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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mac Vs. Windows: 6 Months Into The Experiment

By Terry L. Brock

“In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer:

I embarked on a noble experiment about six months ago. Okay, it was more like seizing the swinging ladder from a rescue helicopter while standing on a sinking ship…. But that’s another story! I made the switch from Windows over to Mac. Vista was a big motivator. As I got into it (read on) Leopard on Mac was an even bigger motivator.

I say “switch” because I am doing most of my activities now on a Mac. Yes, I still use my Dell, a Windows machine for many tasks. I guess you could say I’m a “hybrid” taking the best of both.

In the six months I’ve had a chance to test my MacBook Pro (the 15 inch model) in many situations. There have been some frustrations. There have also been some really good experiences. Bottom line: Well, you have to wait (and don’t skip to the end of the column yet!).

So, just between us (don’t tell any grown-ups, okay?) I’ll share some of my experiences thus far so if you are considering the shift you can determine what you should do.

Overriding goal: Building profitable business relationships is most important in business. Relationship Marketing is the key and I believe all decisions --- technological as well as others --- need to be filtered through the prism of relationship marketing. I’ve found that with my Mac I am able to build more relationships with the Mac community. This is initially a “Duh!” thought but on closer observation it is more profound.

Apple has a delightful network of retail stores around the world. As a Mac owner you can go to this “safe haven” and get assistance, help, gawk at new gizmos for the Mac (I like to do that!) and learn. Every time I go there I learn something new about my Mac and how to make me more productive. This is a big part of Relationship Marketing. I didn’t get this from even the best discount computer store --- which is the closest you’ll come to that level of community and Relationship Marketing on the Windows side.

Having said that here are some of the pros and cons I’ve encountered in the past six months with my Mac:

Pros On Mac Side

The support issue is huge. I’ve already mentioned the retail stores. Even better is the level of telephone support. Never have I had to wait more than 15 minutes (in my personal experience). In contrast I was often shuttled to some far-reaching sectors of the galaxy for support with Microsoft, Dell, Toshiba and others. I swear --- the people on the other end had to be Klingons barely speaking English. Ugh! Apple wins the support issue hands-down.

Apple supports the software which comes with the Mac very well. With my Dell, I got some support from Dell (I had purchased the high-end package of support for my Dell XPS). However, with Dell, I often got the “we don’t support that software” argument. I understand since Dell can’t be expected to know everything about everything. Even with their customized software support, they often relied on Google searches to support programs I had. This was most frustrating and time-consuming (hence money-losing for my small business!). With Apple, I get support for all their software that comes with my MacBook Pro. Yes, I’ll need extra support for additional software but I can do most everything I need with the installed software in my MacBook Pro. Advantage Mac.

Lack of viruses. This is really nice. I don’t have to worry as much about viruses on the Mac and that saves not only on money for the protection software, but it is peace of mind. I can pursue more sales, marketing and development areas. Again, this is very important for my small business and Relationship Marketing.

QuickLook. This is outstanding! It is a new feature in Leopard and gives the ability to quickly see what is in a document (Word, PDF, JPG, Video, etc.) without opening the application. This feature alone must save me 30 minutes minimum every day. Nothing like this is available (yet) on Windows. This feature alone is worth upgrading to Mac from Windows.

There are several other advantages, but space doesn’t permit it here. Suffice it to say that Mac has serious business advantages.

Cons On Mac

It is not always a bed of roses. I had to learn some new ways of doing things on the Mac. This was initially frustrating but quickly faded with the help of Apple support. It wasn’t terrible, as I quickly got up to speed through their help, the copious videos Apple has online and some good training books. Now that I know more about the Mac OS, I can maneuver around much easier and faster.

No memory card slots. I wish Apple included these like most Windows PC manufacturers do. I had to pay $30 for an Express Card slot to handle my SD card. Not a big deal but annoying.

Lack of USB slots. This is most annoying. Apple only has 2 USB slots on this computer. Sure I can, and do, have a USB hub but some peripherals don’t work unless they are directly connected to the computer. My Dell had 6 USB slots. Nice. Advantage Dell on this one. Suggestion: Apple, drop the FireWire 400 and 800 since hardly anyone uses them. Go with Extra USB slots and we can march into the Garden of Eden!

Also, some really good software programs are not available on Mac. Yes, I could use Parallels to run Windows but that chews up vital disk space. For now, I’m using Mac 95% of the time and Windows 5%. I see that 5% dwindling.

Bottom Line (At Least For Me)

I’m in this for business. This is not a religion, as some seem to think. I like my Mac for the productivity, the light weight, the capabilities, and the ease of use. I am longing for products like Camtasia and Snag-It to come over to Mac. I really want CardScan to come up with something for Mac (please, folks---hurry!). And I’d love to see some good sheet-fed scanners for the Mac (Iris is a joke and Visioneer, Ambir and Neat Receipts aren’t there yet).

However, Mac is a definite winner for business use. Before you purchase your next computer, give the Mac some serious consideration. Look at the support side most of all.

As Eric Hoffer told us, learners inherit the Earth. Learn more about what is available and your productivity and profits can soar.

I just hope that my competition doesn’t discover the advantages of the Mac!

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Attitude In Relationship Marketing

By Terry L. Brock

“Attitude is everything.” Keith Harrell

When times are tough, people like to find scapegoats. They want to blame someone else for their problems. “Gas prices are too high.” “The economy is to blame.” “If only we had different politicians in (pick a location, federal, state, local, etc.).” The list of excuses goes on and on.

However, that doesn’t square with reality and what has happened over the centuries. The truth of the matter is that your success is largely up to you and you alone. Sorry, but you can’t blame someone else. You have to take control of your own life and make it happen.

This is both discouraging and encouraging news--- it just depends on how the you receive it. The best part of this is that having the right attitude will effect your Relationship Marketing. Think about it: Unless you’re already independently wealthy, the money you get in the future is going to come from other people. To get that money from other people (without initiation of force or violence) you have to persuade them to willingly give you their money. They have to see solid real value and trust you.

Building value and increasing trust is what Relationship Marketing is all about. You develop relationships with potential suppliers, buyers, colleagues and other stakeholders in your personal “enterprise” and it pays off in the long run.

The foundation of all relationships is your attitude. The good news is that you can choose to have a great attitude no matter what happens.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller:

Helen Keller was right. We have to look for new opportunities. Yes, things are tight now in many sectors. This has happened many times before in history. If we don’t study history we certainly are condemned to live it over and over as George Santayana warned us long ago. Study history. See what others have done in similar situations in order to work out of the problems.

Remember your success is ultimately up to you. Starting with the right attitude, you initiate the process. Much has been written about positive thinking. Naysayers of positive thinking will often say that it doesn’t work. Well, they are partially right. By itself with no planning or hard work, positive thinking doesn’t work. Napoleon Hill cited 13 key principles for success in his classical work, Think and Grow Rich. A positive mental attitude (seems a bit redundant to me, but that’s another matter I’ll take up with Dr. Hill sometime…) is just the beginning. He has 12 other necessary traits for success. Saying that all you need is a positive attitude is like saying all you need is gasoline to get drive a car. You have to have gasoline --- and at a pretty penny these days!. However, you also have to have a fully functioning car, you have to have a plan to get where you’re going, you have to study the terrain, you have to make changes in your plans as conditions change, etc. etc.

Marcus Aurelius, one of the better Roman Caesars said, “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” Change your attitude --- your estimate of the external pain --- and you can revoke the power it has over you. Yes, we still have to deal with it. But we have control over much more than we give ourselves credit for.

This is not just by shouting and jumping up and down as children in a pep rally. Intelligently assess the situation and determine what you really can do. Be objective and see the situation with an “optimistically realistic” point of view. Then follow Napoleon Hill’s other 12 steps for success.

Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck said it very well when he said, “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” That time is NOW for many. Take the malaise of the situation in many parts and determine to turn it around.

