Some Advice from John Jantsch

I recently attended Sage Software’s national conference; The Sage Summit in National Harbour. What a production! I was amazed at the quality of speakers, organization, and anyone who knows me the food!

One of the most exciting moments of the week was when I was invited to a marketing mixer (yes – a mixer is an excuse to mix alcohol and marketing)! At the mixer among the great conversations I had a chance to connect with renowned marketing Guru John Jantsch. John, a keynote speaker at the event can be credited to being the go to marketing resource for small businesses across the world. The iconic Duct Tape Marketing System is designed to make marketing simple, manageable, and effective.

How often do you get to meet one of the most influential marketing authorities and in the moment what do you ask someone whose breadth of knowledge is so diverse and time so limited? Here goes. . . John, as a young marketing what can I be doing to improve my influence, writing, and overall marketing expertise? Sure its three questions rolled into one – but did you expect anything less?

John’s advice to me was really simple. He responded with a question. “Well, do you read? If so, what blogs do you read”? His single most compelling piece of advice to me was to read more, it’s something that he does every chance he gets.  

Who do you read and what about them keeps you coming back?


The Power of Words

I was recently in Dallas attending Sage Software’s inaugural Marketing Academy. The session lead by; Dan Kraus from Leading Results focused on marketing fundamentals and the strategy that connected tactical and strategic marketing.

One of the most thought provoking components of the seminar was around messaging. Now, all of us as good marketers (fingers crossed) understand the importance of messaging and really developing our framework of communication through our customer or prospective customers view point.

The following video developed by a UK agency called Purplefeather is a powerful example of the simplicity and effectiveness a new prospective can bring to an old way of looking at a challenge.


An Extraordinary Customer Experience

Extraordinary customer experiences aren’t as grandiose as we often make them seem. They are often small, personal, and meaningful interactions that focus on delivering “value” as defined by the customer in front of us.

BMW’s have a notorious reputation. The brand exemplifies class and after driving one you really do start to get a sense of why they’re dubbed the ultimate driving machine.

I recently had a not so positive experience with my BMW. While conducting a routine oil service my service advisor discovered that the starter motor had lived out its last days. What followed was an unexpected cost of driving a BMW or my startling cost of doing business! I was out of commission not only was the repair expensive but due to share volume of cars being service wasn’t part of my routine oil service appointment.

Now there are two ways this could have gone. One I could have blown a gasket, pardon the pun or two my service advisor could have helped ease the blow of all that was happening around me. Here’s what made the difference:

  • My service advisor right away arranged for a shuttle to get me back to work. Minimizing my downtime. He offered to arrange for a rental vehicle which I declined because I happened to be traveling for work the next day.
  • He constantly left me voicemails updating me on the status of the vehicle.
  • The price he originally quoted me ended up being lower than he thought due to some changes in OEM parts. Psychologically I was prepared to pay the amount quoted and saving a few hundred dollars right before I signed the line, gave me a strange sense of satisfaction almost forgetting everything that brought me to this stage.
  • Right after my “washed” shiny car arrived for pick up the service advisor walked away from his desk and team. He approached me and started a conversation similar to how a friend would talk to another. He advised me of a quality survey that would be emailed to me by head office, BMW Canada asking how I found my experience. He went on to say that meeting your expectations isn’t enough for us here or me. I want to ensure you had an extraordinary experience. Were we able to exceed your expectations? Wow! My jaw dropped and I am seldom speechless responded with “you certainly did, John. Taking a not so ideal situation and making the best of it all while keeping me informed and minimizing my costs – that’s value to me”.

All of these basic steps were accomplished and effective because they were a natural part of John’s role as a service advisor – it was truly second nature for him.

Secrets to Individual Effectiveness

One of my favourite bloggers Keith Ferrazzi offers up his secrets to individual effectiveness. The post general focus’ on getting fit – both mind and body are at work here.

  • Exercise: You may not be a “morning exerciser” or have time for a full session, but even 10 minutes of movement (a high-intensity run or a yoga session) can prepare you for solid thinking.
  • Journaling: Spend 5 minutes reflecting in writing on the past day/night, and 5 minutes jotting down your expectations for today.
  • Meditation: I never found meditation to be practical as a daily activity until I went to Thailand, where I learned how to blend meditation and pre-existing routines. (Read about that here.)
  • Breathing: Breathe in deeply. Hold it in. Exhale. Hold it out. Repeat 10 times. This itself is a form of meditation.

Read more by visiting Keith’s blog

Better a free dog than a caged lion

I became a fan of Deepak Chopra ever since I read “Why is God Laughing”. His range and creativity add impact and transcend his audience to every corner of the world. Muhammad is no exception. This is a brilliant novel and I don’t say that lightly. In every short chapter Chopra was able to capture the essence of what made the last Prophet inspiring while delivering the everyday challenges that are lost in history. Chopra is objective and respectful both in his delivery and research.

Within this toxic Islamic environment Chopra truly stands out as someone with courage.  The following interview describes his stance – this is truly remarkable to watch. What makes it distinct is how Chopra is able to combat the controversy that the media reporter is clearly trying to engage him within by focusing on the core elements and overwhelming positives he’s able to portray.

Finding your Ted Williams

A Columbia Dispatch reporter recorded a video of Ted Williams; a local homeless man, begging at one of the street corners of Columbus. Footage of Williams was uploaded to the Internet and has reached over 15 million viewers through channels such as YouTube. Williams, now an overnight sensation being courted by networks, multibillion dollar organizations, and celebrities alike has reignited that inspiration within all of us that miracles can happen.  The story of Ted Williams, the self proclaimed “golden voice” represents the true diamond in the ruff.

So where do we find our hidden gems? In the case of Williams it was a matter of having an innate differentiator, his booming radio voice. This combined with viral technology and a little luck and a once homeless man achieves the American dream. 

The Ted Williams story has made me stop and think about my sphere of influence and what potential opportunities my organization is missing. An opportunity for success is often a conversation away. Think about your business and your prospective clients – what can you do today to help them succeed and build a stronger relationship?

New Year’s Resolutions – Work on book “30’s the new 40”

I’m writing a book – I’ve decided this today Monday December 12th, 2010.


30’s the new 40 examines the growing age gap between the modern workforce and the aging baby boomers. The book examines how this gap has already started effecting all facets of our life. The combination of an aging population, technological advancements, and our redefinition of success (the American Dream) are shaping this movement. 30’s the new 40 will embrace this evolution and I hope will shed some light on how we can take advantage of the glorious opportunity ahead.

Chapter Breakdown:

  • The Changing World
  • Technology as a Tool
  • The Resume Evolution
  • The Opportunity Ahead
  • Connecting the Dots
  • Success Redefined

The fun part starts when I begin marketing this baby. . .