The Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center – photo courtesy Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryWhen you turn on a light, do you think about where the electricity comes from or are you just thankful you can see?The electricity that powers your light is delivered through a vast and complex network of power plants, substations, transmission grids, and distribution lines. The electricity running through your home or workplace could have been generated at a nearby plant or at a wind farm a thousand miles away. Most of us don’t care where the power comes from. We care only that it is there, a steady stream of electrons waiting to light up our homes and businesses. All we have to do is flip the switch.Now imagine using a complex network like the power grid to deliver information, knowledge, learning; a stream of new ideas waiting to light up your mind. That network exists. We called it the Internet, then the World Wide Web, Web 2.0, and social media. It’s a vast and complex digital network that gives anyone with a connection the power to transfer information at great speed and to create connections across great distances.Every day online networks are filled with thoughts, experiences, ideas, and information on a myriad of topics, some mundane or profane and some significant or even sacred. If you want to tap into the stream, all you need to do is flip the switch.This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Washington DC Snowstorm, Leckman, Flickr CC0Members from across the Military Families Learning Network came together in our nation’s capital last month for our annual meeting. Our liaisons from the Office of Military Family Readiness Policy and USDA-NIFA joined us. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the work we accomplished in the past year and to look at the coming year and its opportunities. The nimble nature of our network was noted as well as the importance of incorporating community capacity building in all areas to ensure family readiness. The meeting left us energized and focused, poised for another year of collaborative programming.From the new blended retirement system to play therapy, there are learning opportunities for all this month. View all of the upcoming professional development events.Subscribe to our monthly email update to stay up-to-date with the Military Families Learning Network.
Expand your video editing toolkit with 6 FREE Final Cut Pro X plugins from Alex4D.com!Last year we posted on the first batch of free FCPX plugins released by veteran plugin creator Alex Gollner and we’re excited to see he’s since been hard at work creating new FCPX effects.The Alex4D plugins are versatile and practical, improving on the shortcomings of the standard FCPX tools (the blurs, curves and adjustment layers below are case in point). Discover how these 6 FREE Final Cut Pro X plugins can give you more control over your video projects!Distortion EffectsThese are actually 4 unique effects to warp your video image. Modify the distortion by adjusting parameters in Final Cut Pro X.Black Hole: Your video image is dragged to a single pointBulge: Define a center point and add a inward or outward bulge to your image (see example above)Circular Zigzag: A ripple style effect. Dial in the amount of refraction.Twirl: Spins and twist your clip. Go from subtle to EXTREME.DOWNLOAD the free Distortion effects plugin for FCPX.Adjustment LayersAnyone accustomed to using After Effects or Photoshop may surprised there’s not an adjustment layer feature also built into FCPX. This plug-in attempts to change that, by using a title generator to mimic an adjustment layer. Apply the adjustment effect to the top layer in your timeline and any changes you make to it will effect all of the layers below. Change scale, position, add effects, fade in and out…tons of possibilities and a real timesaver in post.DOWNLOAD the free Adjustment Layer plugin for FCPX.Mask+Want to keyframe your masks in FCPX? You won’t want to be without this very handly plugin. Add a 4, 8 or 16 point mask to your footage and keyframe a mask to scale, resposition or rotate over time. Stack duplicate clips on top of one another and use the mask to create color effects, blur a specific part of the video image or add a vignette.DOWNLOAD the free Mask+ plugin for FCPX.CurvesGet more control over your Final Cut Pro X keyframing. The free FCPX Curves plugin allows you to change the values between two keyframes of any element in your timeline. Adjust the position, rotation, trim and scale, as well as define the order of these adjustments. This handy plugin seems especially useful for creating custom transitions.DOWNLOAD the free Curves plugin for FCPX.Blurs7 unique free blur effects for Final Cut Pro X that include Gradient Blur, Soft Focus, Defocus, Compound Blur and Circle Blur. Multi-purpose FCPX plug-in allows you to mimic shallow depth of field, blur a specific region of the video image or create unique transitions.DOWNLOAD the free Blur effects for FCPX.Interface 2037This may not be the most versatile plugin on the list, but it’s certainly the most fun! Alex says he created this title effect based off of the computers in Alien (1979). Very cool text effect for giving your project a sci-fi / retro-futurism vibe. See it in action in the video below.DOWNLOAD the Interface 2037 text effect for FCPX.Big thanks to Alex Gollner from Alex4D.com for releasing his Final Cut Pro X plug-ins for free – making them available to all video editors!
