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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NametagTV: You Are What You Charge

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9.

Watch the original video on NametagTV!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you stating your fee confidently and shutting up?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "88 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The #1 secret to building a fan base

You’re a writer. Or an artist. Or a performer. Or a blogger. Or a consultant.

Whatever. A Creative Professional.

That means one of your goals is to build a following.

A fan base.
A community.
A group of people who admire or support your movement.

Sound overwhelming?

Because it isn’t.

It’s actually (really) simple.

In fact, I can boil it down to four words.

One at a time.

Here’s what that means:

One person at a time.
With the knowledge that, after a while, they start to accumulate. And before you know it, you’ve got thousands of fans. How many new fans did you get last week?

One blog post at a time.
Writing for your ideal reader, contributing to your Hot Body of Work and eliciting comments, ideas and feedback. Which isn’t really that much work, if you do a little each day. What did you write today?

One email address at a time.
Obtaining permission from your fans to stay in touch with them and start an ongoing dialogue. Because he who has the best list (and the best relationship with that list) wins. How are you capturing the email of everyone who comes to your website?

One email conversation at a time.
Connecting and conversing with fans individually, even if it’s a simple email reply, “Glad you enjoyed my article, Gary!” Because you must always be thankful for your followers. Which one of your fans did you email this morning?

One in-person conversation at a time.
Getting out there to meet your fans, even if it’s a simple, “Nice to meet you Terri – thanks for being here tonight!” Because individual tethering is the heart of building a following. Who are you having lunch with this week?

One at a time.

That’s the secret.

P.S. I'm back on Twitter again, posting every day, for those of you who are curious about the random thoughts that swirl through my mind at 4 AM.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you building a following?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "20 Ways to Make Fans Super Happy," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Thursday, September 25, 2008

Three practices to ensure and insure your luck

Luck is really about two things:

1. EN-SURING, i.e., increasing the probability of something “lucky” happening to you.

2. IN-SURING, i.e., decreasing the probability of something “unlucky” happening to you.

So, attracting more luck into your life is really a sequence of events. Check this out:

1. If you want to become the luckiest person you know, you need to be in the right place at the right time.

2. If you want to be in the right place at the right time, you need to be in a lot of places.

3. And if you’re going to be in a lot of places, you’d better be prepared to leverage EVERYTHING that happens in those places.

Here’s a quick list of three practice to keep in mind:

1. Always having something to give. Philosophy cards, tip sheets, demo videos, samples … ANYTHING that delivers value and reinforces your brand! See, people need visuals. They need proof that you’re the real deal. And unfortunately, since first impressions don’t take very long, having something to give the perfect shortcut.

LUCK OUT: Be always ready to pitch on a moment’s notice.

2. Grow bigger ears. Listen (closely) to what the world is trying to tell you. Recognize when life is giving you a gift. Be on the lookout for people, situations, opportunities and locations that seem to be begging you to approach them. Especially the unusual, unexpected ones. And I know it sounds corny, but your comfort zone is not serving you well.

LUCK OUT: Stick yourself out there more regularly.

3. Ask yourself Leverage Questions. Insuring (and ensuring) your luck is about killing two stones with one bird. Constantly ask yourself questions like:

o Where will I be the most visible?
o How can I do the work once and benefit many times?
o How I make this into my own?
o How does this fit into my theory of the universe?
o Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?
o What (or who) is around you that you can use?
o What’s the movement value of this idea?
o Who else needs to know about this?
o How can you turn this around immediately?
o How could this positively affect you?

If you can keep these key ideas in your mind, you’ll not only EN-sure that your luck will increase; you’ll also IN-sure that your bad luck will decrease.

Stick yourself out there today!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you the luckiest person you know?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "61 Leverage Questions to Kill Two Stones with One Bird," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Just started your company?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Kordell Stewart Principle

The goal isn’t to cause customers to think, “SHOULD we use this guy?”

The goal is to cause customers to think, “HOW should we use this guy?

LESSON LEARNED: How, not if.

How DRAWS more buyers.
Because options increase the probability of a sale!

How DELIVERS more value.
Because customers can match their needs with your various services!

How BUILDS more equity.
Because you’re not a one-trick pony, a commodity or a one-hit wonder!

A perfect non-business example of this is Kordell Stewart, one of my favorite football players.

Years ago, Pittsburgh Steeler radio announcer Myron Cope gave Stewart the nickname "Slash" due to his abilities as a utility player willing to play other positions such as running back, wide receiver and punter.

