Shattering Expectations

Picture the scene. You are the chairman of a major British corporation. You’ve arrived promptly at the offices of a new supplier, eager to hear their pitch for your prestigious business.

You hate incompetence and command respect. You have very exacting standards. You’ve even been knighted for your services to British industry. People address you as “Sir”.

As the office doors open, you can hardly believe your eyes. Your expectations are shattered. Instead of an enthusiastic welcome, you are greeted by an unoccupied, scruffy, smoke filled reception.
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Tweet, Tweetboy, Tweet

Anybody who’s ever participated seriously in an endurance sport such as running or cycling has probably experienced “hitting the wall”. It’s a term that’s commonly used to describe the devastating feelings of fatigue and confusion that can occur in the final stages of a race.

Lately, I’ve started noticing a trend with Twitter that can be likened to “hitting the wall”. A point at which a user feels confused, or even disillusioned with it’s value. At this stage their volume of Tweets decreases, often going days without sending any at all. They stop following anybody new, and nobody follows them back in return. Many people who hit the “Twitter wall” slowly disappear from the platform altogether.
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Understand Me. Understand My Business.

The world is changing at a dramatic pace. Never has there been a more critical time to really understand who your customer is, and how you truly benefit them.

I’ve always been fascinated by the recruitment industry. I think like estate agency, or used car sales it can sometimes be painted in a negative light. Agents willing to take on any old job, for any old client; bombarding hiring managers with a barrage of CV’s which only slightly fit the client’s specification. As someone responsible for recruiting talent, I’ve lost count at the number of times I’ve received an unsolicited cold-call from a nervous sounding voice, asking if “I’ve got any vacancies”.
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My journey to a client’s office this morning took 4 hours. To drive 60 miles! It wasn’t as if I hadn’t prepared; in fact I had allowed nearly 2 hours for a journey which normally takes me around an hour 20.

Even though I had prepared by knowing the exact route and allowing more than adequate time, I failed. Just goes to show, preparation doesn’t guarantee success. After sitting in queued traffic on a motorway slip for what seemed like an eternity, I cut my losses – giving up on the time I had committed to the queue and proceeded to drive another 25 miles to cut around the traffic and eventually arrive at my destination.

Preparation is key to any new venture. However, just because you’ve built a plan doesn’t mean it’s going to work the way you have mapped out. Knowing when to change course, take avoiding action or even turn around and start again fresh another day is vital for achieving success.

Same Ingredients. Better Results.

With the abundance of cooking programs now gracing our TV screens, have you ever noticed how using the same ingredients, one chef can create an awe-inspiring dish, yet another creates something ordinary?

In today’s world, we are blessed with many of the same ingredients; the telephone, e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google … Yet, isn’t it amazing how some do so well, yet some fail miserably?
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Attitude is Everything

I’ve just got off the phone to someone I’ve been doing business with for six years – his attitude compelled me into writing this post. Unfortunately, not in a good way.

For the sake of identity privacy, I shall call this person Bob. Bob is a salesman for a car leasing company. He’s been a supplier to both me personally and to my businesses over the years. His service has always been excellent, I’ve even recommended him.

As I’ve been toying with the idea of changing my car, I called Bob and he recommended a number of models. I visited a showroom on Monday and took a shiny new number out for a test drive. I was impressed; on the surface the car had everything I needed and more. During Tuesday, I negotiated figures with Bob and in the afternoon decided to take it. I arranged to meet Bob at the dealership this morning to sort the paperwork.
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