06Aug Andy’s 3D Thoughts 6th August

3D ThoughtsIt’s 3D iDeas time! 3 of them to help you and your business be Dramatically and Demonstrably Different in today’s evermore competitive world… and it’s all in around 3 minutes! There are lessons from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on meetings, The Beano on keeping up with your customers and Buying socks the 3D way with John’s Crazy Socks! 

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

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06Aug Meet Violet – Our New ‘Incredible’ Team Member!

We had a visitor last week… and ended up with an ‘Incredible’ helper! Our 9 year old friend Samantha came to see us to (very rightly) proudly show us the medal she had won at an event at Clumber Park that day. She brought her friend Violet from The Incredibles into the office too!

Samantha was very excited and unfortunately in all that excitement, when we left to set off for a celebratory tea, she left Violet in the office.

It wasn’t until we came in to work the next day that we found that Violet was there. Amazingly, it was clear that she was very keen to help out, so under the close supervision of Danielle, we inducted her to get her fully up to speed….

She soon got ‘doing the business’….

Sorting out the post…

Doing research…

Working on the computer…

Making coffee…

Answering the phones…


and of course…

doing some ‘strategic thinking’!

The good news is that after her hard day’s work, we packed Violet off back to Samantha and Danielle in our office put together a lovely little album full of pictures of her friend hard at work. Samantha’s dad has told us that she’s very proud of her, and to celebrate, they went to watch Incredibles 2 at the cinema (again!).

So, thanks to Samantha for lending us her friend at a very busy time, and thanks of course to Violet for making a Dramatically and Demonstrable Difference to our business!

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30Jul Andy’s 3D Thoughts 30th July

3D ThoughtsHow effective is your sales and marketing?  This week’s 3D iDeas highlight 5 Key Lessons to maximise your efforts in this ever more competitive Dramatically and Demonstrably Different world!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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26Jul Maximising Your Sales Effectiveness In A Competitive World – 5 Key Lessons

58% of business sales leaders say that new customer acquisition is their key challenge and it’s followed by finding and keeping top sales talent (45%) and 37% say that keeping and growing existing customer relationships is their third challenge. That’s according to a report by CEB Global /Gartner that appears in a great supplement in The Times today called Sales Performance.

There are some very interesting statistics in their that ‘Demonstrate‘ the Dramatically Different world that we are in when it comes to starting, building and maximising customer relationships! Here are 5 ‘key lessons’ that I’ve picked up from the report…

Lesson 1: Stop Interrupting People…

90% of senior executives claim that they never respond to traditional means of selling such as phone calls and emails and that 61% of transactions start online. In other words, they come looking for you! Bombarding people with ‘meaningless’ information doesn’t work – you have to seek ‘permission’ and that means providing something that they want they come to you for – that’s your .Dramatically Difference

Lesson 2: Be Patient….

64% of sales people say  that sales cycles are getting longer with 27% of them saying they are ‘significantly longer’. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to just sit back, you need to…

Lesson 3: Add Value…

77% seek sales people who act as ‘trusted advisors’. This is particularly important when 57% of buyers use social media to assess new tools and technologies – they’re ‘up to speed’ and ‘knowledgeable’. You need to ‘know your stuff’ and demonstrate your expertise by being able to deal with their queries, questions and comparisons. even better… Anticipate them!

Lesson 4: Get Personal…

73% of customers expect vendors to personalise engagement to their needs – that means the way you communicate with them, and the frequency and format, has to be tailored to them. It’s about knowing their needs, wants, aspirations and challenges… and them personally, and showing them you know!

Lesson 5: Do All You Can To Keep Them…

Customer loyalty is harder to maintain: 79% of B2B customers say that it is easier than ever to take their business elsewhere and 74% say that their standards for how companies interact with them are higher than ever. You’ve got to work hard to show them you care.

Taking a proactive approach when it comes to finding, attracting and keeping the customers you want is key.  Our research suggests that 3D Businesses take a very focused approach to identifying and targeting the customers they want to work with – we call it ‘Choose ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em’! However, many have a scattered approach and some have no focus whatsoever!

How do you measure up? Not sure where to focus your time, effort and resources? You might want to consider The 10 ‘D‘s of Different customers – a simple ‘framework’ we’ve developed to help you to evaluate and focus your sales, marketing and customer relationship management.

Click on the image to get the 16 page free e-book to help you make it work in your business. It provides you with some simple templates to help you ’segment’ and target your customers and crucially, focus your efforts and resources on the right ones accordingly! By painting pictures of 10 Different customer types, it’s an opportunity for you to take a bit of time out, evaluate and identify your customers and your approach to them.

You may also want to have a look at this Slideshare presentation I produced that that takes you through the 10 Different types – you can see that below….

Would love to know your thoughts… what works for you in this tougher business environment?

