Walking on the Travelator

Moving Without Moving

Do you ever feel as if you are doing a lot of work and putting in a lot of effort but you’re just not moving forward fast enough or at all?

It’s rare that you’re not moving at all because you may, in fact, be moving backwards!

That said, I’m not a believer in ‘moving backward’ as I believe that there’s always something that was gained from the perceived movement in the opposite direction that you may have intended. Whether it was learning ‘just one thing that I know not to do again’ or ‘now I know that I don’t want to feel this way again’

So what does this all mean in the context of business?

In my usual way, I’ll give the answer up front for those who still think that the answer is the answer.

“Movement is perception. Perception can also ensure movement.”

The best metaphor that comes to mind is the travelator.  For those who are unsure what I’m referring to, a travelator is the moving walkway that you find at a lot of large international airports. It’s similar in look and design to the escalators in buildings and malls except it moves you horizontally.

My work as a speaker and coach often requires me to travel internationally. This means that I spend a fair bit of time at airports going from one terminal to another.  There are times where a flight has been delayed and time is short to make the transfer between planes.  On these occasions I have a clear objective: get to the next terminal in the next 10 minutes or risk missing a flight.  Yes, of course, I could get the benefit of the exercise and run between terminals. I could also, where the opportunity presents itself, also use a travelator.  Typically the speed of the travelator is that of a fair paced walk. Additionally, the ‘rules’ of the travelator are that you can stand still and stay to the right or you can walk (even briskly) on the left.

http://youtu.be/6UH0-Gnffl4

The result: even standing still you are moving as fast as someone who is walking briskly. Better yet, if you walk briskly you’re really moving and making up ground.

I say all of that to say this….

Spending time with an experienced Coach or Mentor is an opportunity to step on a ‘travelator’ for your life or business. The strategies, insights and advice will often move you along faster and with less effort than if you didn’t have this valuable resource.

Then, if you decide to put more effort into your journey you’ll move from where you are to the next point faster giving you time to relax, reflect or even cheer on the people who chose to do things a different (harder?) way.

I’m also a believer in the saying “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” That said, there are times where I’d rather use my energy to cheer others on at the destination over struggling to get there.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Have you read a book or attended a conference, workshop or seminar where you were shown strategies to get ahead BUT you haven’t put them in place?

Do you have a desire to help more people, make more money or feel more fulfilment but just don’t feel like you’re moving as fast as you know you want to?

If so, it’s time to be accountable. First, to yourself. Next to someone who can support you, encourage you and give you sound advice from experience.  If money is a challenge, there are a number of inexpensive or free ways to get started.  It can be as simple as going to Google and searching for a free coaching service. If you are serious about making progress for yourself and your business then (if you’re in the UK or USA) check out The Business Wealth Club. I also offer a 40 minute “i2insight” session that I don’t charge for BUT I do ask you to make a small contribution to one of the charities that I support. To register for a session simply go to www.bit.ly/i2insight01

So get moving today and get more of what YOU want out of YOUR life.

The second step to fill your personal ATM

Trust leads to revenue. Trust takes Time.

OK, so I think I’ve got your attention.  Well, in fact, if you’re reading this you’ve already proven the validity of the next step the principles of ATM.

How many times have you sat at your computer with the intention of doing one thing and found yourself doing something else? It happens to a lot of people, in fact, companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and the like BANK on the fact that you will do just that.

It seems that we’ve moved into a new age of communication.  There was a time when we were in the information age, when we were hungry for access to information and the new ‘information superhighway’ (as the internet was called back then) was the place were everyone wanted to get a fast track to the fast lane.  As the old saying goes

“Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

Now, as my coach Scott Smith has noted, we’re in the age of ‘information overload’.  If you think about it, we’ve taken a very distinct change from getting information on everything to only wanting information on what we want, when we want it and in clear, distilled, limited to 140 characters, up to the second information.

I say all of that to say this….

Once you have the attention of your potential client, customer or partner you want to create a way for them to spend time with you.  This can be in the form of the written, spoken or presented word.  In my V3E strategy, I stress the importance of shaping your message so that it is aligned with your values and vision for yourself and your partners.  Regardless, the way to build trust and relationship is to create and master ways to spent time with the people you want to work with.   Ideally, you should have a product staircase or product matrix that you can clearly map out the pathway for your customers.  The product staircase is a way to let your customers take steady steps from product to product as they learn more about you, trust you, and decide if YOU are the one to solve their problem e.g.

Attention:  0 – 10 seconds

  • Your headlines
  • Your Logo
  • Your tagline

Time:  10 seconds – 30 minutes

(in order of typical duration)

  • Your tweets
  • Your audio blog (audioboo)
  • Your podcast
  • Your Facebook or LinkedIn messages
  • Your blog
  • Your videos
  • Your webinars

These are just a few examples and ideas that are progressively longer and longer and provide an opportunity for people to hear what you have to say, the value you have to offer and learn to trust you.  And what is a clear indication that they find value in what you have to offer? Well, that’s for the last step

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Take a look at your favourite brand or product and consider the path that you took from first giving them your attention and then your time.  Consider the other pathways that they have created to allow you and other customers to spend time with them.

