WHAT TRUMP AND HILLARY SHOULD DO AND HOW I KNOW

 

WHAT TRUMP AND HILLARY SHOULD DO AND HOW I KNOW 

 

At the end of last week’s blog I promised that I would tell you about my background and how I developed expertise in the political arena. I started working with politicians shortly after I wrote “Dress for Success.”  At first I picked their clothing, shortly after that I was surveying audiences after their speeches and making suggestions on how they could improve. With my help my first candidates developed great stump speeches and most of them won.

 

I got so good at it I approached only underdogs and my argument for hiring me was, what did you have to lose? I handled candidates who were supposed to lose in a landslide and five out of seven won. I always sign nondisclosure agreement with my clients but I thought word would get out. I was wrong, it was the only secret politicians ever kept but I wasn’t disappointed.  While I liked most politicians I couldn’t stand most of the people who surrounded them. However, what really made me give up packaging politicians was they did not pay their bills. I was such a amateur at the time that I didn’t know that everyone including the media insisted that they pay upfront.

 

One of the men I packaged in 1986, when he was running as a Republican for a seat in his state legislature, contacted me about 15 years ago. By then he was in Congress and had a very good friend who was a Democrat.  After a few drinks he and his buddy decided to help each other get elected by sharing information. After working with me he believed in research and thought he could get a real insight into how Democrats thought if his friend did the research. He in turn would help his friend by researching how Republicans thought and reacted to various arguments. While he trusted me his friend did not so he could not even tell me his name and he couldn’t let me run the research since they were going to be using campaign workers as researchers. Of course, I turned him down because I did not want my name connected with any research project I could not validate.

 

Three years later I heard from my friend again. He met me in a restaurant in Orlando and he brought along his buddy who by that time he had convinced I was trustworthy. They wanted me to look at their research and give my opinion. I looked at the questions for five minutes and decided for a number of reasons it was not worth the paper it was written on. They agreed to pay me for my time but once again I refused unless I had the right to use the research findings as a consultant and a writer. We agreed, I would agreedagreed  work free and and never mention either of their names or identified them in any way and wait for three years before using the research.

 

The minute they explained the nature of information they were after I knew in-house undercover research was the only viable method. The best example I can give of in-house undercover research is how we researched attitudes in the black community. The Democrat who had entrée into the community hired neighborhood residents to informally survey their friends. What they were told to do is to ask 4 or 5 questions: Are you going to vote? Is anyone else in your family going to vote? Do you think there’s any argument that might convince your friends to vote for a Republican? If you felt your local candidate was betraying you and your children would you stay home? They were instructed to ask those questions over a period of time in every day conversation so no one would even know they were being questioned.  You’ll notice we never asked them which candidate they were going to vote for or if they would vote for a Republican, because we found even admitting you might vote for a Republican will get you into trouble in many black communities.

 

We found that in both the black and Hispanic areas promising mother’s not good schools but white schools was the key to switching votes. Our surveys also showed the best argument in minority communities was that with tenure no one can fire teachers who can’t teach or won’t teach. Since the Democrats have been sending you the worst teachers for years to keep you, Dumb, Dependent and voting Democratic (a memorable phrase) you must replace those poor teachers with good teachers and the only way to do that is to do away with tenure in poor communities.(This no Democrat can agree to.) The key to the Democratic party’s success is keeping you dumb because if African-Americans start going to college they’ll likely to vote Republican.  

 

If you still think you must vote Democratic, do so. Just insist that your candidate put your and your children’s interest ahead of the demands of teacher’s union. If they do not, find another Democratic candidate.

 

In the proceeding paragraphs I’ve given Trump’s anemic attempt to attract black votes some very useful information but neither he nor his advisers or his spokespeople will even consider it.  They are trapped in the well-educated white ghetto and they exclusively use arguments that make sense to them. For example, Trump recently said that Hillary Clinton want to increase the number potentially dangerous immigrants from Syria by 550%. That is a meaningful number only to those are used to thinking in terms numbers. They were impressed because that is a large number while most voters ignore large numbers because they are meaningless to them. What would make those large numbers meaningful is to give potential voters a mental picture that displays the size of those numbers.. For example if he said that number of potential mass murderers would to fill the Yankee Stadium several times that would make sense to Joe and Jane average. The same type of visual imagery could be used to describe how many undocumented aliens Hillary intends to let into this country. If he said they would fill every major stadium in United States several times over or how they could fill most of the seats in our high schools and so forth that would scare the pants off a lot of voters and he might win.

 

You may think I have given advice only or mainly to Donald Trump. That’s not true, last week I advised Hillary not to debate. Since she’s ahead and the media is on her side, if for any semi-legitimate reason she doesn’t debate, she wins hands-down. The only way Donald Trump can avoid this is to apologize as I suggested in my last blog and promise not to call her crooked Hillary during the debate. But he and his spokespeople live in a different world than the rest of us and I don’t think he could apologize or agreed to refer to Hillary as my worthy opponent or something similar, therefore Hillary is going to win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HILLARY vs TRUMP

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

You cannot compare a Lincoln speech with a modern political speech. If you read the Lincoln Douglas debates, they are not at all geared for short attention spans. Even the Gettysburg address, though short is full of content. Nowadays, political speeches are structured to appeal to low information voters and TV audiences with short attention spans. They consist mostly of applause lines.

