Leadership, Marketing & Sales, Strategy & Execution

BREXIT reloaded! Or: Marketing really works!

A few days ago, I found this interesting chart in the magazine “The Economist”, which clearly shows (if we believe the data) that the entire topic of a problem between the EU and Great Britain was made up.

I find this amazing: until the campaign started, around just 90 percent of the population couldn’t care less. Only with the campaign, the percentage went up to to the amount they needed to get the vote to leave the European Union. 

I think there are some important lessons to learn for your internal communication and your marketing.

Regardless of if you want to launch a new product or get your staff members behind your new strategic initiative, here are the steps to follow: 

  1. Identify emotional hooks that people strongly connect to. I recommend identifying two or three of the seven human drives (email me if you want to learn more about them) that you can use for your purposes. Does your product or initiative increase the feeling of belonging? Does it grow individual significance? Or give room for creativity? Whatever you choose, build a very strong positive connection to your cause.
  2. Create stories. Lots of them. People love stories (even those who say they don’t!). Use the classical storytelling frameworks with a hero, victims, evil, the good, a hopeless situation, and a possible victory against all the odds. You find this over the top? I can say just one thing: It works!
  3. Relentlessly nurture the emotional hooks from step #1. Find ambassadors, create studies that prove your point, and so on.

Most strategic initiatives and change projects fail exactly because the initiative owners do NOT follow these three steps.

Next time, for any change: try it out. If you feel too uncomfortable, get a sparring partner.

Only a few days until the official launch of my new program “100 Day Success Challenge”. Stay tuned for special offers and bonuses. 

Friday noon memo, Personal development

Things to remember

Every now and again, I think we should remember where we truly are, what we have achieved and what we still should improve. In the daily routines of never ending news, demands and requests, we tend to forget our true situation and our endless opportunities. 

Here are 7 reminders, purposefully published around Christmas, a time to traditionally stop for a moment and reflect.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
  1. Overall, we live in the best world ever. Almost all indicators for our health, wellbeing, safety, life expectancy, etc. go up constantly (see graph). This truth contradicts the flood of negative news reaching us each and every minute. I’m not denying all the tragedy that is actually happening; however, there has never been a better time in history.
  2. Each of us can change a lot. Yes, we are powerful beyond belief, and today we have more means than ever to make this world a better place. You can reach millions of people in a heartbeat. Each of us in this part of the world can publish books, can speak up, can DO something. How have you made this world better this year?
  3. You are a role model. Yes, each of us acts as a role model for others, whether you like it or not. Which standards do you want to demonstrate to others? It’s always your choice.
  4. Productivity is a duty. I assume you want to do good things, so it’s best you do as much of them as possible. There is nothing brave in wasting time and not being as productive as possible.
  5. We have access to more knowledge than ever in history. Make use of it! Each day, learn and apply. Don’t wait for somebody telling you what to learn. Go ahead and feed your brain! Each day.
  6. We become what we do repeatedly. It’s best you choose habits that positively define you.
  7. Our life is short and limited. It’s best you start doing something meaningful today. “Someday” equals “never”.

Thank you for being a member of my community. I wish you and your beloved ones Happy Holidays!

Culture & Enthusiasm, Friday noon memo, Leadership

Why Mother Teresa and Donald Trump are similar

Yes, I admit that sometimes I choose provocative headlines to grab attention. In fact, what I’m going to write about today has not so much to do with Mother Teresa and not even with Donald Trump. However, there is an interesting connection that you might not think about at first glance, and this connection can be of benefit for your life and business career. 

OK, let’s get to the point: I’m talking about success principles. Both of these iconic leaders (in one or another sense, I am not judging) share the same principles that have made them successful.

The thing is this: If you apply the same principles in your life and in your business, you will increase the likelihood and the scale of your success. 

What is important to understand is that people and businesses are not primarily successful because of WHAT they do, but rather HOW they do it (and even more WHY they do it). 

