Are Your Trump or Clinton Posts Costing You Money?

I don’t know about you, but lately I dread logging into my Facebook account. The number of vitriolic political posts are astonishing, and downright annoying.

Stupid, ignorant, unethical, racist, sexist, Communist, a thief, a fool, lazy, dishonest, untrustworthy, a murderer, a liar, an idiot, an imbecile, (or worse) are just a few of the words posted in political comments found during a five-minute scroll through my Facebook feed.

dislikeWhat’s more amazing is that these posts really don’t affect change. I don’t know of a single person who has changed his or her political mind based on a social media post. However, I know a lot of people who change their minds on who they’re going to do business with based on social media posts.

Keep this in mind the next time you write a political rant and before you hit ‘Post’…

  • Approximately 40% of the US population supports Trump. Meaning that when you write something caustic about Donald, statistically you are offending 40% of the people who could hire you. Or 40% of the people who could be your next great employee. Or 40% of the people who could partner with you. Or 40% of the people who could fund you.
  • Approximately 40% of the US population supports Clinton. Meaning that when you write something caustic about Hillary, statistically you are offending 40% of the people who could hire you. Or 40% of the people who could be your next great employee. Or 40% of the people who could partner with you. Or 40% of the people who could fund you.
  • 10% of the US population will disagree with whatever you write or say. So statistically anytime you write or say anything you are offending 10% of the people who could hire you (I just made up the 10% number, but the reality is no matter what you post or say, someone will disagree with it).

Among the many jobs that I do for a living, one is as a professional speaker. I like to think I’m pretty good and provide exceptional value to those who hire me, and for those who attend my programs. But guess what? There are thousands of outstanding professional speakers who also do a great job delivering an entertaining and valuable program. So bottom line, in my profession, the competition is brutal. Yet it is astonishing what some of my colleagues post online.

Event planners have flat-out told me that there are some professional speakers who they won’t hire based on the posts or even simple comments that the speaker makes on social media. You would be very surprised by the speaker names as they are some of the top in my industry. And you may be surprised at some of the seemingly innocent or irreverent posts or comments that cause an event planner to go in a different direction.

It’s not just professional speakers who are losing business because they cannot keep their mouths shut, or in reality, fingers away from their keyboards. Financial advisors, lawyers, marketing executives, real estate agents … when you post a political comment you could potentially be negatively impacting your business.

Now, you might say that you don’t care; that you prefer to only do business with people who think like you and who share the same values. That’s great. One of the rules I share in my Reputations keynote speech is the “Law of Unintended Consequences.” If you are okay with the consequences, then write, post, or say whatever you’d like. Just think about the “LUC” before you hit post or send. Ask yourself if sharing your opinion – knowing that it really won’t change the mind of anyone with a differing opinion – is worth losing your next potential large sale.

Never forget this: all the money and time you spend on marketing — all that does is gets you in the maybe pile. Your awesome video gets you in the maybe pile. Your amazing website gets you in the maybe pile. Your references and testimonials get you in the maybe pile. Your direct mail, newspaper ads, radio ads, television commercials, public relations campaigns, and online marketing programs all get you in the maybe pile.

What’s the maybe pile? It’s where the person who purchases what you have to sell puts you when you’ve made the first cut. The maybe pile is you along with top competitors. Everyone in the maybe pile will do an exceptional job. Everyone in the maybe pile costs about the same. The difference between getting the $10,000 sale and the second place $0 is a very fine line. Is your political post worth the silver medal?

It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional speaker, financial advisor, lawyer, marketing executive, real estate agent or even a salesperson in the plastics industry — your company brand and reputation is what gets you in the maybe pile. Once you’re in the maybe pile, your buyer’s decision often comes down to you, the individual salesperson. Especially in the business to business sales world, your prospects will look you up online.

They will study your LinkedIn page. They will glance at some of your Twitter comments. They will peruse your Facebook photos and posts.

What are they finding?

Who might you be inadvertently offending?

Are you possibly eliminating yourself from contention before you even have the chance for a conversation?

Think, before you post. Now that you Know More!


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Are You Inadvertently Contributing to a Presidential Election Campaign?

Political ContributionsMarketing Fact 1:
Advertising and marketing works. The more times your name and brand is in the public, the more likely some people are willing to listen to your message and buy what you have to sell.

Marketing Fact 2:
The least expensive form of marketing is when someone does the work for you, for example, sharing your message via social media. It’s not only the least expensive, it can also be the most effective as your message can spread — for free — to millions.

Marketing Fact 3:
The more controversial your message, the faster it will spread, with the “viral noise” oftentimes drowning out the competition.

Marketing Fact 4:
No matter how outlandish the message, some people will believe it (actually, throughout history, many times the more outlandish the message, the more people who believe it).

Did it ever occur to you that when you comment about a politician’s message online, no matter how vitriolic your comments are and no matter how much you disagree with the candidate, that you’re doing exactly what the candidate wants you to do?

Or said another way, when you post your opinions about a candidate and his or her message, you are directly contributing to that candidate’s election campaign because what the candidate historically had to spend on traditional advertising to spread, you’re sharing for free.


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Snowden, Privacy, and the Horrors in Paris – Is There a Connection?

Friday November 13, 2015

In 2013, Edward Snowden released classified documents, many of which described in detail the information governments collect on private citizens around the globe. Some have labeled Snowden a traitor. Many people consider him a hero. Media outlets seek his opinion and even advice on personal privacy and security issues. He even delivered a TED Talk via satellite from his Russian sanctuary, viewed more than three million times.

Ironically, earlier this spring, the French government even considered offering Snowden permanent and safe asylum.

SnowdenAs I travel the world and share the inner workings of transforming online data into meaningful intelligence, I have heard many of the arguments for and against spying vs. privacy. In my opinion, the “I have nothing to hide” party and the “privacy trumps security” party both have equally logical and compelling points.

When Edward Snowden released to the world “what was being gathered” and “how it was being done,” he basically gave the instructional manual to terrorists on how they can avoid getting caught.

Make no mistake, what we are witnessing tonight in Paris is either a direct or indirect result of Snowden’s actions.

I in no way am saying that the heinous acts occurring in Paris would have been stopped had Snowden never come forward. What I do believe, and in my conversations with security experts who do know, is that Snowden did irreparable damage to the world’s anti-terrorism efforts. Or said another way, what we are witnessing this evening quite possibly is the the price paid for a society of personal privacy rights and protections.

No matter where you stand on the issue, on a night like tonight, the question must be asked: Is the price worth it?


Creative Commons Photo courtesy of Michael Fleshman

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What is the Greatest Risk to Your Business?

When I ask business owners and CEOs what the number one risk to their business is, I hear a variety of answers.

  1. Sales and keeping the pipeline full.
  2. Attracting and retaining key employees.
  3. Security, intellectual property theft, and/or cyber crimes.
  4. The competition coming out with a better, less expensive alternative.

While these are obviously legitimate threats, they also all have one thing in common: they are all controllable risks. There are strategies and tactics to keep a pipeline full and deal flows running. There are many ways to attract and retain superb employees. You can implement security measures to control theft and hacking. And while you can’t control what the competition does, you can control your own company’s product and service innovation.

argosfreeWhat is a very realistic, completely uncontrollable threat? The financial health of your suppliers and customers.

What would happen to your company if a key vendor suddenly went bankrupt? How quickly could you replace them? Would you be able to maintain your own customer relationships if you couldn’t ship a product for days, weeks, or even months?

What would happen to your business if one or two of your key customers stopped paying, or even stopped paying on time? Could you maintain your cash flow? Could you pay your employees? How about payroll taxes? Could you afford your rent?

So what is a business owner, CEO, and/or CFO to do?

Sure, you can run a credit check on any of your key business relationships. The challenge is, typical credit check companies can tell you if a company paid its bills three months ago. What you really need to know is, will a company pay its bills three months from now? There are also online resources like Manta, Buzzfile, and InsideView that provide insight into a company. Yet the financial data is often self-reported, or fairly inaccurate.

A new service, Argos Risk, is a predictive financial health tool that leverages big data to provide insight into a company’s financial health. Using more than 250 data points — from a company’s credit history to customer reviews; from current lawsuits to any executives who may be looking for a new job — Argos Risk puts you in control when it comes to monitoring your key business relationships.

Argos Risk is incredibly simple to set up, and the dashboard is very intuitive and user-friendly. Using a familiar red, yellow, green model, you can instantly see if a financial situation has changed with one of your relationships, and you can click-through and drill down to learn what happened and why. When a company you’re monitoring sees a significant change, Argos Risk will email you, so you can ask the right questions and act quickly.

As a fan of Know More! you can monitor up to three businesses for FREE. Just Click Here to learn more about Argos Risk and sign up for your three free reports. An Argos Risk representative will call you to get you started.

Take control of knowing the financial health of your key business relationships. Now that you Know More!



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How to Build Your Sales Pipeline, Before it Even Exists!

An excellent way to find out what’s going on inside a company — and possibly where a company is headed in terms of new products or markets — is to look at its job postings.

For example, if a company is advertising for an engineer who speaks Chinese, it’s a pretty good bet the company is entering the China market. If the company is looking for a sales representative or marketing person with specific industry experience, you can safely guess that the company is going to start selling its products and services to that market.

One of the most comprehensive online information sources for job postings is Indeed ( because it’s actually a meta-search engine of job posting sites. Indeed produces search results by pulling from all the major job search engines such as and Career Builder and directly from company job postings.

Indeed helps you look into the future of what a company will be doing, the people it will be hiring, etc. Then you can identify the challenges the company may soon face (or is now facing) and determine if your company has a solution to solve those problems. In a sense, Indeed helps you build a sales pipeline before the pipeline even exists!

IndeedStart by entering the company name into the search form. You can also include a state, city, or zip code.

If you receive several search results — and you will for larger companies —  you may want to conduct a second search and this time either use Indeed’s Advanced Search, or use Boolean logic and craft a more complex search query. For example, if you want to know what skills a company is looking for in its marketing people, you would enter the name of the company (use quotes for multiple word companies) plus the word marketing.

You can also use Indeed to find companies that have a particular piece of equipment or that use a specific service or technology (HINT: use this for building prospect lists). For example, if your company specializes in working with firms that use Salesforce as their customer relationship management software, enter Salesforce in the main search form and then enter a geographic area. Your results will show companies that mention Salesforce as a job requirement.

Indeed also offers the ability to register for email alerts. Following a search, just enter your email address in the “Get New Jobs By Email” form and any time Indeed finds a new job posting featuring your terms, you’ll receive it via email.

If you’re a salesperson, set up an Indeed email alert on your most important prospects. Based on the type of individual the company is looking for, you can tailor your sales calls and presentations. Set up an automatic lead generator by entering the product, technology, or service that your company enhances and Indeed will email you when a company is looking for someone with knowledge of that product or service. Now you can add that company to your valid prospect list.

If you’re an account manager, set up an Indeed email alert on your clients’ competitors. Send your client a note when its competitor is looking to hire someone with specific talents and experience. Or, set up an Indeed email alert on your client and when the client is looking to hire someone, make a referral from your network. Who do you think will get the next job if that individual is hired?

It’s easy to build a highly qualified prospect list filled with companies who have a need for the solution that you offer, now that you Know More!

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