The two most powerful words in the world

Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.’ – G.B. Stern
 
God gave you the gift of 86 400 seconds today. Have you used one to say ‘thank you’?

There are no more powerful words in our language than ‘thank you’. These two magical words make other people feel good. Thanking works so powerfully, because it expresses one of our most basic emotions – gratitude. But if saying thank you is so powerful, why don’t we say it more often? Do we forget to do so because we are too preoccupied with ourselves? Has this silenced our voice of appreciation? Developing the habit of saying thank you not only benefits others but, like all gifts we give, benefits ourselves as well.

I googled the words thank you and I got 1 560 000 000 hits. So there are many thank yous out there.
 
Here’s a valuable action tip for you – the best thing about thank you is that it creates closure in any potentially explosive discussion. What can you say after someone thanks you? You can’t argue with them. You can’t try to prove them wrong. The only response is to utter two of the most gracious, inviting words in our language – ‘you’re welcome’. It’s music to anyone’s ears.

How about expressing an unexpected thank you right now?
 
‘I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.’ – Author Unknown

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Appreciation and Praise

‘Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.’ – Sam Walton

There is no investment you’ll ever make that will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer wherever you go.

The deepest need in human nature is the craving to be appreciated. If you treat an individual as if they were what they ought to be and could be, they will become what they ought to be and could be. Everyone thrives on being appreciated, loved and needed. There is no stronger motivation than the feeling that comes from knowing that others believe in you.

Applaud others when they run.                                                                                     Console them when they fall.                                                                                              And cheer them when they recover.

As water is to a flower, so is praise to the heart of another. Who have you praised and appreciated today?

‘Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.’ Jacques Maritain

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

The 3 key ways to guarantee explosive sales growth in your business

Do you ever wonder how many ways there are to increase your business? 20 ways? 100 ways? 200 ways? It can be intimidating to know where to start. I have good news – there are only three ways to increase your business.

It’s significantly less daunting if you only have to focus on 3 categories. In fact, it’s easy.

Explosive growth comes when you leverage and multiply the power of the three fundamental ways to build your business.

Everything you do to build your business falls into one of these three categories…

  1. Increase the number of clients  
  2. Increase the average size of the sale per client
  3. Increase the number of times clients return and buy again

Exponential growth rates happen when you’re multiplying the power of all three areas together.

When entrepreneurs get focused on just one of these areas they get stuck and the most common sticking point is when they only chase after new customers. Getting new customers is important, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Average business owners get stuck here and never grasp the power of leveraging their growth opportunities together.

How do you leverage these three areas for super-fast growth?

Increase your customer base by 10% by adding new customers, increase your average transaction value per client by 10%, and then increase the number of times your customers buy from you by 10%.

Here’s how the numbers play out with a 10% increase across the board – 110 customers x R110 x 11 sales = R133 100
A nice little 33% boost in revenue. It’s like compound interest for revenue – focusing on all three actions together gives you that much more.

Working day in and day out with growth obsessed entrepreneurs has taught me that a 10% increases in customer acquisition, transaction value per sale and average number of purchases is small fry.

So see what happens when you get 30% increases across the board…
100 customers x R100 X 10 sales = R100 000
This becomes – 130 customers x R130 x 13 sales = R219 700
You’ve now MORE THAN DOUBLED your business!

Focusing on this simple formula is just one small way people easily do increase their incomes or grow their businesses by 100%, 200% or more. All my business and consulting success has been built on this key business growth strategy. This is the blueprint to instantly DOUBLING YOUR SALES.

The point of this lesson is to emphasise that dynamic business growth can’t flow out of a stodgy, linear strategy. You have to think in geometric terms.

As always, my explicit goal is to see your business and income massively magnify and multiply. My challenge to you is: what can you do differently in each area to make an impact on your results?

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

The biggest scam in business

“I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half.”John Wannamaker

Sometimes I wish I had gone into the advertising agency business rather than becoming a business growth strategist.

I can picture myself sitting in a very posh office, earning seven figures a year. I can also see myself being worshipped as an advertising genius for “brilliant and creative” work, winning a clutch of advertising awards.

And the best part of this dream job? Sitting comfortably, knowing that nobody will ever ask the question: “Do his adverts work?”

Unfortunately, I took the other road. Instead, I chose direct-response marketing and selling, where every project, presentation, and every cent generated by every advert and campaign that I create is carefully measured.

I don’t have the luxury of sacrificing proven sales-boosting techniques in the name of creativity. Every promotion I create must accomplish all the things that are necessary in order to make the sale.

Most of the ad campaigns created by major ad agencies are not measureable. This leads to some of the most wasteful and self-indulgent advertising ever produced. I believe that this is one of the biggest legal ‘scams’ perpetrated in the corporate world.

