Am I Passive-Aggressive?

I recently met with a prospect that didn’t like my approach to his inability to make a decision. His suggestion was that I exhibited passive-aggressive behavior. Because he’s much smarter than average folks like me, I decided to do some research. I went to and found this.

There are certain behaviors that help identify passive-aggressive behavior. [2]

  • Ambiguity
  • Avoiding responsibility by claiming forgetfulness
  • Blaming others
  • Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
  • Complaining
  • Does not express hostility or anger openly
  • Fear of authority
  • Fear of competition
  • Fear of dependency
  • Fear of intimacy
  • Fosters chaos
  • Intentional inefficiency
  • Making excuses and lying
  • Obstructionism
  • Procrastination
  • Resentment
  • Resists suggestions from others
  • Sarcasm
  • Sullenness

Is that me? or was he thinking of something else?

Oh well. You can’t do business with everybody and in cases like this….it’s a good thing.

Have a great week!

Questions about competition

Tonight, I was catching up on some shows that we had recorded and one of the incidents in the shows reminded me of something. In the show, a AAA pitcher was worried that a new recruit was going to take his job, so he killed him. Do you know your competition? Are they better than you? In every way? Are you comfortable introducing your competition to any of the people that have helped you get to where you are? Would you ever introduce your clients to your competition?

Think about that for a minute. How weak are you compared to your competition?

Are you like the runner who’s in second place that’s looking back to see if he’s gonna wind up in third rather than concentrating on taking over first place? Or are you in first place running for a personal best knowing that if you set a personal best, no one else will be close?

How about if I answer my own questions?

Do you know your competition?………Yes.

Are they better than you?……….Maybe.

In every way?……….No.

Are you comfortable introducing your competition to any of the people that have helped you get to where you are?……….Sure. They might be able to help the person that helped me creating another IOU with my friend.

Would you ever introduce your clients to your competition?……….Of course! How’s this? “Mr. Client, meet my competition. I’ll let him tell you how much better than me they are. Go ahead.” What is my competition gonna say? I’m right there! So, I follow with, “Oh, I’m sorry. You probably don’t want to say your secrets in front of me.” Then I turn to my client and tell him, “He’s probably gonna call you this week and tell you how much better than me he is. Don’t worry. Just call me and if it’s true, I’ll help you with the transition. If it’s not, I’ll tell him to go away for you. You be the good cop. I’ll be the bad cop.”

If you’re delivering what you promise and you’re promising what your customer wants you can do this.

If you’re not, why not?

Signs of Success

One of the greatest things about my job is watching my clients succeed.

This morning, I learned that one of my clients had won a competition. Not by a little, but by almost 50% over the 2nd place person. Not bad for an introvert. Not bad for someone that doesn’t exude confidence. Not bad for someone who would rather be with things than people. He had more meetings in 4 weeks than anyone else in his group and many of the people in his group consider themselves to be hot shots. Great job!! I am very proud.

Early this afternoon, I had a conversation with a client that “signed up” with us on November 15th. I suggested that he start calling prospects that he had given proposals to but had not bought and try his new “stuff”. Last week, one of those “misses” turned into a sale big enough to pay for his whole year with me.

Another client writes: “in September 2005…… highlights a few deals that I made: the first returning client and the first internet based lead that converted into a sale. A year and a half later, the deals that were made last week make the 2 that I was celebrating a year and a half ago, seem quite small. (Two year long engagements.) But, that’s not the milestone I wanted to talk about…… We’ve taken the business in a different direction. Some day, we’ll have volume. But our current focus is to provide greater value…………. We charge a whole lot more than we did in 9/2005. And we provide a lot more value.

Thank you gentlemen!

Peer Pressure at Work

Pete Caputa got tagged for a new potential meme and then tagged me. I know tag, but what’s a meme and why is it potential? He was asked how he made his first $1,000 and answers the question at PC4MEDIA. Now I’m supposed to tell the story of my first $1,000. Tough question. $1,000 used to be a lot of money, but now I know a lot of people who earn $1,000/day every day. I even know some people who earn $1,000/hour. So, (as they say) $1,000 isn’t what it used to be.

Honestly, I don’t remember my first $1,000, but I do remember an important $1,600 check. Here’s my story. In high school, I was (what is now known as) a geek. Smart, shy, introverted. Played tennis. AP classes. You know the type. I went to WPI after graduation. Somewhere along the way, I learned to pretend that I wasn’t smart, shy, or introverted, got married while I was in school and started selling CUTCO Cutlery part time. In the spring of 1974, after 1 year of marriage and several months selling knives door to door, I got a $1,600 commission check for one month’s work. Now, go back 30+ years. I was sitting in class when I realized that I was gonna make more money selling knives that year than the professor that was teaching that class. Didn’t make sense to me so, I left WPI that day and didn’t go back until years later when I started attending the WPI Venture Forum events. Here’s the rest of the chain. Cutco led me to Dave Kurlan. Dave Kurlan led me to selling the way I do. Selling the way I do, led me to collections and eventually back to Dave and sales development. So although I don’t remember my first $1,000, I do remember a very important, life-altering $1,600.

Now, I’m not gonna tag anybody to tell the story of their first $1,000, but if you have a story, or you’re so inclined, comment to this post or use the link above to send your story by email and I’ll post it for you. Incidentally, if you have a blog and you want to tell your story, post it, send me the link and I’ll point to it.

Today’s Musings

Seth Godin posted about “Enormity” today. It got me wondering if I should post about Today, Martin Luther King, Jr., his “I Have a Dream Speech”. Then, at dinner tonight we were talking about JFK, MLK, RFK and how tumultuous those times were. What a time to be a teenager.

I am not worthy to comment, but I am thankful that so many great men did so much.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King.

Mediocrity Kills

So, avoid it.

Remember that some people believe the saying, “Birds of a feather flock together.” So, if you find yourself talking with a prospect that’s satisfied with mediocrity and unwilling to change, get away from them before you catch it…before people see you associating with mediocrity and start to think that you’re OK with it. Yesterday, I had a conversation with one such business owner. She saw where my questions were leading her and interrupted with, “I’m just not interested.” My question could have been, “You’re not interested in ending your over-promising?”; “You’re not interested in attracting better talent?”; You’re not interested in rising out of mediocrity?”.

But, she wasn’t and I didn’t care and I bailed out. So she doesn’t get fixed and I will do everything that I can to keep my clients from catching what she’s got by keeping them from doing business with her or letting people that they care about do business with her.

You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is no middle.

Update: Yesterday, I was talking with someone that said that he was gonna talk to her to see if she could help him in his business. I suggested two of her competitors that were “world class” providers. I made the introductions this morning.

Tom Brady

So, today, the talking heads were talking about Tom Brady’s preparation for this week’s playoff game. The comment that caught my ear was that Tom Brady spent a significant amount of time with his personal mechanics coach during the past week. Wait a minute! Tom Brady? Three time Super Bowl winner? Top of his game? Top of anybody’s game? He has a personal mechanics coach? He’s in the playoffs (again) and working with his coach now?

How can the best get better?

Wait a minute! You’re a professional. You sell. Who is your sales mechanics coach and when was the last time that you worked with him/her? Can you get better or are you better at what you do than Tom Brady is at what he does?