Sep 12, 2013
1. “I don’t have access to that information.” (PNC)
2. “I don’t know how ‘they’ make that decision.” (American Express)
3. “Our system won’t allow us to do that.” (Citi)
Over the past several months, I’ve heard all three of these and more.
Best case, I actually make a human connection with the service rep and he/she even admits their company’s policies and procedures make no sense. (HT to that nice manager at Citi. He probably got fired if they actually do listen to calls for “quality
Sep 05, 2013
Now that I have your attention…
Sorry, there isn’t one. In fact, there is never a generic answer to any questions related to starting and sustaining a successful business.
Of course my bank account would be healthier if I’d just tell people there was a no-fail solution…and for only $1995.00 I’ll send you the binders, full of easy, no-fail templates. (And, I’d be sure and write the fine print in itsy-bitsy type, so when the binders didn’t do the trick, it would be your fault, not mine.)
Sep 03, 2013
“Do you think that’s a problem?”
Recently, I was asked what a balance sheet was…which reminded me of the quote above - from when I was a finance major (after pre-med, social work/psych and before marketing. Yes, I have more undergrad hours than pretty much anyone on the planet.) A fellow student came out of the finals all smiles, but he was just a bit worried about his balance sheet that didn’t - um - balance.
Of course, balance sheets, while lovely in their symmetry, can be - well -
Aug 29, 2013
One of my (real-life 3-D) friends recently told me of a local who has decided to become a social media consultant since “there is no social media expertise in Albuquerque.” Ahem. Moving along…(The snarky zebra image is one I use in my social media workshops, where we talk about how to get results…and the fact you may not even need a Facebook page, ever.)
So, how did this local come by his expertise? Years of work in developing, implementing and managing integrated offline/online marketing
Aug 27, 2013
Citi, American Express, and CenturyLink - here’s lookin’ at you, kids.
1. Send out wave after wave of direct mail pieces, with the recipient’s name misspelled, to a long-time customer. Who now wonders why she can’t get the same extra, special deal as a new customer.
Bonus points if you also have the wrong company. (Hint: I’m not Mary Smith and it’s not been Mary Schmidt & Associates for over six years.)
Double bonus points if your marketing hyperbole doesn’t match your actual product
Aug 21, 2013
WRITERS ON WRITING; Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle (Elmore Leonard, NYT, 2001)
In honor of Elmore Leonard, one of my favorite writers - here are his ten rules for fiction writing. However, they apply to any form of written communication - from business plans to marketing brochures to web copy.
1. Never open a book with weather.
How this applies to your business writing: Of course, you (probably) wouldn’t start your web copy with “It was a dark and
Aug 20, 2013
I routinely caution clients to avoid spreadsheet myopia. (“Hey! It looks great on paper!”) - since the real world has a nasty way to blowing even the most meticulously thought-out financials. Investors don’t invest. Customers don’t buy. The economy tanks. The government grant is cancelled. Etc. etc.
That said, entrepreneurs can’t just blithely ignore the numbers either. Delusional optimism (one of my clients coined that one) has its place. (After all, if entrepreneurs weren’t just a little
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