Who does your customer care more about, you or herself? Don’t ever forget this, for a minute. Your customer doesn’t really care about you.  Your customer cares about herself.  If you want her to be interested in you, you MUST ensure that the conversation is about her, not about you. Ditch the pitch. Don’t talk […]
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Improvise Your Success! Training procedures. Employee behavior policies. Customer service scripts. Secret shoppers ensuring employees follow the scripts. Elevator pitches. Sales presentation templates. All important ingredients for a successful business, right? Not so fast. Sure, for some functions in business, such as running an assembly line or filling out compliance documents, consistency and policy are […]
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(My usual caveat: This is not a customer service story. It is a relationship-building-encounter-missed-opportunity story.  Much more interesting.  Bad customer service stories have become boring.) I had just arrived in San Antonio the evening before a speech, flying back to the states from overseas. I walked down the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk and found a […]
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Things are rarely perfect the first time. I used to write songs with a good friend of mine.  We had a problem. If an idea wasn’t perfect, the first time we played it or sang it, he focused on how the idea wasn’t good enough to be in a song.  He couldn’t move forward. He […]
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It’s Day 2 of my 17-day odyssey, sharing ideas with people from Seattle to Mauritius. I’m writing while on a flight from Seattle to Newark, 25 rows behind Rudy Giuliani, who is sitting in the aisle seat in the first row of first class. Rudy got on the plane early, and did a great job […]
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My friend Steve Subar, CEO of Open Kernel Labs, made an interesting point over dinner the other night.  “Do you realize you can’t major in selling at any business schools?  You can major in accounting, or marketing, or finance, or economics, but not in selling.” To test Steve’s assertion, I did a little searching.  It […]
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This week’s Time Magazine reviews Geoffrey Miller’s book Spent: Sex, Evolution and Consumer Behavior. The book makes the case that much of our behavior can be traced to self-advertisement in the pursuit of mates.  One quoted section in the review caught my attention.  The reviewer titled this paragraph, “On the futility of consumer capitalism: “We […]
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I often ask audience members to describe what genuine dialogue feels like.  Here’s some of what I hear: “Give and take.” “Flowing.” “Paying attention to what each other says.” “Learning from each other.” “Listening.” … and many more like that. Genuine dialogue is a necessary component of a relationship-building encounter. (Check out my free ebook, […]
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