Selling In 2012.

"Arrived too late, act already done." ~ Nostradamus.

In 2012 many commentators predict massive and sudden destructive events of global and even cosmic proportion that will result in the loss of billions of human lives. Some suggest the Earth itself may be destroyed with the loss of all life. ~ So what are we to do?

Sell A Whole Bunch Of Stuff.

If there was ever a time to prospect, qualify, and sell better than you've ever done before. Now is the time. Hell it's the end of the world. Forget tomorrow, social media, and all the long term stuff.  ~ Sell 'em now.

Close 'em up.

Come on ~ In 2012 just be the selling machine you've always wanted to be ~ what have you got to lose? The world is coming to an end. ~ So here's what you do. Forget all the smart advice. Guillotine the gurus. Swig down some coffee you closer. You don't need to learn or listen to anyone any more. It's the end ~ Armagedon is upon us.

Be a widget warrior this year, a transaction terror. Let's move some merchandise. Think about it. Those that mind don't matter. Those that matter won't mind. Enough of all the fluff - Let's Focus. ~ Do it for your Family and your Friends  ~ The 'experts' say that it's all over so...
  • Profile your prospects.
  • Pitch "Today is the last day" (because it really is)
  • Close em up now. ~ Today.
Get out there and sell.  TODAY ~ You're A Selling Machine.


Too Cool.

"Success isn't a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire". ~ Arnold Glasgow.

The young salesman was sitting down with his mentor at one of those gut level meetings that the old man liked to call one on ones. When in fact they were more like the Spanish inquisition. Yep it was just like being strung out on a rack. Every question was direct and brutal. Every answer given drove a follow up question and a next action. The young man hated it at the time, but years later he cherished the lessons.

"Why do most salespeople miss out on sales?" the old man asked.
He didn't wait for an answer ~ "Because they're too cool" he said.

They're too cool to ask the really tough questions. Too cool to ask about timelines, budgets, or the approval process and they're definitely too cool to make cold calls or to ask for the order.  So they wait. They figure if they just wait then they won't have to hear no. ~ Rejection isn't cool.

They figure it's better not to see, hear, or say the stuff they'd rather not. Better to just wait. The cool salesperson doesn't want to seem too eager or enthusiastic. Too energetic or too accessible. They figure that they've got a reputation, an appearance to uphold. But you know what?

If you don't get the sale what kind of reputation do you have? 

The old mentor looked the young man straight in the eye and said ~

Don't Ever Be Too Cool.

Passion & People.

" I want to put a ding in the universe" ~ Steve Jobs.

Success, in any field, comes down to passion and people.

Pursue your passion and surround yourself with really good people.

It's The Leads.

" When you reach the top keep climbing." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

An ambitious young salesperson was determined to get to the top no matter what it took. So he embarked on a quest. To find out what it takes to get to the top of the sales board he visited hundreds of companies around the country and asked everybody one simple question. "Why is the same salesperson always at the top of the board?" In every company, every year, it seemed to him that the same salesperson always came out on top. Earned the most. Won the most awards and led the pack.~ Every Year ~ Why is that? ~ he asked.

And every other salesperson answered ~ It's The Leads.

Then he returned to his company and sought out a wise old mentor.
A man who had been in sales for over half a century and would give him the straight skinny. After retelling his experience to the old campaigner he asked ~ "So is it the leads?" The seasoned veteran smiled and said ~ Yes. ~ But let me explain. The very best get the very best. That's how the world works, he said. A lot of salespeople need to grow up and recognize that business, and life, is all about dependability. Customers depend on it. Management depends on it. Shareholders depend on it and Employees families depend on it. Someone has got to deliver dependably. Those at the top of the board have made it a habit to deliver results dependably. ~ That's It.

So yes, he said, it's the leads. ~ But think about it this way:

L = Leads.

Whether you inherit, earn, are given, or prospect leads yourself you need to deliver dependably on them or they will go to someone else.

E = Expectations.

Those at the top of the board have higher expectations. Of themselves and what they do with leads. They expect and deliver results.

A = Actions.

To get to the top of the board you'll need to get yourself, and others, to take uncomfortable actions. You'll need to get leads to take action.

D = Deliver.

All the talk in the world won't get you the best leads or to the top of the board. You will need to deliver results first young man.

The old mentor gazed up at the sales board in his office and said...
Yep  ~ "It's the leads ~ but to get the best leads you will need to deliver results first. He smiled and said ~ "Isn't that a bitch?"

The Future.

"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
~ Winston Churchill.

What if we could all learn from pure data? ~ If we could get our news without spin and agenda? ~ If we could access information that was completely devoid of opinion or subjective input? ~ If our searches returned more than advertisements or paid placements constructed to simply monetize a query? ~ What if our inquiry returned completely neutral FACTS and OPTIONS. What if we could communicate with a being that delivered pure DATA? Well we can't of course because someone, somewhere, a human being, has to upload that data.

But just imagine the possibilities if we could remove the subjective aspect of information. If we could always trust that the communication back to us was totally free of agenda and personal perspective.

Business decisions, Buying and Selling, Personal Development, Health, and all the affairs and inhabitants of our world could be advised with pure, unadulterated, logic. No politics, no spin, no right or left, no disagreeable diatribe fueled by preconceptions and preference. Yes it would be cold and colorless. Lacking in emotion and ego. Empirically empty and devoid of desire. It certainly would remove instinct and ambition from the equation and it would lack the soul that has created musical, literary and artistic masterpieces throughout history. But it would be interesting to see how it would effect our decisions and world.

As children we learned from books, people, and experience. But what if we each had a data android. One that could provide us with unvarnished advice. Pure clarity. Not as a playmate but as a resource of reliable, agenda free, guidance. Imagine... No politics. Truly unbiased news and credible guidance available without an agenda.

Imagine ~ The Future.

The Eagle.

"Don't quack like a duck. Soar like an eagle." ~ Ken Blanchard.

There's a story told by Arapaho indians to young men who want to become warriors. It's about a test they will have to take to become a respected leader. The test is a fitting fable for any leader who wishes to work with the very best, the eagles, in any field of endeavor.

Eagles fly the highest of all living beings. Their nests are found at the peak of the tallest mountains. A rite of passage for any young man who would become an arapaho warrior was to scale the mountain and collect feathers from an eagles tail and bring them back to the chief of the tribe. With a rodent attached to him, to attract the mighty bird, the warrior began his climb. As the eagle swooped down to snare the tasty morsel the young man would grasp the king of the sky and hang on for dear life. The eagle would scream and tear at the young warriors flesh with it's razor sharp talons as the Indian tried to pluck feathers from its tail. The mighty bird would dig deep into sinew, flesh, and bone testing the warriors resolve and determination to complete his task.

The best soldiers, salespersons, and people in general are eagles.
The truest warriors, those that fly the highest, have claws and mighty sharp talons. Eagles are not the easiest to coach, lead, or work alongside. But... If You Want The Best ~ You Must Be The Best.

Be Happy.

"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be"
~ Abraham Lincoln.

There 's something special deep inside human beings. Something that inspires us. It's something that makes us happy. It's the traits that we admire. The ones that prompt us to quote, salute, recognize and respect those we share this planet with. The ones that make us smile.

When we notice them, when we see these traits in others, all of life makes sense. Look For Them ~ Find Them ~ Appreciate Them and...

Be Happy.

On Faith.

"All I know is that I know nothing." ~ Socrates.

Faith is a very personal thing. Some proclaim it and some ridicule it. To each his own. I certainly believe that God is my copilot ~ But lack the strength to switch seats. That is the challenge of faith. That is man at his most arrogant. A sentient being that feels and hopes there is something more yet knows that ~ "All I know is that I know nothing."

Resistance Is...

"Resistance is Futile." ~ The Borg.

Why do we resist coaching? ~ Why do we resist change even if it's for our own good? ~ Why do we keep doing the same things and expect different results? ~ Why do we need to be pushed, persuaded, and convinced to change behavior? ~ Why doesn't it just happen naturally?

It's our fight and flight response. Because we've evolved to the point where we no longer have to fear for our life our fears have also evolved. We resist input. Input threatens our status quo. It's illogical I know ~
But It's True. We fight and flee from the input of others even though our intellect tells us not to. We push back. It's simply self preservation.
It's the evolution of our species. We fear the loss of our identity.

