How often do you use Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is one of my bookmarks. I used it tonight and there was a note at the top of the page with a very nice note that reminded me that there was no advertising on Wikipedia, that they were the 5th most popular website on the internet and requested a donation. There was no threat. I could have ignored it and still done my search, but I made a small donation. I received this response.

Dear Richard,

Thank you for donating to the Wikimedia Foundation. You are wonderful!

It’s easy to ignore our fundraising banners, and I’m really glad you didn’t. This is how Wikipedia pays its bills — people like you giving us money, so we can keep the site freely available for everyone around the world.

People tell me they donate to Wikipedia because they find it useful, and they trust it because even though it’s not perfect, they know it’s written for them. Wikipedia isn’t meant to advance somebody’s PR agenda or push a particular ideology, or to persuade you to believe something that’s not true. We aim to tell the truth, and we can do that because of you. The fact that you fund the site keeps us independent and able to deliver what you need and want from Wikipedia. Exactly as it should be.

You should know: your donation isn’t just covering your own costs. The average donor is paying for his or her own use of Wikipedia, plus the costs of hundreds of other people. Your donation keeps Wikipedia available for an ambitious kid in Bangalore who’s teaching herself computer programming. A middle-aged homemaker in Vienna who’s just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. A novelist researching 1850s Britain. A 10-year-old in San Salvador who’s just discovered Carl Sagan.

On behalf of those people, and the half-billion other readers of Wikipedia and its sister sites and projects, I thank you for joining us in our effort to make the sum of all human knowledge available for everyone. Your donation makes the world a better place. Thank you.

Most people don’t know Wikipedia’s run by a non-profit. Please consider sharing this e-mail with a few of your friends to encourage them to donate too. And if you’re interested, you should try adding some new information to Wikipedia. If you see a typo or other small mistake, please fix it, and if you find something missing, please add it. There are resources that can help you get started. Don’t worry about making a mistake: that’s normal when people first start editing and if it happens, other Wikipedians will be happy to fix it for you.

I appreciate your trust in us, and I promise you we’ll use your money well.


Sue Gardner
Executive Director,
Wikimedia Foundation

Boy! Do I feel good! If you’ve used the website, and haven’t donated, please click the link and do it now. If you haven’t used the link, check it out. They out rank my blog!

How do you pick your clients?

This post wasn’t planned. It’s the result of a series of events.

  1. A new client had one of their customers write a testimonial for their blog.
  2. I wanted to post the testimonial to the Hubspot Partners Forum on LinkedIn, but it didn’t say what I wanted it to say.
  3. I searched my client’s blog to find a more suitable article.
  4. I found one by Matt Heinz, but it didn’t say what I wanted it to say. So, I kept looking.
  5. Then I found “Three Things Sales Managers Can Learn from Olympic Coaches” and thought, “That’s more like it.” (Jeez! I wonder why!)
The process of searching got me thinking about why I wanted to find this testimonial and that got me thinking about how I decide whether I will work for any particular client.
So, how/why do you pick clients?
  1. Do they have to fit a particular persona?
  2. Do they have to have a specific problem?
  3. Is it their passion?
  4. Is it the person?
  5. Do you need the money?
  6. Are they a big name?
  7. Is it what they do?
  8. Something else?
Tell us in the comment section.
BTW, as you probably figured out, my new client is FactorLab and the reason that I work with them is that they make it easier for a coach to be immediate, honest and consistent. If you or one of your clients would like to improve communication with their salespeople, ask for an introduction.

How to screw up great content

On Friday, a fellow blogger sent me his most recent post suggesting that I might like it. He was half right. It was a great topic. Right in my sweet spot. The problem was that the article was 639 words and 38 of them were “I”, “me” and “my”. He took a great topic and turned it into how wonderful he was. He’s a great guy, but it wrecked the article for me and I wouldn’t forward it.

Yesterday, a member of the Inbound Networkers Group on LinkedIn posted a link to a landing page on his website. You should know that this particular group is about engaging, not just connecting, following, lurking, stalking or spamming. We meet on-line on Thursdays at noon and the world is invited. We’ve had some great meetings.
So, anyway, back to the member and his landing page. We have 17 rules that start with “Do”. We have for that begin with “Don’t”.
  • DON’T – spam!
  • DON’T – be salesy when you have a conversation.
  • DON’T – post YOUR content, events, stuff in the discussion area no matter how brilliant you are.
  • DON’T – get upset when it gets deleted. See if you can get someone else to say that you’re wonderful or that your event is worth going to.
His content was useful, but I deleted it anyway and I hope that he doesn’t get upset because he’ll be breaking another rule!
So, how do you screw up great content? Make it all about you or post it in the wrong place.

