Consultant Marketing Name Change

It is not something to do lightly.

You just don’t wake up one day and decide to change the name of key communications tools that have become familiar to those you have built relationships over time.  

The day inevitably comes.

You think about it. Sleep on it. Have long dialogues within between the emotional aspect and the quiet logical voice. That conversation is one each of us must go through even though we know how it is going to come out.

Visceral wins.

Gut feeling beats the hell out of logic.  Emotion is a body blow to logic. Mood stymies reason. And so it goes.

The decision is made.

Going Forward, the Newslog is going to be called Credibility to Cash.

Why? Because the first time I saw the words written on a torn-out scrap of notebook paper I knew they were right. The right words don’t need graphic embellishment. They don’t need to be presented in new world announcement typography. When they are right, they are RIGHT.

I was in Miami at a gathering of successful speakers, coaches and entrepreneurs. All of us were intent on helping each other find ways to shake off our doldrums and take our businesses up a notch. It’s not like there were any slouches in the group. We would not have been invited if that were the case.

I had scheduled a few minutes with Jeff. His unique ability is in naming things. We talked briefly about what I was doing in my Consulting practice working with elite consultants from Singapore to Madrid to make them more memorable and more profitable. He listened, really listened and then said, “So you guide them to find a way to build credibility and that leads to generating more cash, right?”

I agreed and then he tore a piece of paper from a small notebook and wrote these words in blue ink at the bottom of the page:

            Credibility to Cash Conversion Cycle

            Credibility to Cash Conversation

I circled Credibility to Cash in red and put it in the 3-ring binder I was carrying keeping  notes at that multi-day event. That was late in May of 2021.Now I find myself at the end of the year and just getting around to implementing actions considered when the year was stretching spring-time muscles.

A name is sometimes just a beginning

That’s not to say nothing has been done. I put together a 90-day plan but it was not the one the seminar leader was driving us toward. The objective was to be a complete overhaul of the business shifting to a more powerful approach generating significant new income levels.

My 90 day plan had a physical health component as well as long term scheduling component I had to deal with. The physical component was knee replacement surgery. I came home with a newly strengthened desire to get it done and by fall proceeded to go through all the hoops to get it paid for by insurance. Unfortunately, Covid has filled the hospitals and my surgery ahs now been delayed three times.

Long term scheduling is a delight and a devilment. It is great to know you’re scheduled to speak somewhere and all the details have been taken care of, the flight, transfers, hotels. All that stuff. But Even if you are speaking virtually you need to do all the prep and continue your work with current clients.

I knew what I was going to be doing for 5 months after returning from Miami. So I squeezed what I could into my schedule. I checked off these actions in getting here to the holidays:

  • Logo design (Cristy did a magnificent job)
  • Logo design for transition (You’ll be seeing it next week)
  • Research on building, running and making a peer advisory group profitable for all who are involved
  • Action plan for shifting Blogs and Newslogs from A Different Slant to Credibility to Cash
  • Development of Brandr, a product that makes it simple and easy for consultants to add their brand to their Linked In Profile in an evening incorporating their WHY.os

We are well down the road from Credibility to Cash.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

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.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Solo DoubleTrouble

You made the break.

You decided to put your consulting career on the front burner. You decided that it is time to make that side hustle your full-time job.

Two considerations.

You need to think about two things that will make or break you. I’ll bet neither have managed to tap you on the shoulder so far. If you’re like most, you are too excited by the potential in front of you to consider these factors. Those important items that are eluding you are:

  • Team
  • Technology

Before you marshal your arguments, listen to my tale of woe.

Team

The crew you work with was probably assigned to you. Or, rather, you were assigned to it. As your career progressed you were moved from team to team. You may have decided to change companies but once again you were assigned to a team. With experience you were moved more and more into leadership but seldom if ever did you select the people on your team. At best you took on the responsibility of selecting individuals from within the organization to put into teams.

Now you are engaged in building a company. Any business coach or attorney will tell you that you need to have a business entity. No matter what form of business you decide on and no matter what title you assume, you, for the first time possibly, will be the one calling the shots. You will Have to think about teams differently.

