Monthly Archives: July 2009

Speaker Needed

Please respond to the contact information below, not to me. There is no need to copy me on any responses.

The following client has requested a proposal based on the specifications included within this lead. To submit a proposal for this service lead, please visit our website at


Contact: Kathleen Berry
Company: Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practioners


Service Request Name: APFSP – Speaker
Event Date(s): 10-27-2009 – 10-27-2009
Event Time(s): –
Event Location:
# of Attendees:
Budget: 5,000
Deadline: 07-27-2009
Special Requirements: National Funeral Directors Association is definite at the BCEC October 2009. Client is with the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practitioners and is looking for someone to speak to her group.

She is still working out the details, but would like someone to speak for about 45 min to 1 hour.

Date: Tuesday 10/27/09

For either a breakfast, lunch or reception. Most likely the event will take place in the convention center.

She would love someone who could speak to one of these topics: leadership, service or family business, or could also be any Boston personalities.

Her budget is about $5000

– Visit to view and respond to this lead. –

Michelle Hulbert
Assistant Director of Convention Services
Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Two Copley Place, Suite 105
Boston, MA 02116
Direct: (617) 867-8230 | fax: (617) 867-8393

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Sales Talk Teleconference

Early notice for my faithful blog readers! If you want to register even before it’s up on my site, contacts follow for credit card. Note that you MUST include your email address as well as card number and expiration date, or I can’t send instructions!

Phone: 800/766-7935 (401/884-2778) Do not ask me to call you back, the line is private, leave the information.
Fax: 401/884-5068

[Note from Chad Barr, Alan's blog moderator. Effective today 7/24/09, you may now register for this teleconference online: ]

Sales Talk

Join me for a special, 60-minute teleconference which will focus on ten different key moments in the sales process. I will role-play, with an assistant, ten critical steps in securing business.

You can download this onto your iPod or similar device, and listen to the relevant exercise just before your own sales call or meeting. If you use it during the meeting, don’t let the prospect see the ear pieces!

Here are the ten, five-minute segments:

• Opening a meeting
How do you seize the initiative, make sure you follow your game plan, use the allotted time to move to the next step?

• Dealing with common objections
What if the “timing isn’t right,” or “we didn’t budget for this,” or “you should go see our human resources directory”?

• Dealing with tough objections
How to prevent being clobbered by “Have you worked in this industry?” or “How many people do you employ?” or “How much experience do you have?”

• Suggesting a project
How do you stop listening to someone’s life history or arcane technical problems and actually find a pony in the room?

• Establishing objectives
How to create business outcomes in five minutes with the buyer.

• Creating metrics
How to identify measures of success in five minutes.

• Formulating value
How to help the buyer acknowledge the value and ROI (yes, in five minutes).

• Moving toward the pre-proposal close
How to establish definitive next steps that maximize the chances of your proposal being accepted.

• Closing the deal
How to follow up on the proposal and move forward with payment, starting date, and unequivocal commitment.

• Free-for-all
Dealing with nutty problems, such as a buyer who drones on; hostile questions; avoiding being delegated away; and an unfinished meeting.

This will NOT be a Q&A format with the audience. It will be my traditional hour of high-content, very pragmatic demonstration using one assistant (whom I will then levitate after the session, but you’ll have to take that on faith if you don’t buy the video).

A great many people do their best to learn from a variety of performance aids, but there’s nothing like the quick refresher in the car, in the hallway, in the lounge, or in the restroom just prior to that key meeting!

Here’s the Deal

You may attend the live session (we’re limited to 300 by the number of lines), and access a recording of the session, and receive a free download of the session, or partake of any one or two, up to you. The price is $60! That’s six dollars per technique. What’s the ROI in that?!

But wait! Order two or more….oops, that’s a different commercial.

If you place your order prior to August 15, the price is $50.

If you do nothing, and do not register, but decide to purchase the download after the session when it goes on sale, the price is $150. So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For those of you who are new to consulting, who are “stuck” at a certain place, or who just want to validate that what they’re doing is the best of the best, this is a great opportunity.

When you register, I’ll confirm, and send logistics the week prior to the session.

“Thank you for a great teleconference call this morning. Three outcomes already:
• My confidence went up
• I ditched some tentative obligations that were like rocks around my neck
• This afternoon I sold a 350K project!”

Constance R. Dierickx, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant RHR International Co.