Do you have a product staircase or matrix? If you do, then what do you have in place to ensure that the steps are easy and comfortable transitions based upon the services that you offer.  If you don’t, then consider checking out the product staircase strategy at www.thebusinesswealthclub.co.uk to visit your nearest club (if you are in the UK).

The staircase is the structure, V3E shapes the content. The next step is the step that keeps you in business.

No More Cold Calls.

SME’s & SoloPreneurs – Turning “Cold Calls” into “Warm Conversations

Have you ever received a phone call from a salesperson that you did not invite to call you or show interest in their product?  The call could have been at home or at work but there’s one thing about a phone call that is received at any time that you weren’t sitting there waiting for the call;  the  a phone call is an interruption.

Based upon the fact there you’re usually not sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring –  and for the purpose of this blog –  I’m going to make a broad, sweeping statement, primarily for illustration.  That  statement is:

“All phone calls are interruptions.”

I’m not the first person to say this, the first person I heard say this was Tony Robbins during his “Time of Your Life” program. And when you think about it……that is SO true. I mean, really, whether it’s a cold call from a salesperson or a call from your mom, a phone call is usually an interruption and a distraction from something.

The real question is “how you will handle the interruption?” And behind that, is “what is the basis for how you will handle the interruption?”

Let’s imagine that you were doing some housework and, while we’re at it, let’s imagine you kind of enjoy doing housework (I know this may be a stretch for some people, but bear with me.) As you are doing the housework the phone rings……   (Brriiiing, Briiiiinnnnnng)

Scenario 1

You have the standard set of choices:

  • A) ignore the call and let it go to voicemail.
  • B) let it go to voicemail and screen the call to see if it’s important.
  • C) answer the call and stop what you’re doing
  • D) answer the call but tell them that you will return the call or to call you back at a specific time that is more convenient.

Let’s say that it is someone near and dear to you that is on the phone. Because of your relationship with them you choose letter [Insert your choice here]

Whatever the choice, normally you will feel fine with it and the person on the other end would be fine with it because you respect each other’s time and know that you have time to achieve the outcome when it is mutually beneficial. No rush, no pressure, no problem.

All of these choices will depend upon the relationship that you have with the person who’s calling. The relationship has been built over time and you have specific values, views, ambitions, genetics or at least something in common with that person. The key here is the depth, breadth and importance of RELATIONSHIP.

Scenario 2

The call is from a company that you

  • do not know,
  • are not expecting a call from them and
  • you did not express an interest in their products or services (to expect a call).

You still have the same choices but there is a different feel to this situation. For some (and may I say this particularly applies to the high number of polite, British people who wouldn’t dare say “NOT INTERESTED” and then hang up) there can be a sense of fear that they may get trapped into buying something. Or, possibly, that they will end up on the phone for longer than they would want to be away from the activity that they were doing – all the while feeling pressured into doing something that they had not planned on doing.

This is a cold call. What’s missing here is depth or breadth of relationship. And as you may not have expressed any interest in the product or service

“the call has no importance and becomes more than interruption it becomes an annoyance.”

And who wants to start a relationship with someone that is an annoyance?

I say all that to say this….

With the advent and growth of social media, users are giving enough information about themselves (for free) to the social media platforms to allow more targeted marketing than ever before. As such,  it seems a bit’ old hat’ to call people who have neither shown interest in the product or service or that are unaware of your particular organisation.

“There are plenty of ways to find that common ground to establish some depth or breadth of relationship with a potential customer before making direct/one-to-one contact.”

In fact, there are ways to make the relevance and importance of the call greater than that of a cold call for next to nothing per lead – if you know how.

The way to do this is to use some of the features built into the advertising choices on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This will allow you to do a “bullets not bombs” campaign that could save you hundreds and make you thousands (depending upon your budget, product or service).

I will discuss some of these strategies in a future blog as space does not allow at this time.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Are you aware that you can advertise on Google for free? Granted, there are techniques that you can use that will make it more effective and it should be part of a marketing campaign/strategy, but Google will fund your first exploration of their advertising platform.

If that seems a little too technical then I would suggest that you attend one of the many free workshops that are available online, in person or in books/magazines.

If even that seems a little bit too much like’ hard work’ then you can always seek out an expert in this area who would be happy to do it for you, at a price.

The techniques and strategies that are used to transform cold calls to warm conversations are actually part of the curriculum within The Business Wealth Club (an organisation in the UK and USA). I endorse this organisation as they provide its Members with the strategies, skills and support to not only understand how this all works but to also use it in a way that grows their business.

For more information please visit www.thebusinesswealthclub.com and request a voucher to visit a local club. The voucher, worth £99 is only available from the club mentors, members or head office (just so that you know). Tell them “Marcellus sent me

Soc. Med. Messages You CAN Automate, Credibly

The Delicate Balance In Automating Your Social Media Message

I recall my University professor telling us

“Repetition Makes Reputation”

I’m sure by now that you see ads, read messages, read blogs, or even have been to a talk or seminar about social media. It seems to me that everybody is talking about the tools and forgetting to focus on the fundamental strategy and the message.

In this blog let’s discuss broad marketing messages that can be automated

WARNING: If you plan to apply this approach, you should read the previous blog related to the 4M’s of marketing. Better yet you should attend the next meeting of your nearest branch of The Business Wealth Club. At the club you will learn how to distinguish which channels should or should not have automated messages and which communities are more accepting of this approach. An ineffective application of this strategy could result in you damaging your online reputation.

At  recent workshops delivered at The Business Wealth Clubs in Birmingham and Croydon, we shared a few acronyms that are useful and powerful tools that you can use to build a robust marketing strategy.

V3E – Automated messages

  • Values – what are the values that drive you as a person and your organisation
  • Vision – what is the vision that have for yourself and your business
  • Views – what is your opinion on issues and events that impact you, your community and your customers
  • Events – what events have you attended and what did they do for you. What events are you hosting or attending that would be of interest to other members of your community or marketplace

As members of The Business Wealth Club, Birmingham will know (because I am the mentor of that club) I have a saying,

“the answer very rarely the answer”

The fact is that the real answer typically has more power and beneficial impact as a result of the journey that is made when you know how to effectively and efficiently implement a strategy to get the answer. That’s why The Business Wealth Club is such a powerful community that gets results consistently for its members.

For more information visit your nearest business wealth club to see how and why this community continues to get the results that we get. http:www.thebusinesswealthclub.co.uk/Birmingham

The Early Bird Get To Earn The Best Returns

“Money Loves Speed”

That’s one of the phrases that my friend and mentor Paul Avins often says. He also shared another insight with me….it’s useful to remember

that speed ≠ haste.

That is, to say, that moving with precision, focus and clarity with the intent to achieve a specific result (speed) is not the same as leaping blindly into an opportunity as quickly as possible hoping to get any result (haste).

Think about it.  When was the last time that you saw a top athlete – let’s say a boxer – win a fight by swinging and punching rapidly in the direction of his opponent? So it can be said (if we stay with the boxing metaphor)that speed and agility are essential.  Additionally, strategy and precision also have their place.

Sun Tzu, the Chinese general who had his strategic insights documented in the book “The Art of War” stated “Know the terrain” and “know your enemy and know yourself”. In other words,

  • study the terrain – so that you are aware of the environment in which you will do battle AND
  • know yourself as well as the habits, strengths and weaknesses of the man/men that you will face. By doing this you have clarity, confidence and respect for the land and people. A leader who does not have a sufficient supply of these qualities increases his (or her) chance of failure. 

As with all things, moderation is the key.  The moment that you think that you have 100% of these qualities then you in danger of failure…… Just remember the story of General George Custer! He led his men to their death primarily because he lacked a the balance of these three qualities which lead to overconfidence, and lack of respect for the land and people that he fought.

I say all of that to say this….

Strategy, planning and systems are essential to individuals, families and organisations alike. The depth and level of the activities may vary but the message is still the same.  If you are aware of the current environment (e.g. the economy or market place) and the strengths and weaknesses of the people (both friend and foe) then you can act quickly to respond to opportunities and threats in a way that is far more efficient, more effective and less stressful that you could have without that essential information.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

How quickly could you respond to an opportunity if it were given to you right now? If you were presented with a great investment opportunity that could give you a five to one return but you had to get hold of a substantial amount of cash (e.g. twice the amount you currently have in liquid cash savings) Would you be able to respond quickly without having to risk your financial future or pay heavy interest on a loan?

Maybe you are a business owner and entrepreneur. If someone was interested in investing £100,000 in your business RIGHT NOW and you had to clearly and accurately convince them in 5 minutes that you would be using the money in THE most impactful way…. could you make the case?  Could you give them a clear idea, strategy and numbers that would justify the investment?  ….Truthfully and with integrity?

People with a clear idea of their personal assets, finances and that have developed trusted relationships are able to respond and take advantage of opportunities like this while others are still scratching their heads.

Take the time today to take inventory of your personal and financial assets. Whatever you may find, you will end up with in a better place because you will have

  • clarity – a factual view of your current status
  • confidence – because at least you know where you are starting from in order to get where you want to be and
  • respect – hopefully for yourself for taking another important step toward a brighter future amongst those who have their assets work FOR them when opportunities arise.

These are the characteristics of the ‘early bird’.  The other birds will have to learn before they earn the best returns.