20Feb The Joy Of Text!

Just back from a visit to Sheffield Enterprise Agency SENTA.

Chief Executive Sandra Edwards told me about the simple use of text messaging to remind people about upcoming appointments, confirmation of booking on training courses and other personal messages to customers.

Feedback shows that customers value the personal touch and appointment attendance is up significantly. Simple stuff, but it works.

Ever thought of using alternative ways to engage with your customers?

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14Feb Performing At Parkdean!

Just back from a great couple of days at Parkdean Holidays Annual Management Conference – a fantastic bunch of people.

Part of the Conference involved teams of people ‘demonstrating’ the values of the business via sketches, songs, even a poem! It was great to see individuals throwing themselves into this and using their creativity, imagination, passion and sense of fun – if they perform to only 10% of that in their daily jobs, no wonder they’re such a successful business.

For those that were there – ‘Well Done’.

Here are the slides from my presentation, and here’s a paper I wrote called ‘Vision, Values and Victors’ which you might find useful.

For those that weren’t there – How would your team demonstrate your Values? Why not get them to do it. Have a ‘fun’ session, and get them to stretch their imaginations. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Contact me if you want any help doing it.

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12Feb If David Cameron Was A Business

Business, like politics, is about ‘TRUST’. People buy from people and businesses they trust.

That means businesses that acknowledge it when they get things wrong, that don’t hide, and show respect for their customers by being up front and honest.

Now, I don’t care whether Cameron took drugs when he was 15, but I am intrigued by his reluctance to admit something that happened so long ago when he was young! Surely an admission demonstrates ‘he’s human’ (some would even say it gives him ‘street cred’ with some of the electorate) and that he ‘made mistakes’ (who hasn’t?).

A company that admits mistakes when things go wrong certainly goes up in my estimation.

This isn’t a political rant. It’s a marketing one.

When it seems quite clear that your competitors seem to be lacking in the ‘trust’ department, then that’s an opportunity – but only if you take it. David Cameron has a great opportunity to build trust with his ‘prospective customers’. I’ll be interested to see if he takes it!

So, a question: disregarding his politics for a minute, if David Cameron was a business, would you buy from him?

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07Feb Britain’s Bosses Blame Middle Managers!

A new report says Britain’s Bosses blame middle managers as the biggest impediment to change.

More than half of the senior managers polled felt middle managers were not committed to achieving their company’s strategic goals. And nearly two thirds bemoaned their lack of management and leadership skills among modern middle managers.

If ever there was an example of ‘passing the buck’ then this is it.The leaders role is to inspire and motivate. If middle managers aren’t committed or don’t have the skills then whose fault is that?

Looking in the mirror rather than responding to these sort of surveys may make more sense for a start.

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05Feb From ‘Blue Monday’ to ‘Thank you Monday’

Apparently today will be the day when most ‘sickies’ are thrown, and according to a report, some 310,000 employees will not be in work.

It’s all due to miserable February weather, Christmas credit card bills, and the long time before our next holidays.

Not sure I believe it, and do think it’s a bit insulting to a lot of hard working people who happen to be ill today. Are people really that predictable? The bright ones are no doubt in work today, and will throw their ‘sickie’ when you’re not expecting it!

Anyway, to counteract Blue Monday, why not do something ‘dramatically different’ next Monday?

Have a ‘Thank You’ Monday! Start the week off with a little note of thanks, an email saying ‘well done’, give your team members some flowers, chocolates, a bacon sandwich, even make them a cup of tea if you don’t normally do it!.

Let people know you appreciate them. That’s it! Simple, cheap, and easy.

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