On 17th October 2012 I went to a little publicised 3pm seminar called 'How the secret millionaire communicates with customers' at Business Focus, Peterborough. I was shocked at how few people turned out to listen to Mike Greene. Yes, it had been a long day with many arriving at 7.30 am for the Opportunity Peterborough Bondholder breakfast - but to me this was a speaker of Secret Millionaire status - opportunities like that don't come by too often. So, whilst the majority of exhibition visitors were heading home, I was frantically typing notes. (And, yes, I am feeling pretty good about myself!)
So, I hope Mike Greene doesn't mind me sharing my take on the best bits of his talk. I needed to organise my notes into something easier to digest. Doing this in a blog seemed like a good idea. There's tips on the road to success, growing a successful business, connecting with customers and on giving.
About the road to success
- Tough times don't last but tough people do.
- Anyone can be successful so long as they just don't give up.
- Failure is a lesson - you have to fail to become successful.
- If you fail the first time and don't go back to try again, you will miss such amazing views.
- We go where we focus, so don't focus on failure.
- The last yards are always the hardest. Most people give up when they are so close to a break.
- You might be going up and down on a daily basis. You might feel like you are going backwards. But if you look at progress over a period of time, the trend will be up.
- The power of association is incredible - surround yourself with the right people.
- If you read for 15 minutes a day that equates to 90 hours a year. Reading is so important that if you're too tired to read in bed, stand up and read!
- Les Brown, Live Your Dreams is recommending reading.
- Nick Vujicic story is recommended for inspiration to finish strong.
- Every year challenge yourself to do something that scares you and takes you right out of your comfort zone - this will help change your outlook on business.
About growing a successful business
- Setting up and growing businesses is always going to be a challenge, otherwise everyone would do it.
- Cashflow is more important than sales.
- Don't compete on price.
- If you haven't had business challenges then you are taking it too easy. Or the challenges are yet to come.
- There is always evidence for the negative, even whilst some are doing well. Find who is doing well and emulate them.
- Don't be a perfectionist. 90% today is better than 0% never.
- People are the most important asset to your business. They're so important to Kip Tindell of the Container Store that he chooses them carefully, and then pays twice the going rate. Read about his philosophies here and here.
- Tiny changes can transform your business and create momentum - find them.
- Work on making yourself be better rather than constantly assessing your competitors.
About connecting with customers
- Don't communicate with your customers, connect with them.
- We are communicated at all the time and most things pass us.
- Look for and care about what is important to your customers.
- Show you truly care and connect in away that is really cool. See Starbucks on first name terms as inspiration (make sure you watch the video).
- You win when you truly understand and connect with your customers.
- Tips on how to connect with your customers can be found in Simon Sinek's book 'Start with Why' (After seeing Simon Sinek's TED Talk I wanted his book anyway. When Mike Greene brought it up, I felt something was telling me to get this book. So it's my latest Kindle purchase and proving well worth it). Anyway, the biggest message in this book is, sell the why and not the what.
- Note that no Apple ad talks about functionality - the best marketing connects unconsciously. And don't we all love Apple adverts?
- The product you are selling should become secondary in order to move the relationship from functional to emotional.
- Social media is changing everything.
- Getting involved with charities will transform your business, it also changes your outlook on business.
- Make time to give and get involved in charity when you are growing you business, even when you think you don't have time or money.
Lots of valuable lessons indeed. Well worth staying on for. Thank you. More on Mike Greene: