Consulting made funny?

“Think improv comedy is just for laughs? Think again. It’s fertile training ground for dealing with the unexpected – you know, like in a sales conversation, when a client asks a zinger that you never saw coming. I discovered the magic of improv comedy a few years ago when I decided it was time to learn how to get past the “frozen-ness” I felt when something like that happened to me.

High impact client presentations – tip #1 of 5

Not too long ago I got to watch another consulting team give a sales pitch to my clients. Sadly, the consulting team missed a major opportunity to build rapport with their prospects and get into their world. Why? Because all they did was talk. Today’s blog offers the first of five tips to help you avoid the all-too-common trap of speaking more than listening when you’re giving a client presentation. Use these tips any time you are trying to influence a group of people — regardless of your role, your audience, or your time boundaries.

The ROI of business friendships

We were recently featured on Karen Salmansohn’s SIRIUS radio show, BE HAPPY DAMMIT (LIME Channel 114). Karen publishes a “Be Happy Dammit Tips” Newsletter. Her April 27 issue quotes some fascinating statistics about the value of business friendships. For example:

– People with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work.

E-mail reply to all: ‘leave me alone’

So goes the headline of an article on the front page of The Washington Post on May 25, 2007. Across the country, business professionals are facing an ever-increasing backlog of emails and throwing up their hands in frustration and overwhelm. The article spotlights Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist, who recently sent a broadcast email to his entire address book saying, “I am so far behind on email that I am declaring bankruptcy … I am starting over.” A December 2006 article in BusinessWeek, hailing a company that has officially declared Friday as a day of rest from email, seems to indicate a trend.

“Early and ugly” – an oldie but goodie

This appeared in BossaNova’s 2006 summer newsletter, and it bears repeating.

“Early and ugly” is what a prized client said he wanted from his consulting firm. “Our very senior client was telling us he didn’t want to wait weeks or months for a polished deliverable; he wanted to be part of the action every step of the way,” reports Wayne Simmons, managing partner of ICOR Partners , a strategic management consulting firm servicing the public sector. “We were happy to hear it because that’s exactly how we like to work,” he added.