Test footage from the KineMINI at NAB 2014 is really impressive.If you follow camera news than you probably already know about the KineMINI by Kinefinity. The Chinese brand surprised the filmmaking world just over a month ago by offering a 4K/100fps camera for under $4,000 dollars. Upon hearing this news we intially thought the news was too good to be true, but recent test footage has us thinking that the KineMINI might be a real contender in the filmmaking world.The KineMINIThe KineMINI features a lot of really high-end and desirable features that make it a stunning camera for a ‘low-ish’ price tag. These features include:In-camera 4K recordingUp to 100fps frame-rateCineform RAW capabilitiesA super 35 sized CMOS sensorNew lock-type EF mountSport Mode to reduce rolling shutter3D LUT’sA super 16 modeOn top of all these great features the KineMINI is incredibly light and compact. The following is some test footage shot on the KineMINI by MJIT Berlin:Pricing and AvailabilityThe KineMINI body can be purchased for only $3,200, with more expensive kits available up to $6,000. No shipping date has been announced yet. You can pre-order the KineMINI 4K and the KineMAX 6K on Kinefinity’s website.What do you think of the KineMINI? Share in the comments below.
Pro video pilots share their secrets for getting amazing cinematic aerial footage. Learn how to shoot, edit, and color grade epic drone footage.If you’ve ever worked with a drone, you may have learned how difficult it is to capture great footage. There are so many factors to take into account. Wind speed, weather, and even small details like short battery life.With these video tutorials, learn how to get the best drone footage possible. You’ll learn some tricks for piloting your drone, editing drone footage, and some trade secrets on some incredible drone shots.Tips for Shooting Drone FootageIn this video for Vimeo Video School from Story & Heart, the drone pilots at Saint West Filmworks offer some tips for capturing five different types of drone shots.You’ll learn about Fly-By shots for transitions and reveal shots to establish your setting. They even make note to show off one of the biggest problems facing drone pilots – the dreaded shadow. They also cover chasing your subjects and mention using speed ramping in post to get more out of the drone shot.One of the most-used drone shots is the high pan. See how they lock their height and then pan to capture these epic shots. Finally, you’ll see how they capture the so-called explorer shot. After they capture their planned footage, they’ll used the remainder of the battery to capture any additional shots. This usually mean checking out your surroundings, as you never know what you’ll be able to see miles away when you are up in the air.In this second video from Cinema5D, filmmaker and drone pilot Sebastian Woeber takes you around Switzerland and breaks down everything he learned when shooting and editing the drone footage.In this first part, Woeber covers the basics of shooting, like knowing where you are allowed to fly, and the common sense required to be a pilot. He also makes the great point of never letting someone else fly your drone. First of all, they won’t care if they crash it. More importantly, Woeber is flying a DJI Inspire 1. DJI’s drones record all flight information — therefore Sebastian is ultimately responsible for everything that drone does.He gives a solid breakdown of the drone and its capabilities, as well as some great tips on flying. Fly close to objects to really frame your shots, just make sure you aren’t too close. He also covers using natural lighting, and placing your drone in the right position according to the sun. Tips for Editing Drone FootageIn part two of the series from Cinema5D and drone pilot Sebastian Woeber, you’ll get some solid tips on editing your drone footage. Woeber covers how difficult it is to work with footage from drone cameras. This includes the built-in cameras as well as GoPro cameras.One thing drone pilots will notice is that they will often lose motion blur while filming. This gives you a very unnatural look, so you will need to add motion blur in post-production. He also covers speed ramping and the final resolution. Tips for Color Grading Drone FootageIn the final part from Cinema5D and drone pilot Sebastian Woeber, they cover color grading and color correcting your footage.He talks about directing when filming directly towards the sun. Woeber actually uses compositing to create his shots with the sun. Since the drone footage is overexposed, he shot a lamp light and composited the light source to replace the sun. He even shows you how he did that. I can’t recommend this video enough. You have to watch this.Woeber also offers the LUT that he created for free. You can download the free drone LUT here.If you are interested in the final video Woeber made, check out his video, RUNNING INTO THE AIR – A Flight Over Switzerland Enjoying this series on drone filmmaking? Want more drone tips? Let us know in the comments below.
