the cartoon dog

When your cash flow is in danger

When your prospects act like strangers

When your business plan has turned to fog


There is one thing you should learn

When there is no one else to turn to

Call . . . . . . . for Underdog


He will fix your LINKEDIN page

And help you find the words to say

To differentiate you from the mob


There is one thing you should learn

When there is no one else to turn to

Call . . . . . . . for Underdog





Every business has a humble beginning. It begins with one sale and grows from here.

No matter how brilliant the idea might be and how perfectly the stars are aligned, a business grows ONE customer at a time.

ONE sale is extraordinarily great and 10 is 10 times the first, and there are many more before small becomes big.

Small means that every single customer is critical and must be well served through the prospecting step, the sales step and the customer service step.

And if we do not serve and learn from our customers and prospects while we are small, we will never become big.

Small is where we learn how to be a business. Small is where we learn what customers really want, how they want it and how can we really deliver it. If we overlook these small sales, we will never become big.




Elevator pitches suck because we were trained to be obedient and answer questions when and as they are asked.

The question that triggers our elevator pitch is, “What do you do?”

And most of us, most always, answer the question as we were taught. We tell people in agonizingly boring detail what we do.

This is why our elevator pitches suck.

The interesting part about what we do is either the problem that we solve or the glorious result we produce. But that wasn’t the question!

Well, from now on, think like a politician and answer the question that you feel like answering. Once you start being interesting, the person who asked will forget the question anyway.

To improve your elevator pitch, ignore the question. Break free of your obedience-school training to answer the question asked and tell us something really interesting.

One alternative is to tell a story about a recent or most interesting client. What issue did they have and what was the result.


mary poppins
P.L. Travers wrote Mary Poppins. And Walt Disney made the movie, eventually.

Prior to making the movie, Disney pursued P.L. for 18 years, asking permission to convert her books into a movie. She eventually relented and the movie, Saving Mr. Banks is the story of the clash of wills between these two.

The reason why this took 18 years was almost unavoidable back then and it is a mistake that should not occur today.

The mistake was that Disney did not know anything about P.L. Travers, including that this was a pen name. Her real name was Helen Goff. She was the daughter of Travers Goff, the inspiration behind her pen name.

Finally in 1961, P.L. comes to California and begins to interact with the Disney creative team. She becomes exasperated, abruptly leaves and returns home to London. In reviewing the receipts for the various things Disney paid for, Walt discovers her real name and asks, “Have I been talking to the wrong person?”

He then flies to London and for the first time converses not with P.L Travers, but with Helen Goff. It is a completely different kind of conversation. He finally conversed on her level, in her terms and not on his.

Back then it is understandable that Disney knew very little about Helen Goff and P.L. Travers. And Disney could be excused for thinking that his reputation and track record would be all that any writer could possible want.

But in today’s internet dominated world, the mistake of not knowing your prospect should not happen.

Today the internet provides the information that was not available to Disney then. Today, if and when we know the customer with whom we really and truly would like to do business — you know the kind that we might continually pursue for 18 years (or months, or days) — we would be very well served to take the time to know the person we are about to meet and take some time in getting to know them.


You do too much and it is preventing customers from hiring you and perhaps even meeting you.

The fallacy we often heard is that more lines in the water catch more fish and so if we say we do many things, it’s as if we have many lines in the water.

The analogy is incomplete. What’s missing is the bait at the end of those lines. What works is the right bait in front of the right customer at the right time.

The fish bait is akin to the service or product that a business offers.

Consider this scenario, you have a brain tumor and you are getting recommendations and researching doctors.

Among the many choices, here are two

Doctor AAA (anything, anybody, anytime)

10 years practicing medicine, my specialties are brain surgery, podiatry, acupuncture, radiology and nutrition.

Doctor B (Brain Surgery)

10 years practicing brain surgery. This is my specialty. It’s the only medicine I practice. I have performed over 500 brain surgeries and every patient is doing well.

There might be other reasons to consider when making this decision. But when it comes to an important matter, do you want a specialist or a generalist?

Most new and small businesses need to be special, super-specific and very good at what they do.

Jacks of all trades are everywhere. Top talent exists only at the top of the pyramid. Resist the temptation to do too much, instead, do one thing; one thing incredibly well. Call it your super-power.



LinkedIn Prepares you Perfectly for a Professional Meeting

A professional meeting is one that has been planned, and scheduled. It is usually not the very first meeting between the parties. This is a meeting of parties who have advanced their relationship, and investing some time to research each other is now warranted.

LinkedIn not only makes this research easier it provides information that, prior to LinkedIn, was impossible to gather.

Linkedin links to business intelligence:

[1] Connect on LinkedIn with every person who is to be at the meeting.

[2] Visit each attendees’ LinkedIn Profile

  • Check out those you’ve not yet met. Learn their background and anything you have in common with them.
  • Check out “How You’re Connected”. Call and ask these connections for some insights
  • Check out your prospects’ 2nd degree connections. These are people they might introduce you to.
  • Check out their “recent activity”. Which might reveal their current events, challenges, or future objectives.
[3] Visit their LinkedIn company page

  • The LinkedIn company page is a company penned blog meant to share news and current events with their followers.
[4] Former employees

  • Through LinkedIn’s Advanced Search you can identify former employees who often provide insight, more freely.
[5] Company hierarchy

  • Layout your prospect’s organizational chart with names and titles. And using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search filters “title” and “company”, learn the names of these position holders.

Good intelligence is the key to persuasion and negotiation.

Prepare to win.

What do you want LinkedIn to do for you? [part 3 of 3]

Linkedin word cloud
From the first two installments of this brief:

[1] Your Linkedin profile is what recipients read when deciding if they want to meet you for coffee. And thus your profile should be interesting and non-threatening.

[2] The words we use to connect and invite prospects to coffee matter. We must only ask about them, use their first name and only ask one question at a time.

[3] The objective to prospecting with Linkedin is to schedule and have a meeting with a new business prospect. This 1st meeting is hugely important in building rapport and trust with the prospect. The two key words are “curiosity” and “goodwill”. If we are truly curious about them and ask about them, they will very likely think very well of us. They will wish us well —– goodwill.

And so now we arrive at the final Linkedin prospecting concept, 2 questions [1] Who exactly do you want to meet? and [2] How many meetings do you want to have with new prospects every week?

Who is your most likely customer? What do they look like?

If you know anything about your customers, chances are great that you can find them with the Linkedin “advanced search”. This feature allows even we who have the free membership to search the Linkedin database using 12 filters.

Using the filter is easy compared to answering the above two questions. Most business people in an effort to never miss a possible inquiry or to be huge tomorrow think that everybody is their prospect. And though they may be, this is the wrong answer, as covered in this previously posted blog.

When proactively prospecting with a strategy that can and will cause you to be meeting 2 out of every 3 people you identify, it is imperative that you know who are your best prospects.

In fact it is best to be able to identify these prospects by name and find them in Linkedin by using the search tool. Read about them, learn who they are before meeting them and as part of the prospecting selection process.

Sales are as much found as they are made. If we do a better job of identifying better prospects, we can and will make more sales, especially if we facilitate a great 1st meeting.

The highest and best use of Linkedin is as a proactive B2B Prospecting tool.


What do you want LinkedIn to do for you? [part 2 of 3]

Linkedin word cloud

What do you want LinkedIn to do for you?  [PART 1 OF 3] revealed that successful prospecting with Linkedin is built on an understanding of these 4 concepts:

[1] An interesting and non-threatening profile

[2] A prospect-friendly approach to your requests to connect and meet for coffee.

[3] Knowing how to use the Linkedin search engine

[4] Facilitating a great 1st meeting

And it briefly discussed points [1] and [4].

Knowing the end result of this prospecting endeavor to be goodwill and that our Linkedin profile is also aimed at this objective, are equally important facts that influence the prospect-friendly words we use to connect and meet with new prospects.

Basic rules of Linkedin connection-friendly communication:

[1] We are all on a 1st name basis

[2] Never talk about yourself

[3] Always talk about them

[4] Only ask one question at a time

[5] You and your prospect already have 1 very important thing in common. You are both on Linkedin.

