Monthly Archives: October 2008

If You Believe, You Behave (Episode 26)

Click Here for entire series table of contents

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in The Movies: The Writing on the Wall | Leave a comment

What’s Stopping You?

Guess what happens when Alan is irritated? He broadcasts a podcast. Would you like to know what’s stopping you? how about:

  1. Hunt for perfection
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Fear of success

To hear the other six reasons click on the arrow below to start playing the podcast.

and now also on iTunes

Click Here for entire podcast series table of contents

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Podcast Series: The Way I See It | Leave a comment

Guide to Publishers and Literary Agents

Great resource out by my literary agent, Jeff Herman (I have no financial interest): Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009,Three Dog Press, 2008. If you want to publish commercially, there simply is no better resource. Over a thousand pages, thirty bucks.

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One Comment, Twenty Answers

“We’ve cut back on all consulting in this economy.”

• That’s what a lot of my current clients first said to me.
• I don’t blame you. The key is which ones you retain.
• You don’t grow through reducing.
• Have you replaced the external expertise you’re losing with internal resources?
• But I’m not talking about paying for consulting, I’m talking about investing in results. Are you now ignoring ROI?
• Let’s not even talk about a fee or a project. Just tell me the three priorities for your organization right now.
• You haven’t eliminated your insurance, have you? I’m the same type of investment, a small expense to protect a huge asset.
• Who is “we”? Is that you, the division, the organization?
• What if we established a value and return so powerful that it had to be funded?
• Are you employees going to be performing at their highest potential, which you need now more than ever, if you’re not making an investment to ensure that happens?
• Are your clients going to remain loyal if you decrease your attention to them? Wouldn’t you be interested in low-cost, high-return methods to enhance loyalty?
• Don’t you think some of your competitors are using this opportunity to “steal a march” on you while you decrease your efforts to compete?
• Are you cutting back on all your investments? Are you reducing employee benefits, cutting client responsiveness, reducing hours of operation? If so, you need me more than ever.
• What next? Are you going to sell your desk? Cut your phone service?
• If I created a proposal that showed a conservative 20:1 return on investment, are you telling me you wouldn’t consider it? Isn’t this the time you need those returns?
• What if I gave you a very favorable fee and payment terms?
• Don’t you need best practices from an outside source to help you ensure maximum productivity during these times?
• Tell me what you’d need from me that would change your mind and treat both of us equitably as partners in your improvement?
• Don’t you want to invest in your all-stars and best assets to help pull you through these tough times?
• That’s what these four organizations that went bankrupt said.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Business of Consulting, Consulting Philosophy | 3 Comments

Gabrielle

Gabrielle, in St. Vincent’s, Wednesday, Oct. 22.

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The Inexpensive Way to Be High Quality

I’m astounded by the number of people who consider themselves to be professionals in solo practice who simply don’t realize they are acting like amateurs. They are of better quality and intent than their actions represent.

Here are some simple ways to create more profound impressions:

1. Read the instructions. I have people contacting me for instructions about how to register for something which are right on their screen in my email. This isn’t situational behavior, so they’re probably ignoring clients and prospects to the same degree.

2. Use a signature file. People write me all the time and sign the email “Jane” or “Paul.” How am I supposed to know who they are? Also, the request to send something physically in the regular mail when no street address is provided would be laughable if it didn’t waste so much of the recipient’s time. You won’t be stalked just because you include a full signature file. If someone really wants to kill you, they’ll find you regardless.

3. Stop hitting “reply all.” Even though someone has sent minutes, or a notice, or some bright idea to a list, it doesn’t mean the rest of the list needs to hear your reply, “I’ll be there,” or “Thanks!”

4. Don’t assume that just because you met someone at a meeting of a hundred people that you’re fast friends. That doesn’t entitle you to put them on a mailing list, or ask them for a personal favor, or recommend someone else to them. (I routinely receive requests from people I don’t know citing another person I don’t know as the one who suggested I’d be happy to give them free advice!)

5. Stop talking about yourself. “Enough about me, what do you think about me?” If you want to be an object of interest to others, then listen to them, don’t talk at them.

6. Formulate a question before you ask it. Some people have a habit of articulating their cognitive processes. “I was wondering about this, then I thought of a similar situation from last year, but then I realized that the participants had different backgrounds….” That may be helpful for a therapist, but it’s not helpful in a business meeting or phone call.

7. Understand that if you’re asking the same question over and over again that you are not integrating what you’ve learned prior. Once you have a question answered, give an example of how you’d use the information to test your understanding and, if you’re correct, apply it immediately. That will integrate what you’ve learned and create mastery. (A note to coaches: If you keep answering the same question with the same answer and not testing understanding and demanding application, you are not in a coaching relationship, but rather in a co-dependent relationship.)

8. Hang out with people who force you to stretch. Many people avoid conversations and situations where the subject matter is not familiar or they can’t contribute much. Those are the conversations you should be in, listening and learning, so you know what else you have to learn to participate in the future. Large fish in small ponds die.

9. Don’t spend $500 of your time and energy on a $50 decision. Just make it. If you’re wrong, you will have still saved money!