We resist change ~ We fear assimilation.

So if you are trying to coach, help, teach or inspire here's a tip.
Don't beat yourself up too much when people don't do what you advise. It's simply evolution. ~ It's the fight and flight response.

It's human nature for us to not want to be assimilated. :)


"If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" 
~ Will Rogers.

Why? ~ How many times do we hear that one? ~ Why Can't We. 
Why Don't We. Why Are We? ~ Usually we replace we with he, she, they, or you, but the age old question still remains  ~ Why?

Well the simple answer is  ~  Step Number 2.

The reason for all of the failings, frustrations, conflicts and challenges we have as human beings starts on step number two of the ladder.

We "Select" data from what we observe ~ And then it all begins.

The Ladder Of Inference.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling.


"As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence."
~ Lao Tsu.

Who will be the greatest leader of all time?  ~ Nobody.

The greatest leaders inspire us without us ever knowing it was them. 
We believe it came from us. The greatest leaders get us to do what we would not otherwise do and be more than we believe we can.

Some years ago I saw a very funny and thought provoking movie called  "My Name Is Nobody". 
The story tells of a young man who idolized a famous gunslinger who was about to retire. He convinced the cowboy to go out in style by facing down the infamous Wild Bunch.
One Man Against A Hundred and Fifty. ~ The youngster called himself  "Nobody".  Nobody influenced the gunman to stand up and face tremendous odds.  Nobody influenced him to be more than he was.

Some of us give credit when we do this to the big guy. Some believe we can name the leaders who have influenced us to strive and overcome adversity. And others think that they lead and drive themselves. ~ Who knows?


I don't know who the greatest leader of all time was. But I believe that the best leaders are often not recognized or admired. They lead us without knowing. They influence us in simple ways. They are the men and women who have the traits that we admire and emulate. 

They're not famous. ~ They're not known ~ They Are  ~ Nobody.


"A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still"
~ Benjamin Franklin.

There's a myth in sales and business. A myth that says turning a no into a yes is an accomplishment. ~ A sign of prowess and great salesmanship. ~ It seems Ben Franklin would say otherwise.

A Yes is great. ~ A No is also great. ~ A Maybe is... Well it's simply an opening. What we do with that opening is critical. Do we let it just sit there and wait? Like some timid bystander, waiting, watching, and hoping? ~ Or do we move it forward with questions & next actions?

A maybe is a challenge to our professionalism. Its' a call for us to act. An invitation to ask questions and listen intently. It could be a no in disguise ~ A yes but later ~ Or a "I really don't want to deal with this" but it's up to us to find out. A maybe is simply a signal that we've entered an intersection. It's a yellow light that we need to move towards red or green. It's not a sign to sit, and wait, in the intersection.

Each Day.

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart."
~ William Wordsworth.

Often we forget the most important things in life. Each day turns into night and then the sun rises again. A page is turned and another clean sheet presents itself. With the onset of a digital world we seem to have relegated one of the most powerful connections known to man to a secondary role at best. ~ The Pen ~ Paper ~ Mind.

We use it for lists, post its and menial daily tasks but we have forgotten it's power to inspire, applaud and appreciate the most important people and things in our life. We forget how powerful it can be to write down what's meaningful to us. We neglect the connection. Then at the end of the year we make resolutions, and promises, in a hasty effort to make up for what we should be doing each day.

Take A Moment Each Day to write a personal note to yourself.

Just take a single sheet of paper and remind yourself of those people and things you are thankful for, goals you would like to accomplish, and any other thought that is important to you. Take a moment and...

Write A Note To Yourself Each Day.

Old School Rules.

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it." ~ Clint Eastwood.

What are the old school rules for work? ~ The politically incorrect rules that just won't make it past HR? ~ What rules would Clint use?

Be the first in and last out every day.
A day is twenty four hours - work half a day and that's twelve.
Sick? ~ If you are no-one should know.
Late? ~ It means you're not coming.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
A promise is your word - period.
Work / Life balance gives 100% at work and 100% outside.
There are results and reasons - You give one or the other.
Just because I understand it doesn't mean I accept it.
Don't ask someone to do something you wouldn't do yourself.
Yes - You're special and unique - And so is everyone else.
Never whine, blame or make excuses ~ Ever.
Shut up and Listen.

