December 21, 2014

Put on your mask. Breathe deeply. Now, help someone else find their own mask.

Images I put up a little post back in December about modeling delight. No research, just my own pithy advice as usual.

Kathy Sierra has done the research. She posted a wonderful essay on happiness yesterday. It’s long…almost 2,500 words. But it’s fantastic. If you find yourself frustrated, angry, yelling at your kids or screaming at God, you must read it. You simply must. I was delighted to find the same Flight Attendant Wisdom at the end of her post.

In reading some of the comments on the piece, there are some chronically unhappy readers who aren’t happy with the news Kathy offers. Hmmm.

We, the happy, are obligated to remain so. Periodically, we must put on our oxygen mask and wade into the misery pit to help someone find their way out (or help some unhappy customer find some semblance of satisfaction). What Kathy is saying is that the pit is not a place to stay. It’s true.

I’ve been a sideline fan of www.despair.com for several years. I find their material to be immensely funny, but experience has taught me that I don’t want any of their products near me. My kids bought me the Despair calendar a couple of years ago and I had to take it off my wall by April. It was affecting my attitude towards the people I worked with. Funny yes. Dangerous as well.

I think as an NF personality type, my capacity for empathy makes it especially dangerous to venture into the pit without a safety harness. Kathy’s article backs this up with the information about left vs. right brained preferences.

On the other hand, this empathy trait makes it easier for me to be a Persuasion Architect, developing personae for marketing purposes and interacting with a wider range of people. And it’s true that I’ll come home from strange places having picked up the local vernacular, accents and even gestures. The Angry Ones think we NF’s are just goofy.

While we may have a tendency to let anger rub off on us, we also have the capacity to absorb joy and amplify it. Let’s have a party after you read Kathy’s post.

Link: Creating Passionate Users: Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain.

You'll Want to be In The Room

Wfyctb_1 June 2002 Wizards of Web is where I first swallowed the red pill and had my eyes opened to how things really work on the web. I’ve been following along with the Eisenbergs ever since and using their Persuasion Architecture techniques to make fists full of money for me and baskets full of money for my clients.

That’s why I’ll be in the room on May 9-10 at Wizard Academy when Jeff and Bryan present the 2-day version of the class. The class is free…sort of. By your attendance, you’ll be helping them promote their new book "Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?". You see, you’ll get 100 hardback copies of the book when it’s released in June for $1,800 now. You’ll also get one signed preview copy of the book when you attend. Buy 100 books and attend a $3,000 seminar free.

I’m not sure how to put it more plainly than this: If you are in charge of your company’s web presence and you don’t increase your sales by more than the cost of the 2-day trip including all your expenses…you’re a doofus.  If you are smart enough to get to Austin on your own, you are very likely smart enough to understand how to use the information in the course to make more money.

And then, in June, when you receive 100 books and start giving them to your colleagues and customers, you will again be recognized for your intelligence and thoughtfulness.

PSSST…I’ve read the book. I have a galley proof. It’s the best, most accessible book on marketing I’ve ever read. No kidding.

If you want to read more about it, click here for the Wizard Academy description. If you just want to register, go here.

I’ll see you in Austin in a few weeks!

Dissin' the Customer

The Cashier Con is the Monday Morning Memo from Roy Williams today. He’s talking about a trend where businesses show their disdain for their customers by taking advantage of them through sneaky offers at the cash register. You’ll recognize them. You’ll nod your head in agreement.

I’ve also noticed a trend toward simply assuming your customers are stupid. Unfortunately, this is often (wrongly) justified by the acts of a few of your customers who really are stupid. For example, it just takes a few out of the hundreds of people on a 747 to act like knuckleheads and a flight crew starts treating everyone like babies for the rest of their careers.

Laxhojo I had a 6-hour layover in Los Angeles last month before flying to Australia. I opted to get a day-rate room at a hotel near LAX to freshen up, wash some laundry (I’d already been on the road 4 days) and rest a bit. This sign was actually in the bathroom. My guess is that some years ago, some poor soul clogged the toilet with too much paper and the manager or the maintenance guy had a hissy-fit resulting in these signs. They now insult the intelligence of every customer for the mistake, misfortune or even prank of one person. Guess what? I wasn’t that person. Why are you yelling at me with your sign?

Do you have any signs, policies or procedures in your business that could be insulting to your customers? How would you know? The best course of action is to hire an outsider to come in and have a look around. We call it uncovery. It’s the only way to see yourself real.