Archive for October, 2012

Three Points to Make YOUR Point

The greatest speech in American history took under three minutes to deliver. It moved the speaker who preceded it so much he asked for a personal hand-written copy. You can see that copy today in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL.

The Gettysburg Address was short, succinct and can be summarized in three parts:

  • Here is what I know – This country was founded on the premise that “all men are created equal.”
  • Here is how I know it – Now we are involved in a great civil war to test that premise.
  • Here is what it means to you – It is for us to continue the fight to see whether this nation will endure.

When you give a presentation, you should remember those three emphases:

1. Here is what I know – State the point you are trying to make (The bolder, then better).
2. Here is how I know it – Tell a relevant story or give an example that applies to the point or your audience.
3. Here is what it means to you – Tell what you want people to take away for their own benefit (action to be taken is even better).

In sales, service, presentations it is best if you can illustrate your point with these three keys for relevance. Make it about THEM, not you. Make it relevant to the participants’ lives. Make it a takeaway that they can literally take away.

Stand back and see if anyone remembers. We remember Lincoln’s words to this day.

Create New Memories…

When my father passed away it nearly did my mother in. He had not only been a loyal devoted spouse, but her best friend. She felt bad going to all the places they had visited together now alone. The memories of their past flooded her mind.

I advised her to go there again with someone else or alone and create NEW memories. They wouldn’t replace but would add to the ones she had with Dad.

When you reinvent yourself it might be wise to create new memories to add to the ones (or replace them – your choice) from the past. Experience your environment in a new way. Discover something you haven’t noticed or experienced previously.

When reinventing your business, work on creating new experiences for the people you target or market to. What can you do for them that no one (especially you) have done for them before?

Delta Airlines took in the elite mileage customers from NorthWest when they acquired the company. They created a whole new level of service and perks for the “Diamond” level they created. They added perks to the other levels (Platinum, Gold and Silver). Delta created new memories to add to and replace the previous ones they were known for.

How can you create new memories and reinvent yourself?

The Business You SHOULD Be In…

Do you welcome complaints for avoid them at all costs?  Do you listen to them, or do you try to defend your policies and actions? You have choices when people complain to you. It all goes to how you view their comments and your own attitude toward what they are saying.

Start viewing your complaining customers as your greatest source of feedback. They are the lifeline of your business.

If your customers want something from you that is reasonable and will make more money for you, why wouldn’t you want to satisfy them? I talk to leaders every week who refuse to offer services to their customers that they COULD offer, but they choose not to. It’s against their “policy.”

What your customers want is to be heard, not educated. If you feel they need to be educated, then they aren’t the ones who need the education.

You do.

Get into the listening business and quit giving solutions to problems that don’t exist. You will find you will become much better at solving problems in a language everyone understands… everyone who wants to be heard, that is.

Will You Adapt Next?

I never knew a world without television. The medium became a household item about the time I was born. My daughter, 19 has never seen a rotary-dial phone (or channel selector on a television) except in a museum exhibit. The Class of 2013 has never known a time when luggage didn’t have wheels attached to it.

So many changes take place in your business and industry that you have to stay ahead of the curve to stay in business. For instance, there will be a day when your customers will do most of their transactions either with an app on their phone or a card swiper on yours.

My assistant’s sons attend a school in South Carolina where all of the students have iPads and use them in various ways to do homework, record lessons and look up information on the internet during class.

While meeting with some union leaders lately, they told me that their members stay in touch through their smart phones than through printed or email newsletters. Blogs are replacing memos and post-it notes.

What is changing in your sector or industry that will make you the dinosaur in just a few years? What are you planning to do to stay ahead of your eager and more connected customers or members?

The clock is ticking. Changes are taking place.

You may choose to stay in the lead, or move out of the way for your competitors who are ahead of the changes. It is no time to play it safe or do business the way you always have.

While you read this, someone was adapting to a changing business climate and making necessary adjustments to capture more business.

Will you adapt next?

Is it Time to Re-Boot?

I heard a comedian say several years ago that if Microsoft made cars, they would stop working for no reason; we would simply restart them on the road and drive along as if nothing were wrong with that.

Funny, but true! You know you can solve most computer freezes, cable/satellite disruptions or malfunctions on your cell phone by simply turning them off and back on again.

It is called rebooting. It gives a fresh start to the process.

Reinvention is rebooting your life, your career, your sales, your marketing, your target group or your management. Most leaders try to fix everything when it freezes up.

What in your life would get better if you just stopped trying to fix it and simply restarted or rebooted it?

Recessions Never End!

There, I said it.  The sooner you come to grips with this, the sooner you will stop doing what you have done and start doing something new, creative and different. Realizing that the changes we have seen since 2008 will be here to stay will force you to act differently and get into the game of life.

Circuit City and a host of other companies have already gone out of business because they couldn’t transition and sell like successful businesses who aren’t waiting for the recession to end.

Major storms always change the landscape. Economic storms do the same.

Many people are sitting on the sidelines, waiting for “The Recovery.”

What a bunch of losers! Even if there is a full recovery, things have been changed so much that you won’t be able to do business the way you did 5 years ago or 10 years ago ever again. Life on the other side will be permanently different in ways only intuitive thinking people can imagine.

The two most expensive items we buy are cars and houses. Cars will be made different and houses will be bought, sold and priced different this year and forever. Don’t assume everything else will remain the same.

Don’t believe me? I learned to drive in 1972. The next year we suffered through a recession brought on by the “Arab oil embargo.”  After that, fuel prices increased drastically – and we never bought gasoline the same way again. We learned the phrase, “Self service pumps.”

Remember going to the airport to pick up someone and standing at the gate to greet them? After 9/11, we never traveled the same way again.

After today banks won’t ever sell mortgages the way they did; construction companies will bid differently and build differently; news media delivery will continue to change; and health care distribution will be forever changed.

What is changing in your business and how can you capitalize on the changes and meet un-met needs like no one else?

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October 2012


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