Headlines for Thursday:

  1. Kudos to Kevin Magee: sales and networking tips (852 words)
  2. Enthusiastic rapport with Emmanuel and Rob: movies that motivate (564 words)
  3. Learning from the best (367 words)
  4. Stuffing envelopes, writing cards... (78 words)



1. Kudos to Kevin Magee: sales and networking tips: 19:51

I had a terrific conversation with Kevin Magee over coffee and chocolate chillers at Second Cup this morning. I met him very briefly at the Mesh planning party—in fact, while I was on my way out—but within a minute he had set me at ease, established a connection, and left me looking forward to chatting with him some other time.

We finally had the opportunity to catch up today, and I'm glad we did. He had read my blog (and even some of my homework assignments!), so he knew of my passion for evangelism and my enthusiasm for sales. (Awww!)

Role model

And boy, did he have a lot to teach! He's the kind of salesperson I'd like to be. Many people both inside and outside sales think of sales as a nasty, cut-throat business. Kevin Magee proves that not only do nice guys finish first, but that it's really the only sustainable way to go.

"Have we met?"

Kevin told me about the benefits of having the kind of face that everyone thinks they've seen somewhere. "Have we met?" is one of his favorite techniques for getting people to talk about their backgrounds and interests. Looking back, I realized that he must've deftly pulled that on me too! Wow.

You just need 60 seconds

Kevin also shared some of the ways he taught other salespeople to handle cold calls. He said that for the first 10,000 calls, it's truly, truly horrible. After that, it's just horrible.

You know how many people start their call with, "Have I called you at a good time?" Kevin shared that "Have I called you at a bad time?" is much more effective. There's never a good time to receive a telemarketing cold call, after all, but in general, people will be generous and say that it isn't a bad time.

Then Kevin told me how he taught sales people to ask for 60 seconds, just 60 seconds to find out if this is the right conversation they should be having. They would then time themselves, stop at 60 seconds—preferably in the middle of a sentence—and ask for permission to continue. By so clearly respecting the other person's time—and piquing the other person's interest!—they might be able to get permission to continue for 5 minutes. And then maybe a meeting in person. Asking *permission* draws people further in because you respect their time and allow them to control the conversation.

Recruiters rock

Even with the 60-second technique, though, cold-calling is tough tough tough tough. You can warm up the call by connecting with people in the organization. Kevin found that recruiters are *great* for doing that, which is why he's happy to help them however they can. See, recruiters are in the business of connecting with people, and they form special bonds with the people they place. When Kevin wants to crack open an account, he'll ask his recruiter friends if they've placed anyone there—almost always yes—and then he's in with an introduction!


So for an hour and a half, this experienced, wonderful salesperson shared all sorts of sales tips that I would probably have had to spend years learning. I've read lots of books on networking and sales, but it's different hearing from people who are actually doing it and doing well.

I'd love to help him grow, too. Kevin told me that reading my reflections on this blog had prompted him to think about how he was doing things and how he could improve. For a 23-year-old, I've learned a fair bit, and that's because of kaizen - the Japanese principle of constant improvement. I love experimenting, reflecting on the results, sharing my thoughts, and working on the next step. Sharing what I'm learning about life has led to so many more insights from other people. Wow!

Next steps

So, how can I act on his advice?

His "Have we met?" trick will be very handy for me. I meet so many people at the local tech get-togethers. That's one way to make that connection and to naturally tell people about these events if they haven't heard of them yet.

I can look for ways to be more useful to the recruiters in my network. I would love to introduce them to teachers who are interested in helping their students find cool work, for example. I can keep an eye out for students and professionals looking for work at the events I go to. Still, I'm not adding much value that way, but at least referrals are handy, and if I vouch for the recruiter, that's at least a little bit. If I get to know people better, then I can add more value.

And the things I want to do for my career? I think there's a big market for it, bigger than I'd realized... I can do so much to help people connect!

I'm looking forward to getting to know Kevin Magee better in February. What a way to start my day!

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2. Enthusiastic rapport with Emmanuel and Rob: movies that motivate: 20:15

What a day, what a day!

I went back to Second Cup for coffee with Emmanuel Lopez and Rob Schaumer at 3:00 PM. Kevin McIntosh introduced me to Emmanuel Lopez because of Emmanuel's upcoming series called "Movies that Motivate". Instinct told me to invite Rob Schaumer (Purpose Realized), whom I had met at the Mesh planning party last November 15 and again at the DemoCamp afterparty. And what a conversation we had! Two hours just flew past, and we all had great fun.

Emmanuel Lopez has been a motivational speaker for the past three years. "Motivational speaker" is too bland a word to describe him—hence the moniker, "Motivatorman". The movie series this January at the Royal Ontario Museum looks really interesting. With feel-good and thought-provoking movies such as Groundhog Day, As Good As It Gets, and Pleasantville, he'll help so many people face their challenges and develop themselves. And the events aren't just movies, too. He'll start each event with 30 minutes for a motivational speech and discussion, and wraps it up with more discussion and reflection. Sounds like good stuff!

