24 Facts about Business

In this article, I have gathered 24 facts that represent the changes taking place in the world today. Some of these may impact on your own business and its thinking and strategies.

  1. Over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there.
  2. In 2014 there are more mobile-connected devices than there are people on earth. (Source: Cisco 2013)
  3. Facebook has more than 1 Billion network users.
  4. Typical mobile users check there phone 150 times per day. (Source: Meeker’s Internet Trends, 2013)
  5. 90% of all internet traffic in 2017 will be video. (Source: Cisco)
  6. The amount of data stored is doubling every 18 months. (Source: IDC, Aberdeen)
  7. 73% of people wouldn’t care if the brands they used disappeared from their lives. (Source: Co.Exist)
  8. Globally, more people trust regular employees to tell the truth than CEOs (50% vs. 43%). (Source: Edelman Trust Barometer, 2013)
  9. Newspapers have lost $40 Billion in advertising revenue since 2000. (Source: Newspaper Association of America)
  10. More than 70% of customers surveyed believe small businesses understand their customers better than large companies, know their business/ product better than large companies, provide a more personal customer experience than large companies and “are more concerned about my needs than larger companies.” (Source: American Express Global Customer Service Barometer 2012)
  11. Generation Y will form 75% of the workforce by 2025 and are actively shaping corporate culture and expectations. Only 11% define having a lot of money as a definition of success. (Source: Brian Solis Future of Business 2013)
  12. It is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep a current one. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
  13. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. (Source: HelpScout)
  14. 80% of the top global internet sites are US based, while 81% of the global internet population is non-US. (Source: Meeker’s Internet Trends, 2013)
  15. There are 1.5 Billion smartphone users vs. 5 Billion mobile users worldwide. (Source: Meeker’s Internet Trends, 2013)
  16. Tablet growth is more rapid than smartphones (3x iPhone growth). (Source: Meeker’s Internet Trends, 2013)
  17. 60% of US consumers agree, “Technology has made us feel more connected” while 40% agree, “Technology has made us feel more isolated from each other.”  (Source: Yankelovich Monitor)
  18. Small and mid-size businesses account for over 99% of all businesses in developed economies and 40-70% of value added in the economy (*but are least likely to sell online). (Source: OECD Electronic and Mobile Commerce, 2013)
  19. Millennials believe that other consumers care more about their shopping experiences than companies do – that’s why they share their opinions online. (Source: OECD Electronic and Mobile Commerce, 2013)
  20. 87% of global consumers believe business should place at least equal emphasis on social interests as business interests, and “purpose” has increased as a purchase trigger by 26% since 2008. (Source: Edelman Trust Barometer, 2013)
  21. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels he or she is being treated. (Source: McKinsey)
  22. 90% of customers don’t return after a poor experience. On average, dissatisfied customers share their dissatisfaction with 9 other people. These 9 people tell 5 other people on average. One disgruntled customer can poison the mind of 45 other people. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
  23. On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10x as much as their first purchase. (Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
  24. 80% of big companies described themselves as delivering “superior” service, but only 8% of customers say they’ve experiences “superior” service from these companies. (Source: The New Yorker)

“The most effective way to manage change is to create it.” – Peter Druker

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

How to become even more valuable to your top clients and prospects

Marketing for most business owners and managers is a tough challenge. It is the difference between mediocrity and making millions in your business. Any business owner that follows “Marketing Breakthroughs 2014” will agree.

Are you looking for ways to provide more value to your current client relationships and find professional ways to attract new customers?

I have a win-win proposition for you. I can help you become even more valuable to your existing customers and prospects. Everyone knows that the business who provides the greatest service usually wins the greatest loyalty from its clients.

I would like to offer to conduct a seminar, just for your business, called the “Marketing Breakthroughs 2014” and allow you to offer this session to your business clients as a gift. Marketing is the number one source of frustration for most business owners and managers, but I believe that in about 60 minutes I can provide your business audience with a real sense of what is wrong with their current marketing and what to do to get it unstuck.

Attendees value this message and you as the host can benefit from making this powerful “valued added” information available to your clients.

Delegates are enthusiastic about the valuable content I present in these marketing sessions. You can no longer simply “pitch” to your customers. It is essential that you “educate” them as well. It has become increasingly difficult to stand out and differentiate your business. Hosting a marketing workshop for your clients and prospects is a powerful way to demonstrate how much you value them as a client.