 

Also, I suspect Trump will wear an appropriate tie. The idea that he would turn off people with his tie is pretty ludicrous. I fear you are looking too much at superficial things when it comes to politics. Hillary does not come off well, not because of her clothing choices but because one simply cannot put lipstick on a pig. She is not particularly attractive, intelligent or experienced her only advantage is she has a D after her name.

 

 

 

V.C.

 

 

Dear Trump Supporter:

 

You’re making the same mistake Donald Trump makes over and over when he calls Hillary Clinton, “Crooked Hillary.” He is making the same mistake that Mayor Koch made when he ran for Governor of New York State. He was one the best mayors the city ever had. When he took office the city was in financial difficulty and when he left the city was in pretty good shape. His performance as mayor convinced him and his friends that he could become governor of the state,

 

He was defeated not because he was too conservative or too liberal. While he held traditional democratic views he was a pragmatist and if a relatively conservative approach was needed to solve a problem he took that approach. He came as close to middle-of-the-road as a traditional democrat could and as such he should have appealed to a majority of the voters in New York State. However, when he started campaigning he ran like he was running in New York City. I did radio shows in New York City and on national networks. I found out one thing very early in my career, if you have a talk show in New York City your audience expects you to come back hard on anyone who makes an idiotic comment or challenges you without having the facts. A blunt if not a rough answer to an objection was regarded by the New York City electorate as appropriate and by some admirable.  However, the people in upstate New York were shocked and turned off by the same approach.

 

If I were advising Hillary I would tell her the minute Trump called her “Crooked Hillary” to become indignant and walk off the show. Most people particularly in the Midwest and the South would agree with her reaction. The reason I would give her such advice is Trump needs the debates to win, in fact, I’m sure he and his team are counting on them. If Hillary can avoid debating when she has a substantial lead she wins hands down.

 

If on the other hand I were advising Trump I would have him apologize for using such language before the debates started. I would have him say something to the effect it was all right in the primaries but a debate for the presidency should have and will have dignity and decorum and he will refer to his opponent as Mrs. Clinton, Hillary or candidate Clinton. That would force Hillary to debate and give him a shot at the presidency since I believe he is a better debater than Hillary and has all sorts of information about Bill and Hillary that he can use to his advantage.

 

I don’t think Trump will ever find out about my advice or this blog. The reason I say that is the first political candidate I advised never heard of me. The first candidate’s people took me to lunch in a very nice restaurant and pumped me for information. I didn’t mind giving it since I was new in the field and I just wanted publicity. They agreed if my advice was useful and their man won they would give me credit. He won and the team took bows. I know he never heard of it because I had a friend who knew the candidate and when he brought up my name it was obvious the man had never heard it before.

 

I was going for my Masters at City College when the teacher took three other students and yours truly aside and hinted that if we volunteered to work in a nearby storefront church tutoring children, we would do very well in his class. He never said so but implied if we did not we might not do well, All four of us volunteered and worked for the next four weeks tutoring youngsters twice a week. When the class ended I had four parents ask me if I would continue to work with their children, I agreed if they brought them to the library on 179 street on Saturday mornings; I worked with them there for about eight months because their parent showed up with them on time or ahead of time and shamed me. I had been told by many that black parents didn’t care about their children’s education and I believed it. Obviously, I was wrong.

 

After that I had them read books I suggested and write summaries of those books. This went on for two years. This experience taught me several things. First, that black children contrary to the belief held by much of the black community are as bright as white children. Second, black parents want the same thing for their children as white parents. Third they will do almost anything to get their children an education, Forth, very little teachings goes on in the black schools. In these schools the children get marks they don’t deserve which fools the parents into thinking they’re doing well.

 

Knowing that I would advise Trump to promise whether he got the black vote or not, he would work to improve schools in all poor neighborhoods. One of the ways he would do this is to do away with tenure in failing schools. Tenure makes it impossible to fire teachers who do not or cannot teach. Hillary would refuse to make the same promise because it would offend the teachers union which would allow Trump to say she didn’t care about black children. I think that would change the way some black parents voted.

 

As I stated earlier, I think Hillary will win because Trump will never hear about this blog and if he does as a native New Yorker he will question its validity. I know as a New York City boy, at first I couldn’t believe it, even though I was getting feedback from listeners.

 

 

 

I apologize. I have been telling readers for years before they take advice find out where the writer obtained his information. Yet I wrote this blog without telling you about

my background in the political field. I will do so in a future blog, you might find it interesting. I also apologize for not completely answering the question asked by the reader but I wanted to discuss the election. It was that blog that got the biggest response so from here to November, I will occasionally be writing about how our elections really work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FROM BALD TO BARRGAINS

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I have a problem I am 27,  bald and I just got a woman boss. According to you both men and women judge the opposite sex by their own standards. I hate to say this but I am not popular with women and being single that is a problem in my social life but I hate to let it affect my career. Can you tell me if there is any way I can offset this disadvantage without wearing a wig. I looked at them and they all look obviously artificial and I don’t think they would help.

 

A man with a problem

 

Dear Sir:

 

I presume when you say your bald you mean that the center of your head is hairless. If that’s the case you don’t have a disadvantage in business, you have an advantage. Most supervisors judge the people who work for them by how diligently they work and how they affect their careers. If you’re an effective efficient employee your baldness will not stand in the way of your success. Our research showed that women bosses use the same criteria for making judgments as their male counterparts. If they were to meet you in a singles bar they might turn you down but if you work for them they will promote you as quickly as anyone else. In fact your baldness will give you a slight advantage because it makes you look just a bit older than you really are and at 27 that helps.

 

However, if at present or in the future you lose all the hair on your head you’re going to have to buy a hairpiece or undergo a procedure which will restore your hair. Being totally bald creates a very negative impression, for some reason it makes most men look like an oddball and that definitely would stall your career. I suggest you start saving your money now if that transformation is likely because either solution is very expensive. If you buy a hairpiece make sure it is made of human hair and well-made. No matter which route you choose make sure your new hair  is the same color as the hair you had when you were 18 to 20. I assure you if you purchase a good wig it will not look artificial.

 

 

 

Good Luck!

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

My granddaughter has been living with my husband and I for the past 10 years. I attended college in the early 70s when looking as anti-establishment as possible was in vogue. Since my husband retired four years ago, where he was required to wear conservative suits to read your column and your books we’ve gone back to our old style of dress. My husband now has a ponytail which makes us stand out in this very conservative upscale community.

 

Our granddaughter is 18 and going to college next year. She tells us we’re trying to relive our youth but without drugs and rock ‘n roll. Luckily she’s very anti-drug because we told her what happened to many of our friends but we are afraid we may have influenced the way she dresses. She wears nothing but ripped distressed jeans but fortunately for our pocketbook, she rips them and distress them herself.

 

To balance her outlook, we insisted she sit down and read several fashion magazines with us. These fashion magazines show young girls wearing dresses. We offered to buy her several dresses and believe it or not, she refused. Even in my heyday as a hippie I would’ve taken free dresses but she insists those people are living in a dream world. Is she right?

 

Two Anti-Establishment Confused Grandparents

 

 

 

Dear Grandparents:

 

She is right. Jeans remain the uniform of the day on most college campuses. If she joins a sorority she may need dresses or other garments because many of them have an official or unofficial dress code at least for certain occasions. Your best course of action is to wait until she is in school a few months and ask her, what she needs.

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

Is there a difference between a factory outlet, a distributors outlet, a manufacturers outlet and a clearance center?

 

L.K. San Diego California

 

 

Dear LK.:

 

At one time there were major differences between the four discount establishments you mentioned. A The terms factory outlet usually refers to an establishment that is next to a factory and offers over runs and seconds at discount prices. If you find an establishment next to a factory you  usually get pretty good deals. Manufacturer’s outlets are trickier but you can get real bargains.

 

However, today there are so many malls, centers, and stores claiming to give special discounts, the main rule when dealing with any of them is “Buyer Beware.” Manufacturers and designers including some very famous ones today have special lines created to be sold at discount prices. In short they mark them up so they can mark them down. If you know quality they can be wonderful places to shop, If you don’t, you’ll probably get exactly what you pay for no more and in some cases quite a bit less.

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POPULARITY ANS POLITICAL SALES

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POPULARITY AND SALES

 

 

The reason I haven’t produced a blog in the last two weeks is I have been teaching a candidate for state office to get his audiences to like him, when he is on the stage, on radio or on TV.  The reason I was asked is my next book is designed to train people to be more popular. Most of the text deals with personal popularity but a certain percentage deals with public popularity. Once word got out that I not only taught salespeople in client companies how to charm their buyers, I also trained executives to charm audiences, I was approached by politicians.

 

You may wonder what one has to do with the other.  When I first approached the subject most executives played down the importance of popularity.  They don’t deny there is a correlation between popularity and success but it is simply not one of the critical factors at least for them as individuals. Their mistake is they think they are already experts since they are elected to office. Not so.

 

 

You would think that it would be easy to train politicians to be popular with their audiences. Most professional politicians, particularly those running for major offices are lawyers. As a group they are smooth, sophisticated and erudite individuals. What is even more surprising is most of them have never had sales training. Seven out of ten politicians think of themselves as salespeople and by the time they hire me are usually pretty good.  In fact, many credit their success to their ability to sell their ideas. Which means salespeople not only run corporate America but the American government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When candidates, liberal or conservative, run for the House, the Senate or the Presidency they are salespeople and most often the best salesperson wins.  You would think that they would know the basic rules for political sales but many are inept and uninformed.  A majority took courses in law school on how to present the case in court but that has little to do with the ability to sell in an uncontrolled environment. Lawyers are taught to object everything the other side does and that limits their ability to sell in court. The real problem is their political advisors are not really experts on communication. They are hired because they’ve worked on a number of campaigns not because they improved their candidates chances of winning.

 

For all those going to run for office I will give you five basic rules for political salespeople.

 

First, when you sell to an individual or an audience of millions, do not surprise your audience either visually or verbally. You should dress not only to suit your audience but to suit the product you are selling. If you’re selling art look like an artist, if you’re selling stocks look like a stock broker, if you are running for the presidency of the United States dress as if you are already the president.

 

I couldn’t improve either Hillary Clinton’s or Donald Trump’s image. The public has almost an indelible mental picture of both of them and if they dramatically changed it would announce to the public that they were not trustworthy. If you want an audience to trust and believe you, give them what they expect.

 

Second, do not hesitate either visually or verbally. They are both professional politicians and they never hesitate when coming before the public or when speaking to the public. Here Hillary has a slight advantage because she’s carefully scripted but Donald is a better speaker. Nevertheless Hillary scores more points.

 

 

 

 

Third, using catchy and memorable phrases helps. “Make America Great Again” is wonderful and may get Donald elected president. However, “Crooked Hillary,” gives her an edge. Personally insulting an opponent hurts the person doing the insulting. Trump would have scored more points if he had said I hate to bring this up but Hillary has collected millions of dollars from enemies of America and I don’t understand it. The voting public deserves an explanation.

