My Sage Summit 2012 Sessions

In four short months, I hope to see all of you in Nashville for Sage Summit 2012. As I have received a few requests asking me for the list of session I am facilitating, I thought I would take the opportunity to post them here.

Code Title Day/Time
P-0746 A Complete Waste of Time Monday, 1:30
P-0748 For Sage Consulting Academy Alumni Only Monday, 2:45
P-0751 Creating Scope: Tenth Anniversary Edition Tuesday, 9:45
C-0760-1 Creating Shared Vision Thursday, 8:30
C-0760-2 Creating Strategy in a Small Business Thursday, 10:45
C-0762 In Defense of Business—The Trading Game and the Morality of Free Exchange Thursday, 2:00

 

partner-klessIn addition, I am scheduled to perform at the Sage Rocks the Block, Partner appreciation party on  Monday, August 13, 2012 at 7:30PM.

The Sage Summit 2012 Partner Appreciation Party will offer live music, games, great food and drink, plus a few surprises. And you won’t want to miss one-of-a-kind performances by talented musicians from across the Sage partner community, who will rock out together at the party!

See who else is performing.

Firm of the Future Another Raging Success Story

imageThis morning I received the following email from a partner who attended the Firm of the Future Symposium last year.

Congratulations to C. and C. and our new Pricing with A Purpose Team!
 
We just received the signed quote on this deal.  Utilizing the tools Ed has been arming us with, we bid this job 100% higher than we would have under our traditional methodology.  We had no push back from the client regarding the price, as we priced it based on the value of the solution to the them.
 
We have 3 more of these new quotes in negotiation with clients now and a couple more that we are actively developing.
 
This is such an exciting change for us.  Looks like 2012 is going to be fun with lots of leads in our pipeline and tools to maximize the profits on each win!
 
Thanks to Ed Kless for his coaching, poking, prodding, nudging and continual course adjustment!

This is truly and HSD for me!

image

If you are interested in attending an upcoming Firm of the Future Symposium, please visit sageu.com.

On Paid Search vs Social Media Spending

Fellow Sage team member Greg Tirico posted an interesting link to an article which suggests that small and medium businesses are beginning to favor social media spending over paid search.

I have always thought of paid search (and even SEO) as a mistake in the consulting profession because it tends to lead to poor customer acquistion. In other words, it produces more D and F customers than A or B customers.

By their very nature web search prospects are in the gather information step in the buying process. They tend to be tire kickers who are generally looking at buying more on (pun intended) low price rather than a long-term relationship.

I think social media has the potential to change this because it turns search on it head. Instead of looking for people who already have their hand in the air (an intercept lead), social media allows the providers to look for people who have unrecognized need.

In my opinion, it is a much better place to spending marketing dollars.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

New Addition to Ed’s List

In December, I created Ed’s List – a a list of IT (information technology) whom I consider to be true professional knowledge firms.

Today, I am pleased to add another name to the List – Plus Computer Solutions in Burnaby, BC, Canada. As of January 1, 2012, they are no longer keeping timesheets! Said Wendy Gorrie, one of the principals:

For some time now we have been offering fixed fee, money back guarantees for our engagements, it is only now we are taking the final step in the value pricing journey by eliminating time sheets from our organization. Our customers, our team the reputation of our organization and the products we represent will ultimately benefit from our divorce from the timesheet.

I am thrilled to have been some part of their transition and wish them every success in 2012 and beyond!

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

My Interview of Peter Wolf of Azamba

I am pleased to present the second (of what I hope will be many) interviews with professionals who are on Ed’s List. Once again, these are firms that offer only fixed price agreements, have eliminated timesheets for all professionals, and offer a service guarantee.

This interview is with Peter Wolf of Azamba Consulting whose purpose is to help customers gather and organize all of their business information and turn it into knowledge.

Profit Is NOT the Problem

I had an interesting exchange this morning with Bill Kizer, founder of the Sage Partners, Employees and Alumni Networking LinkedIn Group.

He posted, “Want to know what’s wrong with business today? The prioritization of profit over principle is built into American corporate culture.”

I disagree, at least partially.

Pursuit and prioritization of profit is not a bad thing per se. The problem occurs when the pursuit of profit is driven by an over focus on efficiency and cost reduction rather than innovation and satisfaction of customer needs and wants.

The problem comes when the question, "How are we to be profitable?" is answered primarily by saying, "We will need to cut and recover costs." Yes, short term thinking as Bill points out is part of it, but it is the loss of the entrepreneurial spirit (or as some would say – purpose) that is the real problem.

I believe all companies begin to die when more energy is spent on creation of profit through cost reduction (efficiency) than on the creation of profit through innovation for customers (effectiveness).

Yes, this is a derivative of the Eff’ing debate.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

New Firm of the Future Trailblazer: Carol-Ann Brouwer of Simply Made Simple

Today’s HSD (high satisfaction day) comes from this interview I did with Sage Simply Accounting partner Carol-Ann Brouwer of Simply Made Simple.

Carol-Ann attended a workshop on Firm of the Future in October 2010 and in one year has completely transformed into a Firm of the Future. In this year alone she doubled her income. Yes, I said doubled!

Get this, one of the first things she did was trash the timesheet!

I have posted both an excerpt (runs just over four minutes) and the full interview (runs 16 minutes.) Enjoy!

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST

Adieu Simply Partnership

On Saturday, September 24, my friend and and former Sage colleague of mine, Rob Johnson, delivered the closing luncheon keynote at the last Simply Partnership Conference at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

imageJennifer Warawa, the newly minted vice president of partner programs and channel sales for Sage Small Business Solutions, and her team, in conjunction with Kimberly Dorony and the fabulous Sage Events team, did their usually outstanding jobs in putting on a great event.

In addition to our keynote (slides below), Rob and I performed our version of Wear Sunscreen as a commencement address. Here is the text of the speech:

Rob: Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of 2011:

Ed: If we could offer you only one tip for the future, backing up your data would be it. The long term benefits of backing up have been proved by technologists everywhere whereas the rest of our advice has no basis more reliable than our own meandering experiences… We will dispense this advice now.

Rob: Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve a network connectivity issue by using bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you in your office at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Ed: Do one thing every day that scares you.

Rob: Sing.

Ed: Don’t be reckless with your customer’s emotions, and don’t put up with customers who are reckless with yours.

Rob: Floss.

Ed: Don’t waste your time on being jealous of other Sage partners; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Rob: Always accept a mint if offered to you.

Ed: Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this; tell us how.

Rob: Stretch.

Ed: Keep your old customers thank you notes but, throw away your old manuals.

Rob: Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Ed: Enjoy your mind, use it every way you can…don’t be afraid of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own.

Rob: Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Ed: Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Rob: Read the directions, even if, like me, you don’t intend follow them.

Ed: Spend more time with your parents; you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Rob: Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Ed: Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few that you should hold on to, work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Rob: Travel.

Ed: Spend some time in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; spend some time in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Rob: Respect your elders.

Ed: Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Rob: Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a triple A customer, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Ed: Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

Rob: But trust us on backing up.

ET HORA LIBELLUM DELENDA EST