Posted tagged ‘relationship economy’

Let me hear your four seconds!

September 2, 2009

How many times have you answered the phone and some telemarketer spends the first 30 seconds not taking a breath or allowing you to get a word in edgewise? Chances are, more often than not.

Experts say that we, the business professionals of the world, have a total of four–count ’em–four seconds to entice someone into doing business with you or buying whatever product you happen to be hawking.

Did you get that? You have to say something in the first four seconds of your conversation which will make someone decide if they are going to work with you. If you haven’t got them in four seconds, it’s time to move on to someone else.

I know I need to work on my pitch, and I’m having a hard time finding others who really know how to effectively pitch to prospects. If you’ve got a good pitch, let me hear it. If your pitch needs a little work, let me hear that, too, and we can offer hints or ways to improve.

Remember, YOU only have FOUR free seconds before someone tunes you out and starts playing computer games, so make ’em good.

How ’bout it?

Accountability: Becoming the person you want to become

May 7, 2009

AccountabilityIn starting this recent chapter of my blog, I decided to create some sort of accountability which would hopefully “encourage” me to write on a more regular basis. Each week, I’m making a (seemingly) feasible goal of action.

This week, I have aspired to make contact with people in the mainstream (traditional) media, since I’m working to become the next generation of “new” media. So far this week, I have endeavored to for connections with 15 people from Facebook who work for CBS. Several have responded, but the rest have either ignored my friend request or haven’t taken action. Should I move on with others, or should I keep asking those who haven’t replied?

My second goal from my last post was to become more accountable by making more frequent blog posts. That’s an easy one. By doing just this, I’ve taken action to make it happen.

My third goal is to use my time more wisely: I accomplished this goal by implementing the use of a timer when using online aps on Facebook.

A friend sent me this Youtube video which I found sadly true and a bit amusing:

After watching it, I started making a list of my goals for next week:

  1. I need to have a business plan, something to fall back on when I get into a funk. I have never written a business plan, but I understand that by writing others’ business plans, it can be very lucrative, but first I want to have one of my own. Any advice from those who are more seasoned in business than I would be much appreciated.
  2. I intend to continue making connections in the traditional media.
  3. I will begin/continue trying to sell my services and those of others via social networks and the Relationship Economy.

How ’bout it?

You Better Get Ready!

November 15, 2007

With Microsoft’s acquisition of Facebook, or a portion of it, online social networking suddenly became validated to be more than “just a fad.” Read social networking strategist Jay Dergon’s post on Microsoft’s purchase.

Consider how much money has been thrown at existing networks or creating new networks over just the last year, last count was in excess of $50 billion in capital infusion.In our previous post titled “Systemic Changes to the Web” we discuss the revolutionary changes being brought on by the social networking medium. When the advertising market models of the web shift you can be sure accelerated shifts will continue to follow.

What advertisers want is traffic. Without traffic, they, representing major companies and corporations, will select another location to spend their money. And there is absolutely no shortage of social networks from which advertisers may choose.

What is it about Facebook that makes it so attractive and popular? Well, for one thing, it’s easy to navigate. There isn’t an enormous amount of grammatical errors on the pages – there are some, but they are usually from programmers, so I’ll cut them some slack since I can’t program to save my life!

Have you ever visited a website or blog where it’s clear that someone didn’t spend enough time studying the language before they sat down at the keyboard to write? It’s distracting and makes me want to leave the site forever if there are a slew of poorly-written paragraphs or excessive typos.

So if we want to make sure that we get in on the ground floor of The Relationship Economy, we need to make sure we remember to dot our i‘s and cross our t‘s.

We all need to make sure that we know when to use a comma, and when to omit it. The advertisers are going to be looking for the sites and networking platforms which have the greatest amount of traffic. They are going to want to get in YOUR network of contacts and friends. Therefore, personal branding is more important than ever.

Some of my recent posts have dealt with the poorly-written grammar of a couple of blogs. Most of the time, the problem does not lie with the “head knowledge” of the author, but rather with the flow of the post. Sure, we can skip over the left-out words and bad flow, but if someone is going to pay me based on the amount of time people spend on my site, I want to make sure that I maintain my “stickiness” and don’t give them a reason to leave.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors: Making Them Work For You

October 11, 2007

The Communications Factors affect each and every person on the planet. No matter what language he speaks or where he lives, something must be communicated. We are a social people, and therefore we must communicate our wants, needs, intentions, and thoughts to others in our society.