You never have to say word one about who you are. Any recipient can easily read your entire Linkedin profile, which is why it needs to be interesting and non-threatening. (and apparently the most threatening type of person today is a sales person.)

Always ask about them and only ever ask one question per communication. If you ask 2 questions at the same time and they say no, to what did they disagree.

The process to connect is 3 steps (click here for a brief / free tutorial) [1] Can we connect? [2] Can we meet for coffee or talk on the phone and [3] Great, when might we chat or meet?

My experience thus far is that 99% of the people I invite to connect want to meet for coffee. And 80% of the people I select do in fact meet me for coffee.

The highest and best use of Linkedin is as a proactive B2B Prospecting tool.

What do you want LinkedIn to do for you? [part 1 of 3]

Linkedin word cloud

The highest and best use of Linkedin is as a proactive B2B prospecting tool.

I can defend this statement with evidence that if used smartly, Linkedin, in and of itself can provide everything necessary to meet for coffee with 2 out of every 3 people you select.

I’m pretty sure Linkedin is great at other tasks, but in the world of new business prospecting, meeting AT LEAST 66% of the people you target is extraordinary. Whatever else you might be using Linkedin for, you might want to compare it to its value as a producer of face to face meetings with new potential customers.

Successful prospecting with Linkedin is built on an understanding of these 4 concepts:

[1] An interesting and non-threatening profile

[2] A prospect-friendly approach to your requests to connect and meet for coffee.

[3] Knowing how to use the Linkedin search engine

[4] Facilitating a great 1st meeting

An interesting and non-threatening profile is one that is very non-salesy. People on Linkedin are interested in meeting people, interesting people, not sales people.

Stranger is the word to describe someone we have not yet met. And your mother, like mine told us not to talk to strangers. And the first time we are meeting with a new prospect, we are strangers. Before any realistic sales-purchase conversation can or should take place is after we have passed our mother’s warnings.

The 1st meeting is hugely important in building rapport and trust. This meeting needs to be facilitated smoothly. He who asked for the meeting is in charge of the meeting and has the responsibility of making our guest feel welcome. We want them to be pleased that they came and we want them to leave wishing us well.

The goal of the 1st meeting with any new prospect is “goodwill”. We want everyone we meet to think well of us and be open to meeting us again and again. Everyone we meet is now a part of our network and its our network from which everything happens.




10 questions about prospecting for new business in today’s internet world. Test yourself.

[1] LinkedIn is a __________________.

[a] waste of time

[b] networking event


[2] Networking and Prospecting have nothing to do with _________.

[a] people

[b] selling


[3] Prospectors are _____________ & _______________.

[a] obnoxious & pushy

[b] courteous & curious


[4] LinkedIn converts _________ into _________

[a] Likes, friends

[b] Strangers, Acquaintances


[5] People have concerns about strangers thanks to what?

[a] the media

[b] their mom


[6] Which is more important “satisfied customers” or “a community that trusts us”?

[a] either one, but not the other and definitely not both

[b] both: it’s a tie


[7] When would be a good time for me to ask you to change your mind?

[a] the very first time we meet

[b] any time, other than the first time we meet


[8] What are the 3 steps in the LinkedIn 3 Step prospecting process?

[a] boast – brag – ask

[b] Invite – Thank – Schedule


[9] The chances of anyone needing your product or service right now are one in ______.

[a] a million

[b] 20


[10] When we meet someone for the first time, how long should this 1st meeting last?

[a] all day

[b] not more than 1 hour


This quiz relates to the online tutorial SETTING APPOINTMENTS WITH LINKEDIN, which is available at Whether you have or have not experienced the tutorial, how do you think you fared?

The correct answer for every question is [b]. The tutorial lays out a strategy to being a professional and graceful prospector. And knowing these 10 answers brings you a little closer to being one than millions of others pretending to be so.

A professional prospector knows how to use Linkedin and sets appointments with 2 out of every 3 prospects they so choose.  Click here for the tutorial.