Does your business follow a model in which you provide a quote, estimate or proposal to your prospective clients?

When you (or someone within your organization) write up this information do you give the prospect exactly what they asked for or do you offer them more?

I learned the following strategy from Alan Weiss ( and would like to share it with you. Based on my personal experience, it works.

After meeting with a client, draw up a proposal based on your communication with them. Then ask yourself, “What else can I offer that would greatly benefit this prospect?” Keep asking yourself this question until you come up with at least three proposal options:

Ok, take one ball and throw it up in the air. Catch it. Do it again. Now add another ball. Throw that one in the air as well. Catch it. Do it again. Now throw both balls in the air at the same time. Chances are you can catch them. What happens when you add that third or fourth ball? It becomes a game of ‘chase’ instead of ‘catch’!

Balancing personal life, family and business is not just a game of catch. It requires thought, planning and support.

As businesses confront increasing competition during challenging times, there seems to be a renewed interest in strategic planning. Strategic plans create a road map to determine where an organization is going, how it's going to get there and how it will recognize success.

Following are eight phases for the strategic planning process.

Somewhere along the line you may have learned to believe that, as a woman, if you raise your voice an octave, or become ‘cute’ that you will magically melt the person in front of you and get what you want from them.  This might work at home and with your friends, but if this style is a permanent state of communication for you, it may be holding you back in business.

Who are your number one customers? I’m talking about the fans. Those customers you love and they love you. These are the customers you want to clone and if you could, you’d have your laboratory up in running in a nano second.

One of the key tests of leadership is the handling of challenges and difficulties within the organization. Periods of turmoil raise the personal stress level and anxiety of all members. Particularly in periods of uncertainty, where there is a vacuum of leadership, followers will create their own story as a way of creating certainty. Too often the story differs from what the organizational leaders wish to communicate and in the absence of strong leadership, a story will be created.

I invite leaders to focus on three things during a difficult or challenging period: