By k | June 30, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When a waiter at Gjelina refused
a pregnant Victoria Beckham’s
special request for
salad dressing to be served
on the side,
Chef Gordon Ramsay
weighed in on
customer service
“It was a sour note.
I don’t think customers
should be treated that way.
That might not be the way
I choose to eat it,
but that’s what the customer wants…”

Chef Ramsay is known for
being (loudly) anal about
food prep and quality and presentation.
If he thinks chefs should compromise
on all this to keep the customer happy,
we should think about
what we’re willing to compromise
to do the same.

By k | June 29, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Some of my buddies at university
would degree jump
because they changed their minds
about what they wanted to do
with the rest of their lives.
History majors thought
they had to have a business degree
to be in business.

Sure, it helps, but it isn’t a requirement.

What matters most is
you learned.
Learning something relevant to the job
is a bonus.
Did you lead a school project?
(the subject doesn’t matter)
Did you juggle a part-time job
with schooling?
Did you initiate something, anything?
Show you’re a leader and
employers won’t care what you led.

According to Erin Miller,
co-author of a student guidebook,
“Employers are looking for
employees who are intelligent and trainable
- and that’s what a degree says.”

You don’t need the right degree
to get that business job.
You need the right mindset.

By k | June 28, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

According to QMI Agency,
85%-90% of business communication
is email.
However, text usage is increasing.

When to text and
when to email?

I don’t text.
I find it informal,
and lacking the necessary tracking.
I always email
when I need the information
formally communicated
and/or approved.

Natalie Manor,
CEO of Natalie Manor & Associates
agrees.
“I think you need
to have a relationship
with a colleague
before you begin texting.”
She also says
that texting is used for
sharing immediate information
such as
‘Going to be late’
and
‘Do you want me to bring the contract?’

In other words,
text may replace a phone call,
but it doesn’t replace email.

By k | June 27, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I feel good about my writing
if I have 3 stories in submissions
(i.e. in the sales funnel).
If I don’t have those 3 stories,
I move my ass
and get stories submitted.

Now, it is really easy,
when I’m feeling lazy,
to say the 3 stories I subbed
to X, Y, and Z agents
in the spring of 2009
are still in the funnel.

But that would be a lie
because those deals are dead.
So I regularly clear my submission/sales funnel
of all the dead wood,
and I focus on the new deals.

John Mongillo has similar thinking
about sales funnels.

“The fact of the matter is
that the average pipeline
should be lean and mean,
and not puffed up and flabby.
A lean pipeline is great
for the psyche and
forces the salesperson
to generate new opportunities
because staring at
the same names and numbers
week after week
is nothing but draining.”

Clear the dead wood
in your sales funnel.
Focus on the legitimate opportunities.

By k | June 26, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

With summer here,
many bloggers are posting
about vacations
and about how fewer employees are taking them
(57% of Americans use up all their vacation time,
as per a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll)
and when they do,
they work via internet/phones.
They say this like it is a bad thing.

It can be.
It can also be a good thing.

My grandpa was a farmer.
He never took a vacation.
He didn’t understand why people took vacations
because he loved what he did
and his work was incorporated into his life.

When I was in new product development
for a major beverage manufacturer,
I’d spend a good part of my vacations
at exotic grocery stores,
looking at the beverages available
in other countries.
I loved it,
my hubby loved it,
and we do that on vacation
to this very day.

I recently came back
from a two week cruise
and I wrote every single day.
I loved it.

Yes, our work lives and home lives
are merging.
That’s why it is more important
than ever
to love what you do.

If you’re counting down the days
until vacation,
it is a signal that you’re not doing
the work you are meant to do.

By k | June 25, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

In my last placement,
teleconferences were the norm.
In any given cubicle row,
there’d be at least one teleconference
on speaker phone.

There were pro’s and con’s
to the teleconference.

More people attend them,
and they tend to multitask
during the call
and don’t ‘waste’ the time in a meeting.

On the other hand,
since they’re often on speaker phone,
there’s no confidentiality,
and the meeting is only getting
a sliver of the person’s attention.
According to a Robert Half Survey,
45% of executives confessed
to frequently doing other things
while in teleconferences.

Teleconferences are a great tool
for transferring information to everyone
but may not be
for making critical decisions,
confidential projects,
or
brainstorming.

They are NOT a replacement
for every meeting.

By k | June 24, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny,
David Maxfield, Ron McMillan,
and Al Switzler in the book
Change Anything
share the top 6 career tips
to make you 10 times more successful.

They are
1) Visualize what you want
2) Take time for professional development
3) Associate with hard workers
4) Find a trusted mentor
5) Put money at risk
by rewarding yourself
and
6) Control your workspace

I would probably swap out #3
Associate with hard workers
with
Associate with achievers
though they are often
the same thing.

If you surround yourself
with achievers,
you will learn their secrets for success,
be driven to keep pace with them,
and
you WILL work hard.

By k | June 23, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A rising tide lifts all boats.
In other words,
it is easy to make money
when everyone is making money.

Companies know this
so when times are good,
they take chances
on new executives,
new products,
and new ideas.

Italy’s Cerruti CEO
Florent Perrichon
told the Reuters Global Fashion
and Luxury Summit
“It is when business is good
that fashion brands
can take important decisions
and change designers,
not when times are difficult.”

As an up and comer,
make your move
while times are good,
and then prove you can create success
so you’re also the person to go to
when times are bad.

Ride that rising tide.

By k | June 22, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many of my entrepreneurial buddies
started their first business
while at university/college.
Many of us are still working
with contacts we made there.

The University Of Waterloo,
the school with tight ties
to the founders of companies
such as Research In Motion
and OpenText,
has taken that one step farther.

Their VeloCity is a student residence
consisting of 70 budding entrepreneurs.

“Three-time VeloCity resident
Barbara Macdonald
enjoyed the experience so much,
she and seven other friends set out
to repeat it,
this time as an ultra-hack-a-thon.
7 Cubed’s ambitious goal:
seven applications
in seven days
with seven programmers
(and one designer).

“We’d arrive at 8:45
and do a post-mortem on the day before,”
Macdonald says.
Then the team would pitch
and rank ideas.
They had three criteria:
“fun to build,
useful for a wide group of people,
and feasible to develop in one day.”
The team coded until 10 p.m.,
when they were expected to release.

Their first app, QuickCite,
takes the sting out of assembling a bibliography.
Feeling bleary-eyed
after finishing that essay?
No problem.
Simply hold your smartphone up
to the book’s barcode
and snap a picture.
Select a formatting style
and QuickCite takes care of the rest.
To date, the software’s had
more than 2,000 paid downloads
from the iTunes and Android stores
and been profiled on
popular blog Lifehacker, PC Magazine,
and ABC News.”

Of course, you don’t have to be in university
to duplicate this experience.
My writing buddies and I
go on writing retreats.
One weekend
with no goal other than
have a publishable story
at the end of it.

Go back to school…
or at least
residence.

By k | June 21, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I recently received an email

marketing a mentoring service.

One of the testimonials

for the mentoring service

stated that she didn’t believe in

paying for mentoring,

but this service changed her mind.

 

What did that customer do?

She was a mentor herself

(in a different region).

She had the name of her company

proudly displayed and linked.

 

WTF?

 

I see this ALL the time.

A romance writer boasts  

about how she doesn’t read romance.

A saleswoman for Audi drives a BMW.

A postal worker sends a package by a rival courier.

 

And then you expect ME

to buy your product?

 

Hell no.

 

Believe in your product.

Use your product.

Support the industry

your product plays in.