This meant that during any given game, coach Bill Cowher wouldn’t have to decide whether or not to use Kordell.

He only needed to decide HOW to use Kordell.

Which made him a powerful weapon on that team.

Not “if,” but “how.”
Not “if,” but “when.”
Not “if,” but “where.”

That’s equity.

Because customers LOVE having options of ways to say YES to you.

This was a major epiphany in my own business, and I adopted The Kordell Stewart Principle a few years ago.

For example, if people don't want to hire me to speak, they can read my books, or they can watch NametagTV, or they can Rent Scott's Brain. Hooray!

SO, HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: Position yourself in a way that eliminates a yes or no answer.

Now, that doesn’t mean over-saturate the buying process with TOO many options. You don’t want to be a Jack-of-All-Trades.

Just enough to diversify your offerings.

Because diversity is equity.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How many different ways are your clients using you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "31 Questions to Turn Your Expertise into Money," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com


No time to write?
Can't finish that book?
Dog ate your last article?

Come to the St. Louis Writing Marathon!

No excuses. Just writing. All day.

I promise it will be the best $20 you'll spend on your writing career all year.

Learn more at www.writingmarathon.com!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

NametagTV: More Engagement, More Profits!

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9.

Watch the original video on NametagTV.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How engaged are your customers?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "38 Ways to Make Your Customers GASP," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Do people really care what you do?

When someone asks you, “So, what do YOU do,” they’re (actually) asking any number of questions.

Technically, you could respond in any of the following ways:

1. There’s what you DO.
A sound-bitey, value-driven description of the service you provide.

For example:

o I teach real estate agents how to sell more homes.
o I inspire high school students to be all they can be.
o I help IT professionals get placed in the workforce.

2. There’s what your JOB is.
A basic description of your role.

For example:

o My job is to keep this police force in line.
o My job is to make sure no animals escape from this cage.
o My job is to sit on this lifeguard stand and make sure nobody drowns.

3. There’s what your TITLE is.
An official designation that summarizes what your role is.

For example:

o I’m an Administrative Assistant.
o I’m the Chief Inspiration Officer.
o I’m the Director of Customer Listening

4. There’s where you WORK.
The physical place or company where you spend your workdays.

For example:

o I work at Monsanto.
o I work down at the plant.
o I work out of my living room. (My favorite!)

5. There’s what your OCCUPATION is.
A generic, familiar category that describes the work that occupies your time and that you are paid for.

For example:

o I’m a chef.
o I’m a contractor.
o I’m an accountant.

6. Then there’s your CRAFT.
A generic description of your unique skill or talent.

For example:

o I make music.
o I weld steel bars.
o I create training materials.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What do YOU do?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a copy of the list called, "19 Telltale Signs of the Perfect Job," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Four Ironies of Listening

The first irony:

Effective listeners are always in demand.
Listeners are always popular wherever they go.

And yet, most people SUCK at listening.

Interesting.


The second irony:

Listening is THE most important business skill you could possess.
Listening is the only thing you do more than breathing.

And yet, 90% of schools and universities don’t offer course on listening.

That’s odd.

The third irony:

Listening lowers blood pressure, which reduces stress.
Being listened to increases your self-esteem, self-worth and purpose.
Having a person who listens to you makes you feel more confident and boosts your immune system.

And yet, listening is the #1 complaint by customers across most industries.

Huh. Weird.

The fourth irony:

Listening – if practiced DAILY and more diligently – can change the world.
Listening – if practiced DAILY and more diligently – can attract more business, elicit greater loyalty and foster deeper solidarity.

And yet, in the history of the world, nobody’s every said, “Gee, I wish you wouldn’t listen so much!”

Wow.

So, two questions:

1. Do you think your personal and professional life would benefit from improving your listening skills?

(Good. That’s what I thought.)

2. What have you done – specifically, in the past 30 days – to improve your listening skills?

(Yeah. Didn’t think so.)

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What was the last book you read about listening?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "27 Reasons People Aren't Listening to You," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Talk with your pads

My football coach at Parkway North (Go Vikes!) had a great motto for sportsmanship:

“Talk with your pads.”

His vision for our team was one of character and maturity, not just strength and ability.

And that’s why he wouldn’t stand for ANY player who talked trash to the other team.

“You guys are bigger than that,” Coach Parks would say. “You don’t need to stoop down to their level. If you hear a player on the other team running his mouth at you, don’t say a word. When a real man needs to let out his emotions and prove his worth, he talks with his pads.”

So we did. We talked with our pads.

And that’s exactly why were we undefeated.

