Step Away From That Social Media Suckhole

Social Media SuckholeJim said, “One of my clients was talking about his experience on FaceBook. It seems he has looking for a high-tech app for his company, saw an ad on FaceBook, clicked on it and within 15 minutes someone from the company was calling him.”

He told me that he suggested the CEO turn it around and use it for his own company.

Then he asked the wrong question!

No, I said, you should not be advertising on FaceBook. And you should not think about LinkedIn or Google either. The reason is simple: That is not the right model to build your business.

Until the customer/ client/ patient gets access to your product you don’t have a business.

Service Businesses require someone to provide “hands or minds on” actions. There is direct contact.

Product Businesses make an item that can be used but the company may or may not have direct contact with the end user.

Combination businesses make products and provide services associated with those products usually but not always directly. Their passage or physical distribution may be direct or through several intermediaries.

Distribution businesses provide physical distribution of products to end users or resellers such as retail outlets. The most common are independent distributors and wholesalers. The amount of inventory they carry varies across a full spectrum.

Agent/Broker businesses sell products or services to end users but may not handle physical distribution. Most independent salespersons fall in this category. Frequently they handle several lines that are used in an industry but are not directly competitive.

What is the right model to build your business?

  • Consultants and Professional service providers usually do best when they use tools that generate referrals
  • Business to Business B2B organizations that offer services need a combination of promotion, referrals and a sales force that connects with customers efficiently
  • B2B organizations that offer products at low cost may orient more to advertising and telephone follow up like Jim’s client experienced. The controlling factor is the cost of the products offered. Higher priced products generally require a more knowledgeable sales person and sometimes the best solution is an engineer partnered with a salesperson.
  • Business to Consumer B2C companies have the broadest selection of distribution possibilities that run the gamut from direct sales to distributors, wholesalers and retailers. But here, too, the price of the product being offered will have significant impact on the level of salesperson required.

Do you or a competitor have a way to change an industry?

Examples abound: Amazon, Lyft, Driverless Cars, Disney’s Magic Band access to hotel and park, Airbnb and a host of Internet of Things (IoT) applications that may not have existed last week.

You need to think about how FedEx technology adaption forced UPS to leapfrog them. Can you do something like that? No matter what your product or service, you can, if you think it through, make your offer in such a way that it stands out form the crowd.

That’s when Social Media fits in.

Use the social media platform that gets you the most exposure within your target audience at the lowest cost until you move on to pay per click advertising. Hire a professional organization that makes a living doing that. You will save yourself time, pain and money in the long run. But first, make sure your landing pages and website support your Mission, Position and Value Proposition.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand Begins With A Plan

Cathedral Architect

Entrepreneurs may be male or female. Either way investors want to understand the business architect. It is your job to show them the cathedral. (Read to the end)

Ken asked me to do a telephone consult with a start-up.

I’m willing to talk to anyone for an hour or so and usually request any documents they have which will give me a clue as to what they do. The conversation always starts with an open ended question.

I asked, “What seems to be the problem?”

The guy’s answer, which took about five minutes, could be summed up in a couple words, “I’m stuck.” Translation: His advisory board had directed the entrepreneur to write a simple plan that would tell potential investors what the company’s vision, mission and plan to go to market was with an eye to generating the $500,000 needed for product development. They weren’t asking him to put down all the financials in spreadsheets. They just wanted a coherent document, possibly a slide deck that could be reviewed with potential investors.

“I kind of get your vision,” I said, “But what is the mission and position of the company?”

He replied, “I have tons of material and information and as much as I work at it I can’t seem to put it together. Every time I try I put down reams of stuff on paper and I imagine eyes glazing over as people read it. But it is all good information, stuff they should know.”

“Right,” I said, “so you are having difficulty being concise. And you are trying, even though you don’t realize it, to make your audience as knowledgeable about what you are trying to do as you are. Is that right?”

He said it was which caused me to go off on this rant….

There’s a plan to raise money and a plan to make money.

