Brilliance on a Napkin

How often have you been in conversation over lunch with business associates and watched as they reached for a napkin to sketch a concept?

Not often I bet unless you are lucky enough to enjoy a meal with a “thought leader.”

Amygdala hijack

Concepts are hard to come by and harder to present in a way that is understandable. Often, years of experience and research come to frustration as the paper blotches and smears you’re carefully contrived graph or sketch. Even when all involved share similar experiences and background it can prove to be truly challenging.

The effort is what Laurie Buxton, the Neuro-humorist describes as an amygdala hijacking. That’s a surge of neurons in your vestigial lizard brain that brings you joy, frustration and sometimes laughter.

Sketchy but beautiful

These ideas when drawn on the porous paper bleed every which way. The lines may be ragged but the intent is quickly obvious from the accompanying explanation. Positive ROI follows when you put them to work. That’s because the narrative is so rich in the vocabulary of first-hand experience.

Brilliance on a napkin

I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to a powerful concept illustrated on a napkin a number of times:

  • The Brand/Direct Scale, invented by a former client and his partner to show the difference in ROI dependent on the percentage of direct marketing versus Brand use in ads.
  • The Consultant Value Jump developed by the Alan Weiss Community and shaped like a ski jump seen from the side that portrays how fees can be increased as engagement time decreases.
  • The Promotional Whirl from the heart of my own Brand Gyro that uses over-lapping circles to make both the new Trust tools and traditional Spin Tools understandable.
  • The Brand Introduction Curve a Marketing director and I put together for a training session with the divisional directors of a Fortune 500 company. The major difference we incorporated was using a full cross-hairs X-Y axis and showing all the time and costs in development before the product was introduced and began (with luck) to generate ROI
  • The Brand Disruption Curve used by a management consultant friend from Toronto to convince clients to begin considering the mortality of their brands and how to be prepared for the shift.

Less is more

Using a napkin as your art board means you must strip away all the extras and get to the heart of your concept. Space can be a concern. Multi-faceted symbols can prove difficult to render. Writing can yield pathetic results. Less is more in napkin conditions.

Radiance

I was rattling on about this over Thai food with a friend. She put down her chop sticks, picked up her purse, searched out a pen and then picked up a paper napkin. The waiter removed our dishes and she put the napkin in the middle of the table between us saying, “All those things about presenting an idea on a napkin you said are true but it also gives you one thing that is less expected.  It makes your imagination a part of the concept. Let me show you.

With that she drew a small box about a quarter inch square to one side of the napkin. Three inches to the right of it she drew another. This one she filled in. Then she said, “Most people see decisions this way…black or white. A few have been taught that there are many greys that separate them.

But I tell my clients to imagine the colors of the rainbow filling that space in the middle. Not only do we have more than two ways to go we have infinite choices, all of which can bring new light into our lives.”

Imagine your rainbow.


Jerry Fletcher­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, 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 for independent professionals on and off-line.

Consulting: www.JerryFletcher.com
Speaking: www.NetworkingNinja.com
DIY Training: www.ingomu.com

Building Your Business One Speech at a Time.


Jim’s done it. Manoj’s partners do it. It is a regular part of Shell’s marketing.

A target rich environment.

What could be better than getting in front of a group of people that can buy your products or services and are committed to listen to what you have to say?  Think about how hard you work just to get the ear of one.  Consider the time it takes you to convert just one lead.

It’s worthless if you don’t know what you are doing.

You can turn all those folks Into terrorists that want to destroy you and your business if you’re not careful.  You can offend, aggravate and otherwise piss them off by trying to sell them your product or service. Don’t do that.

Jeremiah learned what works.

Early on when he introduced his software to his industry he worked a booth in the trade shows in neighboring states. He learned that most folks that were running family businesses like he grew up in were not looking for digital solutions to the problems that had been around since, as he put it, “I was axle high on the tractor.”

Those early days were tough times. He and his partner were stoked when people would just talk to them. People wanted to know how this new technology might fit into a tough schedule in an industry that had never had any penetration by electronic devices. None.

He was asked to speak at an upcoming trade show.

He knew if he tried to sell people would walk out on him and he would never be asked to speak again. He knew how back-breaking the work could be for both the testers and the folks back in the office. He knew because he had done it.

