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A brand, a business and a career. From a nametag.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

12 ways to redefine the testimonial

Let’s start with two facts:

1. The word “testimonial” is defined as “writing testifying to one's qualification or character.”

2. The word “testimonial” is derived from the 1432 French term testimonie, which means "evidence, statement of a witness.”

So, does a testimonial for your business HAVE to be a piece of letterhead from one of your customers?

Au contraire, Mon Fraire!

Your job is to SHOW and PROVE, not TELL and SELL.

Here’s a list of twelve ways to redefine the testimonial:

1. Video. Capture your customer on tape. Have him show (and tell) the camera about his experience working with you. Get those videos on your website! Get those videos on YouTube! Who have you interviewed lately?

2. Letter. Traditional, yet still effective. Be sure to get the note written on your customer’s letterhead. Consider scanning those letters and making them available as a PDF ebook on your website. Are your testimonials burning a hole in your drawer or being posted online?

3. Email. Encourage your customer to email his colleagues who work in similar positions. Great for regional or area directors, of which there are dozens around the country. Do you have a "Send this site to a friend!" box on your homepage?

4. Comments. Every time you receive a comment on your blog post or website, that’s a testimonial. To your page, to your writing, to your company, to your products and to your value. Be sure your feedback box is easy, accessible and quick.
Wait, you ARE blogging, aren't you?

5. In person. Invite a potential customer to “see you in action.” When she sees the reaction of the existing customers you’re working with, it will offer sufficient proof that you do, in fact, rock so hard. Another variation is to invite a potential customer and an existing customer to lunch with you. Are you eating alone?

6. Demo Video. Similar to the above example, but on video. Professional speakers, actors, comedians and the like call it a demo video. But just because you’re not a speaker doesn’t mean you can’t have one too! Get a demo. A (personal) demo! Be sure to have audience (aka, customer) reactions too. Do you have a demo?

7. Their Article. Whether a publication quotes you or features you, someone is supporting you with THEIR publication, which testifies to your character and value. Post these online, include them in your press kit or media room and send them out as direct marketing pieces. When was the last time the media pitched YOU?

8. Your Article. Writing is a testimonial because a third party, i.e., a newspaper, values your expertise enough to run an article you write in their publication. Post these online, include them in your press kit or media room and send them out as direct marketing pieces. What did you write today?

9. Ping. Any time someone’s blog, website, message board or publicized message on the Internet reference you and/or your site, you’ve just been pinged, aka, given a testimonial. NOTE: be sure to use Google Alerts to track these! Are you keeping a Word of Mouth Log?

10. Reaction. If you’re giving a speech or working in public, you know you’re good when the staff of the conference center (or other uninvited guests) stop to watch. That’s called social proof. And it’s a great testimonial to your abilities. Are people overhearing you do what you do?

11. Endorsement. If someone sees another person (hopefully famous) using your product, they’ll think, “If it’s good enough for Ben Afleck, it’s good enough for me!” What well known, high-profile person could you give your product to for free?

12. Fans. Next time you have a line of people waiting to get into your club, restaurant, or just to see you, congrats! It’s a perfect way to prove to surrounding customers that you’re in high demand. What have you done in the last week to enhance your celebrity status?

REMEMBER: testimonials qualify your character. They’re among the greatest sales and marketing tools in the world.

It’s time to start thinking outside of the letterhead.

How do you redefine the testimonial?

Share your best technique here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Monday, July 30, 2007

13 reasons to be That Guy

That Guy is...

Somebody who reminds everybody of nobody else.

Call it personal branding. Call it USP. Uniqueness. Remarkability. Whatever.

That Guy is...

The best.
THEE, not a.
The only one.
The obvious expert.

The go-to person when it comes to your area of expertise.

That Guy is...

Known FOR something.
Known AS something.

And if you’re NOT That Guy, customers will gladly and easily choose someone else who is.

But that shouldn’t be your only motivation. Here’s a list of 13 more reasons to become That Guy:

1. Clients need to know they’re getting YOU. Because they don’t trust corporations, they trust PEOPLE. Tangibility, not magnitude.

2. We live in a hyperspeed, A.D.D. culture. According to Wikipedia, the average human attention span is six seconds. Which means people need shortcuts. And that’s exactly what personal brands are: shortcuts.

3. Customers crave simplicity.

4. Customers are impatient. And they want the best. The ONE. The Guy. The Man. And people who are perceived as the best get rewards that DWARF the people who are second, third, fourth and fifth. (Thanks for that one, Seth Godin.)

5. Customers have near-infinite choices. Which means they’re only going to do business with you if they’ve heard you, heard OF you, or someone they TRUST has heard of you.

6. We live in a culture of sales resistance. Consumers are skeptical and require confidence before deciding to buy. They’ve been advertised to, marketed to, duped, fooled, conned, scammed, sold and screwed over too many times.

7. "Loyalty" is a joke
. Because big companies don’t realize that people aren’t loyal to big companies! They’re loyal to people.

8. The world demands specialists. “Being well rounded is totally overrated,” as Seth Godin says. Amen to that! REMEMBER: More Narrow Focus = More Big Opportunities.

9. Trust is at an all time low. (Thanks to, faceless, scandalous corporate and government monoliths.) But That Guy is approachable. That Guy is familiar. And prospects rely on familiarity. Which is good, because familiarity leads to predictability. Predictability leads to trust. And TRUST is foundation of all business.

10. Transparency is a must. Customers have more acute BS meters than ever before. Only the authentic survive.

11. The world is crying for uniqueness. Just turn on your TV. Open a newspaper. People LOVE That Guy, That Girl, Those Guys, That Company, That Firm, That City, That Hotel, That Bar, That Place, That Band, That Airline, That … you get the point.

12. Acronyms suck. Monograms are NOT brands, and generic names generate generic business. (Thank you, Harry Beckwith.)

13. Nobody notices normal. Fifty years ago? Maybe. But this is 2007, man. The market is cluttered, it is crowded and it is L-O-U-D! Positioning yourself as “normal” is like asking customers to find a need in a stack of needles! NOTE: that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with being normal. If you want to be normal, that’s totally cool. Just remember: those who get noticed get remembered; and those who get remembered get business.

What makes you That Guy?

Tell us why!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Do you know who's talking about you?

You can’t control your online image.

You can only participate in (and monitor) it.

So, the big question is: How do you know who’s talking about you?


Google Alerts uses its unique Web Intelligence technology to track the entire web for your personalized topics and send you new results by daily email.
You can use Google Alert to keep track of anything, including information regarding yourself, your work, or your interests. (According their FAQ page)

I’ve been using them for a few years now, and have experienced three key benefits:

1. Google Alerts give you a WINDOW into what people honestly think about you and your business. Thus clarifying how your customers, fans and prospects perceive you.

2. Google Alerts give you an OPPORTUNITY to clarify misconceptions, stereotypes and false accusations. Thus protecting your online reputation.

3. Google Alerts give you METRICS to quantify the effectiveness of your marketing, sales, branding and service efforts. Thus validating the success of your hard work.

HERE’S THE SECOND ANSWER: they’re not just for your name.

Consider getting Google Alerts for:

1. Your company name
2. Your biggest competitor’s name
3. Your tagline, slogan, credo or positioning statement
4. The name of your blog
5. Key phrases, one-liners and original quotations you often repeat
6. The names of your products
7. Your job title, moniker or personal brand, i.e., “The Horticultural Guru”
8. Your URL’s
9. Titles for your books, programs, events and company/organization initiatives

IN SHORT: get an alert for everything you are and everything you do.

HERE’S THE THIRD ANSWER: thank people when they talk about you.

When a Google Alert informs you that some random blogger in Tulsa is talking about how much she loves your lawn mower, leave a comment thanking her for the link love. You could also email her personally to introduce yourself. (Bloggers LOVE when you do this!)

NOTE: if someone is talking trash about you or your company, thank him for his feedback as well. If possible, clarify any misconceptions he might have made. Often times this will cause a “One-Hatey,” in which you turn a saboteur into an enthusiast.

Either way, by giving thanks every time someone talks about you, the universe will recognize your appreciation.

“Oh, did you enjoy that?” The Universe will ask. “Well then, here’s some more!”


HERE’S THE FOURTH ANSWER: keep an Online WOM Journal.

Every time you receive a Google Alert, copy the URL of each “Wommie,” then paste it onto a blank document. Over time, keep weekly and monthly records. Look for trends. Notice spikes during critical days, seasons and events throughout the year. Once you’ve been keeping your WOM Journal for a few months, you’ll be able to develop a Critical Number.

For example, let’s say you’ve been consistently receiving twenty Wommies a month. That’s great! Now, use that number as an accountability tool to measure the success of future marketing efforts.

HERE’S THE FINAL ANSWER: you need a system.

It doesn’t matter HOW you do it; it only matters THAT you do it. Customize your own system that enables you to monitor, record and evaluate every time someone talks (online) about you or your company.

Because, as Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”

What makes you That Guy?

Tell us why!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Approachable Service: Stop, Drop and Roll

PICTURE THIS: you’re one unhappy customer.

You just discovered that something is wrong with your checking account. So, on your lunch break you leave work and head over to the bank to get some answers.


When you walk into the lobby and approach the front desk, nobody seems to be available to assist you!

Now, it’s not like nobody works there. Several employees DO mull about behind the counter.

But they’re all busy!

And not with other customers -- busy with themselves.

Surfing the Net.
Reading books or magazines.
Jerking around with fellow employees.
Talking to their friends on the cell phone.
Gossiping with coworkers about the hot new office romance.

In other words, tuning you out.

BIG mistake.

* * *

This is an act of unapproachable service – and it’s a CRIME.

Sadly, it persists daily.

In offices, lobbies, front desks, call centers and waiting rooms around the world, customers are getting tuned out!

And they’re not happy about it.

What’s more, they’re telling their friends about it. And it’s doubtful those friends are rushing to do business with a company whose front line staff isn’t available to its customers.


Remember when you were a kid and you learned fire safety?

"Stop, drop and…?"

Roll, right? Stop, drop and roll. Everybody remembers that.

Well, when it comes to delivering approachable service, especially in those crucial moments of greeting the customer, that same three-step process applies:

STOP. Stop doing whatever you’re doing. Hang up the phone. Pause your conversations. Put down the mouse. Cease any secondary activities the MOMENT you spot a customer who needs assistance.

DROP. Not to the floor. (You probably WILL get fired if you do that!) Instead, drop your attention. Focus your body and mind on to the customer at hand. Unless you’re dealing with another customer or an existing emergency, nothing is more important at that moment than the guy who just walked in the door.

ROLL. Again, please don’t literally roll on the ground! But roll with the problem. Project understanding, patience and friendliness, and most importantly availability.

That’s what approachable service is all about. Showing the customer that you, as a front line employee, are personally AND physically available to them.

And if you remember to STOP, DROP and ROLL, even you will be able to put out the hottest of fires!

What's your biggest front line pet peeve?

Share your Approachable Service Solutions here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Friday, July 27, 2007

The single greatest thing you could ever do for your writing career

In Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, she insists upon a daily ritual called “Morning Pages.”

I’ve been doing them for about seven months, and they've absolutely changed my life.

AND I PROMISE YOU: it’s the greatest thing you could ever do for your writing career.


Here’s how they work:

1. First thing in the morning (even before checking email!) open a blank document, either on paper or on your computer.

2. Spew out every single thought and/or idea that’s running through your mind. Dreams, worries, fears, annoyances, ideas, what you did the day before, everything. (Most of it will be negative. Don’t worry about that.)

3. Keep writing until you’ve filled up three pages. You simply show up and write, “This is how I feel.”

4. When you’re done, don’t even read it. Just save it in a folder called “Morning Pages.”

5. Then, get on with your day’s work.

That’s pretty much it. That's the best thing you could ever do for your writing career.

But don’t it from me.

Take it from Julia, someone who’s (not only) written 20+ books and taught writing and creativity, but someone who’s been writing morning pages every day for decades.

I've pulled a collection of passages from several of Julia’s books on this topic. All of these are direct quotes.

32 Reasons to Write Morning Pages.

First, here’s what they ARE:

1. They are time outs.
2. They are portable solitude.
3. They are rituals of reflection.
4. They are a form of meditation.
5. They are the first check-in of the day.
6. They are psychological holding environments.
7. They are gateways to inner and higher selves.
8. They are tools to help you listen to yourself.
9. They are moments of free association and celebration.
10. They get the shanks out and bring forth the good stuff.

