game theory

most people see the world of sales as a zero-sum game.

either the sales person wins by selling something that the customer didn’t want to buy, or the customer wins by walking away without anything.

in reality, the best sales people make sure that both people walk away satisfied.

how do they do it?  asking the right questions, being interested in the customers needs, and providing a solution or product that meets their needs.

and if they can’t, by honestly telling the customer and providing alternatives.


losing sucks.

it doesn’t really matter if it is a bike race, ball game, or seven figure deal, the sting of losing it what motivates most to do whatever they can to avoid it.

worse yet, is asking why.  no one wants to hear that answer.

this answer  is by far one the most valuable you will hear, and the following changes based on the feedback will help avoid the same mistakes in the future.

always ask why.



the manufacturer of “i love accordions” bumper sticker has a very narrow market.

if you do indeed heart accordions, and want to let the world know, there is only one place to go.  he found his niche.

what is yours?

ps – it doesn’t have to be something you sell.


everyone is a critic.

one of the most valuable connections you can make is with someone who isn’t afraid to tell you the truth.  don’t think just in the negative way.

honest, generous feedback  is hard to find, but once you do, it can be irreplaceable.

if you are looking for it, try being the person on the other side of the equation.  tell someone who you trust, when they ask, the truth.


I cancelled a credit card a couple years ago; my balance was -$3.57.

the customer service representative told me that they would have a cheque printed and mailed to me in 3-4 weeks.  I told her nicely not to worry about it.

“actually” she said, “our policy will not allow us to do that, we have to send you the cheque.”  then she joked,  “it probably costs us $50 for each one we issue”.

that is crazy.

take an honest look at the policies you have put in place.  do they make sense?  is the benefit worth the risk?

don’t cost yourself $53.57.

mistakes continued

“I quit.”  one of the mistakes I made early in my career.

after getting frustrated with the group I was working for at the time, I decided that a change was needed, and a competitor was my choice.

I should have approached my manager and had a honest conversation about my challenges and any potential solutions before making my decision.

little did I know that a great solution existed within the company; how could I?


one of the best learning opportunities is just after you make a mistake.

have you recognized it?  do you take ownership?

just like with bad ideas, the goal isn’t to avoid mistakes, it is to learn from them.