Let’s Get Fanatical About Prospecting!

Prospecting and sales are part of every business.  In fact, there is no business until you have a sale.

To refresh my skills and motivate me, I read Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide to Opening Sales Conversations and Filling the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, Email, Text, and Cold Calling, by Jeb Blount and Mike Weinberg.

No matter what industry you are in, the points discussed in the book will apply to you.  Continue reading “Let’s Get Fanatical About Prospecting!”

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Get This Book for a Daily Kick in the Pants


For most of us, it’s tough.

Day after day, month after month, year after year, we go to work and try to improve our lot in life.

Over this time there are certainly days where we just don’t feel motivated, inspired, or see visible progress in our careers.  To get through those days, a little inspiration would be great.  If you feel this way, a great book to consider is Jim Stovall’s Wisdom for Winners: A Millionaire Mindset. Continue reading “Get This Book for a Daily Kick in the Pants”

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Are You Useful to Your Customer?

Numerous books, articles, speeches, blog posts have been written over the last few years about why content marketing is required as part of any company’s marketing and sales strategy.

Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype by Jay Baer, does an excellent job explaining why content marketing is the best approach to reaching your audience. Importantly, it also shows examples of great content marketing strategies that have been implemented by successful brands and start-ups. Continue reading “Are You Useful to Your Customer?”

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Book Review of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

One of the most talked about books over the past year is the New York Times bestseller, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.

I read this book because I was interested in utilizing habits to reduce the numerous decisions I have to make every day. Every decision I was making reduced my ability to make the next decision. This became quite obvious when I arrived home one night and my lovely wife asked me some very basic questions. I simply replied that I had no energy to answer them right now because I was making too many decisions all day long. The epiphany: the more decisions we make, the more energy we have to use, reducing our ability to make clear and effective decisions later in the day. But, by using habits, we reduce the mental energy we need for simple issues, and reserve our energy for more complex matters.

Duhigg first discusses how habits work, how to create new habits, and why we are able to create new habits. Habits emerge because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. This book discusses how habits emerge and why they are so powerful. They are based on the same three step loop: the cue, the routine, and the reward.

But this book is more than just about changing an individual’s habits, it discusses how to implement key habits within an organization so they’re all working toward the same goal. One of the best ideas that I believe came out of this book was the fact that creating “keystone habits,” in other words, “small wins” have enormous power. Once these small wins occur, it sets in motion forces that favor additional small wins that keep building upon one another. It’s not too different from the law of physics that says “a body in motion, stays in motion, and a body at rest, stays at rest.” Once you start creating small wins, they will naturally build on one another to create greater and greater impact on the organization. In creating these keystone habits, the author discusses case studies taken from various companies showing how the habits created structure in an organization, provided a routine for employees to follow when they weren’t sure what to do, and gave employees a sense of ownership in the progress of the business.

The book discusses not only how habits are created, but also how to change habits. The author declares that to modify habit, you must decide to change it. There has to be a conscience decision to accept the difficulty and hard work of creating new cues, routine, and rewards. Thank you Captain Obvious. I’m looking for something a little more practical; his comments are a little too highbrow and cerebral. 

I’m looking for something a little more practical; his comments are a little too highbrow and cerebral. 

For me to change habits, I need it spelled out clearly and concisely what steps I need to take, andhow to implement these changes. Maybe that just my simple mind at work.

This is an excellent book for understanding the social psychology and science behind habits, but I felt it was lacking in the practical application. However, with the idea of habits now being at the forefront of creating more efficient businesses, and even more efficient workers, there will be no shortage of books on this topic in the future, as well as reading fodder in blogs.

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Excellent Book! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive

If you don’t read Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, By Robert Cialdini, you are doing yourself and your organization a huge disservice.

This awesome book, by the best-selling author of Influence, is a quick read with many, many tips on how to improve your relationship and your ability to influence those you are with. While the word “influence” can often connote tricking someone or taking advantage of them, it is not the case with this book. All of us, no matter what business we are in, are always selling something. Even if it’s ourselves, we are selling our credibility, our time, our service, or even merely our ability to get things done.

This book gives you 50 tips on how to be more persuasive. The best part about this book, though, is that each of the 50 chapters, one covering each tip, is no more than five pages long. And each tip is written with a little wit, entertainment, and in an easy to read style. This means you can pick up and read a single tip, even when you only have a few minutes. More importantly though, each chapter gives specific examples on how and when to use each tip. There are many, many other books on improving sales, finding common ground with people you work with or your customers, or even Getting To Yes!, but I don’t think that there’s a single book that packs so much information that you can start using today, and use every day, and that can be read so easily and quickly.

