Tuesday, April 25, 2006

To get you have to give

Oscar sent me a great email on Guy Kawasaki's blogsite on entrepreneurship and networking (see below in comments)

If you cruise through Guy's blog, you'll see oodles of hints, tips and links to other great people and resources.

If you want great word of mouth, be generous in your mentorship and your connections. Watch the hits on Guy's blogsite and you'll see he attracts huge success with his largesse.

Another example of this generosity is the assistance I've received from an Ellusive Fish. Rob shot me an email after he reviewed WOMBLOG and gave me some suggestions on linking.

Hide your knowledge and release it only when the purchase order is written, you'll be one of the crowd.

Share your wisdom and you'll gain that most valued description: "he's a good guy" or
"she's a nice person"

Friday, April 21, 2006

WOMBAT: it's not always about the product

[an actual email received by an associate of mine]

Dear _____________,

Today, I received your thank-you card. Thank you for this extremely kind behaviour which is very rare to find in this decade and in this continent. As I mentioned in my previous e-mail, I am also looking forward to cooperate with yourself and develop more business.


[senior executive from _________with previous experience in Europe and the Middle East. ]

What's the secret to goal setting?

Here's an email from one of the people on my running clinic:

On March 15, 2005 at my yearly physical my doctor told me to lose 60 lbs. She indicated that my 226 lbs was not ideal and I should be between 160 and 170 for my height. I told her I haven't weighed that since maybe grade 8 but I was now on a mission. I began training (swimming, biking and running) on March 16th and signed up to do an Olympic Triathlon in Sept. 2005. I completed my Triathlon goal and this year's goal as you may have figured out is a marathon. Over the past year, I've worked hard in terms of exercise, no so hard in terms of diet, but that's next. Anyway, yesterday was my yearly physical. Time to hit the scale and see was the year of training and getting off my a$$ did for me. I'm happy to say I'm down 49 lbs and now weigh 177lb. I have 7 more to go, but I know that it will happen. With the weight loss has come many benefits. I'm sick much less often, I can keep up with my 4 kids, and I'm just generally happier.

What's the secret to goal setting? Just write one out. Print it out. Draw a line in the sand. Make a deadline. Tell all your friends. Hang around good people.

Sure...we may stumble but better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Not just another branch office

So what's the secret in getting people to return your call? How do you stay "top of mind" so people remember you?

About 10 years ago, I had to make a trip to a local shopping mall. On my way back to the car, I came face to face with a parked truck. "Baldy's Tree Service" was prominantly painted on the side. My first reaction was "that's a funny name for a business". Around the front side of the truck, a guy was trimming shrubbery.

I struck up a conversation with him and asked him if he worked on residential homes. Turned out he did. Then I had to ask about the name. He mentioned that originally Baldy was just a nickname but his customers said it was a name they found easy to remember.

Rod's been back to my property 4 times in the last 10 years doing treework.

He's conscientious about tidiness, shows up on time and seems to do a good job. I've never really shopped around for another quote because it's so darned easy to remember to remember "Baldy's."

Sometimes you don't have to be better than your competition, just different enough to stay on someone's mind so they think of you when the need arises.

So how are YOU different?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Engineering Angst

How the heck do you get past the awkwardness of opening a new relationship?

I recently received an email from a "good guy" who had attended one of my seminars. We'll call him "Ed". In keeping with the WOMBAT philosophy, Ed sent me a thank you card and enclosed a great article titled As luck would have it. The he sent me the link by email: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=000D60F7-CDDB-1419-89C783414B7F0101&colID=13

It was an amazing read and contained information I can use for my next Knocking down Silos seminar. I also forwarded to to several clients and prospects; and that made me look great.

Ed did exactly what it took to reinforce a relationship: to get you have to give.

But here's the kicker: Ed's got incredible knowledge and drive but (like many engineers and finance folks) he finds himself fixated on needing "things" to get in the door: business cards, catalogues, presentations. In fact, he's thinking of giving up on selling himself as he finds that he can't simply walk in and start talking to someone without a place to start.

I've got one suggestion and am challenging readers of WOMBLOG to chip in with their own.

Ed, if in doubt, start off with a compliment. People surround themselves with clothing, jewelry and decorations that reflect their taste.They are always flattered when someone picks up on it.

These have worked well for me for years:

"I was admiring your watch, it's really unsual."
"So I see you work for _________. I've heard a lot of good things about them. How long have you worked there?"
"Is that a Saab you drive? I've always thought about getting one of those, do you like yours?"
"You're a graduate of ________________? That's a great school! What was your degree in?"
"You say you're from India? Bombay? I'd love to go there one day. I've always had a fascination for history and I'd love to visit some of the beautiful temples in India."

These have to be sincere and honest - so find a compliment that works for you. Many people I know in the science and finance world don't lack sincerity; so this technique will work to open a relationship.

Any other suggestions for Ed?

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Iron Apple

Someone I know recently returned from a business trip to that mecca of business and brusqueness: New York City.

We all get a little intimidated when meeting people - especially when they have more seniority and knowledge. And it's a triple whammy when you are a) a woman in a group of older men b) a Canadian surrounded by New Yorkers and c) just introducing a product line (in this case: cross-border financial solutions).

But is it all about business? Sometimes people respect you more for page 3 of your resume than the quality of material in your briefcase. When asked what she did when she wasn't talking finance, she mentioned she was training for Ironman USA in July. The dynamics of the conversation instantly changed and instead of just another vendor, she was elevated in their eyes to someone who was focused, driven and definitely different. In fact, a point of commonality was made when one director revealed his wife was an Olympian who competed in Sarajavo.

Never be reluctant to share your outside interests; it may get you the business.