Solos don’t have teams

That was my contention until a client pointed out that I had a group of suppliers that I worked with all the time. We were comfortable handling projects together, each of us doing what was needed, each connecting seamlessly to get things done, each a solid member of the unit that wasn’t formal but still functioned by any measure as a team.

Even then I still held that the best thinking came from individuals not teams. I cited all the geniuses of the arts and some of the discoveries in the sciences as “obvious examples”.

 Not long after that I was trying to convince the man who has now been a client for a decade that moving from doing turnarounds as a CEO or COO to Leadership and Management Consulting was significantly different and that he did not have a team in place to handle the shift.

Teams can trump persuasion.

I pointed out that That when you have C-suit initials as your title, employees have to follow your orders. They may resist, citing long standing team approaches, but long  term they must acquiesce. As a consultant you don’t have that power. You have to convince, persuade, cajole and sway them in any way you can to be effective. And the team you have in place whether they work for you full time or on a 1099 can and will impact your efficiency.

Nobody can do it all alone.

 At least not the ones I’ve come across. That was a hard lesson. It took me over 20 years to figure it out. And I was still left with a hole in my knowledge of how to select, build and lead teams starting from scratch. Like a lot of people I searched for answers. I had worried my way through just about every assessment tool you can imagine starting as a beta tester on an early one back when I worked in Denver.

Technology wasn’t the answer.

There were a couple problems with the assessments:

  1. The person you were evaluating had to take the assessment for you to get any kind of real fix on them.
  2. The training requires that you use the labels assigned by the assessment on a daily continuing basis to use it to your greatest advantage.

I found very quickly that I had to become some sort of new millennium astrologer to begin to get any use out of all the time I’d put in studying the assessments. Unfortunately my Mars in retrograde got wrapped around the axle of the conflicting moons and I found myself fizzling out dodging detritus circling Saturn even if I had the code for a people connection.

Maybe their Why is the answer.

I learned of a new piece of Software the other day. It is called the WHYos and will introduce on November 15. I went to the WhyTechnology website to learn more. I tried the free trial and in a matter of minutes was rewarded with the assessment’s view of my Why.

“Why” is associated with Simon Sinek.

He wrote a book called Start with Why back in 2009. He may be better known for a TED talk which can be seen here. He made the world cognizant of what made some individuals and organizations stand out from others. Because of Simon Sinek, a dentist in Texas began searching for software that would allow him to optimize his why.

Dr. Gary Sanchez’s WHY is to find a better way and share it.  HOW he does that is by making things clear and easy to understand.  WHAT he brings is simple solutions to help people move forward. He and his Team have worked with hundreds of thousands of individuals, as well as thousands of companies from small yoga studios to Fortune 500 Companies helping them get clear, stand out and play bigger. 

I didn’t know I was looking for that piece of software.

But I was.

I didn’t realize what a difference it could make.

Now I do. I tested it.

I was never quite sure what drew me to trying to find a better way in everything I do.

Now I understand.

Why.os is changing my life.

It will change my product launching December 15 called Linked In Brandr which guides you step-by-step to inject brand into your Linked In profile in just one evening. It will make it possible to base your brand on your why. The product was good before. Now it is great.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.

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.

Credibility to Cash TM is his latest way to share experiences so you can take your business up a notch…or two. Sign up for the unique audio/video/article Newslog here.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant marketing : The Brutal Truth About Trust

Ya got it or you don’t.

I was having coffee with a former client. He asked a favor that involved me contacting a person who had spoken for an organization I handle marketing for the slides from the presentation.

I asked why he didn’t contact the speaker direct. His answer surprised me.

“I trust you and I figure he does as well,” he said, “So he will be happy to do a favor if you ask.

It turns out he was accurate in his assessment. But before I knew that I asked him,

“I am honored by your trust but how long have I enjoyed that position?”

He responded by saying that it went back to the first time he saw me speak. The subject was 30-Second Marketing (6 minute video) I presented at meeting of the local chapter of the Institute of Management Consultants. (IMCnow).

“That was years ago,” I responded. “Since then I’ve been a consultant for your company and you’ve referred me to other profitable business and even one company you had invested in, why does that speech stand out in your mind?”