Revisions can be a pain equally felt by video editors, motion designers, VFX artists, and colorists. Here are some tips on limiting endless video revision requests so you can get to work on your next project.All images via ShutterstockIf your clients are always satisfied with your first submission, you are some type of genius. For the rest of the world, in video production and out of the industry, revisions are something everyone deals with. This isn’t to say you don’t create quality content, but the client may have other ideas in mind. It’s your job to create what they want, not what you want.If a client can’t make up their mind, or has too many revisions to handle, you need to take it upon yourself to put an end to the endless revisions. Here are three easy ways to stop the video revision requests from coming.1. Set a Number of Revisions in the ContractThe best way to get clients to realize they don’t have an infinite number of revisions is to be upfront in the beginning. Set a number for the maximum round of revisions in your contract, that way clients know that any feedback they have must list as many changes at once. If the client wants additional revisions past your contracted obligation — you can then tell them that any additional revisions will cost extra. That means the clients know they must put as much information as possible in each video revision request to keep them from being charged extra.For example, a client may say they want to swap a clip for another. Then, in another email, they may also ask for a change to the lower thirds. Then, in a third email, they might ask for a different song. That example is already three separate revisions. What the client should have done is listed all three of those revisions in one single email — then it counts as one round of revisions. Explaining to clients that their correspondence must be as detailed as possible will save you time editing or designing. Much of the time wasted making revisions doesn’t actually come from making changes — it’s the render and export time associated with each change.2. Explain to Clients That Changes Can Take HoursYour clients need to understand that the simplest change can take hours, depending on the length or complexity of the project. Sure, they may not care, but it’s your job to make them understand. If a project is on a rushed timeline, explain that every additional round of revisions will be pushing their deadline. Ask for thorough, in-depth feedback for any proofs you send. The more information they offer on what they want to change, the quicker the final product can be delivered.If you’re charging an hourly rate, make sure to tell the client that all the render, export, and upload time is included in their final bill. Pretty much every single client is looking to spend as little as necessary. If you aren’t charging hourly, be sure to include all this extra time in your quote.3. Say No“No” is the hardest thing to tell a client. You may feel desperate to please them or in need to get paid. You always have the right to accept or decline any freelance work, it’s just a matter of doing it. You also need to consider your future. If a client is very difficult to deal with, do you want to continue working with them?If you did put a number a revisions into your contract, you are only limited to the number they agreed to. If they are unwilling to pay for extra revisions, you have no obligation to continue making any revisions to a project. If you didn’t put a number into your contract (or foolishly don’t have a contract in place), you’ve caught yourself in an endless loop until the client in satisfied. Don’t let this happen to you. It’s your job to create content for clients that can’t create the projects themselves. Know that they need you, but you don’t need them. Value yourself and your time. Otherwise you’re bound to burn out. Also, your folders will start to look like this. Have any more tips? How many revisions do you allow? Let us know in the comments below.
Not just for streaming, 360-video creators can now sell 360-degree content on Vimeo.All images via Vimeo. The major Vimeo updates just keep coming. Following the new video review pages and Premiere Pro panel, Vimeo has now gone full 360!Today Vimeo takes on immersive storytelling with support for 360 video.Vimeo’s creator community is known for pioneering new video formats and pushing the boundaries of storytelling. With this launch we hope to usher in a new wave of immersive content that sets the standard for cinematic quality and powerful narratives in a 360 environment. We believe Vimeo creators are the missing piece to taking 360 video from nascent to mainstream — Anjali Sud, Vimeo Creator Platform SVP & GM360 Video Launches on Vimeo – Mobile AppVimeo supports high-res 360 video up to 8K. To give viewers the optimal playback experience, users can stream or view HD offline in the Vimeo mobile app. Vimeo will support both monoscopic and stereoscopic video, and it will allow users to add metadata or customize the player embed settings as well as capture email or insert a call-to-action directly in the embedded player.The 360-video player includes a compass to orient viewers, and it will allow creators to set their field of view to choose the exact point where the video begins.Vimeo has always been committed to preserving and delivering the highest quality video and our move into 360 expands our premium video technology solution to 360 filmmakers. Their stories now benefit from our advanced video compression and player customization tools, along with streaming and offline viewing in up to 4K. — Sara Poorsattar, Vimeo Director of Video ProductFor those new to 360-degree content, Vimeo is also launching 360 Video School — offering educational resources to help creators learn the basics with in-depth tutorials on 360 cameras, shooting, and post-production.As with traditional Vimeo content, PRO and Business users will have the ability to sell the 360 videos through Vimeo On Demand. Creators can choose to rent, sell, or offer subscriptions — with the ability to set prices and distribution regions. Vimeo promises that users will take home 90% of revenue after transaction costs.You can experience Vimeo 360 right now with a curated collection of 360-degree videos from the likes of Staff Pick alumni and organizations like the American Museum of Natural History.You can view 360 videos now on iOS and Android devices through the Vimeo mobile app. Currently compatible with smartphone-powered VR headsets like the Samsung Gear VR, Zeiss VR One, and Google Daydream, Vimeo 360 will soon be available for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.What are your thoughts on Vimeo 360? Let us know in the comments below.
