December 2, 2014 09:19
If you were like me you received a ton of emails yesterday during Cyber Monday. Emails from businesses that you may have even forgotten even existed. I'm not a Cyber Monday shopper, but I do enjoy reading the marketing messages that magically show up in my inbox.
There were some reallly good emails from DuluthTrading.com. Although they are a bit bold for young audiences, their frankness and wording choices remind me to stay grounded and old fashion simple, straight talk ad copy still works. Other emails from Evernote.com were simple and straigh-forward text emails with a bit of bold text sprinkled to point out where you might want to focus your attention.
Then their was the email from Dell.com. Frankly, I couldn't believe what I was seeing when I looked at my inbox in the mid-afternoon. This was staring at me...
At first I just glanced over it, but the words Shhhhh caught my attention. Then I read the words together ... 'while you work. Shhhhh.
I wondered, could it be they are encouraging people to be sneaky and shop with them while folks are supposed to be working? I figured it must be a play on words so I opened the email and discovered that unfortunately my suspicions were spot on.
Dell was encouraging everyone who had received their email to STEAL from their employer!
When someone is paying you for your time to do work for them and you decide to spend your time on personal matters while you are 'on the clock' ... you are a thief.
Why not just ask your boss. Let him decide if he minds or not. If he doesn't mind you spending 30 minutes doing some Cyber Monday shopping then go for it, but if he does be respectful and stay productive until you are out of work.
Unfortunately for Dell they have lost my personal and business equipment purchases forever.
September 13, 2014 08:37
Whether you are presenting to a large group, your four person team, or even one on one ... use these 5 best practices for getting results.
Passion is Contagious
Be authentic. Be yourself. talk about what you think about. Others don't really engage with folks who don't have a deep core of belief in what they are communicating.
Your Brain on Stories
Tell stories. Period. But make sure they are real and true or be honest and metnion it's an analogy.
Your Brain's Natural Save Button
Do something "shocking, impressive, or surprising moment that is so moving and memorable, it grabs the listener’s attention and is remembered long after the presentation is over".
Pictures are Superior
"Simply put, if you hear information, you are likely to remember about 10 percent of that information three days later. Add a picture, however, and your recall rate will soar to 65 percent".
The 18 Minute Rule
You can easily give people too much to remember and it doesn't take too long. Keep your topics to 18 minutes. It doesn't mean you can't present for longer than 18 minutes. Just "re-engage the audience every 10 to 18 minutes with soft breaks: videos, stories, pictures, or demonstrations" and you help in making more of what is presented memorable.
More detail from Prezi on the subject here.
September 1, 2014 17:03
A recent article in Inc magazine had a list of business questions to ask provided by some of the most successful business people of our time.
Questions are good. If you've ever been in a conversation or meeting with someone who knows how to ask good questions they very quickly begin to earn your respect. It's probably safe to say the wisest people you know ask thoughtful questions and speak very little of their own opinions. You mention their name and reference them as wise to a colleague and they respond with, yeah, but I hardly ever hear them talk.
Voltaire once said "Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers".
Some of my favorite questions from the Inc 100...
- How can we become the company that would put us out of business? -Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group
- What trophy do we want on our mantle? - Marcy Massura, a digital marketer and brand strategist at MSL Group
- Massura explains, “Not every business determines success the same way.Is growth most important to you? Profitability? Stability?”
- What counts that we are not counting? -Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality and head of global hospitality for Airbnb
- Conley explains, “In any business, we measure cash flow, profitability, and a few other key metrics. But what are the tangible and intangible assets that we have no means of measuring, but that truly differentiate our business? These may be things like the company’s reputation, employee engagement, and the brand’s emotional resonance with people inside and outside the business.”
- In the past few months, what is the smallest change we have made that has had the biggest positive result? What was it about that small change that produced the large return? -Robert Cialdini, author and professor emeritus of marketing and psychology at Arizona State University
- What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve? -Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator
- Which customers can’t participate in our market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions? -Clayton Christensen, author, Harvard Business School professor, and co-founder of Innosight
- Who uses our product in ways we never expected? -Kevin P. Coyne and Shawn T. Coyne, authors and strategy consultants
- What one word do we want to own in the minds of our customers, employees, and partners? -Matthew May, author and innovation expert
- May explains, “This deceptively simple question creates utter clarity inside and outside a company. It is incredibly difficult for most people to answer and difficult to get consensus on--even at the highest levels. Apple = different. Toyota = quality. Google = search. It’s taken me three years to get one of my clients, Edmunds.com, to find and agree on their word: trust.”
- What should we stop doing? -Peter Drucker, management expert and
- Is there any reason to believe the opposite of my current belief? -Chip and Dan Heath, authors who teach at Stanford’s and Duke’s business schools, respectively
- Do we have the right people on the bus? Are they in the right seat? -Jim Collins, author and management consultant
- Am I failing differently each time? -David Kelley, founder, IDEO
- If our customer were my grandmother, would I tell her to buy what we’re selling? -Dan Pink, author
What questions help you find success? Find at here: http://www.inc.com/magazine/201404/leigh-buchanan/100-questions-business-leaders-should-ask.html.
April 25, 2014 16:38
We are getting ready here next week to 'upgrade' from our 2008 Rockwood Roo Expandable to a Coachmen Freedom Express 292BHDS Liberty Edition! I'll get pictures here soon.
Some folks may ask why does your family RV? The primary reason is family time. Just go once with your family and you'll know what I mean:) One of the side benefits is that it's a reasonably affordable way to travel and vacation. This infographic from General RV provides some insight.
March 11, 2014 15:16
Some dude didn't think the original Jeff Gordon test drive commercial was legit ... now he knows!