The Grump

For from the 2008 ScLoHo archives for #ThrowbackThursday:
Take a moment and look at the people in your office or store that you work with. I bet one of them is a bit of a grump. Or maybe there are two of them, since it’s hard to be grumpy all by yourself.

Don’t see any grumps? Maybe it’s you? I hope not.

Attitude is an integral part of your marketing because marketing is about relationships.

Everyone has a bad day every once in awhile, but if there is someone that is having a string of bad days, bad weeks, bad months, Stop.

Stop and find out what’s wrong. Perhaps there is a legitimate complaint that you can help solve. Or perhaps it is something totally unrelated to work. But ignoring the grump is like ignoring a broken leg.

You can pretend it doesn’t exist, but it’s gonna keep you from performing at full speed.

See, marketing is so much more than just advertising…

ScLoHo's Really

A Mid-Week Pause

Imagine what it would be like if you had no access to the internet.

How much simpler your life would be, how quiet it would become.

Same thing with cell phones, even if you don’t have a smart phone, would your life be different if you couldn’t be reached, or reach others with a text or call?

Okay some of you are beginning to hyperventilate just thinking about how unproductive your life would become.

Actually, the opposite is probably true.

Without the ability to text, tweet, check our email, update our Facebook status, and everything else we use the web to do, our daily activities would probably more focused.

And with fewer distractions, we would focus more on the task at hand.

I have to admit right now, that while I was writing this article, I checked Facebook, Tweeted, responded to an email and checked in on Foursquare.  All in the 15 minutes that passed since I started jotting down my thoughts.

It’s probably not practical to be completely “off the grid” for most of us.  We have been in the process of selling our home and every time a Realtor wanted to show our home, I’d get a request through an app.  Fortunately after 7 weeks and 30+ showings we sold our home, and once the closing takes place that app will go bye-bye.

But in my work, email is essential.  Actually there are several tasks that are job related that now use cloud based technology.

When we were waiting for the birth of each of our grandkids, we kept our phones on our nightstands.

But there are times when we can create a pause in our lives.  It could be for 2 hours, an evening, or whatever time frame that works for you.

Tell me, is there a time that you set aside to unplug on a regular basis?



ScloHobook banner

How Do You Handle Screw-Ups?

Big company or small mom & pop shop, all of us make mistakes.

This is a lesson for all of us to learn from Amazon and the Post Office:

My daughter Tiffany and her husband, 2 kids, a dog and a few cats live out of town.  Her birthday was Saturday and I used Amazon to send her a couple of gifts.  The book I ordered was on her Amazon wish list, and I added a surprise Starbucks gift card to the order.  Everything was supposed to arrive Thursday the 10th, 2 days before her birthday.

Friday night, I’m chatting with her on Facebook asking if her book arrived and it hadn’t.  I checked my Amazon account and the order and noticed something was screwy, but it also said it should be delivered by Saturday.


Tiff and I do some investigative work and we find out the mailman messed up and sent her book back to Amazon.  The post office apologized.  Imagine that. An, “I’m sorry,” from the “government”.  Okay, I know, the U.S.P.S. is a hybrid-government organization and it was really a person who works for them who apologized, but that was good enough for us.

Except, we are still missing a book that I paid to have delivered and I can’t find a way to remedy the situation with Amazon.


I press the Contact Us button, decide to try the chat option and in 10 easy minutes another order for the book is placed and her book is on its way.  Late, but that wasn’t Amazons fault.

Lessons learned:

  1. Own up to mistakes and apologize.  (Thanks USPS Mail Carrier,)
  2. Even if you had nothing to do with the mistake, do what you can to fix it.  (Thanks Amazon.)

Back to the question, How do you handle screw ups?


Warming Up a Cold Call

I don’t do very many cold calls anymore.

Not in the traditional sense at least.

A traditional cold call is done in person, or over the phone.

The purpose is to score an appointment with the head cheese.

(Please don’t call them the head cheese.)

But last week I did a few in person calls that bordered on being cold.

The difference was I had done some research, even a little bit on nearly every business I spoke with.

That’s one way to warm up a cold call.

Here’s another from my daily email I receive from RAB.com:

Who Gets Past Gatekeepers?

A recent survey asked gatekeepers how they determined who gets through to a decision-maker. The top answer was, “People I like.”

Treating gatekeepers with respect is in the salesperson’s best interest. This person is very close to the decision-maker, and has a lot of valuable information.

So work with him or her to establish a friendly rapport. Use a conversational, yet confident tone of voice. If you were standing in the lobby of his or her office, the gatekeeper would first size you up based on your appearance and the way you sound.

Early in the conversation, ask for the gatekeeper’s name. Use it, put it in your notes and greet the screener by name on your next call. You will seem much less like a stranger on subsequent calls.

Source: Adapted from Get Clients Now, by C.J. Hayden



TED@Tunis, May 8th, 2012.

Talking TED

This week we are reaching the end of the TED playlist New to TED.

We will continue for at least the rest of 2014 with another TED Talk each week.


It’s a commitment I made to myself a couple months ago.

My wife and I were looking for something different to do on a Saturday night after going out to dinner.

She suggested watching something online but didn’t know what.

I wasn’t willing to commit to a two hour movie.

My brain reminded me that I always wanted to watch more TED Talks and that’s how we began.

The next day, I decided to make a public commitment to watch one each week and post them online.

Doing this (actually scheduling them to post each week) makes it easy for me to keep this commitment and also easy to share this journey with you.

Enough from me, let’s watch David Christian :


ScLoHo's Really

New & Shiny or Old & Trusted

This morning I asked on Twitter how many Windows XP computers my friends still have.

One friend has two that he uses all the time, another friend and his wife just upgraded last month.

Usually there is nothing wrong with sticking with the Old & Trusted.  Sometimes jumping to the New & Shiny is not the best idea.  New & Shiny can have bugs that need to be worked out and fixed.  Old & Trusted is familiar, like a reliable friend or comfy pair of jeans.

I used the Windows XP example because after 11 years, Microsoft has stopped supporting the XP version of Windows and it’s been in the news.

If your computer is using Windows XP, it won’t suddenly stop working, it’s just that Microsoft will not help you fix it anymore.  They want you to upgrade to the latest version which at this moment is Windows 8.1 and doing so will require you to learn a bunch of new things just to do the same things you’ve been doing for the past decade on your Windows XP machine.

There are plenty of practical reasons for upgrading.  First of all you will likely have to buy a new computer and new versions of software.  Your old computer cannot handle the more powerful versions of programs that you’ll need when you move up from Windows XP and it is less expensive to simply start fresh and transfer all you old documents and pictures to your new computer.

But this is not really about computers.

This is about life, habits and changes around us.

You can decide to stick with your old & trusted ways of doing things until they simply are obsolete, or you can keep pace with the uncontrollable changes and stay fresh and current.

Since I work in the advertising and marketing world, I’ll venture there for a second.

Grandpa built his business advertising in the yellow pages, and didn’t need a website.  He didn’t have email or the internet.  I’m not about to screw up the successful formula that Grandpa used to build his fortune.

Yeah, right.  Someone told me that 5 years ago.  He lost the family business less than a year later.  You have to know the difference between Old & Trusted.  You need to know the principles that are timeless and transcend the changes.

This goes beyond business, it goes beyond technology…

It could apply to friendships, or health. Any relationship or investment of time or resources

This is a matter of values and adapting. Knowing what to hang on to and what to let go of.

That’s the continuous flow of life.


Oh and if you really want more info on the end of Windows XP, go here: http://www.howtogeek.com/186829/how-do-you-convince-a-family-member-to-upgrade-an-old-and-possibly-compromised-system/



What Reach & Frequency have to do with a Successful Marketing Campaign

A couple of years ago, the company I worked for prohibited me from telling you what I am about to share.  (I decided not to work for that company after a few months.)

I started in the advertising side of radio in 1986 in Detroit.  Some of you weren’t even born yet.  That’s okay.  The truth of what I’m going to share with you is timeless.  It’s not based on gimmicks, or any particular technology.  It is based on human behavior.  I’ve learned it from others over the years and will continue to preach this to anyone who wants to know the best way to spend their marketing money.

Let’s start with a question:

Would you rather convince 100 people 1% to buy something?


Would you rather convince 1 person 100% to buy something?

If you are selling a house, you can only sell it one time, right?  It doesn’t matter if you have 100 people who are a little bit interested, you just need 1 person who is 100% interested, right?

Reach & Frequency are terms that media salespeople will use to try and convince you that you should spread your advertising dollars out among several medias.  “Buy 3 or 4 radio and tv stations, a few billboards and some newspaper ads too”.

That’s great if you have really deep pockets, but it can be a disaster if your funds are limited.  Spreading your dollars all over the place will reach lots of people but the danger is the frequency is too low.  Each person who sees or hears your ad needs to be exposed to your message multiple times to create a memorable impression.

Focus first on frequency.  Even if you can only afford to reach a smaller pool of people, it’s better to convince them to do business with you than to reach lots and lots of people who don’t remember who you are.

Let’s put this another way:

If you went on 100 dates with 100 different people the odds are pretty slim you’d end up married.

However, if you went on 100 dates with 1 person, odds are that the two of you would be tying the knot.

Questions?  Ask away.