The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Archive for the ‘Speak Last Finish First’ Category

News and no news…

It’s interesting to see people’s reactions when they are waiting for an answer or an update. This happens during common customer service settings.  It also happens with more impactful leadership communication situations.

Take customer service interactions. The customer has a problem; contacts customer service; and expects resolution. “Expects” is the key word. Sometimes the customer service rep has no news.

No news from the service rep begets a wide range of responses from the customer.  On the one hand the customer might calmly accept the, “We’ll get back to you as soon as possible” response.  Then there’s the other hand:

After exhausting every possible way to assist an irate client for the past 45 minutes, and then concluding her phone conversation in the professional manner she had been trained for, the client service representative was heard to let out a pent-up, rhetorical question of frustration, “What does this customer want me to do about their problem, perform magic”? 

Unknown Sage

Similar ranges of reactions occur between a manager and her direct reports.  I have written about leadership communications (and lack thereof) often.  Been there; done that myself.  Jerry Jarvis taught me about the lack thereof:

As Sales Director, I spent at least one day each month observing my sales reps in action; in the field.  All nine of them were tenured and experienced.  Yet, their sales performance was unacceptable.  The owner of the company hired me to turn things around.  We weren’t sure if we had an attitude-problem or a people-problem.  I felt it was the former, but I had recently terminated two of my nine reps.

Today, I’m in Orange County meeting my southern California sales rep for breakfast at the start of my “ride along”.  He seemed nervous; we both knew he was struggling.  Our small talk dissipated quickly, when suddenly he blurted out, “Are you here to fire me?”  Catching me off guard, I paused and replied, “No” slowly and calmly drawing out the O sound.  He took out his cell phone; dialed; and said, “It’s OK honey.  He’s not firing me.”

Much more relaxed now, Jerry tried to change the subject to the itinerary for today’s ride along. I stopped him, saying, “Whoa whoa whoa – what was that all about?” He then proceeded to educate me about leadership communications – or lack thereof: 

  1. He noticed I wasn’t traveling with my PC.  (It was with IT as they were applying several updates.)  Jerry assumed I didn’t have my PC, so I could take his back after firing him.
  2. He was the lowest rep on the sales performance report; I had fired the previous two lowest reps; he figured he was next.
  3. And I had not specifically told him I was not going to fire him; in fact, I had offered him no news at all.  So he filled in the blanks.

Well, I didn’t fire Jerry.  He went on to have a very successful sales year.  He (and his wife) were all worked up over no news – my bad.

In cases where our leaders don’t inform us, we “fill in the blanks” on our own like Jerry did, true?  Our leaders would like us to be patient when they have “no news”.

We on the other hand want “news” – even if it’s simply acknowledging what’s on our mind and providing a frequent and sincere, “I don’t have any news yet, but I wanted to you to know that I’m working on it.”

That is news.


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too:

If you think about it …

I use that phrase often when I’m coaching sales professionals.  Has “thinking” is becoming a lost art?  I mean in the 21st century, if a prospect or an existing client needs to interact with a sales professional it’s only because Google’s answer wasn’t sufficient, don’t you think?

If we’re meeting with a client or a prospect, something’s up.  Business people are so busy today they don’t take a meeting with a sales rep just to take a meeting.  Instead I think they are thinking about a purchase and would like to get additional thinking from the sales rep to either address unconsidered needs or mitigate the risk of overlooking something in their own thinking.

Let’s think about how you buy something.  Have you recently made a purchase decision online?  Or if you were at a store, did you know what you were looking for?  When was the last time you actually interacted with a sales rep?  And when that interaction occurred, why did it occur?

Today, I think business buyers prefer Do-It-Yourself buying and only choose to work with a sales rep if they can’t “DIY”.  The modern sales rep brings good thinking to the transaction – that’s what the buyer is buying, yes?  “Will it work?”  “Will it work for me?”  “Is this what other companies like mine use?”  “What gotchas haven’t I thought about?”  These are examples of what’s likely on the buyer’s mind when they take a meeting with a sales rep.

But are today’s sales reps ready?  Are we good thinkers?  Thankfully, we can continuously train our thinking skills.  Here’s a quick test from Edward de Bono in his book Lateral Thinking ©:

In a tennis tournament there are one hundred and eleven entrants.  It is a singles knockout tournament and you as secretary have to arrange the matches.  What is the minimum number of matches that would have to be arranged with this number of entrants?

Ok – Go!  How many tennis matches would you have to arrange?  What is the formula you would use to answer this question?  What is your thought process?

Well, de Bono offers us a little thought leadership about thinking “laterally”.  In fact, he describes our thinking options this way:

Vertical thinking is used to dig the same hole deeper.  Lateral thinking is used to dig a hole in a different place.

If we think about it, calculating the number of tennis matches can be done simply and quickly – if we think about the problem differently:

… to work it out one must shift attention from the winners of each match to the losers (in whom no one is usually very interested).  Since there can only be one winner there must be one hundred and ten losers.  Each loser can only lose once so there must be one hundred and ten matches.

Is that how you approached answering the question?  Or was your approach similar to mine?  I started drawing out brackets and then counting matches by bracket – before I gave up that is and just read his answer.

Edward de Bono seems to be a good thinker. And if I was buying something that required a sales rep interaction (vs. a DIY approach), if he was one of the sales reps I met with, I would very likely value his thinking.

In today’s marketplace, I think buyers think all products are alike.  It’s the sales rep that is the best thinker that makes the difference.  What do you think?


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too:

Experiences and expectations…

Those darn clients and their expectations…  I’m over four decades into the sales profession and I still don’t get how the client ticks.  Does client loyalty still exist?  Or have buying patterns become solely based on quickest; cheapest; and most convenient?  Maybe it’s me – I’m a client, too.

Maybe it’s the way other vendors confuse them (and us).  I mean, we have all experienced those quirky processes and procedures other vendors have set up:

Why is it that it takes only a few minutes and no paperwork to pick up or drop off a rental car at Hertz’s #1 Club Gold, but twice that time and an annoying name/address form to check into a Hilton hotel?  Are they afraid you’ll steal the room? 

Michael Tracy

Who do you think has set the bar for delighting clients and exceeding expectations today?  Is it Amazon that has captured our loyalty?  Is it all those craft brewers that are everywhere?  How about Google?  Google responds to any and every type of inquiry we make no matter what.  Has Google become so ubiquitous that we don’t even think about them as exceeding client expectations?

As coffee shops and destinations go Starbucks seems to be continuing their dominance.  Although just this morning I had what I would describe as my first disappointing experience at a Starbucks from a client expectation standpoint.  The barista took my order and simply forgot to fill it.

Yes, she was busy; the store was understaffed; the 4 employees had to cover both the counter and the drive-thru.  OK – it’s just coffee, so I was patient and pleasant while standing there.  Since I wasn’t in a hurry, it became almost amusing.  Almost.  In their haste to keep up, they all four saw me standing there; they all four assumed their colleague was filling my order.  One of them finally noticed that she was filling orders from other clients that came in after I was standing there.  That’s when it was finally my turn – “Tall Blonde roast; no room”.

I can’t say this simple experience won’t impact my future preference.  In the 21st century, any and every simple experience can impact clients’ future buying preferences, don’t you think?  David Siegel does:

Do 80 percent of what you need to do, and 100 percent of your customers will go someplace else.

You see, mornings are my time for writing.  And not every morning because like you I have this prior commitment I must tend to from time to time called my full-time job.  So, when I have the opportunity to spend an hour or so reflecting and writing about things that occur in my world, a bad customer service experience can get in the way.

Yes, I will return to Starbucks in the future; but maybe not this location.  Every time I drive by I will remember that “last time…”  There’s always another coffee shop up ahead.

Such neglectful inconveniences happen almost daily:

Why is it that Land’s End remembers your last order and your family members’ sizes, but after 10 years of membership, you are still being solicited by American Express to join?

Michael Tracy

I’m an ex-AMEX client.  They “disappointed and inconvenienced” me once in a memorable way for all the wrong reasons.  And there’s always another credit card company up ahead.

So, I ask – how loyal are you to your providers when they misunderstand your expectations and provide you with a disappointing experience?  Is there always another provider up ahead for you?


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too:

Making matters worse…

Recently I offered research suggesting technology is actually making us stupid (see ).  Last week, while enjoying a delightful discussion about rapidly responding to customers’ requests it dawned on me:

Is today’s technology actually making Customer Service matters worse, too?

One would expect that technology should be making us smarter and better vs. dumber and worser, true?  Welcome to the Department of Unintended Consequences.

Permit me to offer an example.  A while ago I needed to fly to Austin for a client engagement.  It was one week after I had elbow surgery.  Since my arm was set in a cast at a right angle, I was concerned about my seat assignment on Frontier Airlines.  It was one of those online reservations that indicated my seat would be assigned at the gate.  This of course meant, “You’ll be lucky if we give you a center seat Pal.”  I envisioned my elbow sticking out in the face of the person next to me.  Their automated reservation message made matters worse.

Worried, I called Frontier Airlines’ Customer Service line to see if they might acknowledge my situation and offer an accommodation.  The Automated Call Directory front-end to their Customer Service line said they were experiencing unusually high call volumes and my wait time might be long.  This of course meant, “We really don’t want to talk about your problem Pal.  Send us an email that we can ignore.”  Their ACD made matters worse.

Nonetheless, I’m a Modern Man – I stayed on hold and multi-tasked (as they were probably doing) until someone finally took my call.  The conversation was brief, and went along the usual making matter worse lines we have all been exposed to before:

How to Manage an Irate Client Call:

“I’m sorry you’re so upset.  I really feel your pain.  No, I don’t think we can fix the problem.  No, you can’t get your money back.  Well, I am the supervisor.  Let me transfer you to Mr. Dial Tone…” 

Unknown Sage

Being put-off by their lack of empathy, this Modern Man did what many of us do in today’s smart phone era:  I went to Facebook and screamed like a banshee!

Wouldn’t you know it?  Within a few minutes I received a very nice Facebook response from an anonymous Frontier Airlines person offering to help!  And the very nice, anonymous, Facebook person proceeded to pull invisible strings and gave me a window seat to accommodate my needs.

You might conclude that because of this very quick, Facebook response that my overall experience with Frontier Airlines’ Customer Service was positive.  It wasn’t.

Look – if we have to face Automated Call Directory trees designed to loop us through a corn maze until we give up; if we have to speak with some non-empowered Rep reading from an automated screen script that pops up depending on the category of our issue; if we have to rely on social media and screaming like a banshee every time we seek Customer Service; then at the end of this technology-laden, time-consuming; automated, impersonal experience, we will be worse off.

So though I no longer consider Frontier Airlines a viable travel option and would rather take Amtrak; and yes – I highlighted a travel experience knowing we all have our own horror stories.  The reality is this technology-laden, automated, impersonal approach to Customer Dis-Service all too often permeates all of our businesses; many of our own attitudes; and – IMHO – today’s technology is making matters worse.

Yours truly – the screaming banshee.


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:


I attended a social media marketing for business MeetUp (see ) and listened to an excellent discussion about one, main point made at the 2014 Internet Marketing Association conference, “Has the Internet has become creepy?”

Catchy headline (those clever marketers), but the discussion led by Mike Hanbery ( ) provoked me to think about my own position regarding the tactics we in the sales/marketing profession leverage in today’s marketplace.

Permit me to share three examples:

1. “Listening” on social media sites for customer service complaints.

Sound familiar?  We buy something; are disappointed; and call the vendor’s Customer Service Department.  After navigating a seemingly endless automated call directory of options, playing the vendor’s version of, “Where in the World is Mario, my Customer Service Rep?” – hitting “0” in desperation.  Finally we get some poor schmuck who is clueless and/or powerless to help – sometimes even treating us rudely:

How to Manage an Irate Client Call:

“I’m sorry you’re so upset.  I really feel your pain.  No, I don’t think we can fix the problem.  No, you can’t get your money back.  Well, I am the supervisor.  Let me transfer you to Mr. Dial Tone…”

Unknown Sage

Seeking revenge, we vent on Facebook, Pinterest, and the plethora of social media sites to telling the world never to buy from that vendor again!  Then (and only then) we receive a polite, social media response offering to help.  Creepy?

I give – why don’t companies simply staff social media sites with their customer service reps and relieve us from the frustration of calling them to begin with?

My customer service contact info?  (303) 324-1225.

2. Re-posting someone else’s stuff.

Google is purported to have a push today around the principle of “authenticity”.  Further evidence that the Internet has become creepy?

I mean, how much stuff do we see posted on the social media sites these days by Person A who is simply re-posting stuff originated from Person B, who got it from Person C?  Such re-posting of stuff can even be automated with a social media app.  It harkens me back to a simpler (and more authentic) time:

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.


My “stuff”?  You may or may not enjoy it, but I wrote it, and posted it, personally.

3. Cold-Calling is dead.

Every week I am pinged by someone near my age; who has written a book; proclaiming “Cold-Calling is dead!”; and offering me insight to leveraging social media tools to gain access to my target prospects.  Even those online Customer Service Representatives are being trained to cross-sell/up-sell after addressing the customer service issues we post on the Internet.  Creepy?

These sales reps posing as book-authors suggest that all we have to do is post interesting content on the Internet; become “thought leaders”; and our prospects will flock to transact with us.  Well, my grandmother who was born in Europe and immigrated to this country in the early 1900’s would say, “I’m no believe.”

Back to Mike’s MeetUp comments:

Setting up a Facebook or LinkedIn account is free.  Posting content on these sites is free.  Getting someone to actually see your content – that costs money.

Call me Kooky, but when I want to gain access to a new prospect – I pick up the phone and call her.  Old fashioned I admit; tough to get through to be sure; but creepy?  Not!


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.


That word seems to be surfacing often these days.  During my annual physical my doctor expressed a bit of concern about my weight; which, obviously means I have too much of it.  He encouraged me to become “accountable” for my weight and my diet.

Of course, doing so requires a clear understanding of portion sizes; reading food labels; controlling my sweet tooth.  In short, I would have to put forth more effort.  Isn’t there an alternative to being accountable?  I turned to my favorite, Unknown Sage:

Question: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

Answer:   Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one-to-one.  If you have two bodies, your ratio is two-to-one, etc.

Question: I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life.  Is this true?

Answer:   How could that be true?  Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it.  Everything wears out eventually, so how could speeding up your heart make you live longer?  If you want to live longer – take a nap.       

Question: My wife says I should cut down on meat, and eat more fruits and vegetables.  What do you say?

Answer:   Look, what does a cow eat?  Corn.  And what’s corn?  A vegetable.  So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system.

Question: Is beer bad for you?

Answer:   Look, it goes to the earlier point about vegetables.  As we all know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories: animal, mineral, and vegetable.  Well, we all know that beer is not an animal, and it’s not on the periodic table of elements, so that only leaves one thing, right?  My advice:  Have a burger and a beer and tell everyone you’re on a vegetarian diet.

Not exactly “accountable”, you say?  True enough.

That word “accountable” also surfaces often at the office these days – you too?  My colleagues are always saying, “We need to hold So-and-So more accountable”.  (It seems that So-and-So screws up often at my company; yours too?  But I digress.)

Luckily, I was recently invited to an accountability webinar featuring the author of a best-selling business book, The Oz Principle.  The “principles” and theories offered in the webinar were all well and good.  But, wouldn’t you know it?  So-and-So started his webinar titled “Holding Others Accountable”, late.  Then, 12 minutes into his late-starting webinar, I received an automated, email reminder to attend his webinar – 12 minutes after So-and-So’s (late starting) webinar had started!

Not exactly “accountable”, you say?  True enough.  The experience brought to mind T. Harv Eker’s opinion:

How you do anything is how you do everything.

OK, So-and-So screwed up.  The challenge might just be our propensity to want to hold others accountable vs. focusing on our own accountability.

Everyone who works here is expected to work toward being the best he can possibly be at the tasks he’s accountable for.  When he can’t do that, he should act like he is until he gets around to it.  And if he’s unwilling to act like it, he should leave.

Michael E. Gerber

It’s always easier to try holding So-and-So accountable, than applying those same, high standards to ourselves, isn’t it?  Reminds me of Ken Blanchard’s view:

Empowerment means you have freedom to act; it also means you are accountable for results.

Focusing on So-and-So vs. our own actions and responsibilities:  Not exactly “accountable”, you say?  True enough.


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

What to…

Last week I shared coaching from one of my readers, John McCall (see ).  He used a unique approach – what not to do.  As a follow up to “Part 1”, John also offered a yang to his yin.

Before turning to a synopsis of his “Part 2”, let’s ask Wikipedia for perspective:

In Chinese philosophy, the concept of yin-yang which is often called “yin and yang”, is used to describe how seemingly opposite or contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world; and, how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

So here’s John’s yang to “10 Sales Management Sins that Kill Sales Morale and Performance”, I like to call them “10 Golden Rules of Sales Management”: 

1. Honor what’s been working 

Take counsel from top sales people. To the extent possible, document their achievements, sales methodologies, philosophies and processes. Understand from their unique vantage point, what has motivated customers to buy. 

2. Always keep our appointments with our sales people… 

Reinforce the value of our sales people’s schedule and their precious selling time.  Quality coaching time with the sales team is a priority – perhaps our top priority. 

3. Treat sales people like royalty of revenue… 

Nothing infuses a business with enthusiasm and energy, not to mention revenue, more than a healthy, well managed and well compensated sales force. The old adage still applies, “nothing moves until somebody sells something”. Sales is a revenue centertreat is as such. 

4. Unite through diversity… 

All sales people are different. Their career backgrounds, selling techniques, territory and industry challenges, depth of product knowledge and history with the company almost always vary, widely.  Celebrate their differences and we will build camaraderie faster than snow accumulates in Buffalo in February. 

5. Play favorites 

Each and every one of our sales people (just like our children) is our favorite. 

6. Compensate unfairly 

Great sales people make more than marginal sales people; and they make more than their managers. That’s a good compensation plan doing its job. 

7. Share the “bluebirds”… 

Assign all new deals that flow into the organization on a round-robin basis.  Make sure the firm’s marketing engine continues to support the sales people. When trust exists they will fight for us. 

8. Remember who our customer is… 

New sales managers are hired to take control and run things better. Our customers are our sales reps; their customers are the well earned relationships they have built with their clients. 

9. Praise in public 

Every internal and client facing relationship a sales person has is based on caches of kindness, bonds of struggle and reservoirs of trust. Praise them for their toil – daily. 

10.        Listen to sales people with legitimate concerns 

Hearing what we don’t want to hear is exactly what management is hired to do. Our role is not only to fix problems and address concerns; great leaders actually seek problems out because we know the hidden ones are usually the most dangerous to the organization. 

Yes, the sales leadership role is challenging:

But even top management types are mostly harmless when you get to know them.  Given lots of love, some even make good pets.

Rick Levine

As John has coached us, knowing what to do is almost as important as knowing what not to do.  But when in doubt, we should worry more about the what not yin.  Then our team will gladly help us with the what to yang.


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my website and book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective© Please check it out.

Impossible? What’s next?

Everyone who works here is expected to work toward being the best he can possibly be at the tasks he’s accountable for.  When he can’t do that, he should act like he is until he gets around to it.  And if he’s unwilling to act like it, he should leave.

                                  Michael E. Gerber 

In over three decades of observing successful sales organizations, I believe the process of hiring, on-boarding, and leading a team of sales professionals can be boiled down into four critical elements of success: 

  1. Approach – Successful sales professionals have a plan.
  2. Activity – Successful sales people find their next sale.  Waiting for the phone to ring only works in certain, illicit industries.
  3. Ability – Clients pay us for our knowledge, skills and experience.  And if we don’t possess these, they can buy over the Internet without us.
  4. Attitude – Maybe #4 on my list, but far and away the most important factor to a successful sales career. 

So what do these four, critical elements have to do with the fact that I am a die-hard football fanatic?  Well, here are two words that are stimulating fanatical perspectives in that profession that we can learn a lot from for our professions – both positive and negative:  Tim Tebow. 

Under the unrelenting, media scrutiny of NFL analysts, former players, coaches, and a sundry of other pundits, the discussion is quite polarized.  On one side are those who focus on his positive image: Christian values; ability to inspire his teammates; and, of late, ability to lead the Denver Broncos to win football games in a quite unorthodox way. 

On the other side are the hordes of critics who claim that what he’s trying to do: “is impossible”; “can’t be done”; “won’t work against good teams”; “won’t work over the long haul”; and on and on and on. 

Now, if I’m developing a football team or a sales team, I prefer to endorse Elizabeth Arden’s perspective: 

            I only want people around me who can do the impossible.   

Yes, Approach, Activity, and Ability are all critical success factors in our professions; Attitude alone is not enough.  At best, having a great Attitude buys us enough time to develop the Ability, to sustain the proper Activity, to enable us to implement a successful Approach

But without the right Attitude, the other three elements, “won’t work in the long run; can’t be done; is impossible”; and all the other polar-negative perspectives we have all heard in the course of our own careers, true?   

It brings to mind a final interview I had once – I was seeking a promotion to the National Account Sales Rep role for ADP when that business growth Approach was first launched in the early 1980s.  The Division President, Greg Pedersen, said (and I can still quote him today as if it were yesterday),

“Pokorn, you’re the best of the worst.  Get a hair cut and buy a couple of new suits; you’ve got the job.”  After I left his office he probably added, “It’s impossible for you to succeed in this job.” 

Well, I’m no Tim Tebow mind you, but things turned out pretty well for me – both in that position and in my career.  And they seem to be turning out pretty good for Tim Tebow at the moment, too.  Impossible? 

            Everything is always impossible before it works.

                                  Hunt Greene 

What are “They” saying that is “impossible” for you to accomplish?  Don’t believe them! 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.

Sorry – I wasn’t listening…

“I only have to be told twice; once.”

                                                                 Adam Katzenmeyer   

A very wise and profound statement, don’t you think?  In one, respectful sentence, Adam: (A) admitted he was not listening, (B) avoided faking it, or worse, arguing that he was listening when he actually wasn’t, and (C) acknowledged a commitment to listen, going forward.  Profound! 

Adam is a colleague of mine and this is an excerpt from a conversation he was having with one of our clients.  It is an example of lessons I often learn in my job that apply to my life.  One of the extra benefits of being a sales professional – I meet many wise and profound people. Occasionally, their profound statements hit me over the head like a 2×4; other times, the profundity is absorbed more subconsciously.  

Some advice stays top of mind with me each day; for instance, “Don’t be stupid.” Wisdom I picked from my friend and former colleague, Nick Ryder, in the late 1980s.   He and a sales support person from our company had just returned from a client meeting that didn’t go well.  His sales support person had argued with the client, which cost Nick the deal.  Afterwards, when she asked Nick what she should have done different and how she could improve in the future, he offered those three, profound words.  I try to live by them, too (although some days I probably need the 2×4). 

In 1979, my very first year in sales, I remember seeking advice from Rob Denkewalter (my first sales mentor).  I was constantly nervous when presenting to prospective customers.  His wisdom?  “Gary, for your next presentation, don’t wear any underwear.  You will be so self-conscious in front of the prospect that you won’t even think about getting nervous.”  Profound!  But I digress… 

Back to listening – have you ever found yourself in a disagreement with someone, perhaps even an argument, only to realize that you had actually mis-listened and the other person was right all along?  Did you quickly admit your mistake?  Did you ignore it and continue to argue?  Did you retreat to that neutral, face-saving place called a “misunderstanding”?  

I can get so busy multi-tasking at times that I just don’t listen.  (Drives my wife crazy when I’m present – but not present!)  Does that ever happen to you?  When it does, sometimes I can become defensive or I try to hide my mistake.  Not very wise I suppose.  It would be better to follow Adam’s advice, yes?  Of course, first I would need to become more comfortable with my mistake-making.  Do you think it’s pride that makes it hard to simply admit being wrong? 

I don’t think I’m alone with this affliction, though.  I have seen others argue, defend, and attempt to deflect the blame of being wrong almost to the point of absurdity before admitting that they simply weren’t listening.  In most of these instances, the matter was not of great importance to the other person.  But as the debate rages on, the level of irritation ultimately rises, true?  We might all agree that it is often much easier, and certainly more appropriate, to just apologize for not being present, and respectfully commit to being present going forward. 

But no one is perfect.  And if Adam’s profound wisdom needs further, more scientifically oriented reinforcement, Russell Kay offers us Grabel’s Law: 

Two is not equal to three – not even for very large values of two. 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.

Written in Ink…

Who is it that said, “The Internet is written in ink.”? 

When you want to speak to the “Internet Customer Service Department”, who do you call?  For all of the amazing enjoyment of our technology; and all of our social media interaction; once in a while do you wish you could just call the Customer Service Department? 

The other day I had a glitch with Linked In.  After spending an hour searching through online help; texting a few friends; adding in some trial and error; and resorting to the obligatory device reboot; I finally gave up and tried contacting their Customer Service.  Yea – right.  It was an email template, and it really didn’t want to accept my service request.  It kept sending me back to the same help documentation I was in for the past hour. Hmmm, when you need to speak to someone in Customer Service, who do you call?  (The good news – I finally did receive a fix via email – two days later!) 

Permit me to digress… 

I lost a deal once; hoped the loss wasn’t written in ink; so I visited the client after his decision.  During a brief but pleasant “post mortem” the client shared with me the reason.  It was because he would not have to attend training class with their product; whereas we required our new clients to attend a 2-day, in-person training class.  A well-trained client; what a concept!  (And, my company’s training requirement was written in ink.) 

As I researched this competitor’s tactic further I discovered “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey said.  My competitor didn’t offer training!  The sales rep put a clever “spin” on his weakness, “Our application is so easy to use; you don’t even have to attend training class.”  (Which would be a good thing if true; but they didn’t offer a training class!) 

A short time later, that client quit my competitor.  He didn’t buy from me though.  His bad experience with one company in our industry ruined the chances for all of us – he went in a different direction altogether.  Unfortunately, his poor customer service experience was written in ink. 

Back to today’s technology; is the social media perspective of, “Our application is so dependable and easy-to-use, you won’t need to call our Customer Service Department.”  written in ink?  (It would be a good thing if true; but there often isn’t a Customer Service Department to call!) 

And before we get too carried away with today’s world, it might be wise to keep things in perspective, yes?  Jim Collins offers: 

The truth is, there’s nothing new about being in a new economy.  Those who faced the invention of electricity, the telephone, the automobile, the radio, or the transistor – did they feel it was any less of a new economy than we feel today?                                 

The “those” he refers to are our parents and grand parents.  Think about it – they adopted electricity!  The technology advancements they lived through during the 1900’s, should impress us.  The patience, perseverance, and the ability to maintain a sense of humor that they displayed seems amazing. 

Of course, while technology in their world was speeding along back then, at least when they needed a little help they could always call the Customer Service Department.  (Which was a good thing because before the advent of our modern technology, there used to be a Customer Service Department!) 

I guess it just wasn’t written in ink. 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.