How we fool ourselves

Every Friday we’ll be sending you a bite sized practical tip designed to help you grow your business. This week… What are you measuring? There’s an old saying, “What gets measured gets done”. Last week we asked “Who you gonna call?” and suggested you list at least 5 people you can speak to every week.  People who could either become

When you absolutely, positively have to cut through…

Imagine going to your mailbox and finding a heavy red padded envelope personally addressed to you.  You’re curious, rip it open and find a heavy Gold Bar.  Intrigued, you read the covering letter which explains the bar is actually a USB stick which contains extremely valuable material that will help your business grow. That’s what some of our clients and

Who you gonna call?

“Who you gonna call?” If it’s to get more clients, it’s not Ghostbusters! Sell high ticket professional services?  We’d all love prospects to just call us and buy.  But the reality is for most, this doesn’t happen.  At least on a consistent basis. If you want to grow you’ve got to reach out and talk to people. So what’s your

3 big rocks for business growth

Growing your business means bringing in new clients while servicing the ones you’ve got.  Coming up with new products and services and possibly branching out into new markets. Do all this and the money will come. But none of it will happen unless you do two things. Plan and execute.  Put another way, strategy first and then implementation.  Not the

The power of believing you can improve (TED)

How to you cope with challenge and difficulty?  If you fail at something do you curl up into a ball, thinking “I’m nothing or a failure?” Or do you think, “Not yet… I still have more work to do to improve and will get there”. Psychologist, Carol Dweck researches motivation and growth mindsets.  In this TED talk she describes two

How we’re taught to fear!

It’s striking that you can put a bunch of young kids from different backgrounds into a room and they’ll find ways to happily play whether they speak the same language or not. So why can’t we do it as adults?  What causes us to stop seeing similarities and focus on differences?  And fear the other? The Israelis and Palestinians, the

How to invoke interest from your ideal prospect

Got a great product or service?  Know exactly who you need to target?  But are having trouble getting through? We live in a world of information overload.  Constant bombardment of emails, Texts, Facebook updates, Twitter and a host of other interruptions. So having a prospect even notice your message and then possibly spend even a few seconds evaluating it becomes

An escape from poverty (TED)

As children we all have dreams.  What we’d like to be and do when we grow up.  Doesn’t matter whether we come from a first world country or a slum in Nairobi And sometimes our dreams come true.  But not in the way we expect. Jane grew up in a Nairobi slum.  She dreamed of becoming a doctor, getting married

Does the prospect of “selling” make you feel ill?

“The prospect of me selling is making me feel ill!”  It’s surprising how often I hear this in different forms. Selling! It’s such a loaded word. And it’s surprising how many people hate the thought of doing it. Which is fine, unless your livelihood depends on it. And as a business owner, it probably does. So if you do need

Want to innovate? Break the rules… (TED)

Almost all innovation be it business, science or medicine comes from outside our narrow specialisation. Fleming who discovered penicillin by accident and observation as did Jenner who discovered milkmaids who’d had cowpox did not catch deadly smallpox. But as we get more and more specialised in our fields, we tend to stop looking outside our sphere for solutions.  Which is

Why the golden rule is wrong!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Golden Rule” – Treat people the way you want to be treated. But I think whoever came up with this got it wrong.  A better rule would be to treat people the way THEY want to be treated.  This is not about you, it’s about them. Why? Because we’re all individuals and how I

My 5 lives as an artist (TED)

Raghava KK has been drawing cartoons from the age of 5.  In this TED talk he charts his journey through 5 phases of his artistic career. It’s different, and well worth watching.  

The Tortoise and the Hare

The crowd was hushed. The anticipation was palpable in the air. The Hare had finally convinced the Tortoise to race him in the national cross country carnival. The starter’s gun went bang. The crowd roared as the Hare took off at a sprint, then fell silent as they watched the Tortoise just sitting there, looking unconcerned. Finally, after much encouragement

The power of cartoons

Political Cartoons have a unique way of pointing out the absurd.  Religious cartoons have caused widespread mayhem and deaths.  Others have been used as weapons against the other side. Cartoons are a great communication tool – for good or bad.  They cross boundaries as humour is a way to address serious concerns. So could bringing together cartoonists from all sides

How to create the ideal team

No matter what your organisation produces, be it a product or service, you have to continually innovate or someone else will disrupt you! As the world moves ever faster, it is your ability to rapidly create and implement new products and ways of doing things that will keep you competitive. And like it or not, no man is an island

Coral Reefs – An amazing story

Did you know economists value the world’s coral reefs in the hundreds of billions of dollars per year?  Coral reefs aren’t valuable just for their tourist attraction.  Besides providing protection from storm surges and waves, they are more increasingly important in the research for new antibiotics and cancer drugs. This is a fascinating talk by marine biologist Kristen Marhaver on

How to stop your prospects’ eyes glazing over

If a real prospect came across your website could they immediately figure out what you are about?  Dig deeper, contact you?  Or will they simply bounce away? Or… You’re at a networking function.  You speak.  Their eyes glaze over and they lose interest.  They could have become a great client, but now you’ll never know. Either way you both lose

What keeps us happy and healthy? (TED – Video)

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. The Harvard Study of Adult Development may be the longest study of adult life that’s ever been done. For 75 years, they tracked the lives of 724 men, year after

Why using the right marketing media is critical…

Conceptually all marketing can be broken down into a simple formula. Market, Message, Media match. i.e. You find a market which wants what you provide. You create a congruent marketing message that generates attention, interest and desire encouraging them to buy. And finally a way of getting that enticing message in front of them. And that last bit is where

Could you be the next cyber crime victim? (TED)

Identity theft and cybercrime is pretty pervasive.  And it’ll only get worse.  How do you pick up a malicious online virus, the kind of malware that snoops on your data and taps your bank account? Often, it’s through simple things you do each day without thinking twice. In this TED talk, James Lyne shows us how ever-more-sophisticated cybercriminals exploit both

Is “I couldn’t do that” holding you back?

The old Abbot is performing a tea ceremony with the young novitiate.  The Abbot pours the tea until the cup overflows and continues to do so.  Novitiate exclaims, “But Abbot, the cup is full, why are you still pouring?”  “Well my son, this cup is like your mind.  If it is full, until you empty it, I can’t put anything

Healing through diet (TED – Video)

Most people when asked will say they want to live healthy lives.  But they don’t take consistent steps to achieving this.  The most obvious being diet.  Not dieting, but diet. In this TED talk, Dean Ornish, a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute talks about the remarkable capacity the body has to begin healing

Want to attract more clients? Talk about their […] not your [….]

Google gets searched over 5.5 Billion times per day!  And every search is typed in by a person with an itch they want to scratch.  i.e. They have a problem they want a solution to. So, want to get attention from more of your ideal clients, fast?  Talk problems.  Theirs! We all think about the problems we’re facing and if

Could a marathon be an instrument for peace? (TED)

Could a marathon bring a divided nation together, even if only for one day? Lebanon has been racked by civil war and political instability for decades.  So how do you introduce the concept of running to a nation that is constantly at the brink of war? How do you ask those who were once fighting and killing each other to
taking control

Why the ball is always in your court

How many times have you been to a business event where you’ve met someone who expresses interest in what you do and exchange cards. You walk away thinking, “Here’s a live one”.  After all, they said they’d call.  So you wait.  And wait, hoping and praying they were serious about wanting help. I have news for you. You’re likely to

The art of stillness (TED)

In an increasingly frenetic world, the need to take time out and just be still has never been greater.  We’re constantly bombarded with “stuff” that “demands” our attention.  But we never get time to think. Traveller, writer, teacher and philosopher Pico Iyer expounds on the virtues of “stillness”.  Taking time out to unplug.  To sit and just think, rejuvenate, and

Why you must take the lead in selling

To be an effective salesperson you must take the lead.  Your job is to provide the framework and structure, the prospect provides the content (what’s going on in their world). While rapport skills, questions, eliciting needs, showing value are all necessary parts of a selling process, it’s your ability to advise and lead your clients that will determine your success.

