Monday, 9 December 2013

One for the album

The Blogger with his participants from Spices and Seasonings Specialities Sdn Bhd who participated in the Key Account Management workshop (Dec 2-3 2013).  Group photo taken at the Pullman Hotel, KL 

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The future of marketing: Are skills keeping up with increasing demands?

As marketing grows ever more complex, are marketer training and skills keeping pace?

One recent study found wide-spread dissatisfaction among marketing and advertising executives with the skills of job applicants. According to the Online Marketing Institute's “State of Digital Marketing Talent,” 40% of respondents said they have more marketing positions open than they can fill with qualified talent, with analytics being the most desired skill. The OMI study was based on an August online poll of 747 companies.

But many observers say the focus on specific skills is misplaced, as tools and tactics evolve rapidly and become outdated quickly.

 “Future marketers will have to be worried more about the big picture, particularly the interfaces with other disciplines within the company,” said Ralph Oliva, executive director of the Institute for the Study of Business Markets at Penn State University's Smeal College of Business. “It doesn't matter about the latest thing you did on social media. What's important is understanding the principles for navigating what will always continue to be a new world of marketing tools."

The ISBM recently released a study on the future of b2b marketing, “The B2B Agenda: The Current State of B2B Marketing and a Look Ahead,” authored by ISBM Leadership Board Chairman Fred Wiersema. The study identified four key trends expected to dominate not only marketing but marketing hiring in the future:

* Marketing is becoming more strategic, with increasing responsibility for the organic growth strategy of companies.
* Marketers must recognize the importance of global markets and the challenges they represent. * Technology's “disruptive power” could make certain b2b practices obsolete.
* B2b companies must transition to “marketing realities,” including moving from a product focus to a market focus, or shifting from being operations-driven to customer-driven.

“We want to equip our students to have the principles to navigate the changing world rather than trying to tease out the last piece of analytics from the latest tool,” Oliva said.

This approach is being reflected in new hiring practices at b2b companies.

“We are hiring a new breed of marketers that recruiting firm Korn/Ferry coined "agile learners,' ” said Kathy Button Bell, VP-CMO at Emerson Electric Co. “Agile learners can be change agents to help companies become much more responsive in this age of transparency.”

Recruitment companies are finding a market for young marketers who understand the spectrum of channels and devices used by customers.

“When employers tell me what they're looking for in their marketing candidates, adaptability is right up there near the top,” said Jerry Bernhart, principal at marketing executive search company Bernhart Associates. “If you're looking to avoid data and math, marketing is not the career for you. But you also have to have a good dose of intellectual curiosity. You need to focus not just on the "what' and the "how' but also on the "why.' You must have a thirst for knowledge and be eager to learn and adopt new technology.”

Gary Slack, chairman-chief experience officer at b2b agency Slack & Co., Chicago, said: “B2b used to be the place where unsuccessful salespeople were dropped, or for college grads who couldn't get a job at bigger b-to-c agencies. But I think the profession has attracted better and smarter people.

“The rise of integrated marketing communications has produced many b2b marketers who aren't siloed in the way the traditional marketing profession used to be.”

Northwestern University business professor Don Schultz spearheaded integrated marketing communications in the 1980s. It is now the core of his work as emeritus professor at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

“It's a holistic approach, based not on more campaigns but rather processes,” Schultz said. As part of this holistic approach, Schultz said tomorrow's marketers must be fully acquainted with analytics.

“Big ideas only occur if customers respond to them,” he said. “We're convinced that behavioral data is where the world is going to be, taking data and messages and making sense out of it.”

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

How to respond to a rude email

It’s known that reading abusive comments actually has more effect than hearing them. This is very relevant to email, which is the leading form of office communication. It’s interesting to note that for all its speed and effectiveness as a messaging tool, this sophisticated form of messaging has a flaw or two.

For example, without the emotional and facial cues a person uses when speaking, emails can come across as lifeless, blunt and curt. And when the rudeness is on purpose the effect is even worse. How many of us have experienced nasty emails? Not only do they tend to linger, but often cast a cloud over your day. What’s important is to evaluate the email calmly, and decide if the rudeness was intentional.

Should you feel so, there are ways to deal with it.

Let’s see how.

Don’t answer right away
Being offended by a rude email is natural; and perhaps lashing back too. But often it’s best to wait a while before you answer. Get some perspective, let your anger cool, and try not to dwell on it.

This should help you come up with a civil response. Chances are the sender was also a bit hasty and will return with an apology even before you mention it. It will also help you to get your ducks in a row should blame be directed at you, and you need to check your facts first in case you might be in the wrong.

Of course, there’s never a right time for rudeness, but being sure of your case will prevent it from getting worse.

Create a standard answer template

Getting into the details of why an email offended you can sap your energy. Save yourself time and aggravation by replying with a pre-prepared template that informs the sender of his rudeness, and that you will only consider more nicely phrased letters. Here’s an example:

I'm open to hearing what people have to say, unless they take a malicious approach to conversation. I felt your previous email applies to this, and if you'd like to try again with a nicer approach, I'd be happy to have a conversation with you.

This should give the person pause, and perhaps even draw out on an apology. At the very least, this avoids getting into an unproductive slugging match of trading insults.
Should it draw out no response, let the dust settle for a while. Then perhaps follow up with another message, kindly reminding them that you are still open for discussion.

What is important to note is that a template such as this might not always be appropriate given the situation, culture or person it is aimed at – and might be seen as a rude email in its own right! Use prudence before deciding to send it, and remember that the key is to distance yourself with an impersonal – if polite – writing tone. Which leads us to the next point…

Kill them with kindness

Sometimes, simple politeness can deflate the abuse coming your way, even if you don’t feel like being nice. First, make an effort to understand their grievance and acknowledge it. Better yet, try to solve it, and if you can’t, explain why you can’t. The voice of reason goes a long way in making the sender of a rude mail aware how they’re stepping over the line.

If the abuse continues, you might have a real problem on your hands. But before escalating it, take a step back, or step out completely. The next point explains how.

Get a cool-headed friend to respond

The problem with directed, written communication is that it’s difficult not to take personally. Distance yourself by getting an outside opinion, as well as a response.

Of course, the trick is to be fair and even-handed – as you will have to outline the situation to a third party, who is not involved in the situation. Ask them to write a response that’s impartial, then tweak it if needed and send it off. This could also help you gain perspective on the situation and set you on the road to resolving it.