5. A Final ShowdownImage from Lone Wolf McQuade (via Orion Pictures).Finally, at the end of every action movie, you need a final showdown between your villain and your hero. In many tournament-style martial arts movies — like Bloodsport or The Karate Kid — these showdowns will line up pretty naturally. However, in other plots, you’ll have to find ways for your hero and villain to find themselves facing off mano-a-mano.These final acts are usually some of the biggest, most complex spectacles in action movies — often shot on some of the most elaborate sets. From the industrial sets of Terminator and Terminator 2 to Chuck Norris and David Carradine squaring off with different martial arts expertise in Lone Wolf McQuade, the final showdown can be a long, engaging sequences, with the most drama and intrigue.And, unless you’re looking to make a multi-movie plot with a twist, or an art film that turns the genre on its head, like Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs, you’ll probably want to have your hero triumph and ride off into the sunset — at least until you start working on your sequel.Cover image from Terminator 2: Judgement Day (via Sony Pictures).For more genre tips and filmmaking insights, check out some of these articles below:Action Hits Toolkit: 70+ Free Action Compositing ElementsLearn to Edit Fight Scenes in This Atomic Blonde BreakdownProduction Tip: How to Edit a Fight Scene for Rhythm and PacingLight up Your Action Scenes with These Explosive Shoot-Out TipsCapture Intense Cinematic Action With High Shutter Speed 6 Tips for Filming a Thrilling Car Chase SceneCinematography Tip: Creating the Illusion of Speed$30 DIY Car Mount | Filmmaking Tips If you’re looking to dive into the ultimate film genre, here are five things you need when making an action short or feature.I love action movies. In fact, I’ve dedicated a good deal of my life to watching, appreciating, and writing about action movies — specifically those from the ‘80s and ‘90s. Outside of writing here for PremiumBeat, I also run a fan community dedicated to action movies called the Ultimate Action Movie Club.As a filmmaker, my fascination for action has piqued in the last few years, as the classic action movie formula has made a resurgence. Not counting the recent superhero boom (which I did finally dive into and write about here), we’ve seen some recent action blockbusters among the likes of John Wick, The Raid, and Taken — as well as the resurgence of franchises like Mad Max, Death Wish, and Mission: Impossible.The action movie genre has proven to be both a reliable box office draw and a solid streaming option, with titles that remain popular for years and often quickly spawn into major blockbuster franchises.1. Strong HeroImage from John Wick (via Lionsgate).First and foremost, action movies live and die (literally) with their heroes. While there are some examples of ensemble casts (like The Expendables) or buddy-cop duos (like Lethal Weapon), at their hearts, every action movie needs a singular, strong, courageous hero.While the action movie hero can certainly have character flaws — a disdain for protocol or a filthy chain-smoking habit — the likability of the hero is often what ultimately decides the success of the film. That’s why action movies are such star-driven titles. The actors or actresses take on larger-than-life personas, making fans want to see them again and again.2. Revenge PlotImage from Death Wish (via Paramount Pictures).More often than not, an action movie’s plot is going to be solely fueled by some sort of revenge or vengeance (or Avengement?) that will power the narrative from start to bloody finish. Perhaps the most on-the-nose example of this would be the original John Wick film (as well as the subsequent sequels), which are based off one single event that propels Keanu Reeves’s John Wick into action.The tropes are all pretty similar — a kidnapped daughter in Taken, an attacked family in Death Wish, a platoon systematically wiped out in Predator — all vehicles in casting your hero unhinged into the world of revenge.3. Training MontageThis is not an absolute requirement in every action movie. There are many action movie heroes who are simply all-powerful (like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator or Steven Seagal in any of his movies) who don’t need to level up for their final showdowns (more on those below). Training montages don’t always have to be workout related. There are many montages for gearing up, like in Commando and Rambo: First Blood Part II, that accomplish the same thing.However, from Jean-Claude Van Damme in many of his movies to Sylvester Stallone (most notably in Rocky IV), a training montage can be a fun, engaging way to show your hero striving toward the completion of the hero’s journey.Here’s a great article about the evolution of the action movie montage, as well as some more filmmaking insights, which one can learn from the Rocky movies.4. Chases and Fight ScenesImage from Bullitt (via Warner Bros).Obviously, the premise of an action film includes several action scenes and sequences. You can usually break these down into chase scenes and fight scenes. Chase scenes can be shot in a variety of settings, on different vehicles, or on foot. From the car chase roots in Bullitt to famous foot chases in Point Break to blockbuster motorcycle and 18-wheeler chases in Terminator 2, the scenes can vary in size and scope.For some insights into chase scene cinematography and production tips, check out some of these articles: Fight scenes can be just as exciting — as well as extremely complex and coordinated. They can also be very tricky to film. So, in all instances, safety is your number one priority. In fact, many stunt professionals have made the jump from performers and coordinators to directors (like John Wick directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch — who are reportedly working on a Bloodsport reboot), based on their expertise in choreography and filming dynamic, impactful scenes. For insights into how to choreograph and film fight scenes, check out some of these resources:Filmmaking Tips: The Ins and Outs of Fight Scene ChoreographyDirecting Fight Cinematography: The Right Way and the Wrong Way6 Tutorials for Filming Realistic Fight Scenes
