Who’s In Charge Here?

Here’s the deal: If your client is in the insurance business, for example, you don’t tell the buyer how to create insurance products and the buyer doesn’t tell you how to consult. Stop trying to please the buyer by conforming with inappropriate requests and suggestions. Start trying to improve the client’s condition by providing your best advice and interventions. If the client really knew how to resolve this, he or she would have already, and you wouldn’t be needed.


Unintended Consequences (The Power of Bird Brains)

The sprinklers finish their job around 6:15 am here in Nantucket. There are 15 pieces of slate that form a walkway to the pool gate, each surrounded on all sides by grass. So the sprinklers create small “pools” on the slate until the sun evaporates the water. Two robins are in these pools this morning taking complete baths, over several minutes, as I assume they do every time the sprinklers provide the opportunity. They manage to submerge their entire bodies, …


Single Issues

Some people are “single issue” voters. No matter what other positions a candidate has, they will vote solely on the candidate’s position on one issue, such as abortion, or immigration, or taxes. The same holds true for doctors. Some are “thyroid obsessed,” and they believe almost everything can be traced to the thyroid (or fat intake, or sugar). Some consultants are the same: No matter what issues the client presents, they’re convinced that the problem is the buyer, or the …


Partial Help Doesn’t Help

If you seek help, everything has to be on the table, not under it. In other words, you can’t say (as someone approaching me for coaching said), “I want you to help me grow my business faster (she was making $150,000 after six years) but I will not change my business model.” Fine, and I’m not going to change my coaching philosophy, so find someone else.



Learning How to Learn

The problem with higher education today to a large extent is that it is still mired in the prelapsarian mindset of teaching content. In an age of instant investigation via any number of technologies, people are still asked to memorize dates and places and names. Now, I realize a doctor has to know where the kidneys reside, but bear with me. College should teach students how to learn. In the antediluvian days (say, the 50s), content seldom changed. Today it changes by …


Let’s Hear the Other Side

A complaint does not meant the subject of the complaint is somehow wrong or needs help. The non-routine behavior is the complaint. Examine that, first. Three people complaining about a manager doesn’t necessarily prove the manager is deficient. You may simply have three unhappy people seeking a target for their discontent. Never take action having heard only one side of any story.


11 Things

I’ve been consulting for quite a while and coaching consultants for quite a while. I try to learn along the way, daily. Yet, despite changing times and volatility, I find that there are 11 issues which constitute well over 90% of the issues with which I’ve had to contend. That’s why, despite the type of client or market, size or revenues, I can quickly hone in on the crux of the issue. In no special order, those 11 issues are: …


Applicability 101

I refer to corporate sales as “wholesale” and individual sales as “retail.” In the former, you find a single buyer who can acquire products and services for a wide array of people at significant prices. In the latter, you have a  high volume of people who purchase for themselves at a variety of prices. I used to work exclusively in the wholesale market, and now I work primarily (85%) in the retail market. (I’ve also found very effective ways to …


The Search for Evidence

Buyer: You need to coach her, she’s just not a team player. You: What’s your evidence of that? Buyer: I can just feel it. She doesn’t seem invested in joint success. You: But how do you know that? Buyer: I have a gut feeling. You: That’s insufficient and isn’t evidence. Buyer: I’m where I am because my gut reaction is almost always right. You: Have you EVER been wrong, personally or professionally? Buyer: Of course I’ve been wrong on occasion, …