Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Target of Millions and Millions


With all the hoopla of the Apple iPad roll out, there was one small paragraph that caught my eye. I have copied it below but you can link to the story here.

"The target audience is everyone," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president for strategy and analysis at Interpret, a market research firm. "Apple does not build products for just the enthusiasts," he said. "It doesn't build for the tens of thousands; it builds for the tens of millions."

Hmmm. I guess if you are Apple your target audience (market) can be everyone. But doesn't that go against the very definition of what a target market is?????

I have b
een doing a lot of reading about this very subject within the last month. One phrase from my reading has stayed with me. It is, "Specialize or Spend."

I think that says it all. The wider the target, the more you have to spend, both in time and money.

I guess Michael Gartenberg thinks Apple has an unlimited supply of both.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lingo Spingo

Yesterday, I gave a networking presentation where I used the term, "one-to-one." Knowing that some people might not know what I was referring to, I defined it. (A meeting between two people who are getting to know each other better.)

At the end of the talk, one person in the audience, let's call her Sharon, thanked me for the definition. She shared that she is new to networking and that at a recent event someone had asked her to schedule a one-to-one meeting.

Not being sure what it was for, she called and asked the person if they were interested in what she was selling. This person answered, "No," but didn't explain any further what the intentions of the meeting were.


Sharon had no idea of the reason for the meeting.

So two things were going on here.

1) Lingo was used and it was assumed that everyone knew what the lingo meant.

2) The person scheduling the appointment didn't articulate the reason for the appointment. ("Let's meet to find out how we might be able to help each other."

What this did for Sharon to make her even more afraid of networking. She felt like she didn't know the ropes, that she was missing the directions to the game. And that made her feel less than confident.

Let's play nice. Remember that lingo is lingo and that we need to define it for others or NOT USE IT. And we need to say out loud, "This is the reason we should meet."


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Giving Back

I am reading (or skimming, really) Debbie Tenzer's book, Do One Nice Thing. If you're looking for a way to give of yourself, I highly recommend this book or her website.

One suggestion she makes in the book is to teach children empathy by having them help with the elderly in the neighborhood.


It took me right back to my early years in Lyndonville, NY. I had a very simple upbringing in the one mile square village. Part of that was the small town atmosphere, but equally was the way my parents infused the very concept about children helping.

Next door to us, Mrs. Smith lived in a small, rather ramshackle house. She was in her 80's and lived on only her Social Security check. She also had no phone. (Can you even imagine it?????)

My parents become her lifeline. Every Sunday they fixed a plate of Sunday dinner to take to her. (She for some reason didn't want to come to our house to eat.) They also made sure her lawn was mowed and went to the post office to get her mail. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessin' that they probably went to the grocery store too.

My dad loved to garden (the acorn has not fallen far from the tree!) and Mrs. Smith allowed him to plow her property behind her big old barn as an addition to his garden. Of course, during the growing season, she received all kinds of fresh fruit and veggies.

Mom encouraged me to spend time visiting Mrs. Smith and I can remember sitting on her from porch reading and talking about Aesop's Fables and Grimm's Fairy Tales. Mrs. Smith related that she had never read them because her mother wouldn't allow it.

In networking we constantly talk about mutually beneficial relationships. My parents demonstrated that very early in my life. Everyone gained including me. I learned how important all people were in my life.

Thanks, Mom, Dad and Mrs. Smith!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


If you are thinking of starting a new business, an old book might be the key for you.

I picked up Target Marketing, by Linda Pinson and Jerry Jinnell at the library.

Even though it was written in 1993, it should be required reading for someone thinking of starting a business. It is a step-by-step process from the germ of an idea to actual business in place.

Along the way, there are easy forms to use to help identify target market, location analysis, competition evaluation, financial and advertising worksheets. And more! Additionally there are a multitude of resources named at the end of each chapter.

This might be a book that deserves to be purchased. You can get it used here for just one penny, but it is worth a whole heck of a lot more.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Getting to Second Base

In a couple weeks I will be speaking at the Pittsburgh International Networking Day celebration. My topic is Turning Networking Dating into Networking Dollars. During this talk I will share the five bases of networking and how to gain a better ROI on networking time.

I need to take my own advice!

Last week I met with a new contact. This young woman said that she wanted to meet with me. I did not ask why -- stupid me.

Let's just put it this way. She started at the beginning of time focusing on her part in it and brought me along on her ride of history. Every detail. Stuff I really didn't want to know.