When words fail

Make peace with the fact that there will always be rude people. And that we all have bad days. Based on the instance you’re facing, decide if wasting energy on an abusive person is worth it. Make sure you’ve done your best to solve the situation, but should there be no developments, move on and get on to other things. If you feel stressed by the mail, take a breather, or set your mind somewhere else. Best is then just to forget it.

After all, nicer people deserve your attention too.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

From a salesman to CEO

Rado chief executive officer Matthias Breschan reveals how luck and passion played a part in charting his career.

Who would have thought that a calculator salesman would one day end up as CEO of a prestigious timepiece brand?

Matthias Breschan, who was in Kuala Lumpur recently for the launch of the Rado Hyperchrome collection, tells how he got his big break in the watch industry.

An Austrian native schooled in Vienna, the economics degree graduate landed his first job with Texas Instruments in France as a product manager at age 26.

"I was in charge of sales for new product development and this was the first time the European market had broken away from traditional black calculators to come up with colourful ones. Our target then was the mass market where we sold to big European department stores and mail orders. It was a far cry from the luxury goods market," recalls Breschan.

His first job eventually readied him for another managerial post with Alcatel, a mobile phone company in the 90s. Coincidently, the Swatch group, which also owns Rado, was making attempts to diversify into the telecommunications field. It had a joint venture with Siemens to integrate a chip within a watch to act as a ticketing device. One area of target was to be the skiing stations in Europe at which a wearer could download their tickets via readers and wireless contacts. Today, it is a huge success. But from an early stage, Swatch chose to give up.

"The main reason was to preserve the value perception of the brand. Then, mobile phones were sold at very low prices, due to heavy subsidisation. When this happened, consumers lost perception to the right price for the watch and the danger of destroying the brand became too big.

"As you know, the Swatch brand is aimed at the lower price segment which made it accessible to everybody. Realising this will be difficult to do outside of the watch market, they stopped," reveals Breschan who was then heading the department overseeing Swatch's diversification attempt.

When the merger broke up, it was not hard for Breschan to choose where to go.
"It is so easy to get passionate with watches," he says.

Two experiences sealed his decision.

"One was in a training class conducted by Swatch in which we had to disassemble and reassemble the movement of a pocket watch. This was when I not only developed a respect and appreciation for watchmakers, but an emotional link to mechanical watches," recalls Breschan.

The second has to do with the Rado brand itself. When he went to see the manufacturing process, he saw the strength of the group's industrial base. Seeing their capabilities to manufacture their own movements, mechanisms, cases, dials and ceramic, blew him away. One would be the high-tech ceramic composite Rado has researched and developed. Made by heating the mixed powders of the ceramic formula, this was the very component that pushed the brand to the forefront as the world's first scratch-proof watch.

In 2003, to test Breschan's merits, superiors put him in charge of Hamilton, an American brand they had just moved to Switzerland.

"My responsibility was to turn the brand around. Then, Hamilton was only present in the United States, Italy, Spain and Japan. The ambition was for it to grow from a small niche player to a worldwide brand. So, we started restructuring for international expansion by developing a new portfolio and reworking the marketing strategy. At that time, Hamilton had two lines - Khaki, which had a very military feel and Classic, an evocation of Hollywood glamour. We used these themes for the planning of product placement. Today, the brand is in over 70 countries," enthuses Breschan.

When asked if this had impressed his superiors, Breschan modestly quips the answer should come from the horse's mouth.

Breschan was handed the reins to Rado in 2010 as part of a succession plan. He has seen to three collection launches since then, namely the Centrix, Thin Line and Hyperchrome. Interestingly, the Hyperchrome is inspired by the discontinued Golden Horse collection dated from the 1970s.

At that time, Rado had yet to develop the monobloc technology, creating a seamless integration with the lugs and surrounding components. As a result, past models felt heavy to wearers. Today, the lightweight monobloc technology has allowed for greater freedom in design.

Speaking of the future, Breschan says manufacturing advancements in Rado's plasma ceramic cases have allowed for the creation of finishes similar to metallic surfaces without the use of any metal.

The latest technological development is seen in the crownless Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch, a ladies' watch sporting touch sensitive devices. Powered by a quartz movement, the Esenza is governed by software which detects fingertip movement, allowing time to be set through touch.

This is how it works: Four electrodes, at the 2, 4, 8 and 10 o'clock positions, are nestled between the movement and the monobloc ceramic case. When a fingertip influences the electrode through the ceramic case, it acts as a stray capacitor, modifying the frequency of an oscillating circuit.

Amazing technology aside, Breschan's philosophy is: Never be too in love with your own strategy. Or underestimate the presence of Lady Luck, especially when it comes to material development. In his experience, R&D may take as long as 10 years. In some cases, a breakthrough was achieved in only two.

"In the end, no CEO is better than his team. Without the competences of different departments to do the research and development of the movements, materials and electronics, one can never bring out a production. The constant challenge is to push oneself to move forward, to continuously innovate and invent. The day you stop is the day you will kill the brand," he concludes.

[Source : Asia  News Network]

Monday, 11 November 2013

10 Questions to Ask When Preparing for a Trade Show

If you are one of the regular participants at international trade shows, the following article is definitely a must read.

For any small business, trade shows can provide an effective means of spreading brand awareness, getting your product out in front of a target audience and meeting with current or potential clients. But there’s much more to it than reserving your space and signing on the dotted line.
While preparing to attend any show, consider these 10 key questions to ask before exhibiting:
1. Why am I participating in this show? “There really has to be a why,” says D.J. Heckes, CEO of trade show management company Exhib-it and author of Full Brain Marketing.

People sign up for a show for a number of reasons: It can serve as a launching pad for new products or concepts, a way to build up your brand and distribution, a means of nurturing relationships or even a place to position your company for sale.

Once you nail down a clear motive that aligns with your business strategy, reach out to customers and find out if they are attending and if the show fits their timing and needs.

2. Am I organized for the show? Preparing for a show well in advance can save you both time and money.

For example, if you sign up early, you can take advantage of discounted rates, which can be considerably less than prices charged within 60 or 30 days of an event.
On the other side of the spectrum, if you are disorganized, you may incur additional costs. One instance where you might get penalized is if you forget to bring something and need to have it delivered to the show. You not only will have to pay for shipping and handling but the show may slap on hidden costs.