Second, here’s what they DO:

11. Morning pages lend you stability.
12. Morning pages provide intimacy.
13. Morning pages prioritize your day.
14. Morning pages keep you grounded.
15. Morning pages give you a place to ventilate.
16. Morning pages give you the privacy you crave.
17. Morning pages reveal weaknesses AND strengths.
18. Morning pages render us present to the moment.
19. Morning Pages are places to examine many aspects of an experience.
20. Morning pages are places to reframe our failures into lessons learned.
21. Morning pages introduce us to an unsuspected inner strength and agility.
22. Morning pages allow you to spit out what is troubling you NOW, just when you “should” be grateful.
23. Morning Pages are places to approach our next challenge from an emotionally neutral or positive stance.

Lastly, here’s why they’re so EFFECTIVE:

24. You awaken your intuition.
25. You need to release thoughts.
26. You must train your censor to stand aside.
27. You can find out what you like and don’t like.
28. You keep your spirit from being parched and dry.
29. You can shape your lives by your authentic desires.
30. Your problems are exposed and solutions are suggested.
31. You draw to your attention those areas of your life that need your focus.
32. You discover that a little trickle of writing keeps the flow from closing down completely.

Because a writer writes. Always.

Lastly, as Julia says, “Only in writing do you discover what you know. And writing teaches you something: that you never write just what you know. You write what you learn as you’re writing. Ideas come to you and trigger other ideas. Thoughts crystallize and connect with others, and the combination produces a compound: an insight.”


Morning pages. Best thing ever.

Start today. Never stop.

Thanks, JC!

What's the best thing you ever did for your writing career?

Do Morning Pages every day for a month. When you're done, email and tell me how they worked out!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Observe your future self


If you’re a “young blade,” as my Grandma likes to say, you need to take a good look at the veterans of your industry.

I suggest:

Meet them.
Observe them
Hang out with them.
Ask questions of them.

THEN: create a picture of the type of person that someone who does what you do often becomes.

This is something you need to know going in. To a new career OR a new job.

FOR EXAMPLE: as an entrepreneur under 30, I tend to work with a lot of people who are sometimes 20 years ahead of me.

And a few of the trends I notice (although not for everybody) include:

o Lack of work-life balance
o Incredible stress, physically and mentally
o Sabotaged relationships
o Absentee fathers and husbands
o Complacency and therefore lack of reinvention and/or expansion

That’s not who I want to become! I think.

I remember last year I asked a friend of mine, "Do you ever come into the office on Sundays?"

He said, "I come into the office when I'm in town."


Sure am glad I realize this now!

So. What about you?

What do you want (and not want) to become?

Even if you're not under 30, here a few steps to help you find the answer:

1. Observe your future self. Create a picture of the type of person that someone who does what you do often becomes.

2. Self-Assessment. Ask yourself three questions:

a. Do I want to end up like them?
b. If not, whom DO I want to end up like?
c. And what steps will I have to take (now) in order to become that person (later)?

3. Journal. Start a “Don’t Ever Let That Happen to Me” Log. Consider doing it with another person or a mastermind group for accountability purposes.

4. Evaluate. On a regular basis, do a check-in. See where you’ve been, where you are and where you’re going. Be sure your path is consistent with what you’ve observed and what you want.

REMEMBER: you don’t have to become what everyone else who does what you do often becomes.

It’s up to you.

Because you always have a choice.

What are the trappings of your industry?

Start your accountability TODAY. Make a list right here, right now, of three things you DON'T want to become.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

7 ways to become a Virtual Extrovert

Anonymity is the greatest barrier to business success.

Especially online.

Because if you don’t exist on the Internet, you don’t exist.

HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: even the painfully shy, even the most introverted souls, can still become Virtual Extroverts.

A Virtual Expert voices her opinion … online.
A Virtual Expert takes the first step … online.
A Virtual Expert sticks herself out there … online.

Here’s a list of 7 ways to do so:

1. Post pictures. On a photo-sharing website like Flickr. On your blog posts. On your website. Just make sure customers can see you doing what you do..

2. Email the author. If you read an article that touches, educates or connects with your philosophy, respond! Scroll down to the bio box at the end of the piece – it usually lists an email for the author. Send a note with your comments. (If you've never done this before, here ya go:

3. Blog comments. When you read a great blog post, always leave comments. Even if it’s as simple as, “Great post! Thanks!” Doing so not only sticks yourself out there, but also enables other readers to see who you are and link back to your website.

4. Connect with like-minded colleagues. Do some Googling. Find other people who do what you do. Check out associations, user groups and other online communities. Introduce yourself with the intention of connecting, not selling. Be proactive in developing mutually valuable relationships.

5. Publish! Don’t be selfish with your knowledge. At least once a month, publish an ezine. At least once every few weeks, publish an article. And at least one a week, publish a blog. Be the fhe first one to step out there and share your thoughts. Over time as content accumulates, they WILL come to you.

6. Join up! Part of extroversion is going where people are. Especially your target customers. Consider brainstorming a list called “10 Online Hotspots for My Industry.” From MySpace to LinkdIn to Facebook, create strong presence in a variety of online communities.

7. Message Boards. Another great resource for knowledge sharing, building community and making friends. Don’t be afraid to post questions and ask for help. Most message board types are willing to help AND respond quickly.

With these seven tips, you can be sure to boost your online approachability and become a virtual extrovert!

Are you sticking yourself out there ... online?

Think about your 3 best ideas for becoming a Virtual Extrovert - share them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Immediate Personal Discounting

The first words out of your mouth MUST project confidence.

That way, you build the right frame for your argument.

In a speech.
In a classroom.
In an audience.
In a boardroom.
In an interview.

When I was a marketing student at Miami University, my professor, Dr. David Rosenthal, stressed the importance building the right frame.

“Avoid Immediate Personal Discounting,” he stressed.

IPD, as we learned, was a dangerous way of opening an argument, question or comment.

For example:

o “I’m not sure if this is right, but…”
o “I could be wrong, but…”
o “This might be a stupid question, but…”
o “I could be way off, but…”
o “I probably shouldn’t ask this, but…”
o “You might think this is dumb, but…”
o "This is going to sound really (x), but…”

No. No, no, no! Immediate Personal Discounting is detrimental to the effectiveness of your argument for a several reasons:

It shows lack of confidence.
It sets the wrong expectation.
It nullifies anything you say next.
It preps people to satisfy your self-fulfilling prophecy.
It usually ends with the word "but," which deletes everything you just said.