Be a resource for customers that they can’t find elsewhere. Remember, they are also paying high prices at the pump, wondering about their jobs, etc. etc. Become the source of hope and help for others and good will flow to you. Create enough value for others and you’ll never be out of a job.

Attitude really is everything, as Keith Harrell says. To see Keith in a video I shot of him just yesterday at lunch here in Orlando go to and click on the “Terry’s Blog…Latest Update” button. This could be just what you need to break out of any malaise that might be there and spark a new beginning. Remember, attitude is not the end ---- but a necessary initiation for a lot of good ahead.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Be Different, Be Better, Create New Markets

By Terry L. Brock

Karan Bilimoria, is the Founder of legendary Cobra Beer. Also known as Baron Bilimoria he is a person who saw a need and filled it. Many people in the UK liked their Indian food with curry. They also liked to have their ale or lager. However, the fizz associated with ale didn’t go well for many people who also enjoyed Indian food.

Bilimoria saw an opportunity. He created Cobra Beer in 1990 the UK was going into a recession. He went 20 million pounds into debt (serious money!). However, today Bilimoria is doing very well as the company has a brand share of $300 million pounds. (even more serious money!). Relationship Marketing is about expanding your mind and your business offerings to help buyers. Bilimoria did that and is regularly doing that to better serve customers.

Recently, my friend Frank Furness, from London, was able to interview Karan Bilimoria and asked him what entrepreneurs can do to succeed. His three points are valuable for you and me in our businesses.

Be Different

Innovation is critical but don’t go “over the top.” Apple’s slogan from a few years ago to “Think Different” was actually not adverbially challenged as many, including me, claimed. Instead of saying “Think Differently” (correct English) they wanted us to think about a different approach to doing things on the computer---hence, “Think Different.” Don’t think you can do the same things in the same way and expect to get the same results today. In a marketplace that is changing rapidly, you can get different results from doing exactly what you did before. You have to adapt. You have to change. Innovation is the key.

Be innovative and stand out favorably in the crowd. I do a lot of professional speaking in my work. One of the worst traits that a speaker can have is to be boring. I remember hearing this from the Dean of Personal Development, Earl Nightingale, years ago. What Mr. Nightingale said then is still true today. I believe that being boring is a deadly marketing sin. As I said a few issues ago, “Boring Marketers Have Skinny Kids.” You want to be creative without being crass. Be funny without being silly. The best way to do this is by being pleasant, jovial and sincerely helping other people. Make it your goal to help someone else have a better day because they encountered you.

Be Better

Be better than the competition. Find out what they are doing and “hit ‘em where they ain’t.” Don’t try to just have lower prices as the only way to compete. You lose and the entire industry loses. Instead, find a way that you can have a better quality product or experience for customers. Gauge what you do by what customers consider valuable, not what you think is nice. Remember, YOU are not the one buying your product---buyers are. Focus on their needs and what they want.

What’s more important than being better than the competition? Being better than you were. Always be in competition with yourself to make yourself better. I love my wind sprints that I do in my regular exercises. I try to beat my previous times for various legs of that course I’ve laid out. Don’t worry about someone who is a little better than you. Focus first and foremost on becoming the best you can be at what you do.

Create New Markets

The amazing book, Blue Ocean Strategy, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, says this very well. Don’t compete in the ocean where everyone else resides. Everyone gets bloody there and the ocean is “red.” Get away from the crowd and innovate. Come up with new, innovative approaches in the “blue” ocean where no one else exists.

Don’t just try to build better candles---electrify. Come up with a better way to address the overall need of the marketplace. If the marketplace needs more light and everyone else is trying to build better candles, longer wicks, nicer wax---don’t go there! Come up with light bulbs that illuminate better and which offer innovative advantages.

When times are tough, it is an excellent time to be creative. That is what Karan Bilimoria did when he invented the delicious Cobra beer. He saw the need that people had and offered a better product. The marketplace has thanked him and his bottom line is looking mighty nice!

