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Better Business Focus

Better Business Focus

August 2012

Expert inspiration for a Better Business

August 2012

“The Business Magazine that Business Owners and Managers love to read because it’s immeasurably valuable for those who really want to succeed� Better Business Focus is the essential key for business owners and managers. It achieves that by focusing on the way in which successful businesses compete and manage their organisations. It focuses on how people are recruited, coached and developed; on how marketing and selling is undertaken in 0 professional markets as well as in markets with intense competition; on how technology and the Internet is reshaping the face of domestic and home business; and on how people are being equipped with new skills and techniques. In short, it offers expert inspiration for a better business.


Better Business Focus

August 2012

This Month’s Articles: 2 4 5 6 8 9 10 11 12 14 16 18 19 20 21 23 25 26 28 30 31 32 34

The Seven Rules of Service Leadership By Ron Kaufman The Problem With Service Today By Ron Kaufman The Customer is King By Ron Kaufman Nine Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People By Jeff Haden 3 Classic Follow Up Mistakes Most People Make With Their Sales Calls By Andy Preston Board Meetings: Warning Signs and Pitfalls to Avoid By Paul Chapman Why Postcard Marketing Works So Well In The Internet Age By Bob Leduc Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace You can do it with these 5 savvy internet marketing strategies By Brian Halligan Managing Expectations By Barry Urquhart Who are a Company’s Most Important Stakeholders? Whose needs to you serve first? By Paul Sloane Getting Business To Come To You By Ashley Latter What Can You Learn From a Group of Farm Retailers? By John Stanley Turning your Marketing Weaknesses into Strengths By Paul Sloane Managing an Acquirer’s Emotions By Mike Robson The Power Behind A Smile By Laurence Winmill Rethinking Leadership For Innovation… By Cris Beswick Turn Your Marketing Pieces into Marketing Masterpieces Five Simple but Essential Design Techniques By Karen Saunders Sentiments Are Not Sentimental By Barry Urquhart Now That I Know My Advertising ROI, How Do I Improve It? By Rob Garibay The Personal Touch: How raising your profile can improve your PR By Dee Blick Five Tips for Delivering Excellent Customer Service By Sarah Cook Why You Should Not Sell Benefits By Grant Leboff Small Business, Big Vision FSB, the UK’s leading business organisation for small and medium sized businesses, owes a lot to Norman Small By Mike Southon

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Better Business Focus

August 2012

The Seven Rules of Service Leadership By Ron Kaufman (Author & Founder, UP! Your Service)

This article is another exclusive excerpt from Ron's book: Uplifting Service - The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues & Everyone Else You Meet. In my experience working with leaders of many of the world’s outstanding service organizations, I’ve discovered seven essential rules these leaders always follow. Some leverage the power of one rule more than another, and you may do the same. But, each of these rules are essential to lead your team to success.

Rule #1: Declare Service a Top Priority Declaring service a top priority means senior leaders understand that focusing on service improvement leads to commercial results. Profit is the applause you get for serving your customers well. You can declare service a top priority by putting it first on the agenda. You can declare service as a top priority to your customers and your colleagues, in your speaking, writing, meetings, advertising, websites, newsletters, blog posts, video clips, workshops, and in your daily actions.

This article is about… Seven rules on the importance of customer service

Rule #2: Be a Great Role Model Leaders are the people who others choose to follow, not those who simply tell other people what to do. By their own example, leaders inspire others to want to do what they do, too. Your team members notice every consistency and every

contradiction. You can’t ask your team to respond quickly to customers if your own meetings never start on time. You can’t ask for great organization and housekeeping if your own office is a mess. You can’t ask your people to be polite and gracious if you swear with impunity behind closed doors. You can’t ask your team to provide uplifting service if you don’t serve them with passion as an uplifting service leader.

Rule #3: Promote a Common Service Language Everyone talks about better service from a perspective that makes perfect sense to them. What’s missing is a common language to enable listening and understanding; clear distinctions to appreciate what other people want and value. To build a culture of uplifting service throughout an organization, leaders must promote a common service language everyone can apply. Asking your team to upgrade service without enabling language is unwise and insufficient. Giving them a common service language but not using it yourself would be foolish. If you want everyone on your team to deliver uplifting service, you must speak fluently and frequently about it. “Walking the talk” and “talking the talk” go hand in hand together.

Rule #4: Measure What Really Matters Many people get confused when it comes to measuring service. This is understandable, because you can measure so many things. A service leader cuts through this confusion to measure what really matters. Too many executives closely follow the ultimate objectives and wonder how to get better results. Uplifting service leaders are closer

to the action; they know the bullseye to hit and the needle to move are where their people are working with customers and colleagues each day. They measure what really matters from the bottom up: new learning about service, new ideas to serve other people better, new actions to create greater value.

Rule #5: Empower Your Team Empowerment is a buzzword in business, and many leaders and employees seem to fear it. What they really fear is someone who is empowered making a bad decision. If a leader is not confident in her people, she doesn’t want to empower them with authority or budget. If an employee is not confident in his abilities and decisions, he often does not want the responsibility of being empowered. In both cases, what’s missing is not empowerment, but the coaching, mentoring, and encouraging that must go with it. If you knew your people would make good decisions, you would be glad to give them the authority to do so. And if they are confident that they will make good decisions, they will be eager to have this freedom. Empowering others cannot and should not be decoupled from the responsibility to properly enable those you empower.

Rule #6: Remove the Roadblocks to Better Service Most frontline staff members are taught to follow policies and procedures. Often they are hesitant to “break the rules.” Yet some rules should be broken, changed, or at least seriously bent from time to time. What roadblocks to better service lurk inside your

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Better Business Focus

August 2012

organization? What gets in your people’s way? What slows them down? What prevents them from taking better care of your customers? What stops them from helping their colleagues? Service leaders ask these questions and remove the roadblocks they uncover.

Rule #7: Sustain Focus and Enthusiasm It’s not difficult to declare service as a top priority, what’s challenging is keeping service top of mind when other issues clamour for attention. Sustaining focus and enthusiasm for service is vital when building an uplifting service culture, and the world leaders seize every opportunity. Sustaining focus and enthusiasm is critical—in business, in life, and in service. This is not something leaders should view as a softer-rule, or one that can be delegated to others.

© Copyright, Ron Kaufman, used with permission About the Author Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the best- selling book, “UP Your Service!” and the FREE monthly newsletter, “The Best of Active Learning!” For more information and FREE copy of the newsletter, visit: www.RonKaufman.com Recently, he unveiled his most comprehensive work to date: "UPLIFTING SERVICE: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues and Everyone Else You Meet" Co-ordinates Ron Kaufman - Active Learning! 50 Bayshore Park #31-01, Aquamarine Tower, Singapore 469977 Tel: (0065) 6441-2760 Fax: (0065) 6444-8292 E-mail: Ron@RonKaufman.com Web: www.RonKaufman.com

Fun With English Words • Cabbaged and fabaceae, each eight letters long, are the longest words that can be played on a musical instrument. • Aegilops, eight letters long, is the longest word whose letters are arranged in alphabetical order. Seven letter words with this property include beefily and billowy. • Spoonfeed, nine letters long, is the longest word whose letters are arranged in reverse alphabetical order. • Cimicic and Cimicid, each seven letters long, are the longest words that are exclusively made up of Roman Numerals. • Nonsupports which is eleven letters long, is the longest word in the English language made up of only letters in the second half of the alphabet. • Overnumerousnesses, eighteen letters long, is the longest English word that consists of only letters that lack ascenders, descenders, and dots in lower case. • Gyp and gyppy are the only English words that consist entirely of letters with descenders in lower case. • Honorificabilitudinitatibus, 27 letters long, is the longest English word consisting strictly of alterating consonants and vowels. • Dermatoglyphics, misconjugatedly, and uncopyrightable, each fifteen letters long, are the longest English words in which no letter appears more than once. • Esophagographers and unprosperousness, each sixteen letters long, are the longest English words in which each of their letters occurs at least twice. • Esophagographers, sixteen letters long, is the longest English word in which each of its letters occurs exactly twice. • Sestettes is a word in which each of its letters occurs three times. • The word chincherinchee is the only known English word which has one letter occurring once, two letters occurring twice, and three letters occurring three times. • Ultrarevolutionaries is a word in which each of the five main vowels occurs twice. • Eunoia, six letters long, is the shortest word in the English language that contains all five main vowels. • Caesious, eight letters long, is the shortest word in the English language that contains all five main vowels in alphabetical order. • Suoidea, seven letters long, is the shortest word in the English language that contains all five main vowels in reverse alphabetical order. Other words with this property are scarce; they include the ten letter words duoliteral and unoriental, the fourteen letter word subcontinental, and the fifteen letter words neuroepithelial and uncomplimentary. • Facetiously, eleven letters long, is the shortest word in the English language that contains all six vowels in alphabetical order. A twelve letter word with this property is abstemiously. • Twyndyllyngs, twelve letters long, is the longest word in the English language without any of the five main vowels. • Strengths, nine letters long, is the longest word in the English language with only one vowel. • Strengthlessnesses, eighteen letters long, is the longest word in the English language with only one vowel repeated. A seventeen letter word with this property is defenselessnesses. • Euouae, six letters long, is the longest English word consisting only of vowels, and, also, the English word with the most consecutive vowels. • Archchronicler, catchphrase, eschscholtzia, latchstring, lengthsman, and postphthisic each have six consonants in a row. • Hotshots consists of the same four letters repeated. There are other eight letter words with this property, but none are common: beriberi, caracara, chowchow, couscous, froufrou, greegree, guitguit, kavakava, lavalava, mahimahi, and matamata. • Abcaree, abchalazal, abcoulomb, crabcake, and drabcloth are among the only words in the English language that contain "abc." • Hydroxyzine is the only word in the English language that contains "xyz." • The longest alphabetic sequences to appear in English words are "mnop" and "rstu. Mnop appears in such words as gymnopaedic, gymnophiona, gymnoplast, limnophilous, prumnopitys, semnopithecus, somnopathy, and thamnophile. Rstu appears in such words as overstudy, overstuff, superstud, and understudy. • You and ewe are pronounced the same but share no letters in common. Eye and I is another such pair. Oh and eau is yet another. • Subbookkeeper is the only English word with four pairs of double letters in a row. • Assessee and keelless are the shortest words with three pairs of double letters. Cooee is the shortest word with two double letters. • Only a few words (not counting three letter words) start with the same three letters they end with. They include: aftershaft, anticipant, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antiformant, antioxidant, antiperspirant, calendrical, entablement, entanglement, entertainment, enthrallment, enthralment, entrapment, hotshot, ingesting, ingratiating, ingrowing, ionization, microsomic, nicotinic, physiography, phytogeography, phytography, redeclared, respires, restores, restructures, tormentor, and underground. Source: http://www.rinkworks.com/words/oddities.shtml

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Better Business Focus

August 2012

The Problem With Service Today By Ron Kaufman (Author & Founder, UP! Your Service)

With service all around us, and so much a part of our daily lives, why aren’t we doing it better? Why is service in this abysmal state?

This article is another exclusive excerpt from Ron's book: Uplifting Service - The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues & Everyone Else You Meet. We are facing a crisis of service all over the world. Huge economies are transforming from manufacturing-based to servicebased at record speed, and our populations are largely unprepared. Customers are angry and complain to anyone who will listen. Service providers are irritated to the point of resentment and resignation. Countless organizations promise satisfaction to external customers, and then allow internal politics to frustrate their employees’ good intentions to deliver. And, our early educational systems don’t even recognize the subject of service as an area for serious study. Yes, we face a service crisis. But, how can that be?

This article is about… doing something positive about customer service.

Service is all around you; it’s everywhere you look and live. But still, there is a vast disconnect between the volume and the quality of service we experience every day. In fact, there is a twofold catastrophe in our lives that makes very little sense. First, individuals and organizations are unable to provide consistently satisfying service to customers, clients, and colleagues. And second, many service providers complain continuously about jobs they dislike.

Problem #1: Service is considered servile The word “serve” comes from the Latin word for “slave,” which is hardly an attractive proposition. On a wider commercial scale, it doesn’t help that the “customer service department” is often seen as a necessary evil. It’s the place people go only when things go wrong, where angry customers are seen and heard, and where costs are to be cut, contained, and attributed to other company functions. All of this is operationally, economically, and emotionally counter-productive. Numerous organizations and studies have proven that loyal customers are more profitable than customer churn, and that better service is a key to retaining your best customers. Plus, the positioning of superior service allows for higher pricing and margins, and shareholder value tends to grow in step with a company’s service reputation in the industry. With these benefits so recognized and clear, why is improving and sustaining terrific service so difficult to achieve? There is another problem.

Problem #2: The world of service is poorly mapped The world of service, and continuous service improvement, has no common language. The whole domain suffers from weak clichés, poor distinctions, and inaccurate common sense. “The customer is always right” is often wrong. “Go the extra mile” is bad advice when the client wants precise fulfillment of exactly what

was promised. “Serve others the way you would like to be served” is well-intentioned but misguided. Good service is not about you, it’s about what someone else prefers. The world of continuous service improvement – and building service culture – has also struggled with no proven way of working. We have suffered from the lack of actionable models, proven principles, and effective processes and frameworks to guide us safely along the way.

So, what’s the solution? First, we must transform the outdated view that service to others makes us subservient, subordinate, or servile. Service is taking action to create value for someone else. And that is the essence of every successful business, organization, and career. Uplifting service brings pride to service teams and increases service providers’ sense of fulfillment and satisfaction at work. Next, we need a proven path, a map and methodology that works with fundamental principles to apply in every service situation. We need practices that will consistently and reliably deliver service value in our professional and personal lives. We need a common service language to effectively communicate our visions, our expectations and our promises to each other. We need leaders who model service at every level of an organization. And, we need an architecture that helps any group of people engineer a self-sustaining culture of uplifting service. A passionate group of like-minded people with a plan and a commitment to action can and will transform our world. Imagine that world right now. Imagine a world where everyone is encouraged and encouraging.

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August 2012

Imagine a world where the common intention isn’t just to resolve problems, but to uplift and inspire others. Imagine a world where people measure their success by the responses they receive not by the actions they take. Imagine a workplace where tasks and projects aren’t considered complete until someone has been surprised or delighted. Imagine a world where people are committed to uplifting the spirit and practice of service because they really want to, not just because they were asked, ordered, or paid to. And finally, imagine an organization – your organization – truly uplifted, with every person fully engaged, encouraging each other, improving customer experience, making the company more successful, and contributing to the community at large.

The Customer is King We often hear ‘the customer is king’. I don’t believe it. First, many customers do not behave like kings. Some act more like ruffians than royalty. You might want to disregard this kind of customer altogether. But it’s tough to disregard a king. Second, in certain cultures, the king was revered but also feared. Hardly the best metaphor to bring closeness between your customers and your staff. Third, the idea of a king implies that everyone else is not. I don’t see the benefit of putting your customers on a throne if it means you and your team must live below them. Perhaps it makes more sense to say ‘the service provider is king’. I mean this in the most responsible way. A benevolent king once travelled his realm in the disguise of a common man. He went to see for himself the quality of life his people experienced each day. Upon his return he made the changes required. If the streets were dirty, he had them cleaned. If a government office was ineffective, he had it fixed. If the people lacked some important goods or service, he arranged for needed improvements.

