Think Like Your Customer. A winning strategy to maximize sales by understanding how and why your customers buy. Bill Stinnett.
Think Like Your Customer. A winning strategy to maximize sales by understanding how and why your customers buy. Bill Stinnett. 2005. ISBN 0071441883.
I am always looking for what I think is the best sales book to recommend. This is the book for B2B sales this year. A very high sales performer, Bill Stinnett has really hit the mark with this book. If you coupled the strategies and methods of Stinnett with the strategies and tactics used by Bill Freese, (Question Based Selling) you could build the ultimate sales machine in your company. I am just blown away at the thoroughness, quality of process and thought that has gone into this book. When I asked Bill for a review copy he arranged to call me to find out where I was coming from and what I did with the reviews. This gentleman dots the i’s and crosses the t’s.
Buy it, read it, and keep it on your read often, do not lend bookshelf. Of course if you are content with the status quo, this book will only make you realize how much more there is out there. I am really pumped by Stinnett!
The Language of Success. Business writing that informs, persuades, and gets results. Tom Sant. 2008 ISBN 9780814474730.
Tom Sant is a giant in the field of effective business writing. Years ago I first learned how to write effective business proposals from his book of the same name. I have subscribed to his newsletter for years learning how to better proposals as well as how to ¨template¨¨proposals, saving time in a big way. This book is a welcome addition to his previous work. Regardless of what type of writing you need to do to be successful at work and home, he has collected in one place a terrific asset. For example he gives you the ¨before and after ¨experience for all that he talks about. You and your business will benefi from Tom Santś experience. This is a library ¨keeper¨¨
Mar 11. This was the Shrine visit day. First off to see the bronze of Carlos Gardel. He is the Elvis of Tango, who also died too soon. Beautiful singing voice, Gardel is an icon in BA. They have converted his house into a museum, and the streets nearby have many tango stores and tango halls. But to see the birthplace of tango, we had to go to Boca.
Boca has the part of the port, where the immigrants built corrugated steel houses, which they then painted in vivid colors. This is also called Caminito. It is a feast for any artists eye to land in this part of old BA. There are non stop tango shows to go with your lunch and always a smoldering eye’d partner to pose dramatically with you. As you walk the rough cobbled streets, there are artists displaying wonderful works all along the street. Very affordable and original work.
Boca is also the name of the football club that was home to a somewhat famous guy called Diego Maradona. There are pictures, shrines, papermache statues of him all around the area. Evidently he can do no wrong, unless you are a River Platte football fan. So BA shares with Manchester the hosting of two bitter rival clubs in the same city, just at different ends.
Our experience with local customer service shows some trends. No one is in a hurry. Not at the bank, supermaket, wine store, bar or restaurant. Customers as well as workers seem unaware that anything could move any faster..
As an employee you are entitled it seems to carry on your own business at anytime, even while at work. As an example, one waiter took our order, received a cell phone call, headed outside to comverse, lit a cigarette while having the talk and eventually came back to the restaurant and handed our order in. Another time, he dashed to the kitchen and then minutes later he and all the cooks headed out the front door to have a smoke, chat and make several telephone calls. Customers carry on their conversations regardless.
Yet when your food order comes it is so good, you stop caring. Every coffee (always perfect) comes with a small cookie and a small glass of soda. Every meal comes with a fresh assortment of breads, buns, breadsticks and rusk. Salads come on their own, oil and which kind of vinegar do you want? The language of Kraft is banished. The meat is always on its own, a massive thick slice, that regardless of the cut, you can cut with a regular knife, no steak knife. And when you taste there is no smoothering in BBQ, or any other type of sauce. Some salt and pepper, but nothing interferes with the best tasting 100% organic beef in the world. Kobe is nothing compared to this. Life as a carnivore has never been this good.
Driving lessons in Buenos Aires.
(The following contains mature subject matter and may not be suitable for some audiences).
Lessons learned while riding the incredibly affordable cabs in BA.
1.Rules are generally to be ignored. By being different from everyone else, you risk injury.
Traffic lites are considered rules.
Painted lanes on streets are ill advised guidelines.
Using turn signals is just a rule.
Using head lites at nite is another silly rule.
