How to Be THE Priority

You cannot simply be another issue or priority on the buyer’s desk. The chances are that you will never be seen as the most important and won’t receive an immediate sale. You should be seen as the person who can help resolve all those other issues and priorities and therefore merits immediate investment.


Tradition or Mission?

Many organizations—and solo practitioners—think they have a mission when, in fact, they simply hold on to tradition. Sears is a big time example, and the “entrepreneur” who’s giving the exact same speech as five years ago is a small time example. A mission is a reason d’être. It is a reason for your existence, what Peter Drucker called a contribution to society. Tradition is often hidebound, a rut that is comfortable but circular. A mission is often a call for …


The Secret

You need to provide distinctive value to prospective buyers if you are to stand out in the crowd. That means you need to create new IP regularly. 2. You need to then get that value on the radar screens of your ideal buyers. That means you have to publish, speak, network, and ask for referrals. Don’t let anyone else know this because, apparently, not too many consultants know about it and you can use it to your competitive advantage.


The Tractor Guy

I watched a man drive the beach-cleaning tractor onto the beach from my balcony at 7 am here at The Breakers. He suddenly stopped, walked about ten yards, and picked up a piece of litter he had missed. He brought it back to the tractor container and continued his trip. The secret of accountability isn’t about how employees act when they’re being watched, it’s about how they act when they believe no one is watching.


Pressure Points

The Red Sox won (what I still call) the American League Pennant last night not because they had nicer uniforms, or prepared longer, or had better equipment, or even had better ball players. They won because the ball players they do have performed better than the other team’s players under pressure. They performed at their best when it counted most. Keep that in mind that next time you visit a prospect or make a speech.


German Shepherd Leadership

Bentley precedes me whenever we’re going anywhere, indoors or outside, but he constantly checks over his shoulder to see if I’m still behind him or if I’ve veered off on a different course, or am taking a turn. This way he stays ahead of me whether or not he’s originally chosen the right direction. That’s not a bad technique with prospects in the market. Lead the way, but make sure they’re following closely and adjust accordingly. You want to make …


Add A Little Color

I post a cartoon on this site every Friday (Friday Funnies) about my dogs of years past, Koufax and Buddy Beagle. The original illustrator, after a year or two, told me he was raising his fees. There was no reason, he was just doing it “across the board.” I fired him on the spot. (I keep two months of cartoons “in the bank.”) My current illustrator, who’s a far better artist, came to me a few months ago and suggested …


Dates

There is a tendency to sacrifice personal and private time to the demands of clients and prospects. We act as though we must respond to the date and time they inquire about, or they’ll move on to someone else. Do you believe that they believe you’re sitting by the phone with no other business and no personal plans? Does anyone want help from someone who’s always immediately available? (“The best doctor is unavailable? Well, who’s around who can do it?”) …


The Price of Success

If you ever believe that your successful practice or company is golden because of your great clients and repute, I have two letters for you: GE. It was once a $500 billion concern. Now it’s barely 20% of that, kicked out of the Dow Jones index. We all need to keep improving and innovating every day. It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden stop.


Conversation or Lecture?

I visited an audiologist recently for a scheduled appointment, but I had seen his colleague previously, not him. He lectured me about everything, and I felt it was an “act” he performed for all patients. I had to stop him when he was launching into inner ear biology that had nothing to do with my visit. He was offended. But his being offended was better than my spending an extra hour listening to someone in love with his own voice. …