By k | October 31, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There are two months
left in 2011.

Two months
to make this year count,
to take that action
you’ve been wanting to take,
to make a difference.

Remember those goals
you set at the beginning of the year?

Review them.
Do you still want to achieve them?
If yes,
figure out how
and then do it.

If you don’t know how to achieve them,
ASK!

I wanted to break into a new publisher.
I asked a friend
who was writing for this publisher
how I could get my foot in the door.

She told me about a special call
the publisher didn’t have enough submissions for.
She told me the publisher was looking for stories
ideally over 20,000 words
(the submission call had a range
from 8,000 words to 34,000 words).
She told me they were looking for science fiction stories
(the submission call
was open to all genres).

So I wrote a science fiction romance
over 20,000 words
for the special call.

The editor asked me to revise the story.
I revised it.
The editor asked me to revise it again.
I revised it.
The editor asked me to revise it a third time.
I revised it.
Then the editor contracted the story.

I’ve since sold one more story in
and have another story in submissions.

If you need help
achieving your goals,
ASK
and then
ACT.
Make 2011 a life changing year!

By k | October 30, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I had a very skilled coworker.
When she delivered on a project,
the results were top notch.

When she delivered.

Unfortunately, more often than not,
she didn’t deliver.
She completed tasks on her own schedule
which didn’t always synch up
with the requested schedule.
Things happened.
Drama occurred.
Excuses were constantly made.

So if the project was important,
she wasn’t involved.

Another coworker wasn’t as naturally talented.
She always delivered on time
however.
SHE got the important projects.

Consistency and reliability is more important
than talent.

Scott Ginsberg has a great post
on the costs of inconsistency.

By k | October 29, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A loved one recently
withdrew from the internet…completely.
No email.
No Google.
No Facebook.
He’s no longer online.
He found the internet
distracting to his project.

Now he phones me
regularly.
I don’t like talking on the phone.
Most of my business is online.
So I don’t often answer,
and we communicate much less.
This has changed our relationship.

Ours wasn’t the only relationship changed,
and that caught my loved one
by surprise.
He thought everyone would switch
to another means of communication.
They didn’t.

When you eliminate that 1-800 number
or that Facebook account
or that blog,
you WILL eliminate relationships.
Don’t assume that all your associates
will switch.

By k | October 28, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

American Express
Spending & Savings Tracker
predicts that the average American
will spend $53 on Halloween this year
(this is down from $73 in 2010).

So parents are doing all the spending, right?

Wrong.

Young professionals
are expected to spend
from $63 to $80
on dressing up.

Yes, young professionals
are spending MORE
than the average person.

Stores like Target and Walmart
know this.
When I walk the aisles,
I see most of the costume space
allocated to adult costumes.

If young professionals are your target market,
have you considered
Halloween-themed marketing or products?

By k | October 27, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A good project manager
is conscious of the emotional state
of her project team members.

Why?

Because negative emotions
can be an early indication
that a step in the process
is missing or broken.

As Peggy Grall shares

“When effecting change,
check your group’s emotional temperature early
to see if you’ve neglected
a key factor for success.

There are six success factors,
and there is a
predictable emotional reaction
in the absence of each.

When vision is missing,
you get confusion.

When skills are missing,
you get anxiety.

When incentives are missing,
you get resistance.

When resources are missing,
you get frustration.

When information is missing,
you get suspicion.

When an action plan is missing,
you get futility.”

Be aware of the emotional status
of your project team.

By k | October 26, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I first started promoting online,
I thought writing general posts or articles
would have the best results.
My thinking was
that general posts appeal to
the general audience
and that audience is pretty damn big.

My thinking was wrong.

Folks don’t look for general information.
They have specific problems
they need specific answers for.

Magazine and newspaper editors know this.
They’re looking for story ideas, not topics.

As Kim Pittaway
in September/October’s CMA Magazines
shares

“Many writers make the mistake
of pitching topics
rather than
focused story ideas.

What’s the difference?

“The HR Department”
is a topic.

“How the HR Department can contribute
to corporate cost-savings”
is a focused story idea.