And finally, a ‘bonus’ lesson as it is all about exceeding expectations…

Lesson 6: Don’t Just Stand There, Do Something!

Winning sales people take ‘action’ not notes!


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23Jul Andy’s 3D Thoughts 23rd July

3D ThoughtsDo you recruit for ‘culture fit’?  This week’s 3D iDeas include evidence that lots of businesses are failing to recognise the power and benefits of recruiting for culture fit, how you can do it, and there are lessons from the Brownies on how to reward the behaviours you want to support the culture you need.  There’s also new evidence that we’re in a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different world when it comes to our TV viewing habits!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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18Jul Happy 100th Nelson Mandela – A Truly 3D Leader

Today would have been the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela who was an inspiration, not just to his people, but to the whole world. He touched people in places way, way away from his own ‘world’ – and that was before all this new fangled internet and social media stuff we have today!

His struggle against apartheid was the first real thing that touched me ‘politically’ and really raised my consciousness and awareness of what was happening in a place a long way from my day to day life. What he stood for got me as a young stroppy teenager on all sorts of marches and campaigns, and actually doing stuff! His release from prison and long walk to freedom in February 1991 is a memorable moment that is totally embedded in my mind. It was brought to life totally for me earlier this year when I visited Soweto where he grew up and lived, and Robben Island where he was incarcerated for all those years.

It was what happened after his incarceration that really showed him for the great man and leader that he was – he changed his country, and he changed the world. He’s a great example of a 3D Leader – doing things in a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different way, and here are 6 quotes of his that ‘Demonstrate’ the 6 Characteristics of 3D Leaders…..


A winner is a dreamer who never gives up”

3D Leadership Characteristic #1: THINK STRATEGICALLY!

Our experience working with busy business leaders shows us that too often they get ‘caught up’ being busy in the ‘day to day’ and spend too much time working on ‘tactical’ issues rather than working on ‘strategic’ ones. Successful 3D Leaders create time to work ‘ON’ their business as well as ‘IN’ it – they create a vision that ‘stimulates, excites and inspires’ and get everyone on board to deliver that vision.

“The most difficult matter is not so much to change the world as yourself”

 3D Leadership Characteristic #2: BE SELF AWARE!

3D Leaders recognise that they can’t be good at everything and having worked out their strengths, play and stick to them. They ‘remove their blind spots’, identify their own personal strengths and weaknesses and do something about it by proactively developing themselves in the areas that count and make an impact.


“You can start changing our world for the better daily, no matter how small the action”

3D Leadership Characteristic #3: DEAL WITH DISRUPTION!

In a world of ever more competitive markets, massive customer choice, increasing customer and employee expectations, so many business leaders get ‘caught up’ being on the back foot’!  Our work with successful entrepreneurs and business leaders shows they take a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach. They embrace change, create disruption and use it to create real competitive advantage by spotting and maximising the opportunities and minimising the threats!


Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front”

 3D Leadership Characteristic #4: GET ENGAGED!

“People are our biggest asset” is something business leaders regularly say. However, it’s only true if those assets are maximised! 3D Leaders create and develop a team of committed, motivated and effective people at every level and that doesn’t happen by chance! It’s about ‘engagement’ – proactively getting ‘buy in’ to your vision and values, ensuring that everyone understands where they ‘fit in’ and how they are doing, and making them feel valued. 3D Leaders work hard to proactively develop the culture they want and they ensure it’s an integral ingredient of their ‘Dramatic Difference.

If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble”

 3D Leadership Characteristic #5: COLLABORATE!

For many leaders there’s lots of ‘pressure’! Pressure to hit targets, achieve deadlines, manage workloads and keep focused! As a result, they spend little or no time building long term relationships and collaborating. The result is a lack of cross fertilisation of ideas and connections and even the horrific ‘us and them’! Our experience suggests that collaboration is a key characteristic of 3D Leaders, but it doesn’t happen by chance. They proactively develop long term relationships with the people and organisations that count, both in, and out of their business.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done”

 3D Leadership Characteristic #6: INNOVATE!

In today’s dynamic fast moving market places, it’s getting more difficult to get ahead of your competitors, and crucially, remain there! Our experience suggests that 3D Leaders consciously do that through ‘innovation’! Our definition of ‘innovation’ is “the successful exploitation of new ideas” – not necessarily lots of revolutionary new products and services, but a proactive approach to successfully sourcing and generating new ideas to improve your competitiveness and crucially, doing something with those ideas. It’s not about ‘blue sky thinking’ or ‘wacky’ ideas generation – it’s about taking a focused and pragmatic approach to improving the way you run, and vitally, improve your business.

I’ll leave you with one more quote that seems to sum his whole approach up…

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”


Umhla Wokuzalwa Omnandi Min’ Emnandi Mr Mandela!!!

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