By k | August 31, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A small publisher told their writers
that they couldn’t share sales
during chat days.
Their words?
“It can’t be done.”

You and I
and anyone with any IT knowledge at all
knows that is bullshit.

What they really mean to say is
“We won’t do it.”
or
“It will take time better used elsewhere.”

Be very, very careful
when claiming that something CAN’T be done
because someone, right now,
is doing that impossible something.
When your audience finds this out,
trust will be shot
and they’ll distrust every word you say.

There are no CAN’T’s in life.
Take that word out of your vocabulary.

By k | August 30, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was eating at one of my favorite restaurants
and the waiter started complaining
about how demanding patrons were
and how they were never happy, etc. etc.

He thought he’d get sympathy.
My reaction?
This man can’t handle his job.
And I figured
that I was one of those ‘demanding’ patrons
he’d tell his next table about.

If you complain about your customers
to other customers,
you soon won’t have customers
to complain about.

If it is a legitimate complaint,
talk to your manager
under the guise of
‘how would you handle….’

If it is one of those work grumbles
we all get,
talk to a friend who is disconnected
to your office
(i.e. she won’t tell anyone
about your rather trivial complaints).

If you need an excuse
to give a customer
like
’sorry, it has been crazy in here’,
present it as a positive observation,
rather than a complaint.

I once saw a waiter get chewed out
by a customer.
That waiter came to my table,
grinned
and said ’she’s one of our regulars.’
I don’t know if he was joking
but we all laughed
and he was seen as a professional.

Customers buy
solutions.
Don’t load them down
with more problems.

By k | August 29, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

An author buddy of mine
commented on how she wished she was like me
and be so eager to write every day.

WTH?

I’m not eager to write every day.
I have to force myself
every single freakin’ morning
to sit in that seat
and type.

But I don’t often share that
because readers like to believe in
the ‘magic’ of stories.

You see,
professionals are expected
to make their often difficult jobs
look easy.
That we supposedly know
what we’re doing
can be reassuring to customers.

Unfortunately,
we often forget that with
the proteges we are mentoring,
we should be sharing
that exactly the opposite is true.

If we don’t,
our proteges will believe
they aren’t good enough
or gifted enough.
They won’t realize
that talent isn’t enough,
that talent needs to be paired
with hard work
to pay off in success.

So, yes,
show customers only the magic
but share the inner workings
and the blood, sweat, and tears,
with the people you’re mentoring.

By k | August 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies told me yesterday
that she’s too old to start a business.

Another friend told her daughter
she was too young to write a book.
She should gather life experience first.

Age is a bullshit excuse.

I buy products every day.
I don’t know the age of the founders.
I read books every day.
I have no idea how old the authors are.

If you want a goal to be achieved,
why wait for the perfect age?

It takes an average of 10 years
to get a novel published.
If you’re too young today,
in 10 years, you’ll be older.
Same novel, different age.

If you’re too old to start a company now,
tomorrow you’ll be one day older.
When do you plan to achieve this goal?

If you want to do something,
do it.
If you fail due to lack of… something,
figure out how to partner or obtain or…
that something.

Stop making excuses.
Get out there and do.


Dr. Susan L. Reid has a great post

on the too old excuse.

By k | August 27, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

With every new mode of communication
comes new rules.
That holds true for texting.

In a Women’s Health survey
on texting,
the number one pet peeve
was ‘Taking forever to respond.’

The number two was
a short response to a long story.
You pour out your heart
and get an LOL back.
The fast rule is
to reply with a message
no less than half the size
of the original message.

Oh, and if you’re making plans,
call.
79% of women prefer to talk about plans,
not text them.

By k | August 26, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

The company you’re working for
has a gym.
It is subsidized.
It is convenient.
It is tempting.

Resist that temptation.

Why?

There are a number of reasons.

You don’t want co-workers to know
that, instead of working on that project,
you’re working out.

Gyms are a great place to network.
Why would you network
with the same faces you see every day?

Gym complaints
(and if you work out often enough,
there WILL be gym complaints)
will be put on your employee file.
Do you really want prospective managers
to know you let one go
during yoga class?

Pay the $30 a month
and use an external gym.

By k | August 25, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A loved one is a teacher.
She’s a damn good teacher.
Not only does she continually take courses
to become an even better teacher
but
she surrounds herself
with the same cultural influences
her tweens are surrounded with.

She watches the same movies.
She reads the same books.
She listens to the same music.
She plays the same video games.

Why does she do all this?

Because her job involves communication
and, to communicate,
it helps if you speak the same language.

She gets the one-word answers
her tweens often give her.
She encourages essays on current topics
like werewolves vs vampires
and she can talk the Twilight books
well enough
that she can give struggling students prompts.

If your sales prospect gave you
a one-word answer
using her industry’s jargon,
could you understand her?

By k | August 24, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

After surveying recruiters,
Cosmopolitan drafted the top ten interview mistakes.

They are
1. You Say, “This Is My Dream Job”
2. You Trash Your Old Boss
3. You Ask About Vacation Days
4. You Drink Water or Coffee
5. You Look Hot
6. You Talk Salary
7. You Play It Too Cool
8. You Wear Jeans
9. You Don’t Turn Off Your Cell
10. You’re Late

Many of these are no-brainers
but wait a minute,
what about #4
(You Drink Water or Coffee)?
Isn’t that a common offer
by interviewers?

Yes, it is
but it is one of those insincere questions like
‘how are you?’

When your prospective boss asks you
if she can get you a coffee or water,
she doesn’t want you to say ‘yes.’

Her time is valuable.
Expecting her to source beverage for you
is ridiculous.
It also communicates that
she should wait while you refresh yourself.

Drink coffee or water on your own time.
Take the interview time
to sell yourself.

By k | August 23, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Purple is the hot color
for this fall.

How to use purple?
Well, not with product development,
not unless the product
has a short lead time
(fall is a few short months away)
and an even shorter shelf life.

But you may wish to use purple
in marketing materials.
You could
show ‘customers’ in that hot color
or use purple font
or create window displays using purple.

One of the fun things about marketing
is that although the message
and brand should be eternal,
marketing materials can reflect
that moment in time.

Have some fun with purple this fall!

By k | August 22, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A publisher had an unexpected gap
in their publishing schedule.
That happens at even the biggest publishers.
Authors get ill.
Editors win the lottery.
Gaps happen.

Many times publishers
will bump up books
or send an urgent call out
for clean submissions
or… gasp… ship with an empty slot.

This publisher sent an urgent call out.
An author friend of mine,
knew this was a great opp
for a fellow author.
She sent a brief but professional mass email
to an intimate 44 member author loop,
relying that this publisher was in desperate need
of submissions.

Desperate, perhaps, wasn’t the best word
as the rumors immediately started
that the publisher was in financial trouble.
Why else would they need
to spam the world for submissions?

There are times to use mass email
and there are times to use private email.
If you wish the message
to be viewed as exclusive, or special
or, in this case, an opportunity not to be missed,
take the time
and send the message privately.