REMEMBER: just because YOU think your comment isn’t correct, appropriate, or brilliant, doesn’t mean other people will agree with you!

So, when communicating your ideas, remember these two keys:

1. Watch your butts. But is a dangerous word. It nullifies anything you say before it and limits positive/creative thinking. Check out this list of 20 alternatives for the word "but."

2. Sell yourself first. No matter what you’re selling, you need to first sell YOURSELF. On yourself AND on your ideas. Otherwise nobody is going to listen to, agree with, or buy from you.

A powerful, yet practical technique to accomplish these three ideas is to use affirmations.

(I know. They’re totally cheesy. But that doesn’t mean they don’t work!)

CONSIDER THIS: prior to your next meeting, interview or appointment, affirm the following phrase over and over: “I always communicate persuasively, effectively and confidently … I always communicate persuasively, effectively and confidently … I always communicate persuasively, effectively and confidently …”

Then, let people decide for themselves. Trust your gut and trust your words. Articulate your thought, idea or question in a confident, approachable manner.

Ultimately, if you can avoid Immediate Personal Discounting, and you will get them to come to you.

Are you shooting yourself in the foot before your opening sentence is complete?

Keep track of any time you hear someone use an IPD, for one week. When your list is done, go back and think about the Phrases That Payses someone could have use instead.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Monday, July 23, 2007

NametagTV: Video Cliff Notes to "Make a Name for Yourself"

Enjoy these "video cliff notes" for my latest book!

Have you ever made video cliff notes of your philosophy?

Post your clips here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

Sunday, July 22, 2007

How pluggable are you?

I plugged your blog.
I plugged your book.
I plugged your show.
I plugged your website.
I plugged your product.
I plugged your company.
I plugged your new movie.
I plugged your new album.

Don’t you love it when someone says that to you?

It means you’re pluggable.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word plug didn’t take on its “promotional” meaning until 1902.

Today it’s defined as “the informal, favorable and public mention of something.”

Interestingly, the word plug also comes from a verb meaning "to work energetically at.”

HERE'S THE BIG QUESTION: are people working energetically to favorably and publicly mention YOU?

Publicly, meaning online.
Publicly, meaning in person.
Publicly, meaning on the phone.
Publicly, meaning on the airwaves.

If your answer is "not enough," here’s a list of seven ways to become (more) pluggable:

PLUG PRINCIPLE 1: Start early.
Build remarkability into your products and services before they’re even released. When you create a baseline of coolness, plugging will come naturally.

PLUG PRINCIPLE 2: Make it easy.
Do you have a “Send this site to a friend!” box on your homepage? Are you using Digg, del.i.cious and other tagging software to enable people to plug you? I hope so, because people need shortcuts. And part of being pluggable is making it SUPER easy for people to tell their friends about you.

PLUG PRINCIPLE 3: Keep a record.
Every time someone plugs you, write it down in your Plug Log. Whether it’s a Google Alert, email, article, blog post or casual conversation, write-it-down. Keep track of your progress. Soon, you’ll hit a critical mass. And THAT’S when you'll notice a direct relationship between plugging and profits.

PLUG PRINCIPLE 4: Don’t ask.
Have you ever seen a businessperson’s email signature that read, “Please refer me to your friends and family!”?

If so, did you ever refer that person?

Probably not!

See, people aren’t going to plug you if you ASK them to plug you. Word of mouth is casual, unsolicited and authentic. The minute you try to force it, you lose it.

PLUG PRINCIPLE 5: Free is key.
Bestselling author Greg Godek once gave 200+ copies of his book 1001 Ways to be Romantic to every person waiting in line at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Later that night, Jay made a comment on air to millions of viewers! That’s one hell of a plug! What are you giving away for free? And are you giving it away to the right people?

PLUG PRINCIPLE 6: Be gracious.
Any time someone mentions you on her blog, writes about you in her column or holds up your book to a viewing audience of several million, thank her. Even if it’s as simple blog comment, instant message or email saying, “Thanks for the link love.” This gratitude makes you more receptive to attracting future blessings.

PLUG PRINCIPLE 7: Reciprocate.
He who plugs first GETS plugged back.

Who have you plugged this week?

REMEMBER: word of mouth is a beautiful thing. It’s the most effective, most honest, most inexpensive and most sincere form of marketing in the world.

And it’s a function of your ability to be pluggable.

Are people working energetically to favorably and publicly mention YOU?

Make a list of the last five things, people or companies you plugged. What characteristics did they all have in common?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

If they want you, they'll find you

Anonymity is your greatest barrier to business success.

Thank God for the Internet, right?

After all, if there’s one thing the Internet proves, it’s this: if they want you, they’ll find you.

The media.

Everyone. If they want you, they'll find you.

FIRST EXAMPLE: My friend Ken once wrote an article for a trade publication. Sadly, the editor failed to include his bio at the end of the piece. All it said was his name.

He was stressed out. “What if my perfect customer reads the article, wants to learn more, then can’t get in touch with me?”

ANSWER FROM 1987: “Ken, you’re screwed. No new customers for you!”

ANSWER FROM 2007: “Ken, no worries. If they want you, they’ll find you.”

And find him, they did.

A few weeks after the article ran, Ken got several calls from readers who wanted to hire him.

THE BEST PART: he ended up working with several of those new clients for the next five years!

“I guess all they needed was my name and Google!” Ken reported.


Because if they want you, they’ll find you.

SECOND EXAMPLE: Many speakers ask audience members to fill out evaluations at the end of their programs. These feedback forms serve multiple purposes, namely, filtering in leads.

Common verbiage for such forms might be, “If you’d like to learn more about hiring Dave to speak at your company, leave your contact information here.”

Cool. Not a bad way to solicit new business.


After nearly five years of speaking professionally, I don’t think I’ve EVER booked an additional speech because I followed up with someone who filled out my evaluation.

This likely happened for two reasons:

1. She wasn’t really a buyer.
2. She called ME before I even had the chance to follow up.

WHICH MEANS: if you’re good, if you’ve delivered value, if your service fills a need, and if they WANT you, relax. Don’t sweat the bylines and evaluations.

