Archives: Art of Listening

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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

What Went Wrong When Marketing Failed To Deliver

Where did marketing miss the boat? Attendance was half of what was expected. The new website didn’t make the phone ring. The new tagline or logo or color combination hasn’t made the development of new business any easier. You’ve tried LinkedIn and micro-sites. Maybe even Twitter and (gasp) Facebook. You’ve revised profiles, and have great … Continue Reading

Five Keys to the Role of Marketing and Business Development in Today’s Law Firm

When marketing first inched its way into the legal industry, the mere announcement of capabilities seemed to serve a firm’s needs. As competition increased, the function evolved to include advertising, public relations, the new media, and the support and tools associated with a business development capability. As we deal with what seems to be constant, … Continue Reading

Winning The Debate or Collaborating Toward Success?

There are few things we value more than winning.  From t-ball to spelling bees to the professional sports franchise we adopt, nothing matches the thrill of finishing on top.  It impacts (some might suggest, disproportionally) self-image, the way we relate to those around us, and commerce. While it’s tempting to go off on the relative value … Continue Reading

Want ROI From Marketing Communication? Shift Your Focus From Message Delivery To The Rules Of Engagement

Here’s the problem: we act like once we’ve delivered a message — transmitted it, produced it, hit “SEND” — that we have Communicated. Or, at least that we have done everything within our power to make communication possible. The rest is up to the audience. In practice we have come to equate communicating with the … Continue Reading

For A Message That Motivates, Begin With Intentional Listening

NOTE: This post on Intentional Listening originally appeared at MENGOnline.  With thanks to the MENG folks for the Guest Shot, we now re-post here. Name the venue — sales and business development, marcomm, public relations — take your pick.  Often the single greatest impediment to success is the failure to begin at the beginning. The foundational … Continue Reading

To Blog or Not to Blog: Musings For The Reluctant Social Media Convert

Even some of the most skeptical among professional service providers are beginning to wonder whether they should dip at least one reluctant toe into social media and on-line networking. A Twitter IPO, increasing Linked In invitations and all-things Google — for starters — are enough to make the most reluctant wonder —  is this social … Continue Reading

The Question That Will Unlock The Cross Selling Challenge

We have all witnessed how quickly the wheels can fly off even the best initiative when the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is up to. Progress, expansion of an organization’s reach and business development success are inhibited even more when each seems unaware of the other’s existence. If you operate in an … Continue Reading

Deliver The Experience Or Lose The Relationship

A few might dispute the notion, but most will agree — relationship trumps everything. Whether in the business or personal arena, relationship provides the context in which almost everything is interpreted. It influences judgement and defines value. The Relationship That Wasn’t Nearly a decade ago a small technology start-up was out of money, and about to … Continue Reading

3 Keys To Thriving In A Changing Marketplace

Long ago, before digital invaded advertising, marketing and media, the basics of the print industry hadn’t seen significant change for decades. Then someone figured out ones and zeroes. And things began to shift rapidly. Seemingly overnight, what had once been the purview of shops able to invest in big machines and the real estate to … Continue Reading

What Sunday News Shows Would Sound Like If Mom Were A Producer

Sunday’s talk shows prompted a ridiculous line of thinking. I wonder what might happen if mom’s advice were to take hold. You see, my mother — the only person I’ve known personally that might approach sainthood status –repeatedly advised, “if you don’t have something nice to say, better to say nothing at all.”  I’ll wager … Continue Reading

When The Intent Is To Communicate, Market and Lead, Listen With The Eyes

You don’t have to look long to find plenty of talk about the importance of listening. (We’ve done our share here on this blog, and here, in a guest post for my friend Cordell Parvin.) CMOs, consultants and marketing gurus regularly weigh in on listening’s critical role. These discussions invariably (and understandably) focus on the … Continue Reading

Life Is More Than Black & White, “Red” or “Blue”: A Thanksgiving Perspective

There are a few things that are clearly either black or white. But very few. Much of daily life – from personal relationship to professional decision – is defined based on perspective. Thursday many of us will observe the holiday tradition that combines turkey and the National Football League. We’ll likely witness the blurry line … Continue Reading