Having any space between you and the next vehicle, is a dangerous rule, as another car will slip in.
2.Slowing down at uncontrolled intersections indicates a lack of manhood. If you are in control of a motorcycle this means you must accelerate on approaching such intersections. If you are a taxi, you also accelerate, but you do give way, to other taxis, if you see them.
3. Use of more than one hand, (which means having more than three fingers) on the steering wheel, shows that you are getting too old to navigate quickly. Other indicators of this are any use of gears lower than 3rd or 4rth and/or speeds lower than 55 in heavy traffic, including approaching red traffic lites. Such colors are meant to be ignored with full gusto. They will change.
4. Motorcycles are detested by all, but most of all by taxis, and second by buses. To reduce the m/c numbers it is important to play a full speed game of chicken with them. This involves a rapid approach and attempt to touch their back wheel with your bumper as they weave in and out of heavy traffic. If no m/c are around, it is accepted for taxis to practice the same with buses. Buses are also part of the game, lets cut in front of a vehicle as close as we can to their bumper while they are not looking. This works better if you do not own the taxi you are driving as few win this game. We saw similar behavior by water skiers who cut right in front on our catamaran on the River Delta cruise.. Obviously off duty cabbies.
5. Pedestrians can walk across a street anytime there is a break in traffic. The pedestrian defines what constitutes a ¨break¨, in some instances we have seen this to be as small as a change in attention.
6. At the sign of any holdup in forward motion, always hit the horn immediately and repeatedly. That is what your other hand does when it is not out the window gesticulating. We some some old school drivers who would use one of the three fingers on the wheel to also operate the horn. For left hand gesticulation, only one finger receives any significant use, the rest are along for support.
As a passenger we were grateful for our training in aircraft crashes, as we just usually bent over our knees, with our hands over our heads during our usually brief rides. It is cautioned that if you must look, the side window is best, as a forward view will usually cause you to revisit what you had for your last meal. This is not recommended as a weight reduction scheme.
March 10. BA- Tigre and the River Platte.
When you first see this river you know its wide, since you can not see the other side on a clear day. Somewhere over there across this sea of reddy muddy water is Uruguay. We satisfied my need for Choripan (their pork hot dog) on the side of the river, where boats were sailing (as long as they drew less than 3 ft- else they were dredging) The pier had lots of fishermen, eager for a catch. I could never eat anyting out of this river. Then off to Tigre, the river delta, on a tourist train (ie, air conditioned) that visits very attractive suburbs, but not quickly as the engineers were working to rule. A legacy of the Peronś is a very strong union system and their incredible work ethic…bite me.
At, Tigre we took a catamaran and followed a lazy 90 minute tour. This delta is immense, cut by innumerable channels into thousands of islands. Its settled either by rowing clubs ( Ie RVYC style) or personal villas, mansions, and golf courses. Picture antebellum style, big lawns, huge trees and lushness. There are huge channels and then some only a canoe = two man rowing skull, can get through. There are thousands and thousands of islands and places. You could put all of the Fraser Delta into one tiny corner of this area. This has become prime real estate since the economic crisis, because travel is just so expensive now.
And the channels are full of catamarans, canoes, row boats, big and bigger power cruisers, all wood fast bus-ferries- looking like they were built in the thirties. Its said criminals just disappear into the delta and the police quit looking for them.
Our return to BA saw us at Porte Moderne. A testimony that not everyone suffers in an economic crisis. Local investors took over abandoned custom houses in 1998, and created a new urban area, and a fortune. Terry Hui would have done well here! We settled into some serious rib eye steak for about 10 dollars. Just the best beef, yet again. Home before sunrise.
Mar 9. Recolta cemetary and craft fair. On Saturdays at Recoleta Plaza is this huge handicraft fair. So after we strolled through San Telmo (which has their market on Sunday) savoring the tango atmosphere, it was off to Recoleta Cemetery for the token visit to the tomb of Evita. This evokes memories of New Orleans cemetery, but on much grander scale. A site not to be missed. Lots art and majesty on tombs.
The craft fair was full of the most wonderous things from all over Argentina. It’s a carnival atmosphere, with locals, tourists all jumbled together. One rule, if the price is not marked, it is expensive. Again in a city full of people, they never seem crowded. BA deserves its place as a very livable city. Much more so than Vancouver.
