Monday, July 31, 2006

For £25 you could be on TV or the radio or quoted in the news

Never before has it been so important for leaders to ensure that their organisation has the right profile.

Presschoice is the most cost effective way of raising the profile of your organisation and its key members. It enables journalists to find out what you do, who to contact and the profile and biographies of your key experts and spokespeople.

In the incredibly fast moving world of the modern media, the reputation of organisations can be dependant on how they respond to fast breaking news. Journalists tend to turn to those who they can contact quickly and easily. But finding the right person in an organisation to comment on a report, can take too long. As a result, the report often goes ahead without the chance of many to comment on them or help shape the way they are reported in the local and national media. Too often people and organisations aren’t given a chance to comment on stories which concern them.

Presschoice enables you to tell the media how they should contact you, directing journalists to exactly the place in your organisation which is best able to handle their calls.

But more than that, it also enables you to promote your organisation as an expert in any number of fields you choose. That’s because when listing on the database, you can choose a number of subjects which you wish to comment on. Anyone looking for experts in those areas, will be given the contact details you provided.

Creating the right kind of public relations is one of the most important ways of promoting your organisation and its key members of staff. It moulds people’s perceptions, which can be vital in ensuring the long term future and success of any university, business or other group.

Presschoice is the best and most cost effective way of promoting and controlling your organisation’s profile.

It only costs £25 to list on the site for a whole year.
To sign up visit For those wanting to list groups of people, please email or call 020 7691 9965

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The UK's big secret

When people want to see the north of England, most head for the Lake District or Scotland. 2 great places.
Have a look at this

and this

and this

This is the Yorkshire Dales
I went walking at 7am and see lots of sights like these. It's paradise and well worth a visit

Friday, July 28, 2006

"What do you do?"

Every week I get Robert Middleton's newsletter
This was in this wek's edition

One of the greatest confusions in talking about, and marketing, professional services is that we tend to answer the questions about our services at face value.

This is a big mistake because what people ask and what they really want to know are two quite different things. So, if you answer the question they ask, they don't get the answers they want.

Confusing? Definitely!

The first question everyone asks us is "What do you do?" That's THE question. But if we answer it at face value we don't communicate much of real value:

"I'm a management consultant." (OK, now I have your label, but I
really don't know what that means to me.) or...

"I do workshops on productivity and performance." (Better, but still
I'm not seeing a big benefit here.) or...

"I work with software firms to be more productive and profitable."
(Yeah, I could see that this would be valuable.) or...

"I work with start-up software firms who are struggling to make a
profit." (Bingo! my son-in-law works for a company like that!)

So what's the underlying question to "What do you do?" My observation is that it's, "Are you someone who can help me?"

Now the person you're talking to may not work for a software firm that's struggling to make a profit, but if they do (or know someone who does), you've hit a vital nerve with your answer. None of the other answers even get close.

Wouldn't it be great if it got easier from there? Well, it doesn't!
Because people keep talking in code. And you have to decipher the next one as well. Here it is:

"That's great, how do you do that?"

But don't go there. Translate the question as follows: "What kind of results do you produce for your clients?" Then answer like this:

"The clients who work with me get these kind of results: They become profitable in six months or less and stop struggling with cash flow." This is music to the ears. The language of results. Just make sure you talk about what you can really deliver.

This kind of marketing language will get the attention and interest of prospects, and make them want to know more. But you're not done yet. You're going to get more coded questions:

"That's terrific. But how does your service work?"

The red lights should go off at this point. Don't go down that path.
Better men and women than you and I have gone there never to return. The vast majority tend to go in one of two directions:

They go into "tech-talk" that explains their approach or process in excruciating detail. But tech-talk can be confusing to the average
layman: "The sub-optimal performance horizon undermines the maximization of variable input factors in the productivity matrix. So we co-harmonize these factors." Huh??

Or they go in the opposite direction explaining how their service works in terms so generic that they lose all impact. "Well, we're all about productivity, alignment and commitment. When we get those things going, results tend to improve pretty fast." Well, Duh!

Both of these approaches are dead ends. Nobody really wants to know how your service works. The hidden question behind the question is: "Do your services actually work?" That would be a little rude, wouldn't it? But answer it, nevertheless, as follows:

Tell a story. Success stories that outline how you helped a specific client gets listeners hanging on your every word:

"We met a very promising start-up software firm who didn't think
they could hold on another month. We helped them get their cash
flow working, got them some more money and then showed how they
could sell the software faster to their target market. Nine months
later they are profitable and growing quickly."

Not so hard right? You can do this quite successfully with a little practice. You should prepare several success stories in verbal and written form. They are a powerful persuasion tool.

Starting to get the idea? If you don't understand the real questions beneath the standard questions, you'll miss the opportunity to tell them what they really want to know.

The More Clients Bottom Line: To speak a prospect's language you need to understand that the fundamental question everyone is asking is "What's in it for me?" Answer that and you'll do fine.

How are you answering your prospect's questions?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

There's hot and there's melting

I worked in London today in the heat wave. As I went down yesterday knowing London was to be 30+ degrees ‘I wasn’t bothered’ as I’d worked at this client before and they had the best air-conditioned room any where in London. It was on floor 8 , the top of the building with the sun streaming in but I wasn’t bothered.
Until I go there to be told there had been a power failure the previous night and the air-conditioning didn’t work. Talk about slaving over a hot flipchart. I must have lost 2 stone..But as people who know me they’ll say that’s not a bad thing!

Kintish at the BBC

Through my networking I met a man who is heavily involved with Working Lunch shown daily on BBC 2. He was good enough to invite me to watch the programme from the control room. I was like a kid who’d been asked to be a mascot at Wembley for his favourite team!
I sat next to the producer Lynn and the director and all the other people who, in my job we call ‘admin and support’.
It was fascinating watching the programme unfold. They kept changing things throughout and the poor presenters were being bombarded with @ 22 seconds too long …miss out next bit’ or ‘you need to adlib for 43 seconds , we can’t get the link to Denmark.
If you aver get a chance to go and have a look around the BBC at White Citytake it.

Monday, July 24, 2006

A magical weekend

Do you ever have one of those weekends where everything goes to plan? Relaxation reigns, lots of food, drink, entertainment and sunshine. What more can one want? Oh yes, good company and lots of laughs.
We went to the RHS Flower Show in Cheshire Saturday and an outdoor Mozart concert on Sunday at Gawsworth Hall in Macclesfield. It was in a magnificent setting in the gardens of a beautiful manor house which has been there for about 700 years. The owners were collecting the tickets, clearing the bins and even introduced the concert.
The Hall has 30+ concerts, plays, and readings etc. each summer all with well known names entertaining. It’s worth a look at this. I did do a bit of networking too. Met loads of people I knew which added to the day.
This group have remained friends...and married for over 30 years. Is this a record?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Come on the networking journey

Whenever you go on a journey the objective is to arrive safely.
From my experience so many people start on their networking journey but never arrive.
It starts with attending events where we meet people. We build new or reinforce relationships but how many people actually move to the next step.... following up?

Is this you when you think about having to make a follow up call after spotting an potential opportunity?

If so and you chicken out, the chances of you reaching the end of your journey, i.e. doing business, is substantially reduced.
Don't become a networking criminal...

...always follow up when you believe business can be created.

If you struggle with this we can help.
See here for our nationwide programme of public seminars

"Do you have any idea who I am?"

