My best blogs of 2014: 12 Ideas to help you thrive in 2015

My best writing and newest ideas are regularly featured in my weekly blog.  I invite you to subscribe, here, to conveniently receive these fresh strategies by email.  Just enter your email address in the form under my photo in the left column.

Here’s what you may be missing: Below, you can review 12 of my best and most popular blogs from 2014. Click on the titles to read the full text.

If you work in an economy that’s rebounding (e.g., the US), you have lots of opportunities in 2015 and you should be investing to grow your business.

If you’re in an economy that’s in recession, you also have lots of opportunities—for example, to take market share from your less hard-working, strategic, and motivated competitors; and to take the time to invest in your client relationships while the market is quiet.

In my 35-year business career I’ve been through a number of booms and four tough downturns. I’ve thrived through all of them—the ups and the downs—by investing in myself, investing in my business, and staying close to my clients.

12 of my most popular blogs from 2014

Your business has only one purpose—are you focused on it?

Peter Drucker wrote that a business has only one purpose—to create and serve customers. Here are seven reasons why organizations fail to truly focus on their clients. Does your company share any of these?

12 common business development mistakes

Don’t make these classic and very common blunders the next time you meet with a senior executive. Remember, you often only get one chance.

How do you get your people to collaborate more?

There are many myths about what engenders collaboration. Here’s what doesn’t work—and what does—when trying to create collaboration to serve clients.

Eight reasons why you lose clients (part I, part II)

The playwright Oscar Wilde defined a gentleman as someone who “is never unintentionally rude.” Likewise, you never want to have a good client relationship end unintentionally and without a sound reason. Here’s why you may lose a client, and what to do about it.

The Six levels of relationships: Where are yours?

In my third book, All for One, I set out six levels of relationships. Four of these are levels of client relationships (Expert, Vendor, Trusted Advisor, Trusted Partner). Use this framework to evaluate yours.

 The wisdom of Maimonides: When relationships are transcendent

Some relationships are based purely on reciprocity—“I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” Others thrive due to a shared, transcendent purpose.

 How to ask powerful questions

“You can tell if a man is clever by his answers, you can tell if a man is wise by his questions.” Unfortunately, most people ask pretty average questions that don’t impress their clients. Here is a framework—the Power Questions Matrix—to get you started on dramatically improving the quality of your questions.

 The secret to winning your next sales pitch

Clients hate sales pitches. You probably do also. But they love to learn. Here are six strategies for turning your next “pitch” into a highly engaging and collaborative working session where you role model what it’s like to work with you.

 How to turn every important prospect into a paying client

Do this with your best, highest-value prospects and you’ll be richly rewarded.

 Six Rules for Evoking Curiosity

One of your most powerful sales and client development strategies is to make your client curious. Curious to learn more. Curious to pursue the conversation with you.

 The ten habits of terrible listeners

The word “absurd” comes from a Latin word meaning “deaf or “unable to hear.” In other words, it’s absurd not to listen well! Review these common habits that prevent you from engaging in deep listening.

 Six Laws for Connecting with the C-Suite

In this extended article I share six strategies from my newest book, Power Relationships, for building relationships in the C-Suite.

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