Do You Believe Unsolicited Advice Is Ever Appreciated?


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Do you believe unsolicited advice is ever appreciated?

 Over the years, advice has been directed my way that was entirely unappreciated. In the most general forms, the insights were inconsistent with my approach and principles for life and business.  You can imagine then it’s quite unusual for me to be writing about this topic.

As we all know, there are always exceptions to the norm. Two separate conversations had me reconsider my position. Admittedly, one offering of such advice came from me!

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Story #1

A friend and I began our businesses at about the same time. We have been cheerleaders for one another and do our best to help one another when the need is there.

Yesterday, “Emily” was sharing her vision for organizing an event. The topic of seeking sponsors arose. The idea is to approach a high-end segment of business that holds name recognition for potential sponsorships.

Sales Perspective

The idea was on my mind as I awoke. I come from the frame of mind to expand the audience reach. One track attracts one audience. Three tracks will bring interest from six potential audiences. The exponential factor is due to a crossover of interests.

Emily knows I applaud her efforts and seek to help wherever I may. In this instance, and with a sales perspective behind me, I suggested additional ideas in alignment with her vision and to help attract a larger crowd to the event.


It remains to be seen whether my ideas are accepted. But more importantly, Emily’s response to my input was accepted due to it being provided with keeping her best interests in mind.

Story #2

As you have witnessed, I write blogs many times each week and submit articles frequently as well. These are all posted on social media. The purpose, once again, is to attract a larger audience than merely keep it to just my website.

Today, unsolicited advice came my way, and I applauded it! “Anthony” provided one of the nicest compliments I ever received regarding my work. My response was instant. In return for his kind words, I made an offer to which he instantly replied on a very positive note.

Sales Perspective

When someone provides insight that you particularly appreciate, reach out to tell the person so. Provide a testimonial, referral or a nice note to let them know the benefit you received. And when you are on the receiving end, show your appreciation for the other party keeping you mind.  You just might make a new friend and potential collaborative partner.


The outcome of this story is I saw a perfect fit for the insight Anthony provided. And the usage will provide Anthony with added exposure for his work.

In summary, when your insights are provided with good faith, and the other person’s interests at heart, your unsolicited advice will be greatly appreciated. It is this type of unsolicited advice that may easily lead to the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us

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The 3 Essential Ingredients to Launching a New Business


Community Friday:  The 3 Essential Ingredients to Launching a New Business
By Laurie Sluser, CEO, bizHUMM

I have spent my entire adult life (about 30 years depending on when I became one) starting and managing new businesses. During that time, I have had the opportunity to meet hundreds of entrepreneurs in every imaginable field. Most recently, I was General Manager of a successful national software engineering firm for 15 years. I left in Fall of 2013 to launch my own business, It is dedicated to helping startups and existing small businesses grow and create success.

I have been asked by friends, colleagues and students alike, too many times to recount, what is the most important thing for a new businessperson to know before launching their dream?

I thought to share the 3 most important concepts with you here:

  1. Love and Passion for your idea
  2. Know your Product or Service
  3. Research – do your homework

Let me elaborate on each.

Love and Passion

It’s simple. You need to love what you do. This is a great gift of being an entrepreneur. Have a passion for your business and you will never feel like you’re working. It is not a guarantee of success, but it should be a requirement.

Know Your Product

Most entrepreneurs come up with an idea based on some experience they have had. You may have worked at a job for a few years and then come up with an idea that leverages that learning experience. Perhaps it relates to a hobby of yours that you have been involved with. In any case you must have a deep understanding of the product or service you wish to offer to your prospects and clients. If you don’t, then at the least you need to partner with someone who does.

Do Your Homework 

Rather than spending thousands of dollars on a new idea only to discover that people are not interested, or they are, but in some different version, test it. Create a focus group where you can receive valid feedback from people who ideally mirror your target audience. Offer your food to friends and family and strangers (yes don’t believe everything that your best friends tell you!). Describe your new website to a focus group. Share drawings of your product and get feedback. Ask questions that are relevant. What did you like the most? Is the pricing attractive? What would you improve? Would you buy this if it were available?

Well that’s a start. Check out our free book, How to Start a Business: The Ultimate Free Guide for more on successfully launching your business.