True Achievement.

"Never, Ever, Quit." ~ Winston S. Churchill.

Everyone knows the quote. The call to strive, continue, persevere and overcome from one of the greatest men in history. A man who made a difference. A man who inspired a nation to keep going and striving through the darkness. A man who truly achieved greatness.

But very few people know of the words he said during his last days.
His words of discouragement and despair that resonated so strongly with a boy who considers him a father, hero and inspiration. At the sunset of his life, Sir Winston Churchill confided to a close friend:

"I've worked very hard and achieved a great deal only to achieve nothing in the end."

Discouragement is natural for each of us ~ but you know what? Although I never met Sir Winston he made an enormous difference in my life. He really achieved something. He inspired and inspires me.

So when you get discouraged recognise only this...You have made, and will make, a difference in someones life. Some people will be close and some you may never meet. When you feel discouraged and defeated ~ When you want to give up ~ If only for them:

Never, Ever, Quit.

The Salesman.

"Whatever advice you give, be short." ~ Horace.

A young salesman, just starting his career, went out to lunch with the best salesperson in the company and asked for his advice and insight. Leaning across the table the young man said to the seasoned veteran

"What Are The Greatest Sales Tips In The World?"

The senior salesman smiled then picked up his napkin and wrote on it "The Greatest Sales Tips In The World". He paused for a moment, thought, and pushed the napkin back across the table to the rookie.

Confused the young apprentice said "But you didn't write any tips?" The old campaigner lifted his eyes and in a barely whispered voice said

"There are going to be lots of people that can give you tips and advice. Much of it is good stuff. But let me ask you "What would you say to someone asking you the same question?" ~ What would you write on this napkin? ~ Because The Greatest Sales Tip I Can Give You Is:

Take the advice you would give.

The Alien.

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” ~ Mark Twain.

A salesman was abducted by an extremely advanced species of aliens one night and subjected to a comprehensive examination on their spaceship. They checked him out physically, and mentally, to learn all they could about human beings. Then before releasing him they allowed the curious earthling to ask them one question. He thought for a moment about the enormity of his responsibility and then asked...

Why Do We Not Learn?

The alien replied ~ "Because you think you already know."

Theory & Action.

"An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Truth Is.

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response." ~ Viktor Frankl.

What does it all come down to? ~ What Is The Truth?
If we want success, happiness, achievement or...
Every coach, teacher, leader, parent and sage will say...

Between stimulus and response there is a space.

How To Solve Problems.

"We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems." ~ Lee Iacocca.

Whether we are attempting to solve rubik's cube, problems in business, or challenges in life the answers can be elusive, frustrating, and complex. There are no "right" answers. Many come down to our preferred choices. All come down to ~ Thought and Action.

What we Choose. What we Think. How we Act.

There are many methods used to solve problems ~ Eight Disciplines, Grow, How To, Kepner, Productive Thinking, RPR and TRIZ just to name a very few. ~ I kind of like Kaizen and the Deming PDCA.

  • Plan – Decide upon the specific actions you intend to take.
  • Do – Perform those actions for a specified period.
  • Check – Measure and Analyse the results.
  • Act – Decide what you will do next based upon the Analysis.
Why make problems more difficult than they need to be?

Choose, Think and Act.

Say It Clear.

"It's too late when we die" ~ Mike and the Mechanics.

It happens every day doesn't it? We take so much for granted and then... The opportunity is lost. We miss the chance to say it loud and say it clear. We say so much after. We praise so many after they're gone. But while they're here, while they're near ~ In business, life, or whatever ~ We delay and maintain our defence mechanisms until... They're gone. Say what you mean and mean what you say now.

Because ~ It's too late when we die.


"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough" ~ Albert Einstein.

Buyer ~ Siri, please provide me a list of reputable vendors for...
Siri ~ Would you like local or global options?

Buyer ~ Global and Local. Give me all specifications, pricing and total costs compared to local options with credibility ratings and social media comments on customer satisfaction. Cross reference all rankings with my personal connections. Use the following criteria...

Siri ~ Will you require any human interaction?
Buyer ~ No. ~ I want a transaction not a relationship.