The session will take place on September 21, 2009 at noon, U.S. Eastern time. That way, you can end the summer (that’s the final day of summer here, apologies to my Australian and New Zealand friends) and head into the fall and the “buying season” with renewed energy and tools. The recording will be available within a day, 24 hours a day, and the download within 48 hours, and will be automatically forwarded to all registrants.

I’ve been asked to do this for quite some time, and the right timing and inclination have come together. Perhaps because I’m a Pisces, I don’t know. But I hope you’ll join me for an intense, immediately useful session.

(Oh, yeah: In case you don’t already have it, everyone who registers will receive a download for free: 101 Questions for Every Sales Situation You’ll Ever Face. I wanted to see if you read this far.)

NOTE: Absolutely no refunds or credits of any kind. You have access to a recording and download if you can’t make the “live” session. Also, you may not sell or distribute the recording and/or download, nor invite other people to listen. That’s like, illegal. This is intended solely for your personal use. Please blink in the next hour if you agree to these terms. Thank you.

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Qualifying A Prospect

How do you determine whether a lead is worth pursuing?

Qualifying the Prospect

This is the process of determining whether the inquiry is appropriate for your business in terms of size, relevance, seriousness, and related factors. In other words, you don’t want to pursue a lead which can’t result in legitimate—and worthwhile—business.

1. Why do you think we might be a good match?
2. Is there budget allocated for this project?
3. How important is this need (on a scale of 1-10)?
4. What is your timing to accomplish this?
5. Who, if anyone, is demanding that this be accomplished?
6. How soon are you willing to begin?
7. Have you made a commitment to proceed, or are you still analyzing?
8. What are your key decision criteria in choosing a resource?
9. Have you tried this before (will this be a continuing endeavor)?
10. Is your organization seeking formal proposals for this work?

Key Point: You want to determine whether the potential work is large enough for your involvement, relevant to your expertise, and near enough on the horizon to merit rapid responsiveness. If these questions can’t be readily answered, you’re not dealing with a buyer.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Don’t Look Now VII

From today’s (July 19) New York Times:

• Meredith Whitney, a bank analyst, calls this the “mother of all mortgage quarters,” with mortgages becoming “extremely lucrative.”
• Goldman Sachs posted the largest quarterly profit in its history.
• Polish small car manufacturers say that this economy represents boom times for them.
• The Chinese economy grew by 7.9 percent in the last quarter compared with a year ago.
• Home purchases are rising from the prior quarter.

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Caught in the Web

If you jump off the diving board in my pool (which I did today, and I do only once a season, since it’s 14 feet under there and I can’t dive), you can swim a few yards in either direction to get to steps leading out of the water. Atop them are metal guide rails. I use the steps all the time when I’m swimming at that end.

Every year for as long as we’ve been here, brown spiders weaves a web between the railings, a space of about three feet. There are one or two spiders on each set of steps, I’ve never seen three, but I know they are separate spiders, because I can swim the width of the pool and watch them. They’re not scurrying around the perimeter to meet me on the other side.

I’m of the impression that spiders live for a couple of years and can hunker down in the winter, so these are perhaps ten generations of arachnids. The creatures are about two inches long, with very long legs, and collapse into what look like innocuous twigs when threatened.

The webs are very intricate. Sometimes, I have to barge through them, because it’s difficult to climb out of the pool without using the steps. I try to avoid it, but the spiders quickly rebuild. If I’m away from the pool for a while, or we experience bad weather, they build quite intricate condos. I don’t see how they can be successful with so much disruption, but generations of spiders have apparently earned a good living on each set of railings. They are indefatigable, rebuilding, tweaking, fixing, enlarging. We live in a wary coexistence.

I’ve never found spiders to be troublesome or scary. I understand there are some that eat birds, I’m not sure, I wouldn’t want to witness that. But I do know that they are tireless workers.

Consultants need to establish their marketing web, tweak it, fix it, enlarge it. They need to keep it intact at all times, even though unexpected elements may disrupt or dislodge it. The key isn’t perfection or eternity. The key is a flexible, yet powerful net that attracts and retains prospects. You have to keep at it diligently.

I sometimes see one of the spiders “collapsed” on the railing, and I figured it was resting. But it was just playing possum with me, waiting for me to disappear so it could get back to work and keep its net strong. I’m guessing that somewhere there are mouths to feed.

Isn’t that true for all of us?

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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Alan’s Forums

For those of you not in one of my formal communities, try You can go there and read to get an idea of the 50,000+ postings from all over the world on ethics, fees, marketing, case studies, international help, and so on. We even have a “sex, religion, and politics” board for the non-faint of heart. You can get personal help on an anonymous basis if you choose, and you can “Ask Alan” for a quick personal response from me.