Well, that AND we had this running back named Mel Dog that was really, really fast.

But the lesson within Coach Parks’ motto, “Talk with your pads,” goes way beyond sportsmanship.

You can apply it to business, too.

EXAMPLE: Some professional feel the need to talk a big game so they can elevate themselves above their colleagues and competitors.

The key word being, “talk”

Which is exactly what they spend most of their time doing: talking.

Not working.
Not taking action.
Not accomplishing anything.

Just talking.

The problem is, when you “just talk,” (without supportive action and ability) it’s really hard for people to hear you over the sound of your own inflated ego.

On the other hand, talking with your pads is a LOT louder.

Because it’s jolting.
Because it’s honest.
Because it’s self-evident.

AND THE BEST PART IS: When you talk with your pads, people actually perk up and listen.

So, consider these suggestions:

Talk with your pages.
Don’t brag to your fellow authors about how many books you’ve got in the pipeline. Just do your work. Just write, every single day, even if you’re not in the mood.
And when people see your long list of titles on Amazon, you won’t have to say another word.

Talk with your visibility.
Don’t brag to your fellow entrepreneurs about how great your business is doing. Just do your work. Just be visible in the media, in the community and on the web. And when people see how many (other) people are talking about you, you won’t have to say another word.

Talk with your order sheets.
Don’t brag to your fellow salespeople about how many prospects you’re working on. Just do your work. Just deliver value and enable people to buy. And when they see your stack of order sheets, you won’t have to say anything another word.

Remember:

Powerful people don’t scream.
Powerful people don’t talk trash.
Powerful people don’t talk much at all.

They just do their work. They talk with their pads.

And others listen.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you talking or doing?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my 153 Quotations to Inspire Your Success, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Author & "Nametag Guy" Scott Ginsberg to host St. Louis Writing Marathon!

Inspired by Natalie Godlberg's Writing Down the Bones, this December I'll be hosting the first (of many, hopefully...)

St. Louis Writing Marathon!

WHO: Anyone who needs to write.

WHAT: For $20, you get a quiet place where you can quietly write, all day, with no distractions.

WHERE: The Clayton Center, St. Louis, MO.

WHY: Because writing is the basis of all wealth.

More details here!

Frankly, I don't care if six people show up.

Because WE'LL still get to write all day:)




LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What did you write today?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "10 Reasons You're NOT Blogging Yet," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Been writing that book for 14 years?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NametagTV: Exploration, not Accusation

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9.

Watch the original video on NametagTV.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do your words accuse or explore?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "79 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Want your employees to come to YOU?

Buy Scott's new book and learn the secrets!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Why hotel rooms are your ticket to creativity

A few weeks ago I missed my flight from Toledo to St. Louis.

I ended up staying in some dumpy hotel next to the airport, ordering a pizza, renting a movie and calling it a night.

I flew home the next morning.

This type of thing happens to me every so often. Maybe once a year.

And while it used to frustrate me, I’ve now come to realize an important truth:

Hotel rooms provide a sterile, neutral environment where your heart can sing loudly.

Nothing on the walls but whiteness.
Nothing on the desk but plainness.
Nothing on the bed but blankness.

Ah, the hotel room. A beautiful place to be creative!

It’s just you and … YOU.

A venue to constantly confront yourself, just BE, and just WRITE.

Sigh…

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What unexpected venues heighten your creativity?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "9 Things Every Writer Needs to Do Every Day," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What's YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Why your competitors are attracting more attention than you

They’re working longer than you.
What time do YOU leave the office?

They’re working harder than you.
What time do you arrive AT the office?

They’re working smarter than you.
Does everything you do lead to something else you do?

They’re better positioned than you.
What are you known for?

They’re easier to get a hold of than you.
How many different ways can people contact you?

They’re asking better questions than you.
Do you have a stockpile of creative, unexpected questions that only YOU ask?

They’re blogging more regularly than you.
What’s your excuse for not blogging everyday – or at all?

They’re ranked higher on Google than you.
What happens when somebody googles YOU?

They’re calling customers back quicker than you.
How quickly do you get back to people?

They’re publishing more online content than you.
What did you write today?

They’re building a bigger permission asset than you.
How big (and how good is your relationship WITH) your email list?

They’re more focused with their marketing than you.
What slice of a slice have you chosen to specialize IN and be known FOR?

They’re being talked about more frequently than you.
Are you giving people a reason to tell their friends about you?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What is your Attention Attraction Plan?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "23 Ways to Make Your Fans Super Happy," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Nobody talking about your business?

Bummer. Perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Thursday, September 11, 2008

Grow Bigger Ears: Being a Patient Listener


















My definition of listening is, “Loving someone with your ears.”

This brings to mind a common scripture quoted at many wedding ceremonies:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

THEREFORE: If listening is loving, and if loving is patient…

Listening = Patience

(As you can see above, practiced by dog, Paisley.)

Here are four practices to help your grow patient ears:

1. Have faith in the process. Natalie, my yoga instructor, constantly reminds her students to be patient and with and have faith in themselves during class.

“Remember, you have sixty seconds to execute this posture,” she’ll say, “So take your time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Have faith and trust that your body will be there.”

Similarly, in your listening practice, you need to believe that the speaker’s intention will eventually show up. Even when they’re tap-dancing around the real issues. Even when they’re taking too long to get to the point. Sure, you don’t have all day to sit there in silence, but sometimes you can only probe so much.

NOW HEAR THIS: Faith stands for, “Finally allowing it to happen.”

2. Leading others to lead themselves. Marjorie, a writer I once coached, came to me with a challenge about discipline. Because of her hectic schedule, she was unable to squeeze in regular blocks of time to complete her project.

Eventually, after asking a few questions about her daily schedule, it occurred to me that her problem wasn’t about discipline; it was about time management.

Now, the old, impatient me would have flat-out TOLD her that. But part of being a patient listener – as I’ve learned from countless screw-ups of my own – is leading the other person to lead herself. To paraphrase from Tao Te Ching, “A good leader takes the people to the finish and makes them say, ‘We did it on our own.’”

NOW HEAR THIS: Listen a little and they’ll give you their problem; listen a LOT and they’ll give you their solution.

3. Don’t immediately come to a conclusion. Listening impatience is kind of like stress: everybody manifests it differently. For example, some people tap their pen, others incessantly shake their left leg, while others whip out their Crackberry and start text messaging their boyfriend.

For me, listening impatience has a tendency to manifest in my arm. That is, I ALWAYS have to be the first one in the discussion to ask a question. Sometimes even before the speaker finishes asking, “Do we have any questions?”

“Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy! I have a question! Me! Me! Me! Pick me! Oh MAN what a great question I’m going to ask! Right here! Right here!”

I know. I’m working on it. And I’ve been this way since I was four years old, so it may take a while.

Anyway, uncontrollable arm ticks aside, here’s the secret to remember: You don’t (always) have to IMMEDIATELY come to a conclusion. Whether you’re practicing patience at a staff meeting, in a seminar or during a meeting with your boss, don’t be so quick to impose your own answers. Just pause. Listen first.

NOW HEAR THIS: Decide if your thought is a reaction or a response.

4. Mobilize people’s inner resources. As The Listener, few things are more beautiful than watching someone realize a truth on their OWN. In The Sacred Art of Listening, author Kay Lindahl writes, “If we’re still like water in a pond, the other person can see his reflection in it.”

That’s your job. To practice attentive silence. To let people see, find, say, do, know, learn and discover on their own. Resist the need to take over while respecting the speaker’s speed of self-discovery. No pushing. No forcing. Gentle nudging. Facilitating a natural process, you enable and nurture the speaker’s rhythm and guide him to make the best choices.

NOW HEAR THIS: When someone is listened to, she can more easily clarify her thoughts and feelings

Now that we’ve identified four key practices to enhance your listening patience, let’s conclude with an affirmation. I suggest you print it out, post it in a visible location and read it daily as reminder of your role as The Listener:

THE PATIENT LISTENER’S CREED

When I pause, I listen to the silences.
When I pause, I respect which questions want to be asked next.

When I speak, it’s only to improve on the silence.
When I speak, it’s to make a difference and contribute to the conversation.

When I engage, I make it easy for others to talk.
When I engage, I grant others adequate space to talk.

When I comment, I choose NOT to inject too much of myself.
When I comment, I choose to contribute to, not disrupt the conversation.
When I comment, I choose to be helpful and not intrude upon the speaker.

I am a Patient Listener, and I know how to love people with my ears.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How does your listening impatience manifest?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "27 Reasons People Aren't Listening to You," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How to Answer a Question, Pt. 2

NOTE: Be sure to read part one of this series first!

And now, to continue our discussion on how to answer a question...

6. Reverse the question. This counterintuitive answer is unexpected, and therefore captures people’s attention. For example, if you were asked, “What do you want your life to look like in five years?” you could catch people off guard by answering:

“A more important question is: ‘What do I want my life NOT to look like in five years?’”

Punctuated with a nice, juicy pause, this creatively contrarian response is guaranteed open up new doors.

7. “You know, I’d really have to think about that.” Nobody is forcing you to answer right away. Give yourself permission to chew on your answer for a while. By using this conversational bookmark, you buy yourself time so you can put some REAL thought into your answer.

It also honors the question itself. And, if you give people a deadline, i.e., “I’ll have my answer by the end of the day,” or “I’ll let you know when I see you at lunch,” they’ll eagerly anticipate your final response, while still respecting your boundary.

8. "It doesn’t matter.” Some questions, powerful as they may be, are irrelevant. So, if you can do so in a respectful way, explain to your questioner that there’s something bigger or more important than what was originally asked. For example, I once asked my mentor the existential question, “Am I a leader?” Pen in hand, hoping for an enlightening response, Arthur unexpectedly said, “Scott, that question doesn’t matter.”

I leaned in closer, more curious than ever.

“Seeking leadership destroys the process,” Arthur said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a leader, or if people think you’re a leader. What DOES matter is that you’re passionate. And approachable. And that you’re a great listener. Practice those keys and people WILL be inspired and they WILL want to get behind you.”

Changed my life.

9. “OK, well, that’s really THREE questions…” A pet peeve of mine is when someone SAYS they’re going to ask you “A” question; but instead they morph it into a three or four question barrage.

Now, people don’t always do this consciously. Often times, multiple questioning evolves organically because someone became excited or caught up in the conversational current. Which is fine. (The media are notorious for this.)

In that case, your response is fourfold:

STOP. Help your overzealous or excited friend slow down the pace of the conversation by holding your hand(s) in the “stop/pause” gesture.

RECOGNIZE. With a patient smile, address the questioner’s misnomer, i.e., “OK, Tom, you just asked me three questions.” This emphasis on the increased number of questions will help keep your partner on point. And usually, people will return a smile once they recognize their (minor) conversational error.

ANSWER. Take one question at a time. Address each issue. Consider repeating each question AND numbering your answers to keep an organized mental record, i.e., “OK, so the third question you asked was…”

REMIND. Once you’ve answered ALL the questions hurled at you (twenty minutes later), be sure to offer a clarifying remark like, “Did I answer ALL your questions?” This respectful gesture demonstrates a willingness to be thorough, along with a playful reminder of their mathematical oversight.

10. I don’t know. Three simple, beautiful, honest and underused words. I don’t know. They demonstrate humility and imperfection and prove that you’re smart, but not a smarty pants. So, if you choose to answer in this way, I suggest combining “I don’t know” with an Ownership Statement. For example:

“I don’t know … so let me find someone who DOES know…”
“I don’t know … let me think about that for a while. Can I email my answer to you tomorrow?”
“I don’t know … I would need to know more information about (x) to make an informed decision.”

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with BEING ignorant – only STAYING ignorant.

- - -

The goal of answering questions in these ten creative, counterintuitive and unexpected ways is NOT to dodge the truth; nor is to make yourself appear brilliant.

It’s about achieving a higher level of thinking for both parties.

Whether you’re having conversations with your customers, employees or the media; or with your partners, kids or dogs, consider the possibility that every question you’re asked COULD be answered with, “Well, that all depends…”

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do YOU answer questions?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "62 Types of Questions and Why They Work," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?


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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

How to make a name for yourself without comprising yourself

In the beginning of your career, you have to sort of go overboard on the self-promotion.

Sticking yourself out there to the 100th power, if you will.

(Guilty.)

But I've realized that over time, as your success legitimizes and your reputation achieves a sense of wholeness, you don’t have to really do or say as much anymore.

You care less and worry less.
You’re beyond needing to impress people.
You learn to let go of the need for approval.
You no longer seek permission to be yourself.
You’re comfortable in your own beautiful skin, even if it’s hairy, pale, and, in some areas, a little ashy.


This process only happens with personal and professional maturity.

BUT HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: As you become more congruent and self-actualized, you move away from doing and saying … and move closer to BEING.

My mistakes, mentors and experiences have taught me the following four practices for making a name for yourself in the most authentic way possible:

1. Try NOT making an impression. When you google the phrase, “First impression, “ 11,900,000 hits come up. Clearly, there’s no argument against the value of first impressions – in business or in life.

The challenge is preventing yourself from focusing TOO much on “making an impression.” Because when you do, it usually leaves you flustered. You’re too busy concentrating on outcomes, not activity. Too busy worrying about making an impression that you forget the name of the person you just met. Product, not process.

Ultimately, when you work the hardest to make an impression, you leave the least impact on the people you encounter.

REMEMBER: When you stop trying to impress people, you become the most impressive.

2. Don’t advertise your importance. There’s a difference between being successful and being really good at looking like your successful. There’s a difference between being important and being really good at projecting an image of inflated importance.

Unfortunately, some people don’t know the difference.

This brings to mind another passage from The Tao: “When you over extend your effort, you accomplish the least.”

If you have to tell people you are, you probably aren’t.
If you have to tell people you aren’t, you probably are.

And as Max Lucado says in his best book, “In a desire to be great, you might cease being any good.”

REMEMBER: When you try the least, you do the best.

3. Don’t be too anxious to prove your value. Wait for the right time. The Tao also suggests, “When you argue the loudest, you appear the wrongest. But, when you have nothing to prove, people can trust your words. And because you do not display yourself, people can see your light.”

I learned this the hard way, after nearly three decades of being a terrible listener. Fortunately, I learned that your hand doesn't always have to shoot up first.

REMEMBER: People will discover your greatness soon enough. Patience.

4. Stop justifying. Your fee. Your value. Your beliefs. Your choices. Your existence. Your expertise. Your behaviors. Your knowledge. Your motivations.

He who talks next loses. So, whatever it is you’re talking about it, state it confidently and then shut up. Don’t feel the need to justify, qualify or prove yourself to anybody.

No buts. No becauses. No only-ifs.

Stop justifying.

REMEMBER: YOU believe it. That’s what matters.

- - -

Making a name for yourself, being approachable, sticking yourself out there, being That Guy … all of these processes CAN be carried without trying so hard.

Without making so much noise.

Without compromising yourself.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What have you recently discovered you've been doing wrong for years?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "311 Pieces of Contrarian Wisdom," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

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Monday, September 08, 2008

33 Ways to Spy on Yourself

How often do you spy on yourself?

You know, to see how you’re doing. Checkin’ yourself out. Observing various situations and experiences behind that internal pane of two-way glass, taking furious notes.

It's becoming kind of a hobby of mine.

But it’s not easy. Part of this process comes from your ability to detach, disassociate and sort of “get out of yourself” for a while, looking inward at your own behavior.

One practice I’ve found to be successful is self-questioning. Gently poking your inner landscape with an inquiry or two about what’s going on in the now.

Here’s a list of 33 Questions to add to your Self Spy Skit.

NOTE: Pick maybe 2-3 examples from this list. (You don’t want to flood your head with TOO many questions or else your brain might explode.)

Practice asking yourself these types questions on a regular basis in a relaxed, yet curious manner.

1. Am I contributing something?
2. Am I learning something?
3. Did I freely choose this value?
4. Do I truly cherish this value?
5. Have I considered other alternatives to this value and explored them fully?
6. Have I directly experienced this, or just heard it many times?
7. How am I making decisions?
8. How am I stepping out of my comfort zone?
9. How am I treating my own intuitive promptings?
10. How’s my breathing?
11. In what ways am I reacting, instead of responding?
12. In what ways am I attacking myself?
13. Is it my place to fix this?
14. Is this a thought or an impulse?
15. Is this as exciting as I thought it would be?
16. Is this consistent with what I value?
17. Is this experience helping me become the best version of myself?
18. Is this information necessary to the excellence of my work?
19. Is this particular problem part of a larger problem?
20. Is this person helping me become the best version of myself?
21. Is this person worth the time and effort it will take to save him?
22. Is this step necessary?
23. Is this thing helping me become the best version of myself?
24. Is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW consistent with my #1 goal?
25. What are the consequences of the choice I’m making?
26. What am I becoming?
27. What am I practicing?
28. What am I questioning?
29. What am I rationalizing?
30. What am I resisting?
31. What am I searching for?
32. What things I’m doing without thinking?
33. What’s the one HUGE thing I’m TOTALLY forgetting?

REMEMBER: Since you ARE spying on yourself, try not to get caught. See if you can create a sense of awareness in which your attention is focused on your own behavior, 100% in the moment, watching yourself as if you were the star of a mystery movie.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When was the last time you spied on yourself?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called, "21 Things I Learned While Spying on Myself," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Is your frontline IN line?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com!

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Friday, September 05, 2008

How to Answer a Question, Pt. 1

During my time at Miami University, I was a Marketing Major.

