Monday, April 28, 2008

What Are We Afraid Of?

Most people fear walking into a room full of strangers and that is the reason the vast majority of people will avoid attending business events at all costs
To analyse the reasons why we feel pressure or anxiety about failure, we have to understand that it is the fear of failure that hurts far more than the failure itself. Actually, it is the fear of not being sure what will happen.
"There will be so many strangers there, all looking at me"
"What am I going to say?"
"Am I going to be included?"
Most of us can learn to accept and deal with the worst if we really know what's coming. We may not like it or look forward to it, but we can handle it.The very worst that's going to happen is there will be atiny majority of rude people who will not see you as'importasnt' enough to chat with. They look over their shoulder and give all the signs they want to move on. When you see that, excuse yourself politely and don't give them a secod thought. They are rude, ignorant and not worthy of your time.
Not knowing is a different story. It creates anxiety, vacillation and a very gut level desire to escape the whole problem. Each of us is different in the things we fear, and to analyse the reasons we are pressured by the fear of failure we have to find out what kinds of failure bother us. When we walk into a room full of strangers you will never see more than 6 formats of people.
Look here for the answer. So, now you know; there should be no need to worry about the unknown. Join the person on their own and open-formatted groups. When you don't know anyone in the closed groups- stay away. Their body language says "we're very comfortable at the moment, thanks."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Modern day marketing. Discussion between Robert and Ruby

"I am enthusiastic and passionate about my business, but I must admit, I do a good job of keeping it to myself - unless someone shows an interest during a conversation. Why?

"I'm concerned about turning people off. I'm often turned off when someone I meet goes on and on about something I'm really not interested in. It often seems like they're trying to push me into something. I don't want to do that to others, so I find it hard to promote myself.

"Does that make any sense? Anyone else know what I'm talking about? How can I be sure I'm being passionate without annoying other people? Ideas?"

Thanks! - Ruby Curran

Thanks for this question, Ruby. This really gets to the heart of what stops people from marketing successfully.

There is a fundamental misunderstanding about marketing that you are making. You think marketing is about you. You think marketing is boasting, a big ego trip and fundamentally self- centered. You think that marketing is "going on and on about something I'm not really interested in."

If you believe that, of course, you'll keep your business to yourself. You don't want to be seen as an obnoxious egomaniac.

But marketing is NOT about you. It's not even about your services. It's not about all the things you do and it certainly isn't about going on and on until people are turned off.

Marketing isn't about what YOU do, it's about what THEY get.

Just think, when someone asks you what you do, you tend to talk all about you and how your business works. It just pours out automatically. You can't seem to help yourself. But you realize that this is a turn-off, so you solve the problem by not talking about your business at all (unless someone shows interest).

Clearly, this approach doesn't work.

When someone asks me what I do, I NEVER talk about my business. I talk about the problems my prospects and clients are experiencing. And when I do that, most people do show interest.

I say, "I work with Professionals who have a great service but who struggle with networking." There's absolutely nothing about me in that message. And it interests people because it's about them.

When they ask me how I do this, I say, "I work with them so that marketing is easier for them and becomes less of a struggle, and so that they ultimately attract more clients."

Again, nothing about me, it's all about what they get. And that is interesting as well. It starts a lot of good conversations.

And if they want to know more about how it works, I tell them a story of a client I worked with and the results they got. Again, nothing about me. Stories are great because people can see that if you helped someone else, maybe you can help them as well.

And you know what? When you talk about your business like that, people become interested. They want to know more. Then you provide more information in the form of an article or details of your services on your web site. And, of course, you get their email and put them on your regular eZine list.

Why do I have thousands of people on my monthly email magazine? It's because that's how I've consistently communicated about my business over the years. It's all about communicating value, not going on and on about how great my business is.

But there's also another way to look at this.

I realize, that at any given time, I'm not going to communicate perfectly. I may say things that turn people off. I might send one too many emails and have someone unsubscribe. Once in awhile I might forget myself and go on and on.

But so what?

I do my very best to communicate with integrity. I know my communications provides value. I know that my products and services have made a huge difference to thousands of people.

But you can't please everyone all the time. In fact, if you're doing really well with your marketing, you're still only going to please (get positive response from) about 10% of your audience (at best).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"Why don't people say thank you?"

Maybe I am getting to be a 'grumpy old man?' Some say I have been taht person for years!
I recently rana free seminar for post-graduates at Manchester Business School. Most did not have a job and I offered to send to those who wrote to me a copy of a letter they could use to apply for jobs. It is to go with their CV/ Resume and I believe will at least help them get an interview.
I received 8 requests and sent 8 letters.
I did not get one thank you back.
Now I don't do these things to get a 'thank you' but common courtesy disctates when you do someone a favour, the least you can do is acknowledge it with a response.
Am I being unreasonable?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

"Business is slow but hey that's great!"

It's a slow month, less presentations, less income, less profit.We're not used to that; our growth has been like the chart above for years."Am I bovvered?" I was..last month. But now I'm in the middle of this 'quiet' month i 'm delighted for the upside.
less travel for a start but the most important benefit is I am spending time with my team. We are planning, discussing and reflecting. We're working ON the business and not IN it for a change. We've come up with lots of new marketing and business development ideas...a big investment for the future.
why am i so relaxed? Well, we do have a healthy order book for the next few months and enquiries continue to flow in.

Monday, April 07, 2008

People,People who need people...

Are the luckiest people in the world
Were children needing other children
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside
Acting more like children than children.

Song by Barbra Streisand.

We all need people to network with and the words of the song say it all.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The "3 P's" to gain ...or lose more business

Let's start negative
The first set of "P's"
Push back

When it comes to business development and chasing new clients or more business from exisiting clients it's so easy to be waylaid by other things. Things could well be tough this year and when we feel like that it's easy to go into negative mode. 'They won't have a budget''Maybe I'll leave it another month' 'I read their industry insi struggling , no point in contacting them'
Familiar? So what do we do? Sit on our hands and wait
Look at the other 3P's?

Present clients
Past clients
If you're any good and add value businesses are laways going to want your services. You just have to increase your business development activities. Maybe reduce your prices abit, be a bit more flexible on your terms, offer more for the same price.
if it going to be tough you have to work that bit harder. More networking; more follow up calls; more trawling through past clients to see how they're getting on.
We've all had it easy over the last few years and now it is harder.
Shrug...let's incease our marketing and business development activities