Following Laurie Sluser’s advice will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us


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Maintaining Motivation During Online Sales Training


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Maintaining Motivation During Online Sales Training

Online multimedia can be an amazing platform to conduct sales training, especially when busy, far-flung salespeople are on the road or at the mercy of a tight schedule. It isn’t important whether you use Google Hangouts, a VoIP platform like Skype, or your company’s internal application. The most important element is the level of motivation and engagement of the particular audience watching from the other end of the computer.

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Make your presentation authentic by making it your own.

Success in Online Training: The Three Ingredients

The article “3 Basic Needs for Inspiring Motivation in eLearning” describes three “pillars” that are the building blocks of successful online presentations. The first is autonomy – make the presentation your own. Yes, there are regulations and strict parameters that have to be respected. But go off-template and create a presentation that favors your strong suits. If you recite boilerplate copy, it won’t ring authentic, and your audience won’t buy in.

The second pillar is competence – play to your audience’s level. Work to learn how sophisticated, experienced and knowledgeable the viewers are – or aren’t – and match their level of subject competence. Deliver material in small, workable chunks and, if appropriate, give them feedback.

Finally, the third pillar is relatedness, which is a concept that encourages learners to support others who are interested in learning and to form mutual partnerships and symbiotic relationships.

Focus on the Fundamentals

Part of success is meticulous preparation surrounding the elements that can lift or sink any presentation, sales training or otherwise. Create sign-up sheets, solicit confirmations and make sure the date and start times are unambiguous. Test your equipment – hardware, presentation application and any outside elements you may include.

Use visual elements to present information – primarily numerical, data-heavy information – wherever you can instead of text. It is far easier to motivate your audience and keep them engaged when you speak to more than one of their senses. Slideshare offers tools that enable even novices to produce stunning visual content, and many sites offer excellent infographic templates. Start strong, perhaps with a short, but powerful video. Finally, conduct a dry run – go through the entire presentation with a mock group and solicit their feedback.

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Visually dominant presentations are more likely to gain and hold your audience’s attention.

Technology has taken much of the drudgery out of remotely hosted, online presentations. One thing, however, requires the human touch that only the presenter can offer – a connection with the audience. Tailor the presentation to suit your strong points, focus on the three pillars of online presentations and remember – always stick to the fundamentals.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer who covSmooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us

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How Are You Communicating with Your Audience?


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  How Are You Communicating with Your Audience? 

Two conversations in which I was the prospective client left me wondering if the selling party recognized this. And a third conversation omitted a detail that should have been easily conveyed.

Understand Your Audience

My first conversation in question had me surprised due to the fact what was being presented to me was, for the most part, not to the taste of my age group. Yet the company proclaims to specialize for this segment of the population.


No other choice was offered, so I decided to walk away.

Improved Situation

On a professional level and no matter who your audience might be, you should have a decent understanding of their interests in regard to your work. There is so much data on the Internet that the research is fairly quick and easy to obtain what you need.

Once you have the understanding of the research in mind, then it should be a straightforward conversation by asking questions to confirm what you learned. There are always exceptions to the rule, so on a person-by-person basis, ask, never assume.

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Truth and Consistency

The conversation was going great as we are both salespeople. I was intrigued by the service and happy that the company was seeking a collaborative effort rather than selling an expensive program. At least that was conveyed. At the very end, I heard there was a fee involved and then the question of interest followed. The conversation was going so well, I was stunned by the lack of consistency.


I advised that the person adhere to consistency and always conveying the truth upfront. Otherwise it’s a waste of people’s time. As it turns out, the program is of interest and so I requested a way to negotiate a better outcome.

Improved Approach

Most important is to always convey the truth, check the pulse, and not waste anyone’s time. If the investment isn’t available immediately, ask if there is a better time to reconnect. That’s how most sales are made.


Even our careers require homework. The seller was surprised by my question of how he found me. He didn’t remember which, in turn, surprised me.


I requested that the seller provide a detailed email for me to consider given I am interested. It should also lend insight as to why the connection was initiated.

Improved Approach

Prior to a serious conversation, whether the buyer or seller, become familiar with the other party by researching:

  • Profile
  • Keywords used
  • Sentiments expressed

Have two short sentences prepared as to why you want to connect with the other.

Making a habit of these three habits for a sales approach will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us

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What Does Leadership Mean to You?


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  What Does Leadership Mean to You? 

