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Friday, May 08, 2009

Professional Speaking Tips – keeping Your Diary Filled



I am constantly bombarded by bad news of how the world is coming to a standstill and all we can expect from the future is doom and gloom. This is especially prevalent in the United Kingdom where the newspapers, television and radio absolutely bask in reporting bad news. If I had to believe half this drivel, I might as well give up speaking because no company is ever going to book a speaker or trainer again. What a load of rubbish.

This has so far been my busiest year ever for two reasons, Candice and I have doubled our marketing efforts and I have customised my talks according to what the markets require. Right now companies in my niche are looking for different ways to generate new business, keep their existing clients and stay motivated. This is exactly what I have been speaking about for years, but I have now just changed the title of the talk to ‘Tough Strategies in Tough Times’. This title alone secured eight bookings with one of my clients in the Far East.

As speakers, we are advising individuals and organisations to think differently and market effectively; we should all be doing the same in our businesses. The speaking business may have slowed down in the United Kingdom, but equally there are places in the world where things are thriving and this year I have already spoken in nine countries and have six others booked as well as setting up exclusive partnerships in two other countries that will bring in a ton of work.

All this takes a lot of creative thinking and a lot of hard work, but proves that no matter what the economic climate, if we really want to keep the diaries filled, it is possible.

Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in technology, sales and customer service. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 48 countries.
Frank is the author of bestselling books ‘Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders’ and ‘
How to Find New Clients and Business’
NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to frank@frankfurness.com
Take a look at other articles, free software and e-Books at http://www.frankfurness.com/
Download 39 Power Sales Closing Scripts at http://www.frankfurness.com/closingscripts.cfm
For more articles, please take a look at my website http://www.frankfurness.com and please download complimentary eBooks and software at http://www.frankfurnessresources.com

Music and Sales – The Vital Connection by Frank Furness



Having started my working career as a professional drummer, I have always felt that there was a strong connection between music and sales. My career in music has stood me in good stead in my sales and business career; here are some of the things I learned:

Back to Basics – When I was still at school I was already playing in a band and I decided that if I really wanted to be good I had to learn from the best. At that time the best drummer in South Africa was Tony Moore who was a legend. I approached him and asked what he would charge to give me lessons. He replied that he would do it for free on condition that for the I would practice the basic rudiments every day for one hour on a practice pad. There is nothing more boring than practicing those basic rudiments.

He also insisted that I learn to read music and practice with the metronome each day so that my timing would be perfect. I agreed to this and duly practiced every day. By the end of that year my technique and timing was fantastic and I could read any music put in front of me. Only at that time did he allow me back on the full drum kit and I couldn’t believe the improvement. I realise now how important it was to me in my musical career to get the basics right.

Lesson – In sales it is important to practice the basics until it becomes second nature. When I started out in sales I needed to cold call to set up appointments. I hated it but remembered the basics and each day I became better and more skilled until it was like brushing my teeth, if I didn’t do it daily I would feel bad. I did the same with asking for referrals, closing, networking and all the other skills needed to be a success in sales. If ever you feel sales are dropping, just get back to doing the basics and you will be amazed at the results.

Mentors – In every venture I have tried, I have always found the best experts and learned from them. Why try to reinvent the wheel. When I was getting started in my music career, I would go and watch all the top bands and meet with the drummers and drive them crazy with all my questions. Surprisingly, they were all very helpful and encouraging and interested in my success. Later I adopted the same attitude and started teaching a young 8 year old for free who went on to become a professional musician and dancer who now performs all over the world. I also taught a young guy called Adam Bloch who went on to become a multi talented musician and composer who has released two albums under the name of Adam Saul.

Lesson – Whatever business you are in, try to find the top people to learn from and then go on and help others become more successful.

Getting the feel – I was always an excellent technician on the drums and could read any music put in from of me. I remembered joining one of the top groups in South Africa and when we were rehearsing, the guitarist stopped and told me to forget the technical aspects and feel the music. That day I changed the way I played and I immersed myself in every tune, playing with passion and loving every minute.

Lesson – In every business venture I have applied the same principles and as well as becoming technically adept, learned to feel and love what I was doing and do it with passion.

Listening – In any group or orchestra you can have the top musicians in the world playing together, but unless they listen to each other and play as one unit all you will hear is a cacophony of noise. Listening, anticipating and working together created almost a telepathic connection in all the groups I played in and gave us all so much pleasure and enjoyment

Lesson – In business, we all have to listen and communicate to produce effective results. If we all go off on our own tangent, the business will never reach its full potential.