You can be surprised at the add-on costs if you don’t meet certain deadlines,” Heckes says. “If you follow a budget and a timeline, you won’t forget things.”

3. How much space will I need? While it’s nice to have a large footprint on a trade show floor, those who can’t afford it shouldn’t worry, says Michael Brody-Waite, CEO of InQuicker, a health-tech company focused on connecting consumers with services.

Brody-Waite's approach is to invest in a simple booth presentation and then doing everything he can to capture contact information and follow-up with these leads after the show. For him, it is more about these meaningful connections, conversations and ability to covert prospects to actual customers than the complexity of a booth.

“The way we look at it, if we can't have impactful conversations with a single booth space, simply adding more real estate probably isn't the right solution,” he says.

4. Does it matter who my neighbors are? Absolutely. But how you view your neighbors is where views diverge.

Maureen Burke isn't a fan of being placed next to a show-stopping booth. The senior account director at Nth Degree, an event marketing and management company, warns against having your small booth next to an extravagant presentation (think lots of signage and activity). This kind of placement can distract potential customers from your message and products.

“You’re not just competing against other companies who make the same product, but everyone who is exhibiting there,” she says.

However, Brody-Waite has a different perspective. He likes to secure a booth near flashier ones that will likely attract a lot of foot traffic. If another company is doing the heavy lifting to get people in a certain area, why not capitalize on it, he says.

“As a young company, we can count on any number of booths having better production value than ours, even if they belong to our competitors, he says. "It's just another opportunity to be enterprising.”

5. Should I sponsor events in conjunction with the trade show? Brody-Waite believes in attending trade shows not only as an exhibitor, but also as a sponsor or presenter, as it affords the best opportunity to inform and educate an audience.

“We keep a calendar of speaking opportunity deadlines and make sure to pitch fresh, relevant session topics every year," he says. “Speaking and exhibiting at a trade show is the ultimate one-two punch, as it maximizes your budget to get in front of as many people as possible.”

6. Who am I targeting at the show? A show might have tens of thousands of attendees trekking through the event but participants need to figure out who specifically they are targeting and how they plan on reeling them in. Some companies get stuck on the number of people who stop by the booth, instead of looking at whether they are qualified buyers of your goods and services.

“Are you looking for 1,500 basic leads or 200 well-qualified leads? Are you looking for shallow and wide exposure or narrow and deep?” Burke of Nth Degree says.

By qualifying the type of people you hope to reach, you can plan your presentation more effectively.

7. How am I going to measure my attendance and presence at the show? In addition to counting leads, it’s important to measure marketing impressions at the show. Just like you can see how many people view an ad in a magazine, you want to know how many people are viewing your marketing materials like signage on the show floor. Burke suggests working with the show organizer to get numbers.

For example, if your signage is at the front of an entrance on the west side, find out how many people entered the show floor from that door. This can help you plan for future shows and decide whether they’re worth attending.

8. Am I familiar with the host city and venue? When you’re planning to exhibit at a show, it’s important to know about the city you’re visiting, as well as the rules and regulations of the convention center, including the associated unions and contractors.

“Not only is this going to affect your budget but also how you meet deadlines,” Burke says. “Going to Orlando is totally different animal than going to San Francisco, Chicago and other union-driven convention centers.”

9. Have I backed up my presence through social media? Keeping your customers informed about your company’s activities before, during and after the trade show is crucial, Heckes of Exhib-it says. In addition to sending out a press release, you can post tweets about why people should come see you at the show. Possible incentives include a new technology, a prize drawing or a gift for stopping by.
Other relevant social media efforts can include blogging from the show floor, making regular updates on Facebook and posting videos of customers visiting your booth on your website.

10. Do I have a post-show plan? It takes a lot of money to plan and exhibit at a show. Don't let all your effort go to the wayside by not being active after the event is over. In this competitive world, if you don’t respond to leads within two or three days, your competitors will,” Heckes says She recommends having a sound plan for following up with people immediately after the show is over. If you have an app where you can send out information in real time at the event, all the better.

“If you wait two or three weeks, you’ve missed your window,” Heckes says.

Monday, 4 November 2013

6 Ways to Take The Chill Out of Cold Calling

As a salesperson, you already understand the cold call is necessary and unavoidable. As long as you need something in business -- more clients, a permit, a loan or a favor, you will have to get to the right person, get their attention and convince them to take action.

When I started my first business, no one knew me. I had some sales experience and almost no cold calling experience, but I did have a lot of guts and an idea I was 100 percent sold on. I made 500 to 750 cold calls a week and followed up in-person with people who had hung up on me just days before. The number of successes were few and far between. I thought -- if I can cold call and not be negatively effected, I could do anything.

I still have to cold call in business today. Here are the six key ways to go about it successfully:

1. Confidence is key. Be sold on what you have to offer so much that it would be unethical not to tell the prospect about it. I'm serious. Think of your product or service as a solution to a problem. "I hope I'm not bothering you" should be changed to "I have something that will help you make (or save) more money and quickly impact your business."

2. Open with your reason for calling. It's about the customer. “John, this is Grant Cardone, and the reason I am calling you is....” Open with enthusiasm, excited about why you're calling. This helps get their attention without meandering. Be clear and concise.

3. Make a monster-size claim early in the call. "The reason I am calling is to save you money, lower your rate, show you a way to increase sales." If you aren't able to make that big claim with conviction, go back and resell yourself.

4. Anticipate questions, complaints and objections. You must be able to predict every possible response from the person you are calling. Make a list of possible responses, questions, complaints and objections with answers that you can offer quickly.

5. Maintain a great attitude. If they're rude or dismissive, stay positive no matter what. I get cold calls all the time. My receptionist gathers information about callers to determine how best to help them. She's polite and professional. I wasn't available and one caller got frustrated because they wanted to speak with me directly. They didn't get their way and abruptly hung up. If the caller maintained a great attitude he'd probably have a better chance winning over the staff and getting his goal accomplished. Instead, he took a tone with my receptionist and never met his goal.

