Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dentist the Menace

Talking with a guy I knew who's in the salesforce training business. I ask him what's new in his line of work and he tells me something very interesting.

He said Dentists were his fasting growing clientele.

Think about it for a second. Your a Dentist, a highly-skilled professional. And you know your doing your job well if your clients don't need your services!!

An oversimplification, of course, but there's more than a shred of truth to that statement.

But any Dentist with business sense knows there's A TON of money sitting on the table but they need to tread carefully. Top-notch preventative care, cosmetic procedures and many other things people need done but choose to delay it until their mouth explodes with pain or their teeth look so bad they could walk on the set of "Deliverance II" and immediately be awarded a part.

So hooray for the dental profession to collectively say "..ummm...what's the best way to go about this.."

Timing is a funny thing. It wasn't long after I learned that MY DENTIST decided it was a good idea, without my permission, to send a group TEXT MESSAGE about something entirely irrelevant to me and my particular dental needs. I was on a business call at the time. An inbound text message on my cell phone caused a sound interruption slightly less loud than a nuclear bomb detonation. Extraordinary.

Every time I think the very basics of marketing and sales can be understood by a reasonably intelligent Golden Retriever, something like this happens.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I'd Buy That

Just read about a company that is about to get a patent for "anti-mist coatings" and I guess it's a fairly big deal.

If you're anything like me, you have my empathy, because being like me is a permanent stay at the theme park, NeurosisLand. But we have to ask, no different than the feisty investigative Entertainment Tonight reporter, "What in the hell are anti-mist coatings?".

It's something that I'd buy....that's what it is.

For some reason WAY beyond my understanding, nobody has totally figured out how to COMPLETELY rid themselves of unwanted mist(or relatives).

You take a real hot shower, the fan is running at a maniacal pace, what happens when you're done? The mirror is STILL pretty much covered in mist. Did the fan go on a cigarette break, leaving his dimwitted humming-machine friend to cover? Why isn't it working? Another example...the interior of your car. I don't care how expensive the model of your car, when certain exterior and interior atmospheric conditions exist, it's "Play Misty for Me" on your interior windshield. It's alot of fun trying to clear a small viewing area at 60 MPH while you're on a road the width of Scotch tape and an approaching truck the size of a WalMart Supercenter is bearing down on you.

So, apparently, somebody has figured out how to fix this.

And I'm buying.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chuck Dickens

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Someone please summons Mr. Charley Dickens because many have been searching for the former lately with not much success. I, myself, was looking amongst and beneath the couch cushions for better days/daze and came up snake eyes. I did find, however, close to $1.80 in change and enough food parts to feed the entire population of Barbados for three weeks. Which brings me to this Post.

The Cosmic Arbiter sure dealt me and almost everyone I know one helluva good hand. And that includes the unemployed, the underemployed and the people who think their boss makes Joseph Stalin seem like "a decent enough guy".

As someone told me once, not only do I have a better quality of life than the VAST majority of the living on the planet, I have a better life than 99.999% of ALL THE PEOPLE WHO EVER LIVED. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Captain CrankyPants.

Not only do I have immediate access to hundreds of things that make my life more comfortable but I am also at arms length to hundreds of things-both needful and necessary- that even Kings and Queens didn't have as recently as 100 years ago.

We all need these self reality checks from time-to-time. There's a good chance your net worth is considerably less than it was five years ago. Your business went belly-up. That vacation is definitely NOT happening this summer. Your teenage children are possessed by some deranged poltergeist who instructs them to only stare blankly at electronic media and say the word "like" roughly 16 times per sentence.

I feel ya, bro and it's easy to get pissy about things...especially lately.

Without sounding like some charged up, self-help Super Sage on an Infomercial, the next time you work yourself up into A LATHER (ya know, like, later today), spend about 30 seconds thinking about what you HAVE as opposed to what you don't. Got it there, Jerky?

Let's look at a live case study.

My day today, in the vernacular of 18th century England, "sucked wicked bad". But I'm going to have a nice home-cooked meal this evening, fart around with my 7 year old son in the backyard, watch a good chunk of the Sox game on the tube, sleep in my comfy king-sized bed and then, tomorrow morning, unleash an uninterrupted stream of expletives as I ponder the incredible injustice of Boston traffic as it relates to my life. I'm kidding. The "No Whining Rule" will be strictly enforced, starting tomorrow, regardless of how the Sox fare tonight.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jetson, you're fired!!

I have been fired from a few corporate sales jobs. Never for insubordination, always because the numbers weren't where they needed to be.

The numbers weren't there and I was invariably told that I needed to get the numbers where they needed to be and how to do it.

Let me state, unequivocally, in all instances I deserved to be let go. I deserved to be let go because I accepted the job offer knowing very well what I was getting into.

Stuff happens...it's true, I know this because I read it on a bumper sticker.

On the flip side, I've spent almost half of my working life either working for myself or working for loosely affilaited businesspeople and even collective business interests. The businesspeople I worked for, usually as a contractor, were ALL entrepreneurs. Not people who work for a corporation but INSIST on calling themselves "entrepreneurs". These are and were people who had been completely on their own for many years. A handful had lost EVERYTHING in various business ventures..a couple more than once. By the time our paths had crossed, things were typically on the upside and humming along.

All of these entrepreneurs lived by a certain creed. They all agreed that the anxiety and uneasiness of financial unpredictability or even instability was MUCH LESS PAINFUL than the misery caused by either submitting themselves to the will and whim of others and/or selling themselves to do something that was anathema to everything they believed was right.

Sound familiar?

I have more than a few friends who are successful in their roles as good corporate citizens and, presumably, effective employees. They are respectful,intelligent people who are responsible and have always been consistent income earners and providers. And EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, aware of my utter lack of consistency in similar environments have said to me "..hey, you gotta know when and how to play the game..". And they were honest enough to say they didn't necessarily enjoy that part of the job either but, hey, got kids to educate and bills to pay.

People write 500 page books on how to sell. Why? Look back a mere 100-150 years when the trader/merchant model ruled the day and had for centuries. Things haven't changed AT ALL at the most elemental level. People do commerce and engage in transactions where value is exchanged for value. Skilled marketing people can, at times, accelerate this and even create a perception of value.

Run this by your sales manager, who has framed quotes from General Patton and Vince Lombardi hanging on his walls, as he tells you how to "close those SOB's!!". And bring a box with you.