The #1 Problem for Accountants & IFAs, in terms of your marketing and how you present yourselves is …
You All Look The Same!
However hard you try, because there is a overall lack of understanding of how important DIFFERENTIATION is now, virtually ALL Accountancy Firms & IFAs conform to a standard list of client benefits.
I just Googled 50 Accountancy Web Sites and these phrases came up again and again:
- We give Personal Attention
- We also give Business Advice
- We are Specialists
- It’s the people involved that add real value
- We offer a range of packages
- We focus on building your business rather than just doing your accounts
- We are unique in our approach
- We are straight talking and honest
- We believe in going the extra mile
- Professional Excellence
- We are committed to our clients
So let me ask you,
‘At what point did you just start yawning?’
Are you ready to do something to make your business stand out?
Then put your details into the box on the right – NOW
… and let me show you how we could put this right!
Bruce Forsyth did this TV ad where the line was, ‘I’m an entertainer’.
I’ve no idea what the ad was about, but at the time, the line ‘I’m an entertainer’ really resonated for me.
Do I think I’m an entertainer? No. And certainly next to Brucie, who the hell would I have to be to think I am?
So what has this got to do with your business? Hang in there.
Yesterday, on Facebook, someone I know vaguely posted about Speaking.
He was going on about how terrible it was for speakers to use video in their presentations.
Well, I don’t know where you are on this one, but my immediate thought was, ‘why not?’
He then went on in (what was to me) a very precious way about how a good speaker shouldn’t need that kind of support. ‘A good speaker should be able to hold the audience’s attention on his or her own’.
To me, it’s a bit like asking Nigel Kennedy to play the Elgar Violin Concerto without the orchestra, because surely he’s good enough to do it on his own!
Look, I’m not knocking aspiration or learning. If that’s your goal – to be a great speaker – then, of course you will want to rise to all sorts of levels of excellence and skill. But back in the real world, where I – and I suspect you – operate, what I really want is A RESULT.
So for me, speaking is just one of many skills that I can use within my business to make it more successful. Speaking is not an end in itself.
Whilst I don’t consider myself an entertainer, what I do know is, if I can be entertaining, that will impact positively on the work I do as a speaker or communicator within my business. Make sense?
And the same is true for you.
Why chase the unrealistic goal of trying to be a great speaker like Churchill or Obama, for example, when a) we’re unlikely ever to be that good, and b) we don’t need to be that good to get the RESULT we want for our business.
David Attenborough – one of my heroes – was once asked about educating his audience. His response was to say that he didn’t know about education, but if he could be entertaining, his audience would learn something.
And that’s what I want you to take away from this and use in your business.
If you’re going out there talking to people – one on one, or one to many – trying to get people to buy your stuff, then ‘package your message’ in a way that makes it enjoyable for your audience to receive.
Use whatever supporting materials or devices you have at your disposal to enhance, enliven or enlighten your audience to the max.
AND be like David Attenborough: totally passionate about your subject. Develop an infectious enthusiasm. It’s one of the most compelling things you can be when you present your stuff to other people.
If you’re presenting to a group, use video, use audio, use props, but ONLY when they support your message, just like the orchestra does in a concerto.
And you don’t need me to remind you about the misuse of powerpoint, do you? So I won’t!
I’ve never been funny, although my wife thinks I am, even with my clothes on! But I do make people smile and sometimes laugh. Not by telling jokes, but just by being me!
And just in case your own cynical self-talk is now saying, ‘but QJ doesn’t have to present to serious professionals like I do’, let me say this.
Every audience I’ve ever presented to has been entirely made up of human beings. People just like you and me. I tried animals once but they didn’t laugh much!
So ask yourself this question, ‘If my audience is people just like me, what kind of presentation would hold my attention? What could the presenter do that would hold my interest, entertain me, and give me something I would value and enjoy?’
Nine times out of ten, we don’t want to be educated. I don’t know about you but I didn’t enjoy school much. Most of the teachers were boring. And if, as grown ups, all we’ve done is to accept that boring education is okay, then I don’t think we’ve grown up at all!
I read once that we’ll pay more – much more – to be entertained than to be educated. So why not do both, just like Attenborough?
Have fun with your business, and let me know how you get on.
PS Don’t miss tomorrow’s ‘thoroughly entertaining’ interview with Brad Burton. You never know, you might learn something!
So here’s the thing. We’re on holiday in Ibiza. Not the most exotic destination but we’re here to see and support my daughter, Sophie, who is dancing every night at one of the various, very touristy hotels dotted around the island.
I was in the music business. Sophie’s a dancer. What’s not to like? I feel quite at home. Gigging is much the same regardless of your art form.
And I liken what Sophie does every night to what we do every day in our businesses when we go out to perform!
We are constantly putting ourselves in front of other people: networking, presenting, consulting, negotiating, coaching, training, selling, attending or running meetings; online, offline, etc.
The thing about Sophie is that she’s rehearsed her socks off until the ‘show’ is perfect.
Hours, days, weeks of rehearsal to perfect what she’s going to be putting in front the the people she has to entertain.
And, whilst not all ‘entertainers’ would also be good in business, I find that Sophie has seen and has started to use those elements of her Show Business Skills that are quickly turning her into a canny business woman.
So let me share with you what she does that you and I can do to help take our business forward.
- She will never go to any ‘performance’ (meeting, presentation, etc) unprepared. She will painstakingly practice what she has to present until it’s perfect. And in case you’re thinking, ‘yeah, but what about improvisation? Conversations don’t always go the way we plan. We have to be flexible’, so does she. Last night her colleague’s microphone packed up mid-song, but Sophie knew exactly what to do and did it: it was seamless.
- She is ‘absolutely present in the moment’. Her sole focus and attention is on her ‘audience’ all the way through the performance. How many of us, when we go out there, make it all about us, and not about the other party? When we focus our attention exclusively on the needs of our audience, something magical happens – we make them feel good! And when they feel good, they are much more likely to buy into us and what we do.
- She and her fellow performers de-brief their performance afterwards. ‘What could we have done better?’ is always the first question. Closely followed by, ‘What worked and what didn’t?’ When you are constantly gaining and using feedback, you improve. It’s really that simple.
And there you have it.
I’m done because I’m on holiday but didn’t want not to share this insight with you.
PS Being into insights as you are, don’t miss my interview with Brad Burton, the Founder of 4Networking (Google it if you don’t know) which I’m sharing with you on this Webinar on 20 June. Here’s the link again.
Get yourself registered now. It’s free and I can promise you, if you normally like my stuff, you will love Brad’s stuff too. He’s an entrepreneur who has turned 4N into the fastest growing networking group in the UK in just seven years with more than 250 groups, and he gives away an awful lot of solid, sound advice that you can use (as I have already) on this programme.
In the meantime, have an insanely great week. See you next week when I’m back in Blighty.
What will you be doing this weekend?
Right now, I’m staring out the window at one of the aspens I planted when we came to live here in Denton more than fifteen years ago. In all that time, the tree has done pretty well. It’s certainly a lot bigger than it was when carefully dug the hole in which to plant it, popped it in and filled in the hole surrounding its roots with a carefully measured mix of soil, compost and fertiliser.
I love trees. They can teach us a lot about how to best live our lives!
Their roots reach out in order to secure them against the elements and to confirm their rock-solid strength and position in the world. At the same time, their branches reach for the sky! And in their spreading, those branches elegantly confirm the tree’s beauty and its aesthetic contribution to the world that surrounds us, as well as providing them with the mechanism by which they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, the life-blood of humans.
As we think about the natural world, it’s possible for us to draw parallels about the contribution we make in our work that makes a difference to the people and environment around us.
The tree’s existence is by mutuality. It needs to be a part of the whole natural system, otherwise its future cannot be ensured. If it wants its existence to continue (as if it could think!), as well as taking, it must provide a contribution to other things in the natural world.
And so it is for the work that we do.
When mutuality exists, unequivocally, both parties thrive. When mutuality is absent, when neither party is dependent upon the other, there ceases to be any natural selection, and the result is more likely to be demise rather than survival or thrival (I just made that word up).
So how about we think about our work in that way? What thoughts come up for you when you consider what you do and how you do it in terms of its mutuality?
Whenever we find ourselves banging our heads against the proverbial brick wall in our business or career, it’s probably because we’ve forgotten to consider our mutuality. It’s probably because we’re not considering the ‘value exchange’ and applying great outcomes for both parties as a heuristic (rule of thumb).
I spent most of my life thinking that I had to prove my credentials. But by trying to be clever, and trying even harder to show others that I was clever, I shot myself in the foot. When we think of the survival and thrival of the tree – and most other things in nature – we realise that the tree doesn’t have to be clever, it just has to be: it’s naturally good at that. And so are we: each and every one of us.
So, I’ll leave you with this thought: what use is our brain? The tree doesn’t have one, and most trees survive very well and outlive us into the bargain. The tree also contributes massively to the natural world, to our survival, and the oak tree in particular is host to more than 1,500 other organisms! Wow!
How many people benefit from your existence? And if it’s not quantity that matters, what’s the quality of the benefit you provide to others?
Have an insanely great weekend, and thank you for reading my stuff.
It’s so true. Most Sixty Second Elevator Pitches just don’t work!
What do I mean when I say that?
Well, for me, I’ve always had a problem with business when things don’t happen fast enough.
I’m very impatient. But being impatient serves me very well. Why? Because we all need cash-flow. We need money to be coming in regularly, not sporadically, not occasionally. And the only way I know of that gets money flowing faster, and more regularly is by adopting a particular MUST that I put in place probably thirty years ago!
And it’s this:
I MUST always ensure that I spend most of my ‘selling time’ with the people most likely to buy
And if you’re thinking, ‘Yeah, that’s all very well, but how do you know who they are?’ then that doesn’t surprise me – and we’ll be looking at that later.
What does surprise me, though, is how reluctant people are to change their behaviour so that they get the results they want in their business FASTER!
And it’s all about discipline.
So, if you’re reading this thinking, ‘Tell me how to get more disciplined right now, please, QJ’, then here’s how.
1) Find out where your best prospects congregate. Where do they meet up? Is it at a live event or online?
And wherever it is, make it your business to get yourself along there. Talk to as many people as possible, and if you can, present yourself to ‘the room’ with an insanely great sixty second elevator pitch. Make it your objective that after you’ve left, YOU will be the one person that everyone remembers!
I’ll repeat that, because this is one of the CORE PRINCIPLES OF A ROCKSTAR BUSINESS:
Whenever you meet new people, make it your singular objective that after you’ve left, YOU will “BE THE PERSON that EVERYONE REMEMBERS!”
Being remembered must always be your first goal, because if you go somewhere and make no impression and SIMPLY FADE AWAY once you’ve left, you’ve wasted your time – completely and utterly. AND you haven’t given people a chance to become a follower or fan, which could then lead to their becoming a client!
And your best chance of being remembered lies within your personality. People will remember you because of who you are and the impact that you made – end of!
You might think that your great business offer is what you need to be talking about – and you may indeed need to mention this – but this won’t be the thing you are remembered for.
(A note here about being a member of a networking group. And I’m not having a go, or suggesting any negatives at all about joining a group that meets regularly. But what I am saying is that if you are not meeting your business targets – you have got targets, haven’t you? – in the time that you are investing with this group, then move on, leave the group. How long do you give it? Well, that’s up to you. But think seriously about this. If you stay when you don’t get the results, it’s probably because of 1) inertia, we keep thinking, ‘well, if I just give it another month!’ when actually all we’re doing is delaying the inevitable, 2) we like these people and we don’t want to offend them or let them think that we’ve been unsuccessful, or, even worse, that we’ll be letting them down in some way!
All I’m saying is just check your motivation, check that you’re doing it for the right reasons, which usually means that you’re totally focussed on getting the business results you want and need.)
The point is that you must …
PUT YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES FIRST
(which ironically usually means NOT talking about your business)
If your membership of a networking group delivers great results – the results you actually set out to get for your business – then fantastic. But if not, take action and move on.
Back to your Sixty Seconds …
As I said at the start of this blog post, for me it’s all about SPEED.
I want QUICK RESULTS!
Life’s too short – and all that.
How do I get QUICK RESULTS and how can you get QUICK RESULTS too?
Like this …
Always START with a line that GRABS ATTENTION. Give them something they weren’t expecting.
(This is Step 1 of the 5 Steps of the SHINE Formula. S stands for Stop ‘Em Dead.)
So, my Golden Rule is NEVER, EVER START WITH YOUR NAME AND THE COMPANY NAME. It’s GUARANTEED TO GET A MENTAL YAWN FROM EVERYONE IN THE ROOM.
No one, and I mean no one, is going to react to, ‘Hi, I’m QJ, and my company is The Inspirationist’ with a ‘Oh, how interesting!’ are they?
NO. So Don’t Do It!
Instead, ask yourself this question, ‘What VALUE am I adding for the people in the room by telling them my name and company name?’ Answer: NONE.
And remember this: If you don’t educate, entertain or i 10e9 nform your audience in a way that gets them excited about A NEXT STEP WITH YOU, giving them your name is completely irrelevant – it also wastes about 10% of the time that you are paying for. So, the rule is, grab their attention first, and then, for those who want to know more about what you just said, TELL THEM WHAT TO DO NEXT, which 9 times out of 10 would be to come and talk to you immediately after the formalities are over.
There is a MYTH about ‘building trust’ and ‘relationships’, and it’s this …
Many small business owners that I meet appear to have this ingrained belief that ‘The relationship you have with your customer or client is the most important aspect of your business success’.
The truth is that ‘the right kind’ of relationship with your client is extremely important, BUT it’s only ONE of TWO critical factors that you must have in place in order to grow your business and therefore required for the ‘relationship’ to be a profitable one.
The truth is that critical factor two, when missing, will completely destroy your chances of that client adding to your bottom line.
The bad news is that the absence of factor two is commonplace, painful to observe, and often fatal!
The good news is that the solution is easy and straightforward, and it’s this: Always ensure that in any ‘sales’ conversation (and that includes all one-to-ones), you always ‘position the purchase’ elegantly and convincingly.
Have fun with your business!
PS If, in reading this blog, you know that you want to take your business forward and increase your profitability with immediate effect – because you’re simply not prepared to wait – you’re going to want to join us at our next live event!
Click here for London gig and Register today …
Click here for Maidstone gig and Register today …
La-La Land must be the place where some people live!
They actually think they’ve got a full Sixty Seconds for their Elevator Pitch!
I say, ‘Don’t be ridiculous! Six Seconds, more like. And even then, you’ll be lucky!’
So how do we get over this problem of:
Short Attention Span
No time any more
Can’t be bothered
More important things to do?
Well, quite honestly … we can’t!
UNLESS we focus on QUICK, DEEP, HARD-HITTING IMPACT!
Be Specific – there’s no time for waffle any more
Be Clear – Clarity of Message and Intention is everything
Be Honest – we can’t abide fakes and charlatans
Be Yourself – with your insanely great personality, you’re going to win ten times more business than if you try to hype-up everything all the time!
To create a RockStar business you need a RockStar Mindset. And to get a RockStar Mindset you probably need a bit of help!
Have an insanely great day!
I was just listening to one of my mentors. He was talking about the conflict between ‘Raving Fans’ & ‘Platinum Sales’!
Here’s how that looks:
Getting Raving Fans isn’t too difficult. We just go out there and be nice to everyone. Everyone likes us back. The numbers of friends, followers and likers grows : but we get no business!
Getting Platinum Sales isn’t too difficult. We just go out there with a great pitch. People buy our stuff. We make some money. It looks like our business is growing : but, in reality, no one likes us very much, there’s no personal connection, and ultimately, repeat business is pretty lousy!
But what if there was a way to have both?
People love you AND they love buying your stuff!
How do you get to that point in your business?
Well, that’s exactly what being a RockStar in your business is all about!
(I’m going to be helping people sort this one at the next “How to Be Insanely Great …” Event, btw)
Please leave your comments, questions and suggestions right here. Thanks. Have a great week.
I’ve literally just come off the phone and a conversation with Tom King, who I discovered this morning on Twitter.
He’s a new follower, an Event Manager and his phone number is included in his Twitter bio.
As a speaker looking for gigs, why wouldn’t I just call him?
Well, of course, it would be mad for me NOT to call him: so I made the call.
But I also had the thought, ‘Is this actually a cold call?’ More >
There is one thing that drives me nuts when people speak: the aspirate h.
If I’ve lost you already, I wonder if you are paying the attention to the detail in your business that Donald Trump talks about – especially in your communications!
But stick with me, I’ll get to my point in a minute.
@realDonaldTrump tweeted on 1st March 2013: Pay attention to details. If you don’t know every aspect of what you’re doing, you’re setting yourself up for some big surprises.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be him, but I would secretly like to be as successful as Donald Trump.
But he’s just a builder, isn’t he?
Well, not quite!
He certainly builds on Rock Solid foundations, and then systematically constructs the framework or structure to the highest standards, but when he gets to the ‘finish’, his attention to detail is staggering!
So, if we aspire to be as successful as we can possibly be, it stands to reason that More >
… and how could you be that impressive too?
The thing is, I believe that any business owner can model how Steve Jobs approached his business and get great results too.
I’m going to keep this brief, because it’s really not difficult or complicated.
Rock Stars & Rock Star business owners have one thing in common – they want to take over the world!
I know, it’s only a metaphor and the territory of the ‘big thinker’ but anyone More >
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Marketing Sales Coach & Mentor for Creative Entrepreneurs, Kent, UK and worldwide.