6. Be polite, professional, positive and persistent (the 4 p's). I once had a guy cold call me every day to get a job. Each time he called, he was polite and professional to my receptionist and managers. He was committed and made it clear in a professional manner that he wouldn't stop calling until he got a meeting with me. By the third week, anyone at my office who answered his call, knew who he was. We even talked about him in meetings and my staff was starting to vouch for him. He used these 4 p's, got to me, got hired and is now my VP of Sales.

Cold calling is one of those things an entrepreneur must learn to master. The sooner you start to cold call as a way to promote your business, the better off you will be. Set your targets incredibly high, ten times higher than you would normally and then get dialing. The more calls you have to make, the quicker you'll deal with rejection. And with all those calls to make, you have no time to dwell.

[Source: Grant Cardone, an international sales motivator]

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

You want to be successful, then follow this simple guideline.

WE'RE all busy. We all have infinite to-do lists that fill up faster than we can cross off the most urgent tasks. Being busy makes you feel productive, but it could be getting in the way of your most important project: YOU.
"Busy" is the most common reason people give me for not doing anything to build their brand so they can advance their career. They make time for emails and meetings and teleconferences, but they don’t capture the true benefits of all those activities. Working in their career is getting in the way of working on their career. Sound familiar?

Well, here’s the one personal branding habit you can’t be too busy for.

Document your wins. What’s the easiest way to do that? Keep a job journal.
Why? When you take a minute to jot down the day’s achievements, you:

1. Acknowledge what makes you great. Your team members and clients are too busy to notice your daily victories, so it’s important to take a brief moment for self-congratulations. It’s a great confidence builder, and it helps you quantify and assess your strengths. Don’t forget to record the seemingly small triumphs, even the personal ones ("met the deadline despite cranky vendors … stayed calm under pressure!").

2. See the difference between meeting goals because of motivation and meeting goals despite burnout. If you take an extra 90 seconds and record not only what you achieved, but how it felt to accomplish the task, you’ll get a great reality check. You’ll realise which activities and co-workers make you happy and which ones fill you with dread. This self-awareness is critical as you decide where you want to go with your career. It’s not just about "doing", it’s about doing the things that energise you. This will also help you know when to take action, giving priority to the projects that will have the greatest impact for your career, your team and your company.

3. Get a clear picture of the kind of work you are doing. Do you find yourself in leadership roles? Are you perfectly content to execute someone else’s plans? Which types of projects do you prefer? Are you repeating an inefficient process over and over?

4. Shine during your weekly or monthly team meeting with your boss. You can speak clearly and articulately about all you accomplished in the prior week or month, and you’ll be the one with the latest facts when it’s time to deliver a progress report.

5. Easily prepare a dazzling portfolio for your annual review – the one that’s tied to your bonus and promotion! If you’ve written them down, you’re not going to forget those great things you did in January when you get to your annual review in December. At the end of the year, you’ll have a complete list of accomplishments – approximately 260 entries. You can go through the list and highlight, sort, combine – whatever suits your style. And you’ll have a competitive edge, because you’ll have well-organised evidence. Instead of a vague conversation, you can have a full-blown presentation that showcases all the times you saved the company money, brought in business, made customers happy, and otherwise saved the day. If you’re invited to interview at another organisations, these materials (except confidential ones, of course) translate into a great career-marketing portfolio. If you’re in business for yourself, a job journal is even more essential because it can enhance your pitch.

Documenting your success can help you get ahead.
So how do you do it? Follow these three steps:

1. Choose a consistent place and time of day. The job journal should become one of your favorite habits.

2. Until it becomes a habit, add it to your do-list or calendar. It’s an important activity that deserves to be a high priority in your life.

3. Do it. While Ditch. Dare. Do!, was being written, author, Deb Dib prepared a wins worksheet designed specifically for recording your wins. It’s a fillable PDF that you can add to every day. Download your worksheet and get busy on your real work.

Good luck to all of you!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

5 Typography Tips for Every Presenter

Today, everyone is a typographer. If you have access to a keyboard and a basic software program, you have control over typography. For instance, if you construct email, write for a blog or build presentations, you have a type of control (pun intended) over your words and letters that your great grandfathers would envy. Be thankful. Typography used to only be an art form available to the ink-stained laborers of the early 19th century.

A lot has changed since the days of Gutenberg, but the sad reality is that even though today’s presenter has control over type, most don’t quite understand — much less utilize — it as an art form. It is one, and its power can be immense.
Moving forward, I want you to apply significance to typography just as you do with color and photo selection. Here are 5 basic tips to get you thinking within the right context:

1. Match Your Brand

For starters, if you have a brand style guide, stick to it. There are most likely 1-2 fonts that you must adhere to to keep brand consistency. If so, follow the rules. If not, take advantage of the opportunity to seek out a new font that is still visually engaging and in a similar font family.

2. Pick Two Fonts

I always recommend aiming for only two font styles. Why? One font style is too boring. Three font styles are too much. Consider two font styles as the Goldilocks approach. It’s just right. If you insist on using multiple fonts, three should be the absolute cap.

3. Go Big

A few years ago, Masayoshi Takahashi changed the presentation industry by rolling out a big text approach to presenting. Think 500 point size. Large font is all he utilized on his slides. It was go big or go home, and it’s a simple and easy design tactic that anyone can implement.

4. Be Bold

Certain points are always going to be more relevant than other items. For instance, let’s look at the phrase “Change the world.” Depending on your perspective, you may want to really emphasize the idea of “Change.” Utilizing the bold feature to create contrast with your message then becomes essential: “Change the world.” Even with something so simple like the phrase above in this blog post, adding contrast adds plenty of visual value.

5. Keep it Simple

At the end of the day, your font choices need to be easy to read. It’s that simple. If you can’t decipher a letter, then you can’t expect your audience to decipher it, much less comprehend your message, as well. Choose wisely.

Remember, typography is an art. You aren’t going to become a typography expert overnight but you can definitely start building some more engaging slides by understanding the rules.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

5 Reasons Content Marketers Shouldn't Ignore LinkedIn

With so many social channels, it is difficult to keep up with them all. So, you’ve done your due diligence where necessary: scheduling tweets a few times a day, posting something witty on Facebook and completing your profile on LinkedIn. But if you are simply using LinkedIn for your personal professional gain, your brand is missing out on a major opportunity to extend its reach and attract new customers.

LinkedIn is striving to become the new hotspot for exchanging, absorbing and promoting content in the B2B realm. As marketing messages become increasingly more targeted, reaching preferred, segmented audiences is becoming more of a challenge. LinkedIn is attempting to help ease that hurdle.

