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Clippy Trivago Video

Remember Clippy? That animated paper clip thing that zipped around trying to offer help with Microsoft Office?

He was as annoying as is the Trivago commercial guy.

Here is something else I find annoying. I click on a link to an interesting article only to find out when I get there that it’s in fact a video. Now that means I have to put on my headset so I don’t disturb my coworkers, wait for all the junk arranged around it to load up and permit me to hit the start button, skip past commercials, and listen to someone deliver what one would rather read.

And how do you speed-read video? To be honest, most times I just click the exit button.

Am I the only one who doesn’t like video?

New Director at Nicom Maritime

I am delighted to announce that we have hired Ralph Desveaux as Director of Business Development for Nicom Maritime. Ralph is a veteran of the IT industry, with past experience in exporting software solutions throughout the world.

Nicom Maritime is a division of Nicom IT Solutions that provides professional advisory services and software products to the seaport industry. We help our clients identify their business needs and recommend technology solutions that streamline communication processes, improve efficiencies and reduce operational costs.

Ralph’s extensive experience and business acumen is a welcome addition to Nicom’s team.

 

 

 

On Networking and Smart Mosquitoes

It still is all about networking. We have social media networking, but that’s only part of it. You still need to get out of the office once in a while and network with your peers. (I’m so old I used to network before it was actually called “networking”. When I first heard the term I decided it wasn’t for me because I was always too busy chatting with people.)

Whenever I do network, I always meet up with someone I haven’t seen in a while and we make plans to get together and who knows where that will all lead to? If nothing else a nice, usually overdue, chinwag.

Everyone has personal and professional networks. Not only do we use them to get help and guidance, but they serve a human need we all have to interact with one another. And it’s not an old-timers’ game. My university-age daughter was born into the social media era, but the minute she’s home for the summer, she and her friends start making plans to get together.

Oh yeah, the mosquitoes. One of my new networks is the “cottage country” network. Last year we bought a cottage and managing it was all so new and somewhat overwhelming, but now I’ve managed to get to know people who can help me with obtaining firewood, how to get a shallow-well jet pumped primed and working efficiently, and what are the best mosquito zappers on the market.

I’ve never seen so many mosquitoes in my life! And smart. We went up for a week last year with a utility trailer, and as I was unhooking it, I was live bait for the mosquitoes. We slathered ourselves with repellants all week, and when I went out on the last day to hook the trailer up again, I swear they were already hovering around the hitch, just waiting for me. Not this year…

Our Paperboy Knows – Communication is Key

Our paperboy recently exemplified how important it is to communicate with your customer.

After several missed deliveries, I had made up my mind to write to the paper and give them a piece of my mind. Receiving a paper after you’ve left for work is simply not acceptable, I reasoned. “A paper delayed is a paper denied,” I was going to be telling them. (Not bad, eh?)

But before I did, I received the weekend paper – on time – with a nice photocopy of a handwritten note from the paperboy, expressing how he knew how frustrating it must be to not receive the paper on time. Then he explained, without sounding defensive, how hard it is to deliver papers through snowstorms. And finally, he thanked us for not having complained to the head office.

Took the venom right out of my vitriol. And made me think. A. He understands. B. He explained what happened, and how it was beyond his control. C. He said “thanks”. Now, if we use those same three steps, and are proactive about it like he was, how many scrapes can we avoid in our business dealings?

Needless to say, I’m not lodging a complaint.

 

 

Execution of Sales Plans Involves “Targets”, not “Projections”

Mike Hatfield and I were at it again this past weekend – the final day of our “thenextphase” workshop on raising capital. This time we covered “Execution” – defining your targets and how to achieve them.

A proper plan, we were told, does not contain projections; it contains targets that we feel are achievable, plus a set of assumptions that must be met in order for these targets to be met. You must also have a set of activities to go along with the numbers.

It is important that we have a way to test the assumptions, because the execution consists of not only trying to hit the target, but also to test out the assumptions. As we gain experience in the real world, these assumptions are validated or disproved, and the plan amended.

The ultimate goal is to have a well-defined sales process that has steps saying “if you do ‘this’, then ‘this’ will happen.” It is predictable.