January 2008

Listening to the big picture

If you want to understand the details, make sure that you understand the big picture. The details mean nothing without the big picture. If you want to understand what someone means in the details they communicate, make sure that you listen for the big picture message. If you hear a new word and you don't know the definition, you can know what it means from context by hearing the whole sentence. It is the same with the details. If you don't take the time to understand the big picture, you may never really understand the details.
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

Teaching

Teaching is nothing more than communicating in a way that someone else can understand what you know and you want them to know. The challenge is that everyone understands and learns different from others. In addition, everyone likes to communicate their needs different from others. Teaching and learning are abilities that both parties must possess to have effective communication.
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

Status Quo is Nice

Well, at least it is nice sometimes. There are so many things that we need to learn. So many new ways to do something. Sometimes we need to be willing to allow the status quo to be good enough. Just because you can improve something a little doesn't mean that you should. Even if something will provide significant improvement now, it may make sense to wait for the change if the opportunity cost is high. Pick your priorities and change what you need when you need... not before.
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

Why I hate buying a car…

or a house... or a mortgage... or a copier... It is all the surprises. All the unknowns. All the things you don't know until you are putting your signature on the paper. Sure, you have your 3 day right to back out (on somethings), but by that point, you are emotionally vested (or, I guess I should say spent). You have been worn down so that you can be easier to dupe (I mean sell to). It is very frustrating for your customers to agree to terms and find additional fees and conditions placed on the purchase. And, so often, at that point when you ask questions, you are regarded as less than smart because you don't understand. If you want to sell me something, it is pretty easy to do. If you give me your bottom line price, no negotiations available, I will tell you yes or no. If you give me a price that I know is negotiable, you will spend hours getting the price right for me. Then, when you get to the bottom line price, I will tell you yes or no. If there are surprises when I go to sign the paperwork, negotiations begin again. The bottom line issue for me (and I think that I am not alone in this) is that if you make it easy for me to know my price... easy for me to understand the terms, you will spend far less time than you would have negotiating with me. You may have squeezed out a few more dollars through negotiations, but, if you try to trick me, deceive me or pull the wool over my eyes, I guarantee, you are going to waste more in time and effort than you ever would have gained in trying to make an extra buck.
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

The Salesman Dilemma

Low and behold, the pricing wasn't the same. The reason it wasn't the same was because things weren't included in the original price. These were things that I had told him I wanted. These were things he repeated back to me that he understood. These were things he simply left out because he was trying to keep the price low.

When I did get the price that finally included everything I wanted, the number I saw was for a 72 month purchase and not the 60 month purchase I requested. He just couldn't seem to listen to what I wanted.

So, I decided to wait. Again. continue reading...

Higher than usual call volume

I called my internet provider for a billing question. I was put in the call queue. "Your call is important to us. We are currently experiencing higher than usual call volume. Please continue to hold and a representative will be with you shortly." I think that I have called this company at least 20 times in the last year for various reasons. Sometimes in the morning. Sometimes mid-day. Sometimes evening. Sometimes on the weekend. I always get the same message. I always wait at least 10 minutes. The message should say, "You call is kind of important to us. We have a high call volume all the time and we are too cheap to hire the proper number of employees to handle the amount of calls we receive on a daily basis. If you continue to hold, we'll get to you eventually."
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

You Promised What?

Today is the New Hampshire Primary. I decided to watch a little news to get a feel what the talking heads are thinking about the election there. I saw an interesting thing from Terry McAuliffe, Hillary Clinton Campaign Chairman.

Terry McAuliffe on Fox Nes

Now, why do I find this interesting? Where do you think that $50B comes from? You know, that is your money. That is not her money. Okay, how does this apply to your business? It really drives me nuts when some business has a charity they say they will donate to. "Every time you spend a dollar with us, we will give $.10 to a charity." My response is, "If you really care, charge me $.90 instead, let me give $.10 to the charity of my choice and then you give your own money to the charity." Don't make promises with other people's assets and make them look like your own. It sets a bad precedent.
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

Gain some authority

Years ago when I started my first business venture I struggled trying to convince my prospective clients that I understood what I was doing. I began my first business as a reseller of printing. I taught myself graphic design and started to offer those services as well. My little business did fairly well. I earned enough to maintain my personal lifestyle, but I knew that it would not be a good, long-term solution. By and by, I left that venture and began working for Corporate America. I worked for Kinko's as a Department Head in the graphics area with my new found skill set. I moved to IKON Office Solutions and sold and supported color graphics equipment. I then moved to Canon USA and supported high-end graphics systems and trained on color theory. Most recently, I worked for a local copier dealer building technological solutions to business problems. Of all this, I found one important thing. People don't trust you until you can prove you can do something... people don't trust you until you gain some authority. You may choose to have a formal education for that authority, but that provides no experience. You may choose to start at an entry level position and move your way up the latter. The question, though, is how to you quickly gain authority? How can people begin to trust you quickly? If you are anything like me, you may have experience as well as a formal education. You likely understand more than people give you credit. As you start this new year trying to decide how to advance your personal and business objectives, you should find ways to increase your skill set as well as your authority on topics you understand. The only way that you can do this is to constantly learn and show people you understand. It is not good enough to tell people you understand. You have to show them. There are a few ways that you can gain authority in your chosen field. Try one or more of the following and you might be surprised what business opportunities come your way.
  1. Volunteer your skills for a charity
  2. Do some work free of charge (give away something to get a lot)
  3. Start a blog in your field
  4. Write editorials and submit them to the paper... one might get picked up
  5. Find an industry publication and write for it
  6. Learn a new topic and write a whitepaper on it... put it on your blog
  7. Find an opportunity to teach what you know at a school or community center
Certainly, there is much more that you can do. You will find that the more you do, the more authority you will gain and the more people will trust you. This is different than networking... networking won't gain you any authority, it will only get you to know the people that can use your skills and talents.
Corey Smith is a co-founder of Resumango where you can build a better resume for free. 

Why Do Businesses Use Intrusive Marketing Methods?

Simple. They work. Alan Ralsky used spam to inflate the price of penny stocks, which he then sold for a profit. He made $3 million in one summer spamming thousands of us. But here's the question: how many loyal customers does he have? Even without his current indictment, Ralsky's intrusive methods won't earn him repeat business. Enter non-intrusive marketing. It works. Better. Why not market to prospects the way they want to be marketed to? You could make millions too, and your customers will be your advocates. So where do you start? If you aren't on the web, and listed on the search engines, that should be your first focus. You can start by launching a website and a blog, thereby being available 24/7 via the web to people who want your services.
Jared Hawk teaches onsite Excel Training in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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