Just about any kind of product or service company built from scratch requires both. Your business plan is your plan to make money. You want it to work. You will have to make it work when you go to market. Your plan to raise money is another plan altogether. This is a different target audience with different interests, desires, concerns and a much shorter attention span. The men and women that provide funding come in three flavors:

  • Friends & Family (depending on the circles you are a member of, up to $50,000 a round)
  • Angel investors (Anywhere from $25,000 to $200,000 per round)
  • Venture Capitalists (From $500,000 to Millions per round)

Investors want to be sure you’ve done your due diligence, understand the market you are entering, have reasonable expectations and have the staff that can make it happen.

Your plan to raise money must be more concise.

How? Here are 3 ways:

  1. Develop a positioning statement, incorporate it in the logotype of the company and display it on the cover of any document or opening slide. If it matches up to your mission it is two thirds of what I call Lightning in a Bottle. E-mail me if you want to learn more.
  2. Have staff signed up that investors will believe can get the job done. Experience performing the same tasks in other ventures is always a plus and as the investment increases becomes more important. At the high end, it is not uncommon for a position on your board to be part of the negotiation.
  3. Make your executive overview just that. Keep it to one page if you can. Investors are busy people.

Investors make decisions on whether to read further based on three pages:
Cover which done properly can start an emotional connection (Positioning),
Staff where bios can convince them you have a winning team in place and
Executive Overview which can convince them that you know the market, the competition, the value of your product/service, how to get it to market and how to manage it to a successful future.

People that invest money in ideas want to see the cathedral on the hill.

They have no interest in how you craft each stone to build it. They know it can’t be done overnight. They know it takes the combined labor of many to make it real. They want to be sure you are really the architect you claim to be. Help them trust you. Help them visualize it, completely built, and let them decide.


Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

 

Brand Isn’t Blind Like Justice

Sccales of JusticeI agreed to be a mock juror last weekend.

Six attorneys gave abbreviated versions of their openings for real cases.

I can’t discuss the cases but I can tell you a little of what I learned.

What I learned was a little scary.

  • The American system of civil justice does not include a way to stop a professional from continuing to practice.
  • The American system of civil law only includes one way to punish an individual or a company for a wrongdoing.
  • The American system of civil case law can’t force the fix of a product problem.

Being sued can cost you a bundle but you can keep your license.

You can’t take a doctor or other professional to court to cancel their license. The licensing body is the only one that can do that and they tend to protect their own. So your civil suit is about money.

It’s all about the money.

One thing attorneys were practicing in this mock jury presentation was how to explain that the only recompense available was money. One young man stood before us and put his hands out to his sides like the scales. As he put it, “Here in my left hand is all the things I’ve told you happened to my client,” he said, lowering that hand while his right crept upward.

His left hand continued to descend as he said, “My client’s life has been changed forever. The years without will add to that pain and suffering. The only thing we can put on the other side of the scale is money. How much will it take to bring those scales level? That will be your decision.”

The better the lawyer is at getting a client’s case across to a jury the higher the monetary award can be to balance the scales.

Justice is blind.

She can’t see what you put into the compensation side of the scale (or the other for that matter). Whether you call the money reimbursement for a loss or damages or an additional award for pain and suffering it is one and the same to Justice. She just wants the scales to balance.

With Brand, money is only part of it.

Your brand is how your customers see you. If you screw up badly it will be reflected immediately. Your income will go down. Repeat purchase will diminish. New customers will slow to a crawl. Referrals will cease to exist. Your reputation will be in the toilet. Negative word of mouth will increase and because of human nature could become viral. The value of your organization will be depressed.

Brand depends on trust.

The more your clients, customers and patients trust you the easier it is to overcome a single event. If you  are constantly seeking and posting testimonials and positive reviews the better off you will be. Every time you deliver beyond expectations you are building your account to balance the scales. Don’t wait. Start adding to your brand value today.


Jerry SpeakingJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

Brand Demands Focus

Brand FocusFor starters who is really the customer?

That sounds like a simple question but it isn’t. The world is more complex today than it has ever been. The way products and services are delivered today, especially digital products, is revolutionizing industries.

They call it disruption.

The digital transformation is rolling across industries like a tsunami. Businesses that don’t recognize the possibility are disappearing. Blockbuster is gone. Uber and Lyft have become the go to transporters for a new generation.