To see a video interview of this concept go to and click on the “Terry’s Blog…Latest Update” button and you’ll be directed to the video. Use these ideas for your business and let tough times be the catalyst to propel you forward to greater innovation and sales. These three approaches can help you and your business succeed no matter what the economy is doing. Your Relationship Marketing will soar and so will your bottom line!

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

I Am Not Lost. I Am Exploring.

By Terry L. Brock

Getting the sale can be tough. Sometimes you try and try and it doesn’t seem like you’re getting anywhere. There are times when it feels like you’re lost and can’t get through to that potential buyer.

However, it is all in how we look at it. Building relationships in business requires time and effort. Relationship Marketing is built on taking the right steps in the right way.

The other day I was listening to a song by folk singer and professional speaker Jana Stanfield. Jana is a friend and I’ve loved her music for years. One of her songs is entitled, “I am not lost. I am exploring.” The words go on to say, “Life is an adventure worth enjoying.” Sales and marketing are like that.

You have to enjoy the journey as you go. As you’re building those relationships with clients keep reminding yourself of the importance of enjoying the process.

True Relationship Marketing requires a series of steps that must be reiterated by seasoned professionals. Even if you’ve done it 1 million times before (or it seems like that many), you have to remind yourself to do it again. Just like professional pilots go through their checklist for every flight no matter how many times they have flown, you want to put yourself through the right procedures. This is true even if you’ve been in business for what seems like a million years.

Here are a few of the steps you want to process as you “explore and enjoy” the process of building successful Relationship Marketing:

1. Embrace The Sales Process With Positive Expectation And Enthusiasm. Your attitude will have a huge influence on those around you and on yourself. Staying positive is not just a trite idea----it makes a strong impact on the bottom line!

2. Be Inquisitive. Keep your eyes and ears open as you enjoy the journey. As you explore building a relationship with your prospect ask lots of questions and listen to the answers. Watch between the lines. Discover what it is that your prospect really wants --- not just what they say they want. Listen to what is not said. Find out where they are hurting and need help and explore ways to provide solutions.

3. Explore Creative Alternatives. Sometimes what worked in the past won’t work under today’s new conditions. I recently spoke to a group of wonderful people in the printing industry. That industry is changing dramatically in light of new video, audio, and web-based possibilities. It is also hit with the desire for people to be environmentally friendly. In addition to all that they are in an economy, like the rest of us, where their own customers are facing tight budgets. Doing business with ink on paper is different today. However, successful printers are seeing they do more than put ink on paper. Those who are most successful provide a vehicle to help their customers solve problems. Successful printers today build on top of their marketing expertise and recommend additional information dissemination solutions to solve problems for their customers. This is the way to achieve success in any industry and in any economy.

4. Deal With Real-World Objections. In the real world Relationship Marketing deals with concerns, stalls and serious objections that buyers have regarding the purchase. This means you have to study. You have to learn what others are facing. See the problem from their point of view. Don’t feel “lost” in this. Instead enjoy the exploring of new solutions for them as you recognize and seriously address their objections.

5. Learn From Each Experience. Sometimes a relationship is developed and sometimes it just doesn’t happen in spite of your efforts. Remember that you are not lost but exploring new options. Some relationships are just not for you. That means there are other relationships which can be more beneficial to both parties. Don’t let a few rejections stop you from exploring the bountiful possibilities that lie ahead. Learn from setbacks. Prepare for new approaches. Don’t fret about being lost but enjoy the journey as you explore new adventures.

Life really is an adventure worth enjoying. The sales process and the process of building successful relationships are worth the TME (Time, Money, Effort) required to make them happen. Not all ventures are going to be financially profitable. Welcome to my planet. That’s just the way it works here.

As you persist in your exploring you’ll find the joy of the adventure in sales --- and in life. As Jana Stanfield sings, life is an adventure worth enjoying. Make your sales and relationship building process a most enjoyable one! By the way, to hear Jana sing this song that can help you through some tough times, go to and click on the button for “Terry’s Blog…Latest Update.” For more information on Jana and her music go to You’ll not only enjoy her songs, it could be just that motivation you need when you’re facing a tough sale or situation.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at