Could chasing happiness make you unhappier?

Ask most people what they want in life and they’ll probably say “happiness”.  But is being happy really all there is and will it fulfil you? In this TED talk Emily Eshfahani Smith compares the search for happiness with the search for deeper meaning and describes the four pillars of a meaningful life. Watch it here.

Selling B2B? Who has the most to win or lose?

Sell high value B2B products or services?  You have to figure out 3 things precisely. Who has the most to gain or lose? In terms of both the organisation and themselves personally. Do they completely understand the issues and impact on them? Can they sign the cheque? Product recalls are pretty common.  However, most organisations have absolutely no idea of

“The third side” – How to negotiate and solve conflict

Negotiation and conflict are a part of life.  Small conflicts can escalate into large ones, often spanning generations.  So could there be a better way of negotiating and possibly solving these no matter how complex and off the rails they’ve got? William Ury has worked with conflicted parties ranging from family feuds, boardroom battles to ethnic wars.  William proposes an

Pleasers versus Advisors – Improving conversions – Part 3

Meet Carl. He’s a wonderful relationship builder who enjoys talking to prospects and clients. People are always willing to chew the fat with him and enjoy his calls. Carl’s great when it comes to customer service. Nothing is too much trouble. He’ll visit client sites at the drop of a hat, fix equipment, and do whatever it takes to be

Could a robot pass an university entrance exam? (TED)

We’ve all heard that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could take over a lot of white collar professional jobs.  So could an AI robot pass  the entrance exams of Japan’s top university, The University of Tokyo? The answer may surprise you.  But what’s more interesting is what AI can currently accomplish without actually understanding “meaning”.  And disturbingly, given AI’s performance, how our

Sales sprinter or Marathon Runner? Improving conversions Part 2

Ever met a salesperson who could “sell ice to Eskimos” or “sell sand to a Bedouin?”. Someone who just appears to be a born salesman? Who seemingly and effortlessly closes lots of business? In this article I wrote about if the perennial debate of nature versus nurture would apply to sales. Could there be such a thing as a “born

Why the orphanage model is broken (TED)

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the “orphanage model” so prevalent in developing countries like Cambodia and Vietnam.  Lots of us financially contribute to their upkeep firmly believing it’s in the best interests of the children. But is it? This TED talk by Australian Tara Winkler brings a counter point which may surprise you.  And she speaks from personal experience

How to increase sales conversions – Part 1

Ultimately, the only way an organisation can grow is by increasing sales.  While marketing’s job is to bring prospects to your door, educate and build up trust, if you’re selling high value products or services at some point prospects will want to engage with a live person. And that is where we’ve seen so many organisations go wrong over the

How we hallucinate our conscious reality (TED)

What is the consciousness?  Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience – and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we’re all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations,

How to attract 37% more clients

Years ago I heard a talk by the editor of a local newspaper talking about how businesses wasted their advertising dollars when placing ads. In short his argument was a one shot advertisement may only be noticed by someone looking for that solution right then.  But what about the people who weren’t ready, didn’t feel they had an issue at

This doesn’t compute

All great communicators share one trait.  They instinctively communicate in the preferred style(s) of the audience, be they visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic. Over the last couple of articles we’ve written how people process information. Starting with Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic preferences. We’ve related how visually oriented people tend to be fast thinkers, fast talkers and want information presented in a

What you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s (TED – Video)

We probably all know someone with Alzheimer’s.  It’s a horrible disease that currently has no cure.  But what if you could prevent it or at least slow down or remove the symptoms? Lisa Genova, neuroscientist and author of “Still Alice” shares the latest science investigating the disease  and some promising research on what each of us can do to build

Why are you speaking so slowly?

Meet John. Tall, solidly built, he speaks slowly in a low gravelly voice. Over the years I’ve never known him to make quick decisions, always preferring to mull things over slowly and considerately. I once said to him, “John, I think that every time I say something to you it slowly goes all the way from the top of your