Alan Weiss

The Strange Case of the Missing Floor

Alan Weiss

How strong are myths and “taboos”? In the US, you’ll seldom see a 13th floor on the elevator buttons or rooms that begin with “13.” ” There IS a 13th floor, of course, but the hotel labels it the 14th and skips 13.

If You Want Affection, Get A Dog

Alan Weiss

Stop craving affection and start generating respect. You accomplish that by demonstrating how you can improve my life, not by pandering or telling me how good you are. Prospective buyers need expertise, not a buddy. Business of Consulting

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Give Me an Example of That

Alan Weiss

If you’re writing articles without real-world, contemporary examples to which the reader can relate, you’re merely writing conceptual pieces which aren’t going to persuade prospects. Think of all those awful college professors who merely read their notes and pontificated.

Is Anyone Home?

Alan Weiss

People take some days off for the holidays, but they don’t go on sabbatical! If you decide to stop marketing for the month then stop wondering why your sales pipeline is dry during the first quarter of 2020. Alan’s Thought For Today Business of Consulting

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The Surprising Effects of Business Vs. Leisure Travel

*Already submitted with the first entry, please contact me if you would like me to write up again.

Observing the Law

Alan Weiss

The lawyers have a saying about the courtroom: Never ask a witness a question for which you don’t already know the answer. When you walk into a prospective buyer’s office, there are only six things that are usually said first (e.g., “What can I do for you?”

Yeah, Well, Try Doing It Better

Alan Weiss

Look, Doc, Before You Cut, How About A Ten Percent Discount?

Alan Weiss

I’ve never understood consultants who are flummoxed by a prospect saying, “Others can do this cheaper than you.” ” Do you shop for the cheapest heart surgeon, or mechanic for your car, or roof repairer?

Peripheral Skills

Alan Weiss

People seem to wonder what I mean by “peripheral skills,” which are skills not immediately critical to your profession but do tend to set you apart. A brief example, which I’m sure you’ve all experienced.

Winning Percentages

Alan Weiss

I’m watching a lot of football this time of year, and all of these teams are filled with star athletes, even at third-string. Yet only some teams are far above the pack. it’s not the athletes, it’s the coaching. The same applies to business.

The Definitive Guide to Becoming a High-Growth Company

Why do some companies grow at a double-digit pace every year, while others experience nominal (or even flat) growth year over year? Discover the common attributes that your High-Growth Clients have in common as they outperform their competition in top-line growth!

Lip Service

Alan Weiss

Here’s some heresy: At executive level in larger companies buyers are not trolling web sites to choose advisors. They may assign their assistants to find venders.)

Precautionary Advice

Alan Weiss

A few things a client or prospect should never hear or see: • A web page that says “site under construction.” ” • A voice mailbox that says the mailbox is full and you cannot leave a message. •

Little Things

Alan Weiss

My recent trip to Malta and Croatia reemphasized some customer service points. The server would ask if I wanted warm milk with my coffee. Why on earth would you put cold milk in hot coffee? The servers brought the credit card machine to the table, so that my card never left my possession or sight.

Sales Talk Is an Oxymoron

Alan Weiss

Every buyer is different in many ways, but the commonality if they’re healthy (about 95% of them) is that they seek to improve their condition, professionally and/or personally.

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Assessing the Five Styles of Enterprise Business Intelligence

The world of BI and analytics has evolved. Discover the five styles of reporting and analysis, and learn the pros and cons of each in an enterprise scenario.

Are You Talking to Me?

Alan Weiss

I’m astonished by how little designers (cars, hotel rooms, appliances, furniture, etc.) consult with their perspective customers before they produce the final product.

Going for A Drive

Alan Weiss

There are close to 50 production cars (not multi-million dollar limited run cars) on sale in the US today that cost a minimum of $100,000, from a low of some SUVs to the high of a Rolls Royce. You can see most of them on the road every day.

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Overcoming Caveat Emptor

Alan Weiss

Does any political debate ever change anyone’s mind? If you want your prospects to change their minds and become your clients, explain dramatically to them why it’s in their best interests to do so.

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The Best Offense Is A Good Offense

Alan Weiss

Stop trying “not to lose” business. Try to win business. Even if you manage “not to lose” it, the business will be on the buyer’s terms and relatively modest, with low fees. The “prevent defense” never won a football game and lost quite a few.