10. Stop assuming that what you’ve created is good for everyone you know. Be selective. Think of the self-interest of the other person, or at least a legitimate need that you may create. For example, don’t just send a newsletter to every name your technology can sweep from your files, indiscriminately. Some people actually send their newsletters to my newsletter address, which is not a sentient being, so far as I know. (When someone sends an unsolicited newsletter, I always ask what would happen if the hundreds of thousands of people who have been in my sessions and speeches all sent me a newsletter. I’m sure the newsletter is well intended and finely done, but I just don’t want to read it.)

11. Use a domain name. It’s unimpressive to see a professional whose corporate email domain is yahoo or AOL.

12. Answer your email and phone messages. There is no excuse—no excuse—not to get back to people within a day barring exigent circumstances. If you can’t return calls and emails because you’re with a client, then you’re operating very well—for the 1950s.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Alaina

We visited Alaina Marie today uptown at Columbia Presbyterian in The City, where she is currently doing nicely. You should be able to see her with us here.

Tomorrow, we’re going downtown to St. Vincent’s to see Gabrielle Victoria, where she, too, is doing pretty well. You can follow progress and leave comments here:
http://danielleandjan.blogspot.com/

We’re all very appreciative of the prayers and goodwill extended to us. The girls are now almost six weeks old! We’re not out of the woods, but we can see the trail.

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Demons

When I was conducting a workshop in London last year, a woman in the program asked if I’d meet with a friend whom she thought could really use my coaching. She said he was struggling professionally, and she urged him to see me.

After a day’s work, I don’t like to have business meetings, I never “sell” my mentoring, and I certainly don’t audition. The danger is that people will try to use an hour or more of my time for free help. But I agreed as a courtesy.

I was sitting in the lounge having a drink with one of the other course participants when the friend arrived for our meeting. In leaving, the course member mentioned how outstanding the day had been to the new arrival, whom I’ll call Roger. Roger’s immediate response was, “I certainly didn’t come here to get testimonials or hear adoration.”

That froze the moment, until the course member hurriedly excused himself and I wished I were going with him.

Roger proceeded to tell me all that was wrong with his career and how none of it was his fault, but rather the result of poor clients, stupid prospects, unethical competition, and a poor economy. He never asked for my advice, but lectured me, and when I tried to offer an observation, he treated it as a challenge.

Finally, I said, “I have to be going, but tell me something, why are you so miserable? You seem to believe that the glass is neither half-filled nor half-empty, but smashed.”

He said, “I’m over 50, overweight, balding, and gay, and my business is in the crapper.” (My apologies for the gross term, but those are his words.)

I don’t consider any of those conditions to be fatal or reasons for depression, and the business problem could certainly be fixed. But Roger had placed himself in a doom loop.

We all have baggage and we all have demons, and we’re all not exactly mainstream in one way or another. (Which is why we’re entrepreneurs and risk takers.) We can use our uniqueness—and the crazy nature of these times—to help propel us forward and exploit opportunities, or we can allow them to insulate us from growth, possibilities, and life.

I’m seeing too many people get down on themselves, and that’s a very powerful enemy. Look around. There are people doing quite well, often with more baggage than you’re carrying. If they can do it, why can’t you? Are they better? Or simply more disciplined and more positive about themselves?

What is the value you provide to others? To whom will you provide it? How will you convey it? If you can’t answer those questions, you need strategic help. If you can answer them but can’t achieve results, you need tactical help. And if you don’t feel like trying, you need emotional help.

“In the best of times our days are numbered. And so it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were assigned in the first place…the opportunity to do good work, to fall in love, to enjoy friends, to hit a ball and to bounce a baby.” – Alister Cooke

The first sale is to yourself. You need to make it every morning.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Alas Babylon | 5 Comments

Zero to $300,000

I’ve been asked to run a program to help people get to $300,000 in revenue per year quickly in consulting and related professions. I will run it for two days, January 14-15, here in the Providence area. Two full days, 9 to 4. Dinner the first night on me for the first 10 registered, which means I have your credit card or check in hand (do not assume I have your credit card info). I will not charge anyone until I get 12 people. If we don’t get 12, no one will be charged. If we do, then I’ll put through charges and cash checks. I’ll keep room rates very low, and I’ll provide breakfast and lunch.

The fee is $2,500, period. No installments, no discounts, no fooling. We will focus on the grunt work of getting a business moving, making contacts, being bold, generating cash, etc. We will have a lot of role play, case study, and small team work. Getting Started in Consulting, the book, will be required reading.

If you can’t make or can’t quite afford my Million Dollar Consulting® College, or the Six Figures to Seven Workshop, then this is an ideal alternative focusing on pragmatic marketing, fees, personal growth, and skill sets you can apply immediately in these tumultuous times.

Alan@summitconsulting.com
Fax: 401/884-5068
Phone: 401/884-2778

My phone and fax are private lines, no worries.

Do NOT leave a message asking me to call you to take your credit card. My phone line is only answered by me and Koufax, and he’s bonded.

(I have three people as of this writing, we need a minimum of nine more.)

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Consultants Wanted

We have an opportunity for a few successful consultants/trainers to sell a leading hiring and leadership development tool to CEOs in Florida. Predictive Index is a leader in the industry with clients such as Exxon Mobil, Marriott and Hershey’s. Since 90% of our clients renew each year and we offer a generous commission, this is the ideal way to significantly grow your business. You can learn more about this opportunity at:
http://predictiveresults.com/AboutUs/newconsultants.asp
or contact Steve Waterhouse at 904-269-2299 x102
or steve@predictiveresults.com.

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