Why the Elevator Speech Is Dead—And What to Do Instead

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Ten years ago, clients asked me to help their sales teams to perfect their elevator speech. Not anymore. It’s dead. Nobody has time to listen to your elevator “speech.” How often do you hear a TV anchor say to a guest, “I’ve just 10 seconds left; give me your reaction to X.” Impatience has quashed [...]

The Pet Peeve That Zaps Productivity and Sours Attitudes

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You rush into your office early at 7:30 to get a jump on the day. Your overflowing inbox shows several emails marked urgent. But they’ll need to wait because you know what needs to be a priority: getting that report out to the client by noon to include in his afternoon presentation. You promised. Your [...]

10 Tiny Things That Create Big First Impressions

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Whether it takes 7 seconds or 17 minutes to make a first impression, people always seem astonished at what idiosyncrasy causes the gut reaction. That reaction may be positive or negative, but it pays to know how others perceive you. After more than 30 years of personal coaching and studying the topics of interpersonal skills, [...]

6 Ways Salespeople Irritate Customers and Lose Sales

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Salespeople are typically the nicest people in the room. They ask about your family. They laugh at your stories. They empathize with your hard luck. But occasionally, you run into someone in sales who just needs a paycheck, someone who’s a technical expert but has the personality of a duffle bag, someone who has been [...]

How to Skip Small Talk and Get to Know Someone

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Noticing the time on a text message (3:04 a.m.) that came in from a Millennial one morning, I asked if he had been working that late. “No, I went out to meet someone at a coffee shop about midnight. Just thought I’d answer your earlier text as I walked home.” “Out to meet someone after [...]

5 Communication Practices Touted As Effective—That Really Aren’t

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No matter the topic, there’s always the flipside. Politics? The liberal view versus the conservative view. Religion? Scores of interpretations. How to build the better app? Fee versus free, with imbedded links. So when it comes to communication, the same is true. What you’ve always heard as conventional wisdom may not be “best practice” after [...]