Wednesday, June 29, 2016

5 Ways to Use Your First Book to Expand Your Reach

It wasn’t that long ago that everybody started saying, “You need to write a book!” But surveys continue to report that while 80% of us admit that we’d like to write a book, only 2 or 3 of us do.   

I understand. Writing a book takes work. But I also know that we all have something valuable to share. There are people who need your knowledge, wisdom, expertise, and ideas to help them improve the quality of their lives. So, if you’re still on the fence about writing your book, here are 5 additional ways your book can help you expand your reach and help even more people than you ever dreamed of. 

Turn your content into a workshop or seminar: People love this format! If they didn’t, PBS wouldn’t use it as one of their go-to fundraising strategies. The great thing about workshops and seminars is that you already know the content. All that’s required is for you to figure out how much content you can cover in the allotted amount of time.

Turning your book into an online course (or courses): Online learning is a growing industry that makes perfect sense. How are we supposed to continue to grow and evolve as human beings beyond school if we don’t have access to opportunities to grow and evolve? As an expert, you’ve already done the hard part of pulling all your content together. With online learning, you break down your material into bite-sized chunks of meaningful content people can access according to their own schedule.

Building your email list: The research is in, and it’s proving that email is still the best way to build relationships that lead to sales. I know how “markety” that sounds, but if you don’t tell them about your stuff, they won’t know it exists. And you have to remember what you’re selling. Initially it might just be your book, but as you expand the ways you utilize the content of your book, you’re also expanding the reach of your expertise, and all the ideas, knowledge, and information people can use to improve the quality of their lives!

Speaking about your book: You just never know whose life you’re going to change, but the more you do to promote your book (courses, workshops, seminars, etc.) the more likely you are to meet people whose lives you will influence for the better. You don’t have to start big either. Build your confidence up by starting locally first.

Take advantage of the internet: In some ways, the internet is still a bit like the Wild West—there are a lot of opportunities for people willing to do a little mining. You probably already know people who host webinars, are podcasting, and/or have active blogs. In reality, they need you as much as you need them. They need interesting people/experts to introduce to their audience, and you need someone to help you get your message online.

Obviously, each of these avenues takes work, but you don’t have to do them all at once. Pick one and see it through. Once it’s in place, pick another one. And remember, it’s not like you have to create new content each time. Your content is all in your first book! 

What’s truly amazing about zeroing in on specific opportunities is that you’re very likely going to figure out what your next book (or course or webinar or whatever) will be about along the way. And, as always, I’d be happy to have a conversation with you about all the possibilities.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Top Five Sales Tactics All Salespeople Should Avoid

When someone decides they want to pursue a career in sales—which is as honorable a profession as any other—they also get to decide what kind of a salesperson they want to be. Very few people would purposely choose to become the stereotypical sleazy salesperson, but it can happen if no one ever takes the time to explain the “old school” selling tactics people associate with sleazy salespeople, and why you should avoid them at all costs. Here’s a quick refresher of the top five tactics all salespeople should avoid: 

1. Directly putting down your competitor’s products/services:  Doing this is basically telling your prospect they are ignorant of the world around them. Face it, your prospects have access to the same information you do. Your job isn’t to prove your products/services are better than your competition’s. It’s to show your prospect that your products/services are a perfect fit for them.

2.  Hoping your prospect is as lazy as you are:  I once worked for a VP who always asked, “Did you do your due diligence?" The reality is that there are business owners who don’t do their due diligence with regard to their own company, or with the sales reps they encounter. For the sales rep who gets their foot in the door, it’s a choice. They can do just enough work to get the account, or they can do their own due diligence and become an invaluable resource to the business owner.

3.  Insulting you prospects intelligence: If there’s one trait that’s become synonymous with the sleazy salesperson, it’s the idea that they’re always on the lookout for the easy mark. Never assume that the way someone looks, dresses, or talks is an indication of how well they know their business. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that just because someone’s desk is a mess, you have an edge. Don’t let your assumption about how business savvy a prospect is end up showing the prospect just how un-savvy you are.

4.  Making promises just so you can get the order:  Everybody knows how the “bait and switch” approach to business works. What people don’t understand is how it can still happen in this day and age. Easy. When the order isn’t delivered on time, or as expected, or at the price quoted, it’s always someone else’s fault. These kinds of sales lead to short-term clients. Think about it… if you go to a restaurant and everything about your visit is sub-standard, are you likely to go their again? Over time, short-term clients lead to a short-term career.