I am happy to make this event available to you at an affordable cost. Your clients and prospects will not only value that you appreciate their business, but that you are investing time, effort and expertise to improve their marketing and selling efforts. This is a game-changing differentiator. Education-based marketing is business-to-business relationship and trust building at its best.

Let’s talk about creating a workshop for your clients and adding a strategic partner to the mix. Is there another professional services firm, serving the same targeted customers as you, which would make an ideal partner with you to host an educational workshop? If you like the idea of providing high quality, educational content to your clients, let’s discuss this further.

This unique education-based marketing approach to serving your existing clients, while generating new business, will help you cut through the clutter of marketing noise and more effectively connect with customers and prospects.

I only present this powerful information to a limited number of groups so please call me on 083 638 8788 or send an email to john@brandstorm.co.za to discuss the content for your workshop in greater detail.

I look forward to helping you grow your business.

To your business success.

John Lloyd

How the T-F-A-R formula can work for you

‘Change your thoughts, and you change your world’ Norman Vincent Peale

A positive mental attitude is the foundation of a successful life. Acting with gratitude and happiness is dependent upon thinking thoughts of gratitude and happiness.

Your habitual and instinctive Thoughts always produce certain kinds of Feelings, which in turn produces certain kinds of Actions, behaviours and performances; these in turn will always produce definite Results in your life.

When you get up in the morning and you are not feeling and behaving right, examine your thinking and choose to think positive thoughts instead. Your acts will soon match your thoughts. Consider this carefully and understand how important it is for you to develop a positive mind-set every day.

Work hard at habitually creating positive and empowering thoughts, and I guarantee that you will see changes in your life.

‘All that we are is the result of what we have thought.’ – Buddha

An extract from my book Smart Thinking for Crazy Times. Please contact karen@brandstorm.co.za to buy a copy today (special direct to you priceR129 incl. postage and packaging) – regret SA only    

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

Don’t fall victim to Parkinson’s Law

‘Expenditures rise to meet income.’ C. Northcote Parkinson

Parkinson’s Law is one of the best known and the most important laws of money and wealth accumulation. It was developed by Englishman, C. Northcote Parkinson, in 1955 and it explains why most people retire poor.

Parkinson’s Law says that, no matter how much money people earn, they will tend to spend the entire amount plus a little more. Their expenses rise in step with their earnings. Many people are earning today several times what they were earning at their first jobs, but for some reason, they need every single cent to maintain their current lifestyles. No matter how much they earn, there is somehow never enough.

Financial independence comes as a consequence of breaking Parkinson’s Law. You need to develop a plan and sufficient willpower to resist the urge to spend everything you earn. You must ensure that your expenses grow at a slower rate than your earnings, then save or invest the difference.

Other wonderful quotes by C. Northcote Parkinson:

‘Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.’

‘It is better to be a has–been than a never-was.’

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 Ten Universal Rules of Money

“Wealth flows from energy and ideas.” – William Feather

  1. I am simply an idea. I’m neither good nor evil. I am only what you decide that I am, and I satisfy the role that you create for me.
  2. I don’t care how smart you are, how well you are educated, where you live, what you do, or where you come from.
  3. All I care about is your energy. Your energy decides what thoughts you have, and therefore your thoughts will determine the feelings and relationship that you have with me.
  4. I am infinite. I have no limits, except for those you place on me with your own mind. There is no limit to the energy in the world, and because I am simply energy, I cannot be restricted or controlled. I am unlimited
  5. I desire abundance. I am attracted to those who think without restrictions, those who like to think big. When you believe that there is enough of me to go around, I am naturally attracted to that thinking.
  6. I loathe scarcity. Because there is no limit to me, I avoid those who think from a win-lose or scarcity viewpoint. Those who believe I am in short supply, or difficult to receive, will find that exact reality, because I choose to avoid those who think small.
  7. I love value. What magnetises me most is the creation of true value in the universe. I move towards places where value is created. If you wish to attract me into your life, focus on creating value for others, and I guarantee that I will appear.
  8. I avoid entitlement and self-satisfaction. No one deserves to have me, and I am always moving to the place that I’m most appreciated and where value is created. Those who take me for granted or become complacent with my energy will soon see me disappear.
  9. My primary goal is to replicate myself. Because there is no limit to energy, my purpose is to reproduce and grow. My goal is to bring more and unlimited energy to the universe. I am produced and replicated through value creation.
  10. My sole goal is to serve you. It is simply a matter of energy and value creation. My purpose is to move to where I am attracted most, and where I can grow.

“A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.” – Bob Hope

BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – CAPE TOWN – Only 7 spots still available

I will be co-presenting a customer appreciation morning event titled Business Breakthroughs 2014 on Tuesday, 28 January at the Winchester Mansions Hotel in Sea Point, Cape Town.

The most valuable thing you can do in January is stop, get away from your business for a morning, surround yourself with like-minded Entrepreneurs and make big decisions and big plans for the year ahead.

The first of these Business Breakthroughs 2014 seminars will cover improved communication, advanced selling skills and business growth. I am pleased to announce that my co-presenter will be master communicator Pieter Cronjé. Pieter has an amazing background and fantastic lessons to share. He was “the voice” of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 and has also served as spokesperson for the City of Cape Town and for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 in Cape Town amongst many other career highlights. He will present a communication master class at our Business Breakthroughs 2014 seminar. Don’t miss it!

We look forward to spending time with you on 28 January. Please view the content of our two seminars below.

SALES BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – SURVIVAL IS NOT ENOUGH
Presented by John Lloyd (09:00 – 10:20)

As we enter 2014, the big missing link I am seeing in most businesses is a complete lack of powerful Selling – and a lack of a powerful SALES SYSTEM.

Like it or not, you have to learn to sell – in person as well as in an ever increasing variety of media. If you have a larger business, you need to build a sales team – FAST and they need to know how to sell too. If you leave the all-important buying decision to your customers’ and clients’ convenience… you’ll never sell anything – Period!

FACT! – Top producers can earn 10x more than the average salesperson.

The old economy is shattered and GONE FOREVER. Old-school selling is dead. It is never coming back as it was…and many sales professionals will become extinct waiting for it to return.
In The New Economy, only a select few will gain and keep membership in the elite sales community enjoying the top incomes, greatest security, the most independence and power, and the highest status.
I’ll be sharing the following with you at our business growth breakthroughs seminar:

  • How to optimise your sales in 2014?
  • The REAL meaning of “no” and why you really want to hear it from     customers.
  • The simple, everyday words that can make or break your sales.
  • How to handle objections effectively.
  • The most important skill you can ever learn as a sales person.
  • The 7-Step No BS Sales Process: finally, a reliable system you can stick with!
  • Which is the biggest obstacle holding back most sales people and how to overcome it?
  • Why your customers and clients aren’t buying from you… and what to do about it.
  • Which social media is the best for business-to-business selling?
  • What “it’s too expensive” really means (and it’s NOT that they don’t want it).
  • How to CREATE TRUST (FAST) in the trust-damaged, post-recession world.

SMART COMMUNICATION – A HARD SKILL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS 
Presented by Pieter Cronjé (10:40 – 12:00)

Communication skills are no longer “soft” skills in business.  They are “hard” business skills.  Get it wrong and you can pay the price in lost sales, opportunity and reputation.  Get it right and you turn a buyer into a customer into an ambassador.
Communication mastery is at the heart of the Tom Peters mantra of treating customers like guests and your staff like people.  Customers have become informed, street-wise and vocal.  They do not have to find a newspaper or radio station to bad-mouth your service or sing your praises.  They have connected mobile devices and can instantly air their customer feedback on social media.

Communication and marketing are flipsides of the same business coin, not seperate departments. Make sure what you promise your customer become true when he or she e-mails, calls or walks through that door.  Make a personal connection. Successful businesses and professionals invest in communication skills.  It is an essential toolkit for a competitive world driven by 24/7 information, trends and choices. Communication skills increase your personal and commercial value. Good communication on all levels mustpositively affect the bottom line.  Understand how news and social media work and the do’s and don’ts of using them.  Know how to impress customers, handle complaints, make impactful presentations and pitches and create the best possible first impression and, thereafter, a business relationship. This seminar will give you communication insights, tips and tools to use in your profession or business.
These include:

  • Understanding integrated communication and the tools in the toolkit.
  • Using the classic principles of communication with modern techniques.
  • Building your personal and business brand.
  • Knowing the do’s and don’ts of news and social media and the skill of communicating through them.
  • Understanding how news media work and using your daily news to hone your own communication skills.
  • Learning to plan and prepare for pitfalls, and handling them when they happen.
  • Optimizing, maximizing and leveraging good communication and marketing for business success and growth.

