3 Wordplay Tricks For Winning Big Deals

July 1st, 2015

Businessman-Thinking1Your winning in business cannot depend on others taking a lot of time to understand you and what you mean. If you have had a cover letter and resume simply go into the email trash bin of an HR department, without your receiving even an acknowledgment of your existence, you know you haven’t mastered the language of getting attention, much less a positive response.

Saying what you mean – and getting a positive response – is akin to winning at Scrabble or Words with Friends. You have to be strategic in your thinking. You have to play the game, being tactically superior to others.

Words are what make the difference between your getting what you want or not. It’s not your good intentions that gets you a job or a new client. It’s not your sincerity. It’s not your big heart. It’s not your ability to work hard.

You must frame your position, argument or proposition in a winning way, one that generates a specific, positive response.

Here are three wordplay tricks that you might put to use.

  1. Take out as many pronouns as possible when you tell a story. Make it less about you, and more about the recipient of your effort. Big tip: don’t start with “I.” For example,

DON’T SAY:

I volunteer every Monday evening at the food pantry on Main Street, because I want to give back to people. I am especially drawn to families with kids, who are struggling to get on their feet. I worry they only have that one meal to look forward to, and I want to make a difference in their lives by bringing groceries and serving them dinner.

DO SAY:

One out of every six kids in America is “food insecure.” It’s hard to believe, but that many kids wake up not knowing if they’ll have a meal that day. So you’ll find me every Monday evening at the food pantry on Main Street, bringing groceries and serving dinner to families gathered there for perhaps their only meal of the day.

  1. Lead with what your recipient gets, rather than frame your offer about what you receive. For example,

DON’T SAY:

I want a compensation package of $117,000 annually as well as a modest moving allowance and a guaranteed expense account of $2500 per month for client entertainment.

DO SAY:

It’s great to have the opportunity to discuss compensation with you. I can meet all the job objectives as well as the quotas for production you have outlined and arrive ready to work on the day you prefer, for a salary of $117,000 annually as well as a modest moving allowance and a guaranteed expense account of $2500 per month for client entertainment.

  1. Kill your habit of saying: “like,” “you know,” and “I mean.” For example,

DON’T SAY:

At my last job, you know, I had a lot of responsibility. I mean, I worked overtime like three days a week for like months.

DO SAY:

At my last job, the amount of responsibility given to me required my working overtime three days a week on average for several months.

Some people don’t like these types of wordplay “tricks” because they believe it’s not authentic to change your natural speaking pattern. However, consider that your aspirations may have outgrown the way you express yourself. It may be time to strategically approach communication. These three tactical changes may jumpstart your success.

Do you have a worrisome speaking habit or are you looking to frame a delicate issue in the most diplomatic way? Tell me your concern and I will help. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject: Speech

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Two Ways To Improve the Odds in Your Favor

June 24th, 2015

ContinuousImprovement_300Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity. Improving your odds of winning – being lucky and landing a fantastic job, well-paying new clients, a sold-out audience for your workshop, a big promotion or bonus depends on preparation and opportunity. AKA luck.

That’s why some people are always lucky. And, some people have no luck.

There is a trap door you may haven fallen through in life’s journey so far. It’s what puts you below our awareness. It drops you off our radar when we are looking to hire. It makes you invisible when we need someone who does exactly what you do. It makes you appear inferior even when you could be in fact, the very best at what you do. It cripples your good intentions.

That trap door is clarity. For you to be lucky – to be prepared and conscious of opportunities that fulfill your dreams – you must be completely and totally clear about what you want. Or what I call: what you really, really want.

Clarity is a synonym for commitment in this case. As you know, many people are commitment-phobic. You might be accustomed to thinking about commitment in terms of romantic relationships. There are self-help books about falling in love with people who can’t commit. The books all end the same way. The best advice: run away from people who are commitment phobic. You can only lose if you stay attracted and attached to them.

That’s how employers feel. How prospective clients feel. How investors feel.

We can feel your lack of clarity. We can sense your lack of commitment. I don’t mean in a romantic relationship, of course. I mean in a business relationship.

