Looking For A Place To Speak?

speaking“Sir, are we in for another dismal recitation of what is wrong with the marketing world today?” I asked, hoping beyond hope that I could start a positive discussion today.

“Why Watson, you sound exhausted. Does debunking myths, and correcting half-truths bother you?” The Effective Detective asked in a way that I first thought was sarcastic, but quickly realized had a humorous tone to it. His tone gave me hope as I answered his question.

“Hardly sir, but I think that people would like to hear something hopeful or even helpful,” I said, hoping I had not misread his tone.

“Quite right, Watson! It just so happens that I have stumbled across just such a tool, and depending on your circumstances it can accessed and used for essentially no cost,” The Detective said, raising an eyebrow, and gauging my reaction.

I gave my best encouraging smile and said “Please continue, sir.”

“As you wish Watson. As you might have heard from multiple sources, another excellent way to generate leads, and to strengthen your credibility is speaking and to a lesser extent, writing. However, for some fields it is not as easy as it sounds to get speaking engagements. Since everyone has been told that they should speak, many local organizations are booked out 6 months or more, and some organizations only allow members to speak. And as I said for some fields or niches, it is hard to find your audience at some of the more generic local meetings, so you may willingly bear the waiting only to find your target market is nowhere to be seen at the meeting. But before you start griping that I am being negative again, let me give you some good news,” The Detective paused, and I, in the middle of taking a breath to chastise him for just such an offense, shut my mouth. The Detective grinned.

“As I was saying, Watson, there is a tool that almost everyone should have free access to that can greatly expand your speaking opportunities,” The Detective started up again. “The Gale publishing group has several references related to various organizations and events that they put on. I suspect a large number of public and possibly even college libraries have copies of the ‘Encyclopedia of Associations’ which is indexed both by geographic location – so you can locate what organizations are headquartered near you, as well as by keyword so that you can pick the ones that relate to your subject. The information included should get you started in researching what local chapters there might be, and how to reach them.

“Another similar resource is ‘Tradeshows Worldwide’ which lists many trade shows from the previous year so that you can contact the organizations about the current or even future years shows where you might be able to present. The Gale group also has the ‘National Directory of Non Profit Organizations’ which seems to be similar to the ‘Encyclopedia of Associations’. They even have a ‘Gale Directory of Publications and Media’ so you can find various outlets for your writing related to your field. Ask your local reference librarian for help finding these directories.

“So you see Watson, I am capable of providing resources as well as merely directing people towards or away from certain modes of operation,” The Detective stopped and looked at me expectantly.

“It is quite the miracle sir!” I exclaimed.

“Your virtuosity with sarcasm remains intact, Watson. Shall we get back to work?” The Detective sighed, while trying to hide a smile.

“Of course sir.”

Bah Humbug?

Tied Red Holiday Anniversary Ribbon Bow on White Background“Did you have a pleasant Thanksgiving, sir?” I asked The Effective Detective.

“Quite. Thank you for asking Watson. Actually, your query brings to mind an interesting idea,” The Detective answered.

“Indeed. And what would that be sir?” I couldn’t help myself. I knew he would continue anyway, but with a hefty dose of sarcasm. Better to just encourage him to continue.

“Your feigned interest distresses me Watson. Only mildly, of course,” The Detective shot back, doling out the sarcasm anyway, and then continuing. “Nonetheless, the idea is still one that is worth discussing. One of the more enduring… shall we say, myths, is that if you sell to other businesses versus consumers, doing business during the end of the year holidays is a waste of time. After all, everyone will be so busy with shopping and parties that they won’t give you the time of day.”

“I take it you are not of that opinion, sir?” I asked.

“Brilliant observation, Watson,” came back another dose of sarcasm from The Detective. “Our own experience disproves this supposed truism. For as long as I can remember, the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas has been one of our busiest times. This year, the response to our marketing for our Telesummit has exceeded our expectations.

“The simple fact is that in today’s world, the traditional Christmas season – Thanksgiving to Christmas – actually to New Years, does not have quite the business deadening effect it once did,” The Detective took his characteristic pause, and waited for me to interject something.

“Why would you suppose the situation has changed?” I obligingly threw out a question.