He took a sip of coffee and held up a hand. With the other he lifted one finger at a time with an ongoing commentary,

  1. That night you didn’t try to hide how to do it. You literally revealed all.
  2. I watched you use it in multiple networking situations. Each time it sounded like you just came up with it.
  3. When you trained my partners to do it our close rate doubled.
  4. You never let me down when I referred you.
  5. Over the ten years I’ve known you, you do exactly what you say you will do when you introduce yourself. What’s not to trust?

I, of course, thanked him profusely.

Are you trusted?

Think about how you are perceived by contacts and colleagues, prospects and purchasers.

Your livelihood is dependent on whether people believe in you or not.

Paying the rent is dependent on how your boss, your client or your customer perceives you.

The faith that people put in you, your brand, if you will, makes all the difference.

You need to guard that assessment of your value. Here’s how:

  • Be accountable for all your actions.
  • Do everything you do with integrity
  • Strive to be consistent
  • Build credibility by doing all those things

Then you will be trusted. If you don’t it will be brutal.

Trust will make you a candidate for Credibility to Cash. To learn more let me know in the comments.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s speaker demo reel.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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Assessments

Do you really want to know yourself?

The premise of every assessment I’ve ever seen is that you want to be analyzed so as to know yourself better and thereby:

  • Be able to build on your strengths
  • Overcome your weaknesses by knowing them
  • Build your mental toughness
  • Instill confidence and fit into the team better
  • Be more productive without sacrificing relationships

Harvard Business Review reports: “Recent research shows that about 76% of organizations with more than 100 employees rely on assessment tools such as aptitude and personality tests for external hiring. That figure is expected to climb to 88% over the next few years.”

This ain’t new

Humans have always wanted a way to predict behavior. One of those methods is available daily. Here’s part of the overall description it has for me.

Passionate, motivated, and confident leader who builds community with their cheerful disposition and relentless determination. Uncomplicated and direct in their approach, they often get frustrated by exhaustive details and unnecessary nuances.

They are people full of energy and vitality. With an intense and adventurous personality, they don’t fear anything. They’re always willing to begin new challenges and have a leader attitude which also gives them great self-security.

But they are impulsive, aggressive, and sensitive. Under stress, they will act without thinking. They are bad at facing the truth. They want self-control and get distracted by repetitive failure.

A new look

Because I’m embarking on a new program I was asked this week to work through two modern assessments. Here are the findings from one:

Strengths: Visionary; creative; optimistic; stimulating; able to inspire others; can multitask; quick to get results; great at getting things started.

Weaknesses: Poor sense of timing; impatient; over-optimistic with what others can achieve; easily distracted; terrible at getting things finished.

Successes: Best when free to create, with a team to promote and a team to watch the details. Excels when kept focused on the big picture strategy and the creative process through to the end result.

Failures: Failure comes from trying to control too much, run too fast, or expect too much of others. Creators often keep to themselves and so fail in their communication and expectations.

Notice any similarities?

The first is the description for Aries from Astrology.

The second is from the Wealth Dynamics Profiling System for Entrepreneurs.

Both are accurate. For the first, my date of birth was all that was required. For the last I spent about 30 minutes answering questions.

Behavior Prediction

The whole Idea behind assessments, ancient or modern is to reduce the risk in interpersonal relationships in all arenas of life. They are put to use when an individual is contemplating a major change. The only question is who pays for the reading.

I know that to do a really good astrological chart it is essential to have the exact date/time and location of birth of the subject. I know because I studied the work of Grant Lewi who said:

“Any good astrologer should be able to predict the date/time and place of their death.”

As I recall, he died one week after buying a million-dollar life insurance policy.

The modern assessments are easier for folks to accept being based on behavioral psychology. Asking a series of questions and seeing how they fit together can give you a relatively good picture of how the individual will perform over time. And, given today’s ability to analyze mountains of data have greater accuracy particularly in fitting together a superstar business team.

A caution

A few years ago when I was working in Denver the psychological group on the first floor asked our agency if we would be a beta group for an assessment they were developing. We accepted. They asked us to fill out a form with questions and to ask 5 “people who knew us well” to fill out the same form. When the data was collated all of us were impressed with the accuracy of the results. We tried to operate based on the new insights and found that knowing each team members strengths and weaknesses in psychological jargon was no substitute for having an increased awareness of the emotional basis of our behaviors and a little more caring.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Trust Story

Since March first I have been scheduled to speak on Trust 15 times.

