Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 27FEB12

February 27, 2012

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: personal power

Kevin Costner delivered a powerful eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral. I was particularly struck by one of his comments:

The Whitney I knew, despite her success and worldwide fame, still wondered: Am I good enough? Am I pretty enough? Will they like me? It was the burden that made her great.

The real issue for me is whether these questions, doubts or fears would empower or disempower Whitney or anyone for that matter?

Constant self-doubt isn’t empowering. As Kevin Costner said, “it was a burden.” The thoughts and self-esteem we carry determine whether we or not we thrive.

Thought for the week:

“We starve on promises, but grow on actions.” – Peter Ragnar

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 20FEB12

February 20, 2012

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: configurable products and services

Increasingly, customers expect to be able to influence the products and services they buy.

For low-end consumer goods, e.g., food products, items you would tend to find at large retail chains, etc., mass produced products meet the essential consumer need. However, there are niche product areas where the ability to tailor the end product is valued and appreciated.

For higher-end products and services, the provider must offer some degree of choice. The days of a “one-size-fits-all” solution satisfying market need are behind us. And, of course, the challenge for the providers becomes containing costs as variety increases.

Is there an enthusiasm gap between what you offer and what your customers expect and want? If there is an enthusiasm gap, it is incumbent that your organization to close the gap if you expect your organization to thrive.

Thought for the week:

“So innovation has to be appropriate for your business. It must fulfill a need, and it must give you an edge over your competition.”
– Sir Richard Branson, Business Stripped Bare

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Vickie Sullivan Shares What Professional Speakers Need to Know

February 16, 2012

Many years ago, there was a television commercial from a brokerage firm that no longer exists called E.F. Hutton that essentially had people stopping in their tracks.  The message: “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen!”

If you’re a professional speaker, the E.F. Hutton of speaking you need to be listening to is Vickie Sullivan of Sullivan Speaker Services.

Full disclosure:  I’m a long-time client of Vickie’s!  I’m receiving no compensation for sharing this with you. She sent me a message earlier today that you need to ponder:

Hey, Everybody —

I’m sending this email to ya’ll for one reason: I see a train wreck coming up and I don’t think anyone else is sending out a memo about it.

Here’s what is going on: we’ve got two major trends here that are about to clash. In one corner, you have buyers holding more meetings — that means more speaking opportunities. And they have an edict to keep costs low — that means speakers are gonna get hammered on price. These folks know they need speakers buy will get huge flack if they spend too much.

In the other corner, anyone who has done anything remotely cool has decided they can be a speaker, too. These serial entrepreneurs and execs are hiring PR firms and flooding the market. Buyers like them for the media attention and are willing to bend the budget to get one of these rising stars. That means if you are a speaker with a good message and great skills, you are about to be thrown under the “low-cost speaker” bus.

And that’s just wrong. It’s time for the buyers to bend the budget for us. I have a plan.

Here’s the mistake we make: we work on our brand and that fabulous website. Then…we unintentionally drop the ball when we talk to the buyer. I understand — you did your best based on what worked in the past. But that’s not good enough anymore. New conversations are needed in this changing market.

We have to know what to say NOW to buyers with big budgets and small attention spans. What we say to buyers now will be the difference between a profitable year and a “work more, make less” year.

That’s why I call 2012 the year of the conversation. If we did our branding homework, getting leads will not be a problem. Our problem will be convincing these jaded buyers that we are the best choice for their events. And no, you can’t use the same language from the website.

For years, I’ve helped my high-end clients with these high-stakes discussions. And they have generated a good six figures in the process. Given what’s going on out there, I’ve decided to open up my schedule and do a series of conference calls about conversations that get big-fee speaking engagements.

We’re drilling deep on what to say that immediately puts you above the other options, what to say that neutralizes your competition, how to deal with the dreaded budget blues, all those magic words that get results. And we’ll take a short trip to the dark side by telling you what NOT to do. Words that sound like a good idea in your head but get you bounced off the list once they leave your mouth.

As usual, all tools have been road-tested. In fact, one client got double her money back on our project with just one sales conversation. I will share exactly what we did.

Interested? Click here to check out the schedule and what we’ll cover. I’m keeping the costs low so money is not an excuse. If you are serious about getting paid a decent fee to speak, then now is the time to show up. And if you do, I’ll show up too, by throwing in the entire “Talking to Strangers” system as a bonus. That means you’re getting the calls — including the extra Q&A sessions — for practically nothing. Again, money can’t be an excuse now.

I hope you join me. Because in 2012, speaking engagements will be obtained one conversation at a time.

Dare to be brilliant!
Vickie

So, what should you do?  Follow up immediately!
Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 13FEB12

February 13, 2012

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

This week’s edition is about an aerospace engineer and a diva. Stay with me–I’ll try to bring it home!

This week marked the passing of Roger Boisjoly, a 73-year old aerospace engineer who warned that tragedy could result if the Space Shuttle Challenger was launched in cold weather back on January 28, 1986.

73 seconds after lift off, Challenger exploded killing all seven astronauts on board. His warnings about cold weather preventing a rubber O-ring from maintaining its seal which could allow hot gas to leak and damage the shuttle’s external fuel tank went unheeded.

Boisjoly understood the implications of what others could not see and sounded the alarm only to have the alarm fall on deaf ears.

Last evening, Whitney Houston, one of the great female vocalists in my lifetime, died. Her family described this as an “unimaginable tragedy.” I respectfully disagree. Her premature death was as foreseeable as what Roger Boisjoly foresaw and, in the end, those close to her were powerless to alter the trajectory of her self-destructive path.

NASA was addicted to keeping the program moving forward at any cost. Whitney’s addictions were different but came with a terrible price. Boisjoly spoke up to prevent an avoidable catastrophe. Whitney wasn’t able to head off her personal disaster. May Roger and Whitney rest in peace.

What foreseeable business execution challenges exist in your business that require action so your company can thrive? Can you afford to ignore the warning signs? Hope is not a strategy.

Thought for the week:

“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” -Scott Cook


What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 06FEB12

February 6, 2012

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: innovation

Innovation comes from the creation and implementation of customer-centric ideas that excite and delight. Innovation is about engaging and connecting with customers in the most direct, value-laden way possible making them feel like they are the most important aspect of your company’s life.

Do your customers feel as though it’s all about your company or all about them? If it’s the former, you’ve got some work to do!

Example: The Apple iPad–hardly the first tablet computer–transformed the marketplace and no tablet computer today is even close in terms of desirability. Not only is it a superior hardware design, the user interface, the supporting infrastructure of iTunes and the manner in which newspapers and periodicals have been tailored to the iPad have created a superior customer experience.

The right innovations–whether it be via a product, service or business application that allows your customers to interact with your company–will ensure your company thrives.

Thought for the week:

Micron’s Chairman and CEO, Steve Appleton, died at the age of 51 on February 3rd doing something he loved to do: piloting his own aircraft. He made enormous contributions to the semiconductor industry, his community and his employees. I did not know Steve. I extend my condolences to his family and all who knew him and worked with him.

___

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2012 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.