Could Someone Translate It into English?

Upon arriving at the office one morning, I opened my Microsoft Outlook and saw this email:

Hello Jeff. I am writing to find out who at your company would be responsible for evaluating suite-of-services solutions that expand your competitive advantage across the enterprise.

Huh?

“Suite-of-services solutions.” “Competitive advantage across the enterprise.” Could someone translate that into English for me?

If this salesperson’s goal was to promptly get his email deleted, he succeeded. I can’t think of any reason on Earth why a prospect would bother responding to such a message. Not only is it a red warning flag that a salesman is stalking you, the message is full of annoying junk language.

Sadly, junk language is not limited to email sales pitches. It’s seemingly everywhere in today’s business world.

I’m amazed at the drivel that too often comes from the mouths of professionals at networking events. Go to any cocktail party mixer, ask someone what they do, and you might get an answer that sounds something like this:

“I engage progressive, forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies that are seeking to shift their paradigm and adopt more of a global platform. I facilitate the development of strategic, integrated, highly actionable management solutions, which will boost their bottom line.”

Whatever.

When people talk like this, they’re trying to sound impressive. Unfortunately, when we use twenty-five-dollar words, industry jargon and the latest, in-style buzzwords, we end up sounding anything but impressive. Convoluted double-speak is often used to cover up the fact that the speaker really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.

Plain English, carefully crafted and skillfully delivered, is far more impressive than the gobbledygook that too many people believe sounds “intellectual.”

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

It’s Time to Take the Initiative

By Jeff Beals

“Plough deep while sluggards sleep.” That advice comes from Benjamin Franklin, someone who knew what it took to succeed in life.

Successful people are always on the move. They get things done when they need to be done. Successful people are not afraid to keep working when less accomplished people are taking time off.

Attaining your definition of success requires you to take the initiative, to be a self-starter. Nobody else can do the heavy lifting required for you to reach the pinnacle of your existence. Sure, you need to delegate and engage the talents of others, but it’s up to you to actually make your goals happen.

Don’t wait for opportunities to present themselves to you. That’s too passive. It makes you dependent on other people and external conditions you can’t control. Instead, be assertive. Go out into the world and make your own opportunities. Create your own luck.

While the economy will someday boom again, recent economic happenings have fundamentally changed the business world forever. As we continue our recovery from the Great Recession, our work will grow more complicated, fast-paced and dependent upon ever-changing, cutting-edge ways of thinking.

In such an economic environment, there is no room for passivity or procrastination. That’s unfortunate, because most of us have a tendency to procrastinate. How ironic would it be if you put off taking the initiative? Don’t procrastinate. Take the initiative and set yourself up for long-term career and life success.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

How to Harness the Media’s Awesome Power

By Jeff Beals

“Story Idea: 50% Off U.S. Real Estate; Expert Explains Bargains for Foreign Investors.”

“Let me know if you would like an advance copy and a chance to interview the author.”

“Does this sound like a story that would interest your listeners? If so, just hit “reply” to book an interview.”

These are the types of messages that inundate my email account every morning. Publicists representing experts, authors and consultants constantly implore me to schedule their clients on my radio show.

We book less than 10 percent of these guest experts, yet the persistent publicists keep pitching the same people over and over. Why? The publicists and their clients have so much at stake. They desperately need to win over radio hosts like me, because few things in the world are more effective in promoting a person than free news coverage, better known as “earned media.”

The media are powerful. For relatively small effort and cost, you can reach a mass audience. Therefore, whether marketing yourself or your company, it makes sense to harness the media’s power. To do that more effectively, consider the following tips:

1. Build relationships and establish rapport with journalists in your market area. Make sure they understand who you are and what interesting and newsworthy information you are qualified to provide.

2. Remember journalists are under pressure to fill space and time. Frequently pitch new material and offer to “localize” national or international stories that relate to your area of self marketing expertise. Look for excuses to be in the news.

3. Make journalists’ lives easier by providing them with hard-to-find, fascinating information that other media outlets have not yet reported.

4. Be quick in returning calls or emails from the media. If you delay, they may grow impatient and interview your competitor instead of you.

5. Be very forgiving. Unless a journalist makes a mistake that humiliates you or damages your competitive standing, let it go when you are unhappy with his or her reporting. The only thing you accomplish when you complain to journalists is to guarantee they will never call you again.

6. Keep in mind that journalists have egos. If you get an interview, one of your primary jobs is to make the interviewer look good.

7. Assume that nothing is “off the record” unless you have a close friendship with the journalist.

8. Avoid clichés and don’t use too much politically correct language.

9. Don’t ramble on with lengthy answers. I recently interviewed a business leader who just released a new book. Her answer to my first question lasted six minutes. That’s FOREVER in radio time.

10. Strike a balance – be professional but flash a little charisma.

Once you master these media relations tips, you’re well on your way to harnessing the media’s awesome power. That, in turn, will impress your clients and leave your competitors shaking their heads.

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 

  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.

Your Personal Target Audience

by Jeff Beals

Seven billion is an overwhelmingly large number.

That’s the approximate number of people now living on planet Earth. The thought of marketing a product or service to all seven billion is a staggering thought, but fortunately, marketers focus on niches, narrow slices of the population. The trick is to identify the appropriate slice.

The same thing applies when marketing yourself, for you are a product. You are a brand.

In order to promote yourself effectively, you need to become a celebrity in your own “sphere of interest.” Every professional has a sphere of interest. It’s your own narrow slice of the population. You could also call it a “personal target audience.” It’s comprised of those people, who in any way, can help you reach your goals – clients, prospective clients, those who refer clients, someone who could hire you, someone who could get you on a coveted committee or board.

Among these people, you need to be famous. When someone in your personal target audience needs the services or products you provide, your name and face should pop into their minds. When someone is looking for people to invite to a special occasion, your name needs to be at the top of the list. You are a highly desired person in your community or industry when a large number of people in your personal target audience have heard of you.

But before you can become a celebrity, you need to determine who is in your personal target audience. This is determined by your career, life mission, goals and personality.

Once you know who is in your personal target audience, manage it carefully. Just like a company managing its prospective clients, you as an individual must diligently manage your personal target audience and lavish attention upon it. The people in your personal target audience are precious, critical to your success.

If you tend to your personal target audience, it will yield positive results and help you achieve greater personal and professional success.

Now that we have established this, it’s time to think about your personal target audience. What types of people need to know about you? Where are they? How do you reach them?

There may be billions of people in today’s loud and crowded marketplace, but it’s liberating to know that you can become famous enough by chasing only a minuscule percentage of them. In order to get your message to connect with the right niche, think about what you do and who is in your personal target audience. 

*****

You are welcome to forward this article (with author citation) to friends, colleagues, clients or anyone else who might benefit from it.

Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics: 
  1. “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
  2. “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
  3. “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”
These presentations are energetic, humorous and packed full of valuable information. To discuss booking a presentation, go to JeffBeals.com or call (402) 637-9300.