I'm *really* excited about his second project, too: a series of workshops on self-development for hubs/connectors. With the tagline "network - interact - share", it definitely sounds like my kind of thing—heck, it's something I wish I could've organized! <laugh> It's a pity that the first event is in January; I'll only be able to make it to the next one. AHA! I know, I can suggest homework...

What a delight! I'm looking forward to inviting the people I know to those events (even in absentia!), which will help me get to know their non-work sides too.

And I had *no* idea that Rob Schaumer had a talent for marketing, but I'm glad I discovered it in the course of conversation! He suggested all sorts of useful little tweaks for Emmanuel's marketing campaign.

He has such a fascinating life history. Self-educated in an Orthodox Jewish community where most people are expected to complete university degrees, he really wants to reach out and motivate other people. He related how motivational speakers tend to break into the profession in three ways:

  • earn a university degree in it (they have degrees in motivational speaking?)
  • work for someone already doing it
  • prove your worth

Rob decided not to go for university, and ended up building a company for the heck of it—just to see if he could. (Wow!) The motivational companies he talked to wouldn't consider someone without a university degree, so by process of elimination.... I've no doubt that he'll find his niche and fill it really well!

Rob's got such awesome experiences. One of his stories fits in perfectly with Emmanuel's focus on movies. He was playing squash, but he was pretty tired and out of form. He told us how he intentionally visualized the scene in Superman Returns where Superman flies into space to recharge, and that just filled him with energy. Every time his energy flagged, he'd go back to that scene. Because of that, he played a pretty good game!

We swapped many more tips that I'm looking forward to writing about over time, but I just wanted to help you get to know some of the fantastic people I met today. Isn't life awesome?

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3. Learning from the best: 20:59

I grew up with books and audiotapes of Tom Peters, Zig Ziglar, and Tom Hopkins. I can *still* hear Tom Hopkins say "Unbelievable!" in my head. Not because I was unbelievably precocious when I was young, but because my mom was always, always, *always* learning about sales and management and whatever she needed to learn in order to help my dad and my sisters and me succeed. Being an indiscriminate bookworm who'd happily read anything on the shelves (and quite a few books that weren't), I quickly chewed through her business books, her interpersonal books, her writing books, her parenting books...There was so much to learn, and it was always so much fun!

My parents often scolded me for taking books to breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I would read while walking, while chatting, while waiting in line; in bed, in the car, even in the shower sometimes... Looking back, it seems as if I never looked up! Now I've realized that reading was good but not as good as it could've been, though. Instead of reading during meals, I should've been picking my parents' brains... but I probably hadn't yet learned what questions to ask in order to learn even more! =)

So if you think *I'm* interesting, you really have to meet my mom and my dad. This process of constant improvement? It definitely comes from them. The number of times I'd gone downstairs to check on my dad, only to find him learning all sorts of new Photoshop tricks... The number of books I've borrowed from my mother's bookshelf...

I have confidence that my life will unfold well. If I'm really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really lucky, I'll have the kind of partnership my mom and my dad have, and have the kinds of close friendships my mom has.

I'm learning from the best.

(Hah! I blog something and within five minutes, my mom *blogs* a response—a personal story she posted to an online forum before. Blogs! Online forums! How cool is that? Now if only she allowed me to link to her blog...)

E-Mail from Mama

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4. Stuffing envelopes, writing cards...: 23:38


Halfway through my US/Canada 2006 letters. I'm limiting myself to 100 letters for now, although I *might* send more from the Philippines if I feel particularly diligent. Of the 100 on my must-write list, there are 32 people in Canada. Come to think of it, that's actually pretty interesting. It's only been a year and a half...

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  1. Reply to Natalia Modjeska - sent 2 days ago
  2. E-mail to Peter M. Evans
  3. E-mail to Scott Roy
  4. E-mail to Willa Schecter
  5. E-mail to Sharon Sehdev
  6. E-mail to Robert Snelgrove
  7. E-mail to Mike Tsang
  8. E-mail to Roger Yang
  9. E-mail to Helen Overland
  10. Reply to Susan Grant
  11. E-mail to Kevin Magee, Emmanuel Lopez, Rob Schaumer
  12. E-mail to Shawn Pucknell, Rick Mason
  13. Reply to Charles Cave - sent today
  14. Reply to Paul Lussier - sent today
  15. E-mail to Emmanuel Lopez, Rob Schaumer
  16. E-mail to Kevin Magee
  17. Reply to Rob Schaumer - sent today
  18. Reply to Rob Schaumer - sent today
  19. Reply to Paul Lussier - sent today
  20. E-mail to Sarah Goldman
  21. E-mail to Alexander Noble
  22. E-mail to Mike Abundo
  23. E-mail to "Moris, Andrew P (MarcAndyPhil)"
  24. Reply to Charles Cave - sent yesterday
  25. Reply to Paul Lussier - sent yesterday