I hope you pick up the book. If you don’t, someone else will and they will have a leg up on you.

If you’ve already read this book, let me know what your favorite part is. What the best tip you know of to be persuasive?  Give me a call at 248-455-6500 or email me at agoldberg@ajglaw.com

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Create Distinction: The Lifeblood of Your Company

All businesses, especially those in the service industry, struggle with distinguishing their business and services from those of competitors. Scott McKain, tackles this issue in, Create Distinction: What to Do When “Great” Isn’t Good Enough to Grow Your Business. Scott is a leading expert on business and professional distinction, the founder of the Ultimate Customer Experience, and also cofounder of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty.

McKain examines many of the ways businesses attempt to compete with their competitors. He accurately points out, though, that most businesses spend too much of their time evaluating their competitors and competing with them, instead of “competing for the customer.” Continue reading “Create Distinction: The Lifeblood of Your Company”

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A Great Book I Just Read: A Confederacy of Dunces

There’s not a single word to describe this novel, so I’ll try seven: outrageous, hysterical, brilliant, originally creative, goofy, zany.  Of course, there are many more adjectives that can describe A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole.


While my reading tastes usually run to non-fiction and business books, I picked this one after Amazon recommended it while I was scrolling through other books (I don’t know whether to thank Amazon or be scared they knew I would like this).

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Here’s What Happens When You Leave Everything Behind

Entrepreneurship doesn’t just describe business owners, it can describe adventure travelers as well.  As I read AWOL on the Appalachian Trail by David Miller (link to book here), I couldn’t help but think his thru-hike from Georgia to Maine was a true entrepreneurial endeavor.

Most dictionaries define entrepreneur as one who “by risk and initiative manages a business for a profit.”  My definition is a little broader:  I believe an entrepreneur is anybody who confronts challenges, perseveres, takes risks, has unbridle optimism that is clouded by realism, and is willing to surmount obstacles and self-doubts.  Miller embodies all these adjectives as recounted in his book.

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Forget The Philosophy, Go For The Jokes

After finishing the monumental work of The Path Between The Seas: The Creation Of The Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough, I went for something a little lighter: Plato And A Platypus Walk Into A Bar… Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes.  It was exactly what I needed.

Honestly, I couldn’t even tell you about all the philosophers that were covered and the unique philosophy of each. Rather, this book ended up being laugh out loud hysterical with great jokes. There are jokes for opening a speech, jokes for a dinner party, and some you can tell to your family and friends. Yes, some are a little blue, but there are many that are clean and hysterical.

If you have a sense of humor and love great jokes, read this book. Oh yea, and if you like philosophy and humour, you should read this book also. It’s a quick read and I promise, promise, promise, you’ll laugh out loud and smile.

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The World’s Greatest Engineering Project

David McCullough’s exhaustively researched tome, The Path between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914, is on par with all of his great works.  McCullough is best known for in-depth research of singular events, including The Great Bridge; 1776; Truman, The Jonestown Flood; and others.  McCullough writes with great insight, humor, and elegance that even over 500 pages, it’s still a pleasure to read.

As I read this book, I realized I had absolutely zero knowledge of the building of the Panama Canal.  The initial involvement of the French, the French and American political scheming of where the Canals should be built and the type of Canal, how the Canal would be funded, who would be in charge of the construction, and more.

There is absolutely no way for us to imagine the unfathomable physical and engineering size of this project without statistics, and David McCullough provides plenty.  The amount of dirt that is moved, the number of dynamite blasts, the number of people killed during the construction, and the number killed by yellow-fever, malaria and other diseases.  There is no shortage of statistical information to provide the reader with an in-depth understanding of what it took.  Though, some may think the statistics themselves overwhelm the book.

One of the great lessons I learned from the book was that “necessity is the mother of invention.”  The Panama Canal was based on a grand idea by people with great personal and political ambition.  However, they had no idea of the true cost to construct, the engineering challenges and perils, the human toll it would take, and the brute required to build the Canal.  In all these cases, the people who were committed to the project created new methods of excavation, developed new methods to transport the excavated dirt, discovered the cause of (and way to cure) yellow fever, and created new methods to expedite the laying and re-laying of train tracks to speed the construction.  There’s no better way to understand this than to compare the pace of construction in the early years versus the later years (and McCullough gives us great comparison for this).

This book is the longest one to date on my list of books.  While some parts were difficult to get through as the continued description of the excavation and political intrigue did become a little trite at times, and my engineering knowledge is quite limited, it does fall in the category of my great interest of reading non-fiction books on a singular topic, such as on the building of the Hoover Dam, the construction of the national highway system, and 1776 (also written by McCullough).  For those of you with similar interests, this definitely needs to be added to your list.

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