An award should go to the gate attendant at Brisbane New International
airport. A crowded Singapore -London flight was cancelled. She was the
lone attendant in charge of re-booking a long line of inconvenienced

Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his
ticket down on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it

The attendant replied, "I'm sorry sir. I'll be happy to try to help you,
but I've got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work
something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the
passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"

Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address
microphone: May I have your attention please? May I have your attention
please?" she began. With her voice being heard clearly throughout the
terminal, she said, "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW
WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at
the attendant, gritted his teeth and said, "F*^#"... You!" Without
flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in
line for that too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

When you look after your staff....

they look after you. Since being in charge of my business i find this rule works. well most of the time;people do take advantage of your good nature sometimes.But, hey, so what.At least you'll feel you've done the right thing and can sleep well

The piece of paper entitled "Contracts of Employment" basically only need to be adhered to by one of the parties...the employee. They can walk out any time they fancy. The employer can't just say, "I've had enough of you...push off!" Such is life.

Here is a picture of a great day out me and my team had in the very hot Lake District

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How much time do you spend with your children?

I am nowhere near the perfect father, far from it, but I have shown an interest in my sons football for over 25 years. Even last night I went to watch Antony play Futsal ( yes Futsal) which is a 5-a-side game needing skill and lots of stamina. The goals are small, there is no offside, and the key to winning is passing and movement off the ball.It was exciting, fast flowing and will eventually become a major sport. Check out the website. Oh and by the way his team won 7-1 and he scored a hat trick!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Humour is the key to good business

I laughed today when I saw a white van with the following signs
Eddie’s Plumbing Services….working in partnership with the taxman.
No gimmicks, no offers, no freebies , no bulls**t…just affordable plumbing.
If you need a plumber in Leeds, look him up, he must be worth a chat at least
I think this must be him
Eddie's Plumbing & Heating Services
0113 216 1356
28 Waincliffe Drive
Leeds, LS11 8ET

From failure to success

Today was a great day. I presented to a group called Praxis. This is a non-profit making organisation made up of people who liaise between people at universities with ideas and business people who can turn those ideas into money.
I spoke at their conference. They must have been important people; it was called the Directors Forum. Did we laugh! My wife says they’re laughing at me not with me. I want them to do both, after all I do try to make my presentations humorous.

Kintish failed for the first time in 6 years

I was running a workshop in London at 2pm and left home in Manchester at 7.30am.The car journey takes 3 hours generally so I believed I had allowed enough time.
When we got stuck at Stoke (about 20% of the journey) and weren’t moving I took a deep breath and called my client to admit I was to let him down.
This has never happened in the 6 years I have been presenting.
He was very understanding and we have rearranged.
Well, normally I travel by train so maybe it’s time to line Richard Branson’s, already deep, pockets yet further?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Robert Middleton is the man for you if...

you want to get a valuable and free newsletter about marketing for professional services
Below is part of this week's letter.
Subscribe won't be disappointed

What are the key questions you need to ask in order to be a successful marketer of your services? The answers you so desperately need will only come through asking - such as...

Who are my ideal clients?

What are my clients' most pressing problems?

How can I effectively package solutions to those problems?

How can I become better at delivering those services?

How can I make those services more attractive?

How can I get the attention of my prospective clients?

How can I educate my prospects about how I can help them?

Those are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself. Can you answer all of them clearly and concisely? If you can, great; you have laid the foundation for marketing your services. If not, your marketing will grind to a standstill.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I've just written my book

I have been planning this for over 3 years now. Not only is it ready for the printers it has also been produced in audio form.
It's called "I hate netwroking" and is about the networking life of Brian, the reluctant networker. Most of the book is dialogue between Brian and his conscience...i.e. me!

Here's an extract

The Networking Life of Brian

Chapter 1
The Invitation

Brian’s office 9.15am. Four weeks before the event. Brian is sorting out his post.

“Right, what have we here? Letters from clients, junk mail, letters from Revenue and Customs... we’ll certainly add that to the junk mail pile. Ah, what’s this - an invitation from another professional services firm?