The Chain Reaction of Attraction™

Alan Weiss

Bringing people together who otherwise wouldn’t know each other, but who find it valuable to meet, is of huge value with very low labor. I call this The Chain Reaction of Attraction. They will, in turn, attract still others to you. Business of Consulting

Ensuring They Get Back to You

Alan Weiss

I’m asked regularly how to deal with prospects who don’t return phone calls and email, especially when they have a proposal in front of them. If someone is more than two days late, there’s something wrong. You don’t wait weeks for a response to a proposal with options!

How Can We Help Each Other?

Alan Weiss

When you walk in through the office door and you don’t consider yourself a peer of the buyer sitting in that office, you’re not going to walk out through that door with the business you deserve. You’re not in this profession to “sell” services.

Strategically Thinking….

Alan Weiss

“We need a strategy” is a common plaint, and usually wrong. What’s actually happening is that the tactics are failing. People often respond to my advice with, “I’m already doing that!” ” I reply, “Yes, but you’re not doing it well enough, are you?” ” Strategy is top-down. Planning is bottom-up. Planning kills strategy through strangulation. “Strategic planning” is an oxymoron used by those who understand neither.

Speed

Alan Weiss

Tell your prospects after an initial meeting that you’ll follow up on a given date, at a certain time, with specific actions. Date/time/action after every meeting to move things rapidly forward.

Are You an Amateur Or A Professional?

Alan Weiss

If you want to make waves and not just stick your toe in the water, you need to be bold about what you believe. I could say, “Billing by the hour or day will not generate as much revenue as using value based fees.”

Change, Damn It!

Alan Weiss

If someone does not want to be helped, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to help them. If you haven’t made progress in 60 days and continue to coach them, you’re simply accepting money for showing up.

Going to the Source

Alan Weiss

Always go to the source, not an intermediary. If you want a business decision, go to the buyer, not a subordinate or an assistant. If you want to learn something, find the original source, not secondary ones which quote others.

Finding Cause of Resistance

Alan Weiss

If you’re not making sufficient progress with a buyer and don’t know why ask this question: “What is your biggest hesitation in moving forward with my suggestions and involvement?” ” Find the cause of the resistance. Business of Consulting

Unintended Consequences

Alan Weiss

When I visit any “big box” store that has self-checkout lanes, I find several store employees… helping people checkout, and often doing it for them. The lines move more slowly than the conventional cashier lines, and the staffing seems the same!

Please Hold and Listen to Horrid Music While We Pretend to Find Ms. Jones

Alan Weiss

The more complex we make things in the name of high technology, the more difficult they are to use: hotel phone systems, big screen TVs, car dashboards, cable boxes, airplane entertainment systems. You have to wade through countless menus or consult manuals the size of War and Peace. (My

What I’ve Learned On Making A Marriage Work for 51 Years

Alan Weiss

What I’ve Learned On Making A Marriage Work for 51 Years. When she says, “Remember what’s his name, he used to live up there, somewhere, and he worked for a company that went bankrupt, quite a few years ago—he drove an old car?” I just say, “Sure, what about him?”.

Timing

Alan Weiss

I’ve always avoided agreeing to a time frame for a discussion. “Can I have a half-hour of your time?” ” “No, just tell me what your question or issue is.” ” I can usually take care of the inquiry in five minutes.

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Finding Cause, Eliminating the Problem, Getting Paid

Alan Weiss

Be more effective and much quicker by trying to find the cause of problems and not simply slapping band aids on the symptoms, or jumping to vast, unverified conclusions. For example, most unhappy employees who leave organizations are actually leaving their boss.

I Don’t Care If You Agree, We’re Going Forward

Alan Weiss

The New York Times is fond of headlines and teasers which say something like this: “Schools continue to engage in X curriculum, but not everyone agrees.” ” Or, “We have a record economy, but not everyone agrees.” ” . The point is NOT that “everyone agrees.”

Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry?

Alan Weiss

If you’re not sure whether a buyer is being honest with you in asking for a proposal or just trying to get you out of the office, ask this question: “Why is this important to you?” ” If the buyer can stipulate in his or her words why your approaches are valuable (“I believe you can help us retain talent in sales that we just can’t afford to lose in a zero-unemployment economy’), then proceed.

Don’t Go Softly…

Alan Weiss

Once you’re delegated to human resources or other places in the bowels of the organization, you’re unlikely to get back to the true buyer. Avoid this with intelligent argument: “This is a strategic (leadership) decision, and you and I should decide and agree on what is to be accomplished and only then we can involved others and their inputs on how best to do it. We have to present them with the goal, not allow them to set the goal.”