Archive for January, 2011

Displaying Personal Presence at networking events

Last week I attended a number networking events and was surprised at how badly some people use them to make contact with people. At one I was monopolised by someone desperate for an appointment to sell their product to me and was sticking to me like glue. After a boring fifteen minutes I managed to introduce him to someone that, on relection, I’m sure was a waiter and then I managed to move away.

At another meeting I met a very nice couple who subsequently told me that they wanted to meet me  again because I was “the only person that looked as if they were having fun”

A lot of my Senior Executive mentoring time is spent on creating “personal presence” and a personal brand image and this includes how to network.

The most common mistakes we talk about are:

  • Monopolising a single person (Between 5 and 10 minutes is generally enough before inviting someone else to join the conversation in order to to create a larger group)
  • Describing what you do and your benefits to a potential prospect in more than 21 words (rambling and ill constructed descriptions are boring and confusing. If it takes more than 15 seconds to say it’s time wasted)
  • Not acting as a host to the group (leading the group by initiating introductions, leading topics and making sure that everyone gets to say something)
  • Being too serious (only wanting to talk about business. Have fun and make sure others are having fun too)
  • Handing out business cards instead of collecting them
No comments

No consensus on Olympic stadium …why I’m not surprised

Is it any wonder that the decision on the future of London’s 2012 Olympic stadium has had to be delayed. The Olympic Park Legacy Company says it needs more time to study rival bids from Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham.

The problem is always the same when there are too many people with differing outcomes that need to give their approval. According to the BBC Any OPLC recommendation will have to be ratified by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Department of Communities and Local Government, and the London Mayor’s office.

Each of these groups have a different perspective but they also want to be able to claim any success for whatever decision that’s made. Then again they will also wish to deflect any criticism if it all goes wrong!

In my experience any business team with such diverse outcomes is destined to fail and the result can only result in more expense to Londoners who will be expected to pick up any bill.

No comments

I’m fed up…

I’m fed up and tired with the number of emails that I get offering to share the secrets of on-line riches and how to earn $2000, $4,000 a month or more by using Twitter, facebook and other social network sites. Proof of their success is always provided by testimonials and their Paypal or Clickbank account statements and it all looks very impressive and plausable.

Indeed some people are running weekend long sales seminars where a troop of people all explain how they have made a fortune on-line and promise to share the same information with a small group…for a fee and it’s all guaranteed!

However, I work to the rule that one of my friends, who runs a hugely successful social media site, who said “When considering products on-line, the one thing to remember is that no one has a goal to make you rich”

No comments

A back-handed compliment…I think

Last week I was flattered to have been contacted by a company to compliment me on the content of my YouTube Channel  and particularly the films on interviewing questions and answers. It’s always nice to be appreciated until they asked if I had considered using a female presenter as it would be “softer on the eye”.

No comments

Misfortune is more infectious than success

Last night I was at a business networking event and thoroughly enjoying myself when an old contact approached me and started to moan about “how slow business is”. His main misfortune was that companies weren’t buying his product and his pitches seemed to fall on stony ground.

He was downbeat, defeatist and depressed and after spending five minutes trying to motivate him to think more positively suggested that he was not going to improve his situation by spending time me. I was, after all, a friend who was never going to buy from him because I’m not his market and that he needed to be making new contacts, working the room, and not sticking with the familiar.

“Well thank you for being sympathetic!” He said with a growl
I ignored the veiled criticism, smiled and introduced him to the people I had been talking to earlier and who I thought might be in a position to need his expertise. Within a few minutes I saw that he was on his own again.

This morning I hear that retail sales had their worst ever December and thought of my friend. Could we in the UK be, unnecessarily, talking ourselves into another downturn, worried about inflation, afraid of the future, terrified of Government spending cuts and generally making ourselves depressed?


No comments

Over 2000 views on YouTube

After only five months of regularly using video on my blog over 2000 views. The most popular have been those on asking and answering interview questions for sales jobs. Perhaps in the current financial climate that’s not surprising but it has encouraged me to upload more videos on recruiting and managing sales teams.

Most viewers come from The UK, USA, Canada, Kuwait, Australia and I hope that everyone will continue to find them useful.

No comments

Shocking news: Directors view business defferently to the hoi polloi

I was facinated by Management Today’s article: “Directors seem to have a very different view to the hoi polloi on how business is going… and that most senior executives feel secure in their current job and even if they were to be made redundant that finding a new job would be easy.

However, what caught my eye was almost the final line of the article that said, 74% of directors reported a strong collective sense of purpose, compared to a mere 47% of those below them. Not because I disbelieve the statistic but because, in my experience, almost all Directors feel a greater sense of purpose than subordinates.

Most subordinates, on the other hand, have to wade through encouraging and often meaningless “visions, goals and objectives” to determine what’s happening. This was reinforced by a friend who told me last week “There’s no point in being too upbeat and enthusiastic about the company’s prospects, it saves time, tears and disappointment in the long run!”

Perhaps it’s why so many Directors will sigh, run their brow and ask “Why is my team so difficult to motivate?”

No comments

Is there value in a diploma with no written exam?

I’ve just had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about business qualifications being one way to improve job prospects during a downturn in job opportunities. However he pointed out that Training Journal reports that the National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) is launching a  qualification aimed at senior financial advisers wanting to upgrade their skills that doesn’t have a written examination. The FSA is expected to approve the qualification on 6th February.

Simon Thompson, CEO of CIOBS, which is awarding the qualification, said: “We know the great majority of existing advisers provide high quality advice to their clients day in, day out, but some may struggle to demonstrate this in a traditional, written examination”.

I may be mistaken, probably am, but if they find a written exam difficult then writing reports to clients advising on pensions, investments and so on to look after their client’s money is probably also a struggle?

My friend suggests that qualifications awarded on work assessment should be indicated by the eletters (WA) 

No comments

Management guff awards

It’s great when someone comes along and pricks the bubble of management pomposity that is part of business today. It’s why I just love listening to Lucy Kellaway on the radio and on her blog and reading her regular column in the Financial Times. Lucy’s talent for stripping away and laying bare the stupidity of puffed up management makes her required reading and listening.

Each year she awards prizes for companies and managers who have butchered the English Language.
Like the Executive at Amazon who renamed books “Reading containers” and Toyota who now call cars “Sustainable mobility solutions”

Other awards go to HB Fuller coaching who state that they “invested in several key talent additions”

I don’t want to spoil Lucy’s adio blog for those who have yet to hear it but firmly believe that it should be required reading and listening for all executives, MBA students and Business school lecturers. Listen to it HERE and enjoy

No comments

Motivating a sales team for the long haul

How to motivate the sales team to achieve target is a topic that keeps sales managers awake at night. Yesterday a group of sales managers in my network talked about retaining and motivating salespeople at one of our regular meetings.

Their insomnia was the thought of their top sales people leaving the team. In the past huge rewards could be given to top salespeople but in these times throwing money at saslespeople to retain their loyaly is more difficult and in any event in the long run it will fail as, one day, all the best salespeople will leave.

A lot of suggestions were made and the group asked if I could put some of the ideas on film for the one absent member of the group. Having made the first I think it’s worth sharing with everyone in my network and, if popular, then I’ll create a series on salesteams.

Motivating A Sales Team For The Long Haul

No comments

Next Page »