I attended an interested meeting today designated as a Sales Leader Roundtable. This was the second such meeting within a month’s time.   The traditional vision of leadership is someone who has a wealth of experience behind them. They also advocate what worked best for them and advise that others do the same.

But do you believe that “the same” works for everyone? I certainly do not. Therefore my vision of leadership is different from the norm. I believe that a leader is a person who:

  • Provides insight where gaps appear to be
  • Offers a array of ideas to be considered for a broader perspective
  • Makes time to help others.

Today’s roundtable was comprised of female businesswomen who either spent most of their career in sales or played catch up ensure their entrepreneurial success. The interesting dialogue centered on major differences on how men and women approach business and their self-confidence.

Male-Female Perspective of Success

When things do not turn out well, men will blame bad luck but not themselves. On the other hand, women will blame themselves for not doing better. But when things go well, men take the credit with no mention of luck while women will credit luck and take little credit.



The discussion had me prepared later in the day for a telephone meeting. The V.P. of an organization repeated that he has learned a lot by watching my YouTube video channel (found under my name). He insisted I nominate myself for a Leadership Award for a conference to be held in Nashville in 2016.

Normally, I dismiss ideas of promoting myself for an award. But given the conversation regarding stepping up to vie for what could be ours was firmly planted in my mind.


I was told to nominate myself for a leadership award as well as be a speaker at the LEAD 2016 Nashville awards conference. This is NOT something I normally do.  But in addition to the award and delivering an inspirational talk, it would be a great opportunity to visit the area and hear the music first hand plus develop many new excellent connections. So I agreed to apply for the award.

Please Help!

Part two is to ask for help to spread the word. If you enjoy my blog, believe I have provided valuable insight for you or those you know, and would rightfully deserve an award as well as speak at the conference, then I will appreciate your support:

I was told the survey results are an important component of the evaluation process.  An expert panel of judges will rely heavily on this data to drive their final decisions. Visit the website for more detailed information.  Should you have any specific questions please contact

Thank you for considering my request!

Treating clientele as if you are a leader rather than a salesperson propels the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us

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Sales Observations Watching Politicians In Action


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Sales Observations Watching Politicians In Action

On an entirely different level than politics itself, I find it fascinating to watch the politicians in action. They are highly energetic attempting to sell their expertise as it applies to office. Hope is high that the voters will buy what they put out. This is true for all of the political parties.

Trust and Credibility Begin the Sale

Putting “I’m the best” aside, credibility and trust begin with evidence of prior experience. Consistency is next for words, actions, and deeds, in order for the audience to determine where the person might be headed.

When errors are made, the best step is to admit them and move on. Just yesterday, I became slightly irritated about a time discrepancy until I recognized I’m the one who erred. With immediacy, I took responsibility.

Trust and credibility applies to everything we do in our professional and personal lives to include the job seeking process and career advancement.

The Poor Spin

Backtracking is never a good idea. Very few candidates seem to take responsibility. Instead, they try to put a different picture frame on what was previously said or done, in the hope all will be forgotten. Instead, the news hammers and magnifies those points turning the spin tactic into a poor tactic.

“Be Motivated and Inspire Those Around You”:

The Improved SPIN

A different type of SPIN Selling System was developed by Neil Rackham. In fact, it greatly increased my sales accomplishments. In this case, SPIN is an acronym for determining where you are best able to help your clientele. The letters stand for Situation – Problem – Implied problems and Need(s).  I highly recommend the book: .

It would also be smart for the candidates to read it themselves to consider what they are saying, doing, and conveying to their audiences. In particular, there is need to consider where improvement might be made.

Selling One’s Candidacy

  • Admit past errors but include lessons learned and how they may be applied to the position
  • Speak to the big vision hoping to be accomplished
  • Speak to the current major issues and how experience may serve to resolve these
  • Speak to needs of the audience and how some area of their life may be improved
  • With credibility and trust in hand, forge a relationship with the voters
  • Connect with voters somewhat personally to build a stronger relationship

Client Perspective

Candidates are proposing to be a representative of the voters. Therefore candidates need to seriously consider the perspective of voters; particularly the undecided. Study history and how we have arrived at where we are today. Speak to the pain points and how they might be alleviated. Address what has transpired, offer new ideas for consideration, and negotiate a good conclusion with a powerful speech.

