Archive for November, 2012

The New Experts. Win today’s newly empowered customers at their 4 decisive moments. Robert H. Bloom.


The New Experts. Win today’s newly empowered customers at their 4 decisive moments. Robert H. Bloom.2010. ISBN 9781608320240.  A small book , but it punches above its weight class. The author , who is a good writer, lays out where and how you need to meet and exceed buyer needs and expectations in order to make, keep and continue a sale. He makes a very good case on why and how you need to think like a buyer at all times. His examples are drawn from b2b and b2c experience making this a very good general use book.

Strategic Sales Presentations. Jack Malcolm.

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Strategic Sales Presentations.  Jack Malcolm. 2012. ISBN 9781935963529.  This is a very important book for all salespeople.  There is now no excuse for boring presentations that do not move the sale forward.  I appreciate how the author has melded the recent presentation work of Duarte and Garr Reynolds (with some help from Steve Jobs)  on the how with all the research on why and where you need to spend energy and time.   The book is very tightly written with every chapter brimming with terrific advice, examples and research.  The author is a very serious sales pro who any sales person would be advised to learn from.   He has valuable content, great structure, validated by research and experience.  I really enjoyed that he left PowerPoint to the very end – which is exactly how you should do this to present well.  Great companion book for a cross country flight.  If you follow this book , you will sell more, much more.

“I do not let Chinese trade delegations into my Canadian plants.”

Chinese wall

During one of our many discussions with Chinese expatriates while we were traveling together in China, this one about trade delegations was most disconcerting and surprising.

One fellow commented , “I do not let Chinese trade delegations into my plants in Canada.”  I asked why.  He had learned from colleagues that Chinese trade delegations to Canada were rarely about  finding new business ventures. Rather it was about getting subsidized to free travel and high living for the participants while traveling, plus they are charged to take pictures/evidence of everything to take back.

One other fellow agreed, ” I saw these guys take pictures of my plant, the equipment, our layout, the supplies area, the power substation outside, right up to the power lines leading to the plant.  After they left, they never responded to any of my emails or calls about any potential for business.  This happened to friends of mine as well.   Later I heard that CSIS is very concerned about how much espionage is being carried out by these trade delegations and that many Canadians, including city Mayors and Councils are unwitting contributors to this”

The first responded, ” I had a mid level employee  retire to China and he was approached to play a role with Chinese companies talking to their local /state governments and banks officials . He would dress up in a good suit and get taken to lunches with these officials . He was held up as a major Canadian investor interested in the projects and often his presence was enough to get the approvals needed for these big projects to go ahead.  The officials gained great face on being visited by dignitaries.

These Chinese companies and local officials will invite foreign trade commissions over to China as show ponies to impress the locals.  The trade commission folks never find out their true purpose is to gain prestige for others, not business.  If the Chinese govt really wanted foreigners to do business locally, they would remove the byzantine rules and barriers that are thrown up, ”

Hearing this I fear that many Canadian govt officials are being lead around by the nose with invitations to come to China. One could even call these boondoggles unless a lot of homework is done.  We are very trusting and innocent in this style of business.  Better that Canadian companies went to India if anywhere . IMHO.

Rules of the Hunt. Real-World Advice for Entrepreneurial and Business Success. Michael Dalton Johnson.

Smiling can imply a sense of humour and a stat...

Rules of the Hunt. Real-World Advice for Entrepreneurial and Business Success. Michael Dalton Johnson.2012. ISBN 780071791380. The author, founder of, knows his way around a selling floor This is a distillation of 30 yrs of experience. Lots of short relevant quotes and examples abound here. He has a very useful index of Rules which makes the book doubly useful. His closing rules are some of the best I have ever seen in one place.

Your Outlook

  • Be generous with yourself and others
  • Dream more
  • Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about
  • Avoid negative thoughts of things you can not control. Invest your energy in the positive present moment
  • Don’t overdo. Stay within your limits

Your relationships

  • Each day give something good to others
  • Forgive everyone for everything
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. No one else does.
  • Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip
  • Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  • Forget issues of the past. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  • Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present
  • Don’t remind others of their past mistakes
  • No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  • Learn a new word every day
  • You don’t have to win every argument

Taking care of you.