“This client could be huge! If they win the contract they’re competing for, they would need to spend a massive amount of money on what we sell! They’re perfect for us!”Have you ever caught yourself saying something that sounds like that when reviewing your pipeline? Have you ever heard a salesperson say something like that? Is this a case of happy ears? Whatever it is, it shouldn’t go into your forecast.It’s Not Your Deal to Win or LoseThe problem with forecasting opportunities for prospects that haven’t been awarded the business that would cause them to need you is that it isn’t your deal to win or lose.You have no idea how close—or how far—your prospect may be from winning their deal. You don’t have any way of knowing what their chances are, how their client is making their decision, what competitors they may be considering, or if they are considering an alternative. Because you don’t know any of this, these deal don’t belong in your forecast.It’s not your deal to forecast.You Have No Way of Changing a DecisionI have been so closely engaged with some of my clients in winning business together that we made sales presentations together. My client presented, and as their strategic partner, I did part of the presentation. But even being that closely aligned with my client didn’t give me any way to own the sales process or change the client’s decision. It was their client; they had to do the selling.The problem with forecasting deals that you can only win if your prospect wins a deal is that there is no action you can take to influence the deal in your direction. You can’t call on your prospect’s prospect directly. And there isn’t anything that you can do indirectly to ensure the business comes to you through your client.Here is the rule: If you can’t own the outcome, you can’t forecast the deal. If you have no ability to take some action to further the deal, you can’t forecast it.It’s a ProspectUnless and until your dream client wins the deal that will cause them to need you, they are at best a prospect in the very early stage of your sales process. If your client can’t buy because they don’t have an order to give you, then they aren’t yet an forecast-worthy opportunity.Pursue them. Sell to them. Be in front of the deal should they win. But don’t count these chickens. Most of them won’t hatch.QuestionsAre there deals in your pipeline now that would require your prospect to win a deal of their own?Do these deals really belong on a forecast report?Other than supporting your prospect, what can you do to influence the deal in your direction before your prospect’s prospect makes a decision?Are deals like this in your pipeline simply because you need them? Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Better Product: My product sucks. Everybody else has better stuff. Can you imagine how much easier it would be to sell if only you had a better product? Think of how easy it would be to sell if only people were lined up and dying to buy.Lower Pricing: Our prices are too high to win. Low prices isn’t your strategy, eh? It’s tough to sell something with a higher price than your competitor’s pricing. Imagine how easy it would be to sell if you had lower prices.Better Territory: Look across the way. The neighbors grass is way greener. It would be a breeze to sell in that territory. They can say that, “it’s not the man, it’s the land,” but they haven’t seen your lousy territory, have they?Easier Prospecting: Calling prospective clients sucks? No one returns my calls ! Prospecting should be a lot easier! That would make selling awesome, wouldn’t it? And easy.Better Prospects: Our prospects only care about price. They only want solutions we don’t sell. They have deep relationships with our competitors. All of the best prospects are already taken. Selling would be easy with better prospects. Yeah.Better Management: My manager doesn’t get it. He thinks I should have more activity. He keeps asking me about my pipeline. Selling would be easy if I wasn’t micromanaged. Selling would be easy with management or leadership, for sure.Better Compensation Plan: My comp plan stinks. If I had a decent compensation plan I’d motivated to sell. I’d be a top 20% salesperson with the right comp plan. No doubt, you would. Your comp plan really makes selling easy.There are seven lies listed here. Here is one truth: none of these are the real reason that selling is difficult. Selling isn’t easy. It’s never been easy, and it won’t be easy in the future. All you can do is work tirelessly to improve yourself. Then, selling won’t be easy, but selling well will be effortless.QuestionsWhat is your pet excuse?Which of these lies resonates with you? What is the real reason this resonates with you?What beliefs would you have to shed to improve your sales?
The biggest challenge in sales today is opportunity acquisition. Period.Your dream clients are busier than ever. They are doing more with fewer resources than ever. They don’t have time to waste with salespeople that are not prepared to create value.Even though your dream client may be sitting on a pile of cash, they aren’t going to part with that cash unless it’s for something that helps them produce dramatically greater results or creates a strategic advantage.More and more, companies are only buying when they reach consensus. And because consensus is so hard to reach many no longer bother trying. Unless there’s a burning platform nobody’s going to push for change.But this isn’t to say that value can’t be created, and it isn’t to say that opportunities don’t exist. It more likely means that there are greater opportunities than ever before. The world economy is worth $80 trillion–there’s a few deals in there for you, I promise.So, what gives?Salespeople have been told to stop making phone calls. They’ve been told that picking up the phone no longer works, and they’ve taken the advice of charlatans who prey on their fears and weaknesses.Salespeople and sales organizations have been sold on the promise of inbound marketing. They’ve been told that lead generation was someone else’s responsibility long enough that they’ve come to believe it. Now they spent too much time talking about the quality of leads rather than working those leads from wherever they find them in the buying cycle.Sales people have been told that social media is the magic bullet. But some number of salespeople spend too much time on social media and not enough on the telephone, while an equal number of ignore social media altogether and don’t yet have a remotely compelling LinkedIn profile.Sales managers have been told not to manage activity, to manage outcomes. Good advice–as long as your problem isn’t low activity. And there are no outcomes without activity. It matters just as much that salespeople engage in the right activities as it does that they are effective when doing so.Salespeople spend more time farming than they do hunting. They spend more time owning transactions than they do owning outcomes–and sometimes they don’t own the right outcomes.These are the many causes of your opportunity acquisition problem.I once heard a story of a company that sold their business. The new owners changed everything. The brand suffered, and sales collapsed. The new owners sold it back to the original owner. When they asked him how he restored the business he said, “I made a list of every decision they made, and then I reversed them.” Free Infographic! Download my “8 reasons your sales opportunity stalled” infographic A super-cool, professionally-designed infographic shows the 8 reasons your opportunity stalled. Use this infographic and get back on track. Download Now
