Sample Chapter of Crimes of Cunning


Chapter One is below.
Read the Author’s Preface by clicking here.


 

Crimes of Cunning 3D on sale now

Book Sample

Chapter 1
Haunted Hallways

I reminded myself that we were in a well-lit office, not a dark alley. No need to get aggressive yet. I relaxed my jaw and tried to keep the fear out of my voice as I replied, “If you pull my people off your project, there’s no way you’ll meet the delivery date.”

My client looked at me blandly, as if he had delivered a weather forecast. In fact, he had devastated my sales forecast. Five fewer of my consultants billing their time to this client meant there was no way I would meet quota to earn my bonus. I needed him to engage with me. I forced a response with a direct question that was also a threat. “Did Juan approve this staffing cut?”

“Why would I check with Juan?” asked the Director of Information Systems Development (ISD) for Billing Systems. He ran his finger down a page of the MCI internal directory as he spoke, “Nobody (more…)

Why Things Catch On – Knowledge@Wharton

 


 

Wharton Professor Jonah Berger talks about his book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On. The book details six key steps to drive people to talk and share. STEPPS is an acronym for:

  1. Social currency:, It’s all about people talking about things to make themselves look good, rather than bad
  2. Triggers: which is all about the idea of “top of mind, tip of tongue.” We talk about things that are on the top of our heads.
  3. Emotion: When we care, we share. The more we care about a piece of information or the more we’re feeling physiologically aroused, the more likely we pass something on.
  4. Public: When we can see other people doing something, we’re more likely to imitate it.
  5. Practical value: Basically, it’s the idea of news you can use. We share information to help others, to make them better off.
  6. Stories: how we share things that are often wrapped up in stories or narratives.

Via ‘Contagious’: Jonah Berger on Why Things Catch On – Knowledge@Wharton.

 


 

Sales Skills for Top Managers Podcast

 


 

Click here for Tony Mayo's podcast

Sales Skills for Top Managers Podcast

A conversation with executive coaching client Ron Dimon. Part 8

This latest podcast is part eight of a funny and practical conversation between top executive coach Tony Mayo and his longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with useful ideas in this episode including:

  • Boost your sales by employing Tony’s insight into the related power of affinity and similarity.
  • Why it is important to sell to people rather than persuade positions.
  • The proper roles of laughter, emotions, product knowledge in sales.
  • How and why Tony refused a check for $250,000.
  • It is not what you say that makes the sale,
    it is what you hear!

The podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, and FeedBurner. Listen through your computer or subscribe with an app on your favorite portable device.

 


 

Why work for nothing?

 


 

Much too often, business owners and salespeople eagerly run off to complete assignments given to us by employees, prospects, or clients. We are asked for something, we feel like we should know how to provide it, and we eagerly set to work trying to produce something that might please them.

My experience is that it pays big dividends to slow things down by asking many clarifying questions. Exactly what information will satisfy a prospect who is looking for a reference? Or comparable experience? Or assurance of financial stability? How much ownership or participation in an eventual sale will satisfy a key employee? What commission, recognition, or work/life adjustment will motivate our best salesperson?

My CEO executive coaching group members have learned that (more…)

Similarities of Soldiering and Selling

 


 

On Killing:On Killing Dave Grossman
On Killing by GrossmanThe Psychological Cost of
Learning to Kill in War and Society

by Dave Grossman


Capsule Review

I read this book and I review it here not because of any particular interest in sanctioned killing, rather because of my interest in institutional means of getting people to do difficult yet important tasks. I train salespeople and other business leaders.

I first heard the author, Dave Grossman, on a radio interview promoting this book. I heard him say that that in the history of combat from Alexander the Great through World War II only about 15% of soldiers in battle were trying to kill the enemy. He’s not talking about the long administrative and logistical tail of the army. Only 15-20% of the people with guns or swords in their hands, who were facing a threatening enemy, were willing to kill that enemy. I know this is (more…)

The Conversation Contract™

 


 

Here is a complete toolkit for implementing one of my most powerful and versatile techniques, The Conversation Contract™. Leading psychologist Thomas Harris, author of the bestselling I’m OK–You’re OK, developed the basic process to help people conduct the most important and stressful conversations in their lives. I have refined it over the past fifteen years in my work with sales people, managers, government officials, and CEOs to its present form. You can use it for better meetings, telephone calls, and family interactions.

Start with this video and reinforce your skills with the (more…)

Conversations that Make a Difference

 


 

Here is my 12 Step Program for conducting a difficult, stressful, or frightening conversation in a way that will create new possibilities for relationship and action.

  1. Get yourself centered.
  2. Make sure the other person is willing to talk. Use my Conversation Contract™.
  3. Help the other person feel safe. “We’re friends and colleagues now and we’ll still be friends and colleagues after this conversation.” Easy on the relationship, rigorous on the topic.
  4. Get a firm agreement on facts before delving into opinions. Be conscientious about distinguishing facts from opinions. “The client reported several misspellings in the report,” is a fact. “Your work is sloppy,” is an opinion.
  5. Remember, seek first to understand, then to be understood, is Covey’s fifth habit.
    Listen before you speak. Encouraging the other person to talk first is also a way to get his or her concerns out of his or her head to make room in there for what you have to say.
    Ask questions to clarify how it looks to him or her. Stop behaving as though you know what they think; be genuinely curious.
    Repeat key points back to him or her to show that you are listening and to verify that you have heard correctly. You do not need to agree with the person’s point of view, but it is helpful to let him or her know you understand and you accept that he or she sees that way right now.
  6. Take responsibility for your own reactions.
    It is not responsible to assert, “You are forcing me to double-check all of your reports.” It is more useful to explain, “When I hear a client complain I feel obligated to double-check all of your reports.” See the difference? The first is the voice of a victim making an accusation, one who has reached a firm conclusion about the location of the problem: it’s the other guy. The second is a person making a choice on limited information, one who is eager to consider alternatives.

    The simple shortcut from victim to choice is to start sentences with “I” rather than “you.”

  7. Establish the level of trust: sincerity, capacity, competence, consistency, and care. “I know that you can see when a project is suffering from scope creep and that you will let me know about it.”
  8. Explicitly agree on the shared (more…)

Reluctance to be wrong stops creativity & growth




A great article in the New York Times, a few highlights:

Paul J. H. Schoemaker, chairman of Decision Strategies International…

“We get fixated on achievement,” he said, but, “everyone is talking about the need to innovate. If you already know the answer, it’s not learning. In most personal and business contexts, if you avoid the error, you avoid the learning process.”

We grow up with a mixed message: making mistakes is a necessary learning tool, but we should avoid them.

Carol S. Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has studied this and related issues for decades.

“Studies with children and adults show that a large percentage cannot tolerate mistakes or setbacks,” she said.

  • We are risk-averse because “our personal and professional pride is tied up in being right. Employees are rewarded for good decisions and penalized for failures, so they spend a great deal of time and energy trying not to make mistakes.”
  • We tend to favor data that confirms our beliefs.
  • We assume feedback is reliable, although in reality it is often lacking or misleading. We don’t often look outside tested channels.