5. Talking over your prospect: Yes, you may have a lot of great information to share, but good sales conversations are a two-way street. Talking over your prospect’s questions before they can even ask them forces them to look for answers in what you’re saying. That might have worked in the old west when the “snake oil salesman” sold from his wagon, but many of today’s business owners know more about your products/services than you do! Remember, relevant conversations are building blocks for solid long-term business relationship.

Fortunately, many sales professionals learn not to pursue these tactics early on in their careers. But I can't tell you how many times I’ve wished I hadn’t been present to witness a sales person falling into "old school" selling tactics simply because they didn’t realize that’s what they were doing.
Chances are that the stereotype of the sleazy salesperson will never be eradicated either. Fortunately, as sales professionals, we do get to choose whether to conduct ourselves as part of the solution, or part of the problem.

Alan Luoma: I am a Sales Coach with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, new

product development, sales and product training. I work with a great national sustainable packaging company and their exceptional distributors to increase sales. My success has been and is in utilizing the Pareto 80/20 principal in business and life. I have become an expert in seeking out and eliminating behaviors that prevent business people from being successful. I am a member of The National Speakers Association and New England Speakers Association. You can view my profile on LinkedIn, or contact me at 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


“If you don’t know where you are going, then you can waste a lot of time not getting there.”  I don’t remember where I heard this quote, but it captures the disconnect and lack of focus prevalent in many companies today.  Oftentimes, your senior leadership team believes they are aligned on vision and strategic goals because they can name the top 5 results the company is striving to achieve.   For example, “to increase productivity”; however, when pressed for specific numbers, oftentimes, the leadership team in not aligned.  This is because different goals may be set for minimal performance (3%), actual desired performance (5%), and stretch performance (7%).  When your senior leadership team is asked for a specific number, they may give any one of those three percentages.

When there is disagreement within your senior management team, then that will translate to confusion among your leaders and front-line employees alike, resulting in difficulty in setting individual and team goals.  Your employees may not understand the goals assigned to them or the point of managerial decisions. This lack of understanding demotivates employees and leads to a lack of investment in outcomes or your overall company, which makes it difficult to reach even your minimal performance goal.  It is better to set your actual desired performance target (5%) and clearly communicate it to ALL employees, so everyone is on the same page and working toward your desired outcome.

It is critical to understand where you are going as a company, the outcomes you wish to achieve and what the outcome will look like for your company.  Paint a picture of success.  Communicate your vision to your employees along with why they should care and how they can assist to bring about the outcome.

How do you get employees to buy-in and to care?  First and foremost, by respecting your employees.  Believe in them.  Your employees want a say in how the organization is run and have great ideas about how to achieve the outcomes you are trying to achieve.  Front line employees know first-hand how your company operates.  They are the foundation of your company, let them support you.

Secondly, it is critical for employees not only to understand their own role, but the role of the entire organization, including its vision and mission.  When employees know what the outcomes are, their role in achieving them and how they can successfully contribute to those outcomes, they feel valued.  When employees feel their contributions are valued, it is easier to agree with change and they become motivated and invested in your outcomes and your company.

One final point, encourage innovative thinking and risk taking.  If your employees believe they will be punished for making mistakes, then they will not come forward with great ideas that support your outcomes.  Treat mistakes as learning opportunities.  If punished, your employees will protect their own interests, follow their own agenda, and will maintain the status quo – resulting in the same results day in and day out.
Idea Share of the Month!
Management not only changes behavior by their actions, but by their inactions as well.

