Recent Articles

8 Simple Things You Can Do to Stand Out

by Scott

One thing I think a lot about is contrast; what things I can do in order to stand out. In my personal experience, standing out typically provokes the ideal response – this is why it occupies my thoughts. The last thing I want is to be “just another [insert role here]“. 

 

Here are 8 simple things you can do to stand out.

Inject Personality into Things That are Typically Mundane

Everyday we’re presented with digital canvases to have fun and make people smile. Email copy, calendar invites, and online profiles, amongst other digital mediums, all represent an opportunity to stand out. Most people just go through the motions during the interactions which occupy these elements. This is why injecting personality into them can be so powerful. …
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BD 101: How to Handle A Request You Can’t Accomodate

by Scott

At some point in a deal, partnership, or sale you’re bound to encounter request that you can’t accommodate.

“Does your product have this feature too?”

“Can we have it for this price instead?”

There’s a right and a wrong way to handle these type of situations.

Within the framework of striving to drive the most possible value for your company, the goal is to persuade the other side to maintain compliance despite the fact that you can’t accommodate a request.

The Right Way:

Prepare to have your mind blown by a seemingly obvious formula on how to say no.

 

 

As my devilishly handsome colleague Lee Zucker reminded a few days ago, the best way to handle these scenarios is to say no and provide a reason immediately …
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The Power of A Follow-Up Progress Report

by Scott

One of the most powerful things you care do in the relationship building process is to let someone know how they’ve helped you learn, grow or succeed. We’re presented opportunities to provide those who’ve helped us with feedback on positive results constantly, yet few people actually follow through.

Human interaction is the biggest catalyst to progress in our lives:

An introduction may help you close a deal.

Product feedback may inspire an enhanced iteration.

Advice over coffer may dramatically change the shape of your career.

Each one of these interactions represents an instance where someone else has afforded you their time, energy, or reputation to enhance your well-being. Sharing the fruits you’ve reaped from their labor accomplishes …
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Why I Make Fun of My Life When I Pitch

by Scott

Every time I’m pitching someone, I always try to make fun of my life in some way. In fact, I intentionally seek out opportunities to do this.

 

A lot of business development and sales is about likability. Given two equal products, buyers will purchase from the seller they like more. Hence, by making myself more likable, I increase my odds of succeeding.

There are many components to likability; some which we can control, others that we can’t (like being 6’4, tan, and really, really ridiculously good-looking – crap). One aspect of likability we can control is how relatable we are.

How Being Relatable Enhances Likability

People like people that they can identify with. There’s an inherent sense of understanding injected into an interaction when you …
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An Intentional Approach to Networking Video

by Scott

Awhile back I did a presentation to New York’s CTO School about how to bring an intentional approach to networking. Here is the video that accompanies the slides which I previously shared.

The structure of the talk:

How to be Helpful to others
Developing a Networking Plan
Maintaing Your Network

 

Here are the slides that accompany the presentation.

If you enjoyed this presentation and are interested in networking you might also like:

How to Break in and Build A Network in the Startup Scene from Scratch

The Art of Asking Someone to Meet for Coffee

The Biggest Networking Fail

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How to Write An Effective Follow Up Email

by Scott

One of the biggest fallacies I see amongst professionals who write cold emails is their failure to follow up. Knowing how to write an effective follow up email effectively is probably the easiest way to increase your response rate if you aren’t already doing it.

Make It Easy

The optimal way to follow up to an unanswered email is by replying to the first one you sent. This practice allows you to:

Keep the followup short
Make the initial context easy for the reader to find
Emphasize that they have not responded to you

By initially following up on a separate thread, you’re putting an onus on the reader. Often they didn’t read or forgot the initial email. As a result, when they receive …
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