Archives November 2016

Follow up your leads IMMEDIATELY!

Professional, savvy and in the zone - Hayley Mackintosh from Servcorp North Sydney rocks!

Professional, savvy and in the zone – Hayley Mackintosh from Servcorp North Sydney rocks!

Earlier in 2016 I was very lucky to do my first shared workshop with the awesome Hayley Mackintosh from Servcorp North Sydney. It was our ‘Profitable Marketing Forum’ and Hayley is the manager of that premium office location.

She had a section in the forum we were running to go through key research and findings generated by Servcorp to help their customers. Interestingly both Servcorp and I target basically the same type of people and if you are lucky to know Hayley personally; you will know her to be a brilliant sharp operator.

One interesting insight I got from her presentation was the importance of:

“Following up your leads immediately!”

Hayley in this presentation discussed key Roy Morgan research that looked at key areas of customer services, sales and marketing with one key one being how people look at hiring suppliers. When people make a choice; they tend to speak to around 3 different providers and the one who responds first / the fastest will far more likely to win the account (assuming all else is equal).

Today I got a lead in from a fine referral I met a few months back. I got their phone call and after I finished a meeting I got back to them (within 1 hour of them contacting me). They were really grateful for the rapid response and we have a meeting booked for next week (he is a very cool guy – love to work with him!).

What was interesting and reflecting on Hayley’s thinking is how the meeting is set on the right tone. My new potential customer knows I am serious, responsive and he knows “I want the account”. When it comes to our meeting next week it will certainly throw the odds in my favour.

My advice and thinking? Two points.

Firstly; get back to leads ASAP! If you are at your PC and you get the email, respond immediately. If you are in meetings, do your best to respond. If you have staff get the involved!

Secondly; Hayley and Servcorp rock and get my endorsement.

Get back to your leads ASAP. They will know you really do care and you will watch your conversion rate skyrocket.

Love your work, thanks for the read and stay awesome!

Learn before you earn

The practical training of TAFE Western Sydney provoked some profitable thoughts...

The practical training of TAFE Western Sydney provoked some profitable thoughts…

It was some many many years ago where I first heard the saying ‘learn before you earn”. I actually think it was on a Rich Dad, Poor Dad CD with Robert Kiyosaki stoking my rebel sentiment against being an employee for the rest of my life.

Interestingly at the time I dismissed this knowledge more to desiring the quick buck.

This immature thinking obviously went bad for me and was a key contributor for me finding myself without a home for several months and ‘enjoying’ living out of my car (ironically later in life when I got my business working, my earlier education saved me).

What got me thinking about this topic was actually a really good event at the Cumberland Business Chamber in Western Sydney. It was held at TAFE Western Sydney in a place on the outer edge of Metro Sydney known as Mt. Druitt. It’s a good 43km West of Sydney and as I was listening away to the great TAFE speakers it made me really appreciate education from a different viewpoint.

For me, I actually started out as a Combat Engineer in the Australian Army and found myself working with the Feds after that. After being injured and not being able to work there anymore; I found myself going back to university to finish my education.

This in hindsight was a brilliant move in the respect that the education allowed me to start this business today (no way I would have the business intelligence to do it).

During the presentation / event at TAFE it really drove home the value of how they take in people with no skills and train them ready to get really good jobs and build a life for themselves. It’s that actual education that allows people to not only earn more for the rest of their lives; but to also work in jobs that they find more satisfying and important for them.

Tragically the event too (as they were reading out stats) reminded me as to what happens to those with no education beyond Year 12. They often earn less money, are more likely to be unemployed and are often the first to get replaced by automation / machines.

My advice and lessons from this one? Education is critical!

Even if you have no money and your immediate circumstances aren’t the best; getting educated is critical. Your knowledge will give you more options, make you more powerful and set you up for a future.

Be it from TAFE, to Academic or even say Entrepreneurial / Mentoring it all helps. Study something that is practical and matters to you – then win. My earlier education ultimately saved me from extended poverty and paved the way for my successes today.

Love your work, thank you for the read, appreciate the great contributions you make TAFE Western Sydney and stay awesome!

Creating your PROFITABLE 2017 Marketing Plan

creating-your-profitable-2017-marketing-planA foundation of success comes from having a powerful, intelligent, pragmatic and creative plan of action. Talking marketing; like any area of a business it’s critical to have the planning and structure that enables success.

