By k | August 31, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Every time I’m interviewed,
I ask the interviewer
as many questions
as she asks me.

Why?

Because I know my answers.
I don’t know her answers.
Her answers might teach me
something new,
something valuable
that I can use
in my own life.

Larry King
shares

“I remind myself every morning:
Nothing I say this day
will teach me anything.
So if I’m going to learn,
I must do it by listening.”

If you’re talking more than
you’re listening,
you’re learning less
than the other person.
Ask questions
and listen to the answers.

By k | August 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Leading a team is challenging.
Leaders might be respected
but we’re not always liked
because we have to
make the tough decisions,
have to push our teams
to perform,
have to talk to them
when things go wrong.

Jessica Alba,
actress
and founder of
the Honest Company,
shares

“Sometimes I’m a little more
iron fist than velvet glove.
I’m straight to the point.
I’ve made people cry.”
“I have to say,
‘This isn’t personal.
This is what needs to get done,
and it’s just as simple as that.
And …we’re not crying anymore.’”

Leadership isn’t a popularity contest.
We won’t always be liked.

By k | August 29, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I was asked to pitch
ideas (prospective products)
to a publisher (customer).
I was debating whether or not
I wanted to.

A writing buddy of mine said
“Why not pitch?
It doesn’t cost anything.”

That’s unfortunately not true.
Putting together a pitch
takes time, energy, sometimes money.
When we working on a pitch,
we’re not working on anything else.

There’s also the issue
that politically
it might be difficult to withdraw
after a pitch.

It’s more time efficient
to think about whether or not
I want this sale
BEFORE I pitch.

Think before you pitch.
There’s a cost to it.

By k | August 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Right now,
I’m deep into revisions
of a manuscript.
Revisions are challenging
but they aren’t as challenging
as a first draft.

Looking at that blank page
can be scary.

For everyone.

It’s easier for your team
to tweak an idea,
marketing copy,
process,
than it is for them
to come up
with a brand new
idea/copy/process.

As a project manager,
walk into that first meeting
with a first draft of an idea.
It could and probably will be
a terrible first draft
(all of mine are)
but give your team
something to work with.

By k | August 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One of my writing buddies
was gaining momentum
with her books.
Every new release sold better
than the previous.
She was on the verge
of breaking out.

Then she decided
to make changes,
hoping these changes
would grow her readership faster.

She changed publishers,
changed editors,
changed cover artists.

Her product significantly changed
and her system changed also.
The changes weren’t seamless.
They took time and energy
and distracted readers.

All of this sucked her momentum.
She didn’t break out.
In fact, her readership decreased
substantially.

If your momentum is building,
consider riding it
as far as it can take you
and
be very careful about making changes.

By k | August 26, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

What makes an ear worm song
(a viral hit)?

At the University of Southern California,
researchers have discovered that

a song’s popularity is tied to
the simplicity of the lyrics and
how often they are repeated.

The researchers wrote
“Tempo does not appear to matter.
While every artist strives
to create a catchy hook,
they may also consider striving to
write a coherent song
in which the chorus is repeated frequently
while utilizing a limited vocabulary.”

This works for marketing also.

Keep the message simple
and repeat it.

By k | August 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all have more tasks
to complete
than we have time
to complete them in.

We’ll never watch
every TV show we want
to watch,
read every book,
take every workshop,
travel to every destination.

So we HAVE to prioritize.
If we don’t,
we end up doing random sh*t
that might or might not
bring us closer to
accomplishing our goals.

Mike Michalowicz,
CEO of Provendus Group,
shares

“Determine what you want
to accomplish
—more money, more free time—
and structure your day
to accomplish those goals.
In the end,
productivity is prioritization.”

Prioritize.
That isn’t a nice-to-do.
That’s a must-do
for any successful person.

By k | August 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Almost every romance novel
has a message in it.
I constantly ‘teach’ about tolerance.
That’s the message in my stories.

But I don’t tell readers this.
If I did,
sales would plummet.

Why?

Because most people don’t like to be taught.
They get nasty flashbacks
to bad experiences at school.
They associate it with work.
They wouldn’t willingly experience all that again.

People DO like to be entertained.
They want to be caught up
in the story.
If they learn something
while laughing or crying or being scared,
while caring about the characters,
that’s a bonus.

So my messages are not-as-obvious.
They’re hidden in the story.
This means not every reader ‘gets’ them
but that’s okay,
because many do.
I’m reaching more readers
than I would reach
if I had been heavy handed
with the messages.

Don’t ‘teach’ prospects and customers.
Entertain them.

By k | August 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I recently watched
I Am Evel Knievel,
a documentary
about the dare devil
and the master marketer.
That was what he was
– a master marketer.
(His story inspired me
to work on my own business.)

His break out stunt
was jumping the fountains at MGM.
He was a nobody at that time.

Why would the folks at MGM
work with a nobody?

He didn’t think they would
so he built his own hype.
He formed a fictitious corporation
and
phoned Jay Sarno, the casino’s CEO,
three times pretending to be
different lawyers for Evel Knievel.
He also called Sarno,
pretending to be
a reporter from ABC
and a reporter from Sports Illustrated,
asking about Evel Knievel.

By the time,
Evel Knievel called Sarno
as himself,
Sarno was interested in talking with him.
Evel was ‘in.’

I don’t suggest you lie about who you are.
The world is much more transparent now
than it was then.

But do take the time to set up
a sale.

By k | August 22, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You’re calling an executive.
She has an official work number
which she prefers
to receive calls on
and a mobile/cell number
which is to be used
in emergencies.

Of course, you call her official number first.
Instead of speaking with her,
you speak with her assistant.
You want to ensure
the executive receives the message.

What do you do?

In the case of the vendor
who called a buddy today,
he left a message with the assistant
and THEN called the emergency line.
The assistant, being a capable being,
relayed the message,
discovered that the vendor
had called her executive directly
AFTER he left the message,
and, rightly assumed,
that he didn’t trust her.

She has vowed to never relay
another message
from him.
Why would she waste her time?
She likely won’t find space
in her executive’s schedule
for his next sales call either.

The executive (my buddy)
is insulted
because the vendor doesn’t think
she can hire a capable assistant.
She’s also irritated
that she has to talk about the situation
twice.

What should he have done?

If it’s not truly an emergency,
trust the assistant to do her job.
If you don’t hear from the executive
in a few days,
contact her by some other means.

If it IS an emergency,
simply tell the assistant
that you’ll call the executive
on her emergency line.

Don’t give someone a job
and then do it yourself.