Monthly Archives: June 2011

Handling Objections: Watch Your Language

If you are having trouble with objections, watch your language. An objection is always a sign of interest, so it’s best to get them out in the open and deal with them effectively.

But never become defensive. “Reverse” the objection (as you’ll see below), provide a response you’ve prepared and practiced, and/or use some humor. Some examples of objection (O) and response (R):

O: You have no experience in our industry.

R: That’s exactly why you need me. You need an expert in process and structure, not content.

O: You’re a one-person operation.

R: That’s exactly why I’m good for you. You have my complete attention and priority, and you’re dealing with the principal at all times. I’ve very responsive and my fees don’t have to support a dozen offices and overhead.

O: We have a long-time, highly popular consultant.

R: When consultants work for clients for a long time they become quasi-employees with the same politics, biases, and self-interests. Wouldn’t an occasional fresh look help to validate your beliefs about the business?

O: Your approach seems like common sense.

R: I’ve found that most clients know what to do, why it’s important, and even how to do it. Yet things still don’t get done. If it’s common sense to improve that, then that’s what I’m about.

O: You don’t deal with organizations such as ours.

R: That’s right, I have best practices from diverse clients all over the map, and I can bring these to you for the first time. Who else from your own business can do that?

O: We want a strong discount and very lenient payment terms if we are to work with you.

R: Do you accept those demands from your customers? If not, why should I? If so, then you need me more than you think!

O: We don’t pay much because we offer you exposure within our business and with our membership and audiences.

R: Thanks, but I don’t need the practice! I would think you’d want to provide your constituency with the highest value.

O: I think we have things well in hand. We really don’t need any help.

R: Then why are you even talking  to me?

O: The timing isn’t right.

R: It’s not about being “right,” it’s about being effective to make the changes. It seems to me that when things are busiest here you need the changes the most.

O: That’s a higher price than I anticipated.

R: Forget the price, look at the return on your investment—it’s over 10:1! Where else can you invest that money and get that kind of return?

O: I understand what you’re proposing. When do we discuss how you’ll do it?

R: As soon as you hand me a check!

O: We’ve never hired consultants here, let  me warn you now.

R: You’d be surprised how many of my best clients today began our first meeting the same way!

Note: You’ll find The Language of the Sale on my website on the following page. Scroll down to the 11th CD:

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

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Posted in Business of Consulting | 5 Comments

Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 06/27/11

June 27, 2011—Issue #93

This week’s focus point: “Retirement” has no real meaning any more. Most productive people, young and old, continually seek out new ways to express their talents and rejoice in life. To foresee an arbitrary age — when many are at the height of their powers — as a time to cease being creative and active is merely a form of conscious decline. Producing value and providing happiness are endeavors that should never be “completed.”

Monday Morning Perspective: What folly to dread the thought of throwing life away at once, and yet have no regard to throwing it away by parcels and piecemeal. — John Howe

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© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved

I remember a meeting with a boutique consulting firm that had fallen on hard times. The debate was whether or not to sell their magnificent conference table. “Where would clients sit?” asked one partner. “We have no clients,” stated the advocate of selling. You can’t cut your way to renewal or success. Top line growth is the key to bottom line achievement, for you and for your clients. Today is the time to invest in the future. Once you cut muscle, you’re powerless.
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The MGM Grand Skylofts in Las Vegas

I hosted a program called Ocean’s 11 in Las Vegas just prior to our annual The Odd Couple® workshop with Patricia Fripp (where I’m headed this morning).  The MGM Grand Skylofts is an outstanding experience. Here are out “digs.” You can see an infinity bathtub with its own TV; another TV that plays in the mirror; my “writing nook”; and other amenities in the bilevel, huge suite, like the steam room!

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up…

Recent email and phone messages:

• You haven’t sent me the download of the teleconference yet, and I paid yesterday. (The teleconference wasn’t for another month.)

• You need to call me. There’s a charge on my credit card statement from your company. I dimly remember registering for something, but I don’t know what it was, and I have to get it in my calendar.

• Please send me the free copy of your booklet mentioned in your book. (No address was provided.)

• There’s a typo on page 173 which you ought to be changed immediately.

• Your book (written four years ago) doesn’t contain this technology (introduced two months ago). I’m giving you a lousy review on

• Send me the book for free, and if I like it, I’ll pay for it; if not, I’ll return it in good condition. (Me: Does Barnes & Noble let you do that?)

• I’d love to go to that seminar but my cousin is getting married. Can you possibly change the date. (Me: Tell your cousin to change the date.)

• I’ve called you six times about car insurance and you’ve never responded. (Me: Maybe because I’m not the car insurance agency.)

• I’ll sell your products in Brazil if you fund my 49,000-euro educational expenses in London. You’ll make twice your money back. Just teach me how to sell them. And translate them into Portuguese.

