Six tips on how to create a great leadership speech
by Simon Lancaster, professional speech writer, who shares his knowledge on how the use of simple rhetorical techniques can make your next speech stand out.
Just four minutes. well worth viewing! Simon was a former pupil of my husband, Bernard, just a few years ago!
Buying Personas – Target Customer
Buying Personas sound much more interesting than target customer don’t they? But the importance of identifying and understanding your target market is so critical to all your marketing activity, it can be scary how often it is not considered. So what is a buying persona? It is when you slice your target market into individual groups of people and identify them not only in terms of what problem you are solving for them but also the type of language you use to communicate with them, the means of communications etc. For example if you were a hotel, you might have 6 separate ‘personas’. An business person, a training manager/event manager looking at conference facilities, a weekend break couple, a bride to be, a user of the sports/leisure facilities or a family wanting to use for lunch or to arrange a party. How many do you have in your business?
When running marketing campaigns, you will need to adapt your messaging to fit the needs of your different buying personas.
what is his or her need?
why would they need your product… what problem are you solving?
why should they care about you?
what is your unique value proposition? what makes you unique/special and different…..
There are lots of things you can do when you have the buying personas in your head:
1. Give each persona a name, and put that name and a fun sketch of that type of person on separate sheets of paper. Make it really clear in your mind who that person is, what sort of person they are
2. Think about what questions they will want answered when contacting you, so that you jot these down as an ‘aide memoire’ on the sheet, to act as a prompt for you and your team. Great exercise in which to involve the team. Think too about any extra information you want from that type of enquirer in order to give him/her a really good response to their enquiry. Jot these questions down on the sheet. Think too about the questions they are not asking (developing listening skills!) – for example if you have a very innovative product then kudos could come into the enquiry, being the early adopter etc. The underlying reasons are important to establish too.
3. Think about what type of communications you’ll use for each persona – work out the best path to each persona. Will it be on line or off line or a mix of both. Whatever you choose, make sure it is relevant for your target market. Don’t get caught up in the social media hype in isolation and think it will be answer to all your business needs.
4. Think about your language and style. The language you use to ‘talk’ to your leisure club user, for example, would probably be different from your weekend visitors/wedding enquirers. And if you typically use a lot of flowery language you may want to limit this a tad when emailing an FD or IT person. And similarly if an IT or numbers person, then you could work with a colleague to make sure your typical responses are fully understandable and not coming across as too curt and disinterested.
4. If you are looking for some customer feedback, then it can be powerful to survey
a number in each group of your personas. Or you could start to create a profile of your customers – what would be important for you to know? Perhaps age, profession, financial standing, education, or it could be free time activities, buying decisions shopping habits.
5. When writing blogs then vary the content, so one would be geared to your wedding couple, whereas the latest upgrade in sports equipment in your gym would appeal to the leisure club members. It can also be very powerful to include references to your recent survey – opinions and stats…
6. But you must also mention your other services to all of the sectors, the “cross sell”, so that they are all aware of what else you do. The leisure club member may be looking for a venue for their wedding. And in a legal practice you might be dealing with someone for their conveyance/will etc. but they absolutely must know too that you have an amazing commercial department and what it offers. One of the worst comments about your business would be: “Oh, I didn’t know you did this”.
7. Let your team have copies of these ‘master’ sheets for their reference – and/or pin them on the wall in front of their desk. Make them fun.
Think too about where/when you can use this sequence of information, for example
answering an initial enquiry or email
sending a formal proposal
making a presentation
attending a networking event
attending an exhibition or trade show – train your team representing you at such an event into the different typical buying personas and you can be sure that the relevant information will be passed on
This is part of my sales training sessions so if you need help, just send me a mail or call me.
Leadership Protocol – What Bosses Should Never Ask Employees to Do
Sometimes leadership protocol can be hard.
What can/should you be asking your team to do. Leadership Protocol can be tricky. What appears to be an excellent idea can turn sour, fall flat on its face, or have the very opposite effect you wanted.
Have you considered what you should and shouldn’t ever ask an employee to do? It can be a minefield. Think about
‘making’ employees feel they have to attend ‘social’ events – you know the sort of thing and the ‘guilt trip’ that an employee can feel if they’d prefer not to participate. If you have remote workers consider this especially. If it’s an after-work ‘drinks’ / get together, make sure it is ‘after work’ and not an hour after finishing. Or maybe it could start half an hour before the end of your day?
Company fundraising schemes – fabulous and great but again not something to pressurize your staff about
What if you’ve asked someone to undertake a task and it’s not being done very well. Do you take it away and ask someone else to do it?
What about evaluation: self-evaluation or evaluating peers – should you be asking your team to do this?
What about revealing the ‘one thing no-one else knows about you’ – team building stuff. Does the leader have a right to ask an employee to do this? Is it really helpful?
Do you ‘lead by example’ and ‘roll up your sleeves’ if needed?
Remember, long after an employee has left your team, they will still remember how you made them ‘feel’. A good article by Jeff Haden – I’m sure we can all relate to some of these issues .
Another great article from HubSpot in March 2013 by Marta Kagan
………… As Carmine Gallo puts it in his book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, Steve “transformed the typical, dull, technical, plodding slideshow into a theatrical event complete with heroes, villains, a supporting cast, and stunning backdrops. People who witness a Steve Jobs presentation for the first time describe it as an extraordinary experience.” Link here to the website for the rest of the article
Slightly worrying though that it’s no more bullet points in the powerpoint!
Another great article from Psychotactics.com. I’m a great fan of New Zealand based Sean de Souza
“How To Write Faster and Better Using The Power of Limitations
When you walk into an ice-cream parlour, something weird occurs. We look up to the board and find twenty or thirty flavours of ice-cream. And to most of us, this doesn’t even seem weird. We expect to have tons of choice. But notice what you’re doing as you step up to order your ice-cream” Click here to link to the rest of the article
OK then, it’s Valentine’s Day next week; don’t just keep this day for your loved ones, but think about your special customers in your business too..
When did you last tell them they were valued? Last week, last month, last year? Scary stats for why people stop buying from businesses (quite a few variations here but this is the ‘average’):
3% move away.
5% follow a friend’s or relative’s recommendation.
9% find an alternative they perceive to be better quality or value.
14% are dissatisfied with the products or services.
And a massive 68% of people leave a business because of… indifference. They take their business elsewhere simply because they do not feel valued.
Since you spend a lot of time, money, and effort to get a visitor to your business, if you let them leave because of indifference, you might as well be flushing £20 notes away.
Do you know what your customers think of you/your business and service/product? If you haven’t asked them recently, maybe now is the time to do that survey that’s been on your ROUND TUIT list. It’s such a great way to get feedback, build your testimonials and ask for word of mouth recommendations. If you would find it difficult to ask such questions of your customers, then I’m sure I know someone who would be delighted to undertake this for you – just call…
Customers love it when you Customers love it when you
know them, remember them by name and remember their preferences;
make it easy for your customers to do business with you;
treat them with respect and make them feel special;
treat your 20% VIP customers like royalty (more about your 20% in my Pareto article);
let them know you’re accountable when problems arise;
ensure they know they can communicate with a live person;
deliver what you say by when you promise it and on the first time of asking; even better would be to deliver ahead of time;
anticipate their needs, even before they do;
sort any problems that arise promptly and efficiently;
make offers clear and transparent so that customers don’t feel ‘cheated’ by not getting exactly what they thought they were going to get;
Former Olympic champion, politician and businessman Sebastian Coe shares the secrets of his success and provides his tips on leadership skills (from an article in the Daily Telegraph in 2009 – I wonder if he would add to this, now, after his experience of running the Olympics?)
I am often asked what motivates me to succeed, and how I apply the skills I learned as a runner to my roles in politics and business. The answers to the first question are a passion for the job in hand and a wish to be the best I can be; the answer to the second is that I apply them daily.
There are common traits to successful leaders in any field: imagination, tenacity, the ability to listen, intuition and intelligence. Equally important is the ability to focus and stay on track for as long as it takes, self-management, an element of charisma, a degree of talent and sheer personal courage.
Sports people at the top of their game tend, like entrepreneurs, to have something of a frontier mentality. They are bold and they are prepared to embrace new ideas. Those with a winning mentality are often more prepared to listen to criticism and do things in a new way. It can take courage to set yourself apart from the crowd. Choosing to do things differently can be mistaken for arrogance but, in reality, taking a new approach is often born simply of a compulsion to keep driving forwards.
Together with Stephen Fry, Sir Ian McKellen and Victoria Wood, I and nearly 5 million other listeners are fans of the Archers, the longest running radio show in the world, with more than 16,700 episodes since it started in 1950. Recently I was listening to an episode where local farmer Brian’s arrogant, directive leadership approach resulted in a predictable response from his step-son, Adam, and it made me think about “what if Brian had taken a more coaching approach to the challenge”?
The BBC script:
The gentleman farmer, Brian, has ‘done it again’ in terms of alienating his stepson Adam, who helps run Brian’s farm, with his tactic of negotiation by ultimatum. “I’ve spoken with Debbie (not me!) and this is how it has got to be; there’s no alternative!” Even if there really were no alternative – that sentence was guaranteed to charge immediate hostility, anger and hurt within Adam, prompting questions in Adam’s mind: “Why does Brian always speak to Debbie first and present me with a ‘fait accompli’? Doesn’t he trust me? Why couldn’t I be included in the discussions from the beginning? How can Brian expect me to support this decision”? Directive versus Coaching Leadership
This illustrates very well the difference between the “directive leader” and the “coaching leader”, which is largely in mindset and approach. With the directive leader, typical traits would include
The BT small business unit put out this bulletin in 2008 which I thought was good.
Achieving brilliant customer service If you want your customers to keep coming back to you, getting your customer service right is vital. We asked the Institute of Customer Service to give us their tips for customer satisfaction.