Siri ~ All data, specifications, cost comparisons, and comments have been sent to your phone. Your credit has been approved with all vendors anonymously. Would you like me to initiate a bidding process, are you just looking, or should we conclude a transaction now?

Buyer ~ Let me review. I will get back to you. Thank You Siri.
Siri ~ Goodnight Sir. It really was a pleasure helping you.

The Owl.

" A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination." ~ Nelson Mandela.

An owl came to visit a leader one night and asked him what was more important ~ Wisdom or Action? ~ The leader immediately answered, with great confidence, "Action of course. Of what use is wisdom that does not show itself in action?" ~ The wise old owl replied

'And of what use is action that proceeds from the unenlightened heart?'

Short Stories.

Sometimes all we need is a short story.

The Starfish ~ (Making a Difference)

The Soldier ~ (It's worth it)

The Fisherman ~ (Success)

The Samurai ~ (Self Control)

The Two Wolves ~ (Good & Evil)

The Monks ~ (Let it Go)

The CEO ~ (Ambition)

The Philosopher ~ (Drive & Desire)

The Owl ~ (Wisdom & Action)

The Alien ~ (Learning)

The Salesman ~ (Advice)

The Eagle ~ (Leadership)

The Parrot ~ (Attention)

The Lesson ~ (Adversity)

The Starfish.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." ~ Dr. Seuss.

A small girl was walking along the beach upon which thousands of starfish had washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish she would pick one up and throw it back into the ocean. All of the adults on the beach watched her with amusement.

She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said "Why are you doing this? Look ~ There are thousands of starfish. You can't save them all or begin to make a difference.

The little girl was crushed and her eyes began to fill with tears.

But then after a few moments ~ She stooped down and picked up another starfish and gently held it in her hand. Then, with all her might, she hurled it as far as she could into ocean and said to the man.

"Well I made a difference with that one."

Top Down.

" I hate intellectuals. They are from the top down. I am from the bottom up." ~ Frank Lloyd Wright.

It's a funny thing about the old top down concept. The great coach, leader or intellectual we feel has all the answers. The shiny marble we place on top. If he is really good ~ If he does his job well enough ~ There should come a time when we don't need him. If he does really well we should be able to take him away and the structure still stands.

The very best build strong foundations from the bottom up.

The Soldier.

"It's not so much our friends help that helps us, as the confidence of their help." ~ Epicurus.

During the war a soldier watched in horror as his lifelong friend fell under gunfire. All the soldiers had to retreat. The soldier went to ask permission from his lieutenant to go and fetch his friend from the no-mans-land. The lieutenant gave permission, but added: "It is hardly worth it. ~ Your friend is probably dead and you may die too."

This soldier didn't care about the warnings and miraculously he reached his friend, lifted him to his shoulders, and stumbled back.

He was wounded horribly in the process. The lieutenant came over, noticed the friend was dead and said ~ "I'm sorry for your friend."

"But I told you it wasn't worth it. Your friend is dead and now you are also seriously wounded." ~ "I have to disagree with you. ~ It was worth it", the soldier answered. "What do you mean?" the lieutenant replied.

"It was worth it", the soldier repeated again. ~ "When I got to my friend, he was still alive and he said... ~ "I knew you'd never leave me."


"Who you are speaks so loudly I can't hear what you're saying."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Best Excuse Ever.

"Genetic predisposition is not destiny." ~ Kranzler.

It's the best excuse human beings ever came up with. I guess the fact that it's often true helps. We use it to explain behavior, illness, addiction, traits, likelihood of success, and even the color of...Whatever. Nature versus Nurture. Genetics. DNA. Heredity and components beyond our control play a large part in determining the appearance, attributes, health and likelihood of whatever in our lives.


Forgive me for oversimplifying a very complex topic. The greatest scientists the world has ever produced can't agree on this one.
Nature versus Nurture. But hey ~ what the heck. I'm gonna give it a shot. It's not my fault. It's the way I am. Simple. It's in my genes.

There are some things we can't control and some we can. But often we fall back on "That's the way I am" or a similar phrase as an excuse to not be something more. Predisposition is not destiny. As human beings we have a lot to say in our choices and our destiny.

