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Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Golden’

elevator_speech_is_out_of_orderMichelle Golden is a terrific resource.  She advises professional services firms (e.g., accounting and law) on growth.  She is extremely well regarded, annually making the Accounting Today list of Top 100 Most Influential People.  I feel fortunate indeed that we are friends.

In the following video, Michelle teaches us how to make a meaningful connection with someone upon first meeting.  She points out that the traditional elevator speech doesn’t work and shouldn’t be used.

When asked, “What do you do?,” some of us succinctly provide a one or two word self-description.  Mine is, “I’m an accounting professor.”  Knowing that most people ask only out of politeness or as a means to break the silence, I never provide details.  After the predictable, “Oh, that’s a really tough subject,” or “I hated that course with an unrivaled passion,” this topic shuts down and perhaps we continue talking about something else.

For many of my readers, though, making a contact that could lead to a potential sale is extremely important.  So the traditional sales guru recommendation is to launch into a rehearsed elevator speech.  I’ll do this if I want someone to read The Summa.

Michelle Golden says that a typical elevator speech epitomizes everything that is wrong with marketing today.  It is like product marketing, which is far different from services marketing.  The elevator speech broadcasts a message, “Buy me.”  And most people shrink back or shut down from such a message.  She calls it spam.  The elevator speech delivers information at the wrong time and place is therefore irrelevant to the listener.  She says that the elevator speech does nothing to build trust.

Michelle continues on.  She says that what you want to communicate is you can help other the other person.  And this can only be done if you first find out more about the other person.  I like this thought, shifting the focus from self to the other person.

Michelle Golden recommends these five questions to help get the other person to open up:

  1. Where to you work?
  2. What inspired you to go into that?
  3. What do you like about what you do?
  4. What was that like when you started doing that?
  5. How do you approach something that you are doing now?

She says that often the person will reciprocate by asking you questions. This is where telling personal stories comes in.  And by telling a story relevant to the other person (because you know about them), you often get a chance to help them.  And that gives you a chance to stay connected.

Michelle Golden is a fantastic resource, and you should watch her video.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Miscellany — interesting items that caught my eye during the week.


Michelle Golden headlines this week’s gems.  Her recent post, “It’s Time to Stop Talking About ‘Women’s Issues’ in Business,” makes a good and valid point.


Torben Rick posted a link to this story on a SMinOrgs, a LinkedIn group to which I belong.   Although he published it in April, 2011, it is as interesting today as it was back then.  “3 Types of Twitter Failure and Disasters.


SMinOrgs (Social Media in Organizations) has several boards at Pinterest, one of which is devoted to social media infographics.  It has now pinned 100 of these to its board.  It’s kind of fun to look through these.


Although SMinOrgs (Social Media in Organizations) has a web site and blog, it chose to publish “Managing Employer Risks in the Digital Era: 4 Recent Stories” on its Tumblr site.  Very interesting choice of location.


Debit and credit – – David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts. And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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I’ve never thought of myself as being influential.  As an accountant, I’m the Rodney Dangerfield of the business world.  Are you influential?  Should you be?

Influence can be defined as “causing an effect through indirect action or intangible ways (Merriam-Webster).”  Influence is causing an effect not through direct force or control.

Marketing folks view someone as influential if he/she can persuade others.  I agree that persuasion fits a part of the definition, that of not using control.  I wonder, though, if some acts of persuasion require application of force.  My arm has been twisted around and around by a few salespeople.

But just how indirect can be the relationship between cause and effect?  Can influence result from “shooting an arrow into the air,” and hoping it lands in such a place as to cause a good effect?  Is being respected as a positive influence a good thing?

I frequently write on the need for accountants to adopt a social media mindset.  A social media mindset involves effective interaction with others (including present and potential clients).  It means partaking in a conscientious give and take.

I consider professional branding to be a basic foundation for delivering professional services.  Reflecting on the mechanics of influence might be equally as important.

Mark Schaefer has written a new book due out in March–Return on Influence.  I am on a list to receive a prepublication copy for review.  I expect good things from this book, because I read and benefit from Schaefer’s blog–{Grow}–on a daily basis.

Check back in March for my review, but in the meantime consider ordering a copy of the book.

My list of recommended books on social media is very short:

  • Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms: The Guide to Establishing Credibility and Accelerating Relationships, by Michelle Golden.  Golden is recognized as one of the most influential people in accounting.
  • Me 2.0, Revised and Updated Edition: 4 Steps to Building Your Future, by Dan Schawbel.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht


Want more of The Summa? Sign up to receive email notification of posts.  And please follow me on Twitter (@profalbrecht).

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Yesterday, the Accounting Today released its 2011 list of “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting.”  Thanks, AT, for publishing this list.

What does influential mean?  A year ago, I wrote about it in “To Ripple or Not to Ripple.” Influence is in some ways like starting a ripple.

People won’t remember you if your make your own life better.  People will remember you if you help make their lives better.  The first is valueless to anyone else but you.  The second is of great value to the universe.

You will be fortunate indeed if the recipients of your good life in turn make life better for those with whom they come in contact.  If so, you will have started a ripple effect.

In past years, the list has been comprised of four types of professionals.  First are executives of the largest CPA firms.  Second are government officials and regulators.  Third are AICPA executives and key staffers, as well as top officials at the largest state CPA societies.  Fourth are CEOs of large companies that provide software or key services to CPA firms.

Bloggers and commentators to the accounting and auditing industries have not made the list, until last year.  Professors have rarely, if ever, made the list.

Last year, though, one blogger and two blogger combos (influence rooted in traditional sectors, but also a well known blogger) made the list.  This year, there are more.  There are also three accounting professors on this year’s list.

First, I recognize and congratulate the bloggers.

Paul Caron is on both the 2011 and 2010 lists.  He makes the list because of his TaxProf Blog.  AT says, “In seven years, Caron has gone from an upstart exploring social media to one of the most important sources of tax news in any format, with close to three million visitors in 2010.”  Look for Caron to be a permanent fixture of the list.

Caleb Newquist is on the 2011 list.  He makes the list because of his Going Concern blog.  AT says, “You might suspect that we put accounting news blogger Newquist in the T100 list so he’ll stop saying the list is boring–and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.  But he’s also here because his Going Concern site has become a major source of news, analysis and inside dirt on the world of public accounting, building a strong community from the trenches of the large audit firms.”  Look for Newquist to be a regular on the list.

Michelle Golden is on the 2011 and 2010 lists because she is an accounting marketing guru, but she is also a popular blogger (Golden Practices).  AT says, “Well regarded for her social media savvy and practice management counsel, Golden’s conference sessions on everything from sales proposals to practice management pack rooms and spark discussions.  She continues the discussion on the blog she established in 2005, now supplemented with insightful tweets to her thousands of followers and a published book on social media strategy.”  She will remain on the list permanently.

Tom Hood has been on the 2011 and 2010 lists (he might have been on in previous years) because he is CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs.  However, his blogging (CPASuccess) is important.  AT says, “Hood harnesses his vast social media reach to promote new programs, like like the strategic thinking program he co-developed that is now used by the AICPA Leadership Academy, state based CPA leadership programs in Utah and Maryland, and the 16 workships he ran in eight cities to crowd-source ideas about the profession’s future for the AICPA’s forward thinking Horizons 2025 initiative.”  He will be a fixture on the list.

I made the list mostly for blogging on The Summa, and partly for innovative teaching.  Accounting Today, thank you very much.

Professors Paul Miller (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) and Paul Bahnson (Boise State) made the list for their column in the Accounting Today magazine.  They have written numerous essays against the adoption of IFRS in the United States.

Congratulations to all 100, and especially to the bloggers and professors mentioned here.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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Michelle Golden

Michelle Golden is one of Accounting Today‘s 100 most influential in the American world of accounting.  Focusing on professional service firms (such as CPAs and attorneys), she long has been an expert consultant on marketing.  Early on she saw the value of social media as a tool for professionals to reach new clients and to strengthen relationships with existing clients.  Her book, Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms: The Guide to Establishing Credibility and Accelerating Relationships, is unusually good.  I own two copies, one for the office, and one for home (I regularly carry one of them with me).

The Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA), more than any other statae CPA society, has long promoted social media usage by CPAs.

MACPA's use of social media

MACPA members and employees are encouraged to explore all forms of social media and find the one(s) that best fit their needs. Doing so expands our ability to learn and share our own knowledge with others.

Led by Tom Hood and Bill Sheridan, it has an impressive presence on the web 2.0.  A page devoted to its resources is here.  Coincidentally, MACPA was the first society to establish a presence on Second Life.  Long-time readers of The Summa might remember Profalbrecht’s participation in “If I Were an Auditor,” a musical valentine sponsored by MACPA and released in Second Life.

I believe that all CPA firms and accounting professors should seriously consider joining the social media bandwagon, or expanding efforts if already there.  The Internet is omnipresent in the fabric of American life.  Social media simply means interactive Internet.  For CPAs, it means reaching out to current and potential clients where they are, opening up additional channels of communication.  For professors, it means pushing academe away from its array of 19th century practices and into the 21st century.

Recently, Bill Sheridan interviewed Michelle Golden, and on Friday uploaded the video to YouTube.  I’m embedding a link to it for several reasons.  First, it’s about social media use by CPAs.  Second, Michelle Golden should do more of these things.  Well spoken and attractive, she could develop an Internet following that would translate into increased attendance at her speaking engagements.  Third, MACPA could perform a substantial service to the industry by creating a series of these vodcast interviews with the industry’s leading experts.  I would watch them all.

Here’s the interview.  Please watch it.

Debit and credit – – David Albrecht

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