Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mr. President (parody)

I apologize. I had to do it. I saw the photos, and this parody immediately came to mind. I was careful not to make too much fun of our new most honorable President, but I had to do this at the expense of (former) President Bush.

Please laugh! Please. Don't cart me away. LOL!!!

JPEG (below) & PDF versions available. Feel free to print it, pass it around the office, have a good laugh.

Apologies to the Chicago Tribune, but your excellent photos inspired this parody. Click the thumbnail for the full-sized version.
[caption id="attachment_114" align="alignnone" width="612" caption="Parody of the coverage of the Inauguration of President Obama"]Parody of the coverage of the Inauguration of President Obama[/caption]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Boycott the Recession

Click for images to spark the imagination on how to think differently about the so-called recession.

I don't know about you, but I didn't ask for a recession (or depression, or whatever....). It wasn't on my list of "things to do" this year. It's not on my resolution list. And it's not even on my bucket list.

I've decided to boycott the recession. I refuse to buy into it. It's like the guest you really wish you didn't have to invite to your potluck -- they don't bring a dish and they eat for 20. And they pick the best dishes to eat. Nothing left for anyone else. Well, I've decided I don't care if I piss off Uncle Sam, this person ain't coming to my bar-b-que.

Maybe you'd like to join me. I have created a group of images, badges, stickers, funny sayings -- stick them wherever you want as long as you keep to the "by" attribution requirement. Put them at the bottom of your email, on your blog, on a card in your wallet. Or don't. If you find them offensive or silly, then move along. I don't know what colors people need them in, so I didn't get fancy with colors. It's a boycott, not a Gala.

I'm especially fond of "While you were out griping..."

I've been saying it for a while, but avid networker Dr. Ivan Misner inspired me (in this YouTube video) about buying in to the recession. He met someone with a "I ABSOLUTELY refuse to participate in this recession" button. That's what did it. Criss on inspiration. That means "Watch Out!" to anyone who knows me. If anyone is actually interested in my hastily-designed buttonfest, I'll make this one easier on you and actually slice up the images so that you can post them individually on your website with a transparent background where warranted....but if no one wants the images, I won't bother.

Keep working, keep thinking, keep dreaming big, keep your head above water, and don't stop doing the doggy paddle. You know, all that law of attraction stuff, right? Don't think fear. Don't feed the mental commiseration going on. You're running a business! Think of sales closing the way they should. Think of checks in your mailbox. Think of how much your business is going to grow. If your business is growing double this year, you have a lot of work to do -- "Sorry guys, no time to gripe...." or, as one of my images says:

"While you were out griping could have picked up a client."

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Maximize Networking Results in any venue

How can networking events work for you if attendance is still dwindling? If you're not looking at them as a small trade-show where you'll get tons of leads, are they still worth attending?

Here's 3 quick tips to use individualized invitations to markedly increase the value of any event you attend:

Invite referral partners: Stack the room. Your referral partner(s!) will get a little more face-time with you, which puts you at the top of their mind. If they're a networkaholic, they'll appreciate meeting a new group, and on the selfish side you get more kudos so they'll want to do you a favor in-turn. If you received a referral from them, invite them AND pay for their fee to come to the networking event. How's that for a "thank you!" gift? Note, you're not taking them out to lunch -- ask your accountant if you can tag it as an incentive gift for taxes.

Invite prospects: Suddenly you have a reason to reach out to a prospect without giving a sales pitch! This is for them -- right? You can introduce them to your network, and they might get business from it. For you, the networking event becomes an opportunity for a high-touch contact with low pressure. Don't talk about your services unless they mention their interest in your products, but do allow them a chance to get to know you and your other referral partners better. If you have clients or referral partners in the room, someone else may talk them into closing the sale! You have increased your value to the client without doing anything you wouldn't have been doing anyway.

Invite clients: Another opportunity for a high-touch contact, which is excellent customer service and maintains top-of-mind awareness with someone who has already paid you. Talk them up to others, and play matchmaker for them. They're living, walking, breathing proof that you do your work, and do it well. They're an on-the-spot testimonial for your services. They may evangelize you to the group. If you do your 30 second or 1 minute presentation on a service they did NOT purchase (yet) or maybe don't even know you offer, you may just be able to up-sell it to them later.

Work on making it a habit to invite one person to every networking event you attend -- or invite 3 people to the QED luncheons to get $15 off your next luncheon. Shuffle these invites into your normal sales calls, schedule dance cards with referral partners before or after a networking event, and make these invitations a normal part of your ongoing customer service.

Let everyone know how it works out for you--I've been applying these techniques and I like how it has been working out.

For local networking venues see -- and make sure you join us at the QED Networking Luncheons and QED Hudson Valley Business Edge Conference events!