Watching the audience – I have seen so many bands go off on a tangent and do their own thing, leaving audiences bored. When I was playing, we were always audience focussed and would watch and feel the atmosphere and change the music according to what the audience wanted. This left our group in huge demand and we always got the top engagements.

Lesson – In business we have to be client focussed. We have to learn to read the verbal and non verbal signals of our customers and change the way we do business to suit the clients style. We have to sell to customers the way that they buy, not the way that we sell and we need to be prepared to change.

Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in technology, sales and customer service. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 48 countries.
Frank is the author of bestselling books ‘Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders’ and ‘How to Find New Clients and Business’
NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to frank@frankfurness.com
Take a look at other articles, free software and e-Books at http://www.frankfurness.com/
Download 39 Power Sales Closing Scripts at http://www.frankfurness.com/closingscripts.cfm
For more articles, please take a look at my website http://www.frankfurness.com and please download complimentary eBooks and software at http://www.frankfurnessresources.com

Twitter for Business by Frank Furness



Twitter, the latest tool to take the internet by storm is growing massively each day, so what is Twitter and how does it work?

Twitter is a free online micro-blogging application which gives you the ability to send out short messages (up to 140 characters) called “tweets” to people who are following you on Twitter.

You can send tweets either through your computer or by using your cell phone via a text message.

These tweets/messages can be about anything you want and they can include links, as well.

What makes social marketing so popular and applications like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook dominate the internet? Simply put, it is the feeling of community. Thanks to the internet, our sense of community can include people from anywhere in the world bringing us into the global community.

From a business perspective, social sites provide an opportunity to get in front of potential customers and influence buying decisions because online social networkers are three times more likely to trust their online community of peers over other advertising methods when making purchasing decisions. As we all know, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising and finding new business.

Here are some basics you'll need to know before you start tweeting:
· When setting up your account, add a professional photo and your own background.
· Either have your name, a keyword relating to your business or your business name as you Twitter name
· A follower is someone who is watching your updates.
· Following refers to the act of you following other people.
· The @ symbol is placed before a users name within the tweet to reply to another user, and this will show up in the main twitter stream
· The # (hashtag) is used to help you sort by topic. For example you can use #survivor to tweet with other Survivor fans.
· Direct messages go only to the user you are messaging
· Set up TweetLater.com account and welcome message: Next you'll need to look for people to follow. If you are really in this to gain business referrals, I strongly suggest you don't follow every person on twitter.

Once you are following people, you'll see that people will begin to follow you back and you'll even see people following you that you didn't follow first.

Now that you're building your list of followers, you need to start tweeting on a regular basis. I would suggest tweeting relevant information that will enhance people’s lives or help them be more productive or improve business. Nothing irks me more than seeing inane useless information.
I predict that in the future, tweeters giving relevant helpful information or helpful links or tips are the ones who are going to see the biggest growth.

Here are some helpful ways in which Twitter can boost your online business.
· Twitter generates traffic to your site because you can send messages that include links. Include relevant links to promote products or services.
· If you need to hire anyone to do anything for you, from designing a logo to optimising your website you can do so easily on Twitter by sending a tweet out to ask if they know of anyone.
· It is easy to find new, potential customers by using Twitter's search function. Search Twitter for your target keywords and you will find related tweets. Follow the Twitter users that are talking about relevant topics and you may be able to offer your product or services to them in the future.
· With Twitter, you can connect with other people in your niche. This is helpful for building business relationships that will enhance your future networking efforts.
· It is a great feedback tool. Ask your followers to comment on your website, products or anything new that you may be promoting.

Here are some ways that I am using Twitter:
· I am sending regular tweets to promote my 160 videos on YouTube. i.e. discover how to ask great sales questions
and please leave your rating and comments
This then takes them to my YouTube channel
www.youtube.com/salestips where I generate income as I am a YouTube partner.
In my videos I also send them to a squeeze page with a ‘onetime’ offer that gets them to buy a product or sign up for my newsletter


· Promote a free giveaway in a tweet. Once again this will take them to a relevant ‘onetime’ offer squeeze page and then get them to sign up for my newsletter before giving them the free products. This is one of the methods I have used to build up a subscriber list of 25,000

If you really want to maximize the potential with Twitter, you should make sure to take advantage of any plug-ins or sites that support Twitter.