“Five surprising ways
the HR Department can help companies
save money”
is an even stronger focus
because it promises
fresh content
(”surprising ways”)
and
a clear reader benefit
(”help companies save money”).”

Pitch story ideas,
not topics.

By k | October 25, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

On every cruise,
there’s the mandatory safety drill.

A decade ago,
the safety drill consisted
of a long list of instructions.
Go to your cabin.
Get your life jacket.
Don’t wear your life jacket.
Look up your muster station.
Figure out how to get there.
Don’t use the elevators.
Line up in front of the life boats.

These were life or death instructions
yet folks got confused.
Some people were so confused,
they didn’t take any action,
deciding to stay in their cabins.

So now there is only one instruction.
Go to a stairwell.

At the stairwell,
a crew member asked to see
our cruise card.
He then told us to go to a certain floor.

When we reached that floor,
another crew member told us
which door to exit.

Outside the door,
a crew member told us
where to stand.

We were told only one simple instruction
at a time
and this was very effective.

Buying your product likely isn’t
a life or death action.
Why would you make your buying process
any more complicated?

As Charlie Cook explains

“Action and reaction;
each element of your marketing,
executed well,
will generate one specific response.
Your business card,
your print pieces,
your sales letters,
and a web page,
will each motivate one reaction,
not a whole series of responses.

Make your marketing work
by setting a specific objective
for each element of your marketing.
Then determine the action you need
to take to reach that objective.”

Focus on driving only ONE action
with your marketing.

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

A buddy sent me an article
because he,
a recruiter,
couldn’t believe someone wrote it
(period)
recently
and posted it on a job search site.

There’s a lot of bone-headed advice
floating around
but this article takes the cake

Human Resources expert Sarah Paul
says
“The fact that she is in a suit
(hopefully a stylish one at that)
speaks to her professionalism, ambition, power.
But taking it one step further
by wearing a skirt and
dressing in an overtly feminine way
elicits personality characteristics
more often demonstrated by women…
support, empathy, sensitivity…
which are all desirable traits of a leader
in today’s workplace.”

Lets take the skirt wearing
out of the equation.
Clientk readers know
how I feel about that.

Have you EVER seen
support, empathy, and sensitivity
(i.e. crying at the drop of a hat)
listed as traits desired
for ANY management position?

I didn’t think so.

It isn’t a big secret
what employers are looking for
in potential employees.
They write out their wants
(in code usually
for example:
flexible schedule = working 24/7)
in their job postings.

Sensitivity is NOT
one of those traits.

By k | October 23, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Having been in project management
for a while,
I know if I launch…
say…
a peach-flavored beverage
and this beverage fails,
it will be much more difficult
to launch another peach-flavored beverage.
The previous failure
will be remembered
and used as a reason
to reject the new product.

THAT is why I don’t like
the Occupy Wall Street movement.
There is no plan for change
so the movement will fail,
and it will hinder
more organized future movements.

Robert Kiyosaki
isn’t a big fan of this movement
for similar reasons.

“In the end,
the world isn’t changed
by people who complain.
It’s changed by people who do.

Don’t like the way corporate America
and Wall Street operate?

Be part of changing the way
America does business
by being an entrepreneur
who starts a company
to not only make money
but also make the world a better place…”

Plan before you protest.

By k | October 22, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I received a few emails yesterday
commenting about how
in some areas of the U.S.,
Spanish is more commonly spoken
than English.

Cultural changes,
as with many changes,
bring great opportunities
for small and growing businesses.

English is the de facto national language
of the United States
(the U.S. does NOT have an official language).
The big companies will all be
marketing/advertising in English.

Not all of them
will be catering to
the unofficial language of
where your company is based.
They won’t have signage/advertising/marketing
or salespeople using this language.

It doesn’t mean
you have to change your product
or how you run your company.

One of my buddies manages a book store.
She ensures at least one saleswoman
on each shift
speaks Mandarin as well as English.
The store doesn’t sell books in Mandarin
but when Mandarin-first-speaking customers
wish to buy English books,
they come to her book store,
knowing they’ll have a saleswoman to assist them.
This competitive advantage
costs the store nothing extra.

Embrace cultural change
and use it to your advantage.