5 Reasons Content Marketers and Brands Should Not Ignore LinkedIn
  1. LinkedIn Today: A site that tailors top news stories for each user makes a content marketer’s job a bit easier by putting relevant information in front of readers. LinkedIn today curates headlines and other items people are talking about from more than 200 million professionals and puts them in front of people in relevant industries. Imagine, your brand publishes content, which is shared by not only your employees, but by LinkedIn itself. The ripple effect of sharing your content on LinkedIn can be endless.
2.  LinkedIn Influencers: A hand-picked group of thought leaders, LinkedIn Influencers allows professionals to get updates from industry celebrities right on their LinkedIn homepage. So what does this mean for content marketers? Imagine you work for a medical manufacturing company, and you post your new ebook on LinkedIn. Delos Cosgrove, CEO and president at Cleveland Clinic, reads it and likes what he sees, so he shares it. His followers (more than 85,000 of them) are likely to see that piece of content, and, thanks to LinkedIn’s algorithm, many are likely to be members of the target audience for your medical manufacturing company. 

3. LinkedIn Groups: You should already be familiar with LinkedIn Groups, but it may be time to look at them from a different perspective. There are several groups for just about every topic, especially in the B2B world, so don’t be afraid to dig in and get involved. Groups are great places to post your brand’s content, but be advised: Groups are not meant to be promotional. If you post content, ensure it is relevant, useful and educational. This type of content will get the most shares across social media channels, increasing your chances for new sales prospects.

4.  LinkedIn’s integration of SlideShare: SlideShare makes sharing presentations, documents and even videos simple, a real win for content marketers. With its integration with LinkedIn, brands can now easily share content with people in the same or relevant industries across the world—which makes LinkedIn a real destination for B2B content.

5. LinkedIn’s Sponsored Content: While there isn’t a lot of information available yet, we know that LinkedIn will be launching Sponsored Content, not unlike Facebook’s Sponsored Stories. The new ads will allow brands to promote their content, including eBooks, infographs and other branded content to specific segments of their followers.

With these strides toward a better platform for distributing, obtaining and advertising content, it seems as though LinkedIn is preparing to become a premier center for content that will help professionals do their jobs better. 

“You see with the momentum we’re generating now with Influencers, LinkedIn Groups, SlideShare, people are increasingly turning to LinkedIn to publish professionally relevant content,” said Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO, on a March call with investors. “We think that’s going to create a very strong platform and very valuable content for large enterprises…who want to target [and] engage with professionals.”

Thursday, 12 September 2013

There is always a solution to a problem

A father left 17 camels as an asset for his three sons. When the father passed away, his sons opened up the will. The Will of the father stated that the eldest son should get half of 17 camels while the middle son should be given 1/3rd (one-third). The youngest son should be given 1/9th (one-ninth) of the 17 camels. 

 As it is not possible to divide 17 into half or 17 by 3 or 17 by 9, three sons started to fight with each other.

 Finally, the three sons decided to go to a wise man. The wise man listened patiently about the Will. The wise man, after giving deep thought;brought one of his own camel and added the same to 17. That increased the total to 18 camels.

 Now, he started reading the deceased father's will. Half of 18 = 9. So he gave the eldest son 9 camels 1/3rd of 18 = 6. So he gave the middle son 6 camels1/9th of 18 = 2. So he gave the youngest son 2 camels. Now add this up: 9 plus 6 plus 2 is 17 and this leaves one camel, which the wise man took away.
The attitude of negotiation and problem solving is to find the 18th camel, i.e., the common ground. Once a person is able to find that 18th ground, the issue is resolved. It is difficult at times.

However, to reach a solution, the first step is to believe that there is a solution. If we think that there is no solution, we won't be able to reach any!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Position to be filled - Customer Service Executive

Customer Service Executive (International Bank) 

An International Bank is looking for Customer Service Executives to be based at PJ to serve SEA clients. Permanent position. Good career progression. Offer good pay. 5 days work. Need to work on shift. Fresh graduates with good English communication skill are welcome. Please contact Yap Kae Ling at 03-2171 2137.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

