Being Organized is for the Birds

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

A crumpled piece of paper sits quietly on the floor, its jumbled words holding a message of deep significance, yet silenced by a single hasty act. My dastardly scheme is succeeding; as long as it can survive in its spot until 5 o’clock, the paper’s message will be forever destroyed at the hands of the night-time clean-up crew.

Who am I? I am disorganization, your single greatest enemy to profitability. It is my goal to keep your business down, your efforts up, and your profitability in complete disarray. I keep you from putting away your files, from cleaning up your workspace, and from systematizing your production. I work alongside my good friends distraction, hurried, and anxious. The longer you keep from paying attention to the growing pile of stuff sitting in front of you, the stronger I become, and the longer it will take to put me down.

I thrive in environments of low accountability, low visibility, and low commitment. And it doesn’t take much to get me started. All I need is for you to leave that one item un-dealt with, giving me just enough space to flex my muscles. Oh, and no one is immune. I can break into any safe or any system you put up to protect against me. Why? Because I already live inside you.

I have one weakness and one weakness only – constant vigilance. A plan that you are completely committed to that does not allow for one thing, item, or piece of information to be left out of place. You may think you are a “natural organizer” or admit to obsessive compulsive behavior – but both of those are fallacies – obsessive compulsivity may lead you to clean up a lot, but that has nothing to do with organization. Good organization is not needing to constantly clean up your desk, as it stays clean through continual acts of organization.

I’m not worried. Very rarely do I come across someone who has the will to defeat me, which is probably a good reason why many small businesses fail, they just don’t do what it takes to stay organized. And how can they? They are probably taking too long looking for stuff, too busy catching up on work they under quoted, or too frayed because they are trapped under a pile of junk.

You think you want to fly? I keep you from walking. Besides, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to fly anyway; leave that for the birds. They don’t have to be profitable.

Advertisements

Phil Stalnaker, VP of Business Development for Pro/Vision Coaching, Inc. Earns Certification as a Guerrilla Marketing Coach

Posted on Pro/Vision Coaching by Doug Christy.

I am proud to announce that our VP | Business Development, Phil Stalnaker, has received his certification as a Guerrilla Marketing Coach.  Certification is a lengthy 4 month process which culminates in successfully completing a written marketing campaign for our firm.  Phil chose Pro/Vision Coaching’s entry into the Greater Seattle Area market for his campaign, for which we are currently experiencing the fruits of his labor. Phil’s 4 month journey in certification tracked closely from market due diligence to grand opening of our Bellevue, Washington office.

Pro/Vision Coaching realizes the importance that a focused, low-cost marketing campaign means to our small business clients.  Most of our clients, very shortly after engagement, start their coaching journey with marketing.  The majority of our clients have relied on “word of mouth marketing” for their growth.  In today’s economic and competitive environment, they realize “word of mouth” simply isn’t enough.  Phil is now able to coach a small business owner from start to finish through a guerrilla marketing campaign.  He also lends assistance to our head business coaches with his special expertise in social media marketing, systematization and branding.

Congrats Phil on a job well done.

Business Networking | A Huge Waste of Time, or Humanity’s Greatest Hero?

Originally posted at Pro/Vision Coaching.

A lot of people blog for their businesses simply to get better SEO (search engine optimization) for their website, thus leading to a higher search engine ranking and more clicks to their site. This is not a bad practice, whether you are in Omaha, Nebraska; Seattle, Washington; or anywhere else in the world. It is obvious (and truthfully, good practice) to make sure your business is known publicly and easily assessable. And as a business coaching firm, we would advise you to do just that. The world of the internet is a great way to make that happen (and also to sneak in wonderful keywords in THIS blog entry), but not the only way to get known and make your business successful.

Sometimes you just have to stick your face out there and be seen. Or do you? History has been faithful in teaching us that if you stick your face in front of a fan it might get cut off, or if you step out on a road you may get run over. Is growing your business really worth that risk? In the online game of Second Life—one of the fastest crazes to die in the last 10 years—you create a personal avatar (that can be you, or anyone you want to be) and go through “life” in the digital world. You are even able to buy products for your Second Life home, such as a TV from the Best Buy store in the game (which costs REAL money, by the way), or you could commit a crime inside the game and do hard time.

