Stir Crazy

I had lunch with a client yesterday.

Neither of us could stand being at home alone for another day. We did sit on opposite sides of the conference table which is just by chance about 6 feet across. The food was ordered and paid for online. He told me that when he picked it up the only people in the restaurant were a cook and a waitress. She put the bag with his order on the counter then stepped back saying, “Here’s your order. Thank you.”

Lockdown is unhealthy

While we ate we talked about the impact on our lives the lockdown for COVID-19 is having. Both of us are used to going to the gym daily during the week, He’s been at it much longer than me and the forced abandonment of the daily routine is depressing him. Me, I just find it impossible to sit still. Legs jitter. I can’t focus on a task.

Both of us have resorted to walking in our neighborhoods as a way around the suffocating requirement to stay at home. I’ve now built a nodding acquaintance with more of my neighbors than in the last year. The hardest part for both of us has been foregoing petting the many dogs being walked that have befriended us.

We are social creatures

Both of us remarked on the discomfort of not being able to have a conversation with people we’ve never met before. We’re used to talking to everybody like the barber, the mail carrier, a person in line at the store, small business owners at a chamber meeting, the clerk at the bank, you name it.

A part of us winds up feeling unfulfilled and I, for one, believe it drags me down. Phone calls to friends and acquaintances are not the same. Zoom meetings with some new folks can help but it is not the same as being up close and personal.

Trillions won’t help.

I heard the Senate had passed a bill providing a couple trillion-dollar stimulus package to keep the country going when businesses are shuttered and employees are without income. I understand the reasoning. And I understand why one element is trying to get the government to allow the country to go back to work as soon as possible.

I believe the damage has already been done. For too long the people of this country have operated without a emergency fund as part of their individual or family budget. If the shelter at home order were lifted today we would still have to deal with massive numbers of people out of work again. I agree with the experts that say it will take months to get back to a “new normal.”

Fear is clingy

One of my clients had to postpone two speaking engagements. One was for a new product/service he was about to introduce which we were looking at rolling out to the entire west coast. The other was for a proven program that he offers with a Mergers and Acquisitions attorney and an Investment Banker.

So far, my speaking schedule has not been impacted. I’m confirmed for a keynote in Los Angeles in July as well as Las Vegas and San Diego in November. But I’ve suspended my marketing efforts while I put a new practice running piece of software in place and finalize hiring a virtual assistant. That should be wrapped up next week.

Associations and businesses have all stopped talking to speakers, trainers and consultants. Fear of putting a meeting of more than 10 people together has brought planning to a standstill. Venues are closed. Catering is not available. Transportation and housing are shut down.

Golfers may have an out.

My inventor client who has a product in the golf market is continuing to sell his putting device as it can be used indoors even in a lockdown and since it is delivered by mail he can get it to those who order.

As part of his involvement with the sport he monitors what golf clubs are doing. They are still very much in business. He tells me they responded to the lockdown with these actions:

  • Renting carts to individuals only unless the two people are from the same family
  • Removing all items from the course like ball washers that people might touch
  • No longer providing rakes for the sand traps
  • Changed rules so that the pin (flag stick) is never touched
  • Added a cylinder of spongy material to the base of the flag stick so balls can be easily retrieved

Courses are, of course, maintaining the six-foot distance in pro shops and recommending that players schedule and pay on-line.

Amazon and Netflix score big

My buddy Bill, a recovering attorney, as he puts it called this morning to ask if I was stir crazy yet. I allowed as how I was coping but not as well as would have liked. He noted that in order to escape their apartment, he and his wife had started taking walks daily.

And he admitted that Amazon and Netflix had allowed them to keep their sanity by streaming all sorts of programming but their favorites were the old TV series. He admitted binge watching both old variety shows and series that were indulgent pleasures of the past.

He’s not the first I’ve heard that from. Some other friends have reported signing up for those two streaming services (and others) just to have an intelligent choice of TV watching

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for unique on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.


Pride goes before


I thought this quote from the King James Bible was, “Pride goeth before a fall”

The actual quote is: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

It characterizes the attitude prevalent in Washington DC and adherents of the current resident of the white house.

Agent Orange and his minions turned a deaf ear when the CDC warned of COVID-19.

The President of the United States lied and then did not retract his comments when confronted directly by knowledgeable health officials in the same briefing. He should be ashamed and apologize.

The President of the United States said this pandemic was caused by the Chinese. That blatant racist comment was picked up and repeated by media that fawns on his stupidity. He should be ashamed and apologize.

The President of the United States repeatedly said his administration was in control and responding to every need of the citizens of this country. He should be ashamed and apologize.

I pray that those words are not prophetic.

The initial lack of action may have led to the destruction of many innocent lives. The total ineptitude of a congress hamstrung by partisan politics and the limited intelligence of some members, particularly the republicans that put religion before science, will destroy our economy as well as lives that could have been saved by simply listening.

All of it can be laid at the doorstep of the haughty spirit of partisanship.

