The idea for this week’s article came to me while filling out the morning USA Today Crossword Puzzle. In and of itself there is no connection, so I don’t want you to spend any time trying to connect the dots. I suppose my point is that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere.
The truth is that your clients and future clients are out there dancing to the beat of their own drum. The chances are very good they are not doing the fox trot to the same rhythms. They are all focused on their own set of circumstances, and worrying about whatever it is they worry about. For you to enter their world thinking, or believing, that you can soon have them focusing on your agenda is nothing short of delusional. But there is a way. Read the rest of this entry »
When I mention this in my live programs, I usually get more than a few giggles in disbelief. I then tell the audience: “I mean it. I don’t like a lot of people. Who said that I have to ‘like’ everybody? The word ‘people’ is too general for me to rubber-stamp my affection toward anybody and everybody who can fog a mirror.”
Like in my live programs, I think it is time to hear my rationale.
The secret is not to like everybody, but to like the people you like. And then, be willing and eager to do everything within your power to service these people. No rules. No exceptions. No excuses. Not when you just feel like it. All the time. Read the rest of this entry »
There are 102* days left until Christmas. I know this number off the top of my head; and most of you either didn’t have a clue, or had no way to be sure until you pulled out a calendar and started adding up the days on your fingers. Truth?
But, I know it as a fact. There are 102 days left. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s graduation time all over the country. Young people have neither won nor lost the game of life. Their game will be getting started the moment they graduate from high school. And even then, many will postpone ramifications from poor judgment for another four years. But just the same, recently I found myself sharing a number of ideas and suggestions with a group of high school seniors.
So, what did this old gut have to say to bunch of “yoots”? Read the rest of this entry »
I love to watch professionals ply their trade.
A few years back, I hired a man to dig a hole in my backyard and he used a machine called a “Bobcat.” A Bobcat is a hole digging machine on 4 wheels… a mini bulldozer. I was digging a hole for a swimming pool and this guy could make that machine “sing.” Can you sing? Read the rest of this entry »
The prize we play for once a year is called The Guernsey Goblet. It has a figure of a cow on the top of a 13-inch trophy and
might be considered is ugly as sin. The tournament consists of four men representing two college fraternities from The University of Massachusetts circa 1970. For the record, Theta Chi has one plaque and TEP has three wins to date.
This is where the story unfolds; and where I deliver a sales message that might just change your life forever… for the better.
You see, what I have is a plaque in need of some engraving. Read the rest of this entry »
The lovely little town of Delray Beach is situated along the pristine beaches of South Florida between the towns of Boynton Beach and Deerfield Beach, 15 miles south of West Palm Beach. That’s a lot of beaches.
That smell wafting in the background is from Delray and it has nothing to do with tidal wash or expired sea creatures. It is coming from Old School Square where the Annual Garlic Festival is taking place. I went. I browsed. I smelled. Boy did I smell! Read the rest of this entry »
For as many years as I want to remember, I have been suggesting to travel professionals that their biggest problem, issue, and concern is simply that “not enough people know they are alive.” Visibility was their top snag.
When asked if they are still seeking their first paying customer, the vast majority (99%) of those in the audience giggle as if to say, “of course I have customers!” That tells me that they must already provide a valuable service to somebody; and in giving them the benefit of the doubt, they know what they are doing. This is the good news. Read the rest of this entry »
Things work when you make them work. Seems pretty simple, right? Your job is to make things work. Pretty simple concept as well, right? If so, then why isn’t more of this type of stuff going on? Here are three ideas to think about as you map out the future for your agency.
The Lunch Meeting
Last week out of the blue, a subscriber of mine called and asked if they could meet over a salad and a cup of coffee—”just to brainstorm and explore a few opportunities.” I did not know this person, but my calendar was clear so I agreed. I enjoyed lunch immensely and I now have a contact that might be useful for me someday. How did this meeting materialize? Someone asked me to lunch. Read the rest of this entry »
The Northeast Blackout of 2003 was big news more than a decade ago. One minute, there was light. In less than a blink, and without warning, there was none. Just like that.
This is yet another example of how quickly things change. How quickly things can change. And, how quickly things will change. One minute you are sailing nicely, the next you are hung up on a sand bar. Read the rest of this entry »
When my internet provider bought out a competitor the switch made my life miserable. I had all sorts of problems, and let’s just say that I wasn’t a happy surfer.