I have educated thousands over the years in building powerful marketing plans using our template. The key thinking is to consider the business from multiple points of view. From internal resources, to the directors desires to massive changes in the market it all needs to be melded into a cohesive plan that makes sense increasing the probability of ones success.

This actual recording here was done on Monday 28th November 2016 with the outlook for 2017 and beyond. Please view it as part of your own understanding and also access the following downloads:

>> Download the Marketing Plan Template (PDF)

>> Download the PowerPoint Slides (PDF)

For any questions please get in touch with me at edward@excellenceabove.com.au

Thank you, best of luck and here to help!

Don’t be a hero, call in REINFORCEMENTS!

Good thing I wore my marine cap today.

Good thing I wore my marine cap today.

After hitting this gym this morning; I went for a pleasant stroll through Parramatta CBD (in Western Sydney). I went a way at a time I don’t normally do and it turned out to be a great move.

There was this ‘person’ (and I use that term very loosely) who was harassing people in the street. Yelling, swearing, even scared some children and I switched back into my old Military / Fed type of mode.

I started following them as I do and was ready to intervene if anything extreme occurred. Of course I didn’t want to do that for risk of my own safety and the like and always remembered back to the first thing you learn when you work for the government:

– Don’t be a hero, call in reinforcements!

So I pulled out my phone, dialled 000 and kept following the suspect to keep an eye on him. I then watched them talk to another individual in what I thought clearly to be a ‘type of deal’ with a package transferred and I was telling the operator on emergency 000 everything. They then were on the move.  About 120 seconds later there were police everywhere looking for this guy and it was a great move. The situation was under control, I bet they know who this guy is and they will have him in a cell by the evening at the latest.

This got me thinking about my business, the events I have run and succeeding as a small business owner / entrepreneur. With many events I have run, big clients I have worked with and even speaking at events; one must know when you can handle it or you have to summon reinforcements to help you out. Quite often I have called in help so we all win the day (including my friends Mark Kyte, Martha Arifin and co – love their work).

I know people who are very ‘proud’ so to speak and must do everything themselves. This is a very big mistake. Lots of pressure will be on your shoulders and especially if you are ‘green’ in terms of experience; you are likely to get into lots of trouble.

My advice and thinking? Be proud of how intelligent you are by calling in backup / friends to help you out. If a situation is sticky or you know it’s too much for you – get some friends to help you get the upper hand. It may be visiting that big potential client together with a wingman, doing a workshop / seminar with a partner or even more – just someone to give you that intangible yet critical morale support.

Love your work, thanks for read, thank you NSW & Parramatta Police for your rapid response (you rock!).

Talk is cheap, DONE is PRICELESS!

getting-work-done-rocks-edward-ziaI had a very odd experience at the gym today. There is this very kind man there who I have lots of respect for. He is really cool and I like him; but he made a mistake that I very much used to make.

About a month ago, I bumped into him at the gym. He recognised me from Facebook and we started talking with him asking me quite a few questions about client reactivation and databases. I spoke to him at lengths about Mailchimp Premium and pointed him in the direction to get started.

It was great and when I bumped into him today I followed up with him on Mailchimp:

– He hasn’t done anything about it!

I kind of laughed at more the older version of myself in once being a man who talked about doing stuff (who rarely followed through) and I told him to get it done then come back to me. I really have been thinking it through and full respect to him; I will not throw stones from glass houses as I used to be much like him.

It’s really important in business that we don’t just ‘talk’ about stuff. It’s not very good; in fact it’s a total waste of time at a given point.

Especially in marketing for a small business – every day you miss out is yet a wasted opportunity that you shall never get back. By all means plan; but once you have a plan get it done.

My advice and thinking?

– Get it done.

You will make lots of money, feel very satisfied and people around you will develop a very healthy respect for you.

Love your work, and a message to my friend at the gym “Don’t be like old me, get it done and win!”.

Don’t feed the TROLLS!

Never feed the trolls. Let them go hungry!

Never feed the trolls. Let them go hungry!

If the world learned anything from Trump winning the election; is at least now knowing of the term ‘Troll’.

In an internet / online context it’s basically a person that attacks someone without reason, logic or seemingly purpose for the point of causing an ‘upset’ or ‘triggering’ the target person. The hope is that the person being targeted then either reacts or other people react causing a movement of that attack.

What inspired me to write this article was my own experiences of being trolled / abused on Facebook and a few of my clients getting similar treatment. This can be from people who don’t know us at all trying to get a response, or someone doing it deliberately with a targeted agenda. Either way it can be very distressful and it’s importance that we know how to deal with trolls.

