Are Your Customers In Pain?

Are you actively looking to partner with your customers and add value to them by helping them identify and solve their biggest pain points or are you just trying to sell them another product?

When we become so focused on meeting sales quotas and goals we lose sight of the real reason our businesses exist . . . they  exist because we provide something of value to our customers. One of the most important tasks for any business is not to sell their product or service but to work with their potential customers to understand where the customer needs help and how your business can fill that need and provide real value.

I have seen many businesses over the years slip into the trap of myopically focusing on selling products or services. They spend more time coming up with the “perfect” charge rate sheet or the “perfect” product discount sheet then they do working with their clients to understand the challenges that are being faced and how they can assist the client in overcoming these challenges.

Guess what happens to these business . . .

Seven Steps To Becoming A Better Communicator

If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.” Warren Buffett

Your business success and your personal success depend on your ability to communicate. You must communicate to your past customers, present customers and future customers. You must communicate with shareholders, stakeholders, employees, contractors, vendors, wife, kids, family and so many other people. Failure to communicate effectively is a lid on your potential and the potential of your business.

Warren Buffett was extremely shy and terrified of public speaking early on in life. However, he knew that he had to overcome this fear and learn how to communicate if he wanted to be successful. So, he registered for a Dale Carnegie class which he completed early in his career and what he learned there helped him to communicate effectively and live up to his potential instead of give up his potential.

How To Keep Your Organization Focused During Tough Economic Times

Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.” Brian Tracy


Most people associated with the oil and gas industry have been affected in some way by the lower oil prices in the last year. Cost constraints, cutbacks, downsizing, rightsizing, restructuring, realignment, redeployment or layoffs. Whatever you want to call it, losing your job is a very stressful situation. And, almost as stressful as losing your job is watching the reductions in staff happen all around you and wondering if you are next!

The stress related with this constant threat of job loss can have significant productivity issues with the staff who remain. People who are concerned about losing their jobs will lack motivation and productivity. From the prolonged, hushed conversations at the coffee areas to updating resumes and LinkedIn profiles to applying for jobs and contacting recruitment agencies. All of these activities take away from quality time spent on tasks that make the business money.

If It Ain’t Written, It Ain’t

I have done a lot of work in Texas over the last 17 years . Besides the warm weather, one of the things I’ve enjoyed about Texas is picking up some of their slang expressions. Things like;

  • Y’all – used in place of “you all” or “you guys”. This can also take other forms like “all y’all” just in case you need to make a plural even more of a plural!
  • Fixin’ tuh’ – this means “about to”
  • Don’t kick the sleepin’ dog – this means that there is a sensitive issue and its not worth bringing it up and getting everyone worked up about it
  • Ain’t – used in place of “are not” or “isn’t”
  • Big hat, no cattle – this means “all talk and no action”

However, the most important slang expression I learned in Texas has huge business implications;

Why You Need To “Talk Like TED”

A few months ago I purchased Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds with my monthly Audible subscription (I listen to books when I am driving or at the gym…maybe another blog post on this at some point). I was so impressed with the book that I bought a hardcover version so that I could read it and take some detailed notes.

Talk Like TED interested me because I am always trying to improve myself in all areas of professional development. Although I will never be a Tony Robbins or a Sir Ken Robinson, I do quite a few presentations in the course of a year so any improvement that I can make in how I present will make a positive impact in my career. And, if a person is going to get tips on presentations, what better source to turn to than the world’s premier public speaking events!

Carmine Gallo did an outstanding job in boiling down the best TED presentations and establishing nine common elements that each of us can incorporate into our own presentations: