Archive for June, 2012

The End of Growth. Adapting to our new economic model. Richard Heinberg.

Map of world percentage arable land.

The End of Growth. Adapting to our new economic model. Richard Heinberg. 2011 ISBN 9780865716957.  This author makes way too much sense. The recent  Rubin book started us off with a strong argument that we will not be able to continue with oil fired growth much longer.  Heinberg analyses much more than declining low cost oil – he addresses declines in energy, water, food,  fertilizers, arable land, and more, including geographic issues. In this he builds a very compelling case, even stronger than Rubin, that we are between a rock and hard place. Then he points out how our brains are hard wired to take the pleasure today , and not the little pain that would prevent big pain in future, giving present govts quite  headache in coping with us.   I appreciated that he goes on to lay out various ways we could mitigate what we have done and are doing.  There is much here for anyone to chew over and make long term decisions. A very extraordinary thorough  book relevant to our times and  those of our children/grandchildren.  I recommend this one to anyone who cares about the future.

I just had some amazing customer service – from Bank of America – no less

SAN FRANCISCO - JANUARY 20:  The Bank of Ameri...

I just had some amazing customer service – from Bank of America – no less.

Backstory.  In order to use my Amazon Fire in Canada to get apps etc, I had to get a US credit card with a US address.  For me the easiest way was a trip to Lynden Wa. to open a Bank of America  account, and obtain one of their VISA credits cards.   Enter Missy Mistral – Sales and Service rep.  Missy made sure that the whole experience as pleasant and smooth.  Online banking was working, my application went through and I was in business.   When the card arrived a few days later, I was able to happily download apps to my Fire.

Yesterday, I realized I had not seen a BankAmericard VISA bill yet.  I tried to access the VISA account through Mint and directly online.  I could not get past the opening screen.  The Bank of America documentation was comprehensive , but completely unhelpful as it missed key account information!

I called Missy, who first helped me pay my credit card bill, and then “fixed” the glitch that had prevented me from doing it online.  She checked the bank accounts were linked and that VISA showed up as one of the payable bills.  Good stuff.

This morning  she called me back  to make sure everything was working.  I have never had bank customer service ever call me back after the problem was resolved. I have never had any bank employee ever be this pleasant and helpful.  I salute Missy Mistral,  Bank of America 700 Front St. Lynden Wa.

Great From the Start. How conscious corporations attract success. John B. Montgomery

Sign for Business Incubator Project

Great From the Start. How conscious corporations attract success. John B. Montgomery. 2012. ISBN 9781614481485.  This is the chronicle of what Gordon Campbell (Chips and Technologies founder)  did when he created Techfarm Ventures one of the earliest technology incubators.  The incubator was a great success with his companies being acquired very quickly for huge sums.  This book is easily the best “plan” for building a technology incubator I have read.  But it goes on to become a very good detailing of everything (founder types, mentors, board meetings, legal , investments, customers and so on) a start-up needs to go through in order to grow to a successful exit.  The examples and details are what you need and the language is very clear  and straightforward. I hazard a guess that many present day “incubators” do far far less than what Techfarm did for its start-ups. A well put together book. I could not put it down.

Curation Nation. How to win in a world where consumers are creators. Steven Rosenbaum.

Photo of Robert Scoble, cropped from original.

Curation Nation. How to win in a world where consumers are creators. Why the future of content is context. Steven Rosenbaum.. 2011. ISBN 9780071760393.  I confess, I am a content curator.  Maybe 5% of what I  put out on the web is my own content – book reviews.   The rest is material gleaned from 620 + RSS feeds I review five days a week.. I share about 20  items each day – which are queued up in Hootsuite so one goes out every few hours.  In my online travels I may post another half a dozen immediate tweets/G+ posts of things that are relevant to me in my “collecting” of items on sales and marketing “today”.

Rosenbaum goes into some detail about how the firehose of content needs to be curated – so you can pick and choose what is relevant to your interests/uses.  There are people who are doing that , Scoble, Kawasaki, Huffington Post.  Others rail against repurposing of content, eg Mark Cuban.

Who could benefit from this book?  Marketers, authors, journalists and anyone who proposes to be a content authority.  More of a whats happening vs what to do about it book, the insights are valuable. I believe him when he points out several business models that can spring from these ideas.

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There in Sales. How successful salespeople take it to the next level. Marshall Goldsmith, Dan Brown and Bill Hawkins.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15:  Actors Philip Seymou...

What Got You Here Won’t Get You There in Sales. How successful salespeople take it to the next level.  Marshall Goldsmith, Dan Brown and Bill Hawkins. 2012. ISBN 9780071773942.   I discovered Marshall Goldsmith’s work on coaching several years ago – and it helped me develop even further. This man is  a bonafide guru on the subject.  Now he has w

orked with two serious sales guys to apply this stuff to what sales people do. ( Do you ever feel that you were born just a few years to early? ) Boy could I have used this 15 years ago!!!!! For those of you sales people who want to make more money much easier – this is the book for you. If you are a happy Willy Loman just grinding it out, well then skip this book and move on. Just let the rest of us head on over to Presidents Club!  ( lesson learned – the only person who will change you -  is you.)

There is a sub head – Discover the 16 habits your customers want you to give up – Man I am guilty as charged!

  1. Failure to be present
  2. Vocal filler
  3. Selling past the close
  4. Selective hearing
  5. Contact without purpose
  6. Curb qualifying
  7. Using tension as a tool
  8. One-Upping
  9. Over familiarity
  10. Withholding Passion and Energy
  11. Explaining failure
  12. Never having to say you’re sorry
  13. Throwing others under the bus
  14. Propagandizing
  15. Wasting energy
  16. Obsessing over the numbers

This is a very valuable book in the salespersons and sales managers toolkit.  get it, read and reread  – and practise it.  We do not get older – just better

The Secret Language of Influence. Master the one skill every sales pro needs. Dan Seidman.

2010 Racelogic Sales Figures

The Secret Language of Influence. Master the one skill every sales pro needs.  Dan Seidman. 2012. ISBN 9780814417263.  Another fine book from the good folks at Amacom.  This is an easy to read, very insightful and terrifically useful salesmanagers and salesman’s book. The author not only provides you with what you need to really raise your sales game, he follows his own advice in how he presents the information.  You will learn and be educated on this topic like never before.  I appreciated that this material compliments any type of sales training or process you follow. He has three dozen major topics, from which he then points out the twelve activities to get yourself started.  I appreciated his short direct chapters. Some of my ‘”found” items  were how to:

  • build a strong opening strategy ( reinforce the time, the objective and the yes/no aspect of the call beforehand)
  • prepare beforehand your reps with the proven strong responses to the six most common objections (also pointed on in contextual pricing preparation)
  • find great sources of humour
  • influence your “self talk to be positive
  • show your reps the data they need to know

Get this book – read and reread it. With the growing emphasis on having and using valuable content, this will become a classic.