 

Fourth, don’t quote statistics when talking to the general public. And stay clear of statistics that don’t make sense to everyone. This is Donald Trump’s and the Republican Party’s real weakness. Telling the general public that we have the lowest participation in the workforce since 1977, I don’t think switches one vote. The Democrats keep their statements and statistics simple. They make statements like, “Things are great,”  “We saved America from a Great Depression,” Barack Obama has created millions of jobs,” is a much more effective communication technique.

 

For over 30 years I have spoken to audiences about my very sophisticated research. At first, I dazzled them with my statistics but I soon realized that the audience didn’t listen when I mentioned statistics.  I had to mention research to justify my advice but I learned to keep it short, sweet and simple and to skip over many of the details. Once I started doing that I mesmerized audiences, if you’d like to mesmerize your audiences obey the KISS rule. Keep it simple stupid.

 

Fifth, stay on message. The Democrats obviously do this better than the Republicans at least than Donald Trump. Hitler referred to as the big lie. His contention was, if you repeat a lie often enough it becomes truth in the public’s mind. It is also true, if you repeat two truths the one that is repeated most often will be the truth that everyone remembers.

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UNUSUAL UNIFORMS & POPULARITY AND TEXTING

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

Two years ago I opened a small retail establishment specializing in tools used in woodworking. While I’m not competing with the large box stores I do sell many of the same tools and accessories to many of the same customers as the large box stores. Our staff is more specialized and many of our tools are only used by experts and as a result are more expensive .

 

The majority of my clients are contractors, those who make custom furniture, artists who work in wood and serious woodworking hobbyists. We run classes for many of our clients and as a result, we have moved from a small out-of-the-way retail establishment to a larger more centrally located area.

 

I’m happy to report that we’re doing rather well. The reason I’m writing to you is we are considering putting our salespeople in uniforms. Our object is to make them look professional. What type of uniform would you suggest?

Name and Address Withheld

 

Dear Retailer:

 

Your store is so specialized that you might try a non-uniform uniform. An obvious example would be a uniform of off the rack clothing, for example; jeans worn with matching plaid or solid colored shirts with a company logo. If all the clerks wear the same jeans and the same shirt they would be easily identified particularly if their shirts were easily spotted.

 

You might also consider letting your employees choose their uniform at a meeting, while guarding against anything tasteless, inappropriate or too costly. The best way to accomplish this is to limit their input by letting them choose from several uniforms that you’ve already selected. I also strongly suggest that you choose a uniform of traditional colors and color combinations. Research shows that a majority of the general public trusts people wearing things they expect them to wear. For example, they would not trust an artist wearing a  traditional business suit but they would trust an artist who looked like an artist.

 

Before you commit to a uniform, take pictures of several of your employees wearing it and ask your customers if they think these clerks would be helpful. Although you will probably receive a positive answer, if over 20% of them say no, choose another uniform.

 

Remember the primary object when putting your people in uniforms is to make them easily identifiable which will allow customers to recognize them and ask for help.

 

If you decide to choose a non-uniform uniform avoid any nontraditional colors, I would avoid green, orange, purple and even some shades of red because next year or next week that shade can change and the one your people are wearing may be unavailable. I would stick with traditional colors which are always available e.g. blue, beige, white etc.

 

One final word on uniforms, if you have enough people it’s safer to purchase your uniforms from a traditional uniform manufacturer who will guarantee to keep that uniform in stock for an extended period of time. In addition they may have chosen uniforms for someone in your business before and have feedback on those uniforms.

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I have a 15-year-old son who is driving me crazy. He and his friends are constantly texting each other even when they’re in the same room. I’m convinced that they are losing out on personal relationships. Since you are an expert on nonverbal communications you should be able to help me prove to him and his friends that they are making a mistake.

 

A Worried Mother

 

Dear Mom:

 

For the last year I have been speaking on popularity. The reason I’m doing this is I am introducing my new book,  “Becoming Popular.” It will be out in several months. I’ve been researching the subject of popularity almost 23 years. I started when I was researching sales and discovered that buyers are much more likely to listen to and buy from salespeople they like. I immediately started researching how to make salespeople likable when interacting with a buyer and went from there to making salespeople who worked with clients all the time, likable all the time.

 

Once the executives in companies knew I could do that they wanted me to teach popularity skills to them. They think it’s an essential business skill. I went almost without effort from teaching primarily executives to teaching everyone. Our research uncovered the fact that people who could read others are much more likely to be popular and that’s a skill that comes from personal one-on-one interactions. If you don’t have that you’re not going to be popular. Even though I tell teenagers as soon as they come in the room where I’m speaking that in high school and junior high popularity depends on looks more than anything else but as adults it doesn’t. They fill one audience after another. It seems that all teenagers want to be popular, so you have a wonderful case.

 

Good luck!

 

To My Readers.

I have to start by telling you I only accept a limited number of speaking engagements. I have two versions of my most popular presentation, “Popularity and Sales” a 30 minute to one hour version often given as an after dinner speech and a longer version which I generally advise against.

 

I also teach audiences to make a good first impression when they are selling themselves or any other important product in business and in most social settings. This is my audience’s favorite speech because I guarantee if they do as I instruct at least 85% of them will be able to make a good first impression when interacting with the general public, a member of the opposite sex, important people in their lives and so forth. In fact, they will be able to charm almost everyone they meet neighbors, friends, coworkers and in some cases the people who once intimidated them.