SEMINAR PROGRAM 

08:15 to 09:00 – Registration/Coffee/Tea/Networking

09:00 to 10:20 – SALES BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – SURVIVAL IS NOT ENOUGH: John Lloyd

10:20 to 10:40 – Tea/Coffee/Muffins/Networking

10:40 to 12:00 – SMART COMMUNICATION – A HARD SKILL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS: Pieter Cronjé

12:00 to 12:15 – Q&A: Pieter Cronjé and John Lloyd

RESERVE YOUR SEAT NOW – CLICK HERE

SEMINAR DETAILS & BOOKINGS

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Time: 08:15 to 12:15
Venue: Winchester Mansions Hotel, Sea Point (The Constance Room), Cape Town
Cost: R397-00 per person

Bank details for payment:

J.E.Lloyd, Brandstorm
Bank: FNB
Branch code: 204109
Account nr: 50260154650

Please email the payment advice. Email: karen@brandstorm.co.za
Bookings – Contact Karen for further information on 0716427992

Money, money, money!

“The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in the environment; it is not in luck or chance, or in the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” Orison Swett Marden

How many times have you heard these phrases? Money is the root of all evil. Money doesn’t grow on trees (I always laugh at this one, as money is made of paper, and where does paper come from?). What am I, made of money?

As a kid, I unfortunately grew up with these phrases as my key source of financial motivation. These thoughts had been tattooed into my brain so, by the age of eighteen, I was in serious need of a money mindset makeover. And it was difficult to make this change.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably heard these phrases over and over since you were a little kid. What you might not have heard before is that phrases like these, the things you’ve seen, and the experiences you’ve had with money all have a profound influence on your money blueprint or prosperity consciousness. You can have all the knowledge and skills in the world, but if your money blueprint isn’t set for success, you’re financial prospects are gloomy.

Just what is a money blueprint? It’s like an internal thermostat, and your ability to achieve is limited by the level of success that your blueprint is set to. If your own thermostat is set low, then you will always have problems in comfortably making, owning, investing and growing money. This concept is often proved by lotto winners who feel that are not worthy or don’t know how to handle vast sums of money. Most of these winners end up broke and unhappy. Another example is of the drug dealer who leaves his stash of money in the taxi. It happens!

Our earning power is linked to our value system and we will always earn in accordance to our highest set of values. Are you aware whether your own blueprint is set for wealth, moderate success or poverty? The answer is simple! Look at your results as they stand today: your income, assets and net worth. Your results are like a mirror and will always reflect your inner blueprint. But, looking at results is just the beginning – you also have to take action.

The starting point of all wealth creation is the development of your prosperity consciousness. You must become a financial success in your thinking long before you achieve it in your reality. The greatest minds in history have concluded that your outer life is merely a reflection of your inner life. Both poverty and wealth are the result of a state of mind, and the most important single step you ever take on the road to wealth and financial independence is the decision to change your thinking, to impress into your mind the unstoppable belief that you can and will achieve your financial goals. This is the starting point to all riches.

Money is not everything and does not guarantee happiness, but I’d rather drive towards my problems in a limousine than go by bus. So go and reset your financial thermostat right now. Good luck on your road to wealth. Get going and keep going.

“When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

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

Your attitude is more important than your aptitude

‘Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.’ Robert Louis Stevenson 

This is a great time to be alive. There are so many positives around us and there have never been more opportunities and possibilities for ambitious people to achieve success.

I believe that ninety per cent of your success in life will be determined by your attitude, and only ten per cent by your aptitude. So it stands to reason that if you find ways to positively manage, develop and improve your attitude, then you are ninety per cent of the way to personal success.

I urge you to open your eyes to the opportunities that surround you today. Here are a few practical ideas that I believe, if practiced, will offer you the opportunity to move your career skywards. These are the behaviours that all managers wish every employee knew, and these are the behaviours that will get you earning more and promoted faster.

  1. Take responsibility for your own career

Write your own career script rather than waiting for someone to write it for you. Go the extra mile and work well beyond your job description. Confidently build your skill level and continually look for ways to make yourself more valuable. Identify, focus on and develop your strengths.

  1. Focus on your career goals

Develop absolute clarity about the goals that you wish to accomplish in your career. Without goals you have no direction and you will end up going nowhere. You must decide with clarity what you want to achieve and why. Your goals should have a clear result and purpose, backed up with effective action plans. Write your career goals in a journal and ensure that you do something each and every day that moves you towards these goals.