My local newspaper printed an article about the whole mess mentioning how clients were more than mildly upset. When I saw my cable company in the headline, my attention was drawn to the article. It said in effect, “Hey bub, if you are the recipient from this bogus treatment, I’m talking to you.” Read the rest of this entry »
Several years ago, Macy’s closed a number of stores for declining profits. This came as no surprise (retail is tough), but the fact that a major department store with a long and storied history in my neighborhood was potentially closing… that was big news indeed.
Why? Because I didn’t even know it still existed. Read the rest of this entry »
The concept of supply and demand infers that if there is no need for your particular skill, product or service, there is little justification for your employment. If people (owners, managers, clients or prospects) don’t feel you provide value, then you are in for some bad news…..and a trip to the unemployment line.
If somebody, somewhere, somehow indicates a need for what you do, and they are willing to compensate you for your contribution, you had better be pretty good at satisfying this need. This is a good place to be. Read the rest of this entry »
Under the pressure of day-to-day battle, you will, at some point, think you want to throw in the towel. For some, this may very well be sage advice. For most of you, it will prove to be a big mistake.
Regardless of your lot in life, there will be times when you decide that a hot dog stand sounds so much more appealing that a travel agency!
We all experience doubts.
We all question life’s logic.
We all wonder why.
We all second-guess. Read the rest of this entry »
Which of these two stories defines your organization?
#1 – I do the work.
I called a store and asked about a replacement glass cover for a kitchen light fixture. I was told that I would have to take a picture of the part and come into the store since they did not have a computer. I am not saying a computer makes or breaks a business. I am saying that the burden was quickly transferred onto my shoulders and what at first appeared as an easy fix was becoming more difficult by the second.
Or this one? Read the rest of this entry »
Here is some good advice…if you don’t want to regret your past, don’t screw up your future. And the future is entirely up to you.
When asked whether he had any regrets, Woody Allen answered, “I feel I had grandiose plans for myself when I started. And I have not lived up to them. I’ve done some things that are perfectly nice. But I had bigger plans. What has made it double poignant for me is that I never was denied the opportunity. The only thing standing between me and greatness is me.” Read the rest of this entry »
“While we can all become frustrated and discouraged, we must remain in the end a people prodigiously resourceful – resilient – and creative.”
Don’t ask me where I saw this quote but it caught my attention when I saw it.
I think it is safe to say that at times, many of us allow ourselves to be —- frustrated. Confused. Doubtful. Queasy. Anxious. Scared. Hesitant. Sad. Resentful. Soured.
I’m betting you can come up with a dozen or two more terms that might fit your negative mood now and then. And sometimes the holidays prove to be fertile ground for frustration. Read the rest of this entry »
What better place to begin another series of earth-shaking messages than at the bottom?
To give you an idea of just how my mind comes up with my messages, I am inviting you to picture this in the men’s room at the local library. True story.
You enter the rest room only to spot a grown man (me) down on his knees twisting and turning trying to get a new roll of toilet paper to cooperate.
One hundred turns one way, followed by two hundred turns the opposite way, all accompanied by less than attractive vocabulary.
When spinning the new roll each way for ten minutes fails to solve the puzzle, it is time to bang on the silver canister that hides the paper until your fist becomes numb. Read the rest of this entry »
My message this week is short and sweet. Come prepared. Those two words will serve you well in almost any business situation. It was reinforced to me at a recent trade show I attended where I saw plenty of people unprepared to do business.
People exhibit at trade shows ready to do business and wanting to do business. They come to the show wanting to meet new prospects. They come to the show with very good intentions. But Read the rest of this entry »
“If you can’t make it in America, you can’t make it.” I remember hearing the phrase like it was yesterday. It was the husband of a Russian immigrant couple in Chicago. He’s a successful ER surgeon and she is a successful…you guessed it…travel agent. Their home was modest, yet beautifully furnished. The good doctor said after passing the rolls at the dinner table… Read the rest of this entry »
As you know, I now live in Florida and my wife and I do not yet have a Rolodex of “go-to” sources.When an eye ailment hit my wife recently, we decided to go the Walgreen’s self-diagnosis route.When the problem persisted, we decided that a doctor’s office might be a better place to tear up?
If you have been hiding under a rock for the past fifteen years, you may not realize that Florida is a place where old folks go to hang out to avoid the winter chill and oppressive state taxes. It soon became obviously apparent to both my wife and me that many people have learned how to prey upon our elders in the Sunshine State. Read the rest of this entry »