Black explains

“It’s okay to let people see
you’re angry,
but it’s not okay
to lose your cool.”

“There’s a big difference
between these two emotions:
losing your cool
is an overly personalized response
in an office environment.
It’s better to express anger briefly,
then move quickly
to the next, much more important step:
fixing whatever’s been broken.”

Focus on the problem
and
bookend the anger
with rational, constructive information.

By k | May 13, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Both are bad.
A conversation is supposed
to be two-way,
anything other is a monologue.

Although I try to say as little as possible
because the less I talk,
the more I learn,
I DO talk.
I ask questions.
I facilitate discussion.

Why?

Because as
James Morris in
The Art Of Conversation
shares
“… realize that it is bad manners
to monopolize a conversation,
it’s equally bad manners
not to talk enough.”

No wallflowers.
Hold up your side
of the conversation.

By k | May 12, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the best ways
to get the creative juices flowing
is to draft up a list
of crazy or ‘dumb’ ideas,
things so fantastical
that you’d never in a million years
develop them.

Why ‘waste time’ like this?

Robert I. Sutton
in
Weird Ideas That Work
shares
“Research by psychologists
suggests two sound reasons
for generating allegedly dumb and impractical ideas
(and then imagining they are smart):
To jolt people into questioning the existing dogma
and to generate counterintuitive ideas.”

“This technique is also promising
because it helps overcome
the ingrained human tendency
to reject the unfamiliar.
Once any human being notices something,
he or she can’t stop from evaluating it,
from having a positive or negative
emotional reaction to it.”

Evaluation is always deadly for creativity.
That’s why writers write first
and THEN edit.

Draft your dumb idea list.