Tuesday, March 24, 2009


When in doubt, Robert Fulghum's classic list, "All I Ever Really Needed to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten", is a pretty good rule of thumb. And I think everyone struggles with each one of those items from time to time.

There is one gem that has not made it to the list, however, and that's LISTEN. In order to get along with others, in order to create a Win Win situation in all levels of our life, we need to listen to what the other kids in the sandbox are trying to say. Only then, may we work together to build sandcastles that benefit everyone involved.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Relationship Marketing 101 ~ TIP #3


I was listening to The Black-eyed Peas' song, "Where is the Love?" this afternoon, and couldn't help but think of the connection to doing business. "What?", you say. "How can a song about war, terrorism, racial discrimination, the effect of war on children and so many more heavy topics have anything to do with me?"

Well, my friend, it has everything to do with you.

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction

Think to your own actions and how you conduct yourself during a sale. And don't get me wrong. If you are a parent, a teacher, a student, an employer, work on an assembly line, a supervisor, a human being ~ you are in sales. We all have opinions and ways of operating. We want others to follow our way of thinking and doing. How we conduct ourselves affects everyone else around us, whether we are an entrepreneur, a parent, or the newest entry-level employee in a company.

Having gotten the fact you are in sales out of the way, let's talk about what it is that you do.

How do you approach sales? Are you going to 'get' the sale, come hell or high water? Are you determined you are right about the issue? Do you have an agenda (x sales in x weeks or else)?

Now don't get me wrong. If you want a new sofa, you need to calculate how many sales (weeks of work) you need in order to afford it. That's one thing. But my question is if the money or the sale is the top issue on your mind? Or do you start your relationship with the client (child, student, teacher, employer, employee, etc.), developing rapport with them as your top priority?

Stats show (read the book, "Go for No") most sales are not made until the 5th time you contact the client.
Selling is not a war, in which one side wins and the other side loses. Selling is a relationship-building exercise, not a drive-by, one-time event. So what are you doing during those initial contacts to nurture the relationship with your prospects? Our actions, our gestures speak louder than words.

Let me leave you with this last thought:

When the economy is bad and times are tough, people’s true colours come out. What will your clients say about yours?

Monday, March 2, 2009

CHRONICLES OF ISLA - I don't love you

Last night, Isla decided to test me. I'm not sure if I passed or failed. She tells me, spontaneously, 10 times a day at least, "I love you, Mommy". Last night, she looked at me with a glint in her eye, and a long up-and-down stare. Then, she quietly said, "I don't love you". I thought my heart would break. It was out of the blue, while we were playing together.

Dumbfounded, I said, "Pardon? What did you say?". No answer. My heart skipped a beat. "Did you say you DON'T love me?". Small smile and a quick nod. I put my best poker face on. I was not going show how devastated I was, even though I knew, deep down, she was toying with me. My sweet, loving, uber-polite, Mommy's girl, is also one of the smartest people I've met lately. She was trying something out, toying with me. This surpassed my shock when she started to call me, "Susan", if I didn't hear her call out "Mommy". Was this borne out of teething pain (when she tends to push my buttons) or some developmental step she was experimenting with?

She looked at me and asked, "Sad face or mad face, Mommy?". When I didn't respond, she asked, "Sad or mad??".

I smiled, "I love you, monkey" and she jumped into my arms, and kissed my neck, saying, "I love you, Mommy".

Whatever it was all about, I'm thankful the game is over!

Relationship Marketing 101 - TIP #2

How do you build better business or personal relationships? It's not rocket science: You need to provide VALUE.

What IS value?

TIP #2:
If watch your tv, computer, open a magazine, listen to your radio, or read a billboard, you may think that value correlates to having the biggest, brightest, shiniest, fastest widget there is.

Or, you may think a higher-priced item has more value.

In actual fact, value is based upon results. Your clients want a specific result. So, TRUE VALUE is being able to provide a result that no one else can.

If you can build trust by providing true value, you are on your way to building better client relationships.