This is what a lack of clarity and commitment sound like:

“I hope I can …”

“I think I might …”

“If someone gave me …”

Having met thousands of people talking about their businesses and careers in this way, I now know why employers, and prospective clients or investors run away from the people who lack clarity and commitment.

You appear to want to burden us with your needs. How? You want us to imagine you. You want us to be clear on what you want. You want us to make your luck.

We don’t want to.

It is up to you describe exactly what you want – what you really, really want – in its most minute detail. The first person you should tell is yourself. Then, go about preparing yourself for exactly what you want. Take the classes or workshops. Do the reading. Follow the thought leaders. Practice and prepare. You’ll be amazed how the right opportunities land right in front of you. And how quickly your dreams become reality.

How should you start getting clear and committed? Be able to answer this question. If I called you up tomorrow, and said, “I have an amazing opportunity for you!” What would I be talking about? Just so you know, over ten years I have asked this question of thousands of people. In a decade, only three have been able to answer it on-the-spot.

What would you say is an amazing opportunity for you? Let me know. I might help you find it. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Amazing

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Are You from Another Planet?

June 17th, 2015

ASK-QUESTIONBefore you talk to a recruiter or hiring manager, ask yourself: “Am I from another planet?” Because you might be, when it comes to expectations, environment, hierarchy, and all sorts of corporate culture.

The number one reason why most people lose out on bigger salaries, plus a moving allowance, expense account and even a down payment on a house is?

You don’t know to ask for it.

If the “planet” you’re from has a culture that includes “don’t ask for more than we think you deserve,” you are leaving money, benefits, and perquisites on the table.

Your current planet might be a business where you are working, or it might be your family culture, where you never understood how much money came in and where it all went.

If you are a second child, your “family planet” has really compromised your asking ability.

After all, your eldest sibling had the “first mover advantage.”

A second child’s life is lived like you’re behind Microsoft, Apple, Oakley, Iron Man and Henry Ford’s Model T. The eldest child naturally has a winner take all mentality.

If you fall anywhere behind the eldest, you got trickle down everything. Clothes, bedroom furniture, books, music, computer, video game console and pie (or whatever dessert was left over after numero uno was full). Stuff just trickled down on little lucky you.

Of course, your life might not have been that harsh. And, you might be the eldest or only child (like the great majority of US astronauts and presidents).

If you are the eldest, you got treated either too well or too harshly.

The parental units either doted on you or cut their teeth on you.

If you’re an only child, you have been on your own planet for too long. You might lack empathy, patience and agreeableness. That makes you a great mergers and acquisitions executive, but a difficult employee all the way up the ladder to that post.

The truth is: no one has it easy interviewing at a new company. It’s a new planet. You don’t know what to expect. It’s hard to get ready for the unknown.

I worked at seven major media companies and Global 2000 corporations. Each one was a planet onto itself. Some had less gravity, thinner air, and way better perqs. Some had more gravity, thicker air and way less of everything else.

When I became a consultant, I realized that I was on a different planet with every phone call, meeting and strategy session. The ability to recognize that old rules do not apply, is imperative to your success. The ability to read the landscape and the people on it is mission critical.

My advice to you is “stay in the moment,” when you are in conversations with people you do not yet know.

Do not go forward with your old mindset.

You cannot imagine what is so much better and how to get it – if you persist in believing that you know how it is everywhere. And, you won’t know what to avoid, if you’re coming from a happy place and into a darker one.

A basic rule: ask for more than you think you deserve. Ask for a moving allowance. Ask for car service. Ask for a down payment on a house. And, if you think the company’s going to go places, get stock.

What is your biggest salary negotiation question? Ask me and I will answer. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com Subject line: Salary

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Have You Made A Really Big Mistake?

June 10th, 2015

Frustrated-businessman-011-430x258The truth about your success is pretty grim. Success shines a light on your mistakes. Success often comes from the lessons you learned. They are most often carved out of experiences where you did not win. Where you lost, but got back up. Where you failed, but stood up to take another chance.

Your victories owe a huge debt to whatever keeps you going. In a word, we might call that thing: Persistence. Resilience. Patience.

Those words are all about your personal brand. They are all about what you have to bring to the fight, from the strength of your own work ethic, mental fortitude and psychological well-being.