Politics is one grand sale. How candidates embrace the process is what will lead to victory and potentially the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us


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5 Lessons From the Field to Improve Results

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  5 Lessons From the Field to Improve Results

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of meeting another businesswoman with whom I had an amazing conversation. Most meetings, if they are enjoyable, will last about 1.5 hours. This one however, lasted almost 2.5 hours. Magnetic Communication made the difference for each of us as we:

  • Admired one another’s background
  • Continued the conversation where the other left off
  • Found many areas of commonality
  • Provided one another with insight for further building business
  • Offered desired introductions after the meeting
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Equal Conversation

Instead of trying to impress one another, as was the previous week’s experience with another, we factually provided insight on how our backgrounds got us to where we are today. Doing it in this manner, we were each intrigued and wanted to learn more. It’s fascinating to learn how others move from their starting point to advance to where they are today.

While learning the history of one another, the associated conversation is which tracks were/are the most enjoyable and which were the best lessons. We agreed that all of this is easily transferred into products and services for the benefit of our audiences.

The end result of our conversation was my suggestion we get together once per month to further brainstorm ideas. We happen to be attending a meeting together next week with other businesswomen involved. And we both agreed that perhaps at least a few of those women may be interested in joining us for a monthly get together with the idea in mind of helping one another.

Qualify and Match

My common running theme is to qualify and match those opportunities and people presenting opportunities for you to join. Last week, I walked away from a couple of suggestions. This week, it was my own suggestion that we continue meeting to create new projects. This is magnetic communication at its best – attracting the best ideas to be shared and shaped into something special.

Exploring the possibilities presented, whether for a new job or a new partner or new idea, is what increases motivation to continue learning and growing. As you make a habit of doing this, business development and sales transform into the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us


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How To Get Better Email Open Rates

Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  How To Get Better Email Open Rates

Emails that get opened and read are the best. For most email marketers, that’s limited to roughly 20 percent of every email they send. Approximately four out of five emails will never be opened, much less read. It is important to work on the content of your emails, to hone your message and to create compelling messages. But none of that matters if the email never gets opened. Here are some strategies to consider when working to boost your open rates.

Work to improve open rates before you work to improve content – what’s inside doesn’t matter if the email is never read.

Subject Lines: The Key to Good Open Rates

A strong subject line is the single most important element of an email. Avoid overused, sales language, including words and phrases like “free,” “percent off” or even “help.” This kind of language is not only tired and stale, but it sometimes triggers spam filters. Even when it doesn’t, these cliched buzz words have been proven to turn off to recipients, who are far less likely to open emails with spammy subject lines.

Instead, personalize and localize subject lines with the recipient’s name or city. Keep subject lines short – fewer than 50 words in almost all cases. Use straightforward language and avoid obvious promotional gimmicks, such as writing in all caps or overusing punctuation. Include as much relevant information in the subject line as possible. Here are some examples of excellent, effective, powerful subject lines.

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Testing and Timing

As discussed in the article “Increase Your Event Email Open Rates” run comparison tests to see which email formats perform better. Run comparison testing on color and font schemes, images and even the time of day you send the email. When you find a format that gets better results, don’t stop there. Run A/B split testing throughout the life of the campaign to get better results. Statistically, 11:30 a.m. is the best time to send, and 3 a.m. is the worst.

Test – and keep testing – different email formats for effectiveness in boosting open rates.

Avoid List Fatigue

Don’t’ send emails too frequently. No frequency is “perfect,” but sending too many emails too quickly encourages list fatigue. That fatigue increases unsubscribe rates, reduces open rates and leads to emails being ignored. Don’t send more than two emails per week. There are exceptions, such as updating crucial information in the days leading up to an event. But don’t bombard the people on your list, or that list will get shorter very quickly.

Spend the most time crafting strong, compelling subject lines that aren’t tacky or spammy. Appealing headlines are the best way to increase open rates. Run A/B split testing to see which variations get the best results. Remember, the content of your email means nothing if it never gets opened.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer who covers small business management and marketing.

Following his email guidelines will lead to the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us 

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25 Questions to Ask on Initial Meetings to Move Toward “Yes”!


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  25 Questions to Ask on Initial Meetings to Move Toward “Yes”!

A recent introduction at an event almost had me pulling my hair out. The conversation directed at me was filled with incorrect assumptions. Even worse, the person spoke down to me in a very demeaning manner. It was all I could do to remain calm.