Here are three, and attached below is the download link to hundreds more
· Squidoo allows you to input your Twitter account info into your Squidoo account and then it can automatically post updates to your Twitter account when you create or update Squidoo lenses.
· Facebook has an application called Twitter; it automatically updates your Facebook status when you make a Twitter post.
· The other tool is a free WordPress plug-in called TweetMyBlog that allows you to create a two-way connection from your blogs to Twitter. TweetMyBlog allows you to use a widget on your WordPress blogs that will display your current Twitter feed. That way all visitors to your blog can look at the widget and see a running feed of your latest Twitter posts. If they click on that they will be brought to your Twitter page.

In addition, when you make a new post to your blog, TweetMyBlog will automatically make a post to your Twitter page with a link to your latest blog post. Imagine the extra exposure you can receive by using these tools that help people see more of what you are doing.

Here is my gift to you, a resource list withpiles of Twitter tools and resources. You will also see my strategy of the ‘onetime’ offer leading to the signup page for my newsletter before getting the resources list – plus many other free EBooks.

Get it at
www.frankstoptips.com/TwitterToolbox.zip

Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in technology, sales and customer service. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 48 countries.

Frank is the author of bestselling books ‘Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders’ and ‘
How to Find New Clients and Business’

NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to frank@frankfurness.com

Take a look at other articles, free software and e-Books at http://www.frankfurness.com/

Download 39 Power Sales Closing Scripts at http://www.frankfurness.com/closingscripts.cfm

For more articles, please take a look at my website http://www.frankfurness.com and please download complimentary eBooks and software at http://www.frankfurnessresources.com



Increase sales - It's Back to Basics

Working all over the world with organisations and individuals, I often hear the same questions, “times are tough, what shall we do?” My answer is always the same, go back to basics.

If I look at some of the top sports people that I work with, they follow four basic steps:
· Planning – what do we need to do
· Preparation – how are we going to do it
· Execution – actually doing it
· Review – what went well and what do we need to change to be even better

These same rules apply to business.

I always tell my clients that they need to do two basic things right now:
· Look after your existing clients better than ever before
· Double you marketing and sales efforts and keep prospecting for new business

Look after your existing clients better than ever before:
1 - How well do you know your existing clients? Here is an exercise for you and your team:

List your top 10 clients and then list 10 things you know about them. This exercise surprises some of my clients at how little their sales team really know about their key clients. Here are some of the ‘back to basics’ things we should know:
· Who is the key decision maker and how much do you know about them.
· What is their personality type?
· How and when do they like to be contacted? Is it face to face, email or phone and when is the best time to contact them? Is it the beginning of the week, the end of the week, first thing in the morning or later during the day? In fact have you ever asked your top clients these questions?
· What are the motivators for doing business with you – are they motivated by cost/value/service/relationship
· What are their buying patterns – how often do they buy and what are their budgets or average order size
· Why do they do business with you rather than your competitors
· What would cause them to move to your competition
· What level of service do they expect and are you delivering that service

Remember, four Critical Advantages Your Competitors Can Never Have
• Your knowledge
• Your marketing
• Your people
• Your systems

Rate yourself in each of these areas and see what needs to be improved.


These days customers are…
Smarter
Leaner
More demanding
Less forgiving
Less loyal
Harder to satisfy
Price conscious
Contacted by more competitors

What are the basics needed to keep your top clients?

2 - Double you marketing and sales efforts and keep prospecting for new business

Now is really the time to get back to basics and review your prospecting efforts. Get the team together and have a brain storming exercise on ways t o find new business. Here are some of my suggestions:
• Warm/cold Calling
• Referrals
• Clubs & Social contacts
• Centres of influence
• Professional connections
• Observation
• Old Clients
• Networking
• Internet
• Websites
• CEO marketing
• Associations and trade bodies
• Give speeches where potential clients can see you as the expert in your field or type of business. (Take a look at my resource)
• Article marketing
• PR and advertising

Once you have identified potential ways of finding new business, prepare an action plan. Each quarter, review and see which methods are the most effective and bring the most results. Most importantly, which are giving you the best return on investment in terms of time, effort and cost? Now concentrate on doing more of what works.

Take a look at the resource I have developed on ‘Finding new business and clients’

Frank Furness CSP is a bestselling author and international conference speaker on sales and technology. To book Frank for your next conference email
frank@frankfurness.com

Get more resources and free eBooks at
http://www.frankstoptips.com/resources


Opportunities in 2009


Brian Tracy

This year has been busy extremely so far, mainly as a result of intensive marketing efforts by Candice and me. I have just returned from a month away speaking in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, followed by 2 weeks in South Africa and a week in Estonia..