But there are many mistakes from which you cannot pull yourself up without the help of others. These mistakes aren’t simple ones. They are the real big ones that happen at work. They are the ones that can destroy your career.

A client of mine is in finance. One mistake on a spreadsheet nearly cost her an entire lifetime of building up to the vaulted position she held. Yes, human error is still possible in the computation age. In the era of spreadsheets, a single human error on a data point cascades throughout the entire analysis (since the computation takes that error and spreads it like a virus).

So, no amount of persistence, resilience or patience could “cure” that mistake.

What saved my client was not anything she could do on her own. Not Persistence. Not Resilience. Not Patience.

Relationships saved her.

Kindness. Goodwill. Compassion.

You see, she had given these gifts to the people around her. Her boss. Her subordinates. Her peers. Her vendors. Since the day she was on the job, she showed them. Kindness. Goodwill. Compassion. It paid off. It’s called the Rule of Reciprocity. She earned what she received, even though she had hoped she would never need it.

In this life, you will be much more imperfect than perfect. You will make more mistakes than should be tolerated by your organization, by your boss or by yourself.

The smartest people are the kindest ones. They are betting realistically on the future. They know they will need forgiveness.

Would you like to tell me about a mistake you made, one that worries you? I’ll send back my best career coaching advice. Email: Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Mistake

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

The 3 Job Interview Questions You Never Expect

May 27th, 2015

Would you be shocked into dumbfounded silence, if a hiring manager asked you these three questions in a job interview?

 

 

1. What have you invented?

2. What is your greatest achievement in life?

3. When have you stood up to authority?

What? These are BIG questions, taken from a real interview. They get at the meaning of your life. Your answers define you as a person with – or without – self-knowledge, self-worth, and purpose.

Would you be able to answer them on-the-spot?

Should you be prepared for them or momentous questions like them? After all, most people consider job interview questions a mere formality.

You might be one of these folks. You think the job interview merely gives the recruiter an opportunity to verify some facts on your resume. Or, gives the hiring manager an opportunity to eyeball you. See if you dress for success. See if you cleaned up the clutter on your desk, if you’re on skype.

You don’t understand that today, a job interview is more like the new ABC game show: 500 Questions. That show is about to be another blockbuster hit from Mark Burnett and Mike Darnell who gave us Shark Tank, Survivor, The Voice, and The Bachelor. In that show, each contestant must answer up to 500 difficult general knowledge questions. Get any three wrong in a row and you’re out.

500 Questions is promoted as the ultimate in self-reliance, since there are no lifelines to experts and no audience support. “Intellect, strategy and stamina are all equally essential in order to win,” according to the show’s website.

Wow! That is so unlike life, right? So unlike a job, right? Wrong. Wrong.

I’m sorry if you believe your life is a collaboration. Perhaps you misunderstood what a boss means by that “there’s no I in team” philosophy. FYI it means: you do the work, the team takes the credit. From time to time, it works the other way – but don’t hold your breath.

Can you imagine if it’s just you and those really big job interview questions?

Well, that’s actually what a job interview is meant for, if the company is serious about hiring you.

It’s just you and the questions. You cannot call an expert for help. You cannot poll the audience.

Except this one time. Choose one of the three questions and send me your answer. I’ll give you a direct critique. Email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Question

 

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

If You Can Tweet, You Can Eat

April 30th, 2015

Group of business associates in a line text messaging on their cellphoneThe economy is booming!

Or, the economy is booming?

Several years ago, I wrote the press release read around the world. Carried by 420 media outlets. It got me on CNBC, CBS, Investors Business Daily, San Francisco Chronicle and smaller outlets like Pakistan Today.

The headline was: If You Can Tweet, the Job Market is Sweet.

It was the early years of social media.

CEOs were clueless, even the hardware manufacturers. And, I don’t mean new cabinet knobs.

The New York Times reported that Cisco CEO John Chambers was pressured by his interns to learn how to put 144 characters together. Remember back in the day, we didn’t realize 122 is better, because it saves space for RT.

There was a rumor that companies should have a “two way dialogue!” with ACTUAL consumers.