I kept trying to get a focus on the conversation to no avail. At one point I was speechless. I just didn't know what to ask next. I think my brain may have been lulled to sleep.

Finally, I asked something that I never ask on a networking appointment. I asked her if she wanted to buy from me. I know that is somewhat rude(when networking as opposed to selling), but I just didn't know what to do next and in my mind I figured it would flush out some point for the conversation.

Of course as I suspected, the answer was no. She explained that she was an expert networker and didn't need a course about networking. (I tried not to smirk.)

So don't do as I did. Don't go into a networking appointment blind. Or if you do, your energy may be sucked right out of you and you will have nothing to show for the time spent. And please don't get me wrong. It is sometimes fun to just meet people -- to find out about them -- as long as it is a conversation not a monologue.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stones and Tea

I am listening to the new book Stones into Schools by Greg Mortenson, who also is the author of the wildly successful, Three Cups of Tea.

In the original book, Mortenson relates that he makes a commitment to build schools in the mountains of Pakistan because the members of a village saved his life as he was near death coming back from a mountain climb. He begins the project as a typical American, wanting to get things done and done quickly. A village elder instructs him to take a slower approach, explaining that Greg needs to have three cups of tea with folks as he does business. "With the first you are a stranger, the second you are a friend and the third you are family and we will do anything, including put our life on the line for family."

I am only at the beginning of the second book, but already the author has caught my ear! He explains that he builds schools in the outer reaches of civilization because no one else will go to the ends of the earth to do so. And for one village, it took him not three cups of tea, but 8 years of three cups of tea, winning the favor of the village leader before he was given the go-ahead.

That story made me think about how we "civilized folk" are so willing to quit after just a short time. I hear all the time from networkers that "this person or that person didn't help me (in the time I had devoted to this relationship) so I am moving on."

Now, I am the first to say that some relationships need to be left behind. But I think far too many of us fail to realize that we have to put TIME in for longer than we think necessary before we gain a return on that investment.

I think we can take so much from Greg Mortenson and what he has learned about building schools AND relationships.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

One More Time

For those of you who have followed this blog, you know that I've written a few posts about our yellow Lab, Gable. He is now almost 16 years old.

Each time I write about him it seems like he is nearing the end.

Last Monday night it seemed for sure.

His back leg kept thrusting out toward his front, crossing over so if he was standing it would trip his other back foot. Worst of all it would just collapse beneath him. I wondered if he had broken a hip. When he did manage to pull that foot into place, more times than not he was walking with the foot turned under. Ouch!

Steve made an appointment with the vet at 8 AM the following morning and asked me to go along. I know we both thought that it was going to be Gable's last trip.

But I am happy to report that the Everyready dog is still tickin'. He has a spinal cord injury that is making his back leg paralyzed. There is not much to do except enforced rest. Hopefully within a month it will heal and be better.


We couldn't figure out how to help him navigate our home with all the slippery wood floors. We didn't want him to exert himself falling down and then trying to get up. You guessed it. The next day I was at Bass Pro buying doggie boots that have rubber soles. I sure felt the need to tell the cashier that these boots were a for a medical need not just foo-foo! We are using just two for his back legs and they seem to keep his feet under him better.

So I'll keep ya' posted.

One thing is, Gable doesn't understand the rest part and still wanders a half mile throught the snow to go pee on the neighbor"s bushes. (That's the closest neighbor and Gable goes out through the fields to accomplish this feat.)

He still thinks of himself as Top Dog!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Two or Three?

This past week, I met with someone who was introduced to me via an email introduction. I've got to tell you that while it was a high level introduction, it still wasn't at the level of a personal introduction. There were some awkward moments.

I analyzed why this was so.

1. We really had no one to make the in-person introduction and so we bumble along trying to figure out who should say what next.

2. If a third person had been there, the meeting could have been shortened, because that person could have provided background as part of his intro.

3. This person could have also restated the reason he was putting the two of us together, instead of us trying to figure out the right time to talk about it.

4. He could have interjected at points during the conversation to add details that would have been important.

5. He could have given his opinion for this new person to do business with me, which would have had the power of a testimonial.

I could go on. While there are some circumstances where you cannot be introduced to the new contact, (distance, being one) and I know the value of a personal (in-person) introduction. I now have had it reinforced again!

Introductions take the "IF" out of the whole equation.

What's your take on this?