The things you do over, and over… and over… and over…
If you don’t work in sales, you may not even know what the term “pipeline” refers to, but don’t worry — it’s not complicated.
A pipeline is usually just a process; almost always one with identifiable steps, and something you (or your organization) will repeat multiple times. In many fields, we just call this “work”. When I used to make salads in the crowded kitchen of an overpriced steakhouse (there, I said it!), we had a lots of pipelines. We made every shellfish platter the same way, with the same ingredients, the same presentation, and the same process. In fact, most of our mistakes and slowdowns came from someone freelancing or improvising. If you open those oysters before the ice is on the tray, you have to stash them somewhere on your tiny counter, your cousin knocks them over with a serving tray, and before you know it the two of you are screaming at each other and washing dishes for half the money.
We should have had a pipeline. read more…
The first steps towards expanding your network
If you were to meet me today, or be involved in the regional technology community, you might consider me to be a “power networker.” Over the years, I’ve amassed a substantial number of both strong and weak connections. It’s rare that I walk into a room and not instantly know a handful of people (or for someone to know me). Whenever a startup, regardless of stage, is brought up in conversation, I normally know a few people there, and often know the CEO personally.
I say this not to boast, but rather to contrast it to who I used to be – a self-labeled nobody, and the type of person who would walk in and out of a room with no-one noticing, primarily because I was too shy/introverted to engage with anyone. Heck, I was the person who, in my freshman year of college, seriously considered going home on weekends to avoid the social scene.
How do we connect the dots? Your mileage may vary, but here’s what I ended up doing to (inadvertently) go from a zero, to a heavy connector. read more…
Greetings from Murphy’s Law
You are having what we call a bad day. You forgot your umbrella in a rainstorm, you missed the train by 30 seconds, you spilled your coffee all over your shirt. Hello everyone, I’d like to introduce you to what my Irish mother calls “Murphy’s Law”. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Oh, and on top of that, you have to go to work and be chipper. Awesome.
Despite our best efforts to make life easy and simple, it’s not. I’ve used my 2.7 decades of knowledge to compile a list on how to get you through your bad day while still being nice and exemplifying the person your Mom thinks you are. read more…
(Editor’s note – This is the first post on the site we’re aware of that includes a member of the Contactually team playing the ukulele and singing. You’re just going to have to read to the end to see Elizabeth showing off some serious talent, heretofore unknown to the editorial staff of the blog.)
Meet the Force-Friender
I am gathering increasing fame, and perhaps even notoriety in DC. This is because I am what my friend Meredith describes as a “force-friender”. I meet people, I decide I want to be their friend, and I follow up to make it happen. My success rate is scarily close to 100%. It may even be 100%. I’m a power-friender. I guarantee that every one of the people I follow up with remembers exactly who am I. And will still remember, six months, one year, and two years from now.
“Now wait,” you may be thinking. “This follow-up thing. Isn’t that too simple? You can’t even get your Great Aunt Sally to remember which one of the fourteen cousins you are, much less dozens of high-level executives and big whig leads that could help you grow your career
Here’s the secret: It’s not just any old follow-up. It’s content. read more…
We’re distracting you with warnings about distractions now?
This College Humor video was making the rounds the other day.
It’s pretty good, in an intentionally un-self-aware meta kind of way, since College Humor has been baiting us into opening new browser tabs since before browsers even HAD tabs, with content like this from when I first got to college more than ten years ago. read more…
The power — and danger — of habits
Habits make all our lives easier. When something is second-nature and we no longer have to think about doing it, we can spend time and energy on more important things. If your workflow consists of highly productive habits, you’ll be able to hit your mark seemingly without effort, and even find yourself being proactive and latching on to new opportunities. Conversely, if your workflow consists of unproductive habits, you’ll be dragging your feet and constantly in a reactive mode, probably losing opportunities that come your way as you attempt to make ends meet.
Habits are powerful. As a young lad, I was involved in door-to-door sales and marketing. My manager was not the most organized—he was in the habit of mapping our route through the neighborhood when we arrived, which wasted 10-15 minutes each day. I suggested we make a small change—let’s have someone else in the vehicle do the mapping during the ride, that way we can hit the ground running. read more…
Blame Canada (just kidding)
If email marketing is as critical to your business as it is to ours, then you’ve probably heard that changes to the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL) go into effect today, July 1st, 2014. If you haven’t heard about the CASL changes, then you should pay attention too.
The changes make CASL the world’s toughest anti-spam and anti-malware legislation, and as such will majorly impact all business and individuals who use email to get in touch with prospects and customers in Canada. If you fall into this category, it’s important that you know what lies in store so that you can ensure that all of your communications fully comply with these stringent regulations.
To better understand CASL and how it will affect business in Canada and beyond, we interviewed expert Shabana Ahmad to keep us and our loyal readers informed. Read the interview below, and don’t hesitate to pass it on to any of your friends or family who might also be affected by these legal changes.
Disclaimer: Contactually’s interview with Shabana does not constitute legal advice. If you have customers or subscribers in Canada, we recommend speaking with legal council on your own behalf.
Why don’t we organize our contacts?
In theory, it’s a nice idea to follow up regularly with contacts, but for most people it never happens (including myself). Until my role at a startup two years ago demanded I figure it out.
I finally took the time to learn how to organize my contacts.
While we were growing up, no one taught us a class on “how to organize contacts.” There was no instruction about it in grade-school, high-school or even college.
You would just meet someone new, get their phone number, maybe their email, and then add it to your phone. That was the extent of organizing contacts.
Now we have the opportunity to do things differently.
I’ll share with you how I philosophically think about contacts, how that effects your way of organizing them, and how you can finally put them in order to make follow ups insanely simple. read more…