Howard Berger Company gives great service, but…

This story starts about a year ago.

December, 2011 I bought a ComfortZone Heater from Reny’s in Maine.
We used it during that heating season, but when I turned it on this year it didn’t work. So, I did a Google search and found Howard Berger Company. I called the company and was told to return the heater to the company for service.
I returned the heater in October and they received it on 10/18.
On 11/5, I sent this email, “Per your instructions, I returned my defective heater to your facility for replacement.
The tracking number is 1Z***.
It was delivered to you on 10:47 AM on 10/18/2012.
I haven’t received any acknowledgement of receipt by you, nor have I received a replacement. I just called and your phone is busy.
Please advise at your earliest convenience.
Stacey Anderson replied the same day, “Hello – can you tell me the model # heater that you sent back? Thanks“.
Me, same day, “CZ2011C, but shouldn’t you know that?
You have the heater with all requested documentation.
Two days later, Stacey replied, “Please send your mailing address to me – I have the heater ready to ship. Thank you, Stacey
I replied with my address that day.
9 days later, my replacement heater arrived. I sent this email the next day. “Stacey,
Thank you for helping. The heater arrived yesterday.
BTW, after our last email exchange, I realized that you were in New Jersey and were in the path of Hurricane Sandy. How badly were you affected?
Two days later (11/19), Stacey replied, “Your welcome. We lost electric for two weeks – Thanks for asking – enjoy the heater.
I replied, “I will enjoy the heater and I appreciate that you handled this despite Sandy. Do you have a feedback or testimonial page? or would you rather I just post something about how wonderful you are on my blog and in social media?
10 days later (11/29), Stacey replied, “Hello – you can said to Sorry so late – been so busy. Hope you are enjoying your heater. Thanks Stacey
Two points –
First, this company gave me great service even though they had been hit by Hurricane Sandy and were without power for two weeks when I was being a pain in the neck. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Great company. Deserve to be successful. (BTW, I read their company history page. Interesting story and just received an investment to continue growth. Awesome!
But –
Second, imagine if they could get found! I looked for Twitter and Facebook links. Couldn’t find them. If I send this to the orders email, the company knows that Stacey did a good job. If I put it on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, or the rest of the internet, potential customers know.
To wrap up, Howard Berger Company has a great product line and great service. Please RT, post and forward this message to tell your friends this story.
Also, click on their ‘orders’ email link above and tell them that they should hire me to help them into the 21st century.

End 2012 Strong to Start 2013 Stronger

“Wait ’til next year!”

How many sports fans ended the season with that resolve?
How many fans gave up on their team before they were mathematically eliminated?
Yesterday, a business owner used my scheduler to schedule a call with me. In the agenda section, he wrote, “Goal to walk away sharing game plan for 2013 and seeing if you want to be a part of it”.
So, during the call, he told me that he wanted to have 5 retainer clients. He also told me that he had no money to pay me to help him. I told him to read “Grow Sales With Social Media” and decide what he really wants me to do, if anything.
Contrast that with one of my clients. He’s looking to grow by $2 million in 2013 and we started 3 weeks ago. We’ve already started having conversations with prospects. We’ve got more appointments scheduled and the pipeline is filling up.
The Red Sox have a new manager, are signing new players and started selling 2013 tickets. Returning players have started their winter regimen to make sure that the 2013 season isn’t a repeat of 2012. They’re not ‘waiting til next year’. They’re spending money, making changes and working now!
So, to the business owner that I spoke to yesterday, I ask, “How many of those 5 clients can you sign in December? 5 clients in one month? Hell, some of your competitors have signed 10 clients in a month.”
So, how about you? Are you setting yourself up for a repeat of 2012 in 2013? Is that OK? What are you doing about it today? Will you end 2012 strong to start 2013 stronger? Want help? Schedule a call with me.
Do you have a friend that wants to do better? Send them this article. Have them schedule a call with me.