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Web 2.0 has brought people all around the globe together, thereby making them all members in one community. Web 2.0 has brought an end to the established media giants providing the news to us in a pre-packaged format. With the technology advances, such as YouTube and Wikipaedia, we, the people, are able to not only view the news, but also create the news. We are the ones who are providing photos and videos of events. And we are giving descriptions from our perspective of those events.

Paul Graham explores the “democracy” of Web 2.0, explaining it this way:

The most dramatic example of Web 2.0 democracy is not in the selection of ideas, but their production. I’ve noticed for a while that the stuff I read on individual people’s sites is as good as or better than the stuff I read in newspapers and magazines. And now I have independent evidence: the top links on Reddit are generally links to individual people’s sites rather than to magazine articles or news stories.

With the role of people in the creation of news, how can anyone ignore the Communication Factors? Just like Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, if someone at a party tells you of a great pediatrician, you’re going to check with friends and then probably change doctors. Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be like that, only faster and more pervasive.

With information coming at us at astounding speeds, shouldn’t we perfect the means of communication we use, whether it’s writing, blogging, emailing, podcasting, participating in social networks, whatever? The best networkers, and for that matter, businessmen, are the ones who can become the early-adopters of new technology, enabling them to get in on the ground floor of such ventures as Google or Facebook. Not only do they adapt easily and early to new technology, but they also work to improve themselves with its use!

How ’bout it?

Paradigms Need to Be Shifted

October 8, 2007

A couple of years ago, I attended a series of classes led by Dr. Robert Lewis from Little Rock, Arkansas, called “Men’s Fraternity.” Actually, Dr. Lewis was not in attendance, but through technological advances, his seminar was presented on DVD. 

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The core topic of the class was to improve our lives at work and home – whether we were single, married, or engaged. The thing I most remember about the seminar was the idea that we, as men, had to have a paradigm shift: “In order to live more than you can imagine, you have to die a little,” said Lewis. Without going into the theological aspects of this paradigm, let me just explain what the statement means: Take marriage. If a man really wants to win big points with his wife, then he should try cleaning the house. (That’s just one example, but it’s a good one.) When the wife gets home from work, she’ll realize he cleaned the house. Even though he hated doing it, the reward(s) will far exceed his expectations. Thus, he needed to “die a little,” or do something he really didn’t want to do,  in order to “live like more than he ever imagined.”

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When people who don’t already know about the benefits of “social networks” are invited to join anyon-line network, they usually ask, “What’s in it for me?” That’s not always the case, but more often than not, it is. They can’t seem to understand that their paradigms need to be shifted.

Typically, we, as humans, are taught that our needs come first. “We need to look out for number one because nobody else is going to.” That’s not the case in social networking. In fact, in many groups the members derive such a “shot in the arm” from the free exchange of knowledge and sharing, that the “payment” for such services comes in a form of Personal Realization; members realize that they are contributing value to the community, and that in itself is enough for them. They just want to give!

However, the majority of people in the world unfortunately don’t have this mindset: we first think, “What can I get out of the time I spend on-line or on this network?” Only after our initial needs are met, do we stop to think about helping others achieve their dreams.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors: Biz Writing Part 2

October 6, 2007

As stated yesterday in the post, the article titled “Six Types of Words That You Should Axe in Business Writing” provided excellent tips and perspectives about writing that business correspondence every professional, at one time or another, has to write.

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The first tip of the article was the avoidance of “unfamiliar” words, which we discussed in the previous post. The second tip was to stay away from “long words”because, the article claims, they can be very yawn-inducing. Shorter words are more easily digested and comprehended by the masses. As we stated with our thoughts regarding unfamiliar words, there is nothing wrong with having an extensive vocabulary with a multitude of multi-syllabic words, but as far as their usage in business emails and letters, that should be avoided. Remember, words, and letters for that matter, are expensive. Why use a word with seven letters when a word with only four or five will suffice just fine? Unless you are playing Scrabble, stay away from the longer words if a shorter one will convey the same meaning equally as well.

The third point is that the business writer should avoid using abstract words. Maybe it’s from my years working on the paper, but it seems that the story – or business letter/email/whatever, has more of an impact when you can say, “Membership jumped 40 percent,” rather than, “The membership increased substantially.” Using specifics not only gives your piece credibility and readability, but it also provides the writer with the reputation of being precise and not vague.

The fourth type of word to stay away from are passive words. I cannot completely agree with this tip. Sometimes, it is appropriate, or ever preferable, to use the passive voice. The idea is not to write the story to tell itself – like you would in a novel, replacing “it was raining hard” with “the sky opened and the rain completely obfuscated our view.” But if you’re writing for businesses or with business purposes, you will not need to paint the reader a picture using your words. Generally, short and sweet is best. Cut to the chase. Provide enough information, but then make your point.

The fifth type of word the business writer is advised to avoid is the Camouflaged Word, which is simply a verb changed into a noun-form by adding -tion, -ing, -ment, etc: Act becomes Action; Establish becomes Establishment. These words are usually used to bolster the writer’s self-esteem. For example, instead of writing, “This guy’s writings were filled with the tendency to provide easily-understood tips,” one should write “This guy wrote to provide easily-understood tips.” There, I cut the sentence by five words and didn’t lose any of the meaning.

The sixth type of word to avoid is the unnecessary word. Examples of these would be “consensus of opinion,” “usually always,” and “in my own mind.” (Whose mind would it be if it weren’t your own?) These words don’t add anything to the meaning of the sentence, and as I’ve explained before, words are expensive. Other instances are “basic fundamentals,” since the fundamentals are the basics, “just recently,” since something recent only just happened, and “unique individuals,” since all individuals are unique.

A quick disclaimer:

  • I do not write this blog to shoot holes in anyone’s theories or practices.
  • I have recently become aware that sometimes, when posting to my blog, I make mistakes, and the grammatical or spelling error gets published.
  • Others who are in the publishing industry also have these same problems; no one is perfect.

How ’bout it?

The Communications Factors: Biz Writing

October 5, 2007

I got an email this morning regarding the tips on writing for business. I agree with the majority of the article. The main point was that in order to write an effective business letter or email, the writer needs to keep it short and sweet. I will never forget what one of my journalism professors said: “Words are expensive.” He was referring to the importance of being able to take a story of 1000 words and edit it down to 800 without losing any of the meaning. I guess that’s why I strive for concise words which convey a powerful meaning.

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The first point of the article was that the writer should abstain from “unfamiliar” words. The examples given were ascertain, consummate, and peruse. Certainly one should shy away from those words in a business letter, but I don’t think they are necessarily “unfamiliar.” Remember, when writing to a group of businessmen or women, just because you don’t pull out all the stops of your command of the English language doesn’t mean that you are writing as though your audience is composed of idiots. In fact, my mentor, Jay Deragon, has a powerful presence in the Relationship Economy and is probably smarter than I am, but reading his blog posts is sometimes painful. My strength is being able to write clear and concise text; Jay’s strength is having the ability to grasp complex, abstract strategies and implement them into the emerging technologies of this world.

Many of those who commented on the article disagree. They said to refrain from “unfamiliar” and long words was to “dumb down” the English language. However, I believe there is a time and place for the display of your inherent sesquipedalian qualities. There is nothing which loses readers, thereby decreasing your “stickiness” on the ‘net, faster than having to find a dictionary to look up an unfamiliar word. The time to employ erudite, tedious loquacity is college entrance essays, not in business correspondence. Many of the MBAs of the world have excellent vocabularies but don’t use them because they are not out to impress anyone. It does, however, impress people when you are able to convey a complex subject without unnecessary use of commas, or words which might give pause to the reader.

If the writer doesn’t restrain himself from utilizing grandiose verbiage and punctuation, then, he is drawing attention to his inexperience or his over-elevated sense of self-importance. The most dire consequence is for the reader to think, “What a pompous ass!”

I will continue on this vein in future posts.

How ’bout it?