But then I remembered the advice recently provided, and that was to write about the most aggravating experiences so that others may learn from them. Some of the following questions will work for job seekers while speaking to hiring managers.   Businesspeople becoming acquainted with new prospective clients should consider incorporating these into their repertoire.

Note: after each response to a question, do your best to develop the conversation to gain further insight. And then as appropriate, ask another question and repeat.

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  1. What caught your attention to attend this event today?
    Job Seekers: What caught your attention on my resume to invite me in today?
  2. What type of business are you in?
  3. Who is your core clientele?
  4. How would you like to expand your clientele?
  5. What strategies such as marketing/sales do you have in place for expansion?
  6. Are you active on social media?
  7. Which social media sites are your favorites?
  8. Do you have large followings; what do you attribute this to?
  9. If you could provide one tip for effective social media usage what would it be?
  10. How did you get into the work you do?
  11. What are the favorite areas of your job / business?
  12. What is your grandest vision to yet be achieved?
  13. Do you have a team helping you?
  14. Job Seekers: When interviewing ask to meet some team members. They will give you accurate insight for working there.
  15. If there was one thing you could improve, what would it be?
  16. If I could help you, are there particular types of introductions you would like made?
  17. What are your goals for year-end?
  18. Are you contemplating specific new goals for next year?
  19. Are you seeking help in some way to achieve those new goals?
  20. Given your expertise, is there anything you would advise me to do?
  21. Would you like to meet by phone or in-person one day to get to follow-up with a more in-depth conversation?
  22. Please provide a choice of dates and times for us to meet and I will confirm one.
  23. Is there anything extra you would like me to research or bring to the meeting?
  24. Do you have any special holiday or vacation plans?
  25. What is your preferred method of contact to follow up?
    Job Seekers: Do I appear to be the type of candidate you are seeking? When would you like me to start?

You wouldn’t necessarily ask all of these questions of one new contact. But go with the flow of conversation and remember to inquire of their business and personal goals to get to know them better. The entire idea is to not sell on the first meeting but to recognize whether there is a good qualified match for doing business.

The more you get to know one another well, the stronger the relationship. It’s the strong relationships that lead to the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or CoachingContact Us

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Simplicity Will Simply Invite A Larger Clientele


Attract the Right Job or Clientele:  Simplicity Will Simply Invite A Larger Clientele

Would you rather work with someone who complicates matters or who makes things easy? I’m willing to bet close to 98% of people would say “easy” is their favorite way.

If this is the case for you, either seeking work or new clients, then take a second glance at everything you do to make certain it is easy for others to work with you. Otherwise, you may be losing opportunities along the way.

This week a number of generous offers came my way that had me feeling unenthusiastic. Instead, I felt as if they should be declined. Why? The instructions to partake in a couple of the activities were difficult to comprehend let alone put into action.

Simplicity applies to avenues of business ranging from asking to talk on the phone all the way to presenting a proposal including many other options in the middle. Let’s take a look at a few examples:

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Phone Meeting

Anonymous: An email from an acquaintance asked, “Can you talk now?”

Me: No I’m in a meeting.

Anonymous: How about tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.?

Me: Delayed response until evening…Please select the preferred time out of the ones listed below.

Sales Strategy

Instead of contacting the person numerous times for an appointment, list the dates and times of your availability for the other party to easily select. This eliminates wasted time and the appointment is secured.

Interview Option

Instructions provided indicated that I select a date. But then further instruction became very complicated to the point where I ignored it all day. I’m still wondering if it is worth figuring it out or if I should email to request help. In either case this is another grand waste of my time.

Sales Strategy

Use simple vocabulary and sentence structure when instruction needs to be provided. If you admit upfront there are a lot of steps to be taken, then you might re-think what you are asking of your audience. You may be turning a lot of people away without knowing it.


Provide three choices for your clientele each time you craft a proposal. The reason is we learn in 3’s and this makes it far easier for the prospective client to choose their better option. The first is to be under budget, the next at budget, and the third over budget with extras that will enhance what was discussed. Allow your client to select.


Review your notes from the prior meetings before writing up an agreement. When you do compose the agreement, be certain to use some of the person’s own vocabulary to show you were listening. Then review all notes compared to the agreement to be certain you are 100% on target with the agreement.

Following these guidelines will make it easier for you to find the Smooth Sale!

Books For Sales Strategies:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

In Need of Inspirational Speaking, Sales Training, or Coaching: Contact Me

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