So, three things to remember:

1. Have faith in your product. Follow the advice of my friend Carol who says, “Be amazing and let the phone ring.”

2. Understand the way marketing works. Follow the advice of Talker Magazine editor Mike Harrison who says, “If you build it and they don’t come it’s because they DON’T want it.”

3. Be findable.

Are you easy to find?

Share your best "if they want you, they'll find you" story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gentle Reminder Selling: 5 Value-Added Follow-Up Approaches

As a salesperson, you don’t want to be a pest.

But you DO want to follow up effectively.

So, what’s your approach?

THREE WORDS: Gentle Reminder Selling.

It’s non-threatening.
It’s not overly salesy.
It’s a great method for delivering value.

FOE EXAMPLE: let’s say a certain prospect hasn’t returned your calls or emails.

Maybe she’s busy.
Maybe she forgot to reply.
Maybe she has more important stuff to do that week.

No problem!

You duty as an approachable salesperson is to gently remind them who you are AND how you unqiely give value … without being too pushy.

Here’s a list of five Gentle Reminder Selling techniques to help you follow up like a pro:

1. Send an article. Displays your expertise, delivers lots of value. If possible, send a link to your article that’s already been published. The mere fact that it WAS published is a third-party testament to your skills.

2. Send a blog post. Similar to sending an article. Also a good opportunity to keep your branding in front of key prospects. NOTE: if you get comments on your post, awesome! It’s an instant testimonial.

3. Send a media link. Been in news lately? Cool! Send a link to your story with a note saying, “Thought you’d like this article!” An example like this shows that you’re not only credible, but current too.

4. Send a testimonial. If you just finished working with a similar client, drop a note that reads, “Here’s what the CEO of Dynatech just said about my software…” Then write, “And I’d love to do the same for your company.”

5. Send a picture. Preferably, a picture that shows you doing what you do. Maybe even you and one of your other clients. NOTE: be sure you’re smiling, laughing and having fun. Make it look like you’re cool to work with.

In one word: friendly.
In two words: delivers value.
In three words: persistent, not pushy.

That’s Gentle Reminder Selling.

After all, it sure beats saying, “Hey Mark, did you get a chance to look at my proposal?”

Are you following up with value?

Share your best follow-up method here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

How absurdities become antidotes

Every day when I slap a new nametag on my shirt, I remind myself of what Einstein once said:

“If at first your idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.”

FACT: Einstein’s greatest scientific discovery sparked from a mental picture he had when he was 16 years old.

One day, while taking a walk, Albert envisioned himself riding atop of beam of light into outer space, traveling at 299,792,458 meters per second.

That ridiculous image helped him better understand accelerated motion.

Which helped him create the Theory of Relativity.
Which changed the world of science forever.
Which earned him the Noble Prize.
Which made him pretty much the smartest dude of all time.

All because of a totally ridiculous, totally humorous image.

Now, I'm not trying to compare myself to Einstein.


LESSON LEARNED: absurdities become antidotes.

In the book How to Think Like Einstein, author Scott Thorpe explains how this principle of melon motivating works:

“A brain has a mechanism that is the mental equivalent of an immune system – it rejects ideas that are foreign to it. But humor suppresses your mental immune system. So, if you treat a new idea humorously, you will be able to explore it more thoroughly because you wont immediately reject it. And your mind will be free to make other absurd connections with the seed idea, generating more concepts for solutions.”

How many crazy ideas have YOU had this week?

The answer is probably “not enough.”

ANOTHER FACT: as an entrepreneur, ideas are your major source of income.

So, a HUGE component of your professional success will be a function of three things:

1. How many of ideas you have.
2. How many ideas you write down.
3. How many ideas you put into action.

Wanna start thinking like Einstein and turn absurdities into antidotes?

Consider these three recommendations:

1. Observe. Grow bigger ears AND eyes any time someone says, “That’s funny,” “That’s weird,” “No way!” “Cool!” “You’re out of your mind!” or “Get the hell outta here!” This is your first indication that an absurdity might become an antidote.

2. Write it down. My three principles of idea capturing are always the same: 1) If you don’t write it down, it never happened; 2) That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable; and 3) Writing is the basis of all wealth. So, just remember: every time you choose NOT to write your absurd idea down, you’re losing money.

3. Stick with it. Einstein once said, “I’m not smarter than anybody else, I just stick with it longer.” So, understand that your absurd ideas WILL be met with resistance – from coworkers, bosses, colleagues and competitors, even friends! And odds are, that resistance stems from jealousy, ignorance, fear, or some combination thereof. Which basically means, don’t sweat it. Instead, stick with it!

If you can remember those three keys, you’ll be certain to turn absurdities into antidotes!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash the adhesive gunk out of the upper left side of all my shirts.

Are you turning absurdities into antidotes?

Think about your three craziest ideas, and what each of them led to. What commonalities do you observe?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Approachable Service: 18 Ways to be UNFORGETTABLE!

1. Answer in advance. Make a list of the 101 most frequently asked questions your customers. Write a short answer for each one (no more than one paragraph). Then give away that little booklet FOR FREE to every single person who walks in your door. (You could also make this into a CD, audiocassette or podcast.)

2. Use magic
. Write letters, thank you notes and proposals to your clients on paper that changes color when you touch it. Everyone in their entire office will see it and talk about it.

3. Send it back. Take a prospect’s business card, scan it, blow it up, make it into a small pack of postcards, luggage tags or notepads, and then send it to him. This appeals to someone’s ego AND helps him build HIS business as well.

4. Gift Certificates. Mock up gift cards, gift certificates or “Dave Dollars,” for example, that you could us as giveaways to get new customers into your funnel. Offer 15-minute consultations, a free oil change, a free appetizer, etc. Then, when they come in once, WOW them. They’ll come back forever.

5. Added value. What if you included a little 10 tips laminated card with every purchase? For example, dry cleaners could include ideas for fall fashion and emergency stain removal. Just staple it to the receipt. Or better yet, MAKE IT the receipt!

6. Encourage repeat business. What other days of the year will customers probably need your product or service? What if, every time someone bought something from you, you included a calendar with your logo on all of the potential dates on which they would need you? Father’s Day? Valentines Day? Secretary’s Day?