I admit, I’ve been doing some outbound marketing to get some dates but the remarkable thing is that so many of these events have been booked because of the snowball effect.

For the short haul

Early on in the Pandemic I built out the Virtual presentation studio I believed would get me through a few months using gear I already had to record quality video testimonials for clients on location. Little did I know. Slowly but surely I’ve added equipment, a Logitech Brio Camera, a mike stand and Fifine Microphone, a Sony walkaround camera, upgraded Camtasia software, and even some audio switching capability.

The most difficult thing was finding a way to disquise the back wall of my office. I tried the Zoom backgrounds but decided against a green screen that would have to be rigged before each call. Then I tried some wallpaper to look like paneling. It peeled as there is a water heater behind the wall and besides that I didn’t like the partially concealed closet bifold door. Finally I found a photographers backdrop that looks like a white brick wall. It looks like the real thing on camera and disappears the closet door.

I had to learn how to use Zoom. I got educated on Hopin. And there are some other applications I’ll be working in shortly. It took a while but I’m now Virtual ready and experienced. I just haven’t had time to be certified by eSpeakers because I’ve been doing events!

Downhill and rollin’

So there I was, looking for speaking gigs. I went looking for exposure. I’d been lucky enough to have appeared for some event promoters and formed long term relationships for both live events and summits. I did every summit I could pushing for live panels rather than recorded slots in order to have the ability to do Q&A with participants and interact with hosts and other panelists.

It worked. Each summit generated other opportunities. One connected me to a Pod cast talent search engine that led to 4 pod casts. Another summit brought interest from Asia and Europe.

A week ago I went form breakfast to doing a virtual closing keynote and then to a  Virtual Pub for a London based organization. Simon, one of the founders was kind enough to make these comments.

Quotes, Stories, Facts and Figures

The title of the keynote is Trust in the New Normal. What’s Changed?

Here are some of the reasons I’m being asked to present this information:

Quotes:

  • In a panel on Lead development I said, “More is not better. Better is better and if Trust is part of that equation your return will multiply.” That led to a 20-minute discussion and two direct requests to present.
  • During one of four TV program keynotes for a Canadian Organization while presenting the elements of Trust: “You have to tell the story the same way every time. Consistency is rewarded duplicity isn’t.”

Stories:  

  • I’ve been opening each appearance with Michaels comment over a Fortune Cookie that ends: What you know matters. “Who you know can be important. BUT the single most important thing about building a business is who trusts you.”
  • My closing story will probably continue to be Margie, the Galactic Commander. I’ve told it live on 3 continents and now virtually as well. Margie’s Moxie makes all my observations about trust real with a chuckle thrown in.

Facts:

  • There is a brain chemical called Oxytocin which under lies our propensity to trust. When we’re stressed we have too little.  When we have enough we have greater empathy.
  • Scientists have found 8 management behaviors that use Oxytocin balance to make people more productive.  None of them have direct costs associated.

Figures:

  • The Edelman Annual Trust Barometer research shows that “People like me” are still more trusted than governments, media, NGOs and business.
  • The same study indicates that businesses are considered the most ethical and the most efficient and expected to lead in the New Normal.

Dates on hold

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and it is not a locomotive coming at us. I now have live dates creeping into my calendar: Las Vegas in May, San Diego in June and Dubai in late June. That’s Trust in 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. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Trust Barometer

I’ll be keynoting on Trust in April.

Every time I’m asked to present on Trust I look for new information I might bring to the audience.

Online Resources

I always start with a review of the usual suspects. That means typing “Trust Research” into Google. This time it got me this selection of the most recently published items:

  1. An article from the Harvard Business Review on The Neuroscience of Trust (from 2017)
  2. The Journal of Trust Research (Volume 10, Published in 2020)
  3. The Psychology of Trust (A book published in 2018)
  4. Trust and Power (A book published in 2018)
  5. Individual Trust and the Internet (scholarly article published in 2018)

Notice the dates. Only one is as recent as 2020. That is the first problem. The second is wading through the linguistic torture of scholarly articles where communication is sacrificed on an altar of accuracy resulting in impenetrable obfuscation.

