Image courtesy of Pixabay.

6 Tips for Improving Your Sales Relationships

Customer relationships drive sales. They increase conversion, upsales and repeat business. So, anyone concerned with sales — especially anyone working in sales specifically — should regard them as the life-blood of their work and prioritize them accordingly. This is where rapport comes into the sales process.

Why? It’s pretty simple — anyone can understand it: if your customer knows you and trusts you, they’ll deal with you or work with you. Getting there means building rapport; and building this rapport with a customer allows you to build impulse during a sale all the more easily. There are definite do’s and…


The myth-cycle of Osiris is an archetypal touchstone for personal growth.

A little-known concept in self-development

Talk of extraversion/introversion is now ubiquitous. It’s so common to hear people nowadays describe themselves as extraverted or introverted that it makes nearly no impression on us when they do so. Almost as common is the phenomenon of people taking and sharing less-than-scientific tests online, like Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and 16 Personalities, which ‘type’ people based on Jungian-inspired traits, then describing themselves — and others — based on the results: “Oh, I’m ESFJ”, “No, you’re INTP”, &c. Discussions of this sort proliferate on social media.

What’s much less common is for people to understand the meaning and depth of the terms…


Are we, though?

How our behaviour disproves our beliefs and why we need to opt out

Americans have an incredible potential for division. Now, while the inexorable tendencies toward conflict and cooperation — two constants of the human condition, which lead to in-group/out-group dynamics — are hard-wired in human beings as such, Americans aren’t actually more hard-wired for it biologically (as hard as that may be to believe). Rather, Americans are just as hard-wired for tribalism, no more and no less, but an added dimension of division is encoded into political discourse and embedded into the structures of American media infrastructure almost inextricably. …


Find your center — and then act from it.

How to consciously choose success in life, love, friendship and work

Here in Phoenix almost every major road is laid out to form a grid. Have you ever noticed that traffic-lights, in grid-systems especially, can be predictably timed so that you hit them at just the right time to never have to stop? Have you, by contrast, ever watched the driver next to you — usually a little guy in a souped-up sports coupe with blackout windows — peel across a four-way intersection on yellow, only to come screeching to a graceless halt at the next red?

Well, that guy is just a conspicuous example of a problem almost all of…


At least we’re frying our minds together, right? (Image from Pixabay)

What happens to our minds and our cultures in ‘always-on’ societies?

Today’s service outage on Facebook and Instagram sent millions spiralling into disproportionate panic. It was like taking every junkie flopping out in the world’s shooting galleries and making them all go cold turkey at once. Isn’t this concerning? Should we dismiss this or give it due examination?

Social media is the biggest fix out there. It’s close to being as ubiquitous as electricity itself. It’s consubstantial with telecommunications technology: everywhere that there’s a PC, a laptop, a cell-phone or even just a smart device, there’s Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Whatsapp and Snapchat, among others. Wherever our electronics reach, so do our…


The Dantesque view of modern-day perdition.

Hint: it’s not women on the casting couch

Exploitation is rampant in Hollywood. Now, by exploitation, I don’t mean sleazy (but legally permissible) deceit—no, not hoodwinking the starry-eyed Midwestern ‘aspiring actress’ (read: waitress) fresh off the Greyhound in LA. Rather, I’m referring to the illegal exploitation of the vulnerable for sex and profit.

Hollywood is a sewer of coercive practices, most of which are illegal — molestation, threats, sexual assault, rape, murder and drug-centred coercion of not just women, but also young men and children of both sexes. Even wire-tapping isn’t off the table. Indeed, the entertainment industry uses all the illegal means in the arsenal of human…


How you might feel the fourth or fifth time your device crashes and loses all the work you’ve just done.

Some unsolicited astrology to nudge you toward growth

The planet Mercury is officially in reverse gear, as of yesterday — in Pisces, no less. In the realm of subjective experience, this brings with it all the usual fun of any other Mercury retrograde, but with all the extra trim of a deluxe model. Miscommunications, crossed wires, dashed plans, disproportionate (or disproportionately noticed) tech issues, the works.

Even so, there’s an even more recent change in the heavens. Today, the moon is at its closest to the sun and so the lunar revolution begins again. …


A thunderstorm in Arizona’s Monument Valley.

How the rediscovery of the most human emotion could be your key to healing mind, body and soul

Last week, in ‘The Importance of Awe’, I stated that awe is a “a basic human need, which seems to transect and transcend Maslow’s hierarchy” and that the experience of it “[b]reak[s] down our phenomenlogical barriers to experience unmediated existence — or mind-at-large, to use another of Huxley’s phrases — allows us to rebuild those barriers with awareness, rather than drift on the inertia of the default settings.” I outlined some of the benefits for health and mind, indicated some of the obstacles to it inherent in modernity, and concluded on an invitation to surmount those obstacles.

Now, with the…


Don’t be led astray.

How clients — and coaches — can avoid scams and achieve success

Have you ever seen those marketing offers to get you into a career where you make tens of thousands or more per month? Or of life-coaching to ‘activate’ your ability to make money and ‘manifest’ more income? You might see these sorts of claims on marketing sites or, if you spend time on social media, in the ads on the right of your Facebook feed. They are, in any case, of the same basic sort.

Buyer beware!

They’re ways of mass-marketing or cold-pitching people’s pipe-dreams. What they all-too-often boil down to are business models where they tell you how to…


Dennis Rader / BTK killer (left), composite sketch of Golden State Killer (centre), Joseph Deangelo — suspected Golden State Killer currently on trial (right)

How they (sometimes) get away with murder

An under-appreciated challenge in homicide investigation is the red herring. This underappreciation is rather incredible, given that such red herrings can profoundly hinder the progress of investigators and allow offenders greater success in evading capture or conviction. Their effects range from simply covering a killer’s tracks (e.g. destroying evidence of foul play) to incriminating others or casting suspicion on a demographic to which the killer doesn’t belong.

Red herrings can, of course, be used by either one-off killers or by serial murderers. The more intelligent and organized the killer, the more plentiful, subtle and confusing these faked clues and false…

Scott Irving

Scottish | Versifier | Critic | Philosoph(ast)er | 50/50 Split on Clear or Oblique | All-Round Littérateur | Always Rhetorical

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