Wednesday, 2 September 2009

the power of a good word

The following is an extract from the second in the Romancing the Customer series of business guides, Espresso Yourself - The Taste of your Brand just to whet your appetite ......

The Power of a good written word

Here is a humorous, and some consider extreme example of the power of words. I believe it is a sure fire way to illustrate the power of copy and how potent it can be. I have taken my inspiration from the lonely hearts ads found in the dailies (I was looking as part of my research OK). These are unedited, real examples for those cynics who think I made it up …….

  • Go getter seeks romance – attractive, blonde, wants romantic, caring partner. No baggage
  • Indian M, chubby, shaved head, very hairy, likes pubs & eating out
  • Cuddly single Mum seeks M who likes children & nights in

These are not many words and yet already we’ve formed a picture of this person (contact details available upon request). It is no different with the copy or language we use in our brochures, our websites, our voicemail, and our direct contact with customers.

What does yours really say about you? How predictable are you being? How focused on you and not them is it? How much of it is meaningless puff? How safe is your approach? How alluring and persuasive is it? Are you trying to say too much?

Pick a message and then stand proud and tall (you can impress them later by unfurling your other amazing talents when appropriate)

If your personality, or that of your business, is different from the competition because you have a good sense of humour, you’re enthusiastic, slightly eccentric, deeply knowledgeable, highly experienced, friendly, approachable….. whatever it is then let this come through in the copy or the language you use. And don’t tell me, show me.

Telling me how good you are rarely means anything. Use your copy to create a mental picture of what I’m likely to get. (which of course is naturally consistent with the service I receive). Ease of understanding, a great experience and clear messages affect our mood and decision process – especially when it comes to parting with cash. Irrespective of the product or service being written about.

Just take a little time to think about what it is you do and how you could communicate this in a refreshing, professional, cliché free style. Make sure it is focused on their needs, wants, desires rather than your agenda.

If you have enjoyed this extract then visit to pre-order your copy.

Seducing the Senses

FTSE 100 retailers have finally woken up to the fact that they must stimulate all 5 senses to capture consumers attention and loyalty - read on to discover our top tips for creating a memorable and sensory business - and reap the rewards!

Creating much needed differential is critical to remain relevant in the mind of your customer. Discover ways of doing this without spending a fortune and eliminate the curse of those peskie copycats

A luxury spa recently decided they were falling into the BTN category (better than nothing) with their brochure and subsequently started to look & sound just the same as other spas. We worked together to create compelling copy that was reflective of their brand personality, but more importantly, communicated details which were relevant to their clients - how will they feel, why this treatment, who is it perfect for - rather than the usual focus on gobbledy gook & expressions we have no idea ......who are generally focused on the company not the consumer!

Our top 5 tips for seducing the senses include –

1 Become obsessive about understanding 'why you?' .....this gives you confidence which is irresistible and massively attractive

2 Develop a hyper critical eye about the visual aspects of your business - you may assume no-one notices the smallest detail - this is dangerous thinking. They do, they will, and you won't like what this communicates about your professional competency

3 Avoid visual pollution - too many messages means I see you as a jack of all trades or I'm simply too confused to 'hear' what you're saying to me. It's like a visual mumble. Pick one message and change it regularly. On your business cards pick what you're amazing at and headline with this .....unfurl your other talents when the time is right.

4 Change your voicemail - if it does nothing to communicate to me what you do (not what you are) and is predictable then you will soon fade into boring and forgettable. Script this and focus on what do you do for your caller

5 Give tips and insider know how - give your 'stuff' away - it does so much to demonstrate your knowledge and is far more effective than telling me how much you know.

More information can be found in the Romancing the Customer series of business books

The devils in the detail


The devils in the detail

How many times have you seen a great presenter and wished you could create the same impact?

If you currently believe being an effective presenter is a skill some are born with, and unfortunately you weren't one of them, then you're about to be pleasantly surprised!

There are some fundamental principles to creating powerful presentations. These are simple to understand and even simpler to adopt. If you long for that elusive presenter confidence and are filled with desire to win more business then this is the workshop for you.

top 5 tips to get you started -

· Be sure about what you're there for - understanding the purpose of why you? and why now? will make certain your presentation inspires, informs, influences and impresses

· Show passion! Heartfelt enthusiasm connects more powerfully than any other single thing. Yes, have great content - just communicate it with passion

· Practice - as the great Peter Drucker said "Spontaneity is an infinite number of rehearsed possibilities" - talk it out loud as many times as possible

· Know how long you've got and then keep the content relevant - identify the must say, should say and could say. Great presentations are like diamonds - the more you cut it, the more it sparkles

· Use stories to illustrate - you know the maxim 'stories sell, facts tell' - well, it's true. Use your own stories to give you confidence and provide that relaxed authority which means you create a powerful impact – every time!