“Perhaps it is the rise of online shopping, which frees people from frantically pursuing gifts all over town, giving them more time to devote to business. Perhaps it is the simple fact that everyone seems to have to work that much harder to keep ahead of the curve, why else would more and more stores be open on Thanksgiving – a lamentable trend I must say. Work increases but there are no more hours added to the day, no more days added to the year. Does it matter though Watson?

“The point is that there is far more opportunity to do business during the end of the year holiday season. You can choose not to pursue that potential business, but please don’t tell me there is no business to be had,” The Detective finished.

“Sir, you sound like a regular Scrooge,” I teased.

“Bah Humbug, Watson,” The Detective answered, but with a smile.

Profitable Choices

ocean_sunrise“So, any new revelations from your trip, sir?” I asked, pleased that I had gotten the conversation started this time.

“Eh? Sorry Watson, I was lost in thought regarding some lessons learned during these travels,” replied The Effective Detective in a way I was sure was meant to annoy me. “Each time I cruise, I am impressed with the choices the company has made to make your trip an experience while at the same time ensuring that they make money in the process.”

“In what way, sir?” I asked, curious about the direction our conversation may take.

“What they do that is a great lesson for businesses large and small is touch the emotional side of their passenger which in effect distracts said passengers’ attention from things that they must pay for that also have extremely high margins. A simple thing like a beautiful view, or a more solid example, highly attentive service, and some interesting shows, cost only marginally more than if they reduced the size of the crew or had less impressive shows,  but goes a long way towards distracting the passengers from noticing they pay for every soft drink – where the margin is fairly high; Americans especially feel that free refills are their birthright.”

“Why not do both and make even more money?” I ventured as The Detective paused.

“Bah!” spat The Detective. “A comment worthy of a know nothing MBA!” he exclaimed with obvious distaste. “The idiotic, if somewhat logical sounding, assumption that if cutting some costs is good, then cutting a lot of costs is even better! I would have expected you to have your head out of a spreadsheet, Watson,” The Detective glared at me dourly.

“Sorry sir, I was just presenting a thought,” I said meekly.

“Of course Watson. I should not have exploded so. I see and hear such stupidity so often, I sometimes speak without thinking. When you look at everything in your business as an entry in your profit and loss statement, it is easy to forget that your customers are not just results added into income, but flesh and blood beings that make decisions about your business based on their perceptions. If you take something away from them, you need to replace it with something. If they perceive a fair trade, then you have struck the correct balance. The more emotional the connection you can make, the greater the chance you have of perception of a fair trade,” The Detective took his characteristic pause.

“Which is why service is such a good choice I would assume. Since it adds a human touch to the transaction. It makes a person to person emotional connection,” I volunteered.

“Precisely Watson! In the case of our cruise ships, the more shows they provide can also make emotional connections. Ones of pleasure, or perception of value – ‘Hey I saw them in New York! Paid thirty dollars to see them too. I get to see them free on the ship!’ Yet drink prices – especially for non-alcoholic sodas are relatively high. Yet, who cares when the bartender or server smiles nicely, is prompt, and asks if you are having a great time? A great combination of service and value.

“Could they make a fraction more money by cutting back on such things? Less crew per passenger, lower quality shows? Of course. At least in the short-term. As word got around of the shortage of value, customers would bolt. The cruise line would either have to change – and for most businesses in this situation is too little too late, or cut price – which may or may not work, and at any rate defeats the whole purpose of the cost cutting exercise, ” The Detective finished.

“So give up a little here and there to make a lot more, eh sir?” I ventured, more confident in my question this time.

“Quite so, Watson. Let us move on.”


Woman relaxes in a marble tiled bath tub.“Sir,” I started out, taking the initiative in our current discussion. “I must admit to some confusion regarding the concept of favoritism.”

“Confound it Watson, you are slipping! I require a more specific query,” The Effective Detective answered with an annoyed tone to his voice.

“Sorry sir. In particular I am thinking about how companies tend to favor those who spend more with them, or invest in particular programs, versus doing the same with individuals in a work environment or perhaps even friends, a practice that is often frowned upon. My confusion is if one is right how can the other be wrong?” I clarified.

“Much better Watson, a much more specific and answerable question,” The Detective gave a slight smile. “As to your answer, I believe your confusion while understandable is misplaced. You are comparing apples to oranges. Favoritism as you put, in a personal setting is something I have no desire to address, and I leave that discussion to philosophers. Business on the other hand, both with customers and employees or contractors is a much simpler matter to deal with, since the concept of fairness is rather black and white,” The Detective took his characteristic pause allowing for an interjection or question from me.