Complexity makes it hard to Focus.

Southwest Airlines operates in what would seem to be an easy to understand market. Passengers are the obvious customers but founders of the airline understood that in order to compete and build a brand they had to instill a love of passenger service in everyone that worked for them. They said their employees were their primary customers. They “luv’d” them and changed the industry. Success is why, in 1977, their stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “LUV.”

Airbnb is an alternative to hotels and bed and breakfasts and so the customer at first appears to be the person looking for an overnight or multi-night stay away from home. This disruptive service works because it handles the infrastructure of advertising space availability, booking the visitor, paying the owner of the space and taking a commission on the deal. The real customer is the person with space to book, like a Silicon valley investor on vacation with his extended family in Europe who earned enough through an Airbnb booking for part of his home to pay for the trip and make a profit at the same time.

Where the money is defines the customer.

A client which must remain nameless because of non-disclosures is a good case in point. It requires a distributor and allows contributors to provide content and is used by consumers delivered in the form of an app for smart phones.

Who is the customer? Is it the distributor, the contributor or the consumer?

  • We know that the consumer is not going to pay for the app even though it could have great advantages. The consumer is not the customer.
  • Contributors would have to distribute the app in order for it to be of value to them. Could they recoup that expense and make a profit? Possible, but a tough sell.
  • The distributor can use the app to generate additional revenue from current users and expand their service to new users. At the same time they can recoup the costs by charging a small fee to implement the app for their users. This is the customer.

Focus your business and your brand to succeed.

The more laser like you can be the better. Strip away the complexity. Figure out which of the parts of how you get your product or service to market has the most profit capability for you and for them. Go where the money is. Target them first.


Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand Survival of the Social Media Conspiracy

Social Media ConspiracyFeel like you are “behind the curve” on social media? Every professional I know is concerned that they may not be able to maintain their position, that their brand might slip.

Each day there is more in printed media and on-line assuring us that we are quickly getting passed by if we’re not up on the latest changes.  The dire warnings continue on and on.

Did you get used to the internet and go back to “business as usual”?

You got a website for our business even if you had to hire your nephew to do it. Things were pretty good for a while. You had an internet presence you could brag about. But then things started to change again.

We a pretty sure now that video and texting and smart phones is where it is at the moment but who knows what wondrous devices or “apps” are lurking in the technology woods? (Block Chain Technology is coming!)

We tackle this social media thing head on and wind up trying to find out what a “hash tag” is and why we should care. Regardless of what happens the press and the pundits will continue to tell us we have to keep up if we want to maintain our businesses. They will use arguments like, “If you don’t get savvy now…if you wait too long…the learning curve is getting steeper.” They could be right,,, if you buy into their viewpoint.

Social media applications are engineering answers to instinctive human urges to network including our fear of the unknown.

Every human being feels the need to connect with others. Some are shy about it. Some are forward. All feel the need to a greater or lesser degree. Yes we have concerns about “talking to a stranger.” The perpetrators of these arms-length attempts got it half right in my view. You can’t  substitute quantity for quality. For me, Social Media looks like an awful lot of work without a lot of connection with real people.

Be a survivor. Step back from the social media onslaught.

Stop listening to the hullabaloo. Take a deep breath and look at reality. All professional businesses need a steady flow of work. Small businesses need an ongoing revenue stream. The successful ones do it by satisfying a slowly expanding group of customers with whom they have a personal relationship. Even large businesses need a stable base that they add to over time.

In other words, each successful business needs a personal network of satisfied customers, a core of clients or customers that trust you and your brand.  They need to trust you at least enough to keep coming back to you for your product or service. A few of them, never more than a select few, will refer you. Their trust will be transferred to a new customer.

The core of trust is at the heart of building a business and a brand.

Initially, that core of trust is you. If you operate solo it will always be. With a partner or an ensemble or partners you all have to subscribe to the same central beliefs. In a larger organization each person needs to be driven by the same values.

You can’t fool customers for long. They see your brand from the outside in. They rely on how your decisions impact them to make judgments about you and your firm. If you are true to them, they will be true to you.


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

What Color is your Brand?

What color is your brandAre we talking product or personal?

Yes.

People associate color with everything.  Sometimes color has more impact than a symbol when it comes to establishing brand. Sometimes color is the reason someone buys one brand versus the other. It is always a part of the perception.

The choice of the primary color for your logo should not be left to chance.

How you are perceived over time is, in part, based on the color people associate with you. That may change from country to country. In America, the first preference is blue (35%) followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%) according to Wikipedia. There are similarities across cultures, too. Red is perceived by many cultures as strong and active.

How do you choose?

Test yourself.

  1. Get a simple set of crayons or markers that include these colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and violet. Markers may also include black.
  2. Is there a color not represented by the selection you would prefer, perhaps pink or brown?
  3. Pick the one color that you like best.
  4. Pick the one you would like to use as an accent.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 based on what you think your prospects prefer.
  6. Test them on real prospects. Then decide which choices you are going to use.
  7. Implement and stick with it.

What the choices mean in North America:

POwer tieRed: Power, Excitement, Love, Lust often used for retail as it demands attention. Wearing a red suit is a turn on for both heterosexual men and women per Wikipedia. And for the less outgoing male it might explain the ascendancy of red ties.

Orange: Is a combination of Red and Yellow which includes elements of each and often is considered the color of negotiation and considered action. The beBee social media platform uses the color to the max combining the full orange of a call to action button with a honey yellow for the bee drawing.

Yellow: Conveys competence and happiness (and sometimes jealousy). Caterpillar made the color a trademark on the large equipment used in construction as it is visually easier to see and then built a logo that combines a simple triangle representing a bulldozer combined with the shortened name which most users call the company. Hertz used it to “put you in the driver’s seat.” And before Google we “let our fingers do the walking” through the Yellow Pages.

Green:  Generates a perception of good taste (and sometimes envy). Starbucks is an obvious choice to demonstrate the power of green. But John Deere has made another shade of green all their own painting all the farm equipment they manufacture in a color you can identify easily out in the fields

Blue: Tends to be seen as masculine, corporate, competent and high quality. Banks, like Chase, tend to use shades of blue from the deepest to the lightest hues. But sometimes combined with a light touch, a light blue can take on a different character. Think of Twitter.

Purple/Violet: Most Americans have difficulty identifying these two colors. Their perceptions are relatively clear however. Authority, Sophistication and Power is what they believe these colors reflect. Cadbury, the candy maker is considered an authority in making chocolate confections for sophisticated tastes. Hallmark, the greeting card company also has a purple logo.

There are four other colors that have become dominant in logotypes.

Pink: Is viewed as feminine, sophisticated and sincere. And the color is used to promote products to women from Barbie to Victoria’s Secret. But is also used to promote insulation that is pink and is the in your face shade of that small rabbit incessantly pounding a drum in commercials to demonstrate how long Energizer batteries last.

Brown: Rugged and Dependable. United Parcel Service (UPS) chose this color at least 50 years ago. I’m not sure they didn’t make people think this way about the color.

And don’t forget…

Black: Stands for sophisticated and expensive. It is also the color of fear and grief. Any person or organization that sells in the high end should think hard about using black as the primary color in their logo. It has been used by everyone from Coco Chanel to Mercedes to the Beatles to Air Jordan.

White: Happiness, Sincerity and Purity. Look in to apple ads and materials. They have made white a signature color.

What should you pick?

Find the color you are comfortable with that is acceptable to your clientele. Remember that the general perceptions of color are often overcome by time. Your choices should all be based on making you memorable and being simpatico with the actions you take that make you trustworthy. Good luck!


Jerry Fletcher, Speaking in olombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

 

 

How to Build a Killer Brand

How to Build a Killer Brand

Heart in sightsIt has been one of those months this week.

Planning. Candid conversations. Decisions to hire and fire. Web site assumptions and dialogues. Quality constraints and requirements. Analytics that spiral positive and those that went down in flames.

Brands suffer the impact because brand building is really not for innocents. Either you really understand marketing or you don’t.

Taking careful aim is at the heart of killer brand development.

What not to do.
Here are some mistakes I witnessed this week:

  1. Put a group of strangers in a room, brief them and expect them to walk out as a functioning collaborative team.
  2. Drop the ball on a project because of bad digital filing habits.
  3. Give a web developer 6 chances to respond to basic direction before deciding to fire him.
  4. Consider video approaches without looking at cost as part of the equation.
  5. Become ecstatic over an increased click through rate that didn’t generate sales.

The Killer Solution

Experience over the last 50 years tells me that to build a brand that captures hearts and minds successfully you have to understand how marketing professionals work in teams and their expectations of management. Clarity is what will make you successful.

Be perfectly clear that :

  • The owner/founder/CEO/President—the leader of any small firm owns the brand. Her or his understanding of the Vision, Mission, Position and Value Proposition is what will be applied to all organization communications.
  • Direction on any major project should be in writing and agreed to in advance. The directional document should be the reference point for approvals. Staff can provide additional information but is encouraged to do it before any work is done. If there is concern over the materials delivered the reference point is the direction.
  • A digital “paper trail” needs to be kept and used as the reference when anything goes sideways (as well as a way to assure continuing process improvement). With small clients I had eliminated my Action Reports on all meetings. I’m reversing that decision.
  • Budget, Quality and Outcome are interrelated. There are significant differences in delivery of digital capabilities, video production, and all communication vehicles based on what a firm is willing to pay, the level of excellence of the work and what the expectations of the item are. Too often, even though we have much better visibility of analytics the end results are not the key factor in evaluating marketing efforts.
  • Business Development objectives are the real measurements. Everything done in marketing needs to acknowledge contribution to the target numbers. Be as concrete as possible. For instance:
  • Optimize web site to make it as easy as possible for visitors to self-select the action which will give you a way to connect with them over the time to build a relationship leading to a “sale.” Track all actions. Track actual “sales” to determine the apparent customer journey.
  • Direct Social Media activities to continually tested landing pages that capture data to build relationships over time. Track actions by landing page. Track “sales” as with web site. Review results and test all contact activities to find the ones that lead to “Sales.”
  • Build better ongoing relationships with customers by monitoring opens, comments and direct contacts due to blog and newsletter postings. Modify content to take advantage of proven highest interest. Keep tracking.
  • Test automated sequences in support of direct sales staff. Monitor results.

Trial to buy ScorecardPost status versus your corporate goals on a scoreboard visible to all members of the firm.

Weekly results usually work best. Keep it simple: New info sign ups, New trials, New customers/clients.

Those few items will keep everyone in the game.

 


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

Lazy Man’s Day

man being lazy

This would be me today.

At least this afternoon.

Seriously. There comes a time in entrepreneur’s life when he or she is allowed to take off part of the day.

Those days are few and far between but you have to make time for them.

Birthdays are such a time. As my mother put it so eloquently in her card which I received today:

“It’s your birthday and it’s all about you today! So enjoy it…

Because tomorrow it goes back to being all about me.”

So this afternoon it is all about me.

I’m knocking off early. I’m going out to dinner in a sit down white table cloth, “is everything to your satisfaction, sir” kind of place. I am not going to count calories or avoid the beef and I might even eat some bread.

There is one thing I will not overlook: a piece of chocolate cake served ala mode.
Slice of cakeI intend to enjoy it.

All of it.

Not wading through the Friday afternoon pile of e-mails.

Not writing the proposal for the new business contact I met with this morning.

Not writing my usual new entry for Brand Brain Trust.

Just not doing anything work related.

I intend to enjoy it.

Today.


Jerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Brand Building in Bad Times

Get real!

You know you’re going to have a Brand whether you like it or not.

You know that a certain number of people are not going to like your product or service no matter what you do.

You know that there is a large number of folks that quite frankly don’t give a damn.

Evaluate!

Put your efforts where they will do the most.

Do a customer analysis. Determine their geography, demography and psychography.

In other words:

Geography—Figure out where they come from. This applies whether it is within a few miles of your location, via the internet from anywhere on the globe to specific parts of the city or the country in question. Knowing where your customer lives, works, shops and plays will give you insight into marketing, product development and Brand building opportunities.

