25 thoughts about business, selling, and success (part 2)

In last month’s blog, we reviewed the first 13 of 25 thoughts based on the experience of my colleague from Toronto, Kevin Crone. Here are the final 12 insights from Kevin:

14) In about 118 seconds you are tuned out. You need to say things that get and keep your customer’s attention and ultimately solve his or her problems; then you will be heard.

15) A brand is just a promise made and kept to a customer. So focus on your promises.

16) You need to rent an instigator. One large client dubbed me the interrupter. You need someone to put life into your business and sales. You need someone to hear you sell, observe you, then coach you. Call your team. Talk to them. Advise and coach them. You will see what I mean if you do this. Don’t be cheap. Put money into building your people and you will increase the capacity of your business to hit larger visions and goals. If you don’t do it, your vision and margins will be in the toilet.

17) The Great Recession wiped out any chance of an easy “yes.” Be proud that you are possessed with the future you are creating, where you are going, and what you are selling. Think you can do it without tons of effort. Lazy people drag us down with them. Don’t hang with them. Don’t even hang with yourself if you are one of them.

18) Know your presentation — know your audience. Never wing it. You aren’t that good!

19) Buyers want to know things quickly. Moses got it down to two tablets, five bullet points each. We have to know the five or six issues clients face, what they mean, and what a client has to do.

20) You are in charge of your own success — there is no white knight coming. Find a horse and ride it. Do you see a leader in the mirror? If you can’t lead, who will? You are in trouble if it isn’t you. No one gives a darn about you! You need to lead you.



21) No great vision will work unless responsibility and accountability by a strong leader are behind it. You have to be yourself — have your own style — or you will lack sincerity.

22) Leaders climb to the top of the highest tree, assess the situation, and set the direction. The leader then discusses how to proceed and what the team needs, and with the managers, the leader proceeds to assemble, organize, and run the team that does the cutting. Then he or she climbs the tree again and keeps reading the signs, looking for opportunities and problems. If the leader is too involved in the day-to-day activities and cannot see the forest for the trees, he or she will fail to anticipate success in business and fail to build on it. You won’t win more and grow. Balance thinking and action. Every business can survive with a little “ready, fire, aim … GO for it!” Every business leader must take these risks, move quickly, and be smart.

23) To know and do nothing is the worst sin.

24) We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. Money comes from value, not banks or capitalization.

25) One day you will be successful if you think through your success philosophy and act from it.


If you were to summarize the essence of Kevin’s thoughts, you’d have to say there really are no “secrets to business success.” It is all about customer focus, customer focus, and customer focus. Once you have a deep understanding of your customer, tailor your solution to that customer, put your plan together, and DO IT!

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