When was the last time you met with a brand new prospect face-to-face? Was it more than 7 days ago?When was the last time you called one of your dream clients to schedule a face-to-face meeting? Was that call made more than 48 hours ago?When was the last time you nurtured one or more of your dream clients by sharing some insight with them and what medium did you use to share it? Did you do this more than 72 hours ago?How many days has it been since you developed a new opportunity within one of your existing client accounts? Has it been more than 14 days?What was the date of the last face-to-face client review meeting you had with a key account to make changes to how you do business together to to share a new idea? Was it more than 30 days ago?Be honest. When was the last time you spent an entire day prospecting and doing nothing else? It was more than 60 days ago, wasn’t it? Was it more than 600 days ago?How many days this week have you done the most important task you needed to do before you opened your email inbox? Have you done this? Ever?When did you last visit with the end-user stakeholders inside a key account to get their view of how you are doing and to discover the new challenges they are having producing results? When was the last time you got their feedback on how you’re doing? Not more than 90 days, I hope.What was the last action you have taken to massively improve yourself personally and professionally? In this disruptive age, this number can’t exceed 24 hours.What was the last book you read cover to cover? What was the first action you took as a result of what you learned? No less than a book a month, and even fiction counts.The last time you turned off your smartphone during dinner? A couple times a week minimum.Time is fleeting. Time is not on your side. Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Absence makes the heart go wander.
Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The email in my LinkedIn inbox is titled: Re: Killing the Cold Call. The opening line reads, “I hate cold calling as much as you do.”Know this: There is no difference between a cold call and a cold email. You still don’t know the person you are contacting. That person still isn’t waiting for you to communicate with them. And you still have to ask for some commitment to engage with them.There is a reason this person hates cold calling: Her approach is terrible (even though she probably didn’t choose this approach herself). There is a reason that we delete emails like this one.First, the person sending this to me made no attempt to personalize the email. She sent me a form letter that she copied and pasted. There was nothing here that even hinted that she knows enough about me to create value. How again is this better than a cold call?Second, had she Googled my name and the words “cold calling,” she might have discovered I wrote an eBook titled, How to Crush It, Kill It, and Master Cold Calling Now. I have a rather strong opinion about the value of using the telephone. I might be someone with an exceedingly low lead score or probability of buying her product.Finally, had she clicked the contact box on my LinkedIn profile, she would have found my phone number. And if she really wanted my attention, she would have called.It is strange how few salespeople call me. This one group that sells to speakers called me. They used a terrible, non-value-creating script, but at least they tried. InsideSales.com also called me (I like that they practice what they preach, even though I am a terrible prospect for them, and they should remove me from their list). Other than that, no one calls. Instead, they just send terrible emails, most of which Google recognizes as spam, the rest of which I delete.You might want to think about getting good at using the phone. You will be a very small class of your own, and you’ll absolutely get more appointments faster than any of your competitors who are afraid of the phone.Software isn’t killing the cold call. Lots of us are still wildly successful using it. The only thing dying is your sales (and maybe your business).The silence you still hear is still the sound of your phone not ringing. And staring at your inbox isn’t going to win you new deals either. Stop looking for easier answers and do the work you need to do to succeed.
Free Webinar Series! Create a culture of value creation. Signup for this free webinar! In three, short, power-packed webinars, you will learn what you need to do to create a culture of value creators who create and win new opportunities. Download Now A leader must remain unfaithful to the status quo.You can’t be faithful to the status quo. The status quo, or “the way we do things around here,” was built on the organization’s response to the past. The status quo grew out of many small decisions, and perhaps a few larger decisions, that were designed to deal with the reality of the time those decisions were made, a time that has passed.The “we do things this way” and the “we don’t do that” are a product of another time, even if many of those decisions are still relevant.You make decisions to deal with the existing reality. Dealing with the existing reality requires that you overcome the present obstacles standing between the organization you lead and the organization’s better future.Because you are responsible for the future, you can’t afford to allow people to protect their sacred cows. Because something was right at one time doesn’t mean that it is right for the organization or the people you lead now. The status quo has many defenders, and they will work very hard to prevent change and avoid anything disruptive. A leader is by definition an agent of change. You have to explore new ideas, some of which will mean change.You also can’t allow the organization to stagnate or become complacent. By being unfaithful to the status quo, you force the organization to adapt to their circumstances as they unfold. You don’t make change for change’s sake, but you do make a change when doing so helps the organization breakthrough and reach its potential. Reaching your potential allows you to unlock even greater potential. Leaders know that this is how growth works.You can be unfaithful to the status quo, constantly exploring new ideas and new opportunities and still building an unshakeable foundation, by providing values that are unchanging. Including the value of building an organization that knows its job is to adapt, overcome, and adapt again.The past decisions are what created today’s reality. Those decisions solved the problems that stood between the organization at that time and the organization now. The next set of decisions will create another set of problems for you and your organization to solve.By solving the existing set of problems, you create the next set of challenges. That’s what leaders do, and that is how growth works.
