Be more like Mike

September 9, 2008

…and you will easily connect with people at Networking events, job fairs, etc.


Recently, I took the 2 ½ hour ferry ride to Nantucket. My normal traveling persona is to skip any casual conversation with strangers who just might decide to bend my ear for the whole trip. It is a good opportunity for me to read, think, or nap. So why take the risk?


Before the ferry left the dock a guy one booth away caught my attention by saying…

Hey, what’s your name?

I looked up & said Jim and went back to reading. A few minutes later, I heard:

Hey Jim, who’s your favorite comedian?

I said, Jerry Seinfeld and went back to reading again. He told me that his favorite was Lily Tomlin.


At that point, I now felt obligated to ask, “What’s your name?” He said Mike


“Hi Mike” says I and went back again to reading. A few minutes later I hear…

Hey Jim, tell me a story about you. I told him that I was visiting some friends on Nantucket.


Now I feel obligated to say, “Mike, tell me a story about you”. He says “I have cerebral palsy Jim, and I hate it.”


My heart melted for Mike & we chatted for a little longer before I told Mike that I needed to finish what I was reading.  Well, a few minutes later an undaunted Mike connected with a guy at the next table over and I heard:

“Hey, what’s your name?”…and Mike repeated his routine about who is your favorite comedian and all of that. This went on for most of the trip as Mike made new friends.


You can be more like Mike when you meet strangers at events that you are attending. Start with “Hi, my name is Jim and it says right here that you are Mike. Is that right?  ………….Who’s your favorite comedian Mike?”

What do you hope to get out of today’s event? Then you can tell them you goals for today and see where it goes from there.


Be more like Mike – Treat people warmly and show an interest in them…build some rapport with them. It makes doing business a whole lot easier when we are working with friends.



Be “On Purpose”

August 25, 2008

 MEMO TO: All Professionals


Way back when I was a Naval Air Reservist, I saw the pilots going over their check lists every time they got into their airplane.  I remember thinking “don’t they know what they’re doing”?   They sure do, but they don’t leave even small details to chance or to recall.


I invite you to think back to when you were still new at your job. I’ll bet that when you approached your work it may have looked like this. You were prepared; you planned out the details, packed your sales kit, or planned the meeting. Then you went on a mission to lead the team, get new clients or whatever your job requires as an outcome.


Fast forward to the present: do you “wing it” most of the time or do you work without a checklist? Do you approach each situation with a plan or with an outcome in mind?


Be basic, make lists, take time to prepare and you will have greater confidence and greater success in all that you do.


No Shoes – No Wi-Fi – No Cell service

July 15, 2008

At first I was annoyed when I learned there was no cell service at the mountain vacation resort. You see, this was to be a “working vacation” (is this an oxymoron?). There was Wi-Fi service, but it was in the main building which was a 1/4 mile from our unit. However, all of this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I re-learned (yes I have learned this a few times in the past) that I don’t have to be “in touch” all the time. Many peaceful mornings were mine to savor. I checked email only 4 times that week!


Guess what? The “crazy busy” feeling left me. I had a couple of potentially break through ideas for my business, read two books, and really relaxed. I was able to use my cell phone when we drove down to the flatlands to go into town or go sight seeing. I checked my messages, returned important calls, and promptly shut off my phone.


Try this sometime real soon. Find the off button for your “labor saving devices” like the cell phone and email. It will free you up from the non stop; interrupt driven, lifestyle that seems to be the pattern for many business professionals these days. Sometimes if you do less you actually get more from the experience…..and Oh Yeah,…kick off your shoes and go barefoot while you’re at it.

Quit Wishin’ & Hopin’

June 22, 2008

 …..that business will get better. Get out there, create a sales process, and stick to it. When I work with a very small business (just the owner or the owner and a couple of employees) I’ll often find that the owner started off with a plan to bring in business, but they get a little weary and then slack off.  They need to pick the kids up, or the car isn’t running well, or there is SOOOooo much stuff to do in the office that they just can’t get out there often for the purpose of business development. UGH!  Then business dries up and they hit the road again to stir things up and then the cycle repeats.  It is important to have a plan and to work that plan. Schedule your time so that you always do the business development part. You can catch up with paperwork in non prime time or on the weekend. It takes a massive effort to get a business rolling, if you coast too long you may start a slide that is steeper than you imagine.

Solve a Problem – make a sale

May 26, 2008

That’s right if you are not meeting a prospects’ need or not solving a problem you don’t have a sale. So how do you know what their issues are?  Asking directly might work, but often prospects are not clear themselves.  Ask questions like; if you could have the ideal relationship with your CPA ( or your service) what would that be like?  Can you tell me what you like most about your current relationship  with your_______?  Then listen and ask “what do you like least?  Bingo, you have it.  Asking questions and sincerely listening will often provide the clues as to what a client wants, lacks, or needs.


%d bloggers like this: