Category Archives: non-verbal communication


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Decision influencers: who they are, and how to work with them

Who invented the techno-thriller?  If your taste is military and hardware, then Tom Clancy. If other techno-areas, Michael Crichton gets the nod.

When we think techno-thriller, we tend to be looking forward—the newest ships and planes (in Clancy-land). Or medical or science technologies that are  just over the horizon—as in cloning dinosaurs in JURASSIC PARK, the perils of nanotechnology in PREY, biotech in THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN, quantum physics as a route to time–travel in TIMELINE. Continue reading Decision influencers: who they are, and how to work with them



back, once upon a time,  I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew
up, so  went to law school. (Like a lot of people who didn’t know what
they wanted to be.) I made it through some bar exams, and found myself
admitted in NY, VA, and DC

did learn a lot of Important Stuff in law school, the most important of
which was learning that what I did not want (now that I was grown up)
was to spend my life practicing law and fighting other peoples’ Zero-sum

I  segued into management consulting, and found my niche. As a
consultant, I got paid to explore (vicariously) varieties of careers and
organizations, some in the business world, others in government.

specialty was open-ended: discovering why organizations and the
individuals within were under-performing, and crafting methods to help
them function better. Which meant that I got paid to do a lot of fun
stuff (fun to me, at least). Meeting with people on all rungs across
organizational  charts, from Top Dog to New Kid (and comparing different
perspectives and skills). Riding with the best (and worst) performers
and figuring out why the difference. Developing and presenting
workshops: some for sales managers and reps in organizations including
Xerox, Kodak; other workshops for overseas officers for the U.S. State
Department’s Foreign Service Institute.

as well as two others coming out in late 2012. I also took what I had
learned from my own marketing efforts, as well as from some of the
workshops I developed for clients, and produced a series of practical
sales-training guides: SELLING 101: Essential Selling Skills; SALES TRAINING TUTORIALS; and SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS Handbook.

But it was not all management work. Early on, I’d been fascinated by the work of Captain Cousteau (THE SILENT WORLD)
and others exploring in the world beneath the ocean surface. (At one
point–still figuring out what to be when I grew up–I even gave serious
consideration to becoming an oceanographer.)

a way, that early fascination with what’s hidden in the depths beneath
the ocean surface transformed into a new fascination: to explore the
as-yet-unrecognized deeper potentials latent within human beings.  Are
we just melanges of chemicals and synapses, or are we “transformers” (if
you will) of other energies still mostly dormant within us?

sense is that we are on the verge of breakthrough discoveries in the
world of what I term, not “the para-normal,” but rather “the
dormant-normal”. I’m exploring those possibilities in a series of
technothrillers:  A REMEDY FOR DEATH; A CERTAIN POWER; JOINING MIRACLES (not really a thriller, more a parable); and another in progress.

Worksheets & templates for use with SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS

I expect you've arrived at this page following the link in the e-book SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS.  Here is the download, as promised:

Download Worksheets and templates for Sales Presentations and Demonstrations

If you don't already have SALES PRESENTATIONS & DEMONSTRATIONS, you can order it here as either an e-book or paper book.  (If you don't have an e-reader, Amazon will provide a free app to enable you to read it on your smart-phone, tablet, or PC.

(Links will be added shortly.)

“Tough times often lead to new ideas when jobless (inventors) let their creativity go,” sugggests USA Today.

Remember the old saying," Out of adversity comes prosperity?"  Maybe losing the job, or getting serious about what to do IF the job disappears, may be the best thing yet.

I've seen it often enough with friends and co-workers, and here's an article with a case study of just that happening.

Of course, there is one other step, apart from inventing, developing, manufacturing, and so forth.   That step? Marketing and selling it . . .  which is where this blog fits in.

I've included the link to the USA Today archives below, but since I find anything of USA Today online to be extremely difficult and persnickety to use, the article was "Tough economic times provide fertile soil for inventors' creations," by Dan D'Ambrosio and Adam Silverman, in the issue of July 20, 2011, page 3B.