• Can I take my dog to your program? He doesn’t bark and only bites sometimes.

• How much different is this program going to be? (Me: Very.)

• What will it take to get you to come to North Dakota? (Me: Michelle Pfeiffer inviting me.)

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

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Episode 58: What We Fear

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In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking….

• When did it become a service standard for the server to provide you with his or her name, as if we were going to be friends?

• Air New Zealand used nude employees in their flight safety announcement videos to try to get people to pay more attention. I wonder if the tax people have considered that for online payments?

• A woman keeps telling people her dog is a Vizsla whenever they ask, which sounds stranger than it reads, and then confronts stunned expressions with: “He’s a Hungarian Pointer.” She did this six times in two minutes. Why can’t she simply say that to begin with? I don’t tell people I’m eating a homarus americanus. I just tell them it’s a lobster.

• Putting a spoiler on the back of a car may be stylish, but they don’t actually work, aerodynamically, below about 135 miles per hour, and most cars I see them on will never approach that speed. Below that they’re usually a drag on gas mileage.

• I’m back in Vegas as I write this, at the MGM Grand Skylofts, and the service is simply superb—attentive without being unctuous. It’s all a matter of management oversight and hiring good people.

• Airplanes are made with reclining seats. Everyone knows this. How can you become incensed when the person in front of you reclines the seat? It may be uncomfortable for you, but that’s not your “air space” to be protected. I find such umbrage a sign of total self-absorption (and many times the protestors have their own seats reclined).

• The Internet is the latest iteration of Guttenberg’s movable type, on an undreamed of scale, Al Gore notwithstanding.

• I’m convinced that there is no relationship at all between the price of a barrel of oil and the price for gasoline at the pump.

• People who turn every story and event into something about themselves are not those who are high on my guest lists.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

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The Examined Practice

Socrates observed that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Perhaps the unexamined practice is not worth working.

How often are you willing and able to take a critical look at your own professional services practice (or most kinds of business)? Here are some suggestions to be your own best consultant:

• Are your revenues increasing by at least 10 percent a year? Why or why not?

• Is profit increasing by at least 10 or more percent per year? Why or why not?

• Are you ensuring that no single client represents more than 15 percent of your business?

• Is your name and/or brands better known by more prospects than a year ago?

• Have you created new intellectual property in the prior year?

• Have you published in magazines, newsletters, or newspapers—hard copy or electronic—in the past year?

• Have you received at least a dozen unsolicited, spontaneous referrals in the prior year?

• Are you being asked to speak and address groups at least monthly?

• Have you been able to increase your vacation time and discretionary time over the past year?

• Do you have contracted business that will pay fees over the next six months, and contacts going beyond that?

• Do you have no outstanding receivables older than 30 days?

• Are you submitting all invoices for fees and expense reimbursement as soon as possible?

• Do you create and analyze ideas for new products and/or services on a monthly basis? Do you implement at least one a quarter?

• Do you feel in charge of your life and organized, or disorganized and overwhelmed?

• Do you have a financial, liquid reserve equal to a year’s expenses?

• In all candor, would most people in your field and most of your clients and prospect see you as a current or emerging leader in the field?

Food for thought. Tough questions. If you don’t ask them and act on them, who will?

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

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Father’s Day

My traditional lobster at The Mooring—7 pounds.

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Posted in The Best of Life | 4 Comments

Looking Around

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition)

Koufax generally takes a good look around. He’ll sit for a moment or simply stand stock still while he rotates his head. It saves him a lot of unnecessary trips (his onboard computer can tell him whether he has a chance of catching the squirrel) and I believe he simply enjoys it. (One dog expert posited that dogs are at their happiest doing absolutely nothing, an observation I’ve seen no reason to dispute.)

I had watered two small evergreens I’ve transplanted from a tangle of growth they don’t belong in to a nice spot overlooking the pond, and I decided just to stop and look around. After a few minutes I saw two fish, which tells me that our restocking was probably a success (that and the presence of Great Blue Herons and Black Crowned Night Herons with regularity). I saw turtles hardly visible on the mud flats, and a snapping turtle nest where the eggs had been dug up. (That happens all the time, yet the snappers clearly successfully perpetuate the species.)

Then, under a row of hastas, I saw a snake. We’ve had snakes here for 25 years, but they’re seen very rarely. We call this guy a “racer” because of his neat racing stripes, but he’s probably a garden snake. He’s about a foot long, which means he’s been around for a while.

Fortunately, Koufax wasn’t around and Buddy Beagle would probably be scared by the forked tongue. I was mesmerized.

That’s what happens when you stop to look around. You see things that you miss when you run through the place. You may be missing opportunity, gratification, clients, financial return, adventure. You need to stop and look.

I believe that’s what the snake was doing, probably now telling his buddies that he saw me.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

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