Key learning point If you were the benevolent king or queen, reigning over your service domain, what changes would you make for the better?

Royal action steps © Copyright, Ron Kaufman, used with permission About the Author Ron Kaufman is an internationally acclaimed innovator and motivator for partnerships and quality service. He is the author of the best- selling book, “UP Your Service!” and the FREE monthly newsletter, “The Best of Active Learning!” For more information and FREE copy of the newsletter, visit: www.RonKaufman.com Recently, he unveiled his most comprehensive work to date: "UPLIFTING SERVICE: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues and Everyone Else You Meet" Co-ordinates Ron Kaufman - Active Learning! 50 Bayshore Park #31-01, Aquamarine Tower, Singapore 469977 Tel: (0065) 6441-2760 Fax: (0065) 6444-8292 E-mail: Ron@RonKaufman.com Web: www.RonKaufman.com

Search your organisation in the disguise of a common customer. Visit your company website. If it’s slow or confusing, get it fixed. Call your service department. If the help is not personal and pleasant, make it so. Access your information hotline. If you find a telephone tree more frustrating than functional, take out your royal shears and prune it. © Copyright, Ron Kaufman, used with permission

Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.

The goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. Sam Walton

Peter Drucker

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Better Business Focus

August 2012

Nine Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People By Jeff Haden (originally published by Inc.com)

The most successful people in business approach their work differently than most. See how they think - and why it works. I'm fortunate enough to know a number of remarkably successful people. Regardless of industry or profession, they all share the same perspectives and beliefs. And they act on those beliefs:

1. Time doesn't fill me. I fill time Deadlines and time frames establish parameters, but typically not in a good way. The average person who is given two weeks to complete a task will instinctively adjust his effort so it actually takes two weeks. Forget deadlines, at least as a way to manage your activity. Tasks should only take as long as they need to take. Do everything as quickly and effectively as you can. Then use your "free" time to get other things done just as quickly and effectively. Average people allow time to impose its will on them; remarkable people impose their will on their time.

2. The people around me are the people I chose

This article is about… the way successful people share the same perspectives and beliefs.

Some of your employees drive you nuts. Some of your customers are obnoxious. Some of your friends are selfish, all-about-me jerks. You chose them. If the people around you make you unhappy it's not their fault. It's your fault. They're in your professional or personal life because you drew them to you - and you let them remain.

Think about the type of people you want to work with. Think about the types of customers you would enjoy serving. Think about the friends you want to have. Then change what you do so you can start attracting those people. Hardworking people want to work with hardworking people. Kind people like to associate with kind people. Remarkable employees want to work for remarkable bosses. Successful people are naturally drawn to successful people.

3. I have never paid my dues Dues aren't paid, past tense. Dues get paid, each and every day. The only real measure of your value is the tangible contribution you make on a daily basis. No matter what you've done or accomplished in the past, you're never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and do the grunt work. No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring. Remarkably successful people never feel entitled - except to the fruits of their labor.

4. Experience is irrelevant Accomplishments are everything. You have "10 years in the Web design business." Whoopee. I don't care how long you've been doing what you do. Years of service indicate nothing; you could be the worst 10-year programmer in the world. I care about what you've done: how many sites you've created, how many back-end systems you've installed, how many customer-specific applications you've developed (and what kind)... all that matters is what you've done.

“No matter what you've done or accomplished in the past, you're never too good to roll up your sleeves, get dirty, and do the grunt work. No job is ever too menial, no task ever too unskilled or boring. Remarkably successful people never feel entitled - except to the fruits of their labor.“ Successful people don't need to describe themselves using hyperbolic adjectives like passionate, innovative, driven, etc. They can just describe, hopefully in a humble way, what they've done.

5. Failure is something I accomplish; it doesn't just happen to me Ask people why they have been successful. Their answers will be filled with personal pronouns: I, me, and the sometimes too occasional we. Ask them why they failed. Most will revert to childhood and instinctively distance themselves, like the kid who says, "My toy got broken..." instead of, "I broke my toy." They'll say the economy tanked. They'll say the market wasn't ready. They'll say their suppliers couldn't keep up. They'll say it was someone or something else. And by distancing themselves, they don't learn from their failures. Occasionally, something completely outside your control will cause you to fail. Most of the time, though, it's you. And that's okay. Every successful person has failed. Numerous times. Most of them have failed a lot more often than you. That's why they're successful now.

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Embrace every failure: Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.

6. Volunteers always win Whenever you raise your hand you wind up being asked to do more. That's great. Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships - to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do. Success is based on action. The more you volunteer, the more you get to act. Successful people step forward to create opportunities. Remarkably successful people sprint forward.

7. As long as I'm paid well, it's all good Specialization is good. Focus is good. Finding a niche is good. Generating revenue is great. Anything a customer will pay you a reasonable price to do - as long as it isn't unethical, immoral, or illegal - is something you should do. Your customers want you to deliver outside your normal territory? If they'll pay you for it, fine. They want you to add services you don't normally include? If they'll pay you for it, fine. The customer wants you to perform some relatively manual labor and you're a high-tech shop? Shut up, roll 'em up, do the work, and get paid. Only do what you want to do and you might build an okay business. Be willing to do what customers want you to do and you can build a successful business. Be willing to do even more and you can build a remarkable business. And speaking of customers...

8. People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do Get over your cocky, pretentious, I-must-be-free-to-express-myindividuality self. Be that way on your own time. The people who pay you, whether customers or employers, earn the right to dictate what you do and how you do it - sometimes down to the last detail. Instead of complaining, work to align what you like to do with what the people who pay you want you to do. Then you turn issues like control and micro-management into nonissues.

9. The extra mile is a vast, unpopulated wasteland Everyone says they go the extra mile. Almost no one actually does. Most people who go there think, "Wait... no one else is here... why am I doing this?" and leave, never to return.

About the Author Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry from forklift driver to manager of a 250-employee book plant. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest innovators and leaders he knows in business. He has written more than 30 nonfiction books, including four Business and Investing titles that reached #1 on Amazon's bestseller list. He'd tell you which ones, but then he'd have to kill you. Co-ordinates Mail: BlackBird Media, Inc. 1866-C East Market Street Box 330, Harrisonburg, VA 22801, USA Tel: (001) 540-433-5252 Web: http://www.blackbirdinc.com/ Follow him on Twitter at @Jeff_Haden

That's why the extra mile is such a lonely place. That's also why the extra mile is a place filled with opportunities. Be early. Stay late. Make the extra phone call. Send the extra email. Do the extra research. Help a customer unload or unpack a shipment. Don't wait to be asked; offer. Don't just tell employees what to do - show them what to do and work beside them. Every time you do something, think of one extra thing you can do - especially if other people aren't doing that one thing. Sure, it's hard. But that's what will make you different. And over time, that's what will make you incredibly successful. Š Copyright, Jeff Haden

Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine. David Ogilvy

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. Douglas Adams

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August 2012

3 Classic Follow Up Mistakes Most People Make With Their Sales Calls By Andy Preston

Here’s the challenge: you’ve spoken to a potential client in the past, and now they’ve come up again in your follow up list. Now, depending on the quality of your follow up call, the opportunity for you to do business can be won or lost at this point. Which puts a lot of pressure on you for this call, doesn’t it? It won’t surprise you to learn that the majority of follow up calls that I hear made are fairly poor so here are a few mistakes you need to avoid, in order to get more business from your calls.

Mistake Number 1 – Being Desperate and Lying Now I know we’re in sales, or have to do sales as part of our role, and sometimes we may have to bend the truth a little on occasion, but I’m not sure that outright lying helps our cause as a professional, trying to build profitable business relationships. An example of a call I heard made earlier this month went like this: “Hello Mr X, we spoke 3 months ago and you asked me to call back today to make an appointment with you”. Why was this so bad? Not only because the potential client hadn’t said anything of the sort, but also because the salesperson had never even spoken to the client before! This article is about… the mistakes to avoid when making follow up phone calls,

What could that potentially do to your credibility in the eyes of the potential client, and, if you’re speaking to a decision maker with any level of authority, expect to be challenged on it quite strongly with something like “No we did not” or “I don’t remember that” – leading to either an argument or a rapid climbdown on your part – and probably the end of the call.

Now whilst the above statement by the salesperson is quite unusual, it does have a similar, more common cousin – the “Hi we spoke 3 months ago and you asked me to call you back today”. Usually said by salespeople who are desperate and don’t have a better opening statement or in their misguided belief that lying will help get them rapport with the decision maker – not likely!

or without a defined outcome. What kind of impact do you think that has on the potential success of their next call?

Mistake Number 2 – Talking About Literature or Emails

If you’re like most people, of course you have! One of the reasons for this cherry-picking is that you know you got nothing from the call last time and you’re worried that the same will happen this time and you’ll ruin the prospect.

The biggest mistake I see most people make when they follow up literature or an email is when they say something like: “Hi Andy, it’s Fred from XYZ company, we recently sent you some literature. I’m just calling up to make sure you received it.” Let’s think about this for a minute. What are the two most likely responses from a decision maker that you don’t have that much rapport with? Something like “No I didn’t, would you please go through the same rigmarole again, just for my amusement?” Or how about the other option: “Yes I did, and I’ve got all the information I need right now, thank you”. Where on earth are you going to take the call now? Even if you’ve sent literature and been lucky enough to get the decision maker to take the call you run the risk of the call being very short, with another call back scheduled for a later point in time, but without having moved forwards with the prospect in any way.

Mistake Number 3 – Having Endless Call-Backs This is another big mistake that many people make without even realising it. Far too many salespeople either end their previous call badly

How do you think this affects your attitude when the call comes up in your call back list? Might the fact you got nothing from the first call and the person won’t even remember you in some cases play on your mind a little?

Also, because your attitude has been affected, might that affect your confidence in making the follow up call a little? Perhaps less likely to handle objections well and give up too easily? You bet! Therefore, most follow up calls start something like this: “Hello Mr X, we spoke about 3 months ago about you xyz and I was just calling to see how things are going for you at the moment”. Awful! Let’s imagine you were the senior decision maker you were trying to reach with that statement. What would you think of a call like that, that interrupted you doing whatever you were doing to take the call? That it has real importance and value for your business? Or that it’s pretty much a waste of your time, exactly like most of the other calls you receive on a day-to-day basis? My guess is for the second one. Is it any wonder that the response decision makers give to that sort of opening is something like “Things are fine. What do you want?” Now we’re under even more pressure,

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aren’t we, and it’s pretty hard to rescue the call from here. So, if you’re about to do a follow up call session, or try and reach people you’ve spoken to in the past, make sure you don’t make any of the mistakes shown above and you’ll have far greater successes with your calls! © Copyright, Andy Preston About the Author Andy Preston is recognised worldwide as the Leading Authority on Cold Calling and ‘New Business’ Sales Techniques, and is the creator of ‘Stand Out Selling’ – a sales method that allows you to stand out from your competition, win more business, and do so – even when you’re a higher price! With a background as a professional buyer, a top-selling salesperson and for the last 7 years a sales motivator, professional speaker and sales training expert, working with Andy Preston is guaranteed to improve your sales results! Companies like IBM, Nissan, HSBC and Target 250 turn to Andy when they want to improve their sales performance – will you do the same? Co-ordinates Mail: Andy Preston Ltd Houldsworth Business Centre Houldsworth Mill Houldsworth Street Stockport, SK5 6DA, UK Tel: +44 (0) 161 401 0142 Web: http://www.andypreston.com LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/andypreston Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/AndyPreston

Board Meetings: Warning Signs and Pitfalls to Avoid By Paul Chapman

The board meeting should be the place for considered discussion of where the company is now, and where it is going. This needs a clear mind, a primary focus on the big issues, good information and time for board members to think and discuss. Frequently, however, meetings are dominated by discussions and details that should be tackled elsewhere. Symptoms of a poor board meeting include: • Not reaching decisions • Friction • Rehearsing old arguments in the meeting • Not having the full facts to make a decision • Flavour of the month attitude to ideas • Backward looking • The wrong environment – e.g. The MD always makes the decisions anyway – no point contributing • Inaccurate, incomplete or out-of-date information • We have not launched a new product or service for years • Our staff don’t understand or communicate our vision effectively • Board meetings are boring • We are always unprepared • The same old ideas come out

12 pitfalls a board should avoid A board is responsible for the sustainable success of the organisation but in most companies the majority, if not all, of the board members also have management responsibilities. The challenge is to do both well! Common issues are: • A lack of strategic focus • The board gets wrapped up in the minutiae • Lack of board meeting structure - an ineffective chair • Not using numbers – for results and for forecasting • Backward looking not focused forward • Too much time spent on next month rather than next year • Getting involved in day-to-day management of the company - this may be necessary, but not in board meetings • Not having the necessary breadth of expertise - e.g. strategy, marketing, sales, finance, people • Lack of drive or commitment – if your board meeting is boring you are doing something wrong! • Bickering – a focus on personalities rather than the business • Not holding board members and management to account – failure to deal with underperformance • Group think – a lack of intellectual challenge means we stay in our comfort zones If your board meetings or activities display 2 or more of the following you need to take action. © Copyright, Paul Chapman

One of the great mistakes is to judge politicians and programmes by their intentions rather than their results. Milton Freedman, economist

About the Author Paul Chapman had over 20 years’ experience of marketing, sales and general management in the UK, Europe, USA and the Far East in both blue chip and early stage companies. He held managing director and marketing / sales director positions in 3 very high growth companies. He has experienced an IPO on NASDAQ, is a member of the Institute of Directors and has been a company mentor with the Universities of Southampton and Surrey. He joined the Azure Partners board in 2004. Co-ordinates Mail: Azure Partners, New Broad Street House, 35 New Broad Street. London, EC2M 1NH, UK Tel: (UK) 0207 100 1233 E-mail: paul.chapman@azurepartners.co.uk Web: www.azurepartners.co.uk

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Why Postcard Marketing Works So Well In The Internet Age By Bob Leduc

You may be surprised to know that postcards produce better results today than they did before the development of the Internet. There are 7 major reasons why this is happening. 1. Postcards Use A Modern Communication Style A postcard delivers information the way people want to get it today. It arrives open and ready to read. The message it contains is always brief because there's not a lot of space for it. Therefore, a postcard is quick to read and easy to comprehend.

2. Postcards Have High Impact It's hard to ignore a postcard even if the reader is sorting their mail over a trashcan and discarding everything that looks like advertising. An attractive postcard with an eye-catching benefit statement will be read by almost 100 percent of the people who get it... and anyone else who happens to see it.

3. Marketing With Postcards Saves Money Postcards are small. Therefore, it doesn't cost much for printing. You can even do the printing yourself with your own computer to reduce the cost to about a penny each. This article is about‌ using postcards as part of your marketing plan.

More importantly, you can send postcards by First Class Mail in the US for 1/3 less than other types of First Class mail. Currently, the First Class postage for postcards is 27 cents... if you make their size between 3 1/2 by 5 inches and 4 1/4 by 6 inches.

4. Marketing With Postcards Saves Time Because postcards are small, it doesn't take much time to develop a sales message for them, complete the printing and get them out in the mail. It's not unusual to see results from postcards within a week of deciding to use them.