Trusted Resources

Thank the gods of business for the Edelman Trust Barometer. Each year since 2000, this worldwide Public Relations Agency with offices in major cities around the world publishes an annual survey of trust and credibility of the world’s four major institutions – Government, Business, Media and NGOs. It is one of the longest running studies on Trust.

What makes it more important is the ongoing comparison of results it affords the viewer and the efforts of the company to find and report on those points where the findings begin to diverge from previous norms.

Diverging Trust

In the 2004 study23% of the people interviewed said they would trust someone just like them. By 2016 that percentage had increased to 82%. People trusted folks like themselves more than Businesses, institutions, Governments, and  NGOs. People like me got higher ratings than any other occupations with the exception of folks with very high Academic degrees and some attorneys. It seems they didn’t like lawyers but did respect them.

Trust Today

So where are we today? What did Edelman turn up in their most recent survey?

  • Income inequality is the most significant factor in developed countries like the USA
  • 56% of the population worldwide believe that Capitalism does more harm than good in today’s world
  • 83% of employees fear losing their jobs
  • Government and media are perceived to be incompetent and unethical
  • Business is seen as the only competent institution

Business stakeholders now expect more from companies.

 “A stunning 92 percent of employees surveyed in the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer say that they expect their employer’s CEO to speak up on one or more issues ranging from income inequality to diversity and training for jobs of the future. Seventy-three percent of employees expect a prospective employer to offer the opportunity to shape the future of society in a positive way.”

Richard Edelman

The Edelman 2019 “In Brands We Trust?” study reported that nearly two-thirds of consumers buy based on their beliefs, and 81 percent agree that “a brand I can trust” is one of their top reasons for purchase.

Trust Boiled Down

Customers and employees are now over five times more important to a company’s long-term success than shareholders.

Business is considered to be the best at getting things done. But is faulted on ethics. Research conducted in 2020 indicated that ethical attributes drive 76 percent of the trust capital of organizations, while competence drives 24 percent.

Trust in the light

CEOs, Presidents and Owners of companies have a chance to step up Here’s what is needed:

  • Take the lead in partnering with government and other institutions
  • Pay decent wages and retrain those replaced by technology
  • Speak up for what is right starting now

In my view, the stepping stones from start up to skyrocket now include a need to be outspoken in word and deed. Speak the truth even when it is uncomfortable. Act as if you were not campaigning for the next rung on the ladder. Solve the Trust paradox. Your employees and customers are counting on you.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Juggernaut

I was zooming today with the founder of an organization using Mighty Networks as the software they use to manage their expanding community.

One of the reasons he cited for that selection was the ability to provide a deep repository for content.

Lots of content

Here’s what he said he and his partner have as weekly goals for content production:

  • 2 blogs each
  • 2 podcasts each
  • 2 videos each of 3 to 5 minutes or longer
  • 2 articles each of 2000 to 8000 words
  • 2 pass alongs of materials of interest to the community from each of them
  • 2 subject driven webinars 90 minutes each
  • 2 open discussion round tables 90 minutes each
  • Social media directed to lead magnets derived from articles, blogs and an annual survey

If I wanted to make use of all that information it would take me about 4 hours minimum.

I don’t have that kind of time

I have a business to run. I’ve drunk from a similar fire hose before. When you add the inconvenience of the hours when the webinars occur (during the working day) and the fact that I’m involved with users of Mighty Networks in Hong Kong, London and Ottawa with similar scopes of operation and all with thriving communities I could literally spend my days wandering the earth and absorbing information linked virtually arm in arm with active communities.

Ya gotta be picky and other tricks.

Here’s how I stay connected and still manage to keep my business thriving:

  • I plan my weeks to assure blocks of time for clients.
  • Each client has a block of time assigned each week for regularly occurring required actions
  • Each client has a block of time each week for thinking about their strategy and where we can get more or better traction
  • Each client has a block of time set aside for analysis of current activities and consideration of modifications to strengthen them
  • Each week has a working day devoted to Content development
  • Speech scripting, revising, personalization by event
  • New lead magnets (booklets up to 96 pages, Infographics, Checklists, worksheets, etc.)
  • Blog and Newslog development to include recording and editing audio and video components and uploading them to Vimeo and YouTube
  • Books, for example one for entrepreneurs on how to use speaking to build a business
  • Speaking professionally requires a great deal of sales activity. The assistance of my VA is invaluable in this regard. Her ability to do the research necessary to find data on upcoming venues has freed up days of time for me. Now, all I must do is:
  • Review the options found. Verify their possibility and have them posted in my speaking CRM
  • Contact the Meeting professionals involved in a sequence of contacts using, in most cases, e-mail, Linked In, telephone and/or Zoom
  • Once a presentation is booked it is a matter of a follow up sequence to assure that we accomplish the organizations goals for the meeting.
  • I look for alternative views regardless of the delivery medium
  • Viciously defend your time by looking at the indicators of what the content really has. Is it a rehash? Skip it. Does it challenge what “everybody knows?” Look a little deeper. Does it straight out come at things from a Different Slant? If you find good ones, stick with them.
  • Podcasts can be listened to at 2x. Yes. If the subject is worth it but not during the day. Push it into the evening or on a daily walk. Don’t waste production time.
  • Video. Never watch in working hours. When you do tune in be sure it is a subject with a presenter that is going to give you something to think about. I prefer reviewed items like TED talks, personally.
  • Use what you’ve learned
  • Your prospect doesn’t have all day to be involved with your content. Be succinct. Do not “work up to the good stuff.” Prospects want the best you’ve got right out of the chute. A very, very, few will be able to run with what you tell them. Most will come back multiple times to “sit at your feet.”
  • In time, they will need to work directly with you either in a one to one or a one to many program in order to get the outcomes they envisioned. The fact is that they will never be able to see things from your unique perspective and find the solutions they are seeking.
  • Keep making the offer even after they have completed our course. Repeating a course can easily be sold especially if you allow them to bring a friend.

Meanwhile back at the ranch

Well, I’ve gobbled up all my content time for the day, so I’ll sign off with a final quote:

“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
― Franklin Delano Roosevelt

And so it goes

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

See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Focus

I was in the Army. I should have learned then. I didn’t.

I volunteered.

It wasn’t like I hadn’t done it before. That was years ago for the organization. A whole new set of officers had come and gone for the local chapter of a national organization. The only one I knew from before is the current chapter president. They had no one in the Marketing director slot and I could tell from the communications that the President was drowning.

I said I would build a strategic marketing plan and supervise the tactical implementation on the agreement that my Virtual assistant would be paid for the work I would ask her to do to get the organization on a scheduled basis.

A simple question

I asked in an e-mail, “Do we have a web site, an e-mail service and a way to register people for events and any social media that the chapter uses?”

Sounds simple, right? Should take a yes or no and if yes than a time to connect in a phone call to convey the username and password.

Should is the operative word. There was no website so I was asked to join the President on a Zoom call. I listened as he connected with GoDaddy to get a cheap web site that would be sufficient to the chapter’s needs. That took two hours between explaining why a personal site would not work, waiting for a connection to GoDaddy and his exploration of how to save money by using personal credits.

Stop writing in code!

He agreed to send me the connection details (User name and Password) for the new web site, Mail Chimp and EventBrite accounts as well as the social media accounts. I agreed to take part of my Sunday evening to begin work on the web site. I could not get into the site to begin the design process.  The information he had sent was minus one letter in the password. Rather than call him after 10:00 PM on a Sunday I sent an e-mail stating the problem.

The following morning he sent an entirely different password. That didn’t work either. I decided to call him, request the data and try it while I had him on the phone. He insisted on sending me e-mails in a kind of code and then talking me through how to decode the information to get into the applications. Two hours later I had the basic information I needed. Then we started on the same merry go round for social media. Somehow he set up a new twitter account while we working through decoding how to get into the Linked In and Facebook accounts.

Can I hire you?

He asked me that as we were wrapping up Having spent nearly a day’s time total just getting to the point where I can begin to try to straighten things out, You can understand why I was hesitant to respond.

