Posts Tagged ‘Tristate Business Network’

The Key to a Sale? Talk the Buyer’s Language

May 24, 2010

Businessman and columnist Harvey Mackay, perhaps best known as the author of five business bestsellers,  including Swim With the Sharks (Without Being Eaten Alive), Beware the Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, and Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty, has a very educational and entertaining column in the May 21, 2010 edition of the Cincinnati Business Courier.  Titled “Actions, not words, help make sales pitch personal”, Harvey explains the different ways sales pitches can be delivered, some more effective than others.  He concludes with a very poignant story to get his point across:

“During World War II, the U.S. government began offering soldiers a life insurance policy with a $10,000 benefit if they were killed in combat.  In one unit, a young lieutenant delivered a polished presentation on the details of the plan.  No one signed up.  Then an older sergent quietly asked the lieutenant if he could talk to the troops.

‘Men,’ he said, ‘if you get this life insurance and you get killed, the government is going to send your family $10,000.  If you don’t get this insurance and you get killed, the government isn’t going to send your family anything.  So who do you think they’re going to send up to the front lines – the ones who’ll cost $10,000 when they’re killed, or the ones who won’t cost anything?’

All the soldiers immediatley signed up.”

In this case the buyers didn’t care very much about the details of the insurance.  But give them a small dose of reality – aka, the government is somewhat selective in who it wants on the front line – and all of a sudden, insurance seems like a pretty good investment.  I’m going to keep this lesson in mind the next time I’m preparing to speak to a potential client!

And don’t forget – the real meaning of Memorial Day isn’t to kick off summer, or to have a three-day weekend…

Trip Topken is the president of Waste Auditing Consultants, the premiere solid waste management consultants in the Greater Cincinnati area. An affiliate of Environmental Waste Solutions, WAC can help any company spending $400 to $375,000 per month on waste and recycling. Savings of 30 to 50 percent are normal, but not guaranteed. WAC, in collaberation with EWS, can simultaneously produce results at all locations across North America. No up-front fees are ever due, and WAC simply shares the savings its work generates. Learn more about Waste Auditing Consultants here. You can contact Trip at 513-398-2117 or email


Is it all about “focusing on what we give”?

February 14, 2010

The older I get, the more I understand that, yes, it is.  When I think back on my younger days I realize that I wasn’t a giver.  There, it’s out there.  I can recall with a certain amount of disappointment, and yes, even regret, times when I thought it was all about me.  A certain amount of immaturity can always factor into a young lad’s deeds, but there comes a time when a person reaches an age when his actions shouldn’t cause people to think or say “Yes, but he’s only ___ years old.  He’ll grow up one day.”

And while I’ve always (well, almost always!) been considered well-mannered – my parents would give me and/or my siblings the just-you-wait-til-we-get-you-home stare of doom if our behavior didn’t meet their tough-but-fair standards – I can picture many times when I didn’t always think about doing things to help others.

Of course there were frequent reminders to do so.  My parents constantly were on me about cleaning up my bedroom.  And rightfully so.  They wanted to instill in me self-discipline and help me recognize that “No one wants to live in a pig sty.”  Especially not the other people in our family.  And that is one skill that, thankfully, I’ve mastered.  Now cleaning my home office is another discussion altogether.  One which my wife doesn’t enjoy having with me, but sometimes has to.  And I’m working on that, sweetie!

But being a giver is also accomplished by leading by example.  I’m extremely lucky that my parents are still alive and still married to each other.  That’s an example of enduring tough times and making things work out, not giving up and saying “The hell with it.”  ALL marriages lasting nearly 50 years have endured difficult stretches, and it takes a great deal of giving to make a relationship last that long.

I can recall times when I’ve handled situations by thinking “How would Dad deal with this?” or “Mom would do it this way.”  I haven’t lived in the same area code as my parents since I was 18 years old.  They currently live a nine-hour drive from my home.  But despite the distance I know that I still look to them for examples of how to live life.  What a great thing to give your children.

I’m an original member of the Tristate Business Network in Greater Cincinnati.  TBN’s mantra is “Focus on what you give”.  That light bulb has thankfully lit itself in my brain.  It’s taken a little longer than it should have, but I’m seeing how it makes sense now.  If nothing else, I’m consciously trying to set examples for my teenaged daughter to follow.  I’m hoping she, and others, will see the light too.