A few days ago, Seth Godin made an observation: You never saw Steve Jobs in public when he wasn’t selling something. If you were watching Steve Jobs speak, he was pitching you.You never thought Steve Jobs was too “salesy,” did you? You were never offended that he was trying to get you to buy something that he believed was going to create value for you.You never thought Jobs should “just connect” or that he should “never be closing.” You knew he was trying to get you excited enough to buy a new phone, a new iPad, or a new computer.Jobs was worth billions of dollars. But you never despised him for capturing some of the value that he created. You didn’t care that he profited personally and professionally because he sold you.You never once wanted Jobs to stop trying to pitch you, did you?I used to teach a Personal Selling class at a University. During the first class, I’d ask the students to come up with a list of words to describe salespeople. They’d come up with words like manipulative, selfish, greedy, and sleazy.After they had compiled a nice list, I’d ask the students to raise their hands if they had parents who worked in sales. A little less than a third of the hands would go up. Then I’d ask them if the words they chose described their parents. They’d protest and say, “My mom isn’t like that! Her clients love her! She helps them!”You will never be great at sales if you believe it is something you are doing to somebody, that you shouldn’t sell, that you shouldn’t pitch (when the time is right), and that you shouldn’t ask for commitments. Selling is something you do for and with somebody.You aren’t the least bit unhappy that Jobs sold you. And you aren’t unhappy when Tim Cook pitches you either. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now
Salespeople who sell a product or service with a higher price complain that it is more difficult to sell, believing their competitors with a lower price have it better. Many withhold their pricing as long as possible because they are worried the high price will cost them their deal when that strategy is the very thing that makes it more difficult for them to win. If you want a competitive advantage, you will reveal your higher price early in the process.Bad Ideas About When to Disclose Your PriceSome sales systems provide the guidance that you should never reveal your price until your prospect has given you time to do your discovery and diagnosis. The idea makes perfect sense in theory but is problematic in practice. If you aren’t able to speak your price when asked, it looks as if you are afraid to disclose your higher price, or that you might be trying to take advantage of your prospective client.Because it is difficult to disclose your price before you know precisely what you are providing pricing for, your best option is to confidently and boldly offer a range. By doing so, you retain the ability to effectively price your offering while showing no fear of engaging in a conversation around the investment necessary to provide the results your prospective client needs.If your price isn’t going to change, there is no reason not to share it when asked. If your prospective client can’t afford your price when you share it at the beginning of the sales conversation, they can’t afford it at the end. If they are unwilling to pay the higher price when disclosed early, they will be unwilling to pay it later in the process.Building Value Over TimeThe premise that the strategy of waiting to disclose your price is built upon is the idea that you need to develop the value of what you sell first to justify your higher price. What makes this strategy so tricky is that once you are through the conversation and provide pricing that is higher than your competitor’s, you are going to be asked to justify the difference between your price and your competitor’s after the fact.If your client hasn’t perceived the difference in value between you and your competitor by the time you provide the pricing, you put yourself in the unenviable position of having to differentiate your offering and sell the value at the very end of your client’s process. Not only is it more difficult, but you also have very little of your prospective client’s time in which to do it.The approach is a large part of why salespeople with higher prices believe they lost on price when they lost because the client didn’t perceive the higher value of the greater investment they were being asked to make.Positioning Your Greater InvestmentIf your price is higher than your competitors, there is no reason to hide that fact from your prospective clients. It is evidence that what you sell is better, as things that cost more are generally superior to things that cost less. It is evidence that other people are willing to pay more for what you sell, validating the fact that for some people, it makes sense to invest more in specific outcomes. Additionally, it provides two results you cannot obtain if you wait to deliver pricing late in the conversation.Positioning: When you share your higher price early in the sales conversation, you position your offering as being superior to others without you having to say a word about your lower-priced competitors. The fact that you are not afraid to say that you have a higher price than your competitors is strong evidence that you are worth paying more for. It will differentiate you from your many competitors who will do everything they can to wiggle out of an investment conversation early in the process.Time to Differentiate: Disclosing your higher price early also provides you with the opportunity to ask your prospect to explore what makes you different, why you do certain things differently from your competitors, how you invest more in producing the strategic outcomes your client needs, and the concessions they make by choosing a competitor with a lower price, something you are deprived of down the home stretch.By disclosing that your investment is going to be a little higher than your competitor’s early, you position your offering as being better, and you give yourself the entire sales process to help your clients understand the value they receive by investing more.The Concessions They AcceptTrying to help your prospective client understand the concessions they’re going to make at the end of the process isn’t nearly as effective as sharing them earlier in the process. It looks like you are defensive about your price, and it causes