 

If you wish to engage me as a speaker, please email your request to; success.molloy@gmail .com. Do not send your request to this blog.  On the other hand if you want me to answer your questions, send them to the blog not to the email address. I personally read the questions for the blog, while an aide forwards emails he thinks I should read.

 

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LOOKING AT ACCENTS

Looking at accent

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am in charge of sales training for a large multinational corporation that has its headquarters in Chicago. Officers from around the country send individuals or groups here for training. I of course recognize the fact that people coming from different sections of the country have regional accents and some with very strong accents are very good sales people.  I’ve just returned from a national conference and I was astounded by how some of the salespeople sounded. In a few cases their voices reminded me of chalk on a blackboard.

 

Before hiring a speech coach I thought it might be prudent to write to you. I heard you speak in New Orleans many years ago and although you have a discernible New York accent you are the most effective salesperson from the stage I’ve ever met.. Do you have any information on the effect of accents on sales?

A Fan of Your Research.

 

Dear Fan:

 

Your question occurred to me many years ago so l researched the subject .The popular successful salespeople we recorded, as part of this research, spoke with a number of accents and a wide variety of speech patterns. The only thing our researchers agreed on was these top salespeople were easy to listen to.  They did not have particularly mellifluous voices, their voices were more average than outstanding.

 

For almost 12 years we recorded successful  average and poor salespeople in a variety of social and business situations. When we listened to the recordings of successful  with average and poor salespeople in most cases they sounded like everyone else. There was one exception, about 4% to 6% of the poor salespeople because their voices sounded like chalk on a blackboard never sold to a substantial part of potential buyers..  90% of these unfortunate people are women whose voices are so unpleasant they turn off almost everyone they meet. The best example of this is a character from the TV show “Friends.’” Every time she showed up she started the conversation with: ” Oh my God “in a winey, high-pitched, low class Brooklyn accent. She is the girl that no one wants to date on a show where everyone wants to date and viewers from Maine to California know why..

 

Since almost everyone recognizes that there are unpleasant voices that turns off most people ,you would think those was with same problem would recognize it themselves. Not so.  One of the  stumbling blocks our trainers ran across is most of us have 20/20 eyesight when we look at others shortcomings but we are myopic when we look at our own.

 

Most of the people whose voices turn off the world cannot bring themselves to believe that the sound of their voice has a negative impact on those they meet. That is why I suggest that you have your students make a recording of their voice in a variety of social situations. Play it for them and ask one question.. What do you think of the person who made the tape?

 

Handling regional accents is not too difficult. First, if the salesman is successful ignore it. Second, if the salesman is not doing well, check to see if they are selling in the same area where they spent their youth. If so, they have too strong a regional accent. That can easily be taken care of by a speech teacher at a local college. Third ,if they come from another area that may be the problem. For example, if you have a strong New York accent and try to sell in other areas of the country you will probably not do well. A slightly different problem that can be cured by a competent speech teacher but it may take longer and be more expensive.

 

In our classless society sales people with lower class accents or speech patterns  will be seen as incompetent or uneducated. When they speak on any subject they will not be listened to or taken seriously. Standard English speech patterns should be taught in every school starting in the first grade.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog most women would be more successful if they slowed down this speech.

 

Having said that, I believe I should explain to you and all the readers that although I have an acceptable New York accent I would do away with it if I could. I’ve had hearing problems all my life. In grade school if the teacher placed her desk so that I could hear her, I usually got A’s. and if she didn’t B’s and C’s

I have the same problems today. When you can’t hear subtle differences it is difficult if not impossible to eliminate an accent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am in charge of sales training for a large multinational corporation that has its headquarters in Chicago. Officers from around the country send individuals or groups here for training. I of course recognize the fact that people come from different sections of the country have regional accents and some with very strong accents are very good sales people.  I’ve just returned from a national conference and I was astounded by how some of the salespeople sounded. In a few cases their voices reminded me of chalk on a blackboard.

 

Before hiring a speech coach I thought it might be prudent to write to you. I heard you speak in New Orleans many years ago and although you have a discernible New York accent you are the most effective salesperson from the stage I’ve ever met.. Do you have any information on the effect of accents on sales?

A Fan of Your Research.

 

Dear Fan:

 

Your question occurred to me many years ago so I l researched the subject .The popular successful salespeople we recorded, as part of this research, spoke with a number of accents and a wide variety of speech patterns. The only thing our researchers agreed on was these top salespeople were easy to listen to.  They did not have particularly mellifluous voices, their voices were more average than outstanding.

 

For almost 12 years we successful  average and poor salespeople in a variety of social and business situations. When we compared the recordings of successful  with average and poor salespeople in most cases they sounded like everyone else.. There was one exception. About 4% to 6% of the salespeople underperform because their voices have sound like chalk on a blackboard to a substantial part of potential buyers.  90% of these unfortunate people are women whose voices are so unpleasant they turn off almost everyone they meet. The best example of this is from friends. Every time she showed up she starts the conversation I saying: ” Oh my God “in a winey, high-pitched, low class Brooklyn accent. She is the girl that no one wants to date on a show where everyone wants to date and viewers from Maine to California know why..

 

Since almost everyone recognizes that there are unpleasant voices that turns off most people ,you would think those was with same problem would recognize it themselves. Not so  One of the  stumbling blocks our trainers ran across is most of us have 20/20 eyesight when we look at others shortcomings but we are myopic when we look at our own.