“Why wouldn’t fairness enter into the equation in business matters, sir?” I asked

“It does, but not in the classic moral sense. You are being fair in business when you are being honest and not cheating someone. This has nothing to do about seeing different employees or customers as equal in value to each other. Customers are providing you revenue. The more revenue they bring in – without causing you undue stress or cost, the better you should treat them. They have earned it, and most likely they will respond in kind. Employees are providing you a service. If they go above and beyond they should be given special treatment as well. These are business transactions, not social interactions,” The Detective to take a breath, allowing me to get a word in edgewise.

“So you are saying that favoritism in the business environment both with customers and employees is a good thing, and in fact should be promoted?” I asked.

“I thought I just said that,” snapped The Detective with more than a trace of irritation. “Remember though, you still must treat all of your customers and employees fairly and honestly. Having favorites does not mean giving someone who gives you less money inferior service, or denying an employee something just because they happen to have a lower level job. Service and respect are given freely to all.  Perks are given to those who contribute something extra to your success, and although the perks can vary in value, they should be freely given at all levels of contribution.

“Something I wish the cell phone companies would learn,” The Detective finished, throwing his latest bill on the floor, closing our conversation.

More Than Just a Piece of the Pie

pie_chart“Sir, why is it that you don’t sign up as an affiliate for some of the software we discuss?” I launched our discussion quickly, feeling rushed since we had not met on yesterday’s holiday.

“By affiliate, I assume you mean promoting and selling someone else’s product for some percentage of the sales price as compensation, Watson,” The Detective replied.

“”Quite so, sir. It strikes me that it could be quite profitable.”

“You might be correct in your impressions Watson, and I must admit it is sometimes tempting. In fact, I would say in general if someone believes in the product, and has the marketing wherewithal to properly promote and sell such a product, affiliate marketing does have distinct advantages over trying to write your own product,” The Detective replied.

“I am confused sir. If there are advantages for these arrangements, then why are we not pursuing them?” I asked.

“Ah Watson, an excellent question. Let’s look at some of those advantages,” The Detective began, indicating he was warming up to the subject, and I should probably just sit back and go for the ride.

“The big advantage of course is that you do not need specific domain knowledge, you can utilize the knowledge of the author of the product. This also means (often) that you do not need to be concerned about support. Of course the big thing is you don’t have to create the product. That can be a ton of work.

“That said, you still need to be pretty skillful at copy-writing, since you need to interest people, and you need to know as many traffic drawing tricks as possible. However, if you have the skill, there can be a decent source of income in affiliate programs.

“But, the copy and the traffic aren’t the things that concern me,” The Detective paused, and gave me his customary look to ensure I was paying attention.

“So what does concern you sir?” I asked, reassuring him that I was indeed paying attention.

“Elementary my dear Watson. There is an appearance and a commodity that I must always be aware of: lack of bias, and time.

“Bias is something that most likely few others need to worry about. However when you are in the business of coming up with solutions  that sometimes involve using software, having a profit bias to one software package or another could be, let us say, a  limiting factor in your ability to propose the most effective solution for a particular problem. You know what they say Watson, when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

“I could look past that issue, since often the feature sets of various software packages are quite similar, and with proper procedures most operational glitches can be worked around.

“There is an issue I cannot ignore though, and that is time. Any decent marketing campaign must be conceived, written, tested, measured, and tweaked. I cannot afford to take time away from the work I perform for my clients, and my own marketing, to do the requisite work to make an affiliate program truly successful. It is difficult to just dip your toe into a marketing campaign. Either you are looking to win, or you are just dabbling.

“Being an affiliate marketer can be quite lucrative, and if your joy is in the marketing of things rather than the creation of said things, then by all means, take that challenge on. But as one of my mentors once said to me you cannot be both fish and fowl. Are you an affiliate marketer, or are you a life coach, a personal trainer, a marketing detective, or whatever your passion is?”

“So we keep the options open for our clients, so they can choose what best suits their needs.” I offered.

“And the same for ourselves. Quite so Watson, quite so.”

What’s in a Word?

list“Sir?” I prodded, interrupting The Effective Detective’s reverie.

“What?!” the startled detective exclaimed, “Oh Watson, what can I help you with,” regaining his composure after almost jumping out of his chair.

