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Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of The Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC - Issue #10: July, 2004

Monthly tips to improve the business and practice of members of the Society for Advancement of Consulting, LLC
  • Anti-spam measures: Check your computer for viruses and cleanse; use filters, rules, and spam-blockers; restrict use of your email (e.g., don't provide it to catalog houses from which you order); use a private email address that you confine to close friends.
  • The phone as a multi-tasking instrument: headset, in order to wander; speaker, in order to take notes; conference ability of two or more lines in order to tie others in; conventional handset for private conversing; attached mini-recorder to preserve details of discussions.
  • The step that prospective writers most often ignore: Read back issues of the publication in which you wish to publish. That way you can understand the tone and the "voice," which will enable you to craft an inquiry more friendly to the editor.
  • If you're running seriously behind schedule on a very busy day, consider canceling one appointment altogether, thereby inconveniencing one party, instead of being late for them all, inconveniencing everyone (and jeopardizing your status with everyone).
  • When you're running ahead of schedule and have to "kill time," find a good hotel. The lobby will have restrooms, a restaurant, conventional phones, a business center, wireless email connections, etc.
  • Use common sense when you're meeting prospects: don't order food that has be eaten with your fingers; bring an umbrella if the weather report is threatening; if you pump your own gas, don't top it off with the danger it might spill on you; and keep the other party's phone number, address, assistant's name, etc., on a piece of paper in a convenient pocket, not deep in the bowels of your briefcase.
  • If you're traveling "heavy," ask the receptionist where you can stow all your stuff, including the computer, and just extract the basic essentials for your meeting. Executives don't travel or meet as if they are beasts of burden.
  • Keep a "city network" on your computer of friends and acquaintances by city in separate folders. When you are called upon to go there, drop a quick email and ask for the restaurants you shouldn't miss, new events in town, sports activities, etc. You'll get terrific advice and may just be someone's guest for a great time.
  • Never sniff a cork from a wine bottle (or, any other cork, one would think). It's gauche and meaningless. Check to see if the cork is moist on both ends, which means that the wine may have leaked, air may have entered the bottle, and the wine may be ruined. If the end is dry, then all is probably well.
  • The next time you buy a new car, find one with an integrated phone system. They are much safer, much easier to use, and far more efficient.

Suggested Reading: Birth of A Salesman by Walter A. Friedman (Harvard Press: 2004). A fascinating account of sales evolving into a true profession from the days of the hucksters and canvassers.

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