Here's a thought ~ Genes have epigenetic markers that serve as a volume control and adjust the intensity of how a gene expresses itself, and over time, the environment, our lifestyle and yes ~ even the decisions we make can alter these markers. Genes determine a lot ~ An awful lot. ~ But Genetic Predisposition Is Not Destiny.

Beginner's Mind.

"In the beginners mind there are many possibilities. In the experts mind there are few." ~ Shunryu Suzuki.

It's a simple concept. But boy is it hard to master. We try to teach, coach, help, support and even counsel and in so doing we believe that... Well ~ We have expectations. Maybe that's part of the problem ~ part of our frustration. People don't do what we recommend and we wonder why - or worse we come up with a conclusion - an answer.

Bruce Lee probably said it best:

"In order to learn we must first empty our own cup". Yet we get frustrated because other people have not emptied their cups to take in the advice or insight we offer ~ But we haven't emptied our own cup.

Wow this stuff is certainly a vicious circle.


"A failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough." ~ Christian Nestell Bovee.

Most people would agree that determination is a key ingredient to success but is it the most important contributor? Does Determination Alone Work? How about intelligence, talent, circumstance and plain old luck - Where do they rank? Do we need a combination of factors and attributes to fall into place to be successful in any endeavor?
I guess it depends on who you ask.

Ask 'Rudy' and you get one answer - Ask a lottery winner and you get another. Ask a hundred people and you'll get a hundred answers from working hard to being smart. From having connections to character, ambition to ability, and talent to tenacity. However the common denominator on everyones list will undoubtedly be determination. How do we measure our determination? How do we know whether we really have it or just think we do? We measure it against the ~ "Black Dog".

The black dog is the name Winston Churchill gave to the depression that would often overcome him. The feeling of worthlessness, futility and apathy that he, and many great men from Lincoln to Kafka battled during their lives. I believe it's how we respond to this despondancy, apathy, inertia, and paralyzing introspective quagmire that determines our success in life. It's what we do when we question whether any endeavor is worth the effort to continue. It's whether we pet, embrace and accept this black dog or whether we choose to fight through the darkness he represents. This is what determines the depth of our determination. This is what ultimately determines our success.

Some black dogs are puppies ~ Distractions, embryonic ennui ,that lead us down the path of least resistance. And some are hounds from hell ~ deep depressions that drag us into despondancy and despair.

When the black dog comes to attack our dreams ~ intelligence can debate him, talent could delay him, connections might care, but there's only one thing that ultimately drives him away ~ Our Determination.

Retargeting and Change.

"Insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results." ~ Albert Einstein.

98% of all website visitors leave without a conversion. They visit but don't buy or take a measurable action. So we retarget them.

Behavioral retargeting is a primary tactic used in digital commerce ~ It's also a strong indicator of what we do in sales, business, politics, social interactions and life. It's a method whereby we qualify, advertise to, associate, befriend and surround ourselves with people who share common denominators. In politics they call it "appealing to the base." We try to convert those who have identified an interest in the stuff, traits or opinions we have. We go after people that are like us. That way we become effective at getting more of what we have already got.

Retargeting the 98% who have expressed an interest is the most effective way to get more of what we've already got. In business it's smart and economically sound profiling. It just makes sense.

In personal growth though it's stagnation. In life it's death. Most of what we do, who we know, and how we behave is redundant. We keep going back to what we already know. Addressing that with which we agree. We try to convert the ideas we are already comfortable with into action. All 100% of them. We measure success and congratulate ourselves.
  • 2% take action (Yay ~ we've already got them).
  • 98% don't (so we keep going after them).
But what about the gazillion percent who've never expressed interest? The ideas, concepts and people that we've disqualified or are not comfortable with? What about the ones who never came to our site? The ones who've never stepped on our court. The different interests.

Could that be where real change resides?

Every Day ~ A Veteran.

Less than one half of one percent serve in the military.

The remaining 99 1/2 percent calls them ~ Veterans.
What does it mean? What are the values and value of a veteran?

Balance Is Codswallop.

"Live every day as if it were your last and then some day you'll be right." ~ H.H. "Breaker" Morant.