5. Postcard Marketing Is Easy You don't need any special knowledge or skill to develop a successful postcard marketing campaign - even if you decide to do everything yourself and print them with your own computer to save money. Tip: Don't try to put a complete sales presentation on a postcard. There's not enough space for that. Instead, just list 1 or 2 major benefits to arouse the reader's interest. Then direct them to do something to get more information. For example, go to your website where they can get more details ...and where you can close the sale.

7. Postcards Are Personal People are used to getting postcards from friends and relatives. It's something they enjoy. Take advantage of this. Don't design your postcard to look like a magazine ad. Instead, design it to look at first glance like a message from a friend. You're not doing this to deceive the reader. They will immediately recognize your postcard as advertising. But they will give it the same psychological reception they give to a personal message and that will produce significantly more replies for you. You're missing out on a major competitive advantage if you don't include postcards in your current marketing activity. Fortunately, it is a disadvantage you can quickly overcome. Š Copyright, Bob Leduc

Postcards are easily adaptable to any business. They work equally as well for selling either products or services.

About the Author Bob Leduc spent 20 years helping businesses like yours find new customers and increase sales. He just released a New Edition of his manual, How To Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards and several other publications to help small businesses grow and prosper.

They're also adaptable to any kind of marketing activity. You can use them to generate website traffic, develop sales leads, generate visits to a store, promote repeat sales or additional sales to current or previous customers, or ...well, you get the idea.

Co-ordinates For more information... Email: BobLeduc@aol.com Subject: "Postcards". Phone: (001) 702 658-1707 (After 10 AM Pacific time) Or write: Bob Leduc, PO Box 33628, Las Vegas, NV 89133, USA

6. Postcards Are Versatile

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Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace You can do it with these 5 savvy internet marketing strategies By Brian Halligan

The great thing about the internet is that it opens you up to huge numbers of potential customers, but it can also open you up to tons of potential competitors. Gone are the days when your business could be quietly unique in your local market; now, you have to be unique in the global market. The upside is that if you are truly unique, the internet can propel your growth and make life difficult for your potential competitors. In the era of the internet, the winner takes all - just ask the founders of eBay, Zappos.com, Amazon.com and Salesforce.com. So, how do you come up with a unique strategy? Here are 5 tips to help you think it through:

Skate To Where The Puck Is Going:

This article is about‌ five strategies to use to stand out from competitors.

appealed to geeks who could figure out how to get music on them, Apple made a far simpler device and focused on making the device easy to synchronize for a vast majority of people. By ignoring the established rules of the MP3 marketplace and focusing on alternatives, the folks at Apple were able to transform their company and our listening habits.

presence is a differentiated company stance paired with a remarkable marketing strategy. That strategy encompasses everything - laser-sighted content, smartly implemented SEO, ways to measure the results and a plan for optimizing the conversion rates from all your visitors.

Have a Narrow Focus:

About the Author Brian Halligan is CEO and cofounder of HubSpot, a marketing software company he set up to help businesses transform the way they market their products. Since its founding, HubSpot has accumulated over 6,000 customers. He is a Senior Lecturer at MIT where he teaches 15.S16 "Entrepreneurial Product Development and Marketing." He is the author of two books: Marketing Lessons From the Grateful Dead and Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs, which is in its seventh printing, has sold 50k copies, has been translated into nine languages, and peaked at #17 overall on the Amazon bestseller list. Brian was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 New England award recipient. In his spare time, he sits on a few boards of directors, follows his beloved Red Sox, goes to the gym, and is learning to play the guitar.

Because the internet is so vast, and you're competing with so many companies for attention, you're much better off with a narrow product focus rather than a broad one. A great example of that is Whole Foods. In the longstagnant grocery industry, Whole Foods is winning - even though it carries fewer products at higher prices - because of a strict focus on focused organic foods and sustainable farming practices.

As Wayne Gretzky famously explained his secret to success, so shall you design your strategy. Great companies recognize tectonic shifts in the marketplace and get there first. For example, the smart folks at Zipcar recognized that big sections of society were migrating into cities as their nests emptied or they stayed in cities after college - and that sharing cars might be a better option than owning. The company recently filed an IPO.

Polarize:

Innovate Across Boundaries:

Sometimes the best way to build a great company is to focus more on creating a unique business model and less on building a better mousetrap. What set Google apart was its auctionbased model for purchasing advertisements, as opposed to the standard impression-based model, the first step to a winning internet

It's hard, but try not to focus on existing competitors when coming up with your strategy. Instead, focus on alternatives to those competitors in the marketplace. A great example is Apple and the iPod: Rather than build yet another MP3 player that only

If you want to get attention, polarize your marketplace by taking a different stand. Salesforce.com famously stated that the era of software was over when the company was first founded. A small minority of people agreed, which was enough to get the ball rolling for a company that's now worth over $7 billion.

Focus Business Model, Not Product:

Š Copyright, Brian Halligan

Co-ordinates Mail: HubSpot, Inc. 25 First Street, 2nd Floor Cambridge, MA 02141, USA Tel: (001) 888-482-7768) Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/brianh alligan Web: http://www.hubspot.com Email: info@hubspot.com

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August 2012

Managing Expectations By Barry Urquhart

managing the expectations are advised in timely and appropriate ways of their roles and of the commitments given to customers.

Every prospective and existing customer and client arrives at the premises, on the telephone or online with expectations. These can be and are influenced, or indeed often determined in part or in whole, by past experiences, wordof-mouth references, advertising, website designs, literature, premises presentations, image, reputations and the attitudes of staff members. Achieving and sustaining satisfaction are functions of the consistency and continuity of the service provided. This can involve numerous people, departments and sections which contribute to the experiences encountered and, hopefully, enjoyed by the customers and clients. Among the consistently best service providing entities are those that embrace the “horizontal organisation” philosophy. In essence, the traditional pyramid organisation structure is turned on its side, and hierarchy or seniority have no consideration with individuals accepting and embracing responsibility and authority for ensuring customer satisfaction by managing their expectations.

This article is about… managing the expectations of customers.

Everyone is a nominal manager. No gaps are tolerated in service provision, authority, responsibility or communications. Reception, sales, service, production, logistics, credit and support people recognise, accept, embrace, endorse and celebrate their respective central and integral roles as team members charged with managing customer expectations. Care is taken to ensure that all relevant people who contribute to

Those expectations can and do include personal presentation, the standards applied to cleanliness, accuracy, timelines and the attitudes of team members. It is well to remember that the first person to interact with the expectant customer is seldom the last person in the organisation to do so. The expectations remain the same.

Expectations Challenge The overriding challenge for team members in pursuit of consistently meeting clients and customers’ expectations is to engage, commit and to develop sustainable mutually rewarding relationships. Each is largely founded on attitudes.

Face the Facts Fundamental to recognising, responding to and fulfilling expectations are the unimpeachable virtues of truth, facts, realism, information sharing and empowering clients and customers with attractive and viable choices. “Get the deal or contract on any basis” is now a redundant philosophy. It’s okay to say no, or to reset unreasonable and unachievable deadlines and benchmarks for delivery, price and service standards. Above all else it is logical, acceptable and to be applauded for one to make a profit. Being open, transparent and honest is greatly valued by customers. It meets their expectations. Most expect nothing less.

Analyse the Playing Field Many aspects and factors can and do contribute to the fulfilment and to the failure of meeting expectations.

Each service provider, team, section or department needs to recognise that they are, at one time or another, the axis or axle in a dynamic rotating wheel of service delivery. The spokes of that wheel are: • Culture • Structure • Geography • Sequential flow • Authority levels • Accountability • Responsiveness • Product knowledge Individually and collectively they need to be strong, consistent and complete. Otherwise the ride can be exceedingly bumpy, costly and involve considerable maintenance and remedial costs.

Communication Loop Not unsurprising is the reality that inadequacies in and among the communication channels, vehicles and communicators cause the greatest and most recurring deficiencies in meeting expectations. We need to enhance our communication skills, better use all available channels and be forever conscious of the need to avoid presumptions when dealing with customers. A lack of comprehension on the part of either party to a communication exchange creates filters, barriers, impediments and causes confusion, annoyance, frustration, misunderstanding and results in expectations not being understood or satisfied.

Costly Consequences The consequences of not fulfilling expectations can be quantified in terms of: • Productivity losses • Income sub-optimisation • Client satisfaction shortfalls • Relationship fractures • Lack of loyalty • Absences of referrals • Impaired company images

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Each can be and often is a heavy burden, whose presence is reflected on the bottom line... You can bank on it. Here is a sobering reality check. In dealings with external clients and customers one error, delay or fault typically has a cascading impact on between 5 and 7 people associated with or dependent upon that single direct client. Take pause. It is not difficult or very taxing to recognise and visualise that interdependent chain of relationships.

The next step to fulfilling expectations Asking questions of customers, clients and internal associate service providers is empowering, satisfying and reaffirming. It is the initial step to ensure that everyone knows and cares about what is expected of the company, the product, the service, the team and the individual. Four simple direct questions provide clarity. • Do you know what I have committed us to? • Do you understand what is expected of you? • Do you comprehend the priorities and timelines? • Are there any reasons we can’t fulfil the expectations? From there it is simply a matter of confirming the outcomes, following through, following up and celebrating the attainment and fulfilment of the expectations. Well done. Well managed. Expectations fulfilled. © Copyright, Barry Urquhart About the Author Barry Urquhart, Managing Director, Marketing Focus, Perth, is an inspiring speaker, author of Australia’s top two selling books on customer service and an international consultant on dynamic innovation and creativity. Barry is author of six books, including the two largest selling publications on service excellence in Australasia. His latest is: “Marketing Magic – Streetsmart Marketing”.

Barry is a regular commentator of consumer issues on ABC radio, is featured on a series of interview topics on “Today Tonight” and contributes articles to 47 magazines throughout the world. His latest presentation is: “Insights on ‘The Big Picture’ - Future-Proof Your Business”. He is one of Australia’s most active keynote speakers and is an internationally recognised authority on quality customer service, consumer behaviour and creative visual merchandising. Marketing Focus is a Perth based market research and strategic planning practice. The firm and Barry consult to multinational, national and local entities in the private sector and the public sector. He is a former lecturer in Marketing and Management at the Curtin University of Technology and has degrees in marketing, political science and sociology. Co-ordinates Mail: 26 Central Road, Kalamunda, Western Australia 6076 Tel - Office: 006 1089 257 1777 Tel - Mobile: 006 1041 983 5555 E-mail: Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au Website: www.marketingfocus.net.au

Jargon Busters Workplace Terms • Commute - This term literally means to travel back and forth to an employers' facility or permanent place of work. • Comparator - A legal term used in equal pay cases - another worker doing a comparable job. • Compassionate Leave - Leave which allows an employee to deal with a crisis in the family, normally the death of a family member. Compassionate leave may also cover a serious or incapacitating illness of a family member. • Compensation - An amount awarded by a court or tribunal to an employee for breach of contract or following injuries received or illness contracted whilst in the working environment; sometimes called damages. • Compensation Package - The combination of salary and fringe benefits an employer provides to an employee. When evaluating competing job offers, a jobseeker should consider the total package and not just salary. • Compensatory Award - A compensation for unfair dismissal award will be made up of a basic award and a compensatory award. This award is intended to compensate the employee for financial loss relating to the dismissal, including expenses and loss of benefits. The Tribunal may make deductions from the compensatory award for a range of reasons, including if they feel the employee contributed in some way to the dismissal. • Competence - A term used to describe the skills required in performing a job. • Competency Based Wages - Rates of pay which reflect the level of skill and competencies required in a job. • Competency Standards - National standards, which define the practical work skills, required for effective performance in the workplace.

Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.

• Compromise Agreement - A legally binding agreement to accept compensation from an employer instead of pursuing a tribunal case; it must be signed by a solicitor, a designated trade union officer or a designated advice bureau worker. Source: Bizezia’s Glossary of Workplace Terms is available through Bizezia’s Online Business Library, the UK’s leading online business library with 650+ self-branded publications. Visit: www.bizezia.com © Copyright 2012, Bizezia Ltd

Peter Drucker

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August 2012

Who are a Company’s Most Important Stakeholders? Whose needs do you serve first? By Paul Sloane

The CEO and his or her executive team have to satisfy and balance the demands of various parties. Sometimes these demands are in conflict and one has to be prioritized over another. So what is the pecking order among the company’s stakeholders? When it comes to the crunch whose needs should be met first? Here is a suggested order of preference. 1. Customers. Peter Drucker defined the purpose of a company as this; to create customers. Without customers the company cannot survive so in almost all situations the customer needs have to come first. The customer can always decide to to take his business to a competitor so it is essential that we continue to innovate, to offer good products and good value for money. 2. Employees. The employees are the ones who create and deliver the products or services that the customers consume. If we lose or antagonize our best employees then customer service will suffer so we need to look after them. If we want to attract and retain top talent at all levels then we have to offer terms and conditions that are attractive.

This article is about… recognising who the real stakeholders are for your business.

3. Shareholders. The shareholders own the company. They might well have put forward the seed capital which we need to get started so their needs are important. Ultimately the board, acting on behalf of the

shareholders, can replace the CEO and the executive team. However, provided we are broadly on plan in terms of revenues and profit the shareholders are generally satisfied and will leave us alone. They will only take action when things are going badly wrong so we do not need to always act to please them. 4. Suppliers, distributors and other business partners. We need to collaborate with our partners to run the business. Many have essential skills that we lack. It is best to build good long-term relationships. However, the partners also have their own agendas and most can be replaced if they underperform or a better partner appears. 5. The local community. We want to be a good citizen with healthy links to the local community. We want to be seen as a responsible employer who is providing a good place to work. This is important but is clearly a lower priority than those above. 6. National Government and regulatory authorities. These are less important stakeholders but we want to keep on the right side of them. We want to be compliant with regulations and avoid disputes and prosecutions. This order of priority will help us to resolve conflicts. E.g. • Should we hire cheaper staff to maximize profit even it if means poorer customer service? No; we should hire the best people we can afford

in order to deliver better customer service. It might hurt profit in the short term but should deliver better growth and profits long term. Should we arrange things so as to minimize corporation tax and thereby increase profit? The answer clearly is yes. The shareholders outrank the national government in priority. Should we lay off staff if we are in serious financial difficulty? If it is necessary for survival then we have to take the difficult step of making employees redundant. We cannot serve the customers if we cannot survive.

Difficulties surface when we alter the priority list, e.g. when we put the shareholders first and milk the business of profits. Or when the employees are seen as more important than the customers. We sometimes see this in some offices where staff are too busy with their own affairs to look after the customer. A big problem arises if item 2 on the list above is split and becomes 2a senior executives and 2b ordinary employees. This can lead to a situation where the executive team puts its own requirements first – especially in terms of bonus, stock options and other monetary rewards. We have seen recent examples of how divisive and provocative this can be. We want staff at all levels from the lowest to the most senior to act as a team, to be motivated and well rewarded – but not overpaid. If we overpay then we increase our cost base unnecessarily and put at risk price competitiveness in the marketplace and profitability.

