Author Archive

Meetings: How to be memorable

Most people have a diary overflowing with meetings that were created weeks ago, and sometimes by others. If you’re a sales person trying to get into a prospect’s diary, try these tips to be memorable:

  1. Put your name first in the meeting subject. When their calendar only gives them the first 10 characters of the meeting subject they will see it’s with you. (If you put their name first they will see that they are at a meeting – der!)
  2. Use their time zone. When meeting online or planning trips interstate always speak in their timezone. It’s not up to them to know where you are!
  3. Send a meeting request via e-mail. This massively reduces the chances of someone else stealing the time slot from you.

It’s about focusing on them (and not yourself) and being easy to buy.

As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.

Your 2019* training needs

My diary is filling fast for 2019.  If you want to ensure your team have the skills to stay ahead of the competition contact me today and we can lock that training in. The three most common ways clients used my services in 2018 were:

  1. Sales training – helping sales teams sell by focusing on value
  2. Presentation skills training – stopping death by PowerPoint and ensuring clients and staff remember the message and take action
  3. Pitch preparation – The most important presentation in the workplace is the sales presentation. I help you stand out and stop boring clients with slides.

To lock your dates in for 2019, just send me a private message and let me know what you’d like and when. I’ll then call you to work out the details.



*We can even play with invoicing dates to fit around budgets if you need!

Right question in the wrong place is the wrong question

The ‘right question’ asked at the wrong time is no better than the wrong question asked at the right time.

On a recent trip to the optometrist, I was told I was going to need reading glasses. Now, to someone who has worn glasses full time since I was 18 this was like a bat to the face. Was I about to become one of those people who said, “I’ve left my reading glasses at home?”

Then the optometrist asked me the wrong question. He asked, “Have you been thinking of getting these as reading glasses or an update to your normal prescription?”

Up until that instant, I had not thought about reading glasses at all – except at how lucky I was that I didn’t need them!

But this is the question his sales script directed him to ask once the consult had finished. I know this as he asked the same question again a minute later.

That’s the problem with sales scripts – the customer always says the wrong thing which makes following your script hard.

You’re better to have a message and end goal you’re looking to get to and equipping your sales staff with the skills to make their own way there.

As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.



It’s not PC mad

When we hear that the world has gone PC mad, what does that mean?

Usually, it means we are no longer able to call people what we want – we have to take into account what they may think about the words we use.

I don’t think that is a bad thing.

As always, I’d love your thoughts on this here.



Flight 436, the scheduled 6:15 pm service to Melbourne will depart in 30 minutes. All passengers please proceed to the gate

I do a lot of flying – so do my colleagues – but we rarely know what flight number we are on. We know the destination we are going to and the time of departure – in that order. But the airlines talk to us via flight numbers, times and then destinations. They do this because it makes sense in their world and their systems.

But by the time we have heard the destination and start paying attention we have missed the important information (there are always multiple flights to destinations). This makes it harder for people to act.

If you want to influence, first speak the message your audience will hear, then share your message. Good marketers have been doing just that for years.

As always I’d like your thoughts on this here.



The Fault Finder

It’s easy to be the fault finder – to point out what is wrong and how it should be better. Anyone can do that – and they always will.

It’s much harder to build someone up, but the rewards are immense. It creates connection and this drives influence.

As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.




They don’t help you or others.
Grudges create triangles between colleagues, families and friends. They cause us to priorities our connections (If you have a grudge against her and I like both you and her, how do I handle your grudge to her?) and this reduces our ability to influence.

As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.


The Vulnerable

Dr Brene Brown is an amazing researcher, author and speaker on being brave. She’s not the kind of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway!’ brave, but the ‘let people in’ brave – which is arguably tougher.
This sort of brave is about lowering your guard, even when it may hurt. It’s about showing you have a human side and that you may not have all the answers – even when your title implies you should. It’s about showing that which we would call our ‘weaknesses’.
While many people find it difficult to share their weaknesses, here’s the irony – we see vulnerability in others as a strength. It shows you can do something others won’t, it makes you more relatable and it makes me feel at ease with my own weaknesses.
Displaying vulnerability builds massive connection with your team and makes it easier for them to get on board with your message. This is influence at its best.
Your weaknesses may just be your strength.
As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.


Michaelia Cash – Oh no! Not Twice!!!

Senator Cash said some dumb things in Senate Estimates on Wednesday. Unsubstantiated slut shaming is never a good look. We all stuff up. But the way she handled it means she stuffed up twice and will hurt her government in the process.

In the heat of battle it can easily cross the line – it seems right at the time, but on reflections we know it was wrong. It’s how you handle it that shows your true character.

What voters expect

We don’t expect our leaders to be perfect, but we wont accept them being cows either. We know they are human and are bound to make mistakes – we all do. Cash made an error of judgement and could have responded completely different and it would not be dragging on and drowning out the governments message, dragging other ministers into the mess and giving ammunition to political foes.

How to handle stuff-ups

When you stuff up (and we all do) the first step is to stop digging the hole. The further you entrench yourself in the position the harder it is to deal with later (as she is finding out).

The easiest way to do this is to apologise and withdraw. Apologise and withdraw without qualification. Cash did not do this. She said, “If someone has been offended I withdraw the comments”. This tells us that she stands by her comments if no one is offended. She would rather be right than happy (her version of right)

The power this gives you

When you apologise it takes the steam out of the attack. Anything that is said by those against you can rightly be shown to be all about the attacker. If the issue is again raised what can it achieve? Nothing. If the opposition escalate it to ask for Cash to resign there is a credible defence that you would not sack someone who has such integrity to apologise the moment they realise they have made an error.

Will it be easy?

No – but it will be easier. Apologising on the spot may cause a few hours of embarrassment and shame (rightly so), but this will be nothing compared to having to arrange a whiteboardto run behind to keep out of the eye of the media.

It is our pride that feels it will be hurt fi we apologise, But as the old saying puts it, pride goes before a fall.

The unintended benefit

Apologising gives you strength. It shows you to be the bigger person. In 2006 Kevin Rudd apologised for visiting a stipe club in New York and his popularity went through the roof. Same for Bob Hawke. More recently, Nick Xenophon apologised for a major stuff up in his health budget calculations and the problem went away quickly.

We all stuff up once in a while. The way we handle it determines if the impact is short or sustained.

As always I’d love your thoughts here.



Let Them Speak

Everyone has an opinion they want to share. (You just have to look at the pointlessness of Twitter to see this). It helps us feel heard and connected to our community and tribe. Abraham Maslow described this as one of our basic human needs.
As a leader it’s your job to let them share their opinion.
Your challenge is to ensure that they don’t take too long, do it in the right place and understand that they don’t have the final say. This will drive connection and this will in turn drive your ability to influence.
Are you up for that challenge?
As always I’d love your thoughts on this here.


The Bermuda Triangle

When I was a kid I was fascinated by the Bermuda Triangle. How could planes and ships just seemingly disappear without a trace with no valid explanation? Various theories have been put forward by experts, authorities and fortune tellers as to what happened. Only recently have valid theories been offered – namely that they are just coincidences.

The modern day version of the Bermuda Triangle is the Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370. No one (alive) seems to know what happened to it.

But if you search the internet you will find hundreds of theories on both the Bermuda Triangle and MH370. These theories range from a suicidal pilot, the plane being captured by the Russians through to North Korea using a remote hacking program to steal the plane and harvest the body parts of those on board.

The individuals creating these theories are basing them on their own understanding of the facts, research, observations, beliefs, mis-understandings, biases, suspicions, paranoia, vendettas, agendas, desires to build themselves up and the wish to be the person that is right. People create theories because we don’t like incomplete information – we guess and make stuff up to fill in the blanks.

The same thing happens in your workplace. When people don’t know why certain decisions are being made, they cannot help but use their own understanding of the facts, research, observations, beliefs, mis-understandings, biases, suspicions, paranoia, vendettas, agendas, desires to build themselves up and the wish to be the person that is right to explain what is going on.

Stopping this is simple. Explain the reasoning behind decisions that effect people. When they know why, they wont have to make up a reason for a decision they don’t understand. This builds trust and increases your chance to influence your team.

As always I’d like your thoughts on this here.




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