Ok get ready for this one. ~ "Life balance is a load of old codswallop".
It's foisted upon us by well intentioned psychiatrists, consultants and wellness experts. I say balderdash. Let me ask you a question. When you've read about people who made a difference in this world ~ Mandela, Churchill, Ghandi, Jobs, Keller, Edison, Newton or anyone else ~ How many of them emphasised "Life Balance" as the key to a satisfying life? Yes they had demons and oftentimes self serving drivers that made life difficult for friends, family and associates who got too close to the fire. But they did something that made a difference. Their lives made a difference. Go Ahead Make A Difference ~ Give Everything In Life All You've Got. ~ Life Balance Is Codswallop.

Vicarious Learning.

"Anyone who stops learning is old." ~ Henry Ford.

Some say we stop vicarious learning and switch to vicarious living once we reach a certain point in our lives. Perhaps we do ~ But maybe not.

Vicarious learning is a type of learning that occurs as a function of observing, retaining and replicating novel behavior executed by others. It's example learning in it's simplest form. Do we reach a point in adulthood when we stop learning like this because we now know stuff?

Recently my daughter came home, to visit for a day, from her career at Apple headquarters. I asked her "What's it like now Steve doesn't show up in the cafeteria?" Her response was a remarkable affirmation of the power of vicarious learning. As she dove into the culture, creativity and learning opportunities that she gained from coworkers, mentors and associates the enthusiasm and excitement she displayed was enormously infectious. I felt myself learning from her. Learning about enthusiasm, listening, absorption and excitement. I experienced and felt the twin joys of both vicarious learning and vicarious living.

Whether it be through our children, friends, associates or those we admire from afar we need to turn vicarious learning into personal action in order for it to be more than just entertainment. We need to incorporate it into our own behavior. Otherwise it's just another TV show that gets turned on and off. If life is really just like a light switch perhaps vicarious learning is the ultimate power source. A source we can turn on and off at will regardless of what we think we already know.

It's Simple.

"Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be."
~ Grandma Moses.



The Change Monster.

" Compelling reason will never convince blinding emotion."
~ Richard Bach.

There's a monster that follows each of us. No ~ It's not the cookie monster (although he also follows us everywhere nowadays). This one is a two headed monster. An ever present ogre that rears his twin noggins when confronted with the challenge to change. He's present in all of us and so we are pretty familiar with his likes, dislikes, opinions and beliefs. We call him "Emotion" and "Ego" and boy is he entrenched. Think you can convince people to change with reason? Good Luck. Logic is a loser. Intellect is for idiots. The "right" thing is sometimes subjective and open to debate. When we think we're reasoning we're often rationalizing. So what moves us to change?
The Two Headed Monster ~ Emotion and Ego.

Give him a cookie and who knows...

How Good Are You?

"The reason men oppose progress is not that they hate progress, but that they love inertia." ~ Elbert Hubbard.

Wanna know how good you are? No really. Do You Really Want To Know? As a leader, salesperson, manager or any person in business our success breaks down into two components - What we do AND How effective we are in influencing what others do. ~ It's All About How We Deal With Inertia. ~ Our own, our prospects, our associates and...

How do we get ourself and others moving. How do we get people on their bike? What's our method? ~ Heck I don't think it matters much.

Push, pull, inspire or irritate ~ They all work. Go ahead and pick the one that works for you - Just make sure you get on your darned bike.

Because that's when you find out how good you are.

The Stupid Leader.

"Stupid is as stupid does" ~ Forest Gump.

You've seen it all before I'm sure. A member of your team who does stuff so much better than the others. Is dependable, conscientious and the person you would immediately turn to if you need to get something done - The go to guy. Richie was such a guy. He had saved our skins more times than I can remember but he kept to himself and always did it all himself. I knew he had a strong belief in the big guy but we never talked about it ~ until one night after a very difficult day. "Richie I need your help" I said "I need you to lead" Without hesitation ~ He turned me down flat. "No - I'm not stupid" he replied "Let me just do my job."

"I believe in God - I just don't believe in people" he said and the words made so much sense all of a sudden. Now I completely understood his actions, attitude and approach. He kept talking and he let it all out ~ "People are stupid and they let you down". You could see the years of disappointment and bitterness - the repressed anger and hurt and everything now made sense. Why he did it all himself. Why he watched over everyone as they slept. Why he obsessed about virtually every detail and why he always came through when we needed him.

