Romancing prospects

Romancing prospects

For some reason people forget that the digital realm is really not that much different to the physical world when it comes to commerce. It's the same mistake sellers have made for decades, thinking that radio was different, or TV was different. The internet is no different. Yes, the channel's idiosyncrasies affects the way you craft your message, but the truth that continually gets forgotten is that when all is said and done, you're still trying to influence flesh and blood human beings. … read more
A bonus isn't an incentive

A bonus isn't an incentive

This might seem like semantics, but what we call things matters. The names we choose informs how we view things, and how we view things informs how we act. One of the greatest examples was the renaming of jungles as rainforests because climate and environmental charities found it much easier to raise money for rainforests than for jungles. Names matter. I've spent much of my career discussing sales management and advising organisations on the best way to train and manage sales staff. A s … read more
You reap what you sow

You reap what you sow

Ok, so taking a little diversion this week. As much as everything I talk about has lessons for selling and business built into it, this week I'm talking about parenting. Last week I saw a video on mindfulness which, if I wasn't such a schmuck I'd be able to add a link to (I did look for it, but my Google-esque hunting powers notwithstanding, couldn't find it). The gist of the video was, you reap what you sow, and if we don't start teaching our children mindfulness, and how to take care of th … read more
How to market a consulting firm

How to market a consulting firm

I have to say, consulting businesses are hard. After 20 years of running a creative agency (a consulting business itself) marketing consulting businesses can be hard. First of all, the people running the business either know it all, or know nothing. Second, they're time poor and tend to want to abdicate responsibility for the work, which frankly doesn't work because any good campaign is a partnership and the people in the business have expertise that is needed to effectively marke … read more
Easy is a fairy tale

Easy is a fairy tale

Sorry to break the news to you, but it's true. There's no silver bullet that will drive your success. But the good news is there are lots of bronze ones. Any successful strategy will have a complicated mix of many elements. There's nothing in the human experience that is solved simply. It's all hard work - at least the meaningful stuff is. One of my favourite sayings is "The further you get from a problem, the easier it seems to fix". This is also true if you don't know what you're talki … read more
Which is worse? Awful or ordinary?

Which is worse? Awful or ordinary?

I had someone ask me the other day for advice on starting a business. Amongst the range of things I spoke about (yes, I like the sound of my own voice) I told them to not be a cheapskate on the stuff that matters. And you can believe me when I tell you, the original marketing collateral you get (brand, website, brochure, business cards) are as important as what you wear to a client meeting. Though the complete lack of thought, or lack of investment, that some people put into these things is  … read more
Big data and bad decisions

Big data and bad decisions

Now before you go setting your hair on fire, data is good, data is great, I’m a fan. But here’s the thing, we’ve always known that numbers can tell you anything, and that’s back when we were talking about small numbers. So what sort of whopper lies do you think Big Data can tell? History is littered with individuals who looked at the numbers and went on to make moronic decisions. Napoleon springs to mind. Alexander the Great too. In more recent times the execs at  … read more
What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Firstly let me say, the image above was about the least offensive one I could find when I did a web search for 'bad business names'. That should tell you something straight off the bat. But this blog isn't about bad names per se, it's about the process of naming a business, and what's important, and what's not. Like most things in life, a lot of what you should do in marketing makes a lot more sense when it's articulated to you by a professional. If you're left to your own devices, and y … read more
Better to say no than to say sorry

Better to say no than to say sorry

Yes people, another of my father's sage-like gems of wisdom. When I was a sales trainer we used to talk to trainees about how important it was that if they had to say no to a buyer, that they should always follow it with a yes. In other words "I'm sorry but I can't give it to you for that price, but what I can do is this...". This is great sales/negotiating advice, and you wouldn't have to visit too many stores to find God-awful salespeople who just say "Nup" when you ask for something, ofte … read more
What kind of people are we making?

What kind of people are we making?

One of my favourite firestarters at dinner parties is to ask "What builds character?" I get a lot of different answers (which alone surprises me) but I firmly believe that only one thing consistently builds it, and that's hardship. So what does it say about a generation of parents who move Heaven and Earth to ensure their children never experience hardship of any kind? Visiting the War Memorial in Canberra brought this home to me the other day in a range of ways, but the typical Christmas o … read more