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It is essential to strike the right balance between the needs of the different stakeholders, but some are more important than others. If we can be clear about priorities in advance then it will help us to resolve the tricky conflicts that will arise sooner or later. © Copyright, Paul Sloane About the Author Paul Sloane writes and speaks on innovation. He is the author of The Innovative Leader. www.destination-innovation.com Paul was part of the team which launched the IBM PC in the UK in 1981. He became MD of database company Ashton-Tate. In 1993 Paul joined MathSoft, publishers of mathematical software as VP International. He became CEO of Monactive, a British software company which publishes software asset management tools. In 2002, he founded his own company, Destination Innovation, which helps organisations improve innovation. He writes and speaks on lateral thinking and innovation. His latest book is The Leader’s Guide to Lateral Thinking Skills published by Kogan-Page. Co-ordinates Web: www.destinationinnovation.com E-mail: psloane@destinationinnovation.com Tel: +44 (0) 7831 112321

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program Small businesses and social enterprises play a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic growth in the United Kingdom. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK program is designed to provide high-quality, practical support to the owners and leaders of established small businesses and social enterprises as they seek to grow. The program is delivered through a network of local partners who combine relevant academic expertise and extensive experience working with the owners and leaders of small businesses. Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK is currently open to applications from small businesses and social enterprises in London, Midlands, North West of England and Yorkshire. How It Works The program brings together leaders of small businesses from across industry sectors and creates unique networking and peer learning opportunities. For those small business leaders selected to participate, the core of the program is a high quality, practically-focused business and management education, delivered over twelve sessions lasting approximately 100 hours. The program has been designed specifically for this program by world-class international, national and local experts in entrepreneurial learning. During the course of the program every small business owner develops a customised Growth Plan to direct their organisation’s business strategy and expansion. Participants also benefit from a range of business support services, including: • Specialist workshops • One-on-one business advising • Coaching / mentoring • Access to professional experts • Networking opportunities and • Alumni services Business Partners Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses in the UK has been designed by world-class international, national and local experts in entrepreneurial learning. Partners include: • Aston Business School, Aston University • Leeds University Business School • Manchester Metropolitan University Business School • Saïd Business School, University of Oxford • University College London (UCL) Eligibility The program is offered on a fully funded basis to small businesses and social enterprise leaders who desire to grow their businesses, create local employment and have scalable business models. This program is not intended for start-up businesses, sole traders or businesses that are not seeking to grow.

The question is: do corporate executives (provided they stay within the law) have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stock holders as possible. Milton Freedman, economist

The following eligibility criteria also apply: • The applicant must be the primary owner / co-owner of the business, or the most senior decision-maker if the business is not limited by shares; • The business must have been operating for at least one year and will generally have between five and 40 employees; • Social enterprise applicants must be commercially operated businesses that achieve their social purpose through trading rather than grant funding; • The business must be scalable and capable of generating additional local employment • Applicants should not have extensive recent management education; • Preference will be given to those businesses operating in or on behalf of disadvantaged communities or regeneration areas.. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program currently operates in the UK in London, Midlands, North West of England and Yorkshire. It is also available in the USA. For further information, visit: http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-smallbusinesses/index.html

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Getting Business To Come To You By Ashley Latter

I have been working with a client who is in the Construction Industry on ways to bring in new business and he has told me how challenging it has been lately. Traditionally in their industry, they would ascertain what new construction projects are being undertaken and then like every other company, they would knock on their door and bid for the business. Cold calls would be made, and they would send out letters and emails begging for an appointment and then they would then try to convince the customer to do business with them. Usual practice is that a price war then begins and possibly the sales person with the sharpest pencil wins the business. I should imagine that is the same in many industries.

This article is about… how to get customers to contact you.

Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with this, to a lesser degree, at times I undertake similar procedures. However, the single major flaw with the above strategy is that it can come across as a bit of a begging bowl mentality, where the prospect is in charge and you are competing against everyone else for their business. So what I suggested to my client is that he looks at ways on how he can become a personality/expert in his industry, so that people started to knock on his door instead. This can be done in many ways, and in this article and future ones, I am going to share with you a few strategies that can help you become an expert so that the business starts coming to you, as opposed to the other way round. One way you can become an industry expert is to become a Public Speaker/ Presenter where you develop several powerful

presentations that you can present at Conferences, Industry Meetings where your potential customers gather. Let me tell you why I say this. In the Guinness Book of Records there is a list of things that men and woman fear the most. In this list it includes: • Dogs • Loneliness • Flying • Death • Sickness • Water • Money Problems • Spiders • Heights Number one on this list is... Public Speaking. Yes, people would rather die that speak in public. This is man's greatest fear and people would rather do anything other than speak in public. However, if you can undertake this skill, start presenting at various conferences, workshops etc, you will immediately be at an advantage over the other 99% of people who would rather die. I have spoken to sales people who prefer to have 12 appointments than speak to 12 potential customers. I think this is crazy. You have a great opportunity to make a massive impact, in the shortest amount of time and become an expert in the eyes of your potential customers at the same time. So what are the advantages to be able to present well to groups of people, there are many. These include: 1. Expanding your comfort zone. This means that most other things that sales people don't like to do become a lot easier. These can include cold calling, negotiating, dealing with price objections etc.

2. You will stand out when you are competing against other companies for business. I cannot tell you how many boring presentations I have witnessed and how lifeless they were. The first slide, often states we have been going since 1923 and that their head office is in Oxford, or something similar. Who actually cares? 3. You will win more business/sales. 4. The other major advantage is that you can become an industry expert and believe me, people want to do business with the experts and are also willing to pay more for it. Let me give you an example of this. I run a Coaching Programme for Dental Technicians. They make crowns, bridges, dentures, implants and other related products and services to the Dental Industry. Their customers are dentists. Like a lot of industries in this country it has been overrun by cheap labour from abroad and a lot of work has gone overseas. Unless Technicians are being pro-active in marketing and developing World Class Sales Skills, chances are they will crumble. If I were to look at the top 15 most profitable laboratories in the UK, you will find that the senior person in the business is a presenter who goes out and speaks at the major dental conferences where dentists attend, will present to monthly meetings where dentists attend and will also have membership to the same groups and organizations that the dentists belong to. So if you are a dentist who would you give your business to? Someone who is cold calling you, sending brochures and price lists out, or to the person who presents to you regularly, attends the same organizational meetings

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and networks with you offering advice and guidance? Yet when I share this strategy with other technicians they look at me and run a mile. They would rather fix teeth at the bench. So my first strategy is to become a speaker and an expert in your field. Develop some presentations with titles such as:

Co-ordinates Mail: Ashley Latter The Sales Coaching Business 94 Ringley Road Manchester M45 7LN, UK Tel: (+44) 0161 280 5837 Mobile: +44 (0) 7976 778250 Email: ashley@thesellingcoach.com or lissa@thesellingcoach.com Web: www.thesellingcoach.com

Jargon Busters Parliamentary Terms •

Absentee ballot: A vote cast by someone who cannot reach a polling station. Can be postal or by proxy.

Additional Member System (AMS): The Additional Member System of voting is used for elections to the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. Under this system voters have two votes, one for a constituency candidate and the second for a political party. Constituency members are elected under the First Past the Post system. The remaining seats are grouped either regionally or nationally, and electors vote for parties on a list. Each time a party gains enough votes to be allocated a seat, the candidate at the top of the relevant list is elected. The votes are counted first for the constituency seats, and then the additional list seats are allocated in a way that aims to match the proportion of the total number of seats won by each party to their share of the vote.

Adjournment Debate: Usually a half-hour debate introduced by a backbencher at the end of business for the day. The subjects raised are often local or personal issues. There is also a series of short adjournment debates on Wednesday mornings.

Affirmative Procedure: Some Statutory Instruments must receive Parliament's approval before they can come into force. This is less common than the negative procedure but provides more stringent control. To do this, a Motion approving the SI has to be passed by both Houses within a period of 28 days (or occasionally 40 days, which is specified in the parent Act).

All Party Groups: Groups of MPs and members of the House of Lords who share a particular interest in a subject or country.

Amendments: When Members of the House of Commons or the House of Lords are debating or examining Bills, they often want to change some of the details. They can therefore propose changes or amendments, and debate and vote on them in the House. Amendments are usually made during the Committee Stage and in the Report Stage, but in the House of Lords can also be made at Third Reading.

Another Place: It is traditional that, when speaking in the House of Commons and House of Lords, members do not refer to the other House by name. Instead they describe it as 'Another Place'.

Seven Ways of Increasing... Six Methods to Improve Productivity You get the message, something catchy, something relevant that your prospects will be delighted to attend and take notes at. It really is a very powerful way of getting business to come to you, as opposed to cold calling. Do you want the good news? 99% of the people reading this won't do anything to move this strategy forward, so if you do you can automatically stand out. With this in mind, find the places where your customers attend and present useful interesting ideas that will help their business become more successful. Once you do this, they will then start knocking on your door for advice and Leadership and of course the business will follow. Next time, I am going to share with you another strategy on how to get business to come to you, something simple and very beneficial. © Copyright, Ashley Latter

A cardinal principle of Total Quality escapes too many managers: you cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships. Stephen Covey

Why join the navy if you can be a pirate? Steve Jobs

About the Author Ashley has a unique style where he manages to coach delegates to operate outside their comfort zone and take on tasks that before were deemed impossible. Ashley writes a sales newsletter that goes out every month free of charge to 9500 business people. To receive your free copy which is full of tips and ideas, please email ashley@thesellingcoach.com

Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them more.

Source: Bizezia’s Glossary of Parliamentary Terms is available through Bizezia’s Online Business Library, the UK’s leading online business library with 650+ self-branded publications. Visit: www.bizezia.com © Copyright 2012, Bizezia Ltd

Oscar Wilde

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August 2012

What Can You Learn From a Group of Farm Retailers? By John Stanley

I have just finished speaking at the FARMA Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland. This conference was a mix of a tour, trade show and conference and was an opportunity to study retailing in this sector. Prior to the conference I walked down Princes Street, possibly the main retail street in Scotland. I was hoping to get inspired, but alas, each retailer was promoting their sale and each shop looked as uninspiring as the next. Then, I joined the farm retail tour and came across a passionate group of retailers who wanted to make a difference. This was an excellent conference and one where all retailers could have picked up new ideas. My top ten ideas from the conference are as follows.

1. Capital does not mean More Sales The tour looked at a selection of retailers; some had injected large amounts of capital whilst others had not. Yet, the return per square metre or foot for nearly all the retailers was around the same. Yes, you have to get the basic investment right to create the sale, but in today’s tougher retail environment over investing in expensive buildings does not automatically mean that sales per given area will increase. The message is invest enough money to make the model work. This article is about… lessons from the master on the retail sector.

2. Get the Basics Right All the retailers who got the basics right were performing around the same level. Paco Underhill, the retail expert on how we buy, mentioned recently that getting the customer flow wrong could cost a retailer two dollars a sale. We saw one example of where a flow was wrong and it clearly proved that Paco was right. Get the flow wrong and it costs you dearly.

3. Tell the Story I accept that it is easier for a farmer to tell a story than most retailers, but those that put the story together can increase their sales. Story telling is a key point of difference in retailing. Identify your story and communicate it to the customer.

4. The Team can grow the sales Make sales training fun, measure the results and grow sales. Sally Benson, one of the delegates increased sales of selected products by 354%. How? The team selected a product and developed an in-house marketing campaign to grow the sales. There was a prize for the team who created the most sales. All the team excelled and enjoyed the competition and the fun of developing the extra sales. Product knowledge training can be boring. Make it fun and grow sales.

“Happy people make the sale… you choose to be positive; you need to understand the impact you have on the team and you need to take responsibility. Growing sales is down to attitude.”

5. Promote your Values at the Entrance to your Business Are you local? Are you a family business? Are you selling local products? Many independent businesses fail to get this message across, they assume that all the consumers know their values. Yet when I visited a large nation chain, they promoted a local message at their entrance. Consumers need to know your values when they enter your store.

6. Management needs to make sure the team stay positive One of the presenters was Darrell Woodman who presented on the Art of being Brilliant. He revealed that research indicated that 98% of people are in the less than happy mode most of the time whilst only 2% are in the happy mode. As a leader you influence the behaviour of your team. Happy people make the sale. His point is that you choose to be positive; you need to understand the impact you have on the team and you need to take responsibility. Growing sales is down to attitude.

7. Have a “Banning “letter Not everyone who comes into your store will be honest. According to Simon Winchester of Shoppers Anonymous the stealing percentage mix is as follows: • 25% of thieves steal by accident and return the product • 60% steal by accident and do not return the product • 15% are deliberate stealers

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August 2012

If you want to ban a customer, make sure you have a prepared banning letter that you can hand to the customer. It makes life so much easier.

8. Sell By Date or Enjoy By Date Is it a “Sell by Date” or an “Enjoy by Date”. I love the idea of an “Enjoy by Date” that Loch Leven Lauder use. The use of simple words in a more positive way can put a smile on the face of your customer.

9. We Change our Wallpaper with the Seasons One of the top retailers in the world is Zara, the fashion clothing company from Spain and I often use them as an example as they have created 24 seasons in their stores. How do they do that?, they change the wall paper, they change the sightlines so the store looks different every two weeks. This is a simple strategy that has worked well for this company. The principle applies to all retailers. It was fun to see a farmer believe his success was based on changing the wall paper to create the theatre - something that many retailers have forgotten.

John Stanley Associates produce an e-newsletter specific to retailing; this includes innovative ideas and advice to help you grow your profits. If you would like to receive a regular copy, please visit www.johnstanley.com.au or email newsletter@johnstanley.com.au Co-ordinates Mail: John Stanley Associates 142 Hummerston Road Kalamunda, Western Australia, 6076 Tel: (+0061) 8 9293 4533 Fax: (+0061) 8 9293 4561 Email: info@johnstanley.com.au Web: http://www.johnstanley.com.au

When you’re up to your armpits in alligators, it’s hard to remember to drain the swamp. Ronald Reagan

10. Make a Decision or Act on a Decision The above quote is from the UK TV personality Dick Strawbridge. It is simple yet how often is it not implemented. In a changing world everyone needs to act on decisions made. © Copyright, John Stanley About the Author John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 20 years’ experience in 15 countries. He regularly contributes to retail magazines around the world and has coauthored several successful marketing and retail books including the bestseller Just About Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know (obtainable from Amazon: ISBN-10: 0975011804/ ISBN-13: 978-0975011805).

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department. Andrew Carnegie

Turning your Marketing Weaknesses into Strengths By Paul Sloane

One way to innovate with your products and services is to examine your perceived weaknesses and turn them into strengths. James Bannerman gives some examples in his new book, Genius – deceptively simple ways to become instantly smarter. A pint of Guinness takes longer to pour than other beers and this might be seen as a weakness but Guinness advertising focuses on this slow pouring and the anticipation of the drink. They use the slogan – ‘great things come to those who wait.’ Similarly Heinz ketchup is more viscous and slower to pour than other ketchups so Heinz advertising implied that a runny ketchup was lower quality. Jurgen Klinsmann was a wonderful German soccer player who came to England to play for Tottenham Hotspur in 1994. Initially he was unpopular with fans because he had a reputation for ‘diving’ – faking a foul in order to win a free-kick or penalty. He cleverly turned this around. After he scored a great goal for Spurs he did a funny dive onto the pitch in a parody of himself. From then whenever he or his team-mates scored a goal they did the dive and fans loved it – and him. Andy Sernovitz tells the story of how the clothing company Zappos turned around the problem of long wait times on their customer service help lines. Every day a different employee hosts the phone calls. On Halloween you get singing: “Trick or treat, smell my feet, Zappos Customer Service can’t be beat. Hi, my name is Amber, and my name is Kimberly, from our product information support team, and we’ll be hosting today’s daily greeting on this spooky October 31st.” Every call ends with “Press 4 to hear Zappos Joke of the Day.” Two more employees tell you a joke. Zappos has turned the traditional problem of the help line queue into a word of mouth marketing success. So look at your weakness and see if you can transform it into a differentiating factor. As James Bannerman asks: Who would bother to visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa if it were straight?’ About the Author See Paul Sloane’s bio on page 15.