Walter, Feather & Co
Invites Brian Camberton
To our Annual Premier Networking Event
At the Grand Hotel
Tuesday 4th March at 6pm

Ooch I hate those events…waste of time…They hardly recommend any work to us so what’s the point? In fact, knowing that firm, they’re bound to invite 150+ people and I’ll feel like a fish out of water. No, I’m going to bin it. Not for me, thank you.”
“Hi, Brian. Please stop before you throw that invitation in the bin. Didn’t you say recently that despite it being a good year, things have started to slow down and you could do with more work?
“Who in heaven’s name said that?! I’m hearing voices. I must be going mad”
“I’m sorry Brian, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Will and my role in life is to help you and other professionals become more confident and effective networkers. When you listen to my tips, techniques and ideas, I promise that networking will become a lot easier, more enjoyable, and, more importantly, you’ll leave every event with something useful.”
“Well hello there, Will. Are you an expert in this networking stuff?”
“Well I don’t like to boast but I do have a pretty deep knowledge of the subject. But then so do you I hear, a leading authority in your field too?”

“I suppose it has been said.”
“You’re being a little modest here now aren’t you? People come from miles for your advice, you write lots or articles and you have even been interviewed on the TV.”
“You have checked me out thoroughly.”
“Yes, master networkers spend time in preparation as you’ll see later. Now tell me, how much business development do you do?”
“None really, I leave it to others. But I must tell you this, Will, they drive me mad to get more involved.”
“My partners, the management board, even some of the my subordinates tell me we’d get so much more work if I ‘got involved’.
“So why don’t you?”
“Because I’m a professional , others should do that. Just let me do a great job for my clients and the work will come.”
That’s true , but to a point. It means you rely on others to send you that extra work, you’re not in control are you?”
“I suppose you’re right. So what do you think I should do?”
“May I start by asking you to consider this? You just never know who’s going to be at this event; what useful contacts or even prospective clients you may meet. You’re going to raise your profile and that of the firm. You may learn something and, believe it or not, you might actually have a good time.”
“What event’s that then?”
“The one you’ve been invited to. Look – the invitation you’re holding. Why not give it a go?”
“I don’t believe it’s ever possible to have a good time let alone pick up any business.
I’ve been attending these events for years and I can’t remember the last time I arrived home thinking it was time well-spent.”
“As I say, I’m here to change all that. Stick with me for this one event and let’s see what happens. After all, you were recently moaning that business wasn’t as brisk as you’d like it to be. Perhaps a re-think in your attitude can improve the situation?”
“How do you know I said that business isn’t what it could be?”
“As an authority on networking, Brian, it’s my job to constantly keep my ears and eyes open. When you’re awake, alive and alert, you can pick up so much useful information.”
“Sounds like you’re spying on me.”
“Only for your own good, Brian. Tell me, have you ever been trained in the skills of networking?”
“Let me think…no I don’t think so.”
“So is it any wonder you find it difficult and unsettlng? How would you feel if you had to do your professional work without any formal training?”
“Well, I just wouldn’t be able to do it.”
“Correct, so why should you feel secure and reassured in this aspect of your work?”
“Putting it that way, I guess you make a valid point.”
“Okay, Will. I’ll go to this event but I just know it’s going to be waste of time. Where’s that invitation. I had better RSVP.”
“Good. Stay with me Brian and let me give you all the support you need.
And that brings us nicely onto the first thing I’d like to say. Ignoring an invitation, throwing it in the bin the way you did, is nothing short of rude. You wouldn’t do that with an invitation to a friend’s party now would you? You see Brian, replying courteously - even in the negative - ensures that you stand out from the crowd. Every time you and your company’s name are seen in a positive manner, that’s good marketing. If you can’t go, first and foremost send a polite reply. However, alternatively, why not suggest that someone else represents the business to see what opportunities exist? And, unless it is a £100 per head dinner or a really glitzy affair, you may wish to ask your hosts if you can bring a colleague with you. That way there will be two of you networking on behalf of your company. After all, as they say in the air-force, it’s good to have a wingman.”
“I see. Maybe I would do well to listen to what you have to say. I’d better send that reply card back saying I’m going to attend.
“Good start, Brian, who knows what might happen?”


Saturday, July 08, 2006

It's time to sack some clients and customers

When a client or customer contacts you, you generally have one of two reactions, "Oh good!" or "Oh god!"
If the latter occurs think how life would be without that person. Bliss perhaps?

