We Need to Hear Your Story

I was sitting at a celebratory dinner a while back, and the host started telling a story. His story. How he had become the professional he was, and why he was moving in the direction he was going. He could have spewed facts, or statistics, or bullet points. But no-one would have remembered them. Those […]

Blah blah blah blah (+ a diamond in the fluff)

In today’s attention economy, you can’t hope to succeed by throwing up a website full of fluffy generalities, unfocused deliverables, and foggy business jargon. “We partner with big-medium-small global-local footprint companies to harness breakthrough alignment of complex solutions that include tactical execution of strategies with synergistic results blah, blah, blah…” Generic, high-concept biz-speak is no match for a […]

Give Me The Cake, Not The Ingredients

I’m going to unashamedly borrow from my friend Chris Westfall with that blog title, because his newsletter today just hit the nail on the head. Most times we (as customer) don’t want the details. Don’t tell me about the recipe. Don’t list off the ingredients. Just give me the cake. This was a timely thought, since […]

Fly the Jargon Skies

This week, I received in my inbox an introductory missive from the new President/CEO of United Airlines. This was not a first-class production. In fact, it should never have been allowed to leave the gate, it is so freighted with boilerplate business-speak baggage. This is what happens when you try to say all the “right” […]

Here’s What ALL Your Customers Are Buying

“Plop, plop; fizz, fizz…oh, what a relief it is!” It was one of the most memorable commercial jingles of my growing-up years….annoyingly so. But this commercial teaches us a wonderful lesson about business and marketing – people buy pain relief. If you’re selling something, you’re making a huge (but very common) mistake by focusing on […]

Put Your Message on Repeat, not Shuffle

Most of us try to say too many things into our marketplace. It’s like an iPod on shuffle – too many songs, in random order. People won’t remember the lyrics of any one song when they’ve just heard 30 of them. After almost 30 years in business, I can tell you this: the vast majority […]

Fish With a Net, Not a Hook

Intriguing phrase, yes? But what does it mean? Well, I came across this phrase in an article* today, and immediately fell in love with it, because it’s a stellar example of how to use an analogy in business communication. Here’s the paragraph from which it is extracted: Vhoto uses computer vision technology to scan your […]

5 Tips to Making a Great Software Demo

I just got off a webinar, where a mobile software platform was being demo’d to me. I have seen – and done – a gazillion software demonstrations. And, like everyone else, I’ve learned – the hard way – many lessons about what works, and what doesn’t. Here are 5 tips to help you give me an […]

How To Waste Thousands of Marketing Dollars with One Simple Trick

A huge percentage of companies in your marketplace do it. They’ve discovered the negative-ROI secret of flushing a vast amount conference dollars down the toilet – and you can, too! It’s quite simple, really. Just neglect to make your booth personnel attendee-ready. What does that mean? Well, consider what Mark Schaefer wrote in a recent blog post […]