By k | October 21, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

A loved one travels
all over the world for pleasure.
He picks up words and basic phrases
in the languages of the countries he visits.

These words, yes, make his traveling easier
(locals are flattered that
he learns some of their language)
but they also help him
in his sales role back in North America.

He’ll chat with prospects
before he makes a presentation,
and when he hears a prospect
is from or has roots in another country
(and who doesn’t?),
he’ll slip in a couple of words.

He creates a personal connection
to that person.
He shows the prospect
he listens.
He creates an impression
he’s well-educated
and knowledgeable.

Some of my buddies are debating
having their children
learn Spanish.
390 million people in the world
speak Spanish.
Only 328 million speak English.
By adding Spanish,
they’re doubling the people
they can sell to.

If you have the opportunity
to learn words and phrases
in other languages,
do it.

The Chief Happiness Officer
has a video example
of how to weave another language
into a sales pitch.

By k | October 20, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

One of my buddies is
the sole non-white person
in his current company.
With every issue/project,
he has to fight prejudice.
The constant fighting is tiring
and it is hindering his goal
of becoming a senior executive.

He asked me
if he should stay and
‘right this wrong’,
blazing the trail for diversity,
or if he should
look for a new job,
to easier achieve what he truly wants.

My response?
Which do you value more –
the cause
your personal goal
(becoming a senior executive)?

Because if he stays in his current company,
it will take decades
to become a senior executive.
In a more diversity-friendly environment,
a senior executive position
is easier to reach.

When a cause is a goal,
it is a wonderful thing.

But when causes and goals conflict,
you have to be ’selfish’
and make the decision
that is right for you.

Make the change YOU want to make,
not the change
others think you should make.

By k | October 19, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I don’t usually do this.
If I do,
I ask to be copied on the response
back to the customer.
Because I value customers,
the customer contacted ME,
so it is my responsibility
to ensure she gets a response.

Never Mind The Manager
has this response…

“Do not forward emails from customers!
This is lack of respect.
If you forward
you release yourself from responsibility.
A forward increase the chance
for no response,
and the customer will get back to you
a bit angrier.
What you should do is “own” the email
– create a new email
and ask others for help or knowledge
to solve the case.
When you get your response,
compile an answer to the customer
and return it with a good answer.”

If a customer emails you,
own the response.

By k | October 18, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

In writing,
there is developing/producing product,
marketing/selling that product,
then there’s noise.
There is a LOT of noise.
Discussions about
whether or not books are dying,
whether or not the Romance Writers Of America
values eBook writers,
whether or not folks can make a living writing.

Focus on the noise
and the writing suffers.

The same is true with entrepreneurs
and discussions about the Fed,
the economy,
the future of the country.
Focus on that noise
and the business suffers.

As David Faye
CEO of Faye Business Systems Group, Inc.
“If you’re a leader,
things are going to happen
that are going be out of your control,
and you have to control
what you can control.
People get caught up in conversations
about the economy,
and what the Fed’s doing,
and what the president’s doing…
but at the end of the day,
when you’re running a business,
you have to keep your eye on the ball,
on the business.”

Keep an eye on your business.
Leave the resource wasting drama behind.

By k | October 17, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I recently wanted to post a comment
on a blog.
Comments had a security code.
Commenters then received an email
requiring action to confirm the comment.
THEN I was given an email
saying the comment
was awaiting moderation!!

This was a consultant’s blog.

The first job of a consultant
is to listen.
Clearly he isn’t interested
in listening.

Yes, all bloggers receive
a lot of spam,
just as all entrepreneurs receive
a lot of useless information.
It is part of our job
to filter out the useless information
(and a filter IS needed)
without stopping the flow of communication.

A blogger’s comment strategy
sends a signal
about what type of business person
he/she is.
Ensure that your comment strategy
reflects your beliefs.

By k | October 16, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I have three publishers
for one of my pen names.

One is a big name publisher.
I send them all of my mainstream, “normal” stories.
They need to turn a profit
and their definition of profit is a lot of money.

One is a smaller, indie publisher.
I send them all of my edgier, could-be-breakout stories.
They also need to turn a profit
but their definition of profit isn’t much money.

Francis Ford Coppola
in an interview with Harvard Business Review
“I think the smaller the budget,
the bigger the ideas can be;
the bigger the budget,
the smaller the ideas,
and the exploration,
and the adventure,
and the challenge.
If there’s less money at stake,
you can slip in between the cracks
and look at the material
with a more honest, direct view.
You don’t have to worry about
what would preserve the investment better.”

“Everyone has this conservative streak in them,
especially when money and success
are at stake,
and everyone tends not to
want to be experimental.”

The same thinking is true with start ups.
The less money
(especially other people’s money)
on the line,
the more innovative and breakout
you can be.
You can take risks.

Think about how creative you want to be
when considering financing options.

By k | October 15, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A loved one sent out 5 resumes.
He didn’t get any interviews
and he was convinced his resume was the issue
so he spent a week reworking it.

Another loved one has sent out
100’s of resumes.
She hasn’t landed any interviews
but she tells me
her resume doesn’t need tweaking
because “it is perfect.”

Job hunting is like any marketing program.
If the program is working,
we should expect reasonable results.

But what are reasonable results?

According to Priscilla Claman
of Career Strategies, Inc,
we should be getting 5 or 6 interviews
for every 100 reasonably-targeted resumes
we send out.
(I personally have a 10% hit rate
but that is because
I’m in a professionally designated field).

Other Job Hunting Ratios?

We should snag one second interview
for about every 8 first interviews
received a job offer
for every 8 or 9 positions we’ve been a finalist in.

Any less than that
and it indicates some part of
our job hunting strategy
is not working.

By k | October 14, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my pen names is
pretty much dead.
I used it for my romance novels
targeting business women.
That tactic didn’t work.

I had a choice.
I could use that brand
for a tactic that might work,
or I could launch a new brand.

Since I needed a new website url,
I decided to launch a new brand.

I keep the first brand alive.
Because I’d rather business associates
not know about my non-business writing,
and the first brand acts as a shield.
(so when I’m asked if I have stories published,
I point business associates to that website)

Brands die.
It is part of a brand’s life cycle.
When they die,
you have choices.
You can revive the brand,
you can use the brand for other products,
or you can let it die.

fastcodesign has a good post
on how to tell if a brand
is worth saving.

By k | October 13, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Yes, I post about taking action
quite often.
Because that is the most important part
of every plan.
Without taking action,
the best plan in the world
is useless.

I have an author buddy
who always submits manuscripts
before they’re finalized.
This drives her critique partners crazy
because it increases her chances of a rejection.

The interesting thing is…
she has more stories releasing this year
than all of her critique partners combined.
Sure, she has to revise each manuscript heavily
but so do they,
though they revise BEFORE submission.

What is the key to her success?
She takes action.
She takes more action.
She receives more rejections
but she publishes more also.

Rajesh Setty has a great post

on what might be stopping you
from taking action.

By k | October 12, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Boasting about others,
like thank you’s,
is often an underutilized tactic
for success.

When I tell Jim
“Betty did a great job on this project”,
a number of things happen.

Jim assumes I have
a close connection to Betty.
He may even see me as her manager
because who else would better benefit
from Betty’s achievement?

Jim assumes I had
something to do with the successful project.

Jim sees that I appreciate people,
and because he wants to be appreciated,
he assigns a benefit to creating a connection with me.

Betty will eventually hear
I was boasting about her,
and feel grateful.
She might want to repay me
by saying something nice about me.

And all of this is positive, uplifting energy.
There’s no backstabbing or negative games.
It creates a tighter, happier team environment.

Have you boasted about someone else today?