The states and cities have had to take the lead. They found the ways to coordinate the efforts to segregate those infected. The federal government initially said a lot and did damn little. Yes, they have picked up the pace but now are threatening to go too far and in part that is caused by the left putting too great a value on government control. That could lead to a fall none of us wants.

Yes, there is a pandemic.

People are going to die. The government in the USA is playing catch up. We have no swabs to do testing because they are not manufactured here but have been ordered from Italy. Last I looked, Italy had significant virus problems of their own. But, as reported this morning they may have found a way to significantly reduce new infections. I doubt that the US Government will learn from them.

We can avert some of the health problems.

The advice to hunker down, avoid crowds, use good medical hygiene and monitor yourself for symptoms is all helpful and just might slow the infection rate. But until everyone can be tested to assure that those who have it can be isolated, it is a crapshoot.

We cannot avoid the economic disaster.

The entertainment industry, restaurants, bars, theaters, museums, libraries, exhibits of all kinds may never recover. The travel industry will come back but how long can the skills necessary to make all the elements function continue without practice? Most of us are jesting now over TV and radio shows being done without audiences. But as a professional speaker I can tell you that the audience is a part of every performance and very quickly we will find the attempts to entertain in this unconventional way will prove wanting.

Our government is on the brink of sending out checks. Who will pay for them? The apparent expectation is that the people out of work will be able to “get back to normal” within 6 months. I will not hold my breath regarding that eventuality.

We will be faced with a new world

This happened around the world not just in the USA. Others felt the full impact before we did here in the USA. We didn’t help and for that we should all be ashamed. Perhaps it will help all of us to understand that this is one world and though we have differences we are all connected.

I detested this phrase when I first heard it, but I believe as a result of this pandemic that it will be fitting as we go into 2021: Welcome to the new normal.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.


Consultant Marketing From Nobody to Somebody


Normally I don’t sell from the stage when I speak. At least not for the last 15 years.

I just about always collect contact data to begin a relationship.

I always  take  the time to visit with anyone interested in learning more.

A salute to product.

As a result of a consulting contract an event manager has asked me to speak at three of his events later this year. He specifically wants me to sell 30-Second Marketing TM from the stage because it supports and adds to the planned experience of the program.

You missed one thing

My report said that overall the 2-day event had been well done and provided some unexpected presenters and subjects. “But,” I said, “You missed one thing. The people that attend these entrepreneurial events come in two varieties:

  • Men and women completely new to start-ups
  • Experienced entrepreneurs trying to avoid further failures

Both of those groups need one thing that they generally don’t get in on-line or in-person events.”

They need a brand but no one tells them how to build one.

I said, “Your program talked about all the social media needed to get to a mass market brand. It was excellent in that regard but provided no solid method to develop the words that would set an individual apart. Brands are built one contact at a time. One gem of a contact plus another and another until you have a string of them. Like a string of pearls. You have to be memorable to one person before you can be remembered in the same way by a crowd.

From Nobody to Somebody

Three seconds is all you’ve got to go from Nobody to Somebody. That’s true in person or on line. How you answer the question, “What do you do?” will make you stand out from the crowd or continue in oblivion.

A Memorable Hook is just the beginning

You can get to Trust, build a brand and generate referrals in 10 seconds if you have the right words.

The right words

You think through the conversation before it happens so you can find the right words.

You don’t have to come up with something on the fly.

You can truly connect with people by using the right words.

  • The right words… Can make you memorable in a heartbeat.
  • The right words…can generate trust as you introduce yourself
  • The right words…allow people to sort themselves into prospect or referral sources
  • The right words…can establish a brand in the time it takes to speak them

Moving from Vision to Product

Most entrepreneurs have the ability to have others connect with their vision. They start with family and friends and expand to other funding resources but then comes the time to sell their product or service in order to be successful and they are stymied.

They have to stop selling the vision and start selling the product or service. Then they have to expand that market or get faster repeat.

The right words make the difference.

The formula is all about the words. It always includes a Hook, a Hold, a Pitch and a Close.

The Hook changes your generic title to something Memorable in the vernacular that inextricably includes your name.

The Hold must be presented in the prospect’s words with full understanding of their fears, ambitions, concerns and perceived risks.

The Pitch must be definitive in how your process or ability or approach delivers that is not available elsewhere while giving them an easy way to explain it to someone else they believe it will fit.

The Close is more about taking an order when they are ready to buy than selling. Yes, give them concrete examples of what you’ve done for others. Talk about outcomes you’ve delivered.

Then there is the guarantee.

If you operate in the English Language and fully participate in an in person or on-line 30-Second MarketingTM Workshop and can’t develop words that work based on your fellow student’s viewpoint, I will give you three hours of my personal assistance, If, after that your fellow students still say it is a lost cause you get your money back. No ifs, ands or buts.

And so it goes


Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing and Brand development advice that builds businesses, brands and lives of joy.