Going Off the Grid

September 21, 2007 at 11:27 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Everyone has told me that it is important to keep current and to not let too much time elapse between blog posts.

Sounds right.

But it is not to be.

I’m leaving for Barcelona tonight and will be on vacation for 2 weeks. My treo is joining me but I’ve made a pact with myself to check in just once a day and only to handle any “emergencies” that might arise.

The blog will wait.

See ya on October 8th.

But Wait…There Must Be Something Better

September 20, 2007 at 6:41 am | Posted in Networking | Leave a comment

The crazy busy Fall networking / trade show season is upon us with calendar listings in major business publications filled with date after date of what sound like bona fide valuable events. As a frequent presenter at some of these events I suffer from the “late enrollment” problem, the one that has potential attendees evaluating their choices till the very last minute and not making any sort of decision until they pretty much show up at the door. When I am merely the speaker it isn’t quite so bad a problem; I show up and do my thing regardless of the crowd. But as a frequent event “planner” I suffer through weeks and days of not knowing how much food to order, how large a room to reserve, and all the other operational details that go along with running a program. It harkens back to dating when you didn’t say “yes” because you were waiting to see if the person you REALLY wanted to ask you out would do so. (Or at least I think it was that way.) So for all of you folks that are waiting on the NYCof cocktail party, Ramon and Adrian’s seminar, the awesome Nov 7th LIEG event…take the plunge. Register today and eliminate the stress that lurks behind the scenes.

The Apple Saga Continues

September 17, 2007 at 9:06 pm | Posted in technology | Leave a comment

Okay. Here’s the shout out for the best, most patient, most responsible, most insightful Mac consultant around:

Jonathan Zacks
Principal
MacHelpNYC
350 7th Avenue, Suite 1503
New York, NY 10001
tel: (212) 675-4957
fax: (212) 937-3547
Mac Help NYC

After a nauseating amount of time on the phone with Apple and much time spent perusing the Apple web sites, Jonathan saved the day and got the music loaded.

If you have a Mac, you need Jonathan.

I Love Apple but…………

September 16, 2007 at 6:25 pm | Posted in sales | Leave a comment

I am the almost happy owner of a new iPod Nano and I have great hopes that it will help me to pass the time on an upcoming 9-hour trans-atlantic flight…uh, that is—if I can get my music that is on my computer onto the device. I tried and tried the click and drag instructions that seem awfully simple and still, no luck. Here’s where my love affair with Apple gets a bit grim. I tried to call the store. Yup. Wanted to speak with a human as I thought that there was just one teeny tiny step that I was missing.

Did you ever try to call the Apple store in NYC? 582,094 prompts later I was still unable to get to that elusive human. Click.

Yup. Another almost happy Apple customer.

Another Networking Success Story

September 13, 2007 at 9:10 pm | Posted in Networking | Leave a comment

Thank you NYCof (New York Company of Friends, Fast Company magazine’s global reader’s network)…once again the virtual community has helped me, this time to escape the land of FAQ’s so that I could attend to the work that I do best while leaving the set-up of this blog/widget wonderland to Stephanie Cockerl (http://www.nextsteph.com)…as this is her world.

So once again the important point is that networking is not about the quick hit, slam bam piece of business, but more about relationships…for business…for business support…and yes, expert advice.

My Most Unfavorite Call to Customer Service (for the day anyway)

September 12, 2007 at 6:59 am | Posted in Customer Service | 1 Comment

My apologies, for how many rants do you need to read about being on the receiving end of poor customer service. And, maybe not customer service as dispensed by the rep. No, I mean poor customer service as dispensed by the company that decided in their unimaginable wisdom to install an auto attendant that does not allow you the freedom to opt out and speak with a live person. Yes, another one of those, this time embodied by a well-known satellite TV company (Is that PC or what?). Endless prompts, inability to default and then even more endless waits until a “live” person was available to chat. So, if you are ever in a position to spec out a new phone system and the accompanying auto attendant feature take a minute and walk in the caller’s shoes. No really. We’re all customers at one point or another, despite our day job. And remember how infuriating it is to try to do business with a company that doesn’t respect its customer’s time. And perhaps even intelligence.

And when all else fails, consult http://gethuman.com/ and perhaps you can have a better experience.

How to Marry Technology & Sales for Sure Success: A Blatant Promotion for a Great Event

September 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Sales & Technology | 1 Comment

Join Ramon Ray and Adrian Miller in a highly informative and unimaginably enjoyable morning seminar and networking event. The name of the game is relevance and Adrian and Ramon promise to provide content that is actionable and right on target.

Ramon will give you the ins and outs of how to use technology to BOOST sales in your business. He’ll touch on blogs, email newsletters and social media.

Adrian will share “the blatant truth” about the real-world of sales success; in effect, she’ll give you the core guts of what you need to survive and thrive in the new world of sales.

What you’ll get:

2 first-rate presentations from 2 of New York’s best speakers
Program handouts
Discount on Adrian’s book “The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success”
Muffins and coffee
Networking opportunities
Raffle

END RESULT: You’ll be armed and ready to maximize your sales success in 2008

ABOUT ADRIAN:

Adrian Miller is an experienced sales consultant and trainer well known for her clear, potent and highly practical strategies on the key issues that directly impact sales performance. She is the author of “The Blatant Truth: 50 Ways to Sales Success” and is a frequent presenter at conferences nationwide.

ABOUT RAMON:

Ramon, Technology Evangelist, is the editor of Smallbiztechnology.com and author of Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses (Amacom). He has written thousands of technology articles and news items for Smallbiztechnology.com and other media including Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Ramon is not “just” a technology writer, but as a former small business technology consultant, he has years of hands on experience in building networks, installing software, upgrading computers and supporting the technology small businesses use on a daily basis.

DETAILS:

October 23, 2007
8AM-10AM

Regus Business Center
11 Penn Plaza

Event URL:
http://technologyandsales.eventbrite.com

Fee; $20 in advance; $30 at the door
Seating is limited due to room constraints so early registration is strongly suggested.

The Training Didn’t Work

September 8, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Sales Training | 4 Comments

I was referred to a new prospect the other day and was told that the firm’s sales were “flat” …maybe I could “do something.” I followed up (of course) and had a conversation with the owner of the firm. Seems they tried training in the past and it “just didn’t work.” No ROI he told me. The sales revenues did not improve. And because of his bad experience he wasn’t going to try it again. Nope. Training doesn’t work…at least in his firm. And you know what, training doesn’t work UNLESS you put a couple of things in place, specifically:

–Follow-up reinforcement training that is conducted on an ongoing basis
–Recognition and rewards to motivate and incent sales reps
–Results measurement (how do you know that it isn’t working)
–Realistic time line (be patient, application of new skills and techniques takes time)

Make certain to attend to these necessary follow-up steps lest you be forced to say “the training didn’t work.”

What is Networking?

September 4, 2007 at 9:12 am | Posted in Networking | 5 Comments

The Fall “networking season” is upon us with evites to events, seminars, summits and more. But really, what is networking? I’ve been told that I am an excellent networker because I am pretty much always looking to connect people, be they clients, prospects, vendors, friends, relatives and so on. But then, I always did this, way before the term networking hit our consciousness and became some sort of business building mantra.

I know that many people think they’re good networkers, but in actuality, they are not. I know this because they admit to looking at connections in an entirely linear manner and do not see the advantages in “circular” introductions. They are comfortable when there is a short-term “need” and then they can make an introduction or referral if you will. It is when the need is not clearly defined and more creativity is called for that they back off and do not engage in the networking dance.

There are definitely “natural” networkers and I am certain that they engaged in this sort of activity in the school yard, at camps, in classrooms, in their clubs, sports teams and more. They see the endless possibilities that come simply from people knowing people and undertand networking as nothing more than building relationships one contact at a time with no need for immediate business gain.

The key word is relationship and as soon as metrics are applied the word loses a bit of its luster.

Agree?

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