Monday, 26 September 2011

What Do You Want?

Party Tram

I was out for dinner with friends last week and we saw one of those rare beasts, a Party Tram!  You can tell it's a Party Tram because that's what the sign says on it. There is no confusion, it is really quite obvious and if you are after the Party Tram you know which one it is.

I am like the Party Tram. When Wifey and I got together five years ago I told her:

"I am a mere male. I don't respond well to subtle comments, hints, implications or suggestions. If you want something you MUST be blatant and tell me directly that way you have more chance of getting it."

It was a great ground rule that has served us well.

Clients and prospects are the same. When it comes to your products and services, you cannot be subtle, hint, imply or suggest. TELL THEM what you do and make it easy for them to find out about it. Just like the Party Tram does it!  

Several of my exhibiting clients have found this fabulous advice. Rather than have a booth that is about their brand with subtle hints on what they have and want their clients to do, bold signs with information or prices encourage prospects into action. 

So what do you want your prospects to do?

PS For those who retail or exhibit at shows, expos or markets, I am running a webinar on How to Get More from Your Next Expo.  It is at 11am Thursday 29 Sept AEST. (Click here for world times). It's a freebie and I encourage you to attend and invite your contacts who may be interested.  So register here right now! (Had to tell you what to do!)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Are You Haemorrhaging Cash?

When it comes to exhibiting at Trade Shows, Expos and even a simple market, it is so easy to spend and even waste money.  They are not cheap and everything you need seems to "cost extra".

Over the last week I have run a couple of webinars on how to Get More from your next Expo. The question was raised, is it still worthwhile to exhibit?  To me the answer is always "Yes, if you do it properly".

Exhibiting has one of the lowest cost per leads/cost per sales figures of any form of marketing.  It is a way to get great exposure to your target market and let them get hands on with your products, expertise and brand.  What is even better is most people do not exhibit well. So with only a minor bit of extra effort you can stand out from the rest.

This doesn't mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on a stand. Some of the best stands are the simplest. A few small changes in how you operate can actually double your return on investment at the show.  Here are a few things you can do:

  • Market your stand before the show
  • Smile on the stand (most people don't)
  • Stand at the stand - NEVER SIT DOWN (unless it is with a customer)
  • Turn your phone off
  • Followup with your prospects
  • Set up a Lead Management System
  • Have fun!

As you can see these things are not rocket science. But the difference it makes can be significant.  If you want to find out more, join me on the next webinar where we discuss things in far more detail.

The next webinar on how to Get More from your Next Expo will be held at 11am AEST on Thursday 29 September. To register click here

Monday, 19 September 2011

What Can You Throw?


This is the tree just outside my office window. The blossoms are stunning and it is more proof that in the southern hemisphere, spring is upon us.  So it must be time for some spring cleaning.

Not just around the house either. It is a great time to consider your business and place of work. What have you got there that no longer serves you or the business? What have you been thinking of deleting, ejecting, getting rid of, or being free of?  What have you been tolerating?

  • Maybe it is an employee? If so, make time to start them on a performance improvement plan.
  • It could be a process. If so, revisit the process and make it more relevant and effective.
  • Your desk may need a tidy up. Put time aside (twice as much as you think you need) and tidy it.
  • It may be time to archive some filing. Do a backup and then delete it or have the files put in the archive area.

Whatever it is, it will take time. Book that time in your diary and ask yourself, What Can You Throw?

Monday, 12 September 2011

Will You Please Answer The Question?


So often on TV shows that have a court room scene, some lawyer will ask a witness a question that then is responded to but not answered. Typically the lawyer interrupts with a very firm, "Will you please answer the question?"  Keep this in mind for Thursday.

You see, Thursday is R U OK Day. This has come about because people (particularly men) won't answer the question. We are in the habit of responding to "Are you ok?" with "I'm fine".  What most men don't realise is that FINE stands for: 

F*&ked up,
Neurotic and

We don't like exposing how we are feeling. We carry invisible burdens that only we see and feel (and they are heavy burdens). For some men, and more and more women, these invisible burdens get so heavy that we get confused. In that confusion suicide seems like a valid option.

The founder of the RUOK organisation, Gavin Larkin, founded it because his successful and gregarious father suicided. (See Gavin's story on Australian Story tonight on Australia's ABC). Gavin felt that a simple conversation started with the question R U OK would help combat the rising suicide numbers in Australia.

The question R U OK is very important, but not as important as the answer. So on Thursday, don't forget to ask the question to some of your friends, and if someone asks you the question, answer it! Don't have them feeling like the lawyer shouting "Will you please answer the question!"  A problem shared is a problem halved. For those men (typically in senior roles) who are thinking "I couldn't answer the question it would ruin my reputation, authority, ego or whatever" - today's Get More Goer is dedicated to you.

Will You Please Answer the Question?

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

What Are You Doing?

In business there is always so much to do. 

You are either getting the sale, servicing the sale, supporting the sale or looking for the next sale. It seems the bigger your business grows, the more peripheral work needs to be done. By peripheral work I mean sundry tasks that don't seem to be related to looking after the customer or the prospect. It almost feels like busy work.

It is always easiest to do business with people you know, like and trust.  So your mission needs to be to continually focusing on the activities that will cause your customers and prospects to know you, like you and trust you.  It may be social media, it may be traditional marketing or it may even be contributing to the community. Whatever it is, never lose focus on making sure your customers are looked after and your pipeline is healthy.

By the way, your activities don't have to be major. In fact, it is frequently the little things that make all the difference. The most important thing is to make sure you are doing something. Let the customer know you are thinking of them and appreciate their business. Let your prospects know you understand their perspective. Ask your customers and prospects what additional products or services they want from you.

It doesn't take a great deal of expense or effort to continue to support your clients and prospects and help them to know you, like you and trust you.

So what are you doing?

Image: Terry Johnston

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Do You NEED it or WANT It?

It's hard rubbish time at my house. Up and down the street are piles of rubbish, old furniture, tree cuttings, old computers, and cardboard boxes. There is also a plethora of televisions - square televisions. They are usually sitting on the cardboard box of rectangle plasma TV.

Wifey and I were talking about how the trend of huge plasma televisions, and now 3D televisions, have led to a lot of fully functioning, relatively large televisions being thrown out. It got me thinking to what other things we "upgrade" unnecessarily. Going from iPhone 3 to 4 (and now 5), iPad 1 to 2, new laptops, new car, new business machines or even new outfits. We have a fully functioning model but we think it's old or not trendy and upgrade.

Do you need it or just want it? 

Don't get me wrong. There are very valid reasons for getting new equipment and new technology but are you considering them? How many times are you purchasing based on impulse and desire rather than truly considering the cost benefit of what you are after?

Do you NEED it or just WANT it?

What Day Is It?

In Australia, we are celebrating Father's Day today - as we always do on the first Sunday in September. I am not yet a Father (but the practice is going well) so when my niece wished me a happy Father's Day I had to tell her it wasn't for me. She then decided it should be changed to Boy's Day.

I think Boy's Day better reflect's the intent of the day. What defines a family today is so broad. With blended families, mended families, nuclear families, same sex families, generational families, functional families and even dysfunctional families one title does not fit all. For many of us, we have or have had Father Figures who we reflect on today even if they are not our fathers.

The commercialisation of "Day's" that we have is not something I enjoy. It feels like we have the celebration for the sake of company profits. Yes there is a loose connection to a good intent but the underlying theme is having a "Day" for a specific person or role.

Today I will be following the advice of my niece Darci and celebrating Boy's Day.  I will be giving thanks to all the men and boys in my life who have had a positive impact on me or parts of my life. From my brother to my father-in-law, mother's boyfriend, Bromance, brother-in-law and many others.  Big thanks to you all. I hope you have a great day and I really appreciate your support, guidance and love.

What is this day for you?

George Marks/ Getty Images

Friday, 2 September 2011

Just Keep Swimming

I am having one of those moments.  You know those moments? They usually occur just before a breakthrough. They are when you have been doing a lot of work, giving support and resources to others, inspiring those around you, working diligently on your project or focus but you just don't seem to be getting the traction you want.

A friend once told me, "Don't quit before the miracle happens."  
Malcolm Gladwell would say, "Don't quit before the tipping point happens."
Calvin Coolidge would say, "Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
Dory would say, "Just keep swimming!"
Shakespeare would say, "Once more unto the breach dear friends."

With these in mind I continue the path. I will look at my obstacles as sign posts that I am actually moving forward. No obstacles means I am not doing anything. I have put on loud music that fires me up (thank you Foo Fighters) and I will just keep swimming once more unto the breach and not quit before the tipping point happens as I press on.

I am having one of those moments. Most of us do. They are not good, not bad, they just are. 

How do you move through yours?