Monthly Archives: December 2012

Embarrassment in Washington

I am embarrassed for my country viewing the partisan, oafish, uncivil, and irresponsible behavior and words coming from politicians of all persuasions, from the executive and the legislature, in failing to come to agreements that we knew for over a year would have to be reached. All of them are acting like children, ridiculously macho, and don’t merit our trust at this point. I wouldn’t allow any of them to walk my dogs. Pathetic, every one.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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Why the World Needs Consultants

I’ve been interested recently in the new Ferrari F12. Ferrari is territorial, so I called the Massachusetts dealer. He actually told me that it would be about two years, he’d have to give preference to his current customers, blah, blah, blah, and never bothered to get my name!

I’ve owned three Ferraris. I can afford the F12. Don’t you think he’d want to send me literature, or invite me to a preview, or have me on hand in case someone cancelled!?

NEVER just turn away a qualified prospect. I don’t care how much business you think you have. You never know when you might need them, and you never know what they may say if you simply drive them away, no pun intended!

© Alan Weiss 2012

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Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 12/31/12

December 31, 2012—Issue #171

This week’s focus point: Resolutions are meaningless without means to instantiate them. “Resolve,” a cognate, means to have an assertive and firm action to do something. Schedule the elements you need in your calendar, have someone hold you accountable, and apply the daily discipline to do it. Then resolutions become improved performance and desired behaviors. Otherwise, they’re less likely to occur than your choice on a given spin of the roulette wheel. Are you betting on long shots or relying on sure shots? Happy New Year!!

Monday Morning Perspective: Political language–and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists–is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. — George Orwell

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© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved

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How to Create Dramatic Options to Increase Value and Fees

If you want to create high value, differentiated options in your proposals, consider these factors and how they might be included. Note that your most basic option still has to meet ALL the buyer’s objectives, and that options aren’t impressive when they’re solely “more” or “longer.”


• Involve employees

• Involve customers/clients

• Involve venders/suppliers

• Evaluate competition

• Shop the client’s business

• Shop the competitions’ businesses

• Evaluate remote and/or virtual applications

• Offer a retainer beyond the project’s end

• Involve superiors of the target group for reinforcement

• Train trainers/create internal consultants

• Compare against internal best practices

• Compare against external best practices

• Create baseline studies for future comparisons

• Co-author results for publication with client

• Appear at board meetings to debrief

• Assist with media debriefings

• Extend to international operations

• Evaluate for international application

• Offer implementation help for strategic findings

• Create periodic “audits” to ensure results over long term

• Create in multi-media for remote sites and/or new hires

• Integrate technological change

• Integrate demographic change

• Create appropriate reward systems for new initiative

• Create appropriate evaluations systems for new initiative

You get the idea. You can easily offer significant, differentiated, additional value in your options to dramatically increase the client’s investment and subsequent ROI.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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First Major Snowfall

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In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

Narcissist definition: Self-centeredness and a grandiose view of one’s talents.

Woody Allen: Someone who’s better looking than you are.

Alan Weiss: Posting a glam shot of yourself on Facebook and then commenting on it!

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Post-Swim Haircut for Bentley

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Bentley Falls Into Pool

It turns out that Bentley can swim pretty well!

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The Adventures of Koufax and Buddy Beagle

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Dumb Ass Stupid Management: Chase

On December 23 I decided to make an impulse purchase and get my wife a little more bling for Christmas. The jewelry store is a mile or two from my house. My Chase card has a zero balance.

The card was denied. I used American Express.

By the time I arrived home the fraud prevention people had called. I called back the automated system which verified that it was I making the purchase but, of course, too late. You can’t transfer to a live person. So I called again.

The woman who finally answered after a dozen menu choices and a hold, practiced Customer Service 101 on me. “I know how you feel sir, I’m sorry if the experience was humiliating.”

“It is absolutely impossible for Chase to humiliate me, Chase can only easily irritate me, as you’re doing right now. Why was the card declined?”

Of course, she couldn’t tell me, except that certain exceptions, amounts, conditions, blah, blah, blah. She had no clue, she had no cares, she had her script.

I’ve cancelled this card, one of their premier cards, and I’ve been a cardholder for a long time. I’m tired of dealing with scared, cowardly companies so afraid of losing a few bucks that dramatically inconveniencing customers seems like a reasonable option. I visited Alcatraz a couple of months ago, and it seems to me that fraud prevention people would have made excellent prison guards there.

I’ve decided if you don’t trust me, I don’t want you in my life and I won’t pay you money or purchase your products and services. JPMorganChase was a client of mine once, as was Chase Manhattan before them. I always wanted to give my business and invest in companies that hired me as a consultant.

Times have changed. You have to prove to me that your senior people are leading toward growth and the future, not cutting costs and running from fear.

They can go Chase themselves.

© Alan Weiss 2013

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