He knew that he had a solution that would work for the testers, the folks in the office and the utilities they had to report to. He was an engineer after all and comfortable coding answers to the things folks in the field needed.

He told his story of living in two worlds.

He began by talking about how he and his sister used to sit at the kitchen table figuring out his Dad’s route for the next day and filling in as much of the paperwork as possible. Then he spoke of being trained in the field, doing the work as their second tester and virtually doubling the family income.

He told them how his family put part of that money away so he could go to college where he graduated as an engineer, went home and rejoined the family business and began applying what he had learned.

He uses the familiar smart phone to show people the future.

  • Jeremiah shows them how an app that was part of his software works like GPS to plot the most efficient route for them
  • Jeremiah shows them how they could record all their measurements on the phone.
  • Jeremiah demonstrates how all the data on a client could be e-mailed to the office so they aren’t always a day behind.
  • Jeremiah shows them how the billing can be done electronically on the spot.
  • Jeremiah makes sure they know he and his people would be there to help them from the start to the finish.
  • Jeremiah soothes their concerns about the coming digital wave by being a man of both worlds.

He speaks with candor, understanding and concern. He has become the expert the industry turns to.

He is building his company one speech at a time.

He is scheduled to speak all across the country in the coming year.


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, 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.

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

 

Brand is Your Voice

Every sense you have is how you respond to Brand.

Sight is a major input. It streams graphics and color and your name.

Smell, the most deeply rooted and emotionally stirring perception entry can lead you to incredible savories, repulsion, fear and fornication.

Taste can trick you or send a trickle charge to your amygdala.

Touch will be rewarding whether you deliver or receive it.

Sound. Your most used natural sound ability is your voice.

It can be raised in song.

It can whisper. Or scream.

It can be broadcast, recorded and played at will.

Your voice can be memorable or drab.

It is part of your personal brand, like it or not.

Why your voice is important:

  • The most common way we communicate today is via telephone.
  • The internet gives us all the possibility of being on-air personalities
  • It is one more way to separate yourself from the pack

A Speakers Bureau Owner once told me, I go to bed with your voice every night.” That left me a little non-plussed so I asked her what she meant. She replied, “I like your Networking Ninja tapes and your modulated delivery. I listen to one lesson each night. I learn something. Your voice calms me and I turn the player off, roll over and go right to sleep.”

All this came back to me as I listened to a Pod Cast I guested on recently. You can hear it at any of these links:

Training Unleashed Website: http://www.trainingunleashed.net

ITunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/training-unleashed/id1274213431?mt=2

Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/training-unleashed

iHeart Radio: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/263-Training-Unleashed-28643038/

C-Suite Radio: https://www.c-suiteradio.com/shows/training-unleashed/

Record yourself.

Listen.

Is your voice distinctive? Is it memorable? Does the way you turn a phrase get attention? Is your chuckle infectious? When you laugh do people laugh along with you. Do you pause to give people time to digest your ideas?  When you get nervous do you sort of spew?

Take the time to make your voice distinctive.

Make it part of your brand


Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher, Networking Ninja, is a sought after International Speaker, beBee ambassador, founder and Brand 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.

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

5 Professional Speaking Secrets

Jerry Fletcher Keynote

Jerry Fletcher Keynoting in Bogota, Columbia

I’m a professional Speaker. I’ve been an NSA (National Speakers Association) Member since 1993. I’m also a consultant. Before that I was CEO of an ad agency.

When people are looking to get into speaking, they get referred to me so they can, “pick my brain.”

Here’s what I tell them:

  1. This ain’t no picnic. When you see a great platform performance it looks so easy. You just stand up and “let ‘er rip. It’s not that way Bunkie. What you don’t see is the years of preparation to get to the level of expertise needed to really craft winning remarks. What you don’t see is the hours spent rehearsing and the days spent marketing to get those few brief shining moments.
  2. Go with your passion. Every Successful speaker I know is not only an expert in some area, they are passionate about it. Most have been known to speak on the topic even when they are not being paid. Their zeal comes through in a simple conversation or in a packed auditorium. It is the reason a meeting planner or program chair selects one speaker over another. It is obvious in a video a webinar or a phone call.
  3. Practice shameless self promotion. This is the hardest for most beginners and even some of the old pros. Until your speaking business (Yes it is a business) reaches a sustainable level you will probably be on your own. You won’t have an office manager to handle booking phone calls. You won’t have a full time marketing person. You will be the manager of sales, PR, Advertising and the Grand Poobah of all promotions. So you have to suck it up and do it yourself. The best advice I can offer is to emulate as much of the form of promotion used by successful speakers as you can. And never be afraid to ask them what works for them now as well as how they did it getting started.
  4. Maintain your expertise. Each day I check a full array of marketing information resources to see what is new, what is being commented on and what, if anything, is being injected into the conversation from the periphery. I look for hard data—-surveys, analytic summaries, data compilations, analyses, research reports and any non-statistical data cited as “proof of process” or standard practice. Then I step back to see how the new data fits with what I know. If a contrarian approach is warranted, I may blog about it or fit it into a speech.
  5. Never stop believing. Today a young man (an Army Officer) who wants to be a speaker was looking for advice. He noted that in the military he had been training people from the time he started as a private. He trained people at every rank he held as he rose from the ranks to be selected for Officer Candidate School. I told him his abilities would stand him in good stead as he moved toward a speaking career. In addition, I pointed out that the leadership skills he had developed and demonstrated would give him first hand knowledge and experience he could draw on in speaking about his passion: the impressive capabilities and practical skills that vets have to bring to industry. And I told him to never stop believing in himself, his comrades in arms, and the men and women of the companies and associations he will serve with pride as he has served his country.\

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

 

 

 

 

 

The Power of a Personal Touch

As I put my laptop on the table and fired it up, Chris asked, “Should I go get some popcorn for movie time?”

Gail our resident good-mannered grammarian said, “You know, for a digital marketing type you know how video has become so pervasive, it seems to me that you might have a little more patience if not respect.”

Pesonal Touch VideoVIEW
“Easy,” I said. “I brought this along so all of you could comment on a video I edited this morning. It’s about trust. I’ve done a couple speeches recently and I was reviewing the video of them and thought it might be helpful to people to see how you can handle the same material with no technology or a full tilt animated Power Point. I just cut part of the two different appearances together.”

Rob, aka the Brand Buddha welcomed the opportunity to niggle me saying, “Minds me of the way gramps ‘splained the difference between a Yankee fairy tale and one from Dixie: Up north it starts out Once upon a time… Down home it’s you ain’t gonna believe this…”

Kate turned to him and said, “Even I couldn’t sell that notion without looking at the video. You know he’s been talkin’ about Trust on three continents for a lot of years. Besides, I think the presentation differences may be the point he’s making but first we have to watch.”

Bubba replied, “Crank that thing up Fletch and let’s have a look at A Personal Touch.

About 9 minutes later it was quiet at the table.

Then Kate said, “I love the pearl at the end. The video works. I kind of like the way it goes back and forth. The message comes through either way.”

Gail agreed. She pointed out, “If there were no live sequences the Power Point with voice over would tell the story but wouldn’t be as friendly or real or powerful.”

Chris said, “And that is the point. Video we keep being told is the most powerful way to get a point across no matter where someone is on the pathway to purchase. Yes it is powerful but the real power comes from giving it a personal touch.”

Fletch just smiled.

The Takeaways:

A personal touch is the shortcut to trust.

The more personal a video is the more powerful the message.

What you show is important. What you say is critical. But the most important thing is who trusts you.


Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com

Schedule a personal appearance. Jerry speaks internationally on Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic. www.NetworkingNinja.com

How To Be A Brilliant Conversation Networker

Brilliant Conversation Networking“I spoke to a group about the Secrets of a Marketing Rainmaker on Wednesday. I used the write up about what it takes to be a stellar networker by being a brilliant conversationalist as one of my giveaways,” I said.

Chris asked, “Did you offer it as an incentive for filling out your feedback form like I’ve seen you do?

“Yes,’ I said, that is a trick I picked up from another professional speaker.”

Rob, the branding guru from Georgia, drawled, “Y’all know he does that right in the middle to shake ‘em up and make ‘em want that idear for their very own. It’s his way of gettin’ the dogs out from under the porch.”

“Fletch,” Kate asked, “Can you translate that?”

“Sure,” I said, “Rob’s idea of being a brilliant conversationalist is being the center of attention. For him, that works. For the really good networker there’s another way.”