I love Australia and did eleven talks in five cities. It is definitely one of my favourite countries, great people, weather, food and attitude. I also met some wonderful people; take a look at my interview with cricketing legend Max Walker. I was also fortunate enough to be featured on radio and ABC TV.





When I arrived in Brisbane I was told that there were only two keynote speakers, myself and Brian Tracy who would be presenting before me. I jokingly asked if it was ‘THE’ Brian Tracy and was told, that it was. (I can always say he was my warm-up act). He was incredible and a great person, take a look at my photo with him.
Take a look at my Ausie photos.

A few words of thanks to my best friend from school, Michael Dredge who lives in Melbourne and who I met up with after 30 years and great friends from Cape Town, Miles and Erayne Stuart who have now settled in Brisbane and showed me some of the sights and fed me at some of their top restaurants. Thanks also to the National Speakers Association of Australia who organised the speaking tour and looked after me incredibly well.

After that it was off to South Africa where I spoke at the Global Speakers Conference in Cape Town and was lucky enough to experience the street parade for the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Then it was off to a private Game Lodge called Mabula Lodge. There is nothing quite like an African sunrise and sunset and seeing the incredible animals in their natural habitat. We hired a four bedroom house with a pool in the wild and invited family to spend time with us. This was far better than our normal time rushing around from one family member to the next and arriving home exhausted. Take a look at the photos and videos.

Right now I am sitting in my hotel room in Tallinn in Estonia where I presented last night. I have set up a number of meetings and see massive potential for business here in the future. Take a look at the photos of this wonderful city.

My next big venture is my productivity centre website which will have thousands of resources on sales, technology, customer service, marketing, internet marketing, leadership, consulting, speaking skills, coaching, working with the media and plenty more.
There will be hundreds of audio cuts that can be listened to or downloaded to your IPods as well as videos, eBooks, software, articles and plenty more. There will be interviews with industry leaders and updated materials each month and will serve as an incredible resource for any business or individual. There is a huge amount of work and I anticipate that it will be ready by July. I already have the website -
http://www.productivitycentre.com/ it is under construction.


My partner in setting this all up is Herb Kelly and his wife Sue who are involved in some of the success of the top internet marketers. Herb and I go back many years to when we first played together in a band at school and then when we started working. The third member of the band was Dassie da Silva, my best friend in South Africa.
At school we were all told by our teachers that anyone who played in a band would end up as failures. I wish those people could see us now, I’m doing ok, Herb is incredibly successful on the internet and Dassie is a successful entrepreneur with more food outlets and restaurants than anyone I know. I wish those teachers could see us now....

We do look a little different though – take a look at our old band photo with Herb and I.
Speakers Bootcamp - The good news is I now have the date in the UK for the bootcamp - 5/6 September in Amersham outside London. Download the brochure and book early for a discount and remember, places are limited.

Online Marketing Masterclass has also been confirmed for the 1st August.
Download all the details here.

Twitter seems to be the new social networking phenomenon. At first it frustrated me with lots of insignificant drivel posted, until I worked out how this could work as a great branding tool as well as build my subscriber list and very subtly sell my products (actually not, nothing about me has ever been subtle). Please read my article on Twitter and download the resource guide with over 100 Twitter tools.

Follow me on Twitter at
www.twitter.com/frankfurness

Frank Furness CSP CFP TOT is a professional speaker and trainer specialising in technology, sales and customer service. He has educated, entertained and inspired audiences in 48 countries.
Frank is the author of bestselling books ‘Walking with Tigers – Success Secrets of the World’s Top Business Leaders’ and ‘
How to Find New Clients and Business’
NOTE: You're welcome to "reprint" this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "about the author" info at the end), and you send a copy of your reprint to frank@frankfurness.com
Take a look at other articles, free software and e-Books at http://www.frankfurness.com/
Download 39 Power Sales Closing Scripts at http://www.frankfurness.com/closingscripts.cfm
For more articles, please take a look at my website http://www.frankfurness.com and please download complimentary eBooks and software at http://www.frankfurnessresources.com

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Is Twitter losing the plot. Originally set up to connect, now just a competition to see who can get the most connections.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Twitter tools again
www.frankstoptips.com/twittersystem
www.frankstoptips.com/twittertraffic
I have just found 2 great tools that I am using for Twitter traffic - www.frankstoptips.com/twittertraffic
www.frankstoptips.com/twittersystem