Holistic Therapists who disappoint their clients

How effectively do you use your therapy ‘room’?

How much does it cost you to provide your services to clients? Irrespective of whether you work from home, hire a room, see clients in your own salon or supply a mobile service you will have a degree of fixed costs that have to be met.

Countless therapists and practitioners fully embrace the idea of our profession being a holistic one. One where clients come to receive great care and advice. Seldom few however, have embraced the notion that their clients are also the source of their income. An unsavoury thought for many – but let’s return to those fixed costs.

How many times have you discovered a perfect ‘little place’ that you come to rely on, only then to experience the disappointment when they’ve ‘closed for business’ Failing to safeguard your future as a brilliant therapist means you will at some point be forced to stop providing the services your clients have come to depend on you for because the money in is insufficient to meet your fixed costs.

One of the easiest ways to reconcile this is to hold in mind that the advice you offer is with their interests in mind. More often than not a client doesn’t ask for advice simply because they genuinely don’t know what their options and choices are. This is your responsibility. Failure to provide confident advice about treatment plans, homecare products and additional services which would provide the solution they have been looking for is far more damaging to our profession than being unable to sustain a business they come to rely on.

If the fear of ‘how to’ is stopping you from making your business balance then get yourself a copy of Holistic Skincare and discover wonderfully natural ways to start a conversation about homecare and treatment plans with your clients. There are ideas to inspire you in the Romancing the Customer™ chapter, information on advice to offer about stress, nutrition, exercise and tons more great stuff to give you confidence to shine as an amazing therapist.

This is a limited offer and will expire at the end of September - so please act quickly and visit the website to discover more and place your order.


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7 habits of highly fearful speakers

7 Habits of Highly Fearful Speakers

Fearful speakers can be found in many different places – from the business club circuit through to client presentations and anything in-between ……consider also your websites, brochures and face-to-face encounters as these also constitute times when you’re required to ‘speak’ to your audience.

1. Power Point presentation is an on-screen prompt - this is the biggest clue to a fearful speaker …….especially when they read from the screen. A cardinal sin which is highly offensive to the audience. Keep your style conversational and edit your power point to a handful of amazing slides

2. Lecture Style - content rules with this speaker! They labour under the mistaken belief that what they say is the most important thing. It's not! Sure, content is important, but how you make people feel will have a far greater resonance. People often forget your words but they’ll always remember how you made them feel

3. We-ing over the audience - play a game of buzz word bingo - watch out for we, I, our …..nothing is worse than listening to someone drone on about themselves for an hour, especially when you’re presenting to a potential client. If your presentation contains anything relating to ‘we are based, we were founded, we employ, we pride ourselves on being professional/reliable/trustworthy’ then delete it – now! The first encounter should be like a first date – if all you ever talk about is you then you’re unlikely to get a second date!

4. "Can hardly wait for it to be over" - this thinking oozes from every pore - it's agony to listen to this type of presenter. Rarely confined to speaking in public – there are countless boardrooms and sales teams around the country enduring this type of presenter. It suggests you’re presentation is ill-prepared so you’re dreading the moment. Guess what? your audience dread it too

5. A script? Never leave home without it! - reading from a script fools no-one - it just adds to the pressure you put yourself under. Perfection isn’t connection and you’re aim must surely be to connect with the people you’re talking to? Prepare and be sure of the points you want to make. What MUST you say? What SHOULD you say? (if you have time) and what COULD you say? (if there’s still time)

6. One size fits all - giving the same presentation suggests you don't care and lulls you to believe you're doing OK. If you haven’t bothered to take the time to adapt what you’re going to talk about to fit the needs of the audience why on earth should they bother to listen to you? Understand who you’re audience is, what are their dreams, hopes, desires? What do they want you to solve for them? How can you do this better than anyone else? Why are you the answer to their dreams? Dare to be different – show off and flirt a little – it makes all the difference

7. Podium Power - you're just willing yourself to venture out from behind the podium but how on earth do you get back? When you move do it with purpose. Never rock back & forwards, jangle things in your pocket, or worse still, put your hands in your pocket, wander about aimlessly or anything else that is massively distracting for the ‘listener’. Standing still can add to your presence – providing you stand still with a purpose.

How many more agonised moments will we spend as highly fearful speakers? How much more business could you win by presenting more confidently? If you have adopted any of these habits then visit to discover more about our workshops and discover easy ways to break them. If you see a highly fearful speaker at a conference and would like to help them overcome their fears please feel free to give them our details