The issue here is most professionals won't get rid of clients because of insecuirty and lack of self-confidence.
Many people tell they have little time to go out networking. I say it's because you're spending too much time with BMW's

No, not the posh cars which come out of Germany but

Get rid of them, they cause you nothing but stress. They take take take and generally it's advantage they take most.
Is there mutual trust?
Is there mutual respect?
Is there mutual liking?
Do these clients recommend others?
What do we earn from these clients?
What more can we earn from these clients?
Are these clients BMWs?
Do we recover good time charge rates?
Do they pay?

Part of your marketing should include ACTING ONLY FOR CLIENTS YOU DESERVE.
Go on chose one client and send them "I think it's time for you to find someone else" letter.
You'll feel wonderful.
I have a measurement chart for you to assess whether they're worth keeping. Ask me for it.


Thursday, July 06, 2006

The father of my granddaughter sent me this

~Gene Perret
What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they
give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure.

~Welsh Proverb
Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild.

~Gore Vidal
Never have children, only grandchildren.

When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window.

~Marcy DeMaree
Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day,

and now the day was complete.

~Lois Wyse
If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first.

~Mary H. Waldrip
Grandhildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old.

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your

~Alex Haley
Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do.
Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children.

~Joy Hargrove
One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather.

~G. Norman Collie
Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother

~Authors Unknown
Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love.

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.

Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren.

Grandmothers are just antique little girls.

It's amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one.!

A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside.

Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies.

Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts

A grandmother pretends she doesn't know who you are on Halloween


How good are you at remembering peoples' names?

Most people say, "Rubbish" or "I forget their name as soon as I hear it" or "I'm not bad with faces...but names...yuk!"
Well, here's the answer. It's generally nothing to do with your memory ,it's all to do with your attitude. Or, more precisely your hearing. We're all so keen to make a good impression,we aren't listening when someone gives their name.
In future, as they do, listen carefully and as you're shaking hands repeat their name and concentrate for that 1 second. You will hear it and,if you want to, you will remember it. You may not remember it again 30 minutes later when you have met another 10 people but at least in those early moments of building a relationship you will be fine. Repeat the name to yourself, use some word or picture association and maybe use their names just 2 or 3 times early on during the conversation.
Try works
This is from part of Dale Carnegie principles in his world best seller, 'How to win friends and influence people'


Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More gems from Tom Peters

“Man without smiling face must not open shop.” Chinese proverb

“My principles for success are be enthusiastic, have emotional excellence, have good energy” Profit came 15th on his list!

“ Big corporations suck!” Four things I’ve learnt in 40 years about success in business
1. BIG businesses should be decentralised
2. Just do it. Don’t spent too long thinking about it
3. Everyone needs to become accountable
4. Get up early. In my 25 years the only company which invited me in to speak before 7am was GE


“Every one smiles. The more you smile, the more you get promoted.” Boss man Schult visits 25 shops every week. (He has 11,000 of them). He visits because he says we are only successful because all we do is sell 1 cup of coffee after 1 cup of coffee and everyone has to provide a good experience. I’m checking the experience.

Message to people owning or want to own their own business
1. Create an incredible experience with each customer
2. Find a niche
3. Be dramatically different
4. Don’t attack big companies face on. Steal their niche market!
5. Compete on value and experience not price

“When I do business with people I know when it’s cool…and when it’s not.”
“What do they think about when doing business with you?”

He recommended a book by Bo Burlingham, “Small Giants: Companies that choose to be great instead of big.

Excellence…what I’ve learnt about small businesses
Be passionate about your product or service
Have an obsession about your product or service
Be in love with etc…

And finally he sort of talked to himself by saying
“I’m the highest paid speaker never to have done anything in his life. I don’t motivate people, ( no-one can), sometimes I just catch someone who is ready to move. They motivate themselves”

He does do lots simply by communicating in a very powerful and passionate manner

Click here to see the slides he used. Some will make sense ...some not...