Harvey Mackay

Columnist | Outswimming the Sharks

Recent content from Harvey Mackay

You can't do business if you aren't accessible

Over the years, I've asked a lot of people what makes a great salesperson. The answers are fairly predictable: passion, persistence, likability, planning, trustworthiness, strong work ethic, initiative, intelligence, good communication skills, sense of humor, humility, good timing, strong relationships building and follow-up (or, as I say, the sale begins when the customer says yes).

Updated: July 24, 2011, - 02:30 PM

Boredom is certain to weigh you down - so lighten up

A preacher died and went to heaven, where he noticed that a New York cabbie had been awarded a higher place than he.

Updated: July 17, 2011, - 05:18 PM

To be competitive, you need to be able to see other perspectives

We've reached a point in our country's history where authority and power seem to be manifested by the need to shout down one's opponent. Discussion and compromise are words freely bandied about, but they've largely lost their meaning.

Updated: July 10, 2011, - 02:08 PM

Master of negotiation says there's much we can learn from kids

We were treated pretty well back when we were in diapers. We made our wishes known, and the world as we knew it listened. When we wanted to be fed, we were fed. No waiting around for the dinner to get done or the waiter to notice us jumping up and down and waving our arms. When we were feeling a little damp, we vocalized our concern and, whammo, it was all taken care of.

Updated: July 03, 2011, - 04:23 PM

Think you're ready to be an entrepreneur? Take this test

I have never met anyone who left his or her job -- whether fired or voluntarily -- who started his or her own business and regretted it. What these people always regret is not having done it sooner. This includes people who eventually failed and had to go back to work for someone else.

Updated: June 24, 2011, - 03:16 PM

Listening skills are essential to effective communication

Few things are more frustrating than having to repeat yourself because the person you are speaking to isn't listening. It wastes time and money.

Updated: June 19, 2011, - 02:31 PM

Tapping your creative side can give you a leg up in business

Paul was majoring in zoology at college. One semester he took a course in the study of birds (ornithology). For the final exam, Paul studied until he had the textbook nearly memorized. He knew his class notes backward and forward. He was eager to take the exam, certain of getting a good grade.

Updated: June 12, 2011, - 02:24 PM

'Elevator speech' can give business a lift

If you were given a 180-second opportunity to change your business forever, would you be prepared to do it on a moment's notice? You would if you learn about the elevator speech as defined by Terri Sjodin in her new book, "Small Message, Big Impact."

Updated: June 05, 2011, - 02:44 PM

In résumés, focus on employer's needs, not on yours

A big stack of my mail comes from frustrated people who have tried very hard to find jobs without success. With the slow economic recovery, it's still mighty tough out there.

Updated: May 29, 2011, - 02:55 PM

From A to Z, take to heart these 26 valuable lessons in the art of negotiating

As a kid, I practiced the art of negotiating daily with my parents and teachers. I continued to hone my skills as I grew, eventually buying a small, struggling envelope company. Over decades as a business owner and salesman, I've probably spent as much time in negotiations as any other part of my job. I know you can't negotiate anything unless you absolutely know the market. And I always let the other person talk first.

Updated: May 22, 2011, - 05:44 PM

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