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August 2012

Managing an Acquirer’s Emotions By Mike Robson

Many deals go off the rails because of emotional reasons. Mike Robson, director at business consultants Azure Partners, explains how to manage a potential acquirer’s deal nerves and to keep an acquisition on track. Let’s assume that your corporate finance adviser has approached a number of potential buyers with a ‘teaser profile’ and generated some interest. You are now talking to some genuinely interested parties. The ‘business fit’ and the potential return on investment seem good for them, and they’ve bought into your pitch as to why they should move ahead with an acquisition. But now things seem to be slowing up a bit, and they don’t appear to have the same level of enthusiasm for the deal that they initially showed. To solve this issue and the get momentum back in the deal you need to understand that the business and financial parameters are only half the battle. To get over the finishing line, you’re going to need to get inside the head of the buyer and understand his emotional as well as business concerns.

This article is about… how to manage a potential acquirer’s deal nerves and keep an acquisition on track.

Acquisitions are driven by two primary and deep-seated emotions: greed and fear. The greed drives the business logic. But the fear is harder to deal with and possibly justified because historically more than 50 per cent of acquisitions fail to produce the anticipated return. What if it goes wrong? What will the effect be on our existing company? Why should we not do it? How will we look if it fails? Are we paying too much? Will we be able to integrate this business properly into our existing operations? What don’t we know that could cause problems for our existing business?

These are some of the key questions that will be coursing through the minds of your potential acquirers. To sell for your true value you need actively to help them out of this emotional miasma. You need to provide them with a pathway of certainty and security that leads them to their very individual “promised land”. To do this, first and foremost, make sure that you have all your information systems in order in advance of this process actually starting. An ability to respond to any requests for information with good quality responses within a 24-hour period is a great way to generate confidence in the acquirer. Also be patient and expect there to be a lot of questions – often trivial and sometimes repeated – as it could cost someone their job if the acquisition fails to deliver. Build confidence by being brutally honest about selected key areas in which you are weak, and pro-actively highlighting areas for improvement. They will find out, or suspect certain weaknesses anyway. Never, ever let the acquirer find out anything bad. It destroys trust and just makes them think ‘What else is there?’, or allows for a downward renegotiation of the price. All businesses have issues, so communicate them proactively early on. Make time to introduce the acquirer to key staff who know your plans but will be staying on – this is always a major risk factor for acquirers, so head off this potential issue at the pass. Build into your business plans some risk analysis for foreseeable events, so an acquirer can see that even with a downside the acquisition will not be a disaster. The area of business integration also needs careful thought and

management, as this is another major risk area for the acquirer. You are unlikely to know the ins and outs of the acquirer’s business, but you should ready yourself for a conversation, which should encompass operations, culture, IT, sales and marketing, as well as day-to-day management practices. Again, proactive management of what would otherwise be unstated concerns will assist greatly in bringing the deal to a successful conclusion. Only once you have rigorously pursued such a process will the time be right to put the champagne on ice. © Copyright Mike Robson About the Author Mike Robson is an experienced and entrepreneurial businessman with Board level experience as Chief Executive or Chief Financial Officer in a number of industries both in the UK and internationally. Mike joined Azure Partners 2004 and now enjoys actively assisting a range of owner-managed businesses to develop and, where appropriate, exit their businesses. For seven years Mike has actively helped business owners through the different development stages (growth, plateau, and exit) and with people issues including management structure and the sourcing, hiring, assessing, rewarding and motivation of senior staff. He specialises in merger evaluations, non-financial duediligence, setting KPIs, dealing with banks and auditors, and helping to run effective boards. With colleagues at Azure Partners he is involved in developing efficient and effective marketing and sales capabilities and processes for clients. Co-ordinates Mail: Azure Partners, New Broad Street House, 35 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1NH, UK E-mail: Mike.robson@azurepartners.co.uk Website: www.azurepartners.co.uk Mobile: +44 (0) 7711 21980

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August 2012

The Power Behind A Smile by Laurence Winmill

When I was speaking at the NEC in Birmingham at a new business start-up exhibition, I recall that an hour before my appearance I decided to get a glass of water at one of the bars. The bar as you would expect, was busy. There were dozens of people waiting and there were three people serving! They were clearly understaffed, but why, I ask, at such a major event? (Where is the management behind all of this?)

Enter the world of the 'ice maidens'

LAURENCE WINMILL has experienced how poor customer care can lose a sale – and offers observations that no manager with front-line staff dare ignore. Isn't it strange that most of the bizarre customer service experiences I write and talk about could have been prevented from happening 99 per cent of the time? If only those unfortunate souls responsible just took the time to consider the impact of their actions, then the whole experience of customer service would improve beyond recognition. Let's try and understand an important equation at this stage: • no customers = no sales • no sales = no revenue • no revenue = no profit • no profit = no business • no business = no customers • no customers = no jobs! Does the Chief Executive, Sales Manager, Business Manager, or the people they employ to service their customers understand this simple formula? Assuming they do, then why do they consistently produce levels of behaviour that drive customers away? This article is about… how to avoid poor customer care.

Two incidents I recall remind me of the ineptitude that exists in our culture towards customers. I often wonder why people are employed in the jobs that they do, when it is so obvious that they clearly become irritated at the very sight of a paying customer.

As I stood waiting to be served, the tension levels between customers and staff were clearly visible. You see, the problem was that these people being paid to serve, for whatever reason didn't really want to serve! They were insensitive staff that didn't know the meaning of eye contact, rapport building, smiling or any of the other characteristics associated with connecting with customers.

Invisible man? After ten minutes I had to pinch myself to see if I was alive, to confirm whether or not I did exist in this environment or if I was simply dreaming the whole thing up. It was infuriating for us all as we stood around being completely ignored by these ice maidens from hell! Eventually I did get served, but the experience was totally unnecessary, wholly preventable and extremely unpleasant. Poor staffing numbers didn't help, but the fact that there was no interaction, no eye contact, no please, no thank you, just exasperated the situation.

the large multi-national!

Service with a grunt In May 2004 the latest of the Lord of The Rings Trilogy was released on VHS and DVD. My son is a 'Legolas' and 'Aragorn' fanatic and, as a treat on the day of release, we bought him the film. Two days later I was visiting a competing store and I saw a huge display promoting the latest book to accompany the release of the film. The book was very visual, of excellent quality and I was amazed to see that it was retailing for only £2.99. A bargain I thought and a great surprise to accompany his new video. Delighted with the offer, I took the book to the counter only to be greeted by another ice maiden. I was so enthralled with the book that this particular maiden had caught me off guard, so I hadn't really noticed her distinct lack of enthusiasm, the absence of the smile or her poor interpersonal skills. However, I was soon awakened by the grunt and the monotonic request for payment "£12.99". (Again, no Please, Thank you or courtesy). I replied instantly: "£12.99? Don't you mean £2.99?" Her reply was also instant: "No - it's £12.99. It's only £2.99 if you buy the video as well, and if you'd read the label you would have seen that it clearly states exactly that underneath the price!" The only thing missing from her response, which I knew, she wanted to say, but obviously felt she couldn't was: "Read the label, stupid!"

My talk at the Exhibition Centre incidentally was all about customer service, so you can guess what my opening reference was about when I took my place on the podium! I wasn't surprised to see lots of nodding heads and smiles of agreement from an audience who'd obviously suffered more of the same.

OK, I didn't read the label properly; I missed the small print. It happens all the time... but did I deserve to be treated this way? I told the ice maiden that if that was the case I no longer wanted the book. She sighed, put it to one side and then dismissed me, looking only towards the next 'idiot of a customer' filing through the till point.

The sad part about all of this is that it is not restricted to exhibition centres where you would expect to see large gatherings of people; it's on our doorsteps, from the corner shop to

I quietly slipped away, amused by the sheer scale of the customer service culture problem that is so poor, yet so common in our society. It amazes

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me the amount of money spent by organisations on advertising and marketing in order to attract new customers, only to drive them away at the first opportunity That, invariably, is what these ice maidens are doing. They're driving customers away in their thousands. Watch out for them - they're out there and they're multiplying faster than you think. Surely it is the responsibility of the management to prevent these people from upsetting their customers. Why employ such people in the first place? Who's responsible for policing the way staff are dealing with customers in the work place and not just during a role-play in the training room? Why tolerate their indifferent attitude and behaviour? More importantly, if you're in business right now, how do you know that these ice maidens aren't already at work in your organisation - scary or what? © Copyright, Laurence Winmill About the Author Laurence Winmill is probably one of the most dynamic, radical and creative motivational speakers in the UK today. His hard-hitting messages focus on the explosive combination of human characteristics and common sense. He specialises in communication, people, teams, sales, marketing and service based subjects. Laurence has written many books on his subjects of expertise which include: • The Attitude Test • Secrets Of Successful Selling • Customer Service Jokers &… Coordinates Email: laurence@avagio.com Tel: +44 (0) 1792 401537 Web: www.avagio.com

Modern American Financial History We recently spotted a great graphic from Credit Season with a timeline of events from the 1920s up to date. To enlarge the graphic, simply click on it at the source link given below: Source: http://www.creditseason.com/wpcontent/uploads/2012/06/AmericanFinancialHistory-01.png It’s been a bumpy ride as you can see below. 1920-1929 Stock Market Crash 1929. Beginning of the Great Depression. Fast preceding growth in auto, oil, tourism, construction, and other industries. 1930-1939 Unemployment rates 25% by 1932. 40% of banks go bankrupt after a bank run. Banks were not federally insured up to this decade. 1940-1949 US involvement in WW11 from 1940-1945. War production dominates national manufacturing. Post-war prosperity starting in 1945 and lasting up to early 1970's. "Baby Boomers" emerge due to delayed childbearing and marriage age plus increased income. 1950-1959 Economic growth continues. A rise of industries connected to new technologies such as aerospace. "Baby Boomer's" era reaches its peak. 1960-1969 The US continues as the primary, financial, manufacturing, and military power in direct competition with the USSR. 1970-1979 Post war prosperity ends in 1973 due to oil crisis, increased imports, deregulation of the economy and the 1973-1974 stock market crash. Decade closes with the energy crisis of 1979. 1980-1989 Business bankruptcies going as high as 50%. Dow Jones crashes in 1987. $500 billion lost in one day. National debt during 1981 - 1988 increases from $930 billion to $2.6 trillion. 1990-1999 Investing pours into information technology companies. Enter he dotcom bubble. A marked increase in globalization and free trade. Stock market grows by 300%. 2000-2009 Dotcom bubble bursts. Market loses 75% of growth achieved in previous decade. Real estate market boom 2001-2007 until collapse in 2008 with house prices spiralling downward. Global recession is launched. 2010-present Social network boom with companies such as LinkedIn, Zynga and Facebook going public.

I don't think you want too much sincerity in society. It would be like an iron girder in a house of cards. W. Somerset Maugham

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Rethinking Leadership For Innovation… By Cris Beswick

The past few years have taught us some valuable lessons on the fragility of companies who can’t innovate and their ability to survive deep economic turmoil. The leadership strength, ability and trust required to guide organisations through the minefield of recession are traits that leaders cannot now simply hang up. The lessons observed from the leaders whose organisations have innovated and thrived over the last few years now need to form part of the curriculum for the next generation of innovation leaders. Many organisations are facing talent and leadership shortages with a consistent theme in articles I’ve read recently being the lack of availability of business-ready talent. In addition to that the leadership required postrecession (I say ‘post-recession’ in an effort to appear optimistic) is very different to that just a few years ago. Organisations now operate in a globally competitive, fast paced and multi-faceted marketplace. Filled with ultra-savvy consumers with product research, data and price comparison instantly available, even at their fingertips via smart phones and tablets the world we operate in conspires to make innovation a vital core component.

This article is about… learning from companies that have innovated and thrived.

An organisation’s dirty laundry, unacceptable practices and perceived imbalances now conspire to make the leadership role even more complex. Not only do leaders have to manage the business side of running and driving a successful organisation they must now balance the public face and brand value of their organisation, all of which have become even more visible, scrutinised and considered when customers and consumers make their decisions. The recent banking crisis and outrage at consistently high bonuses even in the face of

what seems like poor or under performance is a perfect example. RBS is a case in point where the public simply don’t understand the rationale behind bonus payments to senior executives when the bank has made a loss. The public perception is one of ‘repay your debt to us before giving yourself bonuses’. So, as a leadership case in point, Stephen Hestor, RBS’s latest CEO is now challenged with rebuilding both the retail and the corporate/investment side of the bank for the future. However, in order to do that he has a 3rd challenge, which is how to repair the damage to the brand and the trust with both employees and customers? A challenge some would say he has been unfairly left by RBS’s last leader, Fred Goodwin. However it highlights a key trend for 21st Century leadership, which is the management of public scrutiny and integrity of leaders. Being realistic, recovery from the recession is likely to be slow and the lessons learned are likely to last a lifetime. The challenge for the next generation of leaders is how they become wiser as a result of the experiences gained over the last few years and how that insight embeds itself into organisational best practice for the future. There can be no doubt that the world has become incredibly diverse, complex and uncertain and that trend is likely to continue at an incredible pace. Disrupting existing business models and creating entirely new ones will now form a large part of the leadership challenge, as will building organisational cultures comfortably operating in a world of uncertainty. Radically rethinking the fundamental drivers of employee value and customer value in order to create new brand experiences will take priority.

