Home bases and outposts…

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has been reading my mail. Or attending my seminars. Or both. Seriously, he does a great job in this video of explaining some of the tactics that I use to drive traffic to my blog…

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Why. I. Am. Doing. This.

I believe in the power of stories. Stories are like Maps. They point to directions and paths that we might not have seen if not well marked. I share my stories, and my goal is to enable others to be emboldened to share theirs. Stories told as they are happening is a way of seeing the imperfect, raw, and often tenuous ways that outcomes are shaped. When any decision is seen in retrospect, we can say “of course” but that’s rarely how it feels at the time. I did a very transparent process of sharing the Rubicon closure story over the course of a year, in the hopes that perhaps it will be informative to others and knowing that how I tell the story years from now will be different than the steps on the journey. This blog can then be a learning journey of stories – yours and mine.

Nilofer Merchant is brilliant! Follow her blog and you’ll see why…

Google announces mobile brain search…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWcM0wowUSs&feature=player_embedded
Boy, do I need this!
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$38.67 that will change your year

If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fmakrai-20%2F8003%2F974832f3-cfc8-4f4e-a456-7f7a36b9a700&Operation=GetDisplayTemplate null

Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a ‘must read’ recommendation for me. John Spence defines what a ‘book’ should be in the new millennium by hosting a website with bonus materials for readers. He’s also active in social media and eagerly engages readers…
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin’s systematic approach to building new habits is outlined here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to access them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? The total in the title is the sum of all the Kindle books I recommended and you can click on any title in the slider to order it immediately…

This video will help you get the picture…
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9aeH99g-vM

Now as much as I love all things Google, Kindle content is cheaper than the new Google Books by about 50% in my informal testing and although the Android reader for Google Books is more full featured, imho, Kindle software is a more compelling offering at the moment. btw, if you’d prefer to listen, there’s always Audible — another service from Amazon.com! Again, no special device is required because there’s Audible software available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and web browser. Instead of listening to talk radio, now you can get smart while you’re driving around!

According to Einstein, doing the same things and expecting different results is the very definition of insanity. These books, combined with new ways of consuming their wisdom, will help you get from where you’re at to where you want to be as a business leader in 2011. Really!

All the best to you in 2011!

Writing a killer blog

…without killing yourself in the process. Good thoughts from Louis Gray…

Five Ways to Write Magnificent Copy

Most writing could be better.

Not just a little better — significantly better.

If you start out with a solid topic, a good knowledge of your audience, and a reasonable degree of writing ability, you’ll usually end up with a pretty good piece of writing.

But you don’t have to settle for “pretty good.” A little attention to the final details can kick “pretty good” to “magnificent.”

Whether you’re creating blog posts, special reports, sales letters, a video script, email autoresponders, or whatever else, you can take your writing up a level just by applying some simple principles:

I love the first way; write drunk/edit sober. Follow the ‘via’ link to read all 5 ways…

The Fine Art of Asking Questions

Tom Hopkins
Image by vaXzine via Flickr

Many salespeople who haven’t yet reached the professional stage in their careers think selling is exactly the opposite of what it really is. When you entered the selling field, you may have thought, “Now my job is to talk and talk and talk.” So off you go. “Here it is folks. Won’t ravel, rust, or rip. Can’t blister, break, or drip. Oh, you’re going to love it. You’d better buy now!”

The professional salesperson, the true Champion, realizes that people have two ears and one mouth, and that they should be used in that proportion. This means that after talking ten seconds, you switch your mouth off, switch your ears on, and listen for 20 seconds. This also means that instead of overwhelming your potential clients with words, you encourage them to talk. Let’s compare the two methods.

You can follow the ‘via’ link above to go directly to the source to get the whole story if you’d like. I quoted Tom Hopkins here because he really nailed it! I attended one of his sales seminars in the late 80’s in San Jose and this question based methodology has been with me my throughout my entire career…

imho, no one has done a better job of turning this approach into an art form than Sharon Drew Morgen. Here’s an interview I did with her a couple of years ago…

Her ‘Buying Facilitation‘ model remains the best tool in my toolkit after 30 years in business development. If you’re interested in ‘the fine art of asking questions’, learn more about Sharon Drew Morgen and Buying Facilitation — Sharon Drew is the master…