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.


A “nexus” is a connecting point or meeting place. A great idea in isolation is the tree falling in an uninhabited forrest. A great list of prospects in isolation is a telephone book. What is the nexus you need to create to bring your best IP to your ideal buyers? Be careful, because if you contact the wrong people you’re wasting money, and if you contact the right people with an uninteresting idea, you’re wasting relationships. © Alan Weiss 2017

Who Cares How It Works?

Understand how your customers apply and use things, not how those things work. My father-in-law was able to stick his head under a car’s hood and fix anything in there that went wrong. But he didn’t drive his car any better than I drove mine, which I took to the dealer for any servicing. You may be adept at using your computer, but you don’t know (I hope) how the innards actually cause typing to become words and email. It …

Once An Accident, Twice A Coincidence, Three Times A Pattern

Find the cause of your success and failures. Correlation is certainly not cause, and neither is coincidence. My dogs paw a door they want opened. The door is only opened when I’m around and going where they want to go. An occasional correlation isn’t cause. Some people find the real buyer in a meeting they were having with a non-buyer they thought was the buyer. That’s coincidence (luck). So is wearing a favorite outfit or rubbing a lucky coin. All this …

Mixed Media Effect

Marshall McLuhan wrote about someone with expertise in one area being seen by others as (or actually claiming to be) expert in all areas. Hence, Barbra Streisand’s constant political harangues, causing the opposing sentiment, Shut Up and Sing. We saw it again last night at the Golden Globe Awards. People who can claim a public moment for any legitimate reason often use it for personal (and illegitimate) reasons. My point here, however, is not about partisanship, it’s about success. Be careful about …

The Rube Goldberg Phenomenon

Sometimes we work ourselves into a lather trying to create a visible model of all our intellectual property and methodology—we include every element. And then it can become a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s that large, and it’s that phantasmagorical. Start with what you need the buyer to understand clearly in terms of the buyer’s results and work backwards. Keep it blazingly simple (Occam’s Razor). If someone has to have your model or visual explained, it’s failed.