With product differentiation becoming increasingly difficult and in some cases and sectors almost impossible, the need to differentiate will be won, not by what an organisation does or sells, but by ‘How’ it does it and that firmly means the leadership challenge is around people, culture, vision and beliefs. In order for that to happen the focus will be on values based around authenticity, sincerity, twoway open dialogue and ownership. These will be values that will become increasingly important in the leadership battle to distance an organisation from the recessional fall-out and the competition. The lack of current leadership talent will only serve to impede organisational performance for the foreseeable future and slow down recovery from the current financial situation. Whatever organisations are doing to develop current leadership capability doesn’t appear to be working and doesn’t bode well for the future leadership required around the globe. The leaders of tomorrow will be very different from the ones today as their leadership skills will be built in a different context and from different experiences and perspectives. The lessons from the last few years of recession are a perfect example. How leadership is taught and learned will be critical to future success as the old way of teaching theory in an ‘academic’ way simply doesn’t work. Learning from real world experiences creates something I call RWA, ‘Real World Ability’ and by default is not something grounded in academia. This is an approach more akin to a set of guiding principles and frames of reference by which a 21st Century leader can adapt to the context of his/her current situation and create a relevant, contemporary solution, direction or opportunity. This is in stark contrast to the traditional method of management

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and leadership, which is largely based on set responses to specific situations and doesn’t account for the increasing pace and complexity of the world we now operate in. However, just because the world we operate in is full of layered complexity the leadership metrics used don’t have to be. The trick to everything when building anything from organisations, brands, products or experiences is, keep it simple. Make it sexy but above all, keep it simple! The same goes for how we approach leadership development. Creating vastly complex, multi-level metrics to score and evaluate talent development only serves to increase confusion about how individuals contribute to their organisation, their own leadership growth and how it is assessed. Think about it. If a customer asked why they should choose your company, product or service your response wouldn’t be as long as your arm and filled with hidden complexity which the customer would find difficult to evaluate. So why should anything you want your people to buy into be any different? The challenge is turning what we know about leadership, how to develop it and what we think will be needed on its head because so far Gen X has lead Gen Y but the tables are rapidly turning. “Some organisations are already experiencing the challenges of Gen Y managing and leading Gen X and these challenges will accelerate as we move in to Gen Z leaders. That means the leadership styles; communication methods and engagement techniques will be completely different. How an organisation handles this in the 21st Century will be defining!” Derek Bishop Culture Consultancy www.cultureconsultancy.com The organisational support required for such a shift is extensive but absolutely necessary. This is unavoidable and is already happening and those that don’t prepare for it will not survive. Understanding the other leadership factor that comes in to play with Gen Y and future business models is also going to be critical to 21st Century success; the hierarchical model just won’t work! The talent of Gen Y will be around knowledge and that type of employee

simply doesn’t respond to top down leadership. The pace we live our lives at now means Gen Y will also not wait around to climb the corporate ladder so time served management and leadership positions simply aren’t part of their career path. The next generation of leaders will need to do so in a much flatter, less hierarchical, more collaborative way. The strategy for future success will be based much more around genuine values, real purpose and a mission that captivates people to want to be part of the journey. With that in mind something I call ‘Collaborative Leadership’ will be key. Especially where organisations are spread globally and localised culture doesn’t easily align with organisational culture. The traditional approach of training and corporate compliance just won’t work. So, solving the challenge of letting Gen Y lead in different ways whilst maintaining alignment will be the key. Part of that new approach to collaborative leadership will be the sharing of power by spreading empowerment across an organisation. In essence, recognising leadership as a key component of people at all levels of an organisation, creating organisation-wide leadership. The next generation of leaders will simply need to create the right accountability to make this happen rather than retaining control because of a lack of accountability. In some respects we almost need to completely rethink what we mean by ‘organisation’ and ‘leadership’ in order to head into the future. We almost have the opportunity to start again, to get a fresh sheet of paper and ask ourselves not “how do we change what we’ve got?” but “what should it look like and how do we build it?” What I think it should look like is an organisation built around shared leadership, a collaborative and autonomous collective, united around a single vision. Visions bold enough to attract the attention of the best talent and captivate the attention of customers old and new. That then needs to correspond to the organisations specific strategy and business model depending on the sector/market it is operating in. “In order to operate in an uncertain future adaptability is key. That requires flexibility and transferable leadership depending on circumstance and individual expertise.” Cris Beswick

21st Century leadership won’t be about a single person at the top issuing direction to everyone below. Leadership will be the result of interaction and positioning based on collective qualities and strengths at any given time. If everyone is aligned, collaborative and focussed on an agreed vision then at any given time there will be a case for specific individuals to take the lead depending on their ability and the situation. In a knowledge and talent driven economy, leadership requires even more so, the recognition by followers, thereby making it mutual. One cannot exist without the other, as it’s a symbiotic relationship requiring both parties to recognise each other in order to exist and create a sustainable future. The journey will be tough but for those that get it right it will be an amazing adventure. Good luck! © Copyright Cris Beswick About the Author Cris Beswick is leading a new revolution in the way organisations approach strategy, leadership and innovation. He is a successful entrepreneur, renowned Speaker, Author and Advisor to some of the world’s leading organisations including the likes of B&Q, M&S, BP, Nokia, BMW and GE and has over a decade of experience. His proven expertise and skill in the field of innovation has led to his appointment as a member of the NHS think tank for innovation and leadership, as the Director for Cranfield’s Creative Growth Programme and he is also working with The Henley Partnership. His latest book ‘The Road to Innovation’ (available from Amazon at: http://tinyurl.com/675arqm and associated workshop ‘What it takes to innovate!’ illustrates the fundamental building blocks any organisation should address in order to create that illusive culture of innovation that many companies strive for. Co-ordinates Web: www.crisbeswick.com/index.php Email: cris@crisbeswick.com Tel: +44 (0) 8453 724 422

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August 2012

Turn Your Marketing Pieces into Marketing Masterpieces Five Simple but Essential Design Techniques By Karen Saunders

It's almost 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon. Do you know where your newest marketing pieces are? If you're a small business owner, they may be buried on your desk because you've got so many other important details to handle. Or they're still sitting on your assistant's desk where she's staring at them hopelessly. She's an admin assistant, for heaven's sake, not a designer, and she knows what she's produced so far is not very memorable or effective. All of us would like to think our product is so good, our services so unique, they'll simply sell themselves. Not so! Strong branding, powerful images, compelling web pages and outstanding marketing pieces make or break that upward sales curve you crave so urgently. In today's market, your customers and clients are influenced more than ever by the visual presentation of your marketing pieces. If they are well designed, they're likely to be read, remembered and respected. Here are five simple, but essential tricks of the designer's trade that you can use immediately, at little cost, and with excellent results to profit you both short and long term.

1. Take advantage of quality clip art and stock photos

This article is about… design tips from the expert.

Chances are you're not an illustrator or photographer, but that shouldn't stop you from using professional illustrations or photos in your marketing piece. You can use clip art - sometimes at a very low price - to enhance your layout. Check out the Internet for sites that feature clip art or stock photo libraries that provide a wide variety of quality and prices to choose from. Use the same style of graphics throughout your piece to create a consistent look.

2. Add dramatic contrast Using contrast means having clearly apparent differences among the design elements that come together on a page, business card, or computer screen. These include contrasting colours, shapes, fonts, and sizes of text and graphics. A high degree of contrast helps create dramatic interest and draws the viewer's eye to specific areas of your page. White space also provides contrast, aids legibility, and gives the reader's eye a resting point. Controlling the amount of white space you use affects the overall page design.

3. Repeat certain elements Good design calls for repeating certain elements throughout your piece to make the whole piece come together visually. For example, use the same colour, shape, and size for all your bullets. Also make all your headers the same size, colour, and font. Go for more and repeat specific graphic elements (e.g., boxes, banners, rule lines, etc.) throughout the piece.

4. Pay attention to proximity Proximity refers to the exact spatial relationships between elements. For example, you create visual relationships between photos and their captions by keeping the captions close to the photos. For subheads, a pro positions them closer to the text below than the text above. Apply this principle of exact spatial relationship to all other graphic and text elements where appropriate. When you review your work, make sure you've applied this spacing consistently throughout.

5. Know when to use serif and sans serif fonts In general, when you have a large amount of text, it is best to use a serif font because it is easier to read than a sans serif font. Serifs are the tiny horizontal strokes attached to the letters which help the reader's eyes flow from letter to letter.

“Good design calls for repeating certain elements throughout your piece to make the whole piece come together visually.” Bold sans serif (without serifs) are good for headlines and subheads because they slow the reader down thus bringing more attention to each word or concept. Some examples of serif fonts that are good for body copy are: Times, New Century Schoolbook, Garamond and Goudy. Some examples of sans serif fonts that are good for headlines are: Arial Bold, Helvetica Black, Univers Bold and Trade Gothic. It's 9 o'clock Monday morning. You're smiling because you have incorporated these important design elements into your marketing strategy. You're ready to face a new week with vastly improved opportunities to keep smiling at a growing bottom line. © Copyright, Karen Saunders About the Author Karen Saunders is the author of “Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling, persuasive sales tools!” Learn about her book and get free instant access to her eCourse: "5 Deadly Design Mistakes that Could Kill a Sale and How to Avoid Them" and audio class: "Put the Bling Into Your Brand" at http://www.macgraphics.net or call toll free (001) 888 796-7300. Co-ordinates Mail: MacGraphics Services 3454 S. Cimarron Way, Aurora, CO 80014, USA Toll-free: (001) 888-796-7300 Web: www.macgraphics.net/FreeStuff.php Email: Karen@macgraphics.net

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Sentiments Are Not Sentimental By Barry Urquhart

means to satisfy their needs, wants and desires.

Fickle consumers. How can retailers possibly cope? Actually, it is the sentiments of consumers rather than the consumers themselves that are fickle, and thus hard to analyse and forecast. Much consumer sentiment is the product of newspaper, television, radio and magazines headlines, stories and innate editorial biases. Accordingly, they can and do, in many instances, change daily. This is a reality strikingly evident in the discourse between, opinions and expressed buying intentions of participants in focus groups. One is left to conclude that consumer sentiments, to a large extent, are an “effect” rather than a “causal” factor, which must be considered in the planning of the marketing, advertising, promotions, product lines, inventory and financial forecasting of many retail businesses. Over-riding consumer sentiment can be materially and significantly affected by the public statements of politicians, bankers and other spheres of influence.

This article is about… analysing customer sentiments.

Declarations by high profile retail industry spokespersons about price deflation, sales leakages to internet on-line retail websites and entities, rampant price discounting and a general sense of lack of consumer loyalty can influence prevailing sentiments. More disturbing, it can awaken, educate and influence consumers to consider and try competitors, substitutes and alternatives as

Compounding the issue is the lack of uniformity in such expressions, driven largely by short-term, often conflicting, self-interest. Some industry leaders even get very sentimental about the whole issue, to their and businesses’ detriments.

Economic Shortcomings Expectations of economists typically exceed the disciplines and the practitioners’ capacities, training and abilities. To expect economists to accurately forecast within 0.1% interest rates 12 – 24 months hence, is unreasonable and, above all else, their attempts to do so, unbelievable. So too are such forecasts. Many economists determine their projections on established or unique modelling. Retail association spokespeople use or refer to similar templates and concepts. Many business leaders share a general consensus that economic forecasts are inevitably wrong. The major point of disagreement is just how wrong the economists are in their forecasts. Interestingly, a common deficiency of economic modelling is the absence of consideration of and tolerance for the role and influence of consumer sentiment. It is estimated that the sentiment of consumers is a variable that can influence demand, and thus sales, profits and dividends, by up to 25% of standard economic forecast modelling. Hence, it seems that consumer sentiment is something that business people, retailers in particular, cannot do with or without.

Filtered Sentiment Consumer sentiment is a cruel, fickle master. It is also a rewarding but not compliant servant. Sentiment is a filter through which consumer perceptions are developed, established and, over the short-term, sustained. It can and does impede and block out communication. Moreover, it is often a pre-emptive factor which determines whether purchase, investment or consumption will be contemplated. That is a powerful variable which will directly and, most importantly, indirectly impact on spending patterns. Care must be taken about the capacity for mass consumer sentiments to change and to do so rapidly. One need not look beyond the fortunes of retail brands in the “beach culture” sector of retailing to register a salutary lesson.

Be Disciplined Consumer sentiments and their importance to all businesses underscore the importance of a principle enunciated in my coauthored book on Australian entrepreneurs which was titled, The Jindalee Factor. That was “Plan long. Manage short” Don’t attempt to plan in anticipation of sentiments or manage oneself around them. Consider, respect and allow for them, with appreciable tolerance for variability.

The Year Ahead If one is not able to accurately and consistently forecast mass media headlines 7, 14 or 30 days ahead, then no attempt should be made to project consumer sentiments or to believe that concise sales and profit totals can be documented and “banked” in advance, based on those premises. Likewise, economists’ statistics about the future should be

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studied carefully and then, in most instances, be summarily dismissed. Economics is the discipline of the allocation of scarce resources, not of declaring within 0.1%, the official interest rates and the All Ordinaries Index, twelve months hence. Accept the fact that the headwinds which have been spoken and written about so freely since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in August 2008 will persist during 2012. They will be fluky, inconsistent in direction and in intensity and they will be compounded by the changing tides of consumer sentiments. In short, astutely set course for the finish-line, but be flexible, malleable and responsive. Recognise the nature, role, importance of and influence of consumer sentiments. Don’t attempt to control such emotions. Rather, reach out, connect, and interact with consumers and at all times endeavour to guide (but not unjustifiably talk-up) their sentiments. If one possesses a high tolerance of risk and has a “business autopilot”, then at least push the reset button! © Copyright Barry Urquhart About the Author Barry Urquhart, Managing Director, Marketing Focus, Perth, is an inspiring speaker, author of Australia’s top two selling books on customer service and an international consultant on dynamic innovation and creativity. Barry is author of six books, including the two largest selling publications on service excellence in Australasia. His latest is: “Marketing Magic – Streetsmart Marketing”. Barry is a regular commentator of consumer issues on ABC radio, is featured on a series of interview topics on “Today Tonight” and contributes articles to 47 magazines throughout the world. His latest presentation is: “Insights on ‘The Big Picture’ - Future-Proof Your Business”.

He is one of Australia’s most active keynote speakers and is an internationally recognised authority on quality customer service, consumer behaviour and creative visual merchandising. Marketing Focus is a Perth based market research and strategic planning practice. The firm and Barry consult to multinational, national and local entities in the private sector and the public sector. He is a former lecturer in Marketing and Management at the Curtin University of Technology and has degrees in marketing, political science and sociology. Co-ordinates Mail: 26 Central Road, Kalamunda, Western Australia 6076 Tel - Office: 006 1089 257 1777 Tel - Mobile: 006 1041 983 5555 E-mail: Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au Website: www.marketingfocus.net.au

Don't lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself, and then do what is necessary to make it a reality. Ralph Marston

In business, I’ve discovered that my purpose is to do my best to my utmost ability every day. That’s my standard. I learned early in my life that I had high standards. Donald Trump

An IP address for everyone The switch to the new internet protocol will be a creeping change for most, rather than a rapid shock to the system, wrote Peter Cochrane in Financial Director on 4 July 2012. It’s been a long time coming, IPV6 - the communications protocol that enables internet traffic to move between addresses - has gone live and subsumed an estimated 1% of all internet traffic. It marks the biggest change in internet operations since the 4th revision (IPV4) in 1981. So what's the big deal? IPV4 only offers 2EXP32 (or just over four billion) address spaces and they ran out some time ago. So the internet has been limping along with a number of ad hoc and temporary solutions. With seven billion people owning five billion mobiles, as well as more than two billion PCs, laptops and tablets, it is clear that four billion addresses cannot satisfy demand. Anticipating the capacity eclipse, IPV6 has been under development since 1998, and a full specification available since 2004, with various lab and field trials conducted since that time. Will this affect you and me? Very unlikely. How about our companies? Definitely. But it will be a creeping change for most. So there is no need to worry. Extensive activity and small roll-outs have been underway for well over a decade and this IP version seems stable and bug-free. So what are the big implications? In the beginning, the ‘fathers of the internet’ had to choose an IP address space big enough to encompass all possible users on the future internet, and, in the 1970s, a 32-bit address field looked big and inexhaustible. After all, human experience of networking at that time was limited and mainly based on the telephone and a very few computers. So 2EXP32 looked like a reasonable engineering choice. Then, a recent piece of accepted wisdom held the limit to mobile network growth was one device per person. Only 30 years ago, 50 million mobiles for the UK looked like a likely upper limit. But we now have well over 100 million accounts for a 66million population and this is growing rapidly. Today, we understand a lot more about networks and growth, but we are still surprised by phenomena like social networking. The cloud could also be a big surprise event with artificial intelligence and other services creating unforeseen growth patterns. So the big question is: will IPV6, offering a 128-bit field, be exhaustible? The writer argues for a yes. Those who say no often cite an estimated 2EXP248 atoms in the observable universe compared to an estimated 2EXP58 in our Sun. In this context, 2EXP128 looks big. But new manufacturing and production techniques are going to demand addressing on a vast and disposable scale. Excerpted from full article at: http://www.financialdirector.co.uk/financialdirector/opinion/2188882/ipaddress?wt.mc_ev=click&WT.tsrc=Email

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Now That I Know My Advertising ROI, How Do I Improve It? By Rob Garibay

The answer to that question is to apply smart advertising techniques and then test and measure on a small scale before rolling out a large ad campaign. Stop wasting your advertising dollars by treating them like you’re playing a roulette wheel or throwing mud against the wall, hoping that some of it sticks! Businesses waste thousands of dollars every year with a hope-anda-prayer approach to advertising. How smart is it to spend $2,000 on advertising and generate only $1800 in net profit from the customers it attracted? Would you knowingly make an investment that promised such a return? The first part of this article is devoted to how to initiate advertising strategies and tactics. The second part covers techniques for creating productive ads. For a review of testing and measuring see my previous article printed in the July 20th issue of The Norman Transcript.