How great leaders communicate

Out of the many positions in a company, the sales manager's job is certainly one that requires a great deal amount of leadership.  The sales leader has to motivate, train, communicate well, coach and above all, the ability to act as a buffer between the sales team and management.  So, you’ve just been promoted into one of your organization’s top Sales Jobs. You’ve got an impressive office, a hefty budget and vast expectations about how you will lead  tens or even dozens of people. Can you stick with the leadership style that brought you this far? Or do you need to recalibrate your approach, starting with the way you communicate?
Some fascinating rethinking is under way on exactly that topic. Scholars such as Harvard Business School’s Boris Groysberg argue that effective leadership no longer revolves around brilliant speeches and heroic exhortations. (We can call that the Fidel Castro approach – and it doesn’t work especially well in either government or mainstream business.) Instead, Groysberg and co-author Michael Slind argue in their 2012 book “Talk Inc.” that the higher you go in an organization, the more you must engage other people in conversations, rather than trying to shout them into submission.
I’m in favor of traveling 70% of the way down that road with Groysberg and Slind, without becoming so chatty that you lose the ability to stretch people’s horizons. Over the past 25 years, as a business-book author and writer for the likes of Forbes, Fast Company and The Wall Street Journal, I’ve seen a lot of corporate leaders in action. Here are seven ways that the best leaders increase their effectiveness by the ways they communicate.
1. Bring the vision to life. Anyone can write a mission statement, full of lofty words that sound good. But you aren’t communicating that vision unless you repeatedly signal how those values translate into concrete actions. What people learn from your routine decision-making matters far more than what you pack into your speeches.
A case in point: Jeff Bezos’s insistence that is “the most customer-centric company in the world.” Nice slogan. What does it really mean? Hang around the Amazon CEO for a while, and you will notice that he vetoes sassy ads that mock customers. He insists that mid-level meetings include one person serving solely as the customer advocate – with the power to veto actions that undermine customers’ interests. And when Amazon reorganizes departments, which it does fairly often, each regrouping is justified as a way of serving the customer better.
In the same spirit, bring your bedrock values into the daily workplace. Salute other people’s actions that reinforce what you prize. Call out conduct that doesn’t. And infuse these principles into other people’s thought patterns by referencing key values as decisions are being made.
2. Ask smart questions. In his new book, “To Sell Is Human,” best-selling author Daniel H. Pink cites studies showing that when you want to persuade someone, questions can be more powerful than statements. The reason: you engage another person’s heart and mind more strongly. You get him or her thinking about the ideal answer – and then all the steps necessary to get there. By being less dogmatic, you let people on your team build game plans that they believe in, rather than trapping them in a helpless state until you issue your next command.
While developing my most recent book, “The Rare Find,” I was impressed with the way that David Evans, the former head of the computer science department at the University of Utah, got great work out of his graduate students by asking simple but profound questions that pointed the way to revolutionary advances. He inspired the engineers who later built Pixar, Adobe and Netscape. Often that could be done simply by pointing at a big goal on the horizon and saying: “How would you get there?”
3. Take time to read the room. Once you’re in senior leadership, you will meet a lot of outsiders that you hardly know ... but whose support or forbearance is crucial to your company's success. Do 90% of the talking, and it’s tempting to think that you carried the day with Washington regulators, Chinese suppliers, that big customer in Dallas or the investigative reporter from New York. Guess what? If you don’t know what the other party really wanted, all that bluster was in vain.
Take a tip from Silicon Valley executive Meg Whitman, early in her career, when she was building eBay into a global e-commerce powerhouse. Some of her most important meetings were with eBay’s Power Sellers. These merchants booked huge amounts of business on the site, yet for a time they felt the company didn’t understand their frustrations with fees and service issues. Every few months, she would visit Power Sellers on their turf, looking for ways to fix their problems or at least offer sympathy. Her keen ear helped eBay stay ahead of its competitors.
Don’t fall prey to the belief that careful listening is only for the little people in the room. When you listen carefully, you win people’s trust – and that’s crucial to everything else you want to accomplish. There’s a maxim in the public speaking business: “The more your audience talks, the more they think they have learned from you.” Use that sly insight to your advantage.
4. Create a climate where things get done. In any organization, there's a huge gap between projects that are headed to the finish line, right now -- and ones that live indefinitely in limbo, hardly moving forward. Which do you prefer? If you're looking for results, make sure your employees and front-line managers are repeatedly aware of your top priorities. Help set interim mileposts. Get roadblocks out of the way. Walk through the areas where specific tasks are being done. Even a 10-minute visit by the boss conveys the clear and uplifting message: "This is important."
Be mindful of how many "top priorities" your organization can handle successfully. Better to win two big campaigns a year than to stumble in the midst of 20. I've seen ambitious but unfocused organizations end up with overcrowded agendas that create internal strife -- with the unpleasant consequences of missed deadlines, constant changes of directions and ugly battles for resources and recognition. The higher up you go in an organization, the more important it is for you to communicate key goals with clarity and brevity.
Tim Boyle, the CEO of Columbia Sportswear, is remarkably good at peeling away the clutter. I’ve chatted with him since 2005, and he keeps his business centered on three simple concepts: innovation, enhanced design and compelling marketing. Zoom in on each idea, and details abound. He’s a remarkably hard-working and well-read boss. Those core concepts, however, help ensure that Columbia’s 4,000 employees are pulling in the right direction.
5. Use stories to get your points across. When you’re at the top of an organization, you can seem pretty distant from the people on the front lines. Now you’re in a job where it may be impossible to schedule enough face time with everyone you’d like to influence. One of your best ways to compensate: sharing teaching anecdotes, so that even people who hardly know you will still feel they know your human, authentic side.
Nobody does this better than Warren Buffett, the 82-year-old chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. His conglomerate has $143 billion in annual revenue, with interests that range from insurance to energy, furniture and chocolate. But when you read Buffett's annual letters to shareholders, his dry wit and wise-uncle judgment come through on every page. Countless investors and managers who have never met him still feel that they know him – and like him.
You don’t need to be nearly as polished as Buffett to succeed in this domain. Just think how you would explain your week’s battles and goals to a neighbor, a spouse or a college roommate, and you’ll find the right tone.
6. Be mindful of what you don’t know. If your subordinates are any good at all, you often won’t know the fine-grain details as well as they do. Expect to be learning constantly on the job. Find ways that your in-house experts can quietly bring you up to speed on emerging issues that are catching your eye. You’ve got vital strengths that other people don’t, particularly in terms of experience, broad perspectives and judgment. As you work toward important decisions, make sure your remarks and conversations are opening the way for other people to keep augmenting your knowledge base.
Two of the most skillful learners I ever encountered are Sheryl Sandberg (the chief operating officer of Facebook), and Lou Gerstner, the former CEO of RJR Nabisco and then IBM. I traveled with Gerstner during his RJR era as part of a Wall Street Journal front-page profile. He was still mastering the company’s endless product line, but he got up to speed shrewdly, calling some meetings on a supermarket floor so he could walk the aisles as people talked, looking around to see whose brands dominated each category.
7. Make people feel they work for a winner. Can you single-handedly improve your organization’s morale – in ways that genuinely translate into better performance and innovation? That’s one of the great mysteries of leadership. Some executives try smothering their employees in perks. Others praise good work, hoping that it will lead to greater doings in the future. Still others scold slackers and kick out the weakest performers, believing that some situations call for toughness.
Any of those approaches can work; yet I’ve seen executives try all three and still come up short. A memorable insight here came from John Young, who was CEO of Hewlett Packard for many years during its prime. We chatted after his retirement, and he contended that what shapes morale the most is employees’ conviction that they are working for the best company in their field. Earn that honor, he said, and you gain a level of employee commitment that cash and perks alone can’t buy.
All the other six techniques in this article point toward this final priority. If you’re conveying a clear vision, asking good questions, setting the right priorities and so on, you’re creating that winners’ aura that is the ultimate reward for great leadership communication.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Achieving goals by Brain Tracy

Brian Tracy, the motivation guru wrote the following about achieving goals.

It's Not Where You Start—It's How You Finish 

When I was eighteen, I left high school without graduating. My first job was as a dishwasher in the back of a small hotel. From there, I moved on to washing cars and then washing floors with a janitorial service. For the next few years, I drifted and worked at various laboring jobs, earning my living by the sweat of my brow. I worked in sawmills and factories. I worked on farms and ranches. I worked in the tall timber with a chain saw and dug wells when the logging season ended. 