To formally enroll, you can visit here:

Consider this a “private social/business media platform.” (I just made that up.)

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People Believe They Get What They Pay For

Submitted to me by @mattbeane on Twitter, see this:

“The results show that participants used costly advice significantly more than they used free advice.”

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Technology Unbound

From the Acela barrelling north: First iPhone blog post.

– Post From My iPhone
Test from my iPhone.

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At The Standard: More Adventures in DASM

The Standard Hotel is new to the Meatpacking District in downtown New York, and I like it quite a bit. I’ll come back when I’m in the neighborhood (our grandchildren are about 10 blocks away). However, dining there is another issue.

The restaurant has been open for only two days, and is still on its “shakedown cruise.” Compared to this, the Titanic had a successful journey.

At breakfast, when people want coffee, it is most difficult to get (drum roll, please): coffee! It takes ten minutes or more because the coffee is a half-mile from the tables, and management insists on “barristas” (how I detest that pomposity) making it in special receptacles that, inexplicably, hold 1.5 cups of coffee, so they are useless for sharing or a refill at the table.

I had to ask a manager for service, since everyone was ignoring our table. My wife’s grapefruit, a fifteen-minute wait, became grapefruit juice, then a “brulee grapefruit,” and finally cancelled. Her soft-cooked eggs were pure liquid. My breakfast sandwich was tasty but cold. Her accompanying “toast soldiers” were AWOL. (“Are they marching to Valley Forge?” she asked an uncomprehending waitress, apparently lacking either a sense of history or irony.)

When we walked into the restaurant, the hostess actually seemed stunned, as if customers were not expected at the front door. When we asked for outside seating, she stopped in her tracks and actually uttered, “Oh!” She eventually got us to one of several tables available, while getting in the way of three servers.

The gentleman next to us, there before us, finally got up and left when the restaurant could not deliver his smoked salmon which, to my shallow culinary knowledge, requires only to be placed on a plate.

I could go on (coffee, when finally served, was not accompanied by spoons), but I may get giddy. This is a management problem, not an employee, motivation, communications, or wage problem. It is the height of stupid management. On your first day, when coffee can’t be delivered within two minutes at breakfast, you move the coffee. (That will be $25,000 for the advice, please.)

The buck stops at management, and fixing these things is not rocket science. We received no check and abundant apologies. We were told to come back, that they were still experimenting.

Yes, but I don’t enjoy being a lab rat.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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“God of Carnage”

We saw the Tony-winning “God of Carnage” last night from house seats. Billy Crystal sat in front of us, and I reminded him that he shook my hand in the front row at the conclusion of his one-man play a while back.

That was the highlight of my evening.

Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, James Gandolfini, and Marcia Gay Harden moved from the expected to the predictable, two couples ostensibly trying to reconcile a fight between their sons, but who wind up in violent argument themselves. You know what’s going to happen from ten miles away, so the tension is in how it transpires. Despite the mostly excellent acting (I find that Gandolfini reads his lines, and it’s not the Soprano connection that does him in, it’s his acting, which is emotionless), the ten miles is a long trek on tough roads.

About a third of the packed house laughed at lines that not only weren’t funny, but I’m convinced the playwright never intended to be funny (the work, by Yasmina Reza, is a translation). This is an increasingly bizarre nature of the theater today: People who seem to be desperately trying to convince themselves that they’re having a “good time,” and that they “get it.” They appear to want to justify the tab.

Daniels, probably the best actor on stage, was the stereotypical wheeler-dealer who kept taking cell phone calls. Finally, obviously, the cell was ripped from his hands and dunked in a vase, which was greeted with applause. Get it? We’d all like to do that, right? (Meanwhile, a guy across the aisle took a quick text message and returned it on a glowing screen. I guess he was a brain surgeon doing a remote consult.)

The obligatory, sort of sporadic, tepid, standing ovation followed the evening, the kind that begins with a few people standing up and blocking the view, as opposed to everyone leaping to their feet. The good news is that it is one scene, one act, and we were out at 9:40 before 10,000 other theater-goers, and it was easy to get a cab back downtown.

I had to thank God the carnage was that brief. Otherwise, I might have left at intermission, which one couple chose to do ostentatiously an hour into the drama. They scurried up the aisle as if afraid to be caught and dragged back.

© Alan Weiss 2009. All rights reserved.

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