The first piece of advice I remember from my professor, Mrs. Young was:

“In Marketing, the answer to every question is always ‘Well, that depends…’”

The class got a good chuckle out that one.

Amazingly, more than ten years later, that idea still holds true. Not just in marketing, but in ANY question/answer situation:

Between you and your employees.
Between you and your customers.
Between you and the media.

Between you and your significant other.
Between you and your children.
Between you and your dogs.

OK, maybe not your dogs.

STILL: Answering creatively or counterintuitively leads to a higher level of thinking.

Which elevates the conversation to a new level.
Which enables both parties to discover their individual truths.
Which yields more compelling results than if you would have offered a simple yes or no.

Let’s explore a list of ten ways to answer questions in a more intelligent, more approachable way. We'll do 1-5 in part one today and 6-10 in part two next week.

1. “Well, there are a couple of answers to that question.” Don’t kill yourself trying to come up with ONE answer. Unless the question is about calculus, set your mind free! Resigning yourself to only providing one answer is a creative block.

Conversely, every time you offer multiple answers, you’re strengthening your foundation of creative, expansive thinking. And in the eyes of the questioner, you appear smarter, more open minded and more thorough.

What’s more, single answers have the potential to alienate people. Especially in a group setting. So, by offering multiple responses, you increase the probability of appealing to the largest number of people. More answers = More people on your side.

2. “Well, that depends on how you define the word ‘x.’” As a writer and wordsmith, this is my personal favorite. First, it PROVES that you were (actually) listening. It also shows that you think differently, and that you choose your words carefully.

For example, when someone asks me, “How often do you meditate?” my response is, “Well, that depends on your definition of meditation. If you define the word meditation as ‘formal sitting and quieting of the mind,’ then my answer is ‘twice a day;’ but if you define the word meditation as ‘mindfulness breathing and present moment awareness,’ then my answer is ‘All day.’”

It’s a probability statement, which demonstrates that you honor multiple perspectives. That you practice cognitive flexibility. What’s more approachable than that?

3. Word distinction. Similar to defining (or redefining) a word, you can also make the distinction between two commonly confused or misused words. For example:

QUESTION: “Were you scared?”
ANSWER: “Well, being scared isn’t the same as being afraid.”

QUESTION: “Did you lose the game?”
ANSWER: “We didn’t just lose, we got defeated!”

QUESTION: “Is your business growing?”
ANSWER: “Well, I’m more concerned if my business is flourishing.”

By offering these kinds of distinctions, you maintain control of the conversation AND inspire the other person to think twice about the subtle difference between similar terms.

4. Pause. Don’t say anything. Just think. Listen to your own quiet voice. Take your time. Ponder your response. Let the silence speak to you and then choose your words carefully.

Learn to accept silence as a normal part of conversations. Your contemplation will show respect to the questioner. What's more, any form of pausing – whether it’s in writing, speaking or singing – automatically increases the … VOLUME … of that which comes before and after it.

5. “Well, let’s take that in pieces...” My friend Richard, a veteran in the mental health profession, often uses this type of answer. Breaking your answer into pieces accomplishes several conversational goals.

First, it demonstrates effective listening.

Second, it exemplifies patience, especially when a client emotionally unloads on you.

Third, it enables the answerer to digest the entirety of the question, thus providing a response that addresses all of the important issues.

- - -
That's how to answer a question. Here's part two.

Ans I'm sure there are more possibilities, so...

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do YOU answer questions?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "62 Types of Questions and Why They Work," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?


Buy Scott's new book and learn how to sell enable people to buy!

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

To claw or not to claw?

My favorite Japanese saying is:

No aru taka wa tsume o kakusu.

“The strong falcon hides its claws.”

LESSON LEARNED: Overt demonstrations of strength suggest insecurity.

As Lao Tzu explains in The Tao De Ching:

“When you show your strength, you appear weak … when you conceal your power, the more effectively it can be used … when you make your advantage less obvious, the more effective you power becomes.”

This is about being a sleeper.
This is about being underestimated.
This is about being able to sort of “sneak up” on people.

Similarly, in the words of Hide a Dagger Behind a Smile, “Do not make obvious your advantages. Outward measures of a thing’s value hide its true worth. Instead, allow people see you as non-threatening, and your adversaries will offer no resistance.”

REMEMBER: Quiet strength wins.

Just ask Coach Dungy.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Do you (really) need to show your claws?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "17 Ways to become a Thought Leader," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Repeatedly articulate your EST

The term “unique” comes from the Latin word, unicus, which means “the only one.”

