Thursday, July 29, 2010


People do not like to be interrupted. People doing important or time-sensitive work are especially hostile to interruption.

Think about it. You’ve got the TV remote control in your hand, you’re watching your favorite TV show “Barney the Asinine Purple Dinosaur” and it’s interrupted by some insane man trying to get you to walk into his Chevy Dealership. What do you do? Zap…you change the channel, IMMEDIATELY. Tivo, Comcast’s DVR service and other such services and gadgets are wildly popular for a reason…nobody wants to be bothered by your marketing message. Pop-up/Pop Under windows on The Web…those are a big hit, huh? Can’t get rid of them fast enough. It’s the same with Radio, Print advertisements and all other media. You may find the commercials on Super Bowl Sunday amusing (more on that later), but you tune EVERYTHING else out. The telephone consumer DO NOT CALL list, on its first day of online registration years ago, had tens of millions of people register.

If your job is to find new customers, it has become exponentially harder than it was a generation ago. It’s just the way it is. There are still people out there who could sell insurance dialing from the White Pages but they are incredibly rare (and rich). Why? Because it requires an exceptional talent AND one needs to be BULLETPROOF from constant rejection and even verbal abuse. If you don’t have both and you plan on mindless smiling-and-dialing all day…good luck with that.

There is good news. There are several new ways of reaching people that didn’t exist a generation ago. Of course people seized on some of them in the worst possible fashion and turned what could have been an asset into a hideous liability. (Best example: SPAM). This lack of creative thinking continues in most of the iterations of new media.

(No, Iggy the IT Services Guy…I don’t want to be your friggin’ Facebook “friend”). Good grief.

If you’re one of those rare creative/entertaining types, you can use new AND old media to get a foot in the door. If you’re an expert on a subject important to your prospects, that can be weaved into your approach to the market. There are dozens of ways of combining what is uniquely “you” with all forms of media….and that very much includes the telephone.

Think, people. Think and then act. Think, act, consistently modify and act until enough people find what you do valuable. With persistence and just a sliver of ability, you’ll never worry about money again. And you’ll never again have to interrupt an overworked manager to tell them how INCREDIBLE your company’s stuff is.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The 911

If you catch yourself saying anything even close to Someone Needs to do Something About That...I beg you- immediately sedate yourself, preferably in another room in a different area code. You are very much part of the problem.

I saw a great scene recently from television. On the work floor in a early-Sixties era advertising agency, a horrific and bloody accident befell an unsuspecting employee. Without a word, the office manager IMMEDIATELY comforted the victim. The office manager wasn't a physician or a nurse. She did know, however, the victim was terrified and bloodied so she took action. She comforted the victim, cleaned up copious amounts of blood and even applied direct pressure to the sizable wound.

What did her co-workers do? Either nothing or WORSE than nothing. What could possibly be worse than nothing? Standing there and telling nobody in particular to "Call 911". Hey Hawkeye Pierce...why don't YOU call 911?. Or better yet. Why don't YOU get on the floor with the office manger and help her and the victim in any way possible. IN ANY WAY.

That story is a perfect microcosm of both life AND work.

Let's put a slightly more positive spin on this to settle down Mr. Cranky Pants(me)down. We all know people like the office manager described above. They're not necessarily saintly people. Not all of them are wonderfully likable all the time. But without them, the entire world would fall apart. I couldn't be more serious. In life and in work, it's not hard to find them. Many of them employ others. Many of them are nurses or doctors. Some of them are cops or soldiers. Most of them are none of the above and answer primarily to the name of Mom, Dad or Friend. All of them are in positions of serious responsibility.

Perversely,many of them are under constant criticism and/or scrutiny from the type of people who, upon witnessing a gruesome injury, would blurt out Someone Call 911!

But that doesn't stop them no more than a doorway ablaze would stop them from entering a building or some other much less dramatic situation. If even 10% of the population was more like this, there never would have been The Great Depression or this current economic situation. The next time you see of these people, whether aloud or silently, thank them.