“I don’t require assistance at this moment sir, but I am puzzled about something. I guess you could say I consider it a mystery,” I said, so absorbed in my own thoughts, I didn’t even notice The Detective’s reaction.

“Well Watson, you have started today’s discussion, pray continue with details of your ‘mystery’,” The Detective answered, warming to the challenge.

“Ah, yes sir. You see what puzzles me is what seems to be a misunderstanding of the use of the word ‘list’. I have noticed often in your and others’ presentations that when that word is used, confusion seems to set in. It is as if the word has no meaning, or at least no meaning in the marketing sense,” I explained.

“Ah Watson, you have picked up on an interesting situation. One where the same word can have two different meanings depending on the audience. If you mention that word to an Internet marketer, there is no confusion, they know and understand of what you are speaking. However, I too have noticed the confusion in the eyes of brick-and-mortar product business owners, and professional service providers – even the ones that consider themselves virtual, at least in terms of their office location.

“To the Internet marketer, their list is the heart of their business. It is the thing that allows them to exist, and it is to be nurtured and developed above almost everything else. Unfortunately, too often, to lets call them ‘real-world’ businesses, the ones that see their customers, interact with them directly, their ‘list’ is much more akin to an accounting device. It allows them to calculate profit and loss on an individual basis. It allows them to claim a following in their marketing,” The Detective stopped here for his characteristic pause, designed to give me a chance to interject something that would spur the conversation on. Of course I obliged him.

“So they claim a following in their marketing, instead of marketing to their following?”

“Bravo Watson! An excellent line indeed. You’ve hit the nail on the head! What most non-Internet businesses do is constantly market to the universe of people who aren’t really aware of them, hoping that the message will strike someone’s fancy who is also in the market for the product or service at the precise moment it is being advertised to them. Whereas the Internet marketer will market their wares consistently to the universe of people who are aware of them – the list, knowing that even if now is not the time, next week, next month or perhaps even next year might be, and through consistent contact they will be there to serve,” The Detective responded.

“And to the universe of people not aware of them? Are they ignored?” I asked.

“Elementary dear Watson, they are marketed to as well, how else will you build the list? If, by chance they are ready to buy today, wonderful! But, if not, that is okay as well. They are invited to become part of the community, and will be given many other chances to purchase something,” The Detective answered patiently.

“So it is a constant series of sales pitches?” I asked, imagining a never ending barrage of advertisements to a helpless list armed only with a wastebasket and the delete button on their computer.

“Bah! Watson, that would be suicide for the business. However, that discussion is for another day,” the Detective responded forcefully.

“As you wish, sir.”

Just What is Unique?

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

“Sir, how does a business handle competition?”  I asked The Effective Detective, launching today’s discussion.

“An interesting query Watson, but unfortunately a tad vague. Can you perhaps make it a little more specific?” returned The Detective.

“Well, I guess the question is more how does one distinguish oneself from the competition when one is in a very similar business that provides similar results?” I re-asked the question, narrowing the focus as The Detective requested.

“Ah, a much better query Watson. I would surmise you ask because the conventional wisdom today is that you need a USP or Unique Selling Proposition to succeed,” The Detective began, pausing for me to confirm or deny the basis for the question.

“You surmise correctly sir.” I answered.

“Excellent Watson, I have been pondering that very question myself!” responded The Detective heartily.

“And, sir?” I prompted.

“Ah, elementary my dear Watson. There are actually two responses. One direct, one a little more indirect.

“The direct response is that there is some confusion as to what it is that actually must be unique.  From what I have observed, the most common belief is that your uniqueness is tied to your process. This is especially true in the service professions,  consulting/coaching in particular.

“The conventional wisdom is that you need some new and creative breakthrough to get the results your prospects desire. Maybe you have a new, never before done way to generate leads, or motivate people. If you have such a thing, congratulations, but my observations are that such unique breakthroughs are fleeting as people will rapidly reverse engineer and copy them. You can try and delay the inevitable with lawsuits and such; something that larger companies seem to take delight in doing, but that is horribly expensive and inefficient.