USP & Guarantee By now you might be thinking: “how and where do I start my journey to improved advertising ROI?” As Glenda the Good Witch of the East told Dorothy, “It’s always good to start at the beginning.” First determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) as a company. Some call it your Unique Value Proposition. In other words, take stock of your assets: intellectual, physical, and reputation or “good will”. This article is about… testing and measuring smart advertising techniques.

Understand that, because God has wired you uniquely as an individual, you have the potential to service, or to offer value to, the marketplace which your competition either does not have or hasn’t considered. Even if you are in a commodity business,

you can create a powerful USP simply because you have chosen to focus on it while your competition has not. Once you have a paragraph describing your USP, you have the raw material from which you can create emotionally hooking taglines crafted for each of your target markets. The next step is to create a powerful compelling guarantee that draws business to you. Your follow through on this powerful combination of USP and guarantee can create a market niche, differentiating you from the competition, thus reducing discounting price pressure. ActionCOACH has a seven page questionnaire and action form that acts as a funnel, gradually narrowing your options until out pops a USP and a list of what you can guarantee that is of value in the minds of your market. Completing this exercise usually creates one of those WOW moments!

I can’t guarantee anything! I’ve had professionals such as doctors, dentists, or lawyers tell me that they can’t guarantee anything. The truth is that they can! They can guarantee certain aspects of their patient’s or client’s experience with them, such as how they will be greeted, listened to, treated, etc. Your USP and guarantee not only drive your marketing and sales strategies, they drive your corporate culture and customer service. Think of the advantage this provides to your business, since most businesses fail to complete such a strategic exercise!

Components of an ad Now that you have your USP and guarantee, it is time to communicate your message through advertising. The three most important parts of advertising are: • Target - who you actually reach can have a massive effect on your results. Carefully define the demographics of the

population at whom the advertising is aimed. Try to put yourself into the minds of your target market, understanding their frustrations, fears, needs, desires, etc. (much of which will have become apparent as a result of the USP exercise). Defining your target market will also help you to determine which publication or medium to use and the location in that publication. Offer - The offer needs to inspire people to take action. It should have a time limit or limited quantities, or better yet, a specific number available. The offer should appear generous, but have a low dollar cost to you, the business owner. Be specific rather than general. Give people what they want! Include a guarantee to remove fear and/or frustration. Copy – The ad needs to get people excited or to build dissatisfaction with their current state. Create an urge to change. Give a vision of what a change would look like. Show the benefits of reading the ad and taking action. Write as you speak – put emotion into it. Make it enthusiastic. Keep it in the present tense (less boring). Remember WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) is what motivates people, not how great the business is. Think like you are the prospect. Keep it simple. Add credibility – i.e. instead of “34 years of experience”, tell a short story of the experience. Use testimonials and anticipate questions.

Part 2: Creating Productive Ads We are bombarded daily and incessantly by advertising. Think about how many ads you see or hear in an average day. Do you wake up to a clock radio? If so, it’s possible that 50% of the time you wake up to an advertisement. Do you listen to the news as you get

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ready to go to work? – More advertising. As you drive to work – more advertising on the radio, on billboards, on buses that you pass, etc. You log onto your email – more advertising; and it’s only 8:30 am! Get the picture? Are you numb yet? Thank God for TiVo!

advertising? What is usually the first thing you see? Isn’t it the name of the company? Who cares about Joe’s Plumbing except for Joe and Joe’s mother! A good opening or headline is all about USP & guarantee stated in a way that appeals to WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), the reader.

As an advertiser for your business, how do you break through all of the ad noise and be noticed? In Part 1 of this article, I talked about the importance of measuring your return on investment (ROI) for your advertising dollar, and the importance of a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and guarantee. Today we are going to discuss how to create ads that provide a good ROI.

Because your headline or opening is so important, if in print, it should consume 20 – 25% of the ad space and represent 75 – 80 % of your ad creation thought time.

Creating ads that work No matter the type of advertising, trade ads, direct mail, signs, radio, TV, etc., the first thing that we must do is to get the attention of our target audience. We have to interject something into the swirling cacophony of ad noise that stands out and causes our target to pause, even if but for a few seconds, and take notice that our message exists and might be worth their interest. In other words, we need to get someone’s attention. That is the first step in the valuable advertising acronym AIDA: Attention – cause them to pause Interest – draw them in to learn more Desire – Create or elevate desire for your USP Action – Provide a compelling reason to act

Attention Your opening statement (verbal) or headline (written) is by far the most important part of your advertising, and as such, should be given commensurate attention. Let me state it another way; your opening must be so compelling and attention grabbing that you can break through the numbness for an instant, and in that instant, draw them in to read or listen. Let’s discuss print ads for a moment. What is the most frequent gaffe made in Yellow Page, newspaper, or magazine

The words “How to” are some of the most powerful headline words known. For example: “How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake You Can Make in Building or Buying a Home” or “I’ll show you HOW TO hit golf shots as straight as you can point, or this video golfing lesson is free… and I’ll pay you $25 for wasting your time! (Jeff Paul).

compelling offer that must be acted upon quickly. Tell your audience exactly what they need to do in order to fulfill that desire created in the ad and to take advantage of your time-limited valuable offer. Make it easy. Clearly communicate the steps that you wish them to take – call this number, log onto this website, come into this store, or send in this coupon, etc. before such-and-such a date. As I stated in Part 1 of this series, “The offer should appear generous, but have a low dollar cost to you, the business owner. Be specific rather than general. Give people what they want! Include a guarantee to remove fear and/or frustration.” Remember your company name that used to appear at the top of your ad and in large font? Unless you have established a well-known brand (which usually takes a decade to accomplish) insert it here, in a size that is large enough to be noticed but not overpowering the ad.

Interest & Desire Once you have a great headline (through testing and measuring various headlines in small ads), the next paragraph should draw them in, give more impact to your headline, motivating them to continue to read or listen. This is where you hit the highlights of the benefits for them and the resolution of your target’s pain, while at the same time building trust because most are sceptical at this point. Make it human, personal, conversational, in a story format. People want to do business with a person they trust, not a faceless company. This can be in small font to save space. Address the pain and/or frustration that your product or service relieves. Create desire for that relief by contrasting that pain with a vision of the relief they will experience once they have your product or service. Focus on the emotions associated with each. Pain relief is the number one reason people buy. People make emotional decisions to purchase and then justify that purchase with logic.

Action Now it’s time for action! This should occur at the end of the ad. This is where you provide a

By using AIDA, USP, a powerful guarantee, and testing & measuring in small quantities to determine the best ad, you will create a powerful return on your advertising dollar that will rival the best investments out there! © Copyright, Robert Garibay About the Author Robert Garibay ActionCOACH Business Coach. He is no stranger to success as both business owner and competitive player in the corporate world. With an engineering degree from Case Western Reserve University, he has a successful track record in sales, marketing, management, team building, strategic planning and leadership; both in his own companies and in the corporate world. His professional career spans building businesses in manufacturing, R&D, distribution, retail and IT. Co-ordinates Mail: Rob Garibay 3209 N Flood Ave, Norman, Oklahoma 73069, United States Phone: (001) 405 684-1021 Work: (001) 405 237-0019 Fax: (001) 405 573-4017 Email: robgaribay@actioncoach.com

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The Personal Touch: How raising your profile can improve your PR By Dee Blick

There’s plenty of advice about how to get PR and write press releases but the fact remains that it can be incredibly hard for small businesses to get press coverage. Try promoting yourself, advises Dee Blick, so you can use your profile to help you get exposure. I attended a seminar recently in which the speaker explained how to gain coverage in magazines and newspapers. He made it sound incredibly straightforward — an idiot’s guide to PR, no more than the process of finding a newsworthy story and targeting the right media before hey presto, you're in print. In my experience, it's not quite this easy. You can have a compelling and newsworthy story but so can hundreds of other people in your sector. You are in a beauty parade, often with little to choose between you. So what could make your story jump out? What about raising your profile so that your media contact is not only inspired by your story, they are inspired by you as a person? They're interested in what you have to say because it comes from you.

This article is about… how raising your profile can improve your PR.

This is an approach that has worked for me on many occasions, although I hasten to add that I still get my share of rejections. That said, in the past five years, I’ve appeared on the BBC as a marketing entrepreneur, I've been interviewed by the Financial Times and The Mail on Sunday and my input, by way of interviews, articles and expertise continues to be sought by many

trade and business magazines and good websites. I'm not all that special and different from other marketing practitioners. I've just been adept at raising my profile in the following ways. I hope you find my approach useful. Despite having a fear of public speaking, I volunteered to speak at many exhibitions, business networking events and seminars as a marketing expert in my early months of trading — when nobody knew about me. Why? Firstly, people admire anyone with the guts to stand up and speak so you are invited to bigger and better events. Secondly, your name, your business details and your expertise is included in every event communication, which in itself constitutes positive PR. What's more, with online communications, you start to build your name and profile on Google. When a journalist looks you up, hey presto your details appear, linked to the events that you have spoken at. You’re on your way to raising your positive profile. I've consistently responded to blogs and forums on websites that are visited by journalists on the lookout for an interesting person and an interesting story. If you can go down the route of sharing your advice freely and not attempting to sell, you’ll build your profile nicely. And of course you’re continuing to build your profile online. The BBC found me via a blog, as did the editor of a Royal Mail business magazine.

profile. A 200-word summary of my key professional achievements and qualifications and a summary of my public speaking activities plus a snapshot of how I contributed as an expert to blogs and forums. In my early months there was not an awful lot to say but it was better than sending an article on its own to a journalist. Read the author biographies on the back cover of business books if you want to know how to write your biography and if you email me I'll send you a copy of mine as a guide. Your biography gives a journalist an insight into you as a person and what makes you interesting and credible. It could make you stand out in that beauty parade. © Copyright Dee Blick About the Author Chartered Marketer and CIM Fellow Dee Blick is one of the UK’s best-selling small business authors. The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book reached number 1 on Amazon UK within 48 hours of its launch and entered Amazon's top 150 books within four weeks. There are currently 36 out of 36 five star reviews on Amazon. Dee has 28 years marketing experience and is the marketing columnist for FMWF part of Mail on Sunday, BT Marketing and RSB. Her book is currently being serialised by Royal Mail. Dee is also the author of another No 1 best seller - Powerful Marketing on a Shoestring Budget. Co-ordinates: Mobile: +44 (0) 7845 439332 E-mail: dee@themarketinggym.org Web: www.themarketinggym.org

I wrote my own biography as soon as I began to raise my

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Five Tips for Delivering Excellent Customer Service By Sarah Cook

In today’s global marketplace, there are still few companies who truly deliver outstanding service on a consistent basis. Yet service is a source of competitive advantage. Meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations leads to greater customer retention, enhanced reputation and increased profitability and stakeholder value.

customer. They are not cynics (who have a poor attitude and high energy levels), or victims who display a ‘can’t and won’t help’ attitude or a spectators who ‘would if they could’. Rather they have a ‘can do’ approach which means that they deliver high levels of customer service. Businesses can then train skills and competence. ATTITUDE +ve Spectators

Those businesses who truly deliver exception service adopt five principles:

Best practice organisations use a variety of techniques to better understand and anticipate customer needs. These include traditional market research techniques such as customer satisfaction surveys and telephone interviews. More enlightened companies also use customer focus groups or customer panels to gain insights into customers’ views, opinions and feelings. A further technique that is useful to adopt is empathetic research. This involves shadowing the purchase patterns of the customer as they experience your product and services in order to fully understand their feelings at different stages of the experience. Harley Davidson the motorcycle manufacturer for example runs a successful Harley Davidson Club where employees undertake bike journeys alongside customers to fully understand their views.

2. Recruit for attitude This article is about… five methods to deliver excellent customer service.

Recruit for attitude, train for skills. Organisations which are customer-centric recruit and select people who have a positive attitude towards the customer and high levels of energy to get things done. These people demonstrate winning behaviours towards the

(I would if I could…)

(I can, I will)

Victims

Cynics

(I can't. I won't) LOW

1. Listen to customers

Winners

(It won't. It can't) Energy

ATTITUDE -ve

3. Ensure everyone serves the customer Too often people who work in back office positions within organisations fail to appreciate the impact of their actions on the customer. The internal request that does not get processed or the lengthy delay in reply, the processes that are bureaucratic and cumbersome all have an impact on the end customer. Businesses should ensure that they instil a philosophy throughout the organisation that everyone serves the customer. This means providing opportunities for back office staff to interact and appreciate what it is like on the front line and promoting the recognition that there are internal as well as external customers. At coffee bar chain Pret a Manager for example, everyone from Head Office spends at least two days a year working in a branch.

4. Continually strive for improvement Customer’s expectations are constantly rising. To continue to be successful businesses today need to continually innovate and improve. This means being aware of trends and finding novel ways to deliver a service or new product

ideas. So for example, in the airline marketplace companies are increasingly recognising the power of the total customer experience. They continue to bring out products that appeal to business class passengers for example both via the experience they receive before and after the flight.

