Thursday, 29 November 2012

Farewell Zig Ziglar

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar died in Texas on Wednesday, aged 86. He had been suffering from pneumonia.

He wrote more than 30 books and and was well known for is corporate training and motivational speeches. 

"See you at the Top" was not only his catchphrase but also the title of his first book.

I have included here a copy of Seth Godin's blog that outlines the great inspiration Zig Ziglar was.

Thank you, Zig
My teacher Zig Ziglar died this morning. He was 86.
Thanks for teaching me how to sell and why it mattered.
Thanks for reminding me how much it mattered to care.
Thanks for telling us a fifteen-minute story about Johnny the Shoe Shine Genius, so compelling that I flew to the airport just to meet him.
Thanks for 72 hours of audiotapes, listened to so many times I wore out the cassettes twice.
Thanks for that one day we spent backstage together in Milwaukee.
Thanks for making goal setting so clear.
Thanks for elevating the art of public speaking, and making it personal, not something to be copied.
Thanks for believing in us, the people you almost never met in person, for supporting us with your voice and your stories and your enthusiasm.
Thanks for teaching so many people, people who will continue to remember you and to teach as well.
You'll be missed.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

My 7 Best Books for 2012

Here is my reading list for this year. These fine books inspired me, encouraged me and changed my thinking. What will you do with them in 2013?


To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink - Explore the power of selling in our lives.

SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham - A book I revisit year in, year out. There is always something to pick up on to improve sales performance effectiveness.

Sales Cats V2 by Mike Boyle - Yes gratuitous self promotion I know, but version 2 has a significant change. Can you pick it out? It may make a difference in your salesmanship!

Good to Great by Jim Collins - Haven't got the time to spend investigating what you company needs to become a great one? This book has done all the research and discovered  the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great!

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell - What makes high achievers different? Gladwell brilliantly explores why  your personal upbringing and where you are from play such an important part in your success.

Switch by Chip and Dan Heath - How to we balance the rational mind with the emotional mind to achieve change in our business and personal lives? In this book we learn why and how!

Tested Sentences that Sell by Elmer Wheeler - A classic read for any salesmaker. Learn how to uncover the most persuasive benefits in everything you sell. As Wheeler says, "learn to sell the bubbles not the wine"!

Let me know of any great reads you have discovered this year. I can add it to my holiday reading list!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Storytelling for business - who would have thought!

You all know I like a good story. It's about the shared experience.

Amazingly in this tecnological age, storytelling is making a comeback. Technology is allowing us to share stories in so many ways: video, audio, mp3, pintrest, youtube, animoto etc etc etc.

In business, storytelling is keeping customers engaged. Interested in our company, our products, our services, our developments. The power of this connection lays in the customer seeking out more about us!

When it comes to brands and marketing, the application of story now needs to go beyond the traditional and ubiquitous tool of brand story; rather, it’s about engaging consumers in a brand’s stories and using the construct of stories and storytelling to create powerful connections. While the transition to digital media drove a focus toward content, today with ever more social tools and communication media, there’s a need for cohesive and meaningful connections in a marketing world that is now labeled “always on,” demanding more of brand communication. This is where story comes into play.

Kathy Oneto is vice president of brand strategy at Anthem Worldwide and has great insight on the subject.
"Why stories? It seems we’re all catching on to their effectiveness in connecting with people. When information is communicated in story form, we seem to remember it better and be affected by it more deeply. Brands are telling these stories across a number of different mediums--from packaging to video to visual and verbal content."
 Some tips on storytelling can be found from research consultancy Latitude, which recently released part one of its study, “The Future of Storytelling,” which identifies trends and audience attitudes about content. The tips Latitude provides on telling stories are the following:

1. IMMERSION  - Create an immersive experience through content that is delivered in multi-media and that is multi-sensory;
2. INTERACTIVITY  - Allow the consumer to become a part of it;
3. INTEGRATION  - Ensure there is coherence across the many touchpoints; and
4. IMPACT  - Make it lead to action
"Again, the difference today for marketers is twofold--storytelling is not an internal exercise alone; rather, it is an exercise that should engage the consumer. Brand stories need to now live day to day with the engagement of consumers to create strong, long-lasting bonds across all touchpoints, from packaging to video to visual and verbal content. Such a requirement transforms how marketers need to think about their role. It becomes less about directing and more about curating a brand and consumer journey."

Read Kathy's article and share your thoughts on how you might employ a story to ignite interest in your business, product or service.