So, what are the key success principles that both Mother Teresa and Donald Trump share and which you should apply as well? Here we go: 

  1. Clear communication. Both leaders understood or understand how to talk so that people clearly understand their message. Undoubtedly, both would not have a number of followers even close to the actual amount they have if they hadn’t understood how to communicate effectively. Action tip: make your communication clear and crisp. Use images and metaphors. Speak to people with only one goal: that they understand and follow you.
  2. A clear stand. We can argue about their morals or even ethics, however both leaders took or do take a very clear stand in terms of their personality. We know what kind of person Donald Trump is, and so too Mother Teresa. Action tip: write down three characteristics that people should know you for. Then, align your actions accordingly.
  3. Use of media. It is not impossible yet much harder if you deny the use of effective media to get your message spread. If you have ethical goals I would argue that it is even your duty to make yourself heard to make this world a better place (or at least your business). Action tip: study which media you can use more effectively within and outside your organization.

These are all points that you can apply much more effectively with a sparring partner or experienced coach by your side. Click here to find out more about my Leadership & Performance Coaching. 

Friday noon memo, Leadership

Become a true model (like Donald Trump … or rather not)!

Last week I had written about Donald Trump and why he is elected by people at all. I also mentioned why this knowledge is tremendously important for your leadership in business.

Today, as promised, I will give you three tips on how you can become–to the advantage of your business–a role model for others to emulate (no, you do NOT have to become like Donald Trump!).

These points may seem simple to you, but ask yourself: to what extent do you actually implement them? According to my observation, very few people do that.

Step out of your comfort zone and become your best self, become a role model. Give other people reasons to admire you!

Here are 3 steps to take:

  1. Take a clear standpoint! Yes, this is a huge shortfall in so many companies. What exactly does the management and the CEO stand for? And what do they not stand for? The good news is that this can be trained! My tip: Train the clarity of your standpoint with a coach.
  2. Communicate clearly! Also such an important aspect which is very much ignored. I often get the impression that executives themselves only partially understand exactly what they want to convey with what they say. Take a training for that (yes, you probably need a coach for that too)! 
  3. Make decisions and stick to it!  Oh, that is, in principle, so simple – and yet it is one of the largest shortcomings that I see in leadership in almost all companies. The damage goes far beyond the effects of decision not taken: they radiate uncertainty with every delayed or unimplemented decision. Who wants to be insecure? Certainly, you cannot act as a role model.

These are important aspects for your success as a person and in business. I am almost always heartbroken when I see that managers do not seriously address their deficits.

Yes, and for the most part you need a coach, whether you like it or not. Yet, no one hardly ever changed their own deeply rooted behavioral patterns without external help.

Click here if you are interested in a conversation about coaching. After this, we will decide what next steps to take.

Friday noon memo, Marketing & Sales

Stop finding new customers!

Chasing the customer ...
Chasing the customer …

Yes, I know the headline is slightly provocative, but I want to make an important point:

Most businesses spend by far too much time acquiring new customers instead of selling to their existing customer base. 

Here are some disturbing numbers from a recent article from Customer Experience Thought Leader Colin Shaw: 

  • “The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%.”
  • “It costs 6-7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.”
  • “A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.”

The point is this:

If you just double your effectiveness in marketing and selling to your existing customer base, instead of investing more money and resources into acquiring new customers, your business will become more profitable with no doubt. 

Here are 3 ideas covering how you can do this: 

  1. Collect your customer data in a single system. This sounds so simple and yet, most SMBs have a hard time following this. Many do not even collect customer data at all, including hotels, restaurants, transpiration services, and the like. And those that do it often have the customer data distributed all over the organization, instead of in one place. By the way, simple CRM systems start at just $50-100 per month.
  2. Contact all past prospects and customers at least once per quarter, but better more often. Important: always provide value and forget the “corporate newsletter”.
  3. Do everything to keep customers. More often than not, organizations could not care less if a customer is leaving. I experienced this more times than I can even remember: I cancel my services, and then: nothing! No question, no attempt, nothing! I’m gone, and they try to generate new customers. What an amazing waste of resources and money!

These are only three ideas to make your business more successful. If you are serious about profitable growth, then we should discuss my Mentoring Program. Click here.