I worked as a construction laborer on tall buildings and as a seaman on a Norwegian freighter in the North Atlantic. Often I slept in my car or in cheap rooming houses. When I was twenty-three, I worked as an itinerant farm laborer during the harvest, sleeping on the hay in the farmer's barn and eating with the farmer's family. I was uneducated and unskilled, and at the end of the harvest, I was unemployed once more. 

When I could no longer find a laboring job, I got a job in straight commission sales, cold-calling office-to-office and door-to-door. I would often work all day long to make a single sale so that I could pay for my rooming house and have a place to sleep that night. This was not a great start at life. 

The Day My Life Changed 

Then one day, I took out a piece of paper and wrote down an outrageous goal for myself. It was to earn $1,000 per month in door-to-door and office-to-office selling. I folded up the piece of paper, put it away, and never found it again. 

But thirty days later, my entire life had changed. During that time, I discovered a technique for closing sales that tripled my income from the very first day. Meanwhile, the owner of my company sold out to an entrepreneur who had just moved into town. Exactly thirty days after I had written down my goal, the new owner took me aside and offered me $1,000 per month to head up the sales force and teach the other salespeople what I was doing that enabled me to sell so much more than anyone else. I accepted his offer, and from that day forward, my life was never the same. 

Within eighteen months, I had moved from that job to another and then to another. I went from personal selling to becoming a sales manager with people selling for me. In a new business, I recruited and built a ninety-five-person sales force. I went literally from worrying about my next meal to walking around with a pocket full of $20 bills. 

I began teaching my salespeople how to write out their goals and how to sell more effectively. In almost no time at all, they increased their incomes as much as tenfold. Today, many of them are millionaires and multimillionaires. 

Life Goes Up and Down

I have to admit that since those days in my mid-twenties, my life has not been a smooth series of upward steps. It has included many ups and downs, marked by occasional successes and temporary failures. I have traveled, lived, and worked in more than ninety countries, learning French, German and Spanish along the way and working in twenty-two different fields. 

As the result of inexperience and sometimes sheer stupidity, I have spent or lost everything I made and had to start over again—several times. Whenever this happened, I would begin by sitting down with a piece of paper and laying out a new set of goals for myself. 

After several years of hit-and-miss goal setting and goal achieving, I finally decided to collect everything I had learned into a single system. By assembling these ideas and strategies in one place, I developed a goal-setting methodology and process, with a beginning, middle and end, and began to follow it every day. 

Within one year, my life had changed once more. In January of that year, I was living in a rented apartment with rented furniture. I was $35,000 in debt and driving a used car that wasn't paid for. By December, I was living in my own $100,000 condominium. I owned a new Mercedes, had paid off all my debts, and had $50,000 in the bank. 

Then I really got serious about success. I realized that goal setting was incredibly powerful. I invested hundreds and then thousands of hours reading and researching goal setting and goal achieving, synthesizing the best ideas I could find into a complete process that worked with incredible effectiveness.

Anyone Can Do It

Some years later, I began audiotaping and videotaping my workshops and seminars so that others could use them. We have now trained hundreds of thousands of people in these principles, in multiple languages, all over the world.

What I found was that these ideas work everywhere, for everyone, in virtually every country, no matter what your education, experience or background may be when you begin. 

Best of all, these ideas have made it possible for me and many thousands of others to take complete control over our lives. The regular and systematic practice of goal setting has taken us from poverty to prosperity, from frustration to fulfillment, from underachievement to success and satisfaction. This system will do the same for you.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Words that sell

Many a writer who finds himself grasping at verbal straws when writing brochures, ads, sales letters or press releases need grasp no more.  Here are some samples of words/statements that will  help to make your
message so much more impactful to the reader.


Success starts with _____________________________
The _________________ that works as hard as you do.
It's time for _____________________________
How do you turn a ____________________ into a ___________________
Some straight talk about ________________________
A little _________________ can go a long way.
Break away from the pack with ________________________
The best kept secret in __________________________
Always go to an expert __________________________
There's no substitute for _________________________


Isn't time you _____________________________?
Did you know that _________________________?
Are you still ______________________________?
Are you curious about ______________________?
Will you be ready for the ____________________?
Who could say 'No' to ______________________?
Did you ever ask yourself ____________________?
Don't you wish ____________________________?
Wouldn't you like to ________________________?
Tired of the same old _______________________?
Are you ready for _________________________?
Have you ever thought about _________________?
What's the most effective way to _______________________?


It's no secret that _________________________?
Just wait until you _________________________?
Forget everything you've heard about ___________________?
You can organise a successful ________________?
Believe it or not, __________________________?
In today's competitive marketplace, ____________________?
Today, more than ever, _____________________?
Now, the real truth about ____________________________?


Take a giant step _________________________?
Be a winner!
Discover the ____________________________?
Experience the ___________________________?
Say 'Yes' to ____________________________?


Best of all, _____________________________?
Here's why :
All this and more!
And that's not all!
And there's more :
Let's look at the record :
And if that's not enough, __________________?
Now, there's even a better way ______________________?
To show you what we mean, ________________________?
For the answer, turn this page.
Sounds incredible?
The truth is, ___________________________?


The genuine article.
The way ______________used to make it.
Original formula.


At your fingertips.
Within easy reach
Pushbutton convenience.
Fast, easy access.


Prize winning
Nation's building ______________________




No nonsense
Precision engineered
Ruggedly built
Made to last
Rigorous standards


A company that will always stand by you.


Our total commitment to __________________________________
Our dedication to _______________________________________
We uphold ____________________________________________
We're committed  to _____________________________________
The leader in _____________________ for over ___________ years.
The most trusted name in  _________________________________


Intelligently priced at ____________________
A luxury that's within reach.
Not as expensive as you think.
Will save you money in the long run.
You're paying for quality.


Accept no substitutes.
Don't be taken in by ____________________
Unlike other __________________________
Imitated but not equaled.
Gives you more __________ than any other __________________

Monday, 5 August 2013

Twelve things we can learn from Steve Jobs

1. Experts are "clueless". They'll only ask you to do better sameness. Usually they're not your customer.

2. Customers cannot tell you what they need.  You can ask customer about how to make a revolution better, but you shouldn't ask them how to create a revolution.