  1. Ask for what you want

The future belongs to people who ask with clarity for what they want. Don’t be part of the majority who sit back, hoping that things will improve. Ask in a courteous and polite manner, but persistently ask. This will effectively communicate your ambition, intent and leadership potential to your boss.

  1. Develop the ability to communicate in a powerful and persuasive manner

Can you effectively and quickly capture your listener’s attention and get your message across? Can you write clearly, persuasively and with impact? Get books on these subjects and improve these stand-out skills. The good communicators tend to attract the best jobs and projects.

  1. Commit to continuous learning

Attend seminars, read books and continuously learn and develop new skills. The never-ending quest for improvement will give you motivation, energy and drive. This learning attitude will always show in a person’s performance.

  1. Guard your reputation

All successful business and personal relationships are based on trust. Your character and reputation is your single most valuable asset – guard it as sacred. It takes years to build a great reputation, but only one cocktail party to destroy it.

  1. Stay abreast of business trends

Do you regularly read the business section of your newspaper or business magazines? Can you identify three trends that will have an impact on your industry over the next year? What are the potential threats to your industry or profession? The ability to anticipate trends is a superb business skill.

  1. Develop a positive attitude

Your attitude at work will always determine your level of eventual success. People who are cheerful and optimistic will always be liked more than the moaners and groaners. In the workplace it is vital that you get on with your clients and colleagues. The best team players are those who display a supportive and positive demeanour.

  1. Create a successful image

People do and will always judge you on what you look like. Make every effort to look like the winner you are at work. Create your own personal vision statement that purposely declares you as a remarkable individual with a great future.

  1. Always treat people well

Treat all people in the manner that you would wish to be treated. The more people that like, trust and respect you, the bigger your chance of success.

And finally, commit to small increments of improvement every single day. You have abilities, talents and strengths that you haven’t begun to reach towards. You have unlimited power within you. Use this power.

‘Where the loser saw barriers, the winner saw hurdles.’ Robert Brault

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

BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – Morning seminar with Pieter Cronjé & John Lloyd

I have received many requests from subscribers and customers to host public seminars. I’ve heard you and so on Tuesday, 28 January 2014, I will be hosting the first of a series of public seminars.

I will be co-presenting a customer appreciation morning event titled Business Breakthroughs 2014 in Cape Town.

The most valuable thing you can do in January is stop, get away from your business for a morning, surround yourself with like-minded Entrepreneurs and make big decisions and big plans for the year ahead.

The first of these Business Breakthroughs 2014 seminars will cover improved communication, advanced selling skills and business growth. I am pleased to announce that my co-presenter will be master communicator Pieter Cronjé. Pieter has an amazing background and fantastic lessons to share. He was “the voice” of South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 and has also served as spokesperson for the City of Cape Town and for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 in Cape Town amongst many other career highlights. He will present a communication master class at our Business Breakthroughs 2014 seminar. Don’t miss it!

We look forward to spending time with you on 28 January. Please view the content of our two seminars below.

SALES BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – SURVIVAL IS NOT ENOUGH
Presented by John Lloyd (09:00 – 10:20)

As we enter 2014, the big missing link I am seeing in most businesses is a complete lack of powerful Selling – and a lack of a powerful SALES SYSTEM.

Like it or not, you have to learn to sell – in person as well as in an ever increasing variety of media. If you have a larger business, you need to build a sales team – FAST and they need to know how to sell too. If you leave the all-important buying decision to your customers’ and clients’ convenience… you’ll never sell anything – Period!

FACT! – Top producers can earn 10x more than the average salesperson.

The old economy is shattered and GONE FOREVER. Old-school selling is dead. It is never coming back as it was…and many sales professionals will become extinct waiting for it to return.
In The New Economy, only a select few will gain and keep membership in the elite sales community enjoying the top incomes, greatest security, the most independence and power, and the highest status.
I’ll be sharing the following with you at our business growth breakthroughs seminar:

  • How to optimise your sales in 2014?
  • The REAL meaning of “no” and why you really want to hear it from     customers.
  • The simple, everyday words that can make or break your sales.
  • How to handle objections effectively.
  • The most important skill you can ever learn as a sales person.
  • The 7-Step No BS Sales Process: finally, a reliable system you can stick with!
  • Which is the biggest obstacle holding back most sales people and how to overcome it?
  • Why your customers and clients aren’t buying from you… and what to do about it.
  • Which social media is the best for business-to-business selling?
  • What “it’s too expensive” really means (and it’s NOT that they don’t want it).
  • How to CREATE TRUST (FAST) in the trust-damaged, post-recession world.

