Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /data/14/1/155/74/1318237/user/1412113/htdocs/blog/wp-includes/cache.php on line 36

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /data/14/1/155/74/1318237/user/1412113/htdocs/blog/wp-includes/query.php on line 15

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /data/14/1/155/74/1318237/user/1412113/htdocs/blog/wp-includes/theme.php on line 505
Verbal Dexterity: Talking the Talk » 2008 »

Archive for April, 2008

Tips From All Articles To Date

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Visit us at www.verbal-dexterity.com/blog

Differentiation: Kermit the Frog was wrong. It IS fun being green! Recognize your competitive difference (size, location, volume, flair, service, uniqueness, background, language, etc.) and shout it to the marketplace. Differentiation is the spice of life and utilizing it is the key to success! (from Blog Article dated 4-28-08; “Viva La Difference!! -Differentiation In The Market Place”).

Bargaining For Everything: Consider all purchases to be subject to negotiation. Sellers want to sell and buyers want a bargain. Try to find the secret middle ground (4-23-08: “Bargaining For Bread, CDs and Carpet”).


Feeling Sick At Work
: Getting sick on the Big Day is a prescription for disaster if not handled properly. Don’t let your ego get in the way of the correct remedy. Take two minutes to assess…and call me in the morning (4-18-08; “Getting Sick On The Big Day”).

Being On Time: Lateness does not reflect well on you or your troops. “Watch” the clock, manage your calendar, take control of meetings and try to beat deadlines. Anything less is going to “tick” someone off (4-10-08; “Johnny Come Lately -Timely Advice To Beat The Clock”).

How To Pitch A Prospective Client: If you want to throw the right business pitch: get a firm grip on the ball, measure your strike zone, size up the batter and always be prepared to throw the curve. Further, a client (or prospect) will always respect the high heat or an inside pitch (4-7-08; “How To Pitch Business Like A Pro”).

Real Teamwork: A Team needs to be nurtured, trimmed, fed and cared for. Don’t just bring strangers together and hope. Help create the proper “chemistry” and watch the Team flourish (3-26-08; “There Is No Jerk In “T E A M” ).

Trade Show Success: Trade shows can be wonderful opportunities to meet fellow specialists, network, to learn or to drive new business. Be polite, aware, aggressive, strategic and always be ready to put on your Spock ears (3-24-08; “Who Put The Swag in Swagger-Trade Show Strategies).

Good E-Mailing: Write your business e-mails in a pithy, spare manner and think about who really needs to be a (cc: or bcc:) recipient. Before sending out an enraged diatribe, take a couple of hours to cool down and assess. You can never delete a bad impression (3-17-08; “Mail Pattern Boldness -The Secrets to Good Business E-Mailing).

Attaining A Verbal Return-On-Investment: Businesses that truly invest in their associates’ verbal skills (speaking, presenting and persuading) will see a significant and dramatic ROI (3-11-08; “Does Your Business Have A Favorable Verbal ROI?”).

Improved Sales: Sales don’t improve because they need to. They improve because the pitch, the execution and the follow-up are thoughtful, honest and energized. Clients (new and old) are magnetically drawn to superior fundamentals (3-4-08; “How To Triple Your Sales In 5 Minutes”).

Tele-communications & You: Always keep all of your business contact info (telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.) in at least two separate databases/locations. Otherwise, you will be only one computer meltdown away from a personal meltdown 2-28-08;” Giving Good Phone”).

Summarizing You & Your Business: Don’t watch the elevator doors close. Always be ready to explain your business to others in a concise, clever and alluring manner (2-25-08; “Your Elevator Speech: Is The Elevator Going Up or Down?”).

Corporate Jargon: Don’t fall into the corp-speak trap. Use clear, concise language to direct others or ask your leader to clarify. Nodding your head to phrases that are meaningless WILL come back to haunt you. You can bet your evolving paradigm on it! (2-21-08; “Drilling Down To The Synergies Of Leveraged Empowerment Opportunities…or Does Anyone Speak Plain English In Corporate America Anymore?).

Complaining: Before you go into a stream of consciousness rage, think before you complain. Use logic, past realtionships and respect to score points with the listener.
Your goal is to get what you expected, not a pound of flesh(2-14-08; “The Sweetest Whine Of All”).

Networking: Your business card is a reflection of you.
High quality, dependable and memorable individuals have cards of similar construction (2-11-08; “A Font Of Information”).

Meetings: Schedule some unscheduled time into your workday to cover extended meetings and unexpected developments, emergencies and delays.
It will help you finish the day “on time” (2-6-08; “Minutes To Go Before I Meet”).

The Business Meal: A business meal is not a relaxing event. You need to be “on” from beginning to end and very aware of your manners.
Others may judge your credibility and competence by your table behavior (2-4-08; “Some Things Are Hard To Swallow”).

Conducting An Interview: An interview is like a first date. Your candidate will never look, sound or act better.
Develop your interviewing X-ray vision and figure out exactly who the person across from you really is (1-31-08; “How To Interview Applicants With X-ray Vision).

Standing In Front Of A Room: Don’t let an upcoming speech stress you out. Forget the imaginary naked people in the audience
Believe in yourself, ooze self-confidence and never let them see you sweat (1-28-08; “The Naked Truth”).

Eye Contact: In any business context, eye contact can make or break you (1-25-08; “The Eyes Are The Window To The Goal”).

Public Speaking: If you shake it up by changing your speaking location, voice and presentation, your audience will follow (from Article dated 1-23-08; “Is This Mike On”).

Viva La Difference!! (Differentiation In The Market Place)

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Most businesses and service providers spend far too much time trying to be alike, instead of embracing their differences. It’s your uniqueness that will land you the client (or the job), NOT your similarity. If every one of your competitiors offered the exact same service, in the exact same way, why would I pick you?

Here are some differentiating factors to contemplate and highlight:

  • How is your end product or service different than your competitors? (have a set-up question/answer that only points to you)
  • Are you the best at what you do? (can you “prove” it?)
  • How does your price compare to others? (but what else do you or they upcharge or ala carte charge for?)
  • Can you think of 3 ways that your service is really better? (who does your client interfacing and how personalized do you/they get?)
  • How would I even find out about you? (that bi-annual ad in Aardvarks Adventure Magazine might not be drawing the sized audience you want)
  • What would make me want to be a return/repeat customer?
  • What is the biggest benefit, I will reap by using you?
  • Today’s Tip: Kermit the Frog was wrong. It IS fun being green! Recognize your competitive difference (size, location, volume, flair, service, uniqueness, background, language, etc.) and shout it to the marketplace. Differentiation is the spice of life and utilizing it is the key to success!

    Bargaining For Bread, CDs and Carpet

    Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

    Contrary to what you might think, everything is now negotiable.

    Traditionally, in the consumer retail world, only certain product prices could be discussed, negotiated or haggled over with stores: items like cars, houses and jewelry. These days, everything is on the table…and the only thing stopping you is your shyness.

    Whether you are talking about hotel rooms, clothing, electronics or just about any other product that you can imagine, here are some basic rules of bargaining that will help you get the best price:

  • Immediately establish your past/present/future relationship to the retailer (e.g., “I have been coming here for years;” “I came to you becuse others say that you are fair:” “I just moved in to the neighborhood and am looking for a store to give all of my fututre business.”)
  • Before you walk in, visit or research at least 2 other retailers selling the same thing (and bring in proof of their price quotes)
  • Offer to pay cash (credit cards cost a merchant more money in fees)
  • Explain how you can generate more business for the merchant (”I am President of the PTA and can get 75 people here to shop in the next week.”)
  • Note how long (if known and researched), a particular item has been sitting in the store
  • Offer to buy a larger quantity or team up with friends to buy together (”what is the price if we buy three couches?”)
  • Understand the supply/demand of the marketplace (if Nintendo Wiis are all the rage, you won’t get as great a deal)
  • Return to the store for other purchases and chat with the owner/head salesperson so that they remember you
  • Be polite, gracious and complimentary (Retailers appreciate pleasant, non-complaining customers)

  • Today’s Tip: Consider all purchases to be subject to negotiation. Sellers want to sell and buyers want a bargain. Try to find the secret “middle ground.”

    Getting Sick On The Big Day

    Friday, April 18th, 2008

    You have done the prep.
    You’ve practiced.
    You have worked those excruciatingly long hours.
    You need to deliver.
    You tried to get a good night’s sleep before the “Big Day”…

    AND YOU HAVE WOKEN UP SICK AS A DOG!!!

    What the heck do you do now?

    Here are your options:

  • Stay At Home-you can try to convince yourself that you don’t want to make anyone else sick or that you won’t be at your best…but who are you kidding?
  • Go To Work-You know that this is what you should do, but it won’t help things if you can’t speak coherently or if you are going to dribble excessively on the Powerpoint Projector.
  • What you really need to do is to make some quick strategic assessments:

  • Is there someone else that can step in for you without permanently screwing up your career?
  • Can the meeting be postponed without any fatalities or real ramifications?
  • Is there anyone already here from out of town?
  • Is there an option where you can show up, but someone else can do most of the speaking?
  • Can you speak well enough to, at least, participate by phone or electronically?
  • Do you think that you honestly have the physical strength to stand up and go into work?
  • What time is your meeting and how far will you have to go roundtrip?
  • How will you feel if the meeting gets postponed? cancelled? if it goes on without you?

  • Yes, it’s a tough one with no clear answer. Hopefully, some of the above considerations will help ease the pain.

    Today’s Tip: Getting sick on the Big Day is a prescription for disaster if not handled properly. Don’t let your ego get in the way of the correct remedy. Take two minutes to assess…and call me in the morning.

    Johnny Come Lately (Timely Advice To Beat The Clock)

    Thursday, April 10th, 2008

    What ever happened to punctuality?

    With all of the atomic, digital and internet clocks surrounding us, you would think that people would actually show up on time.

    Nope.

    Meetings called for 9:30 AM sharp, start at about 9:47.

    Planes scheduled for departure at 5:30, close their doors at 5:31 and stay on the tarmac for 3 hours (yes, that counts as an on-time departure).

    Reports due, absolutely positively, by the end of the week….show up on the following Monday afternoon.

    Even the US Post Office Overnight Express mail is reluctant to guarantee delivery by the next day.

    ??????????

    What is going on here?

    Despite all that may be going on around you, it is really important that you avoid lateness like the plague (and communicate such to your direct reports).

    Here are some tips to avoid lateness:

  • Use only one calendar for all of your projects and obligations (it really does nothing for you if one list is a filefax, a second is on your Blackberry, a third is on your home desktop and a 4th list is on the back of a receipt in your pocket)
  • Create a filing system based on priorities, not subject matter (due this week, mid-term, long-term, etc.)
  • Use two alarm clocks (and make sure 1 of the 2 runs on batteries, not electricity)
  • Allow yourself extra time for commuting surprises (and have an alternative route ready to go)
  • Get to every meeting 5 minutes early (so, if you have a last minute delay, you will still be on time)
  • Schedule meetings at :05 after the hour and start on time
  • Do not allow anyone coming late to one of your meetings to attend (they will be embarassed once and will never be late again)
  • Make punctuality part of your associates review process
  • Set reasonable timetables, not fantasies that will just have to be pushed back twice
  • Appoint a time-keeper to help keep meetings on track (that 35 minute conversation on last night’s ballgame is not as important as the Pensky file)
  • If you can live with it, set your wristwatch ahead 5 minutes–it will help you stay on time or ahead of schedule
  • Today’s Tip: Lateness does not reflect well on you or your troops. “Watch” the clock, manage your calendar, take control of meetings and try to beat deadlines. Anything less is going to “tick” someone off.

    How To Pitch (Business) Like A Pro

    Monday, April 7th, 2008

    In the business world everyone needs to pitch someone or something: it could be an idea, a product, a service or even a new direction. You walk into the room with an agenda, but what do you walk out with?

    The magical question is “how good is your pitching arm?”

    Are you throwing curves, fastballs or knuckeballs?
    Better yet, is your audience catching what you are throwing at them?

    Here’s how to become the Cy Young hurler of the corporate world.

    Secrets to a great pitch:

  • Know your audience
  • Get their attention with your opening (a bad start can be fatal)
  • Lead your audience to where you want them to go
  • Slides and supporting materials should enhance, not obliterate, your message
  • Acknowledge your competition respectfully, but differentiate what you bring to the table
  • Synchronize and practice what each member of your “pitch team” will present or say
  • Prepare for every possible question and have info ready
  • Admit to glaring weaknesses but overcome them with focus on your strengths
  • Understand the width and breadth of your target
  • Radiate confidence and sincerity
  • Own the room
  • Don’t reek of desperation
  • Have an unorthodox, off-the-beaten-track option in your back pocket…just in case
  • If you fumble, don’t dwell on or highlight the fumble…just move on
  • Follow-up in a poised manner (not 10 minutes after you have left the room).
  • Today’s Tip: If you want to throw the right business pitch: get a firm grip on the ball, measure your strike zone, size up the batter and always be prepared to throw the curve. Further, a client (or prospect) will always respect the high heat or an inside pitch.