 

Most of people whose voices turned off the world cannot bring themselves to believe that the sound of their voice has a negative impact of those they meet. That is why I suggest that you have your students make a recording of their voice in a variety of social situations. Play it for them and ask one question.. What do you think of the person who made the tape?.

 

Handling regional accents is not too difficult. First, if the salesman is successful ignore it. Second, if the salesman is not doing well, check to see if they are selling in the same area where they spent their youth. If it is the same area they have too strong regional accent that can easily be taken care of by a speech teacher at a local college. Third ,if they come from another area that may be the problem. For example, if you have a strong New York accent and try to sell in other areas of the country you will probably not do well. A slightly different problem but it can be cured by a competent speech teacher but it may take longer and be more expensive.

 

In our classless society accents or speech patterns or does not use standard English when speaking will be seen as lower-class or uneducated. When they speak on any subject they will not be listened to what taken seriously. Standard English speech patterns should be taught in every school starting in the first grade.

 

As I mentioned in an earlier blog posts women would be more successful if they slowed down this speech.

 

Having said that, I believe I should explain to you and all the readers that although I have a acceptable New York accent I would do away with it if I could. I’ve been hearing problems all my life. In grade school if the teacher placed her desk so that I could hear her, I usually had A’s. if she didn’t B’s and C’s

I have the same problems today. When you can’t hear subtle differences it is difficult if not impossible to eliminate an accent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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POLITICAL IMAGES

 

I am back! Without going into great detail I will tell you why I did not put the last two blogs on line. I lost my Internet. I know I could’ve found other ways to write the blog but I had other commitments. In addition, the blog I started to write was about the images of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump that can change daily.

 

I will summarize what I was going to say. First of all, both of them use image to their advantage. Hillary is consistent, she wears a pantsuit or outfits that look like pantsuits but with her credibility problem she is not consistent enough. Hillary Clinton by wearing pantsuits all the time has made the pantsuit acceptable executive attire almost everywhere. The wearer is seen as feminine but powerful. Mrs. Clinton’s choice of colors and patterns are very traditional even conservative which adds to her power but like most amateurs, she makes unnecessary mistakes. Those mistakes can be costly.

 

On one occasion, I saw her speaking behind a podium and she looked very presidential. She appeared to be wearing a very traditional suit or at least a very traditional jacket which I expected would be coordinated with very nice pants. When she finished speaking she walked from behind the podium and she was to everyone’s surprise wearing a coat that almost came down to the ground. Aesthetically it is not a bad outfit but it nonverbally announced that she was inconsistent, which is one of the telltale signs that the speaker is not telling the truth. She should wear nothing but pantsuits in traditional power colors.

 

When Trump first announced he was going to run, I wondered how he could overcome his billionaire image which he had to do because his constituents are mainly lower middle-class males who had lost their jobs, their homes and their lives to foreign competition. I was still thinking about how he might do it when he showed up wearing a baseball cap and all of a sudden he was one of them. Like Hillary’s pantsuit it was a great political image.

 

However, his attempt to look presidential for the general election has been a disaster. He has to appeal to both his base and the general public. When he speaks at one of his rallies the baseball cap is a must but when he speaks at the Republican convention he should dress like the most conservative middle-class Republican in the world. A navy blue suit a white shirt and a solid navy or maroon tie should be the uniform of the day. He will get in trouble if he trusts his upper-class taste. No matter how much he is tempted by his upper class taste, he cannot change the ties I suggested even slightly. All very rich people think that their taste is better than others but it’s not, it’s just different. Outfits worn by the very wealthy often send negative messages to the general public . So I will repeat my message to Donald, do not, do not use any other ties.

 

I would not advise Trump on what to say but on how to say it when talking to The Republican Convention. His speech must have a limited number of messages, be delivered by a Harvard graduate who sounds like a Harvard graduate. And most important it must have an internal beat or rhythm which can only be written by someone who understands the persuasion of poetry. He must not only be presidential but powerful and persuasive and rhythmic presentations are the most persuasive.. The best example of this is Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

 

 

 

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GETTING YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED & PATTERNS

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

I am enraged, I have been writing to you for over three years and you finally used one of my letters.  You notice I said used not answered because that is exactly what you did.  You took what was basically my letter, which asked two questions and answered only one of them.  I would not have written to you if I knew you were going to change my wording and decide which of my questions was worthwhile.  Only I should make that decision and I believe both questions were intelligent and worthy of an answer.

A Former Fan

 

Dear Fan:

 

The reason I didn’t say former fan is I hope to win you back with my answer.  I will start by telling you, you are absolutely right.  I did answer only one of your questions and I think you’ll understand when I tell you why.

 

The fact is the readers choose the questions or at least the subject matter.  I read most if not all letters sent to me and if I think they deal with an interesting topic I file them according to subject matter.  When I see many readers are inquiring about the new lighter and brighter colors now found in executive ties.  I cover that topic in this blog.

 

As for answering all your questions, I sometimes received letters containing 20 and 30 questions, some of which would require new research to answer.  If I answered every question from everyone,  I would spend the rest my life writing this blog, and nothing else.  And of course I would be dead broke, research is very expensive.

 

Since you must wonder why your earlier letters were not answered.  I’ll list some reasons for not answering letters.  I don’t reprint or answer letters with misleading or misinformation.  For example, if a writer says that executives wear $700 and $800 suits and since he cannot afford one of those, he doesn’t stand a chance.  The truth is most executives do not spend that much for their suits and anyone who follows my advice can get ahead even if they don’t spend a great deal on their wardrobe.  So I reject that letter.