“The reality is that what makes your business unique is most likely you. I recently read that a large percentage of Tony Robbins franchisees don’t do all that well. That actually makes sense. They aren’t presenting anything unique, and in particular, they aren’t Tony Robbins! However, I suspect if you looked more deeply you would see that some of Tony Robbins’ disciples do quite well. Why? Because they take what he has given them to teach and made it their own. They have injected their own personalities into the material. They have their own presentation style. They may change the emphasis from one point to one they feel is more key to success for their particular client. The specifics don’t matter. What is unique is the service provider themselves; that is where the connection with the customer will be.

“Which leads us straight into the more indirect point. Simply put, if you can out-market the other providers in your space, you will win far more than you will lose. You will develop the relationship with the prospect, you will prove to them that you can solve their problem, and you will show yourself as a trusted partner. If you can do a better job of marketing than your competitors, if you can be in front of your prospects more often and with relevant content, then it is possible your USP could be simply that you were there for them when they needed you,” The Detective took a long breath as he concluded.

“You do need to deliver on your promises though, sir,” I added.

The Effective Detective raised an eyebrow. “I can always count on you to state the obvious, Watson.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Do what you love or love what you do?


Image courtesy of Somchai Som / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

“Tell me sir, are you truly doing what you love to do?” I started my conversation with The Effective Detective today.

The Detective paused before answering, then replied, “Watson, I must say you have developed a knack for starting out with extremely probing questions these days.”

“Thank you sir. Are you avoiding the question?” I said, pressing what I thought might be an advantage.

“Not at all, Watson, are you so paranoid these days that you cannot even accept a compliment?” The Detective asked in reply.

It was my turn to feel caught off-guard. “No sir, I just… well…”

“Ah, I seem to have rendered you speechless, Watson. While you struggle to regain your verbal skills, let me answer your question,” The Detective interjected,  with a smile that implied he had at least obtained a draw in our perpetual battle of wits, if not an outright win.

“The direct answer is no, but that answer needs a qualifier, so shall we say no, not quite,” The Detective continued.

“What I would truly love to do is continually lecture on a common problem: the inability of some business people to understand the data in front of them, not just sales and marketing data, but the personnel data they have as well. How the processes they use to manage their businesses, and  market and support their customers are not based in the reality of the data. None of which is really their fault, they are simply doing what has been done in the past, following the conventional wisdom as it were.

“However there are some difficulties in that, the first and foremost being that few want some smart aleck, even if he is a rather convincing detective, telling them something they don’t want to hear. Often, people don’t want to hear what they need to hear, they want to hear what to do next. So I needed to ah, revisit my ambitions and readjust my own attitudes to provide what people want, not what I think they needed,” The Detective paused, waiting for me to respond.

“In what ways did you readjust sir?” I asked, giving The Detective an opening to explain what frankly I found a tad confusing.

“Elementary, my dear Watson, I isolated the basic thing that gives me joy – solving a problem using a combination of analytical and creative techniques, and focused in on what I could see was a problem that lots of smaller businesses face and can recognize: the issue of taking massive amounts of data that pour into their businesses and their lives each day, sorting out the noise from the signal, and taking the appropriate action to bring in the lifeblood of all businesses – leads.”

“Poetic, sir,” I responded sincerely.

“Quite, Watson. I love what I do, I love the challenge, I love the mental exercise. It may not exactly be doing what I love, but it is certainly a variation on that, and it is something that the people I work with can understand and apply in their businesses,” again The Detective paused.

“It is doing art, as one of your favorite writers says, but how is that different from doing what you love?” I asked, still confused as to the difference.

“Ah, Watson, you’ve hit the heart of it, you see. Unless doing what you love actually answers the needs and wants of others, it will only answer your wants. But loving what you do, even if it is some hybrid of your true love, can answer the needs of those around you and not only feed your ego, but your pocketbook as well. After all, you aren’t of much use if you are homeless and starving,” The Detective concluded. His point made, we moved on to our next item of business.

Is that all there is to it?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Mystery of The Mixed Message

“I trust you had an enjoyable Christmas sir,” I said, taking the initiative in today’s conversation.

“Quite so Watson, and I trust you had the same,” came the reply from The Effective Detective.

“Thank you sir, but something has been nagging at me since  a previous conversation regarding customer experience,” I replied, steering the conversation to the subject that had been bothering me.

“And that something would be?” asked The Detective.

“Well sir, I understand that each business has its own experience that it can define. Then it must attempt to find a market that wishes to engage in said experience. However, that cannot be the only thing that matters could it?” I queried, extremely curious to see if I had been over-thinking this.