Investors understood social media even less than management. Investors were lots of middle class folks (yes, there was a middle class!!!) who were learning how to email stale jokes to one another. Facebook was for college kids.

But, “new media” turned out not to be Miss American Pie. It did not die.

At that magical moment: if you could tweet, boy (or girl) was the job market sweet!

Interns became social media managers, and were actually PAID! They were PROMOTED!

This famously includes Eric Kuhn, who as an intern led CNN into social media. He quickly ascended to Vice President of United Talent, and I spoke to the Screen Actors Guild Foundation members; warning them that the so-so actor with 300 followers was more likely to be cast than a more talented actor with 30.

Of course, those days are gone. Your sixth grade cousin has 3,000 followers (if he’s not popular).

The current boom in the economy is largely about the recording breaking Dow Jones and NASDAQ.

But for whom does this economy toll?

Investors are no longer middle age or middle class. They aren’t young families tucking money into mutual funds to pay for their kids’ college or their own retirement.

Investors are the uber wealthy.

Millennials would be driving for Uber, if they could afford to buy a car.

Boomers who hung on can’t afford to retire.

Gen Y is getting the stink-eye or flat out laid off.

Tweeting is no longer the ticket to a big deal job. It’s a job requirement. Lots of companies consider the number of your connections, friends, fans and followers in their hiring decisions.

And we join together to celebrate the minimum wage, in those cities where it soars. That means you can pay for weekly groceries and a bus pass to get to work since you can’t afford to live nearby.

I rarely write anything that is not PRO-business, because business is my not-at-all secret crush.

So this is not an anti-business rant.

It’s just that I spent this entire weekend leading the Personal Branding Boot Camp on the UCLA campus. For two solid sunny Southern California Spring days: a phalanx of amazing, intelligent, innovative, kind, resourceful people came to up their game. They worked for it. They killed it.

All we are saying is give Millennials a chance.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

Boost Your Personal Brand and Business Relationships

April 22nd, 2015

personal branding, nance rosenLooking for a big personal brand boost? Join me at UCLAx Personal Branding Boot Camp this weekend! bit.ly/1NFpKHQ 

A big “aha!” moment for my campers is seeing how out of control they really are, when it comes to creating their reputations. In fact, many of them spend the majority of each day, in fact their lives, working on other people’s priorities and goals. Hence, they are a reflection of others, and not authentically projecting who they really are.

Perhaps it has occurred to you, that you are not the center of your own work and life.

Unless you stop and reframe the purpose of each action and interaction so it’s in your interest: work defines you – and not the other way around. Instead of working a plan that creates the life you want, you may be relying on your wits and reflexes to manage large and small things, including the people around you.

Surprisingly, the foundation of creating the life you want is simply engaging in a new habit, but one that is very tough to acquire. Nobody around you wants you to do this. Everyone is counting on your being a passive actor, helping them move forward.

So this new habit requires you have both grit and desire. The habit is to be outcome-minded.

Before any action or interaction, get a clear, ideal outcome for yourself. Connect what you are about to do (and how you are going to do it) with what you want for yourself and your relationships in the long term.

For example, for every important person in your life – and those you would like to meet – you need a relationship outcome and a map of your interactions. What is it you want from this person? The next step is to plan what you’ll achieve in each interaction so you reach your ideal outcome. Of course, each stage or interaction will have a specific goal.

Remember your reputation is made via relationships, so make sure your plans are good for your targets as well as yourself.

If you’ve never thought about relationships like this, it might explain why connections or networking fail to deliver what you need.

As an example of a relationship map, below you’ll find the nine stages of a successful new business relationship. Consider what information, examples, questions, activity, or even other people you might bring into each stage, to move the relationship forward toward your ideal outcome. By the way, this mapping works with recruiters and hiring managers, too!

If you want more free content on developing business relationships, email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Relationships.

Stage 1 – Curiosity

Your prospect has a sense of intrigue about you, your company or solution, and entertains the idea that you might benefit him/her. You sense that it’s worth your time to continue interacting.

Stage 2 – Connected

You both sense that the two of you understand each other and have common ground worth exploring further.

Stage 3 – Inspired

It’s obvious that a relationship or collaboration would benefit you both, and the possibilities are energizing.