No matter who we meet, when we say we are from Vancouver, the answer is always¨That is such a beautiful city¨. Its too bad we are so short sighted not to make it more livable. Easy walking districts, alfresco dining, less reliance on cars, lots of good value eateries and cafes etc. But we are also too juvenile in our approach to alcohol. For many, one glass of wine or one drink is all they have here. I have yet to see anyone who has drunk too much.
Cabs are everywhere and very cheap. Gas is 60 cents a litre, thanks to Chavez. Things are dirty, but the air and sky are clear. No grit in the air. 500 yrs of civilization does achieve something we lack.
Business reality in Argentina. We met two younger BA residents on board. Hercules Lombard and Monica Aares. Hercules is an Afrikaans from South Africa, who traveled as soon as apartheid was dropped in S.Africa. He met Monica when he hit BA while looking for a room. Monica has a low cost hotel (pension). Once they met, his traveling days were over.
They shared the business challenges they face. BA has suffered through 2 economic crisis’s in the past years. Most of the middle class had their savings and equity wiped out. For Monica this means that employees see no hope except in gaming the system.One example is that they work about a year and then do their best to get fired. They receive one month pay as severance. Then they go to the labor board and lie that they worked perhaps 20 years. Hercules and Monica have not won a case like this yet. Monica went back to school and passed her bar exam, to at least reduce the legal bills.
Another issue is finding good employees, ones who will take any responsibility. They have tried many things including importing workers from Europe. However the imports soon figure out the rules and the game is played again.
Recolta cemetery and craft fair. On Saturdays at Recoleta Plaza is this huge handicraft fair. So after we strolled through San Telmo (which has their market on Sunday) savoring the tango atmosphere, it was off to Recoleta Cemetery for the token visit to the tomb of Evita. This evokes memories of New Orleans cemetery, but on grander scale. A site not to be missed. Lots art and majesty on tombs.
The craft fair was full of the most wondrous things from all over Argentina. Its a carnival atmosphere, with locals, tourists all jumbled together. One rule, if the price is not marked, it is expensive. Again in a city full of people, they never seem crowded. BA deserves its place as a very livable city. Much more so than Vancouver.
No matter who we meet, when we say we are from Vancouver, the answer is always¨That is such a beautiful city¨. Its too bad we are so short sighted not to make it more livable. Easy walking districts, alfresco dining, less reliance on cars. Lots of eateries and cafes etc. But we are also too juvenile in our approach to alcohol. For many, one glass of wine or one drink is all they have here. I have yet to see anyone who has drunk too much.
Cabs are everywhere and very cheap. Gas is 60 cents a liter, thanks to Chavez. Things are dirty, but the air and sky are clear. No grit in the air.
Wed Feb 26. Off Deception Island in the South Shetlands. Sunrise today was nothing like yesterday, which was described as magnificent, mystical, almost magical.
Now heading NW to Cape Horn. There is a storm approaching and the Capt wants to get around the Cape in good time. Had breakfast with an LA criminal judge, who described his profession as, ¨I´m in sales – I sell hard time¨. Great chap Leon and his wife Laura, a retired school teacher. Free ranging discussion about the US election, and the consensus suggests that Hillary can´t catch Obama at the moment. Laura felt that Hillary cannot win because she is a woman. Black male trumps any female. Leon´s comment – regardless of who is elected any of the three (including McCain) would make a good president. The country wants hope and change, and Obama offers that. Hillary will also fight the health insurance firms. Leon felt that the US had great health care, but a terrible billing system.
CA at one time fired all parole and probation officers, then the crime rate really rose. They are now hiring many more back, and the rate is decreasing. They operate a three strikes and then life in prison, no parole.
Weather is worsening. It snowed on deck last night, then it froze to the deck, making walking precarious.
Some discussion by a couple from Timmins explaining how a 50:50 Fr/eng town operates. You need to be bilingual to bag groceries. They also explained how the Ont. conservatives lost the election – over funding all separate schools. Not just the Catholics. Most Cdns we meet seem very happy with Stephen Harper. There seems no alternative.