 

I also ignore letters with very broad statements not backed up by specific references, for example, I read a letter the other day that said “The business world is ruled by men wearing suits.”  While that is a true statement,  I don’t think I should print it without pointing out that since Steve Jobs took over Apple, successful high-tech entrepreneurs have built multibillion dollar companies without wearing suits.

 

 

Finally, I prefer not to deal with political questions.  The country is very divided and I want all of you to read this blog and my books.

 

Please write.  I love your questions and I do use them.  Without you, there is no blog.  Your letters not only give me my questions but  my inspiration.

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

My wife recently attended a fashion seminar at a local department store.  She said the fashion show of women’s clothing was wonderful but she wanted to know what I thought of their choice of patterns and colors in menswear.  She took pictures of all the models male and female.

 

The first one showed a man wearing a paisley tie with ar plaid shirt.  She said the expert told them that it was perfectly all right if it was warn with a solid suit.  The tie was rather busy and I don’t think it worked.  The only thing the store expert was against is wearing three patterns at the same time.  She said that never worked.

 

I often wear three patterns at the same time and I believe they work.. I should point out that I am a lawyer who works in a very conservative office.  90% of my wardrobe consist of traditional conservative outfits.  In addition, I have read your book and follow your advice most of the time.

 

R.T. Buffalo, New York

 

Dear R.T.:

 

I think I agree with you.  But there is no way I can be sure without seeing the garments.  If you wear a pinstripe suit and pinstripe shirt with subtle designs and your paisley tie is non-directional, as almost all paisley ties are, there is a real possibility your outfit works.

 

The rule is never two patterns that clash, which usually means two strong patterns, next to each other.  If you wear a plaid shirt, the only way you can guarantee you will not clash is to wear a solid tie.  There are very few exceptions to that rule.

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PLAYING FAVORITES

This is actually two blogs this week’s and next week’s but I thought they worked better together.

 

Dear Mr. Molloy:

 

My boss called me into his office today and told me I had better change my style  of management or I would not get the next promotion which is his job when he leaves.

He said that the executives thought that I played favorites that would create problems for the company if I were managing the entire department.  At present, I’m an assistant manager and I have 28 people working for me while I would have 162 people if I became department head.

 

The only thing I have going for me is my annual and semiannual reviews and the profits I made for the company. I have worked here for 27 years and never had a bad word said in one review including the last six which were written by the man I think is trying to stop me from getting his job. He claimed that women were more likely to play favorites than men, that is pure nonsense I know I don’t play favorites. He said once employees were convinced that their boss was playing favorites they were not willing to sacrifice their time or effort for the company. If that were so I would not be running a very effective section.

 

I work for a semi-casual company. The executives wear suits all the time and if I were to get that job I would be expected to dress rather formally. At present, every woman in my department wears good quality dress pants and blouses. When we have an important meeting we slip on a jacket. I’ve heard you say that you should dress for the job you want not the job you have.  I’m wondering what I should wear to the next meeting of department heads and assistant department heads. It is important because I intend to challenge my male chauvinist boss who is trying to keep me from moving into the executive ranks.

 

Dear Future Executive:

 

When I read your letter I recognized one phrase, “they were not willing to sacrifice their time or effort for the company.” I could not lay my hands on a copy of the study but I know it came from a report I was involved in over 20 years ago. A  Fortune 500 Corporation  received a number of complaints saying that some of their bosses played favorites and one letter said it made it hard for her to work overtime and do extra assignments knowing she would not get the praise that the bosses favorites received.

 

After they looked into her complaint, they found several women working for the same woman manager had the same complaint. So they called in that manager and talked to her. She claimed she didn’t have favorites but sometimes she praised those who did excellent work.  They assigned several researchers to see if the problem was common. They reported that not only was the problem common but 93% of the complaints were made by women and over 71% were made against women executives. After these interviews they concluded once the women employees felt this way it was almost impossible for them to sacrifice for that manager, that department or the company. When the researchers talked to these women executives, they almost universally denied having favorites. These very effective women executives explained they complemented those who worked hard and produced extraordinary results. They also said whether it was true or not it affected the company and the bottom-line and suggested they hire fewer women executives.

 

It was at this point they hired me to run a focus group with successful women managers. The first thing that surprised me was they were not outraged at the suggestion that women had problems dealing with their female bosses and the second thing was a majority admitted that women were more likely to play favorites than men. That assertion was attacked by two women.  Three of those who said that women bosses played favorites backed up their assertion by saying it  was

While it is not strictly a woman’s problem it is almost universally women complaining about women bosses.Whether their complaints are based on fact is of little consequence if they believe them

based on personal experience. Each had worked for a woman who had favorites and they were not in the favored group. One left the company where she worked for nine years while the other two arranged to be transferred to different departments. All were convinced if they had not been able to move they never would’ve made it into the executive suite.

 

When I handed in my report they were very unhappy . They assumed I would give them a report they wanted and for which they were willing to pay big bucks. They told me if I rewrote the report I could name my own price. They told me they wished I had never  written my report.  I handed them back their check, picked up the report and recommended a research firm who would write anything they wished. There are  research firms who make a profit doing just that.

 

When your letter arrived I realized that the problem still existed and no one had done anything about it, so I decided to give it a shot.  I contacted a group of women executives and explained it to them what I was after and asked if their members would be willing to help me try to solve the problem. I had more volunteers than I needed.