Evert night you can switch on your TV and see this type of advertising. Try this tonight – grab a writing pad and answer these questions after each TV advert that you view:

1. Did the advert make me crave this kind of product?

2. Did the ad explain all the reasons why this brand or product is the only one I should consider?

3. Did the advert provide me with powerful benefits of the product or service? 

3. Did the ad make me feel it’s urgent that I buy this product or service now — or at least soon?

4. Do I have everything I need to know to make the purchase?

I’ll eat my laptop if 5% of the adverts you see do all of the above.

Ask any sensible business owner “Why advertise?” – And he or she will say, “To sell more products.”

Ask most advertising creative people the same question and you’ll get very different answers. One will explain that their job is to promote the “brand”. The next one will say the goal is to enhance the “brand image”. Do you think most of them even care if they increase their clients’ sales and profits?

Two radically different objectives!

I frequently sit at group meetings with clients and ad agency people and hear a version of the most stupid statement in business “I think it’s too salesy”. Many advertising creative staff don’t give a sh#! about things as common as selling stuff.

Powerful and effective advertising is all about giving people a compelling reason to buy a product. And when you let very expensive off-the-mark “creativity” get in the way of making a sale, it’s not creative; it’s simply stupid. The primary reason to advertise is to intensify the consumer’s desire to buy your product, educate customers, increase sales and grow market share.

Every month, many millions of rands are wasted on advertising that simply does not sell. Make sure that this does not happen to your business. If your advertising results cannot be tested or measured, then don’t waste your money.

“There is just one justification for advertising: Sales! Sales! Sales!” – John W. Blake

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Brilliant Leadership in 2 Minutes

The biggest leadership challenge that managers face is winning the commitment of others. The key action required is to enfranchise others.

This is most effectively done by confidently giving your people the responsibility to do their jobs, promoting mastery and providing purpose.

Appreciate your people and create a sense of enthusiasm and your team will be unstoppable. I recommend that you:

1. Delegate Responsibility: Make your employees responsible for something. Make sure they understand that responsibility goes hand and hand with leadership and accountability. This means that you respect their decisions and do not micro-manage them and their processes.
2. Promote Mastery: Give your employees the opportunity to become the best they can be at a specific tactic, strategy, or function. You may need to send them to conferences and provide other special training. You are encouraging them to be your resident trusted expert and authority.
3. Provide Purpose: Create a corporate culture where your employees believe in what they are doing and that the purpose for your organisation’s existence is larger than them. Create a mission statement and core values, and live by them every day.

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” – Steve Jobs

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Live your dash with no regrets

On your tombstone one day will be a dash.

Your dash is the line between your date of birth and your date of death. This dash stands for your life. Your life is finite. I read recently about the chronicles of people who worked in palliative care and hospices. These special human beings supportively care for the dying. Many have listed the regrets of the people that they care for during their final days. What is sad is that they hear the same six regrets from nearly everyone.

You may be thinking, why listen to the elderly or the dying? Don’t you think that it’s an excellent way of getting the wisdom of experience in advance? With each day, each passing minute, our future grows shorter. Determine today who and what is most important to you.
The wishful regrets of the people in the last weeks and days of their lives are:

  1. “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself”, not the life others expected of me. This is the single most common regret. Little is more important than finding your own trail.
  2. “I wish I didn’t work so much and lose the balance in my life.” Many people find meaning, purpose and even a sense of identity in their work. It often leads to a feeling of pride and success. Hard work can be one of life’s great satisfactions, especially if it provides you with an opportunity to express your talents. But, don’t forget to achieve balance between your work and life. Workaholics often sacrifice so much for so little. A simpler, less materialistic lifestyle enables shorter working hours, greater freedom and more leisure.
  3. “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings more.” This isn’t the case with everyone, but some go through life with their opinions and emotions bottled up inside. Expressing honest feelings either builds a healthy relationship to a higher level or eliminates an unhealthy one. Either way, you win.
  4. “I wish I had kept contact with my friends.” As we move through life, we never stop making new connections. But, old friends are irreplaceable. These are the people who have known us longer and better than anyone. However, even golden friendships fade with neglect. And near the end of our lives, it may be too late to find them.
  5. “I wish I had let myself be happier.” Happiness is an inside job; it’s an attitude. It’s also a choice. Yet we tend to worry most of the time about events and circumstances that mostly never happen. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Develop an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is the antidote to negative feelings.
  6. “I wish I had said ‘I love you’ a lot more.” The importance of love becomes more pronounced towards the end of life. In many cases the people you wished that you had said ‘I love you’ to are no longer around. Don’t waste a moment not telling someone you love while you have the chance. You have nothing to lose.

Your life is a one-time deal. Starting this minute choose to live it without regret. Choose happiness!

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

50 Shades of Marketing – Fifty marketing weapons to grow your business

In this article I’d like to recommend that you do a quick audit of your marketing and business growth performance. Evaluate this checklist of 50 marketing weapons. Are you optimising all of these in your marketing toolkit to promote your product and service? And if you are using these tools, can you improve, leverage, maximise and multiply the effectiveness thereof. Take note how many of these are free or low cost.

  1. Marketing plan
  2. A marketing calendar
  3. Brand identity
  4. Value proposition
  5. Business cards (printed on both sides/ the one side contains your customer benefits)
  6. Stationery
  7. Your target audience
  8. Sales letters
  9. Education-based marketing – how do you educate prospects and customers?
  10. Telephone marketing
  11. Sales training
  12. Networking
  13. Media contacts
  14. PR
  15. Your core story
  16. Elevator pitch
  17. Your sales kit
  18. Your sales presentation
  19. A benefits list
  20. Client workshops
  21. Competitive advantages (what makes your business different?)
  22. Call to action (in your ads, sales pitches, website, brochures etc.)
  23. Barter agreements that saves you money
  24. Word-of-mouth strategies
  25. Direct mail
  26. Advertising – print, radio and online
  27. List building
  28. An e-mail signature (with a tagline that describes the benefits that you offer)
  29. Guarantees and risk reversal that eliminates risk for your customers
  30. E-mail marketing
  31. A web site
  32. A search engine ranking
  33. Electronic brochures
  34. How social are you? – A blog, Twitter, Linked-in, Facebook
  35. Joint ventures and strategic alliances
  36. Pay-per-click ads
  37. 100% knowledge of your market
  38. Pricing strategy
  39. Service levels
  40. Referral programme
  41. Creating extra value for customers
  42. Testimonials
  43. Brochures
  44. Adopting a goodwill cause and community involvement
  45. Are you (and your company systems and processes) easy to do business with?
  46. Articles that position you and your business as a trusted advisor and authority
  47. Newsletters
  48. Speed
  49. Flexibility
  50. Your Guerrilla marketing plan

Use this list to start creating your own strategy of pre-eminence. I trust that this action audit help’s your business. To YOUR success!

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Fly with eagles

If you scratch with turkeys, you become a turkey. If you fly with eagles, you become an eagle. If you surround yourself with negative people you take on their negativity. Why? Because in life we tend to absorb all the attitudes and character traits of those we mix with.

Carefully select and surround yourself with people that are optimistic, positive, who stimulate and encourage you. So surround yourself with people and books that stimulate you and encourage you to stretch yourself. Avoid those blood sucking moaners and groaners who are negative, pessimistic and miserable about nearly everything. Don’t listen to the doom merchants who transfer their own sense of inadequacy on to you by pointing out all the reasons why you are going to fail.

So at all costs – please avoid those turkeys – and fly!

I conclude with one of my favourite quotes:

“Our deepest fear is NOT that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God: your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”  – Marianne Williamson

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

Thank God it’s Friday

‘He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.’ Friedrich Nietzsche

Minus your age from seventy-five, then multiply by fifty-two. On average, that’s how many Thank-God-It’s-Fridays you have left. It’s easy to forget how quickly our days disappear. Your life is a one-time gift, so make the most of it.

Begin now – stop distracting yourself on the unimportant things in life and get moving. Do the math; count your remaining Fridays and commit to make the most out of every moment.

‘Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfil it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.’

Mother Teresa

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za

It’s a kind of magic

‘Those who speak most of illness have illness; those who speak most of prosperity have it, etc.’ From the movie The Secret

 I have met many successful people in my life and they all have one element in common. They’re optimists – their glass is always half full, not half empty.

Positive thinking and a positive mindset is very important and can dramatically change your life. Remember the old wise saying, ‘The way you think is the way you are’. Work at thinking positively a little bit at a time and you will be surprised at how your life will change. And when people start saying, ‘You look so upbeat. You’re looking great. You’re full of energy. What has happened to you?’ then you’ll know that you’re on the right track! Make positive thinking a habit. Positive thinking will always serve you better than negative thinking.

Positive thinking – it is like magic! 
 

‘I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.’ – Arthur Rubinstein 

John Lloyd is a business growth strategist, award-winning marketer, speaker, trainer, columnist and author of the book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times.     

Visit John at www.brandstorm.co.za and subscribe to his free newsletter.

Do you need a speaker who will educate and inspire at your next industry conference or a trusted advisor who will increase profits, multiply sales and magnify marketplace positioning?                                                      

Contact John today – john@brandstorm.co.za