I queried his reasons for asking. His practice has declined and he has lost some clients and some he was assisting in succession/buyout were slowed because of the Covid.Pandemic.

He noted that his volunteer position in the chapter was eating a lot of his time.

There was a long silence when I told him my absolute minimum fee and noted that I worked only with a handful of elite consultants on a retainer basis.

Focus I said.

  1. “You let me worry about marketing the chapter. Forget it until you get a plan from me to evaluate.
  2. Shift your attention to assuring your paying clients are getting the service they expect and then some.
  3. Pick up the phone and call past satisfied clients. The script you should use is:
  4. I’m just checking in to make sure you have your plans in place as we go into 2021
  5. If not, you know I understand your busines from our past work together. I may be able to help you get to answers more quickly.
  6. Glad all is going well. I have some time available right now. Is there anyone you know that I could help? I’d appreciate a referral.
  7. Sounds like an interesting situation. Why don’t you invite them to lunch on me with the two of us or a joint Zoom call if we can’t get together because of Covid regulations.
  8. Let your former client talk about how you deal with the kind of problems the referral has.
  9. When he or she has made it clear you can handle the situation, suggest that you meet with the referral source at his/her office to gather the information it will take for you to put together a value-based proposal

Focus

Never forget consulting is a business. No matter how much you want to help people. No matter how much you want to change the world. No matter how good volunteering makes you feel. You still have to pay the bills. You still have to get results. The outcome of your efforts needs to be a net gain in revenues as well as social capital.

If you’re time isn’t sellin’ out your practice is shellin’ out..

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com

Consultant Marketing Doveryay no Proveryay

Jim sent a link.

I was for an article in the New York Times. In it the writer, Bret Stephens summed up his concerns under this headline: Donald Trump and the Damage Done

The key

As Mr Stephens put it, “Trump was a corrosive. What he mainly corroded was social trust — the most important element in any successful society.” Near the end of the article he noted why Trust was his choice in explaining his views. He quoted from an article written by Statesman George Shultz published in the Washington Post on the occasion of his 100th birthday:

 “When trust was in the room, whatever room that was — the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room — good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.”

Consider that simple but powerful observation from a Marine who came back from the Pacific theater and served in 4 different cabinet posts for three US presidents.

Trust is the coin of the realm

Not my words. His. An elegant summary to a century of observation:

  • As a child he came from a loving home where Trust was a constant.
    Did you learn Trust at your parents’ knees?
  • As a Marine he lost the man he trusted with his life, his sergeant. Those of us who have served know the bonds of battle. Like George they inform our views for the rest of our lives.
  • As a graduate student he observed how a union negotiator could get labor and management on the same page by building Trust. Have you thought about how giving a little, seeing the other sides perspective, trusting just a little can make great things happen?
  • Throughout his career in government he saw that genuine empathy is essential in establishing solid, trusting relationships. Can you get into the other side’s mindset? Can you make them understand that you, too, have experienced events that are like theirs?
  • As Secretary Of State he was responsible for the treaty with Russia helping eliminate intermediate-range Nuclear weapons. He gave the credit for that to President Reagan noting that the President had nurtured a trusting relationship with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and that Reagan’s approach: Trust but Verify increased trust and in doing so made verification easier.

Doveryay, no proveryay

That is Trust but Verify in Russian. It seems that it is an old Russian maxim which President Reagan discovered in conversation with Mr. Gorbachev. They chuckled over this application of Russian words expressed by an American President (with apologies for his pronunciation) when they were signing the treaty.

Trust is the coin of the realm.

With Trust we can conquer anything. My hope is that in the coming year we can use Trust to:

  • Eliminate Covid 19 across the earth
  • Stop the insidious growth of fascism and replace it with democracy
  • Craft a cure for racism, establish equal justice and the rule of law

Tell the story

Trust doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Telling a story helps make your case in a way that no abstraction can: A story builds an emotional bond, and emotional bonds build trust.

Craft your story to build trust carefully. Make sure if is from your heart. People can tell if you are trying to fool them because it is human nature to Trust but Verify.

And so it goes

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and CEO of Z-axis Marketing, Inc.
See Jerry’s new speaker demo reel.

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.

Consulting: https://www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking:  https://www.NetworkingNinja.com