Get out of your office and immerse yourself where your customers are. Go there and find out what their lives are like. Get firsthand knowledge of all the factors that make up their brand experience.

Demography—Understand the basic information about your customers specifically: age, gender, sexual orientation, race, income, education, marital status, religion. All of those factors can, in part, control their interaction with your product or service.

For instance, is your gender specific product most frequently purchased by a spouse as a gift? Can your packaging or promotion be changed to make it easier for older folks to read and understand? What if College is not the objective they have in mind for the kids? The more you know the easier it will be to build your brand.

Psychography—That’s just a fancy word for understanding what they think, feel and believe and not only about your product or service. In the USA there are only two major political parties but within them there are divisions which, if they gain ground, could make the country similar to most other democracies where the rule seems to be multiple parties.

The point is not the possibility of multiple parties but rather the clusters of opinions that set factions apart. Can you tell the folks that build your brand exactly what your best customers think, feel and believe? The better picture you can paint of their desires, dreams and desperate cravings, the better you can build your brand. Better still, have your marketing staff or consultants join you when you go visit customers.

Concentrate!

Marketing is best defined in my view as

Go where the money is. Sell what they want to buy. Do it again.”  
           Jerry Fletcher

Put your marketing and sales efforts where your customers are geographically, demographically and psychographically.

Do you want to sell the farrier or the horse owner? Are you oriented to the soccer mom or the city socialite? Do you want to sell the technology phobic 60 plus business owner or the offspring that will be taking over the business?

You decide. The better you understand your customers the better you’ll be able to build your brand.


Jerry Fletcher, Speaking in olombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com

Get all the Brand Success Stories.
Sign up at http://www.brandbraintrust.com/home.html

The Word for Trust is Confianza

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaPlunging down the mountain side in a cab from the airport in Medellin, Colombia, Don Pepper and I were comparing notes on our careers in advertising.

He didn’t mention the fact that I had excused myself early from the luncheon attended by the sponsors and their key prospects.

Neither of us commented on the fact that the same translator that was working the lunch was also the translator for my after-lunch keynote.

I found out the hard way.

About half a minute into my opening comments a gentleman about 6 rows back started waving both arms in the air.

I asked him in my best high school Spanish, “Que pasa?”

He said in heavily accented English, “No translator!”

I said without thinking, “I will speak v e r y   s l o w l y.”

The audience, some 600 strong, joined me in laughter. About a half minute later the translator was ready to go.

Tener Confianza

The key thought in that speech was Trust (Confianza) plus time = success. I talked about what it takes to be successful in business today, on and offline:

  • Trust in yourself
  • Trust in your staff
  • Trust in your company
  • Trust in your customer

That trip, I was to learn, was all about Confianza.

Because I was scheduled to speak at a convention in Reno, Nevada the following day, the meeting planner and I had tried every trick we knew to get me back there on time. It came down to having to leave for the Medellin airport as soon as I came off the stage.

The cab was ready, I wasn’t. 

There had not been time to change to traveling clothes before heading for the airport. I figured I could change before boarding.

Nope. I was hustled onto the plane as the doors were closing by airline staff that had been alerted.

Tener Confianza

I had to change planes in Bogota so I figured I could slip into a bathroom, pull my jeans and sweatshirt out of my carry on and be comfortable for the remainder of my 16-hour commute.

The Bogota Airport was being remodeled.

The only bathroom available near my gate was a standard stall. The rest of it was under construction and open to the waiting room.

Contortionists have it much too easy. I’m not that supple. But I managed to change and make my flight.

Now I know why superman wears his costume under his suit.

Tener Confianza

When I changed planes in Houston I called the meeting planner at the conference in Reno and let her know I was back in the USA and my arrival information.

There was a limo driver holding up a sign with my name on it when I arrived.

The meeting planner wanted to make it easy for me. She knew how arduous it can be just getting there. That gift of not having to rush to find a cab, check in and don my suit to make it to the platform on time is one I will never forget.

Tener Confianza

  • En ti mismo
  • En su personal
  • En tu compañía
  • En su cliente

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Jerry at Cafe in VeniceWebsites:
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Brand: www.BrandBrainTrust.com
(Personal Brand Network beBee Featured this week)