“Oh?” Kate said.

“Yes,” I responded

The table went quiet. They were all looking at me.

I said, “Tell ‘em, Kate.”

Kate explained, “It’s a technique I came across in some sales training done by Xerox in the 90s, I think. What you do is:

  1. Ask an open ended question, one that can’t be answered with just a word or two.
  2. Shut up and listen.
  3. When they run down simply say Oh?”

“Oh? “ I said.

She went on, “They will keep adding information just about as long as you are willing to listen. The trick is to get them started.”

Rick dove in, “And the most common question in our culture is what do you do? And the best way to answer it is in Fletch’s 30 Second Marketing.”

“Give the man a gold star,” said Kate. “Anyone else have a question that works?”

Rick, our inveterate traveler, said, “I’ve got another one—If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?”

“That works,” said Kate, “If you remember to say Oh?”

Gail piped up, “If you could have any technology to help you run our business, what would it be?”

“Sure,” said Kate. “Again, remember when they run down to say Oh?”

The takeaway: Ask an open-ended question and listen. When they run down just say “oh?” to learn more.

What question would you ask?

This blog recaps the luncheon conversations of a group of business development professionals. They discuss what’s new, what’s old, what’s good, bad and ugly but mostly what works. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and the one that writes up their comments.

Jerry Fletcher provides this kind of proven marketing advice to all his clients from across kitchen tables to corporate board rooms. See his answer to “What do you do” in the video on the home page of: www.JerryFletcher.com

Jerry speaks on 30 Second Marketing, How to develop an unforgettable self introduction. See his story about Margie at www.NetworkingNinja.com

Why Speaking Is Potent Small Business Marketing

Jerry Fletcher, Speaking in Colombia“I get paid 2 ways for speaking,” I said.

Rob, our Georgia peach branding guru, drawled, “Yassuh, too much and way too much.”

“Bubba,” said Kate, coming to my defense, “You are way out of line on that one. I saw him a couple weeks ago and by the time he packed up his computer and took some overtime questions the meeting planner had enough positive feedback to ask him to schedule them for next year. He can be difficult I know but he’s a real pro on the platform.”

“Thanks Kate,” I said. “The two ways I was about to mention were:

  • A chance to sell a concept, or approach, a solution or a scenario that can lead to a product or service sale
  • A check for becoming more of an expert.”

Chris, our young digital mastermind grumbled, “The problem is I’ve seen people at small conferences that were doing straight sales pitches instead of providing some information I could use.”

Kate responded, “That is a problem. But once you figure out how to make send the audience away glad they saw you, speaking is one potent sales and marketing tool.”

Bubba said, “Potent like how? Is it like one of those Long Island Ice Teas or more like some of those corn squeezin’s from the south forty?”

Mr. Direct Marketing, Rick couldn’t resist. He lifted his glass, looked through the liquor at Bubba and said huskily, “It’s potent like a brand that has been tenderly fermented, aged in oak and then poured from aloft splashing and frothing into the light.”

Gail, the resident writer began clapping and the others joined in. She said, as things quieted down, “Speaking gets you in front of a crowd of people that want to see you, want to hear what you have to say and now consider you an expert simply because you accepted an invitation to share your insights.”

“That, is one superb reason,” I said. “Even if a small business owner or entrepreneur is not being paid for being there, getting in front of a bunch of potential customers is wonderful.

Most of us fill up our days doing what must be done. But when a speech is imminent we shift gears and begin taking the ideas we’ve been working through for days or months or years and start refining them.

Learning kicks in at a higher rate as well. We discover that we now understand better because we have to be able to convey the information more effectively.

But there is another reason that maybe just as important.

Time.

Think of it. There are 50 or 100 of them in the room that you don’t have to chase down in a series of cold calls and appointments and visits. Getting to talk to that crowd is a real time saver and increases your potential sales geometrically.”

It’s like P.T. Barnum said, “Behind every crowd there’s a silver lining.”


 

Jerry meets on line and in person in the Americas to change the marketing of small companies. He prefers working with “Little Guys” with well under 500 employees. Learn more at: www.JerryFletcher.com

He has spoken professionally on three continents on his three specialties: Personal Networking, Marketing and Contact Relationship Magic www.NetworkingNinja.com is his speaking site.