5. Lead by example Simple as it sounds, if you want your business to be customer-centric, then the leadership team needs to demonstrate behaviours that show that they are customer-centric. Spend time with customers and take an active interest in HIGH their views. Take a personal interest in and act on the results of customer surveys; put customer service on all agenda items. What you do and say in relation to service excellence will set the tone for the rest of the business. © Copyright, Sarah Cook About the Author Sarah Cook has more than 20 years' experience of helping both public and private sector organisations improve their customer care. As well as speaking at and running conferences and workshops, Sarah facilitates benchmarking forums on CRM and writes extensively on issues of customer service. She is also the author of the best-selling book 'Customer Care'. She was a founder member of The Stairway Consultancy back in 1989 and is now its Managing Director. Stairway specialises in customer care consultancy, benchmarking and training. Co-ordinates Mail: The Stairway Consultancy Ltd Bourne End Business Park Cores End Road, Bourne End Bucks, SL8 5AS, UK Tel: 44 (0) 1628 526535 Email: sarah@thestairway.co.uk Web: www. thestairway.co.uk

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Why You Should Not Sell Benefits By Grant Leboff

Sales Expert and author of Sales Therapy® Grant Leboff says that traditional selling doesn’t work anymore. He explains why you should not sell benefits… and what actually makes customers buy your product or service. When we are in a selling situation, we make sure we are prepared. We know all about our products and services and the benefits they can bring to a client. However, the way these benefits are presented will decide how much impact we make with a customer. Unless we align our message to the way our customers buy, we will miss opportunities. By understanding what drives a purchasing decision, we can ensure we put our message across more effectively.

Human beings have two basic motivations Human beings have two basic motivations, to gain reward and to avoid loss. Everything that we do fits into these categories. We choose to go out to eat to gain reward; we buy insurance solely to avoid loss. These two basic motivations are not mutually exclusive and so there are activities we undertake, where to a greater or lesser extent, both are at play.

Avoiding loss – the greatest motivation

This article is about… why you shouldn’t sell benefits.

It sounds negative to say, and therefore most people don’t like to be told, that the greater of the two motivations by a long way, is avoiding loss. For example, most people would say they go to work to gain benefit, their salary. However, if they won the National Lottery tomorrow they would give up work. This being the case the motivation for going to work cannot be to gain benefit. For even with a million pounds in the bank the benefits of going to work would be

the same. One would still receive the salary they got before. If you were to win the lottery and subsequently gave up work, then your motivation for going to work is to avoid loss. For without going to work and getting your salary you wouldn’t be able to pay the bills and would lose your house. You wouldn’t be able to feed and clothe your children and live the lifestyle to which you are accustomed. Your motivation for going to work therefore is to avoid losing this lifestyle. If human beings were always motivated by gaining reward then as soon as people were fed up with their job, where they live, their marriage or any circumstances in which they found themselves, they would do something to improve the situation. Yet, we all know the courage it takes to change any of these things. We all know people who are stuck in bad marriages and dead end jobs. People normally only act when they really can’t take the situation any more and that can take months and often years to happen. In other words, the situation has to be so bad that it seems worse staying where they are than moving. They stand to lose more with the status quo than with the change. The motivation for change is ironically still avoiding loss.

most sales messages are written to explain the benefits a customer will gain from a product or service? We know that most people don’t do things to gain benefit. Therefore, most of these sales messages have no impact at all. This is because they don’t tap into our basic instinct.

Clarity in your sales message Think of the difference between two headlines in an advert in a local paper. “Save Money Now” or “Are You Losing Money?” Which one has more impact? The second one is more likely to grab people’s attention because we are much more motivated to keep what we have, than to go out to get more. Most people would be unwilling to give up much time, or put themselves out, in order to earn an extra £20.00. Yet, we will spend hours searching round the house for the £20.00 note we have misplaced. People do have to understand the benefits a product or service can bring. However, most people have been taught to sell the benefits of their product or service as the starting point of a sale, and quite frankly, this is wrong.

This is because as human beings we are averse to risk. We are very conservative creatures and generally don’t like change. We, therefore, get into comfort zones and like to stay there. How many people reading this have their favourite seat in their living room? If a guest comes round and sits in your seat, out of politeness, you won’t ask them to move, yet you don’t feel entirely comfortable sitting somewhere else in your own living room!

In order to have an effective sales message you have to start completely from the opposite end. Think about three problems your product or service can solve and write them down. Then think of all the problems that can result because of the initial three problems that you wrote down. What you have then is a chart of all the pain that you can prevent. It is this pain that will draw people in to buying your solution.

Knowing that human beings do most things to avoid loss, why is it that

In order to get clarity into your sales message you have to

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August 2012

understand what problems you can solve and why you are uniquely capable of solving those problems. If you can give someone confidence that you are in a good position to solve the problem and that the cost of solving the problem is less than the cost of not solving it, then you have a sale. Demonstrating that the pain is greater than the risk of fixing that pain is what we call value.

Solving problems The most effective salespeople are problem solvers. Nearly every sale solves a problem. By talking about the pain rather than the solution, you will find it much easier to draw your customers in and sell. It is less difficult, initially, to build a rapport with a customer talking about problems rather than benefits. This is because the problems are that person’s reality. By talking about problems, you can build trust because they know you understand their world. Talking about benefits and solutions from the outset can sound like empty promises. It isn’t credible to talk about solutions, even if they are right for that customer, without understanding them. You become just another “salesperson”. To be really effective, you must align your sales process as closely as possible to how human beings buy. Most of the time, they buy to avoid loss and avoid pain. If you want to sell more forget about the benefits and start talking about the problems.

© Copyright, Grant Leboff About the Author Grant Leboff is one of the U.K's leading Sales and Marketing experts. His first book, Sales Therapy®, introduced businesses to a new and highly effective Sales philosophy. It made the Amazon top 10 bestseller list on publication and is one of the top selling books on Sales in the UK. It is now available worldwide. His current book, ‘Sticky Marketing’, provides companies with the new principles of marketing so they can thrive in a Web enabled world. On release in January of this year it

immediately went straight to number 1 in the Amazon Sales and Marketing Chart and went to number 5 in the overall Business Chart. Grant provides businesses with new Sales and Marketing strategies to be successful in this new environment. Having built a successful direct marketing company, which he started in 2002, Leboff sold it in 2008. He is now CEO of Sticky Marketing Club™ Ltd., working with businesses on effective Sales and Marketing strategies. Grant’s 2011 launch of his Sales and Marketing portal, stickymarketing.com produced a wealth of resources and information on effective Sales and Marketing for business. He is a highly sought after speaker and is constantly presenting at conferences and events all over the world. As well as sitting on the Advisory Council of The Global Marketing Network, Leboff is a regular contributor to many business magazines and newspapers. Amongst others, he has been featured in the Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Daily Mirror and The Sun and has appeared on BBC Radio on numerous occasions. Co-ordinates Mail: Sticky Marketing Club Ltd, Caldecote House, Bushey, Herts, WD23 4GP, UK Tel: +44 (0) 844 478-0044 or +44 (0) 208 958-5695 Email: http://www.stickymarketing.com/con tact-us Web: www.stickymarketing.com Blog: www.stickymarketing.com/blog/stick y-marketing-club

One of the great mistakes is to judge politicians and programmes by their intentions rather than their results.

What’s Yammer? Yammer was in the news in June when Microsoft bought the company. Yammer claims to be “the First and Most Powerful Enterprise Social Network”. It brings the power of social networking to the enterprise in a private and secure environment. Yammer is as easy to use as great consumer software like Facebook and Twitter, but is designed for company collaboration, file sharing, knowledgeexchange and team efficiency. Yammer, Inc. is a freemium enterprise social network service that was launched in 2008 and sold to Microsoft in 2012.. Yammer is used for private communication within organisations or between organisational members and pre-designated groups, making it an example of enterprise social software. It originally launched as an enterprise microblogging service and now has applications on several different operating systems and devices. Access to a Yammer network is determined by a user's Internet domain, so only those with appropriate email addresses may join their respective networks. Already, Yammer is used by more than 200,000 companies worldwide. www.yammer.com

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr Seuss), author

Milton Freedman, economist

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Small Business, Big Vision FSB, the UK's leading business organisation for small and medium sized businesses, owes a lot to Norman Small By Mike Southon

When historians reflect on twentieth century British entrepreneurship, certain names will be writ large, including Branson, Dyson and Dunstone. Let us hope that there is also room for at least a modest footnote on Norman Small. A dapper former military man very reminiscent of Captain Mainwaring, Small later earned his living as a sales representative calling on the retail trade. In five years he met with over 10,000 people, who back in 1974 found themselves facing the introduction of Class 4 National Insurance, which was to be levied specifically on the self-employed. Incensed, Small fired off a strong letter to The Manchester Guardian newspaper, putting forward an idea that "could do much to improve industrial relations by example, and give a voice and a platform to the huge moderate silent majority". His suggestion was "the formation of a non-political, self-supporting union of the hundreds and thousands of self-employed people in the United Kingdom". The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) was formed soon afterwards.

This article is about… how Norman Small formed the FSB.

Today, the FSB is the biggest business organisation in the UK with over 213,000 members, from sole traders to fifty-person companies. One of the FSB's key roles is to lobby government, and, back in 2010, I was lucky enough to meet their then Head of Public Affairs, Stephen Alambritis, at their London

offices, strategically situated in Westminster within the sound of The Division Bell. Alambritis has since gone on to become the Leader of Merton Council. He explained some typical examples of where the FSB was able to help their members. A publican returned at 3am from holiday to find a letter saying his lease had been terminated. He called the FSB hotline there and then, and the organisation's lawyers were up all night looking at the various options. Eventually, The FSB was able to prove to his landlord's satisfaction that the appropriate lease conditions had been met, and the matter was resolved in favour of the publican. Another member had a run-in with the tax authorities, and sensibly called the FSB immediately on receipt of the demand. Alambritis was very proud to note that when the tax authorities realise that the FSB is involved, they automatically escalate the issue to a senior inspector. In this case, the tax authorities finally accepted a payment of £400, a considerable improvement on the £200,000 originally demanded. Success in growing a small business is predicated on hiring the right people; when this process goes wrong it can destroy many years of hard work. Most owner-managers are very wary of employment tribunals, assuming that the court will always look favourably on the litigant, however unreasonable their behaviour whilst working for the company.

Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely business, and it is always good to have friends in high places. One of the first calls made by Chancellor George Osborne upon taking office was to the FSB. Alambritis quotes an example where the outcome for an FSB member was a £10,000 decision against their former employee who was shown to be acting maliciously. These are, of course, 'highlight' cases - some businesses sail through life largely untroubled by legal threats. Even so, I have spoken at several FSB events and met hundreds of members, all of whom invariably see the value in their membership. As well as an effective source of advice, protection and representation, the FSB is, at its heart, a grass roots organisation and therefore closest to the true sentiment of new, small and growing ventures. It offers community (with plenty of live events), knowledge and occasionally solace. FSB membership is what Small might have called 'a total snip', coming in at as little as £170 per year. It's a small price to pay for considerable peace of mind; but I know that in these troubled economic times, every penny counts. I therefore always encourage new businesses to take advantage of FSB membership when they have got a little bit of cash rather than on day one; but it remains a quick win even for oneman-bands. Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely business, and it is always

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good to have friends in high places. One of the first calls made by Chancellor George Osborne upon taking office was to the FSB. It was they who advised him to implement the rise in VAT on the fourth of January, not the first, which is traditionally a very busy day for our 'nation of shopkeepers', as Napoleon famously called us. It is always a time of small celebration for small businesses when our VAT returns are done and dispatched successfully on-line to HMRC. Each quarter, I will definitely be raising a glass and toasting Norman Small. © Copyright, Mike Southon About the Author Mike is one of the world’s top business speakers, a Fellow of The Professional Speakers Association. He is a very experienced conference facilitator and moderator, having interviewed over 100 top business people, now featured every Saturday in his Financial Times column, “My Business”. Mike Southon is now the UK’s leading entrepreneur mentor. As a business speaker, he delivers over 100 presentations every year, all over the world. He is co-author of several bestselling business books, including The Beermat Entrepreneur, Sales on a Beermat and This is How Yoodoo It, a collection of his Financial Times columns. Co-ordinates Tel: +44 (0) 7802 483834 Email: mike@mikesouthon.com Web: www.mikesouthon.com Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeso uthon

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln

'The 21st Century Board'

Important Notice

The research work 'The 21st Century Board' by Professor Ulf Lindgren is an interesting and extremely valuable contribution to promoting the discussion on how the work and performance of the Board can be further developed beyond control and governance issues. Due to many regulatory initiatives and existing laws the liability of Board members is constantly increasing and might lead to a 'tick the box' mentality. If no risks are allowed to be taken in business activity there are no returns. The Board's primary role is to create long-term increase in sustainable value for all stakeholders. To this end a well-functioning teamwork in the Board as well as a very professional interaction with the executive management are a must. Membership of the board, and especially the Chairman's role, is today already a profession and requires substantial work and time investment. It is no longer about prestige but is hard and challenging work for people who have enough time, knowledge and intellectual curiosity to constantly challenge and learn new things.

© Copyright 2012, Bizezia Limited, All Rights Reserved

This publication is published on our behalf by Bizezia Limited. It is protected by copyright law and reproduction in whole or in part without the publisher’s written permission is strictly prohibited. The publisher may be contacted at info@bizezia.com (+44 (0)1444 884220). Articles and information contained herein are published without responsibility by us, the publisher or any contributing author for any loss howsoever occurring as a consequence of any action which you take, or action which you choose not to take, as a result of this publication or any view expressed herein. Whilst it is believed that the information contained in this publication is correct at the time of publication, it is not a substitute for obtaining specific professional advice and no representation or warranty, expressed or implied, is made as to its accuracy or completeness. The information is relevant within the United Kingdom. These disclaimers and exclusions are governed by and construed in accordance with English Law.

What does it take to be a good Board member? Personality is the starting point. High ethics as well as respect and trust of other Board members and executive management are essential. A Board is also typically a team of strong individuals and therefore mature team behaviour is critical for its success. The Chairman must understand how to be the leader of the Board team. A Board member has to bring industry knowledge, technology insight, functional experience as well as the right geographical and cultural expertise Because seldom one individual brings all these competencies to the table, diversity of Board composition is the key. Greater diversity allows for a wider range of perspectives and real value creation in the Board team as well as in the interaction with executive management What is essential for value creation? Both the Board and the executive management have to understand the constantly developing customer needs in different geographical areas. Therefore an interaction with key customers is needed. Strategy formulation is a key joint responsibility for the Board and executive management. Choosing the right people, organization, and business processes as well as safeguarding the agility of the company to adapt in changing circumstances are managed by the executive management but must be well understood and actively followed by the Board. Getting enough exposure to key talent and technologies for the company must be arranged, and achieving the right 'checks and balances' is a critical guiding principle. A well-functioning relationship between Chairman and CEO is a fundamental success factor for every company. This relationship requires respect, trust, professional behaviour as well as clearly defined rules of engagement. Continuous learning is a must for an active Board member. The quality of every Board is tested when companies face fast changes in the global market place or otherwise experience sudden crisis. This extremely valuable work by Professor Lindgren should be a stimulating basis for extensive discussions in all Boardrooms, and shows how to develop its work as a real value creator to the long term benefit of all stakeholders. Remember that excellent corporate governance is about leadership and people! For more information please click on: http://tinyurl.com/5soo

Publication issued on: 1 August 2012

I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with selfcriticism have brought me to my ideas. Albert Einstein

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