MEN ARE MEN. Women are
not. This sounds obvious,
but in business it’s not
always addressed. Especially
considering that women
make or influence more than
94 percent of purchases.
That is the premise of
a book by Costco member
Delia Passi, with A.B.
Aronson. Winning the
Toughest Customer: The
Essential Guide to Selling to
Women (Kaplan Publishing,
2006) explores the differences between gender-based decisions and offers
clear advice on building
relationships with your
• Gender differences
• Effective communication techniques
• Relationship building
• Strategic positioning
• Closing the deal
• The added value
of brand-loyal women
For more from Passi,
newest book is
Research. For more
tips, see www.
for your life
IS YOUR SPRING-CLEANING project beginning
to look like it’s going to be a summer-cleaning
project? If you’re like me, promises to yourself
to clean off your desk and get better organized
typically slip to the bottom of your “to do” list.
Recently, however, I spent a full day cleaning off
my desk, and it’s given me some perspective on
the whole notion of getting organized.
Neat is not the same as
organized. I have piles of papers on my
desk, but I know where everything is. So do many other
entrepreneurs, salespeople and creative people.
That’s because many of
us are the “out of sight,
out of mind” kind of
people. If I put something in a drawer, I may
never remember it.
Get rid of stuff. While clean isn’t the same as
organized, messy isn’t necessarily the same as
organized, either. If you’re going to keep stuff in
files, make certain the stuff you keep is important. Decide as quickly as you can whether you’re
really going to need something. Get rid of stuff
regularly. Cull those piles or those files.
Urgent is not the same as important.
In your business and your life, you’re going to
have many pressing tasks: phone calls, e-mail,
crises that have to be responded to immediately.
But tasks you have to do now are not necessarily
the most important things in the long run.
Whether you’re building a business or nurturing a
family, important things often take careful attention but don’t have deadlines. Remember what’s
Set regular times for important activities.
Establish a definite schedule for the things that
are truly important in your business and your
life—whether it’s a staff meeting, sending out
invoices, networking with important referral
sources, having a date with your spouse, reading
with your kids or exercising. You’re much more
likely to take care of these if you have
them on your calendar at a set
time weekly or monthly.
The key to getting organized
is to make sure you attend to
those things that are truly
important, throw out stuff you
don’t need and stop beating
yourself up just because you have
a pile of papers on your desk! C
Staying positive in a negative world
READ INTERVIEWS with successful people and you’ll find
that a common denominator is
a “glass half full” type of personality. For those who tend to look
at things in a “glass half empty”
way, help is available.
In a self-published book,
54 Ways to Stay Positive in a
Changing, Challenging and
Sometimes Negative World,
Costco member JoAnna Brandi
offers simple and entertaining
ways to change your thinking.
These examples from the
book, hand-selected by Brandi,
a writer, public speaker and
business consultant, will start
you on your way to a more
Expect miracles. Miracles
do happen, but mostly to those
who believe in them.
Amuse yourself. Practice the
art of childlike-ness. Keep your
mind on the cusp of curiosity.
Be blessed. Write down
names of people and things that
are blessings in your life and
read these at night to put you in
a positive state for sleep.
Reframe. Look at things in
different ways. You might like
the view from a different angle.
Dial-a-wallow. When you
can’t get out of a bad mood,
make a deal with a friend to
listen to a few minutes of your
wallowing. You get an allotted
amount of uninterrupted time
to vent. Your friend provides
support with no criticism or
advice. Say thank you and get
off the phone. The friend gets
a reciprocal turn another time.
Sing happy songs. Make a
tape, CD or playlist (for your
music player) of songs that
elicit happy memories. If you
feel yourself slipping into negative territory, play the songs
and sing along.
Take a tourist day. Make a
list of the great places your town
or city has to offer. Now take a
day and go sightseeing. Dress
like a tourist and bring your
camera. It’s an instant vacation.
Move the furniture.
Moving a couch, desk or bed
may give you a different viewpoint, helping you to see things
from another angle. Change
your surroundings often. It
keeps you fluid.
For more on the book, and
other ways Brandi can help you
find success for your business,
visit her Web site, www.customer