‘Trolling’ was actually used quite heavily in the recent US election. Hillary *tried* many times to troll Trump; but it often failed quite miserably (with Trump arguably being one of the greatest trolls on the planet).

Hillary actually started trolling Trump at the start which I think was a big mistake (I would never pick a fight with a cop, lion or Crocodile in a hurry).

A really good example was Trump trolling Hillary by calling her ‘Crooked Hillary’. This really did stick during the campaign with Trump’s own supporters then using that as a line to go after Hillary. Hillary tried a failed counter-troll calling Trump supporters ‘The Basket of Deplorables’.

This did really backfire on her in many ways and it brings us all to a key lesson:

– “Never Feed the Trolls!”

As Hillary ‘fed’ Trump, he then proceeded to troll Hillary on this point and it just got worse and worse for her. Tragically, I have seen people in business try and argue with people online who troll them.

Please don’t do that! If you get attacked online or personally; the best move is to block them, delete them, ignore them and don’t respond.

Trolls feed on you being ‘triggered / upset’ and the way to win against them is by ignoring them. As they are getting nowhere, they will quickly run out of steam (and if anything their failed trolling makes the attacker look silly).

My advice and lessons over the years?

Don’t feed the trolls. Never. Ever 🙂

P.S Love your work, thanks for the read and to my two awesome anonymous friends who I have utmost love and respect for – go hard, smile and don’t worry about mean people!

Endorsement Letters. Powerful. Get them!

endorsement-letters-just-rock-everyone-loves-edward-ziaI am feeling totally pumped, grateful and very thankful to the awesome Michael from the Eels. It’s an honour working with the amazing man and hot off the press; he very kindly wrote me an endorsement letter today.

I have been working with him for a while when it comes to the community and for many of us in business to business; our success in selling really comes from the results we get and ‘who for’.

For those that know us it’s easy to convince; but for those who are new to us it can take months (or even longer) to convince them we have the goods, can deliver and of course can be trusted.

Even though *I am a fan* of testimonials on websites and the like; they also have very limited power in influencing people. Many people look at them and can think they are ‘rigged’ so to speak. However if you are talking a proper letter on proper ‘letterhead’ it is very real, extremely powerful and high influential in convincing people you really know what you are doing.

Over 2016 in particular I have been busy collecting letters from all sorts of my top clients. It’s been a great experience and it has helped me in multiple key ways:

– More Clients: An obvious benefit in using them as part of my selling process.

– Make Selling Easier: I don’t have to lift as hard when I sell these days; the marketing and endorsement letters help.

– Make Me Feel Better: YES! Even a hardened solider like me can get down at times and the letters can be a massive pick up for all.

My advice and thinking? With your top clients – as you get results, become friends with them and the like ask them. No one has ever said no to me before and it just works.

It will give you great materials to put on your website and make your life much easier.

Thanks for the read, thank you Michael from the Eels and stay awesome friends!

Marketing Lessons from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”

The legend Saul Alinsky himself (Wikipedia)

The legend Saul Alinsky himself (Wikipedia)

The Trump election that just passed was fantastic and regardless of which side of the game you are on; it was easily one of the most dirtiest elections ever.

I really got into this election from many levels and from the time I heard Trump was going in; I called it that he was going to win.

Interestingly at this time, I was introduced to Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” (with thanks to YouTube Sargon of Akkad).

Saul Alinsky was born in Chicago from Russian Jewish parents and he was a powerful community organiser. From the 1930’s onwards he was a ‘Community Organiser’ that basically helped the poor and underprivileged take on the establishment to create societal change.

Where his name became of interest to me was that Obama was mentored and trained by those who studied under Saul Alinsky’s thinking. I was pro-Obama for various reasons and if you go back to his campaign – you will see Obama really using his ‘Change’ idea as a radical way to capture the American heart (and their votes).

Alinsky’s thinking was definitely used more for the ‘Left’ side of politics but what was fascinating was that the Trump campaign used lots of Alinsky’s rules to win and get the upper hand. During his retirement he wrote is famous book “Rules for Radicals”.

Straight from Wikipedia the thinking included:

  1. .“Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
  2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
  3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
  4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
  5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
  6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
  7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.
  8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
  9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
  10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.” It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.
  11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
  12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
  13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

What made me bring this all up? One of my awesome friends who I have great respect for was having work trouble. I referred them to Saul Alinsky and told them I would write a blog talking about the rules.

