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Incredibly, and Mercifully, Brief Conversations

Incredibly, and Mercifully, Brief Conversations

Other Person: I’m a psychic. How should I explain this to my prospects?

Me: Well, I wouldn’t lead with your methodology.

OP: You are sending out subliminal messages about me in your Tweets.

ME: I have no reason for doing such a thing.

OP: You know you’re doing it, you’re just not aware of it.

OP: What happens if you die tomorrow?

ME: According to the church or my enemies?

ME: Buyers can make decisions and spend money.

OP: I’m a buyer and can make decisions, but I need approval.

ME: From whom?

OP: My boss, who actually controls the budget.

ME: Then you’re not the buyer.


OP: If you are willing to help me with my inheritance, and remove it from       Nigeria, I will give you half of it.

ME: Happy to help, please send a $25,000 deposit.

OP: Can you send me one of your books to read? If it helps me, I’ll send         the money, otherwise I’ll return it.

ME: Is that how you deal with Barnes & Noble?

OP: I never saw your article. Well, I must have sent it in as backup. The        publisher made a          mistake and published your article with my         name on it.

ME: Really?

OP: You’re a consultant? So you’re between jobs?!

ME: I’ve been “between jobs” for 25 years and am in the top one percent         of all earners. How about you?

OP: I’d like to join your mentor program. I plan to become a multi-        millionaire in two years with revolutionary training programs for        HR departments.

ME: Let me tell you right now that’s not going to happen.

OP: Is this the way we work together? You tell me I’m wrong because you       think you’re smarter than I am?

ME: No, because we’re not working together.

OP: I couldn’t get anything out of your book, there were seven typos.

ME: No, there are actually twelve.

OP: When you stood still on stage I could understand your point, but    when you walked around, I couldn’t follow you at all. Do you know        what that’s called?

ME: Yes, a learning disability.

OP: Why won’t you believe I’m a psychic?

ME: Why do you have to ask?

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 15

  • Jason Ebaugh

    August 25, 2011

    Brilliant. To me, this reads as poetry as much as anything else it is.

  • lkutner

    August 26, 2011

    Loved it!

    The last exchange with the “psychic” reminded me of a conversation I had a few years ago with an aspiring professional speaker who spoke about intuition and premonitions. She had been approached by a consumer products company about becoming a spokesperson, and wanted my advice on how to structure the deal.

    Me: “So this offer came to you out of the blue?”
    Her: “Yes.”
    Me: “You had no idea that it would happen?”
    Her: “Not at all.”

    She never caught on.

  • Gretchen

    August 26, 2011

    Some people. Once I had a colleague write to me to tell me my book “…looks really good. I may buy it sometime.” And I’m thinking, what a way to flatter a person.

      • Tim Wilson

        August 26, 2011

        This reminds me of a recent event I attended this past June where you were the keynote. After it was over I stayed for the after-event. I was speaking with one of the other speakers – whom I happen to know – we chatted for awhile and she finally asked me why I came to the event, I told her I was there to hear Alan. The conversation quickly came to an end.

        I suppose she expect me to say I was there to hear her speak since we knew each other but I wasn’t and frankly her presentation wasn’t that good.

          • Tim Wilson

            August 27, 2011


            Yes it was. Since she didn’t ask me what I thought of her presentation I thought it best not volunteer any critique. Truth be told it wouldn’t have mattered if I had she wouldn’t have listen. You laid down a solid foundation and put forth some great ideas for looking past the curve. I expected her build on what you presented. To keep the momentum going, she didn’t and her presentation sucked the air out of the room. Also, a correction, the event was in March not June.

  • Tom Spencer

    August 26, 2011

    Really enjoyed this post!

  • Karyn Greenstreet

    August 26, 2011

    Ever consider writing a book called “Snappy Answers to Stupid Comments: A Consultants Playbook to Bores, Biddies and Those Who Need Breathalyzers?” It would be an immediate bestseller and a must-carry for all of us.

    I swear, I wish I had the perfect, immediate comeback to idiotic things people say.
    Thanks for brightening my day. 🙂

    • Alan Weiss

      August 30, 2011

      Great title! I’ve determined that when I immediately confront stupidity and malice I have a lot better day. A guy playing “gotcha” said to me in a coffee shop, when he sees I’ve left the Ferrari running outside, “Are you afraid you’ll never get it started again?” I said, “When you can afford a Ferrari we can discuss the engines, and that’s not a discussion that’s going to take place anytime soon.”

  • Alan Weiss

    August 28, 2011

    She walked in late, took time to get a take-out lunch, had someone set up slides for her even though she had been asked not to use them, was quite disheveled, and pitched herself as an HR expert. You could see the disaster coming.

    • Tim Wilson

      September 2, 2011

      What I don’t get is the IMCNE knows they’re going to get a top notch presentation from you. Why they don’t use your presentation as a template for booking other speakers to be at least at your level. If one of their goals is to increase membership (which I’m sure it is) it won’t happen if they have one great speaker follwed by two mediocre ones.

      • Alan Weiss

        September 2, 2011

        I would have done all three hours. I was there, and just a drive from my house, about 2 hours away in my favorite car. Why did they need the other two? Because they want to give everyone a chance. They never asked me to do the entire afternoon.

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