Archives: Art of Listening

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Wondering How To Turn Connections Into Relationships?

If you’re marketing something, you’re likely investing resources in the development of connections. Social strategies, networking events, content marketing efforts…there is a long cafeteria line of tools, strategies and processes designed to get you connneted. Then what? Business development is about relationships. Not connections. Or fans. Or followers. Real honest-to-goodness-relationships. Today’s tools make establishing a … Continue Reading

5 Guiding Principles For When, Why and How to Use Social Media as a Business Development Tool

If you’re considering a deeper dive into social media for business development punposes, are attempting to evaluate your current investment in social, or are among those just now waking to the reality that social media is actually out there changing the market, this post is for you. And it is a response to the fact … Continue Reading

Entertaining The Ultimate Business Development Question

Several years ago Fred Reichheld, among others, began working on a conversation and a system that would prompt organizations to rethink clients / customer relationships. In his book, The Ultimate Question (now available in an updated 2.0 version), the discussion zeroes in on what the author defines as the ultimate measure of loyalty — whether a … Continue Reading

Business Development Success Is More About Asking The Right Questions Than Having All The Answers

The game show Jeopardy has had it right all along — knowing the right question is the way to win big. Conventional wisdom argues the point. And most of the time we buy into the argument. In virtually every venue — from personal relationships to building a productive professional network, from pitching a pizza franchise to … Continue Reading

Do All The Things You Know Make It Tougher For You To Communicate?

There is no shortage of communicators talking about the challenges attendant to listening. Type effective listening into your search engine, and you won’t have to wait long for the evidence. In 1.8 seconds more than 1 million resources will be one click away. Tips, tricks, guidelines, best practices, secrets, insights, barriers, ten-step-programs, five keys, principles, systems — … Continue Reading

This Is Where Communication Begins

Listening is the last thing on anyone’s mind when the subject is communication. And it’s understandable. From the instant an infant realizes what it takes to get attention, our practical view of communication is shaped by a repeated focus on doing whatever it takes to deliver a message. Experiences reenforce the idea that charisma, wordsmithing and … Continue Reading

A CEO’s Formula For Progress In a Changing Marketplace

“Move more. Assume less.” This was the response of a CEO friend when asked about his success in turning around a consulting firm on the brink of extinction twenty-two months earlier. Don was retiring, and he was reflective. “In the early days we were determined to meet the market at its point of need. That … Continue Reading

What Does It Take To Turn Contacts and Connections Into Productive Relationships?

It is news to no one that when it comes to business development in the professional services arena, relationship trumps everything. Not connections. Or fans. Or followers. Real honest-to-goodness-relationships. Establishing a connection is relatively easy. Building a relationship is decidedly not. Do it right, and a single event can yield scores of business cards. Devote some time … Continue Reading

The Currency of Communication

Volume can be misleading. Increasing the decibel level is no guarantee a message will be heard. Exercising the loudest voice in the room doesn’t equate to connecting with anyone. Bigger and louder — shake-the-ground-you-stand-on-boom notwithstanding — doesn’t ensure anything will resonate. And siren call aside, the same is true for even the most seductive distribution … Continue Reading

Dialogue Is Dead (And Our Ability To Disagree Is Disappearing)

I remember when we used to be able to disagree. Friends could vigorously debate, and go home friends. We could go to school, work alongside, and build neighborhoods with folks with whom we held differing views, values and convictions. We could even talk about it. Those were the days. But that kind of dialogue may be dead. These … Continue Reading

3 Keys To Preventing Excellence From Slipping Between The Lines

In the 1980’s there were few management conversations, conferences, seminars or workshops that didn’t have at least a topic instigated by the book In Search of Excellence. The work by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, Jr. was seminal. Still in the early days of a new gig, I recently dusted off my copy. Though (in … Continue Reading

Two Steps To Better Business Development and Marketing in 2015

It is our annual ritual. Marketing and business development professionals hunker down to create fresh plans that will make the best use of resources, resonate with management, and somehow penetrate the market more effectively. We did it last year, and the year before that. And most of us will do it all again twelve months … Continue Reading

Want To Instigate Dialogue and Lead? Choose Your Words Carefully.

Words matter. If the goal is to connect and build bridges, you’ll choose them carefully. They set tone, dictate parameters and conjure experiences that shape interpretation. The right words can comfort, support, strengthen and inspire. They can tap into memories and stir new dreams. Yet, for all their power, they are imperfect and incomplete. Packaging … Continue Reading

3 Keys To An Authentic Voice — The Building Block of Social Media Marketing Success

Dispute its reach if you like. Bemoan its shortcomings. Even refuse to participate (if you dare). But Social Media has exploded. And the reason should capture the imagination of anyone marketing a service or product. How so? Because for all the hype, falderal, misuse and criticism swirling about, Social Media is, simply, about the dynamics … Continue Reading
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