 

My first step was to meet with six women who knew one woman in their department who thought they were playing favorites. They set out to win her over by various methods because they were in different fields. One called the woman and asked if she’d stay late and help her finalize an important report. She said you know men are sloppy and I need a woman for this.  Then she gave her the report and went to dinner. When she returned the report had improved,  The woman had made copies for each member of the board, put them in nicer folders, increased the size of the type just slightly and made two minor grammatical corrections. The second woman ran an engineering department and her subordinates were mainly men. She told the young woman that she was a gifted mathematician but like most women more careful than men. She then instructed her to take home projects every weekend and check the math. Over the next three weeks she gave her several similar assignments and publicly thanked her for doing them. She did not become a friend she became a fan.  The third woman ran an advertising firm and was thinking of firing a woman who worked for her for seven years partially because she constantly complained about not being treated fairly.  The agency head gave her one of the largest contracts they had and told her to make a presentation on Monday. She said she expected to fail which would give her an excuse for getting rid of her.  The young woman understood that she would be handling one of the firms biggest clients but it had to be ready to go next week.  On Monday she gave the best presentation the agency head had ever heard. She did not have to fake a response the young woman was immediately a star in the company and within a year she was a rising star in the industry.

 

These three plus three more had a positive outcome. The six successes spoke to 20 women who volunteered for our project. The six who had succeeded gave the following advice; work with individuals never with groups, complement them about something they do fairly well, give them real responsibility,  insist on top-notch work  and complement them publicly when they succeed. Once the session that lasted less than an hour was over we sent them on their way,

Of course, we asked them to report their successes and failures . In the next three months we received dozens of positive reports and a half a dozen negative ones. I don’t know why most succeeded but a few failed but in the future I’ll find out. When I do I’ll report to you.

 

I can tell you that two thirds of the women managers made friends and in some cases fans by increasing the work load and the expectations of complaining employees.  They not only changed their attitude but improved their performance.  Several said they thought the experience had made them more thoughtful and better managers. I hope it does the same for you.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

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SALES TRAINING

Dear Mr. Molloy:

I’ve been a salesman for the last three months and I’m just learning the business. The top sales trainer just quit and went to work for another company as a salesman. There were rumors that he was fired but he told us the reason he was moving was he wanted to go back to sales and I believe him. Obviously, he made more money as a top salesperson than he did as a trainer.

I only went to two of his training sessions but I hung on every word and learned quite a bit. The new trainer they are hiring to replace him has never been a top producer, so how can he possibly train salespeople. I’ve been reading your blog for over a year and you said that you often formed groups to discuss problems. I’m wondering if you could form a group of top salespeople and ask them how they go about selling? If you would print their answers in this blog I would appreciate it.

Name and address withheld

Dear Future Salesperson:

It’s obvious that you are very new to sales or you would understand that most sales training is designed to get the average and below-average salesperson io imitate top salesmen and as a result sell more of the company’s products. The only problem with that is it doesn’t work. Most top salespeople have no idea what makes them top performers. Often they base their advice on their own experience and that is why one will tell you that knowing your product really well is the key to sales, while the second will tell you that going into technical detail will turn off most buyers and the third will assure you that it’s neither of those factors but how you dress when you are selling that is critical to success.

In fact, all three are telling the truth from their perspective. If you talk to top salespeople they usually admit when they first got into sales they had problems but they overcame them. One will tell you how by studying his product and the top competitors products he was able to convince clients to purchase his. Another will tell you that his method is the KISS method “Keep it Simple Stupid”. While the third will tell you that image is everything. The reason they tell you this is when they changed one aspect of their presentation their sales shot up. A simple fact proven again and again by research is most sales are made or killed when you walk through the buyers door. To make a positive impression you must look like a relaxed, friendly, competent, confident, professional and the top salespeople were telling you that other factors are really critical because they have always looked relaxed , confident, competent and friendly so they skip over those because they came naturally.

I am now finishing a book on popularity and preparing to write a book on sales. I have all the information I need, I simply have to update it. The reasons I didn’t write a book before this is when I wrote “Dress for Success” there were literally hundreds of imitators many of whom are still in business today, most of whom do not know what they are talking about. That created two problems first they were given consulting jobs because they worked for less and when I approached the companies who used them, they told me they tried dress for success and it didn’t work. The reason it didn’t work was my imitators put their own spin on the results of my research and once they did it was no longer valid, which put in question the whole concept of dress being an important factor in success. Since I was making a very nice living speaking on sales, I decided not to share my research with the world but since I’m no longer traveling around the country speaking I will share it with you on this blog in the near future.

Please don’t dismiss your new trainer because he was never a top performer. Every superstar from Babe Ruth to Mickey Mantle wanted to be a team manager. However, when star players were hired as managers most failed miserably. The great managers were usually third-rate players who studied every aspect of the game while the superstars were usually so talented they didn’t have to understand the game to be great. Classic example of this was Ted Williams who constantly talked about studying the game but I do not think that was the reason he was a great player. During World War II he became a fighter pilot and of course took the three tests necessary to be a fighter pilot. His reflexes were so good that he still owns the record in one of those tests. Add to that two facts, first the great managers were rarely great players and second when companies put superstar salespeople in charge of sales forces, sales usually dropped. That is why you should give your new sales trainer a fair shot, past experience indicates he is more likely to train you to sell than most top producers.

I’m now preparing to write “Popularity and Sales.” . In it, as an all my other books, I will not give my personal opinion b ut advice that is based on research. I can tell you now it’s the far different from anything you’ve ever read about sales. If you’re in sales it’s a must read.

Until then, good luck!

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