In Defense of Mechanics

They don’t often have the best reputation. People sometimes cringe at the thought of interacting with them. And it’s often a foregone conclusion that your wallet will be a little bit lighter after the exchange is over. Now, I could be talking about accountants. Or even lawyers. But today I want to focus in on […]

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Turn It Inside Out

“Turn it inside out and see what it is like.” — Marcus Aurelius One of the best thought exercises for any business is playing a game of ‘what if?’ and following the logic through. Think of it as paper prototyping with ideas. If you’re at a point in your work or in your business where […]

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Don’t Fix It

In a provocative post, Swati Jena looks at the trend towards “problem-solving” as a virtue among leaders of organizations. She points out, however, that problem-solving taken to an extreme can lead to several problems, one of which is almost an excuse not to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. And what’s worse, she […]

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Pricing Value

I enjoy looking at age-old business models from new perspectives. And few business models need a new look more than the one used by most copywriters, proofreaders, and copyeditors. I know because I’ve spent most of my professional life in that line of work. What is the business model? It’s all about hourly rates, word […]

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Table Stakes: Your Website

I write a lot about business strategy and topics such as differentiation . Those are incredibly important to the growth of your business. But today I want to move downstream and discuss table stakes. For those unfamiliar with the term, the Urban Dictionary colorfully defines it as “the minimum amount of effort your lazy [___] needs to […]

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Trust (Your Gut) But Verify

Henry Ford never said customers wanted faster horses, but he did agree with the sentiment. And that was a good thing in the beginning. Ford had an intuition, a vision about how to produce something the buying public wanted — and he was right. The Model T sold like proverbial hotcakes. Pride cometh… But Ford […]

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3 Tips for Improving Your Messaging Today

Every business needs to communicate, but some do it a lot better than others. What’s their secret? I’ve written and edited thousands of articles, blog posts, marketing pieces and sell sheets in my career, and I’ve found that making just a few adjustments can make a world of difference. Here are three tips that you should […]

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Making Room

What goes? That simple question gets at one of the underappreciated realities of B2B buying and selling. With budgets tight, your product or service often needs to elbow in. And often that means something else taking up budget needs to go. Sounds obvious, right? But often we assume that companies are taking a “where have […]

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Stop Giving Your Salespeople Rusty Blades

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never met a salesperson who wants to make fewer sales than he or she did last quarter. On the contrary, they want an ever-fatter pipeline and more new business than they can handle. What are the two ways for a salesperson to get more business? That’s easy: selling into […]

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Your Biggest Competitors Aren’t Who You Think

We’ve probably never met in real life. I don’t know your business. But one thing I do know is that when it comes to your business, you’re probably not aware of the real threats to it. Let’s say Joe operates a pizza shop in the center of town. He prides himself on the quality of his sauce, his hand-stretched […]

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