The inspiration I get from this ‘Communist’ thinking is how one can take over society and create massive change. Talking more marketing and entrepreneurship; sometimes it’s us against ‘the world’ and there are some great ideas that can help us.

My favourite from a marketing viewpoint is:

– Rule #6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

The more we love our marketing tactic is the more we will do it, the more we get successful at it and the more clients we get.

My advice and thinking? Studying marketing is great, but we can learn some great inspiration from other areas. Perhaps we as marketers need to become our own form of ‘radicals’.

Love your work, thank you for the read and massive thanks to my awesome friend who is going to shake up their workplace!

Focusing on those that LOVE you

focus-on-those-that-love-youOur Profitable Meetup group is going great guns.

We have 7 x on the waiting list for tonight, it grows by about 3 x members a day, we get clients from it and with probably being accused of overusing the word; well it’s just awesome.

I love it right! Of course. It’s brilliant. It’s free and it helps the community.

BUT believe it or not, you get the odd person that doesn’t like it. Maybe about once a fortnight you get someone signing out. I have heard all sorts of reasons why and one I got today from on opt-out was “too much fluff”.

Wow, too much Fluff? I would say that is completely insane in that we have stacks of 5 star reviews, people love it, we give out handouts with easily of the best marketing content in town. I am really grateful for that person leaving our Meetup Group as it ironically followed a conversation I have had with a few clients lately.

I met with one of my clients of 5 + years today who runs a very successful IT company. They have had some people who are completely wrong say nasty things to him. Even though it’s not true, it did have it’s emotional impact on the great guy.

What the truth of all this is that as we get more successful we get more noticed. We grow the amount of people who loves and buy from us and we also grow our pool of critics. The haters / critics / mean people aren’t going anywhere and the truth is we are going to get more of them.

This to me is a very valid reason why people fear success. You become noticed, you get trolled and it’s part of the territory. I help clients with this type of issue quite often as a Marketer and what I can tell you is that you must reframe what it means to you.

The more haters we get, the more get trolled actually means we are becoming more successful. It’s an odd truth and the sooner we see that negative energy as a positive symbol it’s very healthy. I get trolled once a bit her and there on Facebook and I also get lots of clients from it.

So if I say ‘avoided the trolls’ I would lose potential clients and money! Obviously that is purely crazy and the key thought I want to give you is looking at this in a positive way.

My advice and thinking? Never worry about the haters / trolls / negative Nacy’s / David downers out there – focus on the people you are helping, that you love, that love you and the change you are creating in the world. It feels good and I have this great point for you to think about:

“What happens to the brains of those who don’t like you as you succeed?”

I love the answer to that question. Never let the trolls get you down, focus on who truly matters.

Thanks for the read! Appreciate your kindness and support.

Passion and helping others FIRST

Manu 'Spartan' Singh - he rocks.

Manu ‘Spartan’ Singh – he rocks.

Today must have been at least 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) and I was going about town in a full black suit with my tie and jacket.

It is one of the few times you will get me in a suit and jacket as I was very lucky to have my photo taken today for a publication.

As I felt the subtropical heat of Sydney; I was getting excited to finally meet Manu ‘Spartan’ Singh. He is this very cool guy I met originally through the Western Sydney Business Awards and we just clicked.

We stayed friends and then some months later; we actually bumped into each other at the launch of the Victory Serviced Offices in Sydney CBD. It was awesome reconnecting and then we finally met up for lunch to talk about what we are working on and the like.

Manu interestingly is an ambassador for Cricket Australia and he has a massive personal interest in the sport, what it contributes to the community and how it brings everyone together. He is getting right into his role with a drive to build charitable donations for the sport and make it help everyone even more.

What has quite impressed me about Manu is the way he is approaching it. He it focused on helping people, creating a great customer experience and the betterment of our community and society at large. How he gets paid in all this is of secondary importance to him and that is something I find quite admirable and impressive.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I love making money and I am fully into abundance thinking. We all deserve to prosper and when it comes to business; we are all into a ‘customer first’ type of focus.

What this means is that we think about what we are delivering to the market first, how we are helping people and then what we earn is considered from that (meaning the more we help people, the more we make as a result). This is the total opposite of people saying “I am going to make X dollars and then figure out how”.

The wealthiest and most successful people I know are all Customer / Marketing first people. They are preoccupied with how their product / service is helping people and by making it the best; they get tons of high value customers. Then, they make lots of money with sustainability.

