By k | August 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my stories
is swiftly climbing the bestseller list
at a major reseller.
This story was published two years ago,
sold strongly upon release
and then faded to nothing.
I had no expectations
of receiving additional sales from it.

I haven’t advertised this story recently.
I haven’t done any sort of marketing
around it.
I have more recent releases.

Yet it is selling
based upon word of mouth alone.
I have no idea why that specific story
and why now.

THAT is today’s market.
Word of mouth is strong
and often makes no damn sense.

So if you’re considering delisting a product,
a product that requires no additional expense
to continue listing,
think seriously before taking that action.

Because you never ever know.

By k | August 20, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

You’ve drafted and polished your book pitch.
You get lucky and snag an editor appointment.
You defeat your nerves
and razzle and dazzle the editor.
The editor asks to see your manuscript.

What do you do?

If you’re like 90 percent of all writers,
you do nothing.
Yes, absolutely nothing.
You don’t send your manuscript.

According to Bob Mayer,
90% of all requested submissions
following author pitch sessions
with agents and editors
at conferences are never sent.

Is this terrible news?
Not for those of us
that DO send our manuscripts.
We’re automatically the exception,
the serious,
the writers to watch.

This percent roughly applies to other areas
requiring work and bravery and follow through.
If you follow through,
you are the exception.

Be the exception.
Be the 10 percent.

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

Two weekends ago,
we went to Whittamore’s Farm
to pick fall strawberries,
an annual tradition for us.
It was a very busy day
at the family-owned farm
and by the time we arrived,
the strawberries were picked clean.

As we debated whether or not
to pay the $5 entrance fee,
the employee waived the fee
and allow us to enter for free.

The employees were right.
The strawberries were picked clean
but we still enjoyed ourselves.

We also continued our tradition,
increasing the likelihood
we’d return next year.

Plus more than one of us
talked about how a big company-run farm
wouldn’t have allowed us
to enter for free.
It reinforced Whittamore’s Farm’s branding
as a family-run farm
(since 1804).

Exceptions to the rule
are one of the signs
of a family-run or small business.

If that is how you’re branding your company
(no matter how large the company is
or who really owns the company),
strongly consider giving your employees the power
to make decisions
and ‘break the rules.’

By k | August 18, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

If you wish to lead,
you have to delegate.

As Tim Milburn shares
“If you do everything by yourself,
you’re not leading,
you’re simply working.
The difference will be greater
and long-lasting
as more and more people get involved.
This is where one person
striving to make a difference
turns into a lot of people
invested in a cause.”

Leaders have followers,
not watchers.
Following is active and involved.

If you don’t give your followers
actions to take,
they will either take their own action
(which may or may not
align with your vision)
or they will stop following you.

Delegate.

By k | August 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

I reported to a manager
who hated excuses.
He’d respond to an excuse
with
“Don’t waste my time
telling me why it happened.”

Working with him,
trained me to cut the bullshit excuses,
pinpoint the problem,
and solve it.

As Tim Sanders shares
“While many might think that
the explanation excuse is helpful,
it’s actually a waste of
creative energy and breath.

While traffic problems might provide
a reason for being tardy,
they don’t erase the lost time
or make those I’ve inconvenienced feel better.
That’s the fallacy of the excuse-makers:
We think we are providing a service,
when in fact,
we are asking to be let off the hook.”

Excuses might make you feel better
but they waste everyone else’s time.
Unless someone asks,
don’t offer an excuse
for your bad behavior/mistake.
Simply fix the problem.

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

Are you time-starved?
Do you running out of hours in the day,
unable to spend time
on the things that truly matters?

There’s only one solution.

As George Ambler shares
“The only way
we can get more time
is by saying no
to things we usually say yes to.
Although we often recognise
the need to say “no”,
it is often challenging to do so.
It seems that many people
do not know how to say no.”

Yep, say no.

There are different ways to say no.

George suggests saying yes slowly
or asking for more information
information which,
in my personal experience,
you won’t ever receive.

I prefer receiving and giving
a blunt “no, thank you.”

How you say it
doesn’t really matter.
What matters is you say it.

If you want more time,
you have to stop doing the things
you’re currently doing,
and that means saying no.

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

So you have a forum
or a blog
or a community
and you feel like you’re talking to yourself.

You’re normal.

“The 90-9-1 rule,
popularized by Jacob Nielsen,
based on research by Will Hall,
says that
90% of users in an online community
are lurkers who don’t contribute,
while 9% contribute sometimes
and
1% contribute frequently.”

There are some arguments
over whether or not
90% of users lurk
but there are no arguments
that the majority of users lurk.
The majority of readers lurk.
The majority of product users ‘lurk’.

The noisy few are exactly that
- the noisy few.
They may or may not be representative
of the majority.
And if you don’t hear from them,
that doesn’t mean no one is listening.

Don’t measure success
by feedback.

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

One of the best CEOs
I’ve ever had the pleasure of working for
was also a master
at ensuring employees were aligned
with the company’s vision.

Not only would he repeat the company vision
over and over
(it was on the back of our business cards)
but he would point out how
every project
every result
every new position
tied into this vision.

But what most impacted us
was whenever he talked to any employee,
he’d ask how we thought
our roles tied into the vision.
We knew he’d ask that
so each of us would spend time
thinking about our answers.

To verify alignment,
Terry Starbucker shares

“You randomly ask field employees
about their roles and
how they fit within the context
of the greater vision and plan.
They nail it.
Then, they proudly proclaim the company mantra
that reflects that plan,
and the values behind it.”

THAT is alignment.
Are your employees aligned
with your company vision?

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

Lisa Haneberg was asked
what one lesson
would improve business most.

Her answer?

“The one lesson I would garner is
that to make something happen,
we need to do something
- do something
- do something new,
do something different,
do something better,
do something for longer,
do something with others.
It’s about showing up
- really showing up.
That is what changes things.”

Doing is a habit.
Once you do,
it is easier to do,
so start
with something,
anything.

Dreamers don’t change the world.
Doers do.

By k | August 12, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Reality shows
are very popular
and there are reality shows
on almost every topic.
They can be a marketing gold mine
for budding businesses or careers.

Some entrepreneurs and artists
have seen huge lifts on sales
by appearing on a reality show
and subtly pimping their products.

However, this strategy is not without risks.
The producers of the reality show
don’t often have
your company/career’s best interest in mind.
They’re creating exciting television.
That means drama and conflict.
If the cameras pick up something
unlawful, unethical or controversial,
there could be severe consequences.

Every aspect of your life
can also be fair game.
I’ve heard of marriages splitting up
and kids being taken away
by child protective services
because a member of the family
appeared on a reality show.

So please think
before appearing on a reality show.