Your marketing challenge is to finish the sentence, “We’re the only company that…” or “You’ll never meet another person who…” or “I’m the only person in the world who…”

If you can do that, you’re truly unique.

If you CAN’T do that, it doesn’t mean you’re NOT unique; but rather that you haven’t pinpointed your uniqueness YET.

Because everyone possesses inherent uniqueness.

SO, THE QUESTION IS: How can you excavate (and then leverage) your uniqueness in the service of others?

Simple.

Identify (and repeatedly articulate) your EST.

Yep. You heard me. EST.

Know what that stands for?

Nothing.

It’s not an acronym; it’s a SUFFIX.

“EST” as in –est.
“EST” as in:

Awesomest. Biggest. Brainiest. Bravest. Bumpiest. Cheapest. Choppiest. Cleanest. Closest. Coldest. Craziest. Crudest. Darkest. Deadest. Dizziest. Earthiest. Fanciest. Fastest. Flakiest. Foamiest. Frailest. Funkiest. Funniest. Grossest. Gruesomest. Grumpiest. Gutsiest. Heaviest. Hottest. Jolliest. Juiciest. Knottiest. Laziest. Longest. Loosest. Luckiest. Meanest. Mushiest. Nastiest. Nuttiest. Oddest. Prettiest. Prickliest. Proudest. Puniest. Purest. Quaintest. Quietest. Rainiest. Rarest. Raspiest. Rattiest.

“EST” as in:

Richest. Ripest. Roughest. Saltiest. Scariest. Scrawniest. Shaggiest. Shiniest. Shittiest. Shortest. Shrillest. Sillies. Slowest. Smallest. Sneakiest. Softest. Spiciest. Spiffiest. Spottiest. Squarest. Steadiest. Steepest. Stickiest. Stingiest. Straightest. Strangest. Strongest. Stupidest. Sturdiest. Swiftest. Teeniest. Tiniest. Toughest. Trickiest. Truest. Ugliest. Wackiest. Warmest. Weakest. Weariest. Wildest. Windiest.

Essentially, EST is a stronger, more specific version of the superlative best.

AND HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS: Customers can’t help but be attracted to that.

Think about it. Which one of the following sentences is stronger, from a marketing standpoint?

1. Evil Dead 2 was scary as hell!
2. Evil Dead 2 was the scariest film I’ve seen all year!

EST prevails.

1. I hear Lufthansa Airlines has really soft seats.
2. I hear Lufthansa Airlines has the softest seats in the world!

EST prevails.

Now, on some occasions, EST can be dangerous. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to position yourself as, “The Sneakiest Jewelry Salesman in Philly.”

On the other hand, smart marketing also means NOT backing away from perceived negatives. Embracing the (potential) danger of your negative EST.

For example, Ed Debevick’s is world famous for having the RUDEST wait staff in the industry. Now, one would think that a business whose primary function is service … would cringe at such a label.

But Ed Debevick’s embraces it. Their staff thrives on it. In fact, I took my girlfriend to dinner there a few years ago, just for the experience. My waitress made some comment like, “Don’t put any quarters in the jukebox sweetie – it’s as fake as that blonde hair you’re trying to pull off.”

So, that’s what they’ve become known for – being the rudest.

And, sure enough, customers from around the country (myself included) dine there for that exact reason. To be treated like crap.

Of course, Ed Debevick’s is in the extreme minority. VERY few companies can pull off that that kind of EST.

So, your marketing challenge is the combined answers to the following three questions:

1. What’s the ONE THING your company does that nobody else can touch?
2. How could you reframe, repurpose or reposition that uniqueness in the form of an EST?
3. How many different ways could you leverage that EST in your marketing so you become KNOWN for it?

REMEMBER: Everyone possesses inherent uniqueness.

Your job is to repeatedly articulate yours.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your EST?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "24 Questions to Discover Which Word You Own," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Be smart, but don’t be a smarty pants

That means not being so quick to prove people wrong.

That means not immediately jumping to offer your insight.

That means not (always) raising your hand first.

That means not (always) sharing your opinion on everything.

That means not (always) having THEE answer for everything.

That also means not pouncing on every pause in the conversation to insert all your clever little jokes and brilliant insights.

Let go of the need to prove how smart you are by always adding some super-intelligent comment or asking some super-tricky question.

In the words of The Tao of Leadership, “It is hard to lead when we try to be too clever. Too much cleverness undermines group harmony.”

REMEMBER: The listener controls. Speaking Less = Saying More.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Are you smart or a smarty pants?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my list called, "13 Roles of The Listener," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

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