My advice and thinking? Just like Manu, think about how you are helping people with your service / product / event before you even think about how much money you make. Once you are helping people / delivering excellence, the money then flows your way.

Then the goal is to keep helping people ‘more’ and drive up your earnings. Ironically enough; the ‘money first’ people seem the poorest of the lot…

Go abundance thinking at all levels it just rocks!

Thank you for the read, great working with you Manu and here is to abundance and staying awesome 🙂

The importance of PROFITABLE high value clients

The right clients can be a massive source of happiness! (Thank you Vault Boy).

The right clients can be a massive source of happiness! (Thank you Vault Boy).

I am really lucky and have a great pool of clients.

They rock, I love them, they love me and everyone is happy. It’s been the result of lots of great work, meeting with people and extensive marketing to attract the right people to my cause.

It wasn’t always like this for me however and I have found that many business owners out there tragically suffer not in that they don’t have enough clients per se; but they need more the right type of clients that suits them.

The right type of client relationship is where it’s great for both sides. With my awesome clients (and thank you if you are one of them), I love having them as clients and they love having me help them with their businesses.

Everyone is happy and it’s formed one of the key ideas of what I am all about:

– “Getting PROFITABLE high value clients”

This solves many problems we encounter right from poor cash flow, to that of giving us the earnings and streams of referrals we are all after. In order to achieve this it requires lots of discipline, the ability to say no and a really targeted marketing strategy that puts your company / services / products / self in front of exactly the right people.

It’s also important to have a really strong image in that it automatically repels the wrong type of clients and attracts the right one. I turn away about a third of leads that come my way for various reasons in that I don’t think it will be a win / win that is great for both of us. The advantage of this is that it gives more time to focus on getting the right people.

My advice and thinking? With your business, strategy, marketing and thinking; make sure you it’s aligned to getting the ‘right’ people into your business. Through such behaviour our business is more pleasant, the right people surround us, we love to help them out and better still – it makes life just awesome.

Marketing with that thought in the back of your mind – it will make life much easier. Say no to those that aren’t right, but give a loving YES to those that rock.

Love your work, thanks for read and stay awesome!

P.S. Thank you Fallout / Vault Boy for the image use and inspiration

Spotting Brilliant People

The awesome Amanda Choy. She rocks and glad I visited her Business Event!

The awesome Amanda Choy. She rocks and glad I visited her Business Event!

When it comes to visiting events across town I am a massive fan of always keeping my eye out for something new. I find in a big city like Sydney there is always something going down with some events being just perfect for me.

In what I do, I am forever looking to meet new potential business partners, friends, great clients and people I can help in my quest to give back to the community.

As you go around to all these events it’s easy to meet the full spectrum of people. These days when I go to say a Chamber event or more; I know I have a ‘time limit’. That is, let’s say I have 2 hours to meet as many people as possible.

When I take this viewpoint this really matters and I am being very open to who I am meeting. I am forever looking to speak to the right people who are of great character, intelligence, influence and just putting quite simply:

– “They are the cool and awesome people”

Interestingly I had a spare evening and there was a Business Event in Chatswood (the North Shore of Sydney). I have always wanted to meet people in Chatswood more and I finally took the initiative to visit an event there. It was full of people and I spoke to some and as the event kicked off I noticed the MC was fantastic.

She was intelligent, articulate and I could see that she was working very hard to speak to everyone, make everyone feel welcome, manage the speakers and I thought she did a great job of ‘herding cats’ so to speak (as I have run many events and it can be like that). I eventually got a chance to speak to her and we clicked and decided to meet up for coffee / lunch.

A few days later I met Amanda Choy for Japanese Burgers and Fries in Chatswood and it rocked. We exchanged ideas, I was able to help her with some connections and she made me feel even extra welcome to attend more of her events. It was fantastic and you can never have too many awesome pals. We may end up working together or it could be that one of us one day introduces someone to us that makes us $1,000,000+. You never know!

My advice and thinking? As you hit events be very perceptive to who you are speaking too. Some aren’t the right fit for you, BUT some people will enrich your life and business. The key is to spot the right people and get connected.

Even though it was my first visit there, it only took a few glances to figure out Amanda is awesome, intelligent, ethical, kind and brilliant. Thrilled we had lunch!

Calibrate your own thinking so you can spot the awesome and focus your networking.

Love your work, thanks for the read, you rock Amanda and stay awesome!