Stage 4 – Engaged

Your prospect feels safe to acknowledge unmet needs or discuss current or new goals. You confirm that you are talking with the right person (one with purchasing authority and a budget).

Stage 5 – Committed

You strike a clear agreement to move forward with the purpose of fulfilling your prospect’s unmet needs or helping him/her take advantage of opportunities. Your prospect agrees to buy, if your solution would satisfactorily benefit him/her.

Stage 6 – Learning and sharing

You support each other with important information and insights. You share a clear goal for your collaboration or relationship. You agree on the initial steps to move toward your goal.

Stage 7 – Problem-solving and planning

You and your prospect rigorously or systematically identify pain, obstacles, positive and negative forces, and implications of not solving the problem. You each contribute to strategies for overcoming obstacles or reaching goals, and create/act on a tactical plan for purchase and use.

Stage 8 – Buying and selling

Your prospect generates the purchase order or other documentation necessary for you to create an agreement, and arranges the time to review, accept and sign your agreement. You generate the agreement, which the prospect signs. You prepare to deliver, install or integrate your solution. You receive a check and oversee implementation.

Stage 9 – Recommending and referring

You both actively seek to send additional business or contacts to each other. You keep each other informed about opportunities for upgrades and add-ons. You meet to stay up-to-date.

Do This

Take 3 interactions/relationships you currently have with suspects, prospects or customers, and associate each one with the stage you are now in, using the 9 stages above. Jot down notes to track what went on at each stage. If you’ve missed some stages, ask yourself: what can I deliver to get on the fast track?

If you want more free content on business relationships, email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Relationships.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter

If Everybody Does It, Why Shouldn’t You?

April 9th, 2015

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-team-business-people-standing-together-line-their-mob-mobile-modern-office-image32231811Everybody says an MBA is worthless. Everybody says Instagram is the only social media worth being on. Everybody says balance is more important than putting in time at work.

So, why should you be any different?

Neuroscientists have found that certain people naturally have divergent thinking. That’s the ability to weave together connections between things that other people don’t put together, and come up with a novel twist or innovative idea. People like Jon Stewart and Jay Z can do it, often on-the-spot. We used to call these folks “quick witted,” or “good on their feet.”

Not everyone can do it. Certainly, not with humor or with rhyme.

So, if you are not naturally inclined to originality or creativity, should you simply do what most other people are doing?

Should you dumb down your vocabulary?

Should you go where the herd goes for holiday?

Should you eschew a graduate degree or even college?

After all, isn’t communicating with the masses and being like people – so they will like you – the best way to play well with others?

Yes. And no.

It depends on what you want to do in your career or business.

I often forget that some people have a deeply rich personal life, filled with friends, family or hobbies. So much so, that work really isn’t all that central to their satisfaction. If you are deeply devoted to something outside of work, then it does serve you to make as little noise, news or perhaps even effort as possible. Get along. Put in your 7.5 hours and go home. Enjoy!

However, if you suspect that you have greatness coiled within you for business, technology or some other occupation: you must bear the cost of being different. You must dare to fail. You might even scare yourself with your ambition.

And, you must show your employer, prospective employer, clients, prospective clients, investors and so on: exactly what you can do that’s different than the madding crowd.

Increase your inventiveness. Diverge from what everybody is doing.

Here’s a way to begin building your divergent thinking. Take a paper clip, a small spring, an egg shell, a coffee cup or any other object: and make a list of 10 novel uses for it. The first time you do this, you might not have a cascade of innovative ideas. Just think of it as a new skill, that with practice you’ll master.

Make it a daily practice to pick up something small: a stone, a shell, or a K cup (please, they are not recyclable!) and give it 10 novel uses. Do it instead of texting, checking your social media or otherwise doing what everyone else is doing.

There’s a reason not everyone gets ahead at work or starts their own successful business. Give yourself a chance to see if you might be special. And, give us a chance to see if you might be the next big thing.

Thinking about going big with your personal brand? Join me at UCLAx for my Personal Branding Boot Camp, April 25 and 26. As a bonus, you’ll get a free hour of one-on-one coaching with me, a $500 value.

More from Nance…

You can find Nance on
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter