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Thought Tweet #345

by Rick Baker
On Nov 11, 2011
Thought Tweet #345 You should deliver positive messages.
The Thinking Behind the Sales Tweet
We tested positive and negative marketing messages. We tried both "in these tough economic times" and "to build for the future". We found our positive messages were twice as successful as our negative messages. So we work to keep our communications on the positive side of centre.


Communication: Improving Communication | Marketing | Sales | Thought Tweets


by Rick Baker
On Jul 6, 2011
Jiffy Lube
I drive by this sign at least 10 times a week…probably, closer to 20 times.
It caught my attention the first time I saw it and every time I pass it I wonder if the sign works.
I have had a thing about Integrity claims ever since Enron claimed Integrity as its Corporate Value.
Here are a couple of links to prior Thought Posts….the first one contains a definition of Integrity:
About that sign advertisement: “TRUST THE INTEGRITY OF OUR SERVICE”.
Does the sign work?
Does it bring clients into jiffy lube, the business that posts the sign?
Is it intended to speak to new prospective [probable] clients?
Is it intended to speak to existing clients, providing a reminder of past good service?
Does it exude ‘Trust, Integrity & Service’ the key points of the advertisement?
Does that fellow in the picture have a face of Integrity? Does he look like someone you can Trust?
Does the sign differentiate jiffy lube from its competitors?
Does the sign help jiffy lube achieve its business goals?



About business development Excellence – Hunters & Farmers & Others

by Rick Baker
On Jun 21, 2011
Below, when I state numbers I am basing them on my experiences.
I agree with the thinking behind the 80/20 Rule [Pareto’s Principle/Law/Rule]. So, I have used 80% and 20% whenever possible rather than try to pretend I have more accurate statistics. I have used 99.44% pure to signal areas where we should not hold false hope for finding the 0.56% needles in haystacks.
  • At least 80% of businesses need both Hunters & Farmers. Few businesses can expect to prosper with ‘social media’ alone or a combination of ‘social media’ and Hunter or ‘social media’ and Farmer.
  • Start-up businesses need Hunters…they may not need to hunt end-use Clients but they need to hunt business-development allies, funding, etc. [Allies, like CONNECTORS]
  • Smaller businesses need Hunters. This is a major problem area because smaller businesses have no ‘room for sales slack’. If the 80-20 Rule is a reasonable guide [and I think it is] then Smaller businesses need to hire 5 sales people to get one Hunter. That’s a real burden on Smaller businesses and their Leaders.
  • Less than 20% of salespeople are Hunters [some experts say 15%]
  • For business development Specialists trump Generalists at least 80% of the time…that’s giving sales Generalists [Hunter Farmer Hybrids] the benefit of the doubt. [I would not seek Generalists.]
  • For complex/conceptual sales, a strong Hybrid sales person [Hunter-Farmer Hybrid] will outperform all others [that’s 99.44% pure]. On the other hand, because so few people are strong Hybrids [as in STRENGTHSFINDER strong] it would be unwise to build a sales plan that relies on finding Hybrid business developers. There are exceptions to this 99.44% Rule. For example, when sectors are deregulated, opportunities open up where the best Farmers in the regulated sector can become the very-good Hunters in the unregulated sector. [I would not seek Generalists.]
  • For sales of simpler products and services, Hunters will outsell Farmers and Hybrids 99.44% of the time
  • Disruptive Technologies and Viral Products: as the saying goes…sometimes rules are made to be broken. But, be really, really, really sure your technology is highly likely to be disruptive and your product is highly likely to be Viral.
As you can see, I am comfortable creating names for Roles…Hunter roles, Farmer roles, etc. I believe it is important to ensure people know exactly what their Roles mean to the organization. Following up on a comment I read about Law Firms and their descriptions of Roles…yes, I would use Role names if I was running a law firm. Maybe I would use ‘Readers’ and ‘Writers’…but before I did that I would work to come up with better descriptions. And I would add at least ‘Talkers’. ‘Talkers’ would be the Role I would want presenting cases to juries…i.e., presenting persuasive verbal communication. I would spend time coming up with a better word than ‘Talkers’… ‘Verbalists’…something more creative.
Similarly, we could come up with better words than Hunters, Farmers, & Hybrids for our Sales Roles.
After all, Clients are neither ‘prey’ nor ‘livestock’ nor ‘crops’.


80/20 Rule | Marketing | Sales

About business development Excellence…

by Rick Baker
On Jun 14, 2011
A dozen things you better know
1. You better know your Chief Desire
Whether you have a vivid lifelong Vision or a keen interest in accomplishing something important during the next few months, know what you want. Write down what you want in as simple and clear terms as possible. Napoleon Hill used the terms ‘Definite Purpose’ and ‘Definite Chief Aim’ to describe ‘what you want’. He stressed the importance of definiteness of purpose. To get through the toughest times, which you will no doubt encounter…you must make a habit of stoking the flame of your Chief Desire.
Key Resources:
  • Napoleon Hill, ‘Think and Grow Rich
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshops #1 & #2
2. You better know how to apply your Strengths to work
Some activities invigorate you so much you shine and time flies when you perform them. You perform at your best when you do these activities. These signal your strengths and your personal strengths are your key to business development success.
Key Resources:
  • Tom Rath – ‘StrengthsFinder 2.0
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Strengths
3. You better know how to manage your Weaknesses for work
You find some activities grating. They drain your enthusiasm. Even if you perform them well you will never excel at them and they will never cause business development excellence. Learn how to manage your work so your weaknesses have minimal impact.
Key Resources:
  • Marcus Buckingham, ‘GO Put Your Strengths To Work
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Strengths
4. You better know how to make Connections With People
Business is about PEOPLE. To do business you must connect with people. Your good reputation is an essential ingredient. If you are a natural connector then you have a tremendous advantage. If you are not a natural connector then you will need help from ‘matchmakers’ who illustrate strength in making valuable, timely business connections.
Key Resources:
  • Malcolm Gladwell, ‘The Tipping Point
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Connecting
5. You better know how to Click With People
You must learn how to obtain what you desire while satisfying the needs of other people or, at the very least, not violating the needs of other people. Excellence happens under an environment of aligned, harmonious effort. Work on expanding your pleasing personality. Ask great questions. That’s so important it must be repeated: Ask great questions!
Key Resources:
  • Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman, ‘Click
  • Spirited Leaders Workshop on Connecting
6. You better know how to Lead Change
People only do 3 things: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things. And, ‘Constructive Criticism’ is an oxymoron. Remember those two simple facts when you work to cause Clients to feel good about having a long term relationship with you…and remember those two simple facts when you want to help other people to become your Clients.
Key Resources:
  • Dr. Jonathan Haidt, ‘Happiness Hypothesis
  • Chip Heath and Dan Heath, ‘Made to Stick’ & ‘Switch
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshop #2
7. You better know your business development Hedgehog & More*
* Hedgehog, Differential Advantage or Unique Selling Proposition, & Value Propositions
Stand out! Work at a business that can provide simple clear answers to tough questions like:
  • What do you excel at doing?
  • How are you different from your competitors?
  • How are your products & services different from your competitors’?
  • Why should I buy from you?
Key Resources:
8. You better know your business Target Markets
Do not limit your target market thinking to demographics. That just scratches the surface. Always remember people place the orders. Always remember people’s buying habits are heavily influenced by emotions and justified [later] with logic. Watch what they do. Observe with a clear and open mind. Seek the roots of behaviour patterns.
Key Resources:
  • Jeffrey Gitomer, ‘Sales Bible
  • Guy Kawasaki, ‘Reality Check
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshop #3
9. You better know your Business Development Pillars
Today, your business development must be supported by several marketing & sales pillars. You need a pillar of social media presence. You need at least one pillar of promotion. You need a pillar of cold calling. You need more than that. And, all your pillars must be pointed in the same direction…your marketing & sales actions must be integrated…your marketing & sales pillars must complement and enhance each other.
Key Resources:
10. You better know your business ‘Master Rules’
4 strategic things set the stage for your ‘Master Rules’. Those 4 things are your business’ shared Values, Vivid Vision, key success factors, and key failure factors. ‘Master Rules’ are the link that bonds your strategic thoughts to your practical actions. So, ‘Master Rules’ must be clear and simple. And, ‘Master Rules’ must be repeated. ‘Master Rules’ must also be few in number…this ensures boundaries are set on actions without stifling creativity.
Key Resources:
11. You better know your business Goals
S.M.A.R.T. Goals worked well in prior generations ago and they worked well a decade or two ago. Now, Goals must be more textured. When you set goals, it is essential to anticipate people reactions…specifically, you must understand in advance the emotional reactions your goals are likely trigger. This applies to the emotional reactions of your people, your clients, your suppliers, etc. You can do this by adding an ACRE of considerations when you set SMART goals:
A Action
C Conversion
R Repercussion
E Emotions
Key Resources:
12. You better know what you must Measure and Measure what you must know
Performance Tracking & Key Performance Indicators: these are pure gold when you have the discipline to establish them and make them Good Habits. This is one area in business where zero tolerance is the best policy: if it’s worth doing then it’s worth measuring. Conversely, if it isn’t worth measuring then why would you bother doing it?
Key Resources:
  • Douglas W. Hubbard, ‘How To Measure Anything
  • Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson, ‘Fake Work
  • https://rickbaker.ca/post/2010/01/19/CHANGING-FOR-THE-BETTER-Good-Habits-Bad-Habits-New-Things.aspx
  • Spirited Leaders Academy Workshop #6
13. You better know exactly how Your Role contributes to your business
There are 3 Steps:
  • Ensure role clarity…role descriptions, etc
  • Ensure reward clarity…goals, performance, & rewards
  • Perform an iterative process: test Your Role against every one of the first 12 Things You Better Know. Do this step now. And do this step at least once per year.
Key Resources:

Clients’ Clients philosophy

by Rick Baker
On Jun 9, 2011
Why you must give this idea your best thought
We ask people, “What’s the best thing you could deliver to your Clients?”
We hear a variety of answers:
  • Top quality products
  • Excellent service
  • Competitive pricing
  • Reliable advice
  • Going the extra mile
  • A smile
We ask a follow-up question, “What if you delivered a Client to your Client…would your Client like that...how would that stack up against the other things you mentioned?”
We always hear something like, “Our Clients would be thrilled if we did that!”
So, we created a philosophy we call ‘ClientsClients’.
Clients’ Clients philosophy:
  1. Your Clients will be thrilled if you bring them Clients
  2. But, don’t stop there – do even more
How to put this philosophy to work for your business…
Getting started on Part 1: Your Clients will be thrilled if you bring them Clients
  • Start with the person in your organization who loves to connect people to other people…if you want a more-detailed description of the ideal person for this task then think about the Connectors described by Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point ...this type of person will be able to lead you to immediate success
  • Consider the 80/20 Rule…think about your best clients…the top 20% that brings about 80% of the value received by your company…think about how to bring Clients to these Clients
  • If your business is B2B then you need to start by understanding your Clients’ business and their desired ideal Clients…just ask them, they will appreciate your interest and they will be inclined to tell you
  • If your business is Retail then most of your Clients work somewhere…and the place they work has ideal Clients then go back to the last bullet point
  • Once you understand what your Clients’ Clients look like, have your Marketing & Sales people do a little brainstorming exercise…come up with some names of Clients’ Clients whom your people already know. Contact those Clients’ Clients and tell them you are trying to help one of your prized Clients…etc…arrange introductions where win-wins are evident
Getting started on Part 2: But, don’t stop there – do even more
Part 1 was just the starting point. You can do more than providing Clients to your Clients:
  • You can provide top-quality employees to your Clients
  • You can provide top-quality suppliers to your Clients
  • You can provide top-quality advisors to your Clients
  • You can do much more than that
The key: your business and your Marketing & Sales people need to have a differential advantage.
You can add value to your slate of products and services by embracing the Clients’ Clients philosophy.
This will help your Clients.
And your Clients will want to help you.


80/20 Rule | Clients' Clients Philosophy | Marketing | Sales

A Social Media question

by Rick Baker
On Mar 23, 2011
You and the people at your business are on a path.
You walk along that path, keeping your eyes open for Clients.
Your Clients walk on their paths.
Your path and their paths overlap at the times and places you do business with your Clients.
As business grows the paths get bigger. Your path gets bigger. Your Clients’ paths get bigger.
Soon you begin to use a range of vehicles to make your travels more efficient and effective. Your Clients do the same thing.
A little later all the roads become paved with commercial success. Maybe they are not yet the superhighways of your dreams [or your Clients’ dreams]…but they are well-travelled and well-paved roads.
You maintain your road; you keep all the lanes in good shape.
You want to make sure your roads connect with your Clients’ roads…you want to connect with your existing Clients, your Ideal Clients, the Probable Clients you have met, and many, many other Clients whom you have not yet met. So, you always work to make sure your main road and your side-roads are headed in the right directions.
You want to maintain your vehicles.
You want to add new vehicles…you keep your competition in the rear-view mirror.
Then, you hear about a new vehicle called Social Media.
Maybe at first you try to ignore it or keep out of its way?
Maybe you think it is a fad that will wear off?
But, the Social Media vehicle does not go away.
You hear its horns honking every day, everywhere.
So, you get yourself a Social Media vehicle….a ‘starter’ vehicle.
And you begin to drive your social Media vehicle.
The question is:
When your Social Media vehicle travels along, does the rubber hit the road?



Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.