7. “Celebritize” your customers. Have a featured “customer of the week” on your website. Interview him, plug HIS business and show a picture of him USING your product or service. He’ll take ownership and tell everybody he knows.

8. Banners. If you only see a few clients a day, what if you hung up a new banner, welcome sign or dry erase board for each person? Talk about a first impression! Or, what if all your employees wore nametags reading, “Welcome, Dave!”

9. Customer Advisory Board. What if, once a quarter, you invited an elite group of your biggest customers out to lunch? Form an official Customer Advisory Board. Get feedback on trends in their industries, along with tips on how to serve them better.

10. Tours
. Airplane pilots often invite children into the cockpit for a tour. Then they give them official wings to pin onto their shirt. What if you held a tour of your warehouse or control room? And what if, after each tour, you had a little pin or sticker to give to each customer? Crown Candy, the greatest restaurant in St. Louis, has been doing this for decades. (Except instead of pilot's wings, you get licorice. Sweet.)

11. As long as I’m here. What else could you do as a free add-on to your service? For example, if you provided on-site tech support, maybe you could also clean people’s computer screens or towers! No extra charge = mo’ extra value.

12. Now that you’re here
. When your customers walk IN the door, what welcome gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? I once stayed at a hotel in Hawaii. When I approached the desk, a stunning woman wearing a native Hawaiian dress and a flower in her hair offered me free glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice. Aloha, indeed!

13. Wait, before you go!
When your customers walk OUT the door, what “until next time” gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? A few years ago I ate lunch at a grill in Chicago. Beside the door was a tub of cold bottles of ice water (with their logo on the labels) along with a homemade oatmeal cookie for my walk back across town. Unbelievable!

14. Signing bonuses. Once the contract is signed, what congratulatory gift could you offer that compliments your service? My realtor gave me a $100 gift certificate to Pottery Barn after I closed on my condo. I told everybody about it! Other examples: car salesmen could offer car wash coupons, clothing stores could offer free lint brushes, kennels could offer free milk bones or shoe salesmen could offer free lotion. The possibilities are endless!

15. Solve problems you didn’t create
. What problems do your customers have (before they see you) that you didn’t cause? For example, if you work at a hotel, you probably encounter many guests who lose their luggage. What if the front desk had a book of gift certificates to a nearby clothing store that they could give to desperate guests? You could say, “Just tell the guys at Men’s Warehouse that Gary from the Fairmount sent ya. They’ll fix you right up!” Imagine the impression! Imagine the loyalty! And the increase in return visits will massively outweigh the cost of the gift certificates. Not to mention, it builds a mutually valuable relationship between you and the other company.

16. Make personalization easy
. What can you include in your service to make the customer feel more at home? A hotel I once stayed at had iPod alarm clocks in every room so guests could wake up to their favorite songs. Rock on!

17. Donate en masse. At what gathering, event or conference could you donate your services to get in front of hundreds of buyers at once? At a recent book expo, I noticed three massage chairs positioned by the escalators for attendees with aching feet and backs. Think they “booked” any future business?

18. Remember your non-customers
. What types of "poor suckers" do your customers drag around that don’t want to be there? Kids? Men? Women? What could you make available to keep them busy while the other person shops? Years ago while my girlfriend was shopping at EXPRESS, I noticed a stack of MAXIM magazines by the dressing room, right next to The Boyfriend Chair. Reading them sure made the time go by quickly!

What company offered you approachable service that was UNFORGETTABLE?

Share your best story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

21 alternatives for the word “but”

“But” is a very dangerous word.

It puts people on the defensive.
It makes them think there’s a catch.
It negates everything you said before.
It reduces the positivity of your argument.

Now, in most articles addressing this topic, experts will suggest:

“Don’t say Yes, BUT; say Yes, AND.”

That’s a good idea.

THE CHALLENGE IS: sometimes saying “Yes, AND” isn’t enough.

Here’s a list of 21 Phrases that Payses to be used in place of the word “but.”

Whether you’re dealing with customers, employees, friends or family members, these alternatives statements will boost your approachability as soon as you open your mouth.

(NOTE: in each of these examples, you will be choosing an alternative for the response, “That’s a good idea. But…”)

1. “That’s a good idea. Now, that’s likely to cause (x), so what do you think we should do about…”

2. “That’s a good idea. And that’s probably going to result in (x), so what’s the best way to handle…”

3. “That’s a good idea. I think the biggest challenge is going to be…”

4. “That’s a good idea. Do you really think it will work?”

5. “That’s a good idea. Do you think anything negative could result?”

6. “That’s a good idea. Have you ever thought about…?”

7. “That’s a good idea. Here’s what you need to be careful of:”

8. “That’s a good idea. However…”

9. “That’s a good idea. I wonder if it will get done on time…”

10. “That’s a good idea. Just be sure to remember that…”

11. “That’s a good idea. My concern is that…”

12. “That’s a good idea. The challenge is figure out whether or not it’s feasible.”

13. “That’s a good idea. So, if you did that, what will you do about…?”

14. “That’s a good idea. So, what’s it going to take to avoid…?”

15. “That’s a good idea. The challenge is: how can we make it work?” (Did you notice I used this example earlier in the post?”)

16. “That’s a good idea. The big question is: is it in our budget?”

17. “That’s a good idea. The reason I’m hesitant to move forward is because…”

18. “That’s a good idea. The reason I’m unable to help is because…”

19. “That’s a good idea. Unfortunately…”

20. “That’s a good idea. What I wonder about is…”

21. “That’s a good idea. So, let’s say we did that. Do you think there’s anything we need to be concerned about?”

Ultimately, phrases like these WIN because:

They focus on solutions.
They maintain positivity.
They ASK instead of TELL.
They foster creative thinking.
They encourage open dialogue.

So, study them today. Refer to them periodically. And use them forever!

And your words will become instantly approachable.

Because sometimes “Yes, AND” isn’t enough.

What do you say instead of "but"?

Share your best Phrases that Payses here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Monday, July 16, 2007

What if you only sold ONE thing?

Coolest Restaurant Ever: Mama’s Ladas: Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Here’s why…

When you walk in the door, you see fewer than ten tables.

When you look at the walls, you see traditional Mexican decorations.

And the owner (also the waitress) offers a friendly greeting and tells you to sit anywhere you want.

There are no menus.
There are no options.
There are no specials.

There are only enchiladas.