Link to that USA Today article

“That hobby you love could be a business,” headlines article in USA Today

"That hobby you love could be a business.  but it takes  a a ton of work and a lot of help," headlines Lottie L. Joiner's special for USA Today, Monday July 17, 2011.

The focus was on a cosmetics hobby that grew into a small business at craft fairs, then into a much bigger business with nine stores and now products carried at Dillard's, Macy's and others.

Implicit was the need to be efffective at selling, not just at the early craft fairs, but even more so in attracting investors and partners.

Note that the link to USA Today's page also carries a link to a video on the same topic.

Go to USA Today article

Your elevator pitch— how-to from two sources

The "Elevator Pitch," or "Elevator Speech," is not just a key tool in your selling activities, it's a must-have. Even if you never ride an elevator, you still need to be able to "net-out" who you are and what you or your product/service can do for prospects in a concise, intriguing way.

In this post, I'll be doing two things: First, citing an article bearing the Imprimatur of the Wall Street Journal on the need for a good elevator pitch. 

Second, I'll be including an excerpt from one of my own sales books on how to develop an effective, to-the-point elevator speech. 

(Actually, I don't really like either term, but they'll do until we come up with better.  "Pitch" implies a hard-sell pitch right there, whereas it should be more of a brief, intriguing answer to an implied question,"Who are you and what can you do to brighten my life?"  While"speech" implies standing and talking at the helpless, trapped subject. Beware.)

First, the article:  "Why you need an elevator pitch" — an article by Sarah Needleman a  couple of weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal blog section, "The Juggle"

 Go to article "Why you need an elevator pitch"

Bonus tip: be sure to read the comments, particularly one by Ruth Schimel, who raises an alternate approach: using that "elevator" time to ask questions that give you a better sense of who that person is, and what they may need that you can offer.  In a sense, this is a kind of precursor to a Consultative Selling approach.

Full disclosure: Ruth Schimel is a career consultant in, I believe, the Washington DC area,. If it's the same Ruth Schimel, we worked together for about five years: she as the very savvy contract coordinater for the US State Department on a series of management workshops I developed and presented. I'll be checking that out shortly.

Second, here's the excerpt from my book, How to  SELL FACE-TO-FACE: SURVIVAL GUIDE . . .  

which (thanks for asking!) you can order from Amazon in either the paper version or Kindle e-book.     Order via Amazon How to Sell Face-to-Face: Survival Guide

Here's that excerpt:

6.    In 30 seconds or less, how will I sum up the essence of what kind of needs my product or service fills?  In other words, who does it help, and how does it help?

    In sales jargon, this is The Elevator Pitch.  It’s the short, smart, pithy, intriguing response you’d make if  you’re riding the elevator at a convention, or standing around before a Movers and Shakers Luncheon,  and somebody asks what you do.

    But short, smart, pithy, intriguing responses don’t just happen: you need to invest time in advance thinking through and rehearsing so the words come out just right.

    The key is to focus on what your product (or service) does for customers— that is, what needs it fills—rather than on what it is.  Example:  suppose you’re asked that question of what you do.  Which of these responses do you find more powerful and compelling?

❏        “I design web-pages to meet the new HIWE standard.”

❏    “As a consultant, I help clients improve their internet marketing reach using new technologies just becoming available.”
    It may take time, and several early drafts, before you have the perfect  Elevator Speech,  so begin thinking about it early.  But don’t lock it into concrete too early.  Be open to what the marketplace tells you as you are making your early sales calls.

    You want to keep your options open so you can adapt to what opportunities open up,  yet you do need to be able to speak of one or a few areas in which your experience is relevant as a way of setting the context of what you are capable of.

    For example, you could say,
    “My experience has been in the general field of _____, and I'm adapting that expertise to  problem-solving  in related fields.”

    Or you could respond,
    “I'm basically a problem solver, working in the general area of _____.”

    If possible, immediately back up these general statements with a capsule summary of one or two relevant accomplishments: 
    “For a large manufacturing company, we  _____.  We anticipate offering those kinds of services to smaller firms in this area.”