By k | May 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A loved one is interviewing
for his dream job
- a sales position
at a certain technology company.

When he tells people
this is his dream job,
many people laugh and say
“don’t you mean CEO of the company?”

No, he means front line sales.

One of my buddies
has the dream of writing
for Harlequin.

When she says this,
other writers chime in with
“But I bet you wouldn’t turn down
a New York single title deal!”

Actually, she would.
That’s not her dream.

It takes balls
to admit to having a less glamorous dream job
yet I’ve noticed that these people
are often happier
because they are working toward THEIR dreams
and not what other people think
their dreams should be.

Your dream job is YOUR dream job.
Figure out what YOU want.

By k | May 20, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If you’re a new business developer,
I can pretty much guarantee
that you have some crazy, creative ideas,
ideas that your core employer
would have a hissy fit
if they heard.

You and I know
you shouldn’t mention them.
They aren’t appropriate for that client
and we do want to
keep our paying clients happy.

However, I find if I don’t find a way
to express these freaky deaky ideas,
they fly out of my mouth
at inappropriate times
OR
I somehow wedge them
into a current project.

With my writing,
the solution is easy.
I send my ‘normal’ stories
to the bigger publishers
and my freaky stuff
to a smaller niche publisher
who specializes in freaky stuff.
Expressing my freaky side
every once in a while
allows me to more happily write
the normal stories.

In other industries,
it can be more challenging.

When I worked in new product development
for a big beverage manufacturer,
our team would always send
a couple of absolutely whack job ideas
to the idea screener process.
We knew the ideas would be turned down
but talking about them
eased some of our creative stress,
allowing us to focus
on more marketable ideas.

Don’t suppress your inner freak.
It is part of you.
Simply learn how to manage it.

By k | May 19, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I write a 10,000 word story,
I spend 1 day on the first 500 words
and 4 days on the other 9,500 words.

Why?

Because in those first 500 words,
that first critical emotional connection
is made
between the reader
and my character.
If those first 500 words don’t work,
the other 9,500 words are useless
because the reader
will have already stopped reading.

Stephen Shapiro
talks about the importance
of emotional connection.

“When starting a speech,
you want to connect
with the audience emotionally.
Why should the audience care
about what I am going to say?
What’s in it for them?
What benefit will come from listening?
Buy-in is rarely done
on an intellectual level.
People are more likely to listen
if they can relate to you
and your message
on an emotion level.
Does what you offer
—your product, service or idea—
solve a problem?
Can you speak to a pain they have?”

Spend the majority of your time
on building that critical
emotional connection.

By k | May 18, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Ken Davis shares that

“75 percent of the people
leave a presentation
with no idea what the point
of the message was.

Even worse,
50 percent of speakers
can’t identify the objective
of their own talk.”

Yes, 50 percent of speakers
don’t know what they’re attempting
to accomplish
by speaking.

I’m not one for extra words.
Clientk is proof of that.
When I talk,
I have an objective.

When I give a speech,
I repeat that objective over and over.
Recently I wrote a 750 word article
on the importance of reader expectations
and
I used ‘reader expectations’ 19 times.

Sometimes I worry
I’m a little too repetitive,
UNTIL I ask attendees
what the key learning was.
Even with the repetition,
not everyone receives the message.

Have an objective for your speech.
State that objective.
Repeat that objective.

By k | May 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of the first things I do
with a new story
is explain it to a buddy.
If I can get her excited
about my story
in a sentence or two,
I know I can sell the story
to both a publisher
and readers.

Leadership strategies are similar.
You can have the best strategy in the world
but if you can’t relay it
to your business partners,
employees, customers,
it won’t work.

As David Grossman explains

“You might have
the most compelling vision
for your organization,
but if you can’t get it out of your head
and get others to see it
and believe in it,
it might as well not even exist.

It’s up to you
to engage others
so they have the same clear picture you do
of your strategy and where the business is going.
Lift the perspective out of your head
and get it into others’
so they can own it
and help you achieve it.”

Figure out how to sum up
and sell your strategy
quickly and easily.

By k | May 16, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Cynthia Montgomery,
author of The Strategist,

shares that the core skill of a great leader
is being savvy at strategy.

When we think about strategy,
we think about pummeling the competition,
about winning over them.

That is not how Montgomery
defines strategy.

“Strategy is about
serving an unmet need,
doing something unique or
uniquely well for some set of stakeholders.
Beating the competition is critical,
to be sure,
but it’s the result of finding
and filling that need,
not the goal.”

Find and focus
on your prospect’s unmet need.

By k | May 15, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I love marketing.
Marketing is fun,
especially marketing through social media.
That’s more like attending a party
than putting in a day
at the office.

However, marketing makes no damn sense
without product.
I attended an author panel on Saturday.
Every author on the panel
said write first,
produce words first,
finish stories first,
THEN consider marketing.

There are products
that are successful without any marketing
(by the manufacturer).
There are NO products
that are successful without a product.

Producing the product
is ALWAYS more important
than the marketing.

Go, complete that product!

By k | May 14, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my buddies was laid off
from his job.
His company, working with the government,
arranged a very nice severance package,
so nice that it didn’t make sense
for him to actively look for work
until the severance package ran out.

So my buddy didn’t work… at all.
When the severance package ran out,
he no longer
had the habit of working
and looking for a job
is very hard work.

It was tough for him,
tougher, I suspect,
than it would have been
if he’d continued to work
at something, anything,
perhaps building a business,
perhaps making a dream happen,
perhaps giving back
to the world
through volunteer work.

Working hard is a habit.
If you currently work hard,
maintain that habit.
It is much easier
than re-learning to work hard.

By k | May 13, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Today is Mother’s Day.

I’m grateful to my mom
for everything she has done for me.
Of course, she’s human
and she makes mistakes
but I learn from her mistakes
and they give me permission to be human also.

I understand
if someone doesn’t feel grateful for her mom.
Not everyone has
as wonderful a mom
as I do.

However, if I ask the question
“Whom are you grateful
to have in your life?”
and that someone doesn’t name at least one person,
I become leery about doing business with them.

Why?

Because
she won’t be grateful
to have me in her life.
She won’t be grateful
for what I do for her.
She certainly won’t return a favor
she didn’t appreciate
in the first place.

Gratitude is an emotion
to look for
in business partners.

By k | May 12, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I’m selling every story I write
yet,
as I mentioned on Thursday,
I’m taking a writing course.

Why?

Because I want to become
a better writer
and
because my readers deserve
the best damn story
I can give them.

Unless you’re number one
in your field,
there is someone who knows things
you don’t.

Heck, even if you’re number one,
there are up-and-comers
who know tricks you don’t.

If you want to be the best
or maintain your status as the best,
you need to improve.

Yes, I talk about this often here at clientk
because improvement is so key
and
because I personally like to be reminded
how key it is.

Read, attend seminars,
take a course.
Improve your skills
so you can serve your customers better.