“Ah, Watson, an excellent question, and one that I wish had your, and most likely everyone else’s, desired answer of yes. Unfortunately it is slightly more complicated, but luckily not all that more complicated.

“Woven into the experience is a little nebulous thing called value. Whilst it is critical, in fact paramount, that you find the audience that wishes to engage in your experience, you must provide one that meets their expectations for such an experience, such that they feel, for lack of a better expression, that they ‘got their money’s worth’. This is the value. Not to pick on Walmart… too much… but let us review that experience again. Cheap stuff at rock bottom prices. However, they cannot just stock the shelves with things that do not work at all, or break as soon as they come out of the box. While people do not expect the quality of a high-end purchase, they do expect something functional for the amount of money that they are spending,” The Detective explained.

“So value is quality,” I said, feeling that I understood.

“To a degree, Watson, but not the only component,” The Detective responded, with a slight smile.

“Ah, I am confused once again, what else is there?” I asked dejectedly.

“How do you attach a quality metric to a presentation, Watson? Some of the most informative speakers out there provide fantastic value, yet in a harsh evaluation of their style, they might not have delivered said information in the highest quality speech. Another example would be information products. Not all of them are packaged in the highest quality cases, with studio quality sound and/or video. Yet many provide a great experience and exceptional value to their purchasers. On the opposite end, one could put on a perfect presentation, but not provide an iota of value, which I believe in anyone’s estimation would qualify as failing.

“Value comes into play even with free giveaways and events, because nothing is truly free, we might extract an email address,  and no matter what, the end-user is giving us their time, the single most important commodity of all. Thus value and the experience are intertwined. We must provide an experience that our market desires, but it must also provide value to them!” The Detective finished with his characteristic flourish.

“A difficult concept to wrap one’s head around sir,” I replied.

“Quite.  But one must consider the return on such an investment. That, dear Watson could very well be incalculable.”

One Thing to Bring Them All and in The Business Bind Them

The Mystery of the Marketing Trilogy Part 3

“So Watson, when last we met you had deduced that something was missing. We had provided a ‘Why’ our prospect should be interested and we had told them ‘What’ was required to address said ‘Why’. Yet, something was missing. Now what would that be Watson?” The Detective prompted.

“Well, sir, how would I go about doing this ‘What’ that you described?” I asked.

“Exactly, Watson! The How! The third part of the trilogy! That is what some percentage of your prospects will pay for! Once they understand why this is important to them, and what to do, some will not possess the knowledge or skill to know how to go about doing the ‘What’; some of them will just want someone to do it for them.

“Without the first two steps though, the ‘Why’ they should care, and the ‘What’ to do to address it – and this content is so often missing from presentations, you cannot build the urgency, and you cannot build their trust and confidence in you. Many presenters are so afraid that some people will go off on their own, that they actually give virtually no content, mostly just teasers. What they don’t realize is they are driving away a large number of people, because they do not make their case convincingly.” The Detective finished with a flourish.

“But sir, what about the ones that think they already know how, and go off on their own without taking you up on your ‘How’?” I interjected.

“Well Watson, those people will generally break into one of two camps. The first we will call The Successful Doers. They will scurry off with the information you have given them, execute on it, and most likely will encounter some, or possibly a good amount of success. They will often return to you for more information, and may just encounter something you are offering that they can’t do for themselves or will see the wisdom in working with you, and feeling that you know from whence you speak, engage you to help them. The second we will call The Not Ready Yets. Their businesses or lives may not quite be ready for what you are offering. They may not be able to afford your service or product, or are still debating the value. They will most likely dabble a bit with what you have given them, and have just a  small amount, if any, success. They also have a high probability of returning for other pieces of information you are giving out, and hopefully at some point they will find a price point they can handle, or encounter just enough success to properly engage you and will move forward like The Successful Doers.”

“It seems like a distinctly win-win situation, sir.” I said enthusiastically.

“Admittedly Watson, there is a third camp: The Takers. They will always come to hear you, take what you give, and never become your customer. Luckily, they are more rare than you would expect.

“The overall effect though is quite advantageous to all parties. Your audience gets ideas to work with, and if they desire, the help they need, you gain a well deserved reputation for being knowledgeable in your field, and most likely, more than a few clients. A definite win-win.”

“An objective well suited for a professional, sir,” I responded.

“Quite so, Watson, quite so.”