And when she comes over to take your order, she doesn’t ask, “What can I get for ya?”

She simply says, “Beef or Chicken?”

Because there are only enchiladas.

That’s the ONLY thing they serve.

A business that only sells ONE thing! Brilliant!

AND, IT’S NO SURPRISE: their enchiladas are freaking AMAZING.

AND, IT’S (ALSO) NO SURPRISE: everyone in Sioux Falls has either eaten there or heard someone talk about eating there.

Hell, I’m lactose intolerant and I still ate there!

THE POINT IS: Mama’s Ladas gets it.

Everything I preach about approachability, they do right. For example:

1. THEE, not A: not just a Mexican restaurant, THEE Mexican restaurant for enchiladas in Sioux Falls.

2. Own a word. Every time I hear the word enchilada, I think back to my experience at Mama’s. And I bet I’m not the only customer who does that.

3. Be That Guy. When I told my client where I ate dinner the night before, she said, “The Enchilada People? Nice!” Great example of MINDshare, not MARKETshare.

4. Make the mundane memorable. 99% of the places you eat dinner have some sort of organized ordering system. These guys don’t even have menus!

5. Cool and remarkable. When was the last time YOU blogged about an enchilada?

6. Specific. They specialize and have expertise in a narrow, yet marketable product.

7. FUN! When the meal was over, the owner came over with a big basket full of Halloween candy and said, “Would you like dessert?” Awesome! (I had a Snickers Mini.)

8. About, not from. Every dining guide and restaurant reviewer for Sioux Falls mentions this place. It’s also been written up in several publications.

9. Be (somewhat) predictable. Their consistency and familiarity puts customers at ease.

10. No competition. It’s not like you could go to the “other” enchilada place in Sioux Falls. Mama's is it!

11. People respond to policies. You get beef or chicken. That’s the deal. Enchiladas or bust. You gotta love that!

Mama’s Ladas, you win the Approachability Award. Congrats!

And if you’re hungry after reading this post, and happen to be in the Sioux Falls area, check ‘em out:

Mama's Ladas
116 W 11th St
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 332-2772

What if YOU only sold one thing?

Share your best "one thing" company here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

add to * digg it! * email this post

Sunday, July 15, 2007

What's the potential value of a great idea?

Joey Reiman is the CEO of BrightHouse, an Atlanta-based "ideation corporation."

According to this article in FastCompany, he likes to boast that his firm conducts "business at the speed of molasses."

“You can't hurry great ideas. I tell our clients that we're the slowest company they'll ever meet – AND the most expensive," Reiman says.

"But you only have to see us once."

And plenty of big-name companies (including Coca-Cola, the Home Depot, and Georgia-Pacific) like what they've seen.

HERE’S THE BEST PART: BrightHouse works with only one client at a time.

HERE’S THE SECOND BEST PART: BrightHouse charges $1,000,000 per project.

That’s a million dollars.

For one idea.

And if you think about it, that’s really not that much.

Take the new iPhone, for example.

According to this article in Reuters, Apple moved 700,000 units in the first weekend.

Multiply that by a $600 sale price.

Then factor in six more months left in 2007.

That’s a whole lot of revenue.

THE QUESTION IS: Do you think Steve jobs would have paid a million dollars for that idea?


Because he’s the kind of guy who understands the potential value of a great idea.

Do you?

Are you charging enough for your ideas?

Think about the last expensive idea you paid for. Maybe you attended a seminar or bought a training kit. Consider the upfront cost vs. the amount of money you made over time as a result.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bonjour from Leysin!

People always used to tell me that I "had my head in the clouds."

Guess I finally proved them right!

(Check out a few more pics from Leysin here.)


Friday, July 13, 2007

Celebrate Nametag Day at Fenway Park!

Earlier this year I posted about my friend Joseph Porcelli from The Nametag Project. He and his volunteers have been wearing his nametags everyday.

Well, great news! This Sunday, June 15, The Boston Police Department will be distributing 40,000 nametags at Fenway Park for "Nametag Day" when the Red Sox play the Blue Jays!

Joseph has taken a philanthropic approach to nametags. So far, he's encouraged 6,000 people to wear a nametag for a day in the name of community building and gotten 30 people to join him/us for the rest of the year.

The goal of Nametag Day at Fenway Park is simple: to encourage people to get to know their neighbors.

BPD would also like for people to participate in National Night Out. They see nametags as a great crime prevention and community building tool.

According to Porcelli, "When neighbors know each others name, their more likely to watch out for each other, which in turn reduces crime."

Would you wear a nametag for social or community building purpose?

Invite your neighbors over for a Neighborhood Social. Give nametags to everybody. Share your experiences here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

What's your Noticeable Number?

I’ve been wearing a nametag 24-7 for the past 2,444 days.

That’s my Noticeable Number.

It’s noticeable in a conversation.
It’s noticeable in an interview.
It’s noticeable during a speech.
It’s noticeable in a book.
It’s noticeable in an article.
It’s noticeable in a blog post.
It’s noticeable on a website.
It’s noticeable in marketing materials.

First, let’s talk about the WHY.

In my experience, I’ve found seven benefits of having a Noticeable Number:

1. Remarkability. People tell their friends about it. Because it’s cool. Because it’s intriguing. Because it's easy. And because it’s worth making a remark about.

2. Memorability. It stands out. During a conversation, for example, a Noticeable Number tends to be the most memorable item.

3. Credibility. Which comes from specificity. For example, which sounds more convincing: “I’ve read a whole lot of books on stress management,” or “I’ve read over 1800 books on stress management”?

4. Commitment. Your Noticeable Number is an observable way to reinforce your dedication. And in a business culture where trust and integrity are at an all-time low, actions that validate your commitment are priceless.

5. Differentiation. It distinguishes you in an otherwise crowded marketplace.

6. Expertise. It’s the answer to the question, “So, what makes YOU the expert?” This is especially valuable when working with (and attracting) the media.

7. Revisitability. Noticeable Numbers make customers want to check in with you (or your website) every once in a while (or, hopefully every day!) just to see where your number is at now. REMEMBER: websites are like newspapers – customers don’t want to read it if it’s two years old. How often is YOUR website updated?

OK! Now, let’s talk about the WHAT.

This is a list of several Noticeable Number examples (some are real, some I just made up):

o Dave has 4,000 hours of practice!
o Aqua Fin is being used in 137 countries!
o Lambert’s CafĂ© has thrown over 13,457,991 rolls!
o Over 3,000,000 copies in print!
o Reprinted in 17 languages!
o McDonald’s has sold over 205 billion hamburgers!
o Dr. Jameson has spoken to over 300,000 students!
o Dane Cook has 1,982,811 MySpace friends!

Wow! Pretty noticeable, huh?

OK. Lastly, let’s talk about the HOW.

The last step is to get the maximum mileage out of your Noticeable Number.

Remember these four keys:

1. ASK yourself two questions: “What’s the most remarkable/unique thing about my business?” and then, “How could I quantify that in an easily updatable way?

2. RECORD your number in a journal or online counter. Be meticulous. After all, if you don’t write it down, it never happened!

3. PUBLISH your number on your websites, blogs, marketing materials and the like. Be sure to update it regularly. This makes the media happy.

4. LEVERAGE your number by peppering it into conversations, interviews, blog posts, articles, or any other form of communication. NOTE: no need to make a big deal about it. You don’t want to come off as conceited, but rather, convinced.

THE BEST PART: once you discover and leverage your Noticeable Number, you WILL get them to come to you.

“Them” meaning old customers.
“Them” meaning new customers.
“Them” meaning the media.

AND DON'T FORGET: people who get noticed get remembered; and people who get remembered get business.

What’s your Noticeable Number?

Share it with us!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

If everybody says you're nuts, you just might be onto something

Today is day 2,443.

And lately, I've been thinking...

My nametag (for some strange reason) has always seemed to invite negative comments, snide remarks, criticism, hatemail, angry people and even a few death threats!

I know. I don’t get it either. I’m trying to make the world friendlier for God’s sake!

That’s why I always remember what Albert Einstein said, “If at first your idea does not sound absurd, there is no hope for it.”

Still, I often wonder what prompts a stranger to react in such a way. Especially in response to an idea that’s clearly positive and friendly.

Ultimately, I’ve learned that when it comes to Haters, it usually says more about THEM than the person they hate.

What about you?

1. Ever had an idea people thought was crazy?
2. Ever been told to “tone down” your true self?
3. Ever felt completed rejected for doing nothing other than being yourself?

It sucks. Trust me, I’ve been there many, many times.

So, the challenge is twofold:

STEP 1: Shaking it off.
STEP 2: Figuring out WHY someone would respond to you in such a negative way.

The first step is easy.

It’s all about ATTITUDE.

You just brush the invisible dust off your shoulder and say what Tony Montana would say in the movie Scarface.


(In your best mobster accent, of course.)

Because anything that kills your enthusiasm is the enemy.

The second step requires a little more work.

It’s all about VALIDITY.

That is, deciding whether or not someone has the right to be so negative towards you.

In my experience, I've found seven common reasons why people are negative. NOTE: these don't just apply to nametags - they apply to ANYBODY trying to make a name for himself.

1. Jealousy. Here’s an odd statistic: 99% of the criticism, hatemail and negative remarks I get for wearing a nametag are from MEN. Isn’t that interesting? Women rarely seem have an issue with it. Maybe because men, as a whole, are more insecure? I’m not sure. But every time I speak to a new group of people, the overwhelming audience response to why MEN are the only ones who respond so negatively is, “Nah, they’re just jealous.” (Ironically, the ONLY people who ever come up and rip my nametag off are WOMEN. Isn't that weird?)

THINK ABOUT THIS: Why would someone be jealous of you?

2. Ignorance. Criticism always comes to those who stand out. And when humans don’t understand something (or someone), there’s a visceral response. That’s why ignorance creates fear: it’s a natural defense mechanism. People feel threatened and contaminated by something (or some-ONE) that they perceive as “different.” Now, this doesn't mean ignorance is bad. Whereas stupidity is "not thinking," ignorance is simply "not knowing." You duty is to educate people.

THINK ABOUT THIS: What is it about you that people think is “different,” but later learn is actually UNIQUE?

3. Personal stuff. If someone has no parade of his own, he will try to rain on yours. This will make him feel better about himself. REMEMBER: for some people, their only source of getting up is by bringing others down. Don’t let ‘em get to ya.

THINK ABOUT THIS: Next time someone seems to have a MAJOR issue with something minor, ask him, “Why is this so important to you?”

4. Mirroring. In my favorite book, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield explains, “When people see others living their authentic lives, it drives them crazy because they’re not living their own.” Yes, the world truly is a mirror. And often times, people simply project their own issues onto you.

THINK ABOUT THIS: Is this person’s criticism unjustifiable?

5. Losers. Seriously, if you have enough time in your day to go to someone’s website, get his email address, then send him a two-page letter telling them what a loser he is for wearing a nametag, you have WAY too much time on your hands. Besides, if I’m such a loser, and my idea is so dumb, then why did I make an entire career out of it? And why are you on my website anyway? Seems a little contradictory, if you ask me.

THINK ABOUT THIS: Is it possible that some people are, in fact, losers?

6. Fear. Some people are just too afraid to be themselves and venture out on their own. They know they can’t make it, so by sabotaging you, they selfishly fulfill the premise of, “If I can have it, nobody should!” Their goal is to use their doubts to reactivate your own, all for the sake of THEIR comfort, not yours.

THINK ABOUT THIS: When you work your butt off and become successful, people will be intimidated by your work ethic. Don’t sweat it. Don't ever accept someone saying, "You're making me look bad." (Here is the complete list of 100 people not to listen to.)

7. Jerks. Some people are just mean to everybody. Period.

THINK ABOUT THIS: At least you’re nice!

NOTE: I am not suggesting you ignore all criticism.

Criticism is healthy. Finding out where you suck is a MUST if you want to make a name for yourself.

But don’t just sit there and take it like a punching bag.

Brush it off initially.
Validate it intelligently.
Act upon it appropriately.

And next time a Hater tries to bring you down, remember what my favorite author Julia Cameron says:

o In the history of the world, no statue has ever been set up in honor of a critic.
o A critic is a someone who knows the way but can’t drive the car
o When people are afraid of being artistically diminished themselves, they may never be able to do anything but diminish you.

After all, if everybody says you’re NUTS, you just might be onto something.

Why do YOU think people respond so negatively to others?

Share your reasons here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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