To Tell the Truth

I can “sell” most people better than they can sell themselves. Why? Because they are accustomed to what they’ve done and don’t consider their experiences and accomplishments anything special. Write down your educational credentials, travel experiences, past work responsibilities, civic contributions, interests and hobbies, and accolades from others. Then create a profile as if they belonged to someone else. That exercise might just turn you into “someone else.”


Direct Dialing

Do not work through your buyer’s subordinates.   Tell that person: “I’m sorry, but ethically I can discuss project progress and issues only with my client, who is then free to disseminate them to others. Ask John to give me a call or to let me know a good time to call him if this question is from him.” Sometimes an assistant (real or virtual) will contact me because the person I’m coaching needs clarification, or lost something, or wants to …


Which Way We Headed?

My Shepherd, Bentley, always turns around to look at me when there’s a choice (turn left or right, go to the yard or to the pool, go upstairs or stay on this level, which car to jump in). He adjusts his route and speed accordingly. Wayne Gretzky said, “I always skate to where the puck will be, not where it is.” Sounds like good advice with our prospects, right? Our clients might be following us, but our prospects have their …


I Don’t Dance (Don’t Ask Me)

At times you’ll be asked dumb questions. Don’t attempt to honor them (or prolong them) with a rational response. Don’t dance to their music. Point out the absurdity and move on. Examples: • How many firms exactly like ours have you worked with? That’s not the point, the point is that my clients all achieve great success across all industries. • What was your education like? I’m sure like yours, I found it only helped when I applied it to …


Steal This Post

Why is it that those people most sensitive about someone stealing their IP and infringing on their brands have very little IP and very weak brands? I hear people say, “Don’t put all your IP in the book, they won’t need you.” Gee, I’ve been putting all the IP I can in the public square for my entire career. Somehow, the clients still come to me. Maybe because they want to meet the source, and not merely be content with …


Culture

I define “culture” as “that set of beliefs which governs behavior.” Hence, if you want to change the culture, change the beliefs. I have no patience for the statement that “this is our culture and it’s hard to change.” If you substitute, “these are our beliefs and they’re hard to change” would you create the same mystical resistance? Wells Fargo may have thought they were in a sales culture, but was their belief system really to cheat the customer? VW …


You Can’t Recork Champagne

Did you see the Atlanta Falcons owner and his wife come down to the sidelines extremely early to celebrate victory when they led the Patriots by 28-9 in the Super Bowl? Their smiles turned upside down and their very obvious presence turned into embarrassment as they grimaced through 31 unanswered points and most devastating comeback in championship history. Don’t celebrate your sale until the check is received. Don’t celebrate your speech until the buyer says it’s time to talk about …



Aspirational Performance

People are tending to buy “aspirational performance” more than true performance. They buy strong brands without experiencing them first. They walk into the theater loving a play like Hamilton before it even starts and without having heard one line live. What aspirations are you placing in front of, or indicating you’ll fulfill for, your prospects?


Trick Question: What’s Your Job?

I’m working at my computer when room service arrives. I let her in and continue my writing while she sets up. BUT she insists on trying to engage me in conversation, explain the food (it’s cereal, very difficult to figure out), and chat. She’s told to engage the guests but not told and/or doesn’t have the common sense not to interrupt a busy guest. l You have to hire intelligence, not robots.