Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Work with people you like!

I’d like to propose an anti-opportunity idea. Rather than focussing on people who have a need, why not first focus on people you want to hang around. This seems obvious and quite a simple idea – but it is rarely considered.

We tend to focus on who has a need and then start figuring out how to sell to them. My problem with this, is you might end up talking to a target market you think you should work with, rather than one that lights you up.

If you want to be truly remarkable, you need to take every advantage you can.

One effortless competitive advantage is to have a true and sincere desire to be with your target market. I love experts, entrepreneurs and innovators – and so Thought Leaders Global was born. Every day I get to spend time with people I like, talking about things I like. It doesn’t get any better than that.

So, who do you want to be around? Then focus on what they need, that only you can provide.

Happy matching!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Presenter Evolution

As you start to watch different presenters and listen to what they say and how they say it, you might notice some distinct differences. For example, a sports person who just won gold in their chosen event might be sharing a story of how they did it. Or, a consultant on customer service might be sharing the steps you go through to improve your service experience for customers. A spiritual guide might simply sit in service doing what appears to be an off the cuff yet profound question and answer session, they are setting a state of energy in the room.

What follows are my thoughts on the evolution of speakers. It steps out, what is for me, an easy to follow process for taking your presentations to the next level. As it's not how we normally see things, each stage is ‘AND also’ not ‘then NEXT’. It's about incorporating the best of the early stages content into each next progressive level.

First Stage: You see this with kids at primary school. My 8 year old son will present a message from his point of view (I) and will deliver his message through narrative (story). Assuming you are interested in him and his stories, and of course I am, it's compelling. This stage is used to stimulate interest and is often best delivered with a semi theatrical style... ‘An amazing thing happened to me the other day...’

Second Stage: Teachers tend to come from this stage most of the time. They will set out a sequential process (steps) and deliver it with a training outcome approach (you). The idea is you acquire a new skill, a way of doing something. This stage is designed to impact the audience in some way and is very much delivered with an instructive show and tell style... ‘Here is something you may find useful...’

Third Stage: A great coach with an elite sports team will often present from this third stage. They use tone and shift the energy in a room. It's all about the energy or mood (state) they create. Often they challenge, confront, excite or inspire, depending on the outcome they are hoping to facilitate. It's very much about getting into the heads of the audience and connecting (engagement) with them in some significant way. This is the stage most change occurs from... ‘together we can create history here today, but you have to want it bad. Do you want it? I know one thing; physical pain disappears but the feeling of defeat lasts a lifetime...’

This evolution is key to getting better exponentially and to build your next learning on the foundations of your previous knowledge. It requires more continuous focus but I think is the determining factor between competence and mastery.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The evolution of branding through Thought Leadership


Making claims
Features and benefits


Showing evidence
Subject matter expertise

Thought Leadership

Where are you setting your sights?

A business with a Thought Leadership agenda gets to take charge of it's brand in a way that others emulate. Imitation does actually become the sincerest form of flattery.

When you are positioned as the market leader in your field through expertise and not just brochure claims, you become emulated.

Coke was firs


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Are your ears burning?

There is nothing better than word of mouth advertising. Happy clients raving about you is the single most effective way to grow a practice based business. Mortgage brokers, real estate agents and financial planners have known this for years. Thought Leaders should also tap into the business accelerating power of referrals.

Here are five things to think about in creating more referrals:

1. Ask for referrals: When people sign up have them complete a form that provides them the chance to refer. Next time someone gives you praise for what you do, thank them and ask them if they can think of anyone who may also benefit. Don’t just bask in the praise.

2. Focus on six people: We can manage only so many relationships. Find six people who are already working with your ideal clients and start to create value based relationships with them. If you help enough people get what they want then eventually you will get what you want. And remember to sell through them, not to them.

3. Teach people how to refer you: Coach these six people about your positioning but start by understanding theirs. Don't just expect them to refer you. Teach them by example and get them business first.

4. Be great: Honestly the sure fire way to success as a Thought Leader is to keep refining your message and your method. Do good stuff and get better at doing it and you will build a reputation that creates referrals.

5. Don’t be too smart: People don’t refer clever people or charismatic people, they refer reliable people. When your reputation is at stake you want the person to do what they say they will. The basics of say please, say thank you, do what you promise and manage expectations are essential in creating a referral based business.

In summary, get good, get known, sell through six and take care of the basics. And, if you want to build a referral business, ensure you refer others.