How any given recipient will interpret your email is “not exactly” known.  Unfortunately, you can sound, well, negative without context.  Reciprocally, upon receiving a one-word response (if any) you may have an unwarranted negative response.

Consider the following:

Instead of telling others what not to do, try telling them what they should do instead.  Be positive; avoid negative words and phrases.  Edit your sentences to use positive word strings, as well as ask non-invasive questions.

Use “thank you” and “professional courtesy” for emphases.  Lastly, write like you talk.  My mom, a retired English teacher, always preached this one.

I have been known to say, honesty and integrity are the cornerstones to many good things.  Now, let’s add trust to the pantheon.  Funny, but true that honesty, integrity, and trust are paramount in both personal and professional pursuits.  Let’s focus on the professional application of trust.

Do you trust your boss and your boss’s boss?  Are you confident your boss and your boss’s boss trust you?

Simple questions, but complicated answers depending on your predicament.

what motivates matters

June 1, 2014

Are you motivated by income, power, title, or just to keep your job?

Early in my career, I was motivated by making my father proud.  Later in my career, I was motivated to maintain my quality of life.  Today, I am motivated by what I produce and its quantifiable impact. 

Take note of and track your motivation, then adjust it.  Your motivation will naturally change or you may want to manually change it.   By adjusting accordingly, you can maintain desired work ethic.  The subtlety here is to suppress emotion, because uncontrolled emotion can work against your productivity.

Perhaps, you are driven to succeed to support your family.  Perhaps, you just love money, power, and as many people as possible working for you.  Perhaps, you are motivated by competition and the compulsive need to outperform your colleagues.  A little more unusual, you could be motivated to make your boss look good and further his or her career, which is a tough one to sustain.    

My preferences are self-serving and self-reliant motivations.  Make your motivation something that is sustainable for as long as possible, then rinse and repeat.  


are iPads killing prose?

April 29, 2014

I think so.  We now have a mobile society that uses cell phones for anything, but making calls.  In business, iPads are pervasive but do they promote effective communication, such as email?  I posit, not exactly.  The by-product of all these mobile phones and tablets is awful prose.  I read emails that are so cryptic, I don’t know what to think.  

Just guessing, but with an iPad or iPhone, all that use of ridiculous acronyms must enforce awful written language skills.  In my opinion, the average written business communication was already woeful, but now given people rarely sit down at their desk to compose emails it has worsened.  I didn’t think it was possible.

Such is life.  Go read a good book, I guess.



chatter this!

April 24, 2014

Salesforce does not just use Chatter, it is the answer to most questions. I posit, Salesforce’s internal implementation of Chatter influences corporate culture, as well as modifies behavior. It is fascinating.

What intrigues me is how Chatter drives obsessive/compulsive behavior. It’s quite similar to Facebook phenomenon, but with business application. You can find people chatting at all hours of the night.

In part for me, Chatter has awakened workaholic tendencies, which I thought were dormant. Don’t get me wrong, I love Chatter, every company should use it. The collaboration enabled by Chatter is highly productive.

success with stories

October 30, 2013

Want to be successful selling?  Become a better storyteller.  I’m not talking fairy tales, rather anecdotal vignettes that demonstrate how peer organizations have benefitted from your solution.

As with any good story, provide starting point or baseline and end with compelling conclusion or realized quantifiable business value.  Tell what others have learned and experienced in easy to digest language.  If you confuse your audience, you’ve lost your audience.

A few storytelling best practices include keeping it simple, but memorable.  Be concise and brief; your objective is to pique interest, establish credibility, and gain sponsored traction going forward.  As with an elevator pitch, framing with provocative question can be quite effective.  Again, your goal is to drive action. 

sales play – a definition

September 8, 2013

The word string “sales play” has been in vogue for many years.  But has it lost its meaning?

Rhetorically speaking, it certainly has; I have examples.

Years ago, technology sales organizations were transitioning from the proverbial tactical to strategic.  Everything was solution-selling this and that!  I harken back, because that is where I find the practical definition of a sales play.

You must have a solution for starters.  Otherwise, you have a deeply-defined process, but which provides weak business value.  Sounds crazy, but today many sophisticated sales organizations fail to understand that which ails potential customers and link a viable solution.

Definition of sales play: the mechanics or otherwise stated tactical steps to prosecute an opportunity-specific solution


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