3. Biggest challenges beget the best work.  Give your team big challenge, They'll give you their best work.

4. Design counts.  Design does matters, make it looks good.

5. Big graphics and Big fonts.  Keep your slides simple.

6. Jump curves, not better sameness.  To create revolution, do things that's 10 times better.

7. "Work" or "doesn't work" is all that matters.  Just make it work, don't stuck on things.

8. "Value" is different from "price".  Create unique product, and make it valuable.

9. "A" players hire "A" players.  "B" players hire "C" players. Always hire people who's better than you.

10. Real CEO can perform demo of their own product.  

11. Real entrepreneurs ships. Don't worry, be crappy.

12. Some things need to be believed to be seen. You have to believe in what you're to build, not to see it to believe.

To start a great company,  it's not about solving big or small problem, start with "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" 

Friday, 2 August 2013

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT Is Workplace EQ More Important than IQ?

Back in the late 80s, I traveled often to work using the Jalan Ampang stretch or as they would called it, the Ambassadors Row which has and still is notoriously known for its horrendous traffic jam.  However, there was this one morning, during the usual rush hour, when I noticed this mustachiod Malay traffic police officer standing in the middle of the road directing the traffic. Despite the stressful condition he was in, we could see he was enjoying his work.  He had a very pleasant countenance on his face and always seemed to have a smile for every motorist.  If a car happened to stop infront of him, once in a while, he would bend down to the vehicle to wish the driver, "Selamat pagi, Encik". It came a time when motorists would honk to greet him in return, or give him the thumbs up.  He became such an iconic figure in Jalan Ampang that Malay Mail ran a front page coverage on him.  After a couple of years, we noticed that he was no longer assigned for duty in that area anymore and I believe many of the motorists missed him.  By being cheerful, he had inadvertently helped motorists to de-stress and most important of all, in control of his behaviour when under trying conditions. This is what EQ is all about.

In commercial undertakings, marketing personnel need to meet deadline, sales personnel  need to meet their sales quota and customer service personnel need to work well under stressful condition especially when dealing with irate customers.  All the degrees and MBAs in the world are of no use if these people don't possess a strong EQ.

A new survey executed by CareerBuilder released information stating “71 percent of employers say they value Emotional Intelligence over IQ.”

This rising trend of placing such a huge emphasis on Emotional Intelligence, particularly in the workplace, is something that has been gaining momentum for some time now. The term Emotional Intelligence or sometimes better known as EQ, became monumental in the 1990s thanks to Daniel Goleman’s book; Emotional Intelligence, but the concepts that are the foundations of EQ have existed for decades, often called “social intelligence” or simply “interpersonal skills.” Employers have been paying increasing amounts of attention to how EQ benefits the workplace environment, and as a result of observations and numerous studies released on the importance of EQ, employers are beginning to change their focus.

The survey was conducted in August of 2011 and measured responses from over 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals from across the nation. The survey revealed:
  • “34% of hiring managers said they are placing greater emphasis on emotional intelligence when hiring and promoting employees post-recession”   
  • “71% said they value emotional intelligence in an employee more than IQ”
  • “59 percent of employers would not hire someone who has a high IQ but low EQ”
  • “75 percent are more likely to promote an employee with a high EQ over one with a high IQ”
Now, this data doesn’t mean; college students, throw out your text books because grades don’t matter. You still need to have the skillset to get you to the places you want to go, but EQ gives you the ability to rise above and become a star within those places, which IQ does not. According to a blog written by Daniel Goleman “IQ stands as a proxy for the cognitive complexity a person can process, it should predict what technical expertise that person can master. Technical expertise, in turn, represents the major set of threshold competencies that determine whether a person can get and keep a job in a given field.” With this said Goleman makes the argument that “emotional and social skills give people advantages in realms where such abilities make the most difference, like love and leadership.  EQ trumps IQ in “soft” domains, where intellect matters relatively little for success. Another such arena where EQ matters more than IQ is in performance at work, when comparing people with roughly the same educational backgrounds…”

But if theory simply isn’t enough for you, survey participants gave the following reasons, based on their observations in the workplace, as to why they place a higher value on EQ versus IQ
  • “Employees with high EQ are more likely to stay calm under pressure”
  • “They know how to solve conflict effectively”
  • “They are empathetic to their team members and react accordingly”
  • “They lead by example”
  • “They tend to make more thoughtful business decisions.”
TRACOM’s Dr. Casey Mulqueen says “Evidence on the personal and professional benefits of EQ is becoming clearer and overwhelming, and employers are recognizing this through their hiring and promotion practices. What matters now is for people to learn about EQ and start practicing it. Many of us have spent our entire academic and professional lives honing our intellects and technical abilities. Unfortunately this has been at the expense of our emotional intelligence. Just as people have dedicated practice and effort to their educations and careers, they can do the same with EQ. Small daily changes will turn into well-learned habits, with practice. And this will help people move to the next level in their careers and personal lives.”

Friday, 19 July 2013

Training in Lahad Datu, Sabah (July 13-14 2013)

As a trainer for the last 18 years, I have travelled extensively throughout the country conducting training programs either for companies or organised public workshops.  The only one state that I have not been to was Sabah.  So when a request finally came through for me to travel to the state to conduct a session, I was delighted as I thought it would be nice to visit Kota Kinabalu again after all these years.  The last time I was in Sabah was way back in 1972 when I was sent by my company to do a research on touristic spots in East Malaysia as part of our promotional exercise to our clients in Europe and the States. However, for this time, I was asked to conduct my training program in Lahad Datu.    Understandably I was a little concern about my safety especially after the recent incursion on the place by those Suluk militants from Philippines.

Anyway, I took it in my stride and proceeded with my travelling plans.  Upon arrival I found out that the incursion actually took place a 100 kms from where the town is.  English is not widely spoken as everyone speaks BM (but sounded more like Bahasa Indonesia to me).  Most of the retailers are Indian Muslims and Pakistanis involved in textile trade and money changing.

The Lahad Datu airport terminal reminds me of a single storey bungalow house and is about a 3-minute drive to town.  The taxi fare from the airport to the town is RM10.

Herebelow, is a video and some photos on Lahad Datu.

From my hotel room window

The sales staff of Sabarice (read Sabah Rice) Sdn Bhd

With Ms Martina Ganis, Asst Manager - HR & Admin, Sabarice Sdn Bhd