SMART COMMUNICATION – A HARD SKILL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS
Presented by Pieter Cronjé (10:40 – 12:00)

Communication skills are no longer “soft” skills in business.  They are “hard” business skills.  Get it wrong and you can pay the price in lost sales, opportunity and reputation.  Get it right and you turn a buyer into a customer into an ambassador.
Communication mastery is at the heart of the Tom Peters mantra of treating customers like guests and your staff like people.  Customers have become informed, street-wise and vocal.  They do not have to find a newspaper or radio station to bad-mouth your service or sing your praises.  They have connected mobile devices and can instantly air their customer feedback on social media.

Communication and marketing are flipsides of the same business coin, not seperate departments. Make sure what you promise your customer become true when he or she e-mails, calls or walks through that door.  Make a personal connection. Successful businesses and professionals invest in communication skills.  It is an essential toolkit for a competitive world driven by 24/7 information, trends and choices. Communication skills increase your personal and commercial value. Good communication on all levels must positively affect the bottom line.  Understand how news and social media work and the do’s and don’ts of using them.  Know how to impress customers, handle complaints, make impactful presentations and pitches and create the best possible first impression and, thereafter, a business relationship. This seminar will give you communication insights, tips and tools to use in your profession or business.
These include:

  • Understanding integrated communication and the tools in the toolkit.
  • Using the classic principles of communication with modern techniques.
  • Building your personal and business brand.
  • Knowing the do’s and don’ts of news and social media and the skill of communicating through them.
  • Understanding how news media work and using your daily news to hone your own communication skills.
  • Learning to plan and prepare for pitfalls, and handling them when they happen.
  • Optimizing, maximizing and leveraging good communication and marketing for business success and growth.

SEMINAR PROGRAM 

08:15 to 09:00 – Registration/Coffee/Tea/Networking

09:00 to 10:20 – SALES BREAKTHROUGHS 2014 – SURVIVAL IS NOT ENOUGH: John Lloyd

10:20 to 10:40 – Tea/Coffee/Muffins/Networking

10:40 to 12:00 – SMART COMMUNICATION – A HARD SKILL FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS: Pieter Cronjé

12:00 to 12:15 – Q&A: Pieter Cronjé and John Lloyd

RESERVE YOUR SEAT NOW – CLICK HERE

SEMINAR DETAILS & BOOKINGS

Date: Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Time: 08:15 to 12:15
Venue: Winchester Mansions Hotel, Sea Point (The Constance Room)
Cost: R397-00 per person

Bank details for payment:

J.E.Lloyd, Brandstorm
Bank: FNB
Branch code: 204109
Account nr: 50260154650

Please email the payment advice. Email: karen@brandstorm.co.za
Bookings – Contact Karen for further information on 0716427992

How your business can make a fortune in 2014

Marketing is the difference between mediocrity and making millions in your business. Make 2014 the year that you master marketing.

Effective marketing is the ultimate business game-changer. It has the ability to propel your business forward, ensuring you the growth that you want. Yet most businesses treat marketing as an afterthought.

Ongoing effective marketing is the hallmark of successful businesses. If you become a superior marketer, you will generate a sustainable and competitive advantage. Nothing has the power to beat the return-on-investment of great marketing. It’s entirely possible for marketing to deliver an ROI of 100 percent or higher on a consistent basis.

Marketing has three primary objectives:

1. To identify the best and biggest possible pool of desirable clients available to you.
2. To convert those buyers into first-time buyers.
3. Then move these new buyers into repeat-buyers and preferably multiple-product clients.

11 Ideas to improve your marketing in 2014:

  1. Change your marketing approach

If you’re losing out to your competition, you need to start doing something different. In particular, you need to change your marketing so you stand out from the crowd. To develop breakthrough marketing like this, a two-stage process is usually required:

A. Optimise – Evaluate what is currently working in your marketing mix. Focus on these initiatives and make it work like never before. Eliminate all marketing that has not been working.
B. Innovate – Start engineering some breakthrough marketing strategies which have never been used before. Measure and test these ideas.