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper
  • Eat plenty of fruits & vegetables
  • Play lots of games
  • Read more books than you did last year
  • Sit quietly for at least 10 minutes everyday
  • Breath deeply
  • Sleep for seven hours
  • Take a 10-30 min walk everyday. And smile when you are walking
  • Spend time with people over 70 and under 6 yrs of age.
  • Keep your sense of humour
  • Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business
  • Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Stay in touch.

Your life

  • The worst promise you can break is one made to yourself
  • However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  • When you awaken alive in the morning, be thankful
  • Your innermost self is always happy. Follow it.
  • Mo matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

Great cross country read.

Blog post on Travels on South Eastern China

Shanghai to Suzhou – October 2012
Our first trip on China Eastern Airlines Airbus A300 was quite an experience. It was a tight squeeze but at least we were in a 2 seater row and not a 4 seater.  We didn’t expect so many toys in each seat – TV, audio, picture editor, USB plug, coat hanger/hook, etc. Food was fair and edible.   Adding to the experience would be that all instructions were in Mandarin so this would be almost an English free trip.

Shanghai – China’s Financial Capital

On arrival in Shanghai, the tour operator took about 2 hours to get us on the bus to the hotel  – what a nightmare. The Mingde Grand Hotel in Shanghai only looked grand cosmetically, on closer examination, there was too much wear and tear showing for a hotel that was only a year old.  The rooms were large, immaculately clean and quiet.  No complaints about the breakfast, but did find the dining rooms a bit dark for breakfast time.  Unfortunately, management was poor, front desk staff were a bit impersonal and the 2 operating (a third quit) small elevators for such a large hotel (which seems the norm in most venues in China) could not accommodate 2 bus load of tourists, wait times ran from 20 – 30 minutes – another nightmare! We ended up carrying our bags down stairs from the 16th floor in the end.The next day was spent at The Nanjing Road Mall, the famous commercial street in Shanghai. A delightful place to stroll, shop and admire some of the historical buildings and architecture.

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Lead With a Story. A guide to crafting business narratives that captivate, convince and inspire. Paul Smith.

At the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, t...

Lead With a Story. A guide to crafting business narratives that captivate, convince and inspire.  Paul Smith. 2012. ISBN 9780814420300.  The author has had a long career at P&G and many of his stories are from one of the best marketing firms ever. He has also collected many other in his 100 stories that are relevant in training and teaching  moments for many of your situations..  A big asset is his appendix that helps you find the relevant story from a classification matrix. His story on what sales people can learn from their own purchasing department was quick and insightful. In our practice we do not often find the sales and purchasing departments sharing war stories.  Content marketing gets real horsepower through stories, which makes this a very valuable book for sales and marketing.

Danger. Marketing Researcher at Work. Terry Haller.

Marketing Research with Tumblr

Danger. Marketing Researcher at Work. Terry Haller. 1983. ISBN 089930026X.  This an older book but like Ogilvy on Advertising I consider it a classic. The author never did publish a follow up to this book as I suppose he pretty well summed it up the first time.  He lists and details 111 dangers wrto how market research makes errors.  From the first to the last page his droll style is not only entertaining but educational as he uses real story after real story to fill in how these dangers come to pass.  Although this book predates the Internet tools era, you will find enough meat here to be able to pragmatically counter the  approaches and misunderstandings coming from the market research dept (or senior admin) to help your marketing and  sales career. Just a few that I picked up on:

  • Market research without a control group is not research
  • You can not measure attitude but you can measure behavior
  • Everyone seems to confuse strategy with execution tactics
  • The pursuit of meaningful differentiation is always important
  • The consumer determines the segment, not the researcher

This is a soup to nuts guide more people should read and take to heart.