Frame of Mind Consulting understands the unique DNA of your organization, which is necessary to turn any organization into one capable of leveraging the full idea potential of its employees.  Would you like to drive connectivity and ownership throughout your company?  Contact me at (860) 559-7942 to set up your complimentary consultation during which you will receive some invaluable tips that you can apply to your business right away.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What does a grown man wearing a baby-doll dress have to do with your healthcare? by Michal Klau-Stevens

A few years ago, a critic said something that stuck with me which led me, recently, to an unusual experience. Back when I was president of a national nonprofit organization working to reform maternity care practices, a critic of natural childbirth accused leaders of the reform movement of being insular. She claimed we always heard from the same experts who touted the same studies, and our tunnel vision kept us from viewing the “big picture.” At the time I considered whether she had a point. After all, there was a fairly small pool of experts – the “usual suspects” who published books, appeared in documentaries, and spoke at conferences. Were we operating in a bubble? That critique made me aware of the importance of seeking out other sources of information as a kind of reality check. So earlier this year, when I received an email about The Tenth Annual Transgender Lives: The Intersection of Health and Law Conference being held at the University of Connecticut in April, and saw there were presentations on healthcare advocacy, I was inspired to attend. I was curious what experts who specialize in issues that affect another, very different, population would have to say about healthcare delivery.

I was excited about the prospect of hearing from a whole new group of people who would expand my horizons. For weeks leading up to the conference, I envisioned myself soaking up new information and being re-energized by learning cutting-edge research and ideas. In my mind I pictured myself being totally focused on the speakers in rapt attention.

On the day of the conference I was thrown out of my comfort zone in the parking lot, before I even walked into the building. As I got out of my car, one of the first conference attendees that I saw was a grown man, about 30 years old, wearing a baby-doll dress with a lace bib collar, white eyelet knee socks, mary-jane shoes, with his hair in pigtails. He was carrying a purse over his shoulder. I thought to myself, “Whoa – I guess I’m not in Kansas anymore…” You see, while I envisioned myself at the conference, I had not envisioned anyone else who would be at the conference. I’d been looking forward to learning about healthcare from a new perspective, but didn’t fully anticipate that the perspective would be that of transgender people, who in case you don’t already know, are a bit different from the pregnant women, midwives, and doulas I usually attend conferences with.

Once I got inside the building, I saw that the baby-doll dress was the most radical outfit in the place. Most of the attendees were much more low-key, although the energy of the environment was different from a birth-related conference, and the culture was different too. When I was given a name tag to fill out, I was asked to put my name and which pronouns I prefer to be called on it. I learned that pronouns are a very big deal in the LGBTQ community. The vendor gallery was filled with organizations that offered STD testing, HIV testing and support, mental health services, and legal support. Bright colored condoms were given out along with the usual pens and water bottles. The bathrooms were non-gendered, and frankly, it was sometimes hard to tell who was a man and who was a woman anyway. Once the stall doors closed, it didn't matter. Everyone was very polite and respectful, though. I did overhear more than one person say that this conference was one of the few places they felt safe using a public bathroom, but that’s another blog post.

While so much of the environment felt different to me, when it came to discussions about healthcare, much was similar to what we discuss about maternity care, and about healthcare in general. While technology and surgical techniques have made incredible advances, they are not foolproof, and there is still much more that remains unknown. It is vital to your well-being and your safety to have someone at your bedside to help advocate for you while you are in the hospital. Access to certain kinds of care is challenging and costly. Sometimes doctors and other caregivers are heroic and champion our needs, and other times care is paternalistic, disrespectful, and traumatic. Being able to use your voice, express your preferences, and have them be respected is an important component of good health outcomes. Minority people, people of color, and other oppressed populations do not get the same quality care that upper-class white cisgender men get. The advocacy skills necessary for getting good care are basically the same, whether you are going into the hospital to have gender-confirming surgery, to have a baby, or because of some other health reason, like cancer, heart disease, or other illness.

I learned a number of new things that day, and also confirmed some things I already knew. Hearing from experts outside the field of maternity care assured me that I’m not being insular or looking at healthcare with tunnel vision. There are serious issues with the way healthcare is delivered in this country, and they affect people in similar ways, regardless of the different reasons why people seek care.  Attending that conference was an unusual experience, which expanded my horizons. It reminded me of the value of moving outside my comfort zone and seeking out other people and places to gain valuable perspective.

And that man in the baby-doll dress? They (yes, that’s the right pronoun) are advocating to make healthcare better for you.