–Funny YouTube Clip on SecondLife–

If you are not like the 2 current members of the worldwide Second Life community, you prefer to live your life in the real world – and take note – that’s a good thing! But even so, many people are still uncomfortable with the idea of face-to-face business networking, and some of you may not even know what it is. Here are some questions I am often asked about the subject:

Q: Is it true that if you try to sell at a networking event, you will be captured and tossed into a dark cave beneath the Chamber of Commerce with a lonely, starved tiger? A: No. Ever since the Michael Vick dogfighting scandal, all the underground Chamber tigers have been released into the wild. Last I heard all but three tigers were accounted for at local area zoos.

Q: Ok, so they may not throw you to your death, but is it a bad idea to try and sell at a networking event? A: Yes. Even though your life should NEVER be at risk during networking, the goal is for you to build relationships with other networkers, thus building a community. People who come in and try to sell their wares right off the bat often miss out opportunities for future business growth.

Q: If I am allergic to shellfish and go to a networking event that serves it, should I eat it anyway and hope for the best? A: Do you always carry an EpiPen with you? Q: No. A: No. Allow me to say again that your life should NEVER be at risk during an event.

Q: Really? Last week I walked past a booth at a trade and they were literally shoving fried shrimp down my throat. Though I was able to run away, I lost my bag of goodies from the show. I think they were a rogue group of ___________________. (Mad Libs: Name an Industry of Your Choice) A: Seriously? That’s pretty crazy.

After all is said and done, if you go to a networking event with a sincere desire to meet people, learn about their businesses (first!) and then, when given the opportunity, share about how yours can be a benefit to people, you will do well. You may not end up being the hero networker, but it certainly won’t be a waste of time. Just keep an eye out for wandering tigers if you live in ___________________, __________________, or ____________________ (Mad Libs: Names of Cities).

Marketing 101 | Reach Your Customers through Their PAIN

*Originally posted on March 15, 2011 by PhilStalnaker at Pro/Vision Coaching.

Recently, I was delayed (when I say “delayed” it was more like an effort on the airline’s part to force me to move to Chicago permanently) and hunkered down at an outlet near a credit card kiosk. As I charged my phone, I couldn’t help but watch the two sales people try relentlessly to capture the attention of the hurried passers-by. The incentive they offered was actually a good deal—a free flight after the first swipe—but no one was interested. Why not? If we were to put their success rate into numbers, it would have to be less and a half percent success rate.

Let’s break it down: at Midway airport, there are 6 gates at the end of the concourse set in a semi-circle. The kiosk was perfectly located at the entrance to the semi-circle, where at least 10 flights per hour were shuffled through (coming AND going). At the average of 135 passengers per flight (according to the airline), over the course of 8 hours, that puts the foot traffic at around 21,600 people during their 8 hour stretch. FYI, I started watching during the last 30 minutes of these particular salespeople’s shift. I inquired how many credit card apps they had sold, which they embarrassedly answered “2”. That means, they literally succeeded at a rate of .000093%.

What was so wrong? Who would not be willing to take a free flight that literally took nothing from them? I say that, because I had already taken advantage of that deal and had acquired the free flight myself. Despite how friendly the salespeople were, no one cared. Curious to find out why, I interrupted a conversation between one of the salespeople and a lady who was overly against this deal. As an objective third party, I asked her why she was so against the deal. Her answer was blunt and honest, “I hate this credit card company”, she said. “They worked me over before and I won’t forgive them.”

“Makes sense to me,” I said, but quickly responded with another question. “Why not sign up, use your swipe to buy a gallon of milk, get your free flight, and then discontinue the card? You would be out nothing, but would have successfully enacted revenge on the company you are angry towards, and you are taking the flight from them.” Without hesitation she turned, filled out the application with a smile, then walked over to me after and thanked me for my help.

5 minutes later that exact same situation repeated itself with a married couple. Again I interrupted the conversation (I also had to include some advice on where to find the pizza that everyone else had while walking around), and again the result was exactly the same. These salespeople, in the last 5 minutes of their shift signed 2 credit card applications from people who were audibly NOT fans of their company. All they had to do was speak to their pain. I’ve already typed over 500 words at this point, so hopefully the lesson is evident, as I doubt I can make the next 500 interesting enough for you to read. Of course, this could never have happened if my flight wasn’t delayed for over 5 hours…

By the way, the credit card companies have no problem with giving people easy ways to opt out after getting the incentive, because statistics show that less than 5% of people will actually go to the effort of discontinuing the card. Laziness, and the credit card companies, win out in the end.

I’m also posting a picture of the shirt that the sales people gave me as a thank-you for getting them those sales.