  1. Change your message

Create a new irresistible offer for your current and prospective clients. The message you convey in your marketing will be an extension of what you deliver to the marketplace. Spend time looking for this new irresistible offer, it does exist. When you express your message, you want people to say “Wow!” not “So what?” Spell out this proposition in clear, exciting and vivid terms.

  1. Improve your unique selling proposition (USP)

This is the new compelling message that differentiates your business from everyone else. To create a great USP, find out what your market truly wants and then demonstrate that you’re the only viable option for delivery of the perfect solution. Your goal is not only to be unique, but trustworthy and reliable as well. Develop a USP which articulates what you do and why you do it better than everyone else.

An example of an effective USP – FedEx used to have a brilliant USP, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”. They no longer use this slogan, but while it lasted it was a perfect example of a compelling USP. In a few words, FedEx guaranteed that it would deliver your package safely and on time. They replaced it with the slogan, “The World on Time”, which is vague and doesn’t contain a USP. A good example that you shouldn’t change what is working.

  1. Differentiate your Business

If you believe your product or service is a commodity and that your business behaves just like everyone else in your industry, then you turn your business into a straight-forward commodity. Commodities are normally distinguished by price alone and this is a dangerous place to position your business.

You will get marginalised by the marketplace and everyone will treat your product or service like a commodity. You must achieve the opposite. You have to differentiate and distinguish yourself and your offering in ways nobody else can match.

An example of differentiation – If you are in the pizza delivery business you would typically try and differentiate yourself as follows: “Fresh, hot pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less…guaranteed, or you don’t pay.”

  1. Choose a strategy of pre-eminence

You must be pre-eminent in your industry in order to stand out from everyone else. Prove in noticeable ways that your business, product or service is a better investment than any of your competitors. You will achieve this goal of goals if you do more, serve better and provide clients with superior value and results. You want to earn the reputation of being your client’s most trusted advisor. You want to position your business and yourself as the authority in your market space.

  1. Make great deals with the media

There has never been a better time to be buying advertising space in newspapers, magazines and on radio. The rate card has been thrown out the window and you can get some unbelievable deals. Take full advantage of this huge opportunity. While your competitors are cutting back on advertising (there’s a recession you know), you can be doubling up on your advertising for modest increases in cost. Consumers are still buying so get to them and sell.

  1. Offer irresistible deals to new clients

Come up with some offers that are just impossible to refuse. These might be added value packages, offer guarantees, extended trial periods, deferred payment plans, up-selling, cross-selling or bundling of add-on products. Do whatever it takes to make people act. Provide more sales support and follow-up than usual so prospective clients get motivated to act. This all happens while your competitors are cutting back and hibernating through the slowdown.

  1. Appropriate (steal) your competitor’s sales force

Approach the best salespeople who work for your competitors and make them an offer. Get the best talent to join your team and get them committed to growing your business. There will never be a better time to recruit sales superstars than right now.

  1. Become an expert at Bartering

During an economic downturn, bartering becomes a powerful tool, especially if it does not hurt your inventory or minimize actual sales. Try and do more effective business bartering, as this is a dynamic way to increase your ROI. Smart bartering creates an impression to other businesses that your product or service is in demand. Always remember – business begets business. Good barter deals leave both parties satisfied. Bartering can be used in many imaginative ways:

  • You can save cash on capital expenditures.
  • You can issue credits to be used in the future.
  • You can convert what you’ve acquired by barter into cash.
  • You can pay employee bonuses in bartered goods.
  • You can conserve your cash resources.
  1. Get busy penetrating new markets

In an economic slowdown, the odds are strong that your competitors will be nervously focusing on their existing business. Use this as a perfect opportunity to focus on other alternative market niches. Even in a tight economy, it’s business as usual. Customers are buying the things they need to solve their problems. Look for creative and innovative ways to access new market niches. Have a growth oriented mindset and look for new opportunities everywhere. In today’s market, if you’re not continuously innovating, then you’re not adding value. And if you’re not adding value, your customers will find it somewhere else.

  1. Measure the lifetime values of your clients

Once you clearly establish how much a new long-term client is worth to your business, then you know how much you can spend in attracting first-time buyers at a profit. Know your numbers. Calculate the exact life-time value of your average client. Don’t create a ‘marketing budget’, but a ‘cost of client acquisition’ budget. The results of this focus and clarity will drive your results.

Conclusion
The goal of this article is to help you generate ideas for your 2014 marketing plan. One great business boosting idea can make a tremendous difference in your business. Now is the time to make something happen in your business.

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