Quiet, I’m Consulting With the Spirits

I receive a lot of questions about how to determine if someone is the buyer or not. People reveal to me that they look for certain signs and listen for certain signals. This is the scapulimancy of the modern consultant. Here’s my response, to ask the other person: “Will this come out of your budget, solely through your approval, or will a superior be involved?” That’s it, two seconds. Save yourself two weeks of consulting your horoscope.


Running on Empty

A woman I coached was hired by a large company at the beginning of her career. They asked her for a $15,000 training program on setting priority. She thought she had died and gone to heaven. She did such a good job, that the asked if she could do another program on decision making. She readily agreed. When she put the materials together, she thought it would be a good idea to create a three ring binder with a tab …


Give Me an Example

I stage mock media interviews with people to improve their presence and ability to stay in the moment. Here’s a question that is unusually difficult for many: “What two or three companies would you name that are doing a good job in terms of your approach, and what two or three are performing poorly by not using your approach?” Be prepared to give examples of organizations that validate your positions (about leadership, strategy, sales, whatever) either by exemplifying them or …


White Caps

I’m watching the ocean this morning, and there’s a huge wind whipping everything. One indication is that there are white caps far out in the water, and another is that the flag is flapping mightily, as if trying to get my attention. Are you creating white caps and flag-waving? Do people know you’re coming? Do people even know you’re there? © Alan Weiss 2016


Instant Expertise (Just Add Confidence)

Don’t read others’ ideas to try to generate your own expertise and thought leadership. Create your own, faster than instant coffee: One minute expertise creation: 1. Identify the area of expertise (10 seconds) 2. Create three key, provocative points (20 seconds) 3. Make two stunning projections (20 seconds) 4. Choose first conveyance vehicle (5 seconds) 5. Integrate your success (5 seconds) Examples: 1. Customer retention 2. A) Retention should be at 65%; B) You never hear from your best customers now; …


Resiliance

I stopped in a hobby store the other day, where I’ve been buying supplies for almost 30 years. The owner and I are about the same age, but he looks ten years older than I. I hadn’t been in for about two months. He was quite depressed. He told me he’s dying a slow death, that “retail can’t survive” any more, and that people were now buying electric trains and models off the web. He had to lay off his …



The Irrelevancy of Fresh Pupperoni

Bentley and Buddy Beagle adore Pupperoni and dog bacon strips. Not too long ago, I noticed the bags were different. They enabled me to tear off the top, but then reseal them with a locking mechanism such as you’d find on the cold cuts you buy in the supermarket. It never occurred to me to keep the dog treats “fresh.” The dogs loved them equally when they became somewhat harder in composition, I’m assuming (neither dog would sit for an …


Customer ROI

The Peninsula Hotel in New York is one of my favorite hotels. I arrived late yesterday, because of a delayed train, and when the limo deposited me in front of the hotel an assistant manager said, “Welcome back, Dr. Weiss. May I escort you to your room?” I casually asked on the elevator if I was upgraded by American Express. “Oh, we double upgraded you,” she said, “to your favorite suite.” The Peninsula is expensive, but I can walk to …