you to start trying to pick apart your competitors after their prospect has spent time with them.Waiting to share the concessions you refuse to make late in the process is not as effective as differentiating throughout the entire process by explaining the different models one might use to produce a better outcome. You not only give yourself more, but you also have the upside of being able to have multiple opportunities to make your case, provide proof, and answer questions. Throughout the entire process, you want to differentiate the value you create while also creating a preference to work with you because of the experience.When to Defend Your PriceThe choice one is making here is between justifying the more significant investment throughout the process (selling on your front foot) for waiting until it’s too late (selling on your back foot). You are deciding whether to play offense or defense. If you want to play offense, sharing the greater investment necessary to produce a better result earlier in the process provides that opportunity.Waiting to surprise your client with your higher price at the end of the process puts you on defense. Prevent defense, since you are trying to prevent losing instead of trying to win. If you don’t want to be asked to sharpen your pencil, share your pricing earlier and spend all your time making sure your client feels the difference before they ever decide to sign your contract. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now
Five people were arrested in connection with attacks on African students in Noida, which sparked concerns over their safety and made External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj promise immediate action.Ms. Swaraj spoke to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after being approached by an African student, who pleaded for action, describing the situation as “life-threatening situation.” Four Nigerian students were attacked by a group of Noida residents who took out a candle light march on Monday after 17-year-old Manish died last week due to suspected drug overdose. Also Read Boy dies of suspected drug overdose; Nigerians booked Sushma speaks to Adityanath on attack on Nigerian students in Greater Noida She was responding to a tweet from a student who requested her to “act fast as living for us in Noida is becoming a life-threatening issue.”Sujata Singh, Superintendent of Police, Greater Noida, said the protesters became violent during the protest march and started beating up the Africans they saw on the road. “They also went to Ansal Mall and caused havoc and beat up Africans there. The police then rescued them and moved them to a safe place,” she said. “The police had to use force to dissuade people from attacking and arrested five people from the spot. Many of them who were there trying to play mischief have been identified as the entire event had been videographed,” Daljit Chaudhary, ADGP, Law and Order, told reporters in Greater Noida. An FIR has been registered and action would be taken accordingly, he said. The protest march was taken out after the police released some Nigerians detained for questioning in connection with Manish’s death. Following the incident, Nigerian High Commission officials went to meet the injured persons and said they felt “unsafe”. A senior high commission official said the mission was in touch with the External Affairs Ministry on the issue.In a series of tweets, Ms. Swaraj said, “I have spoken to Yogi Adityanath ji Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh about attack on African students in Greater Noida. He has assured that there will be a fair and impartial investigation into this unfortunate incident [sic].” Also Read
The water crisis in Toto para, mostly inhabitaed by the nearly extinct Toto tribals, has been solved in majority areas, an oficial said today.Presently there are about 1000 houses in the area in north Bengal that are getting pipe water, District Magistrate Deviprasad Karnam said.Priority has been given to the Totos, numbering only 1533, he said.The entire area where non-Totos are also living will get water by next year and dependence on Bhutan for water will end, he said.The success followed a state government project launched in 2013 to build three reservoirs to store showers from waterfalls.Construction of the reservoirs has been completed. The water stored is distributed through pipes, he said, adding that only one reservoir was now functional.The government is also implementing the ‘Spring Shed’ programme, used in Sikkim, through which waterfalls do not dry up during summer, he said.
The Bombay High Court at Goa on Wednesday adjourned the hearing on former Tehelka editor-in-chief Tarun Tejpal’s plea to quash proceedings against him in the trial court, to December 12. The interim stay on the commencement of trial will continue.The hearing on Wednesday was adjourned at the request of Mr. Tejpal on the ground that the mother of his lawyer, Aman Lekhi passed away.Earlier, the High Court had refused to stay the process of framing of charges against Mr. Tejpal at a lower court in Mapusa in North Goa, but, simultaneously, directed that the trial could begin only after its consent.The former editor has been accused of raping a former junior female colleague during an event in Goa in 2013. Mr. Tejpal faces charges under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code had been endorsed by the court, while an additional Section 354 (b) (criminal assault with intent to disrobe) had been added.
At least 11 persons have died and 16 are in a serious condition after consuming spurious liquor in Kanpur Nagar and Kanpur Dehat districts, the police said on Sunday. The seriously ill have been admitted to the L.L.R. Hospital and the Ursula Horsman Memorial Hospital in Kanpur, and the District Hospital in Kanpur Dehat. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced an ex-gratia compensation of ₹2 lakh each to the kin of the dead.Quoting relatives of the victims, SP (Kanpur rural) Pradyuman Singh had said on Saturday that all of them had consumed liquor bought from a government liquor shop. An FIR under various Sections of the IPC and the Excise Act has been lodged against Shyam Balak, the licence holder of the shop. Balak, however, is still at large. The main accused, Vinay Singh, a relative of former Samajwadi Party MLA Ram Swarup, was among more than half a dozen persons arrested in the case.