In an article in RainToday, author Michael McLaughlin discusses the value of offering an assessment service as a means to differentiating you in the marketplace of ‘Me-too’ consultants.

I couldn’t agree more! In fact, I love this guy!

McLaughlin is ‘real’… at least, he’s living in the real world based on his article. Here are three ‘truths’ I see in the article I am compelled to share with you…

Point 1: Unpaid Consulting
McLaughlin says “Never do anything for free” as it devalues your service. I would add that a prospective client who agrees to do anything for ‘free’ isn’t really invested in the project or outcome. A nominal fee is a key ‘qualifier’ of which prospects are really interested in the outcomes you can offer.

Point 2: “Clients pay for insight, not (just) methodology”
Spot on! If a computer can do the work you do, you SHOULD be out of work. Actually, this is an opportunity for you to reveal how you make sense of discrepancies… that the client either missed or doesn’t appreciate the significance of addressing! Read more

This is a cute one.

I just got an email from a salesperson for an extremely large, renowned international company asking (very nicely!) what my current level of interest in using their service is, if any. She goes on to challenge me by asking if she should just “remove me from her database”.

OK, here’s the joke.

I have been a client of this firm since last October! Happily so, too.

Apparently, while the ‘move’ to ask me to “________ or get off the pot” is one I personally admire, it isn’t appropriate. Not here, anyway.


First, because it isn’t necessary—I AM a client.

Second, it reflects a gross ignorance of her knowledge of who I am and where I’m at vis a vis buying her company’s service. Read more

I just watched a commercial.

For a product called Orajel. It’s a topical anesthetic for your teeth.

What struck me was the sheer brilliance of the ‘on-the-mark’ message it focused on and didn’t stray from… “Put it on and the pain goes away”.

David Olgivy, the legendary advertising man, once said, “What’s written on the back of the creative brief should be what you say or show to your reader or listener”.

Orajel’s copywriters understood—and practiced this same truth.

“Put it on and your pain is gone”. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

Take a lesson here… find THE essence of the ‘beneficial difference’ you create in your client’s life… and state it succinctly and simply.

There’s power in simplicity that focuses on your beneficial difference.

Today was a telling day.

2 lessons.

First, “Being There Really IS Important!”

Second, “Keeping In Touch Really IS Important”

Allow me to explain.

Last fall we had our home stained. As part of the work, we had a lot of our trim replaced. But, not all of it. In fact, not even most of it.

We told the contractor, “Let’s do the rest in the spring”. He agreed. Read more

I recently had the joy (I’m not kidding!) of spending time with a young mom and her 3 year old daughter. Mom was a prospective client. The daughter was not.

During our meeting, the little girl was as inquisitive as little minds are want to be. She was constantly asking, “Why?”.

“Why did you wear THAT dress today, Momma?”
“Why are we in THIS restaurant, Momma?”
“why are we meeting THIS man, Momma?”

You get the idea. Non-stop questions. All to find MEANING. All to help her MAKE SENSE of the choices her mother had made.

Prospects are a lot like that, too. They want to understand ‘WHY’ they should do things—including doing business with you!

Are you giving them a clear, coherent and compelling message as an answer?

Is that ‘answer’ reflected in EVERY touch-point a prospective client might have with you and your business—and remember, often times what you DO (behavior) speaks so loudly a prospect isn’t listening what you SAY (rhetoric) in your pretty marketing materials.

If not, it’s time to think about how you can. And then, DO something about it.

Just a thought… to help you stand-out from the crowd so no one has to ask, “Why you?”. They’ll know. And you’ll both be better for it.

I just spoke with a client who has suffered a loss… of confidence and credibility in a vendor. Who, by the way, is also a client.

As a business adviser, clients often ask for a referral to another vendor.

For whatever reason, the vendor I introduced to my client, when asked a question, gave an incorrect answer.

Unfortunately, the vendor didn’t say, “I don’t know”. As a result, the prospect now thinks this vendor is someone who can’t be trusted.

And, by association, I’ve been dragged into question for having made the referral to someone who would say ‘anything’ vs. “I don’t know”.

There’s been a serious loss of credibility. For everyone. It could’ve been avoided. If someone had the guts to admit they don’t know something.

The lesson:
Pride goes before the fall… from grace. Learn to embrace your limitations. Acknowledge your ignorance. It will build your credibility and… your revenues, too!

I read a post on a blog of Sri Dasgupta. Sri is an author (Effortless Networking) and fellow marketeer. I interviewed Sri earlier this year for an article I wrote. I’ve enjoyed her blog posts and she just addressed an issue I want to share with you.

The issue?

That saying ‘too much’ and ‘too soon’ with a person you’re just meeting can be deleterious to your wealth.

Read more

I was just speaking with Matthew Scott—a fellow Duct Tape Marketing Coach from the Portland, OR area.

We were talking about ‘proposals’. And whether you need them or not.

Matthew’s take is you don’t. You don’t need to make proposals.

Now before you get all crazy on that, consider the source.

Matthew is quite accomplished:

  • Five years ago he was a Co-Founder & Vice President, Sales & Marketing of a San Diego biotech company.
  • In the span of 3 months he hired over 125 sales consultants globally.

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In a recent chamber meeting, the people in attendance were invited to ‘stand and give your 30 second commercial’.

Scarier than Halloween I tell you.

First, few people apparently know how long “30 seconds” really is. Most took well over a minute. And I’m being kind when I say that, too!

Second, most had no idea or plan of what to say. So they rambled. And rambled. And… well, you get the idea. The term ‘verbal diarrhea’ sort of seems apt to me in retrospect.

Third, those who had a semblance of a structured ‘commercial’—their Elevator Speech as it’s popularly known—sounded more CUTE than ATTRACTIVE and, as a result, they didn’t get what they really wanted — RESPONSE from any qualified people in the room to want to know more about them and the services they offered.

Read more