Michal Klau-Stevens is a professional speaker and healthcare consumer advocate. She is a maternity consultant, pregnancy coach, and expert on consumer healthcare care issues, Past President of BirthNetwork National, a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and mother.  Her website is TheBirthLady.INFO. Find her on LinkedIn and on Facebook at The Birth Lady page!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Muhammad Ali Leaves a Lasting Legacy

by Carolyn Finch

A week ago the news told us of the passing of Muhammad Ali, "the greatest." Yes he was the one who would "fly like a butterfly and sting
like a bee" according to him. I was especially saddened because I have looked at his picture daily for several decades. He had become a tiny part of my life. If you have ever been in one of my workshops or seminars no doubt you heard me tell a story about Muhammad Ali. Not so much a story about his Parkinson's disease, even though that was the hardest fight he ever fought and he won the right to even share that with the world. He changed the way people looked at boxing, politics, personal beliefs and self-motivation.

The stories I shared were about how he painted signs with his dad, took up boxing when his bike was stolen and he wanted to stand up for himself. Maybe you heard the story about how his prize money would be used to send a boy to Sparring Camp or to a private school. He never wanted people to know some of the things he did because underneath his spirit there was a humbleness about him.


It was several decades ago when his Parkinson's reflected his shaking and his posture started to change. I saw this myself when I shook his hand and stood with him at Macy's, in Danbury, CT., he was one person I always wanted to meet. I got my wish when he came to Danbury promoting his men's cologne. I stood in line with many people waiting to be in his environment. When I met him he carefully wrote his name while I mentioned to him that I spoke about him in my speeches. He reached out and shook my hand. Note the beautiful expression on his face. He then got up and his photographer and my husband Don took pictures. Since then Muhammad Ali's picture has shared a frame with Zig Ziglar one of my mentors who encouraged me be a Professional Speaker.

They were two very different people but both messengers of the belief that doing for others first is doing for yourself as well. At one time Muhammad Ali was the most recognized American in the world. He believed and achieved. He was opinionated but aren't we all? What lessons he taught us! What stamina he had,even when he burned his arm during the lighting of the Olympic flame from the torch carried around the world. Nobody really knew about his burn. It was because he kept his arm straight at his side to avoid the shaking from Parkinson's. Thanks for being you Muhammad Ali and showing us all it's okay to fight for what you believe in. I'll be seeing you right there on my desk but do rest in peace.

                                                 Body Language and Communication LifeStyle Expert
                                                      Professional Speaker-Health and Wellness Coach-Author

                                     Carolyn will put a spark in your next meeting!   Call now                               203 405 3972   203 512 4798 


Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Living in the past is awesome ONLY when done with gratitude.

Living in the past is self-sabotage when done with blame, anger, disappointment, feelings of inferiority, failure, fear, jealousy - you get the drift (PUN INTENDED)...

Wayne Dyer, who we lost last summer, used the analogy in his presentations and writings of being on a boat. Picture yourself looking off the back into the water at the wake.  In his words, three questions come to mind:

"First, you ask yourself, What is the wake? The answer is that the wake is nothing more than the trail left behind.

The second question is, What is driving the ship? The answer is that the Present Moment Energy that you are generating through the engine is driving the ship.

Finally, you ask yourself the most important question: Is it possible for the wake to drive the ship? The answer is NO, of course, for the wake is just a trail that is left behind. It can never drive the boat!"

He prompts you to imagine that the boat is your life, and the wake is all the things that have happened in the past. Is it dominated by blame, anger, disappointment, feelings of inferiority, failure, fear, jealousy, and such? He then states that "most people live with the illusion that their wakes are “driving” their lives—which is absolutely impossible. In order to nourish your soul, you must be able to “get out of the wake.”

Putting things in perspective, you can't change your negative past so let the control you let it have on you drift away... The Present Moment is the only thing you have control of - you own your actions AND reactions...

Your Present Moment Energy (positive or negative - it's always your choice) fuels the engine that drives your boat. Leave the "wake" behind and fuel your boat with Gratitude and Positive Energy... Enjoy the Ride!!

June 23: 7:30 - 9:30 AM: Join Eric Lopkin and myself for the "SUCCESS SHOWCASE": Professional & Personal Development - Networking Fun - Interactive Exercises!
A big crowd is expected. Click HERE for more information and to register. Click HERE for a flyer. CLICK HERE for a SHORT VIDEO PROMOTION of OUR EVENT


Chip, the Happiness and Success GPS, is a speaker, trainer, facilitator, consultant and NETWORKING EXPERT. Everything I do is customized for the group or business I that am working with so let's brainstorm - call me anytime at 860-673-4006 - coffee's on me!