Knowing Something About Your Customer Is Just As Important As Knowing Everything About Your Product

  Knowing something about your customer is just as important as knowing everything about your product. Take politicians, for example. A politician will support your proposition only as long as it is politically popular or uncommonly rewarding. That isn’t to say that pols are any less honest or reliable than…

Myths of the Marketplace

  1.       We don’t have any competition. This is the attitude that practically sank IBM, General Motors, Schwinn bikes, and every other company that thought they could disregard and/or abuse their customers endlessly because their products were unique and indispensable. Surprise! They weren’t. Every business, every individual, has competition….

Acting Smart and Being Smart

Of all the human failings that can destroy a business, arrogance is the deadliest.  it is the most readily acquired, the easiest to justify, and the hardest to recognize in ourselves. It’s different from greed, laziness, or dishonesty.  These faults are usually individual flaws, not contagious to entire companies….

5 Ways To Ruin A Good Sales Force

We’ve all read countless cautionary tales about once-mights companies that lost their way.  The horror stories usually blame products that haven’t kept up, dumb acquisitions, weak marketing strategies, byzantine decision-making procedures, or overloaded debt structures. There’s another major reason companies hit the skids, and I have yet to see…

Trust The Experts…To Be Wrong

There are two types of experts… and it’s very important to distinguish between them: There is the expert who can make something happen, and there is the expert who can tell you what he or she thinks is going to happen. Get all the advice you can afford from…

Tie-Downs Are Critical To Sales

If you knew two little words that could improve your sales, you’d use them, wouldn’t you? When you see your customer has some reservations, it makes sense to get the issues out in the open, doesn’t it? And after the ink is dry on the deal, you should make…

When Choice Outflanks Prime

Diplomacy is all about making the right choices.  When I persuaded my wife, Carol Ann, to say “I do” ages ago, we entered serious negotiations to nail down the ground rules for our marriage.  Then we hit on it.  In our family, I would make all the major decisions,…

Take Your Work Seriously, Don’t Take Yourself Seriously

“Dilbert,” which is carried in 1,100 newspapers, has helped us laugh at the crazy dynamics of the workplace. Now if we could only start laughing at ourselves. The late and much beloved chief executive of Coca-Cola, Roberto Goizueta, had the ability. He could distance himself from a situation, and…

Cradle-To-Grave Cuba: Poised for Rebirth?

The 1986 measures taken against South Africa surely hastened the end of apartheid.  In most other cases, embargos are a blunder.  Take Cuba. We started imposing sanctions against Cuba a half century ago.  Where have they gotten us? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put a number to the…

Inching Ahead Your Goal Line

Great goals make you stretch, not snap. You must stay focused on your goals above all else. Truly dedicated individuals won’t let anything interfere with attaining their goals. that’s why so few people become champions. It’s not easy. The late Red Auerback, famed Boston Celtics coach, was one of…