"Richie - I believe in the big guy as much as you do. But I also believe in you. It's you, the big guy, AND PEOPLE who are going to help us out of this crap. People are going to leverage and scale our efforts. Their hearts and minds are our force multipliers my friend."

That's why I can't lead, he said - "Stupid leaders believe in people."

"But Richie ~ Those are the best leaders".

Do We Need People?

"We are rarely proud when we are alone." ~ Voltaire.

Have you ever wanted to go completely off the grid?

No cell phone, internet or communications of any kind ~ Absolutely no contact with other people? We've all wanted to completely shut off the world at times. It's really appealing to escape the cacophony.

Many years ago a friend of mine decided, when we got out of the army, to do just that. ~ I haven't heard from him since. I think about Brian whenever I have the compelling urge to get off the grid. What would it be like - to go completely native? No phone - No email - No Facebook - No Blogs - No News - No People and No Bull@#*&*. ~ Hmmmm....

What Would You Say?

"The worst men often give the best advice." ~ Francis Bacon.

I had to hand it to the young kid - he certainly had a sense of irony and humor. His gift was great. An 18 year old bottle of Talisker single malt. Perfect. The question he posed on his eighteenth birthday was simple and flattering. "What do you wish you knew when you were eighteen?" He knew that it was the kind of question that only whiskey and an inflated ego would respond to - cause none of us really are qualified to answer it for anyone else. Inevitably we all learn this stuff on our own. But I gave it a shot anyway. "Much better men than I have tried to answer this" I said. I choose to defer to their wisdom and their words. "You will pick your own. It's your life ~ but here's my three 'A's":

Advice ~ "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest".

Attitude ~ "The more I see - The less I know."

Action ~ "Be the change you want to see in the world".

The Q Dilemma.

"Think Different."

When things get tough. When the low hanging fruit is gone and things aren't easy in business or life what do we do? Most of us take one of two paths. We wait until things get better - or - we go with the 'Q'.

What's the Q Dilemma? Well that's when we say "I just need to increase the Quantity & Quality of what I'm doing and everything will be just fine." Increasing Q helps us and it works. Better Q is always good.

But Q squared provides only incremental improvements. What if we want Quantum change? What if we "Want to make a ding in the universe?" What do we need to do? We need the third Q - Question.

We need to constantly question our mindset, habits, behavior, attitude, actions and approach. We need to question everything and...

We need to ~ "Think Different."

What's More Important?

"Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing." ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe.

The old man looked me right in the eye and asked ~ "What's more important to you ~being right or being respected? Do you want their approval or action?" Do you want to be an expert or an example? Because you can't be both. He didn't wait for an answer ~ because he knew. "People Don't Care About What You Think" he said "They Care About What They Think" ~ You might want to remember that."

It was getting dark and it had been a very tough day. A day of trying to convince people to go where they didn't want to go and there was a lot of resistance. " Let me tell you something" he continued "What people think are conversations are almost always one person telling another an opinion, an observation or a perspective. It's all opinion and everyone thinks theirs is right. Even if you do convince someone of how right you are they revert back to the familiar sooner or later.

So what do you do? I asked. ~ Well that's up to you isn't it ~ he smiled and turned away with these wry parting words ~ Just Remember...

When We Think We Know - We Don't.

The Sales Dance.

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass ~ It's about learning how to dance in the rain.

The young salesman watched in awe as the seasoned professional closed deal after deal, seemingly without effort, and wondered how it could be so very easy and so he asked him ... "How do you do it?"
The old timer turned to the young man and simply said ~ "I Dance."

"People have impulses, notions and desires and I look at those as if they are asking me to dance" he said. I take a moment to qualify them ~ To see if I want them to be my dance partner ~ and then I dance.

"What do you mean?" the young rookie replied. " Well... All of us get impulses and then our minds start to kick in with doubts and questions. We start to look around for other dance partners and we even question whether we should be dancing in the first place.

The secret to closing sales is to keep people in touch with their initial impulse. To make them feel good and happy about it, and then to give them the confidence they need to overcome doubts. You've just got to be a good dance partner. Closing sales is just like dancing he said. It's a two step between impulse and doubt. The old salesman turned away with a smile and said ~ If you really wanna close more sales...

Learn How To Dance.