Monthly Archives: April 2012

2 Main Issues to Consider While Migrating To CRM Salesforce Cloud Computing

I just returned from a Salesforce presentation: Social Enterprise Essentials: a fine event organized in the SAS Radisson hotel here in Hamburg City with wonderful people among others: Kerstin Daher and Ulrich Hoffmann: “Welcome to the age of the networked enterprise”:
  • Sales Cloud: as a sales enterprising tool
  • Service Cloud: innovation and customer service / care
  • Chatter: a private social network for business
  • Force.com: cloud platform for custom app development
  • Radian6: seminar & case study around the international CEBIT computer show in Hannover.
I cannot help but be reminded that we are in Germany and that charm and chivalry remain integral part of our French vocabulary! There is no need to get into the details of these applications since there is plenty of information on the pages attached to the links provided above! These topics were addressed quite thoroughly during this very well organized one day infomercial.
 
Salesforce is using this Cloud tsunami development to certainly establish a stronger business base in Germany and Europe with a significant deployment of man power hosting an event this year in Hamburg city with roughly 250 in attendance.
 
Well done Salesforce for putting together a sales oriented IaaS, PaaS and SaaS package ready to go: it is undeniable that those tools are in place and ready to unleash their power if implemented properly! The need for Cloud CRM is there and the trend not to be stopped! Add BYOD to smart phones & tablets commercialization and you’ve got the right foundation for a Salesforce thriving business potential and its US$ 3B turnover if I understood the presenter correctly!
 
Well done Salesforce for buying Radian6 last year and adding  Heroku  and  Ripple to your 2012 cloud shopping tour, obviously en route to moving from traditional CRM to a more social CRM or SCRM. I was impressed by the morning Radian6 presentation, which completely convinced me of the most “in real time” detailed analysis utilizing countless internet sources of information! It is also worth adding that Salesforce updates its platform three times a year definitely trying to keep up with the relentless social media pace moving forward at the speed of light!
 
Salesforce is mostly keeping up but I was a bit disappointed though when asking about full integration of social media new comers such as Google+, Pinterest and Pinwheel! For now the social media platforms being taken into consideration are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Klout more is probably coming but without any concrete information on future developments.  
 
Salesforce did a great job at presenting an installed and operational cloud structure but did not initiate us to the two main challenges to be faced when
a) implementing a social business / enterprise culture 
b) migrating from legacy structures to PaaS and IaaS,
which are both the foundation for a successful social cloud migration! When I challenged one of the presenters with these two core issues I was kindly requested to “find out more from their service partners” and was told that Salesforce is not responsible for creating a social enterprise or migrating from legacy systems! Correct! However, these two main issues remain and furthermore what happens if a company decide to do a U-Turn and retreat to its former legacy system?  
 
 
Who is going to write a company culture book and educate both staff and management that it is mandatory and obligatory in a 21st century hyper connected company to share strategic customer information? How are we going to motivate sales, marketing & customer service among others to share their confidential customer data and transfer it to a centralized cloud database? Not that easy Salesforce  and we know how much silo thinking isolates information and keep it to itself! The real answer is obviously the undeniable need to create first the right company culture. There is no need for cloud or centralized strategic information if company staff and management are both reluctant to share knowledge and business insight!
 
I regret that QR codes were not put on our badges, which would have helped the networking and exchange of information between participants. A well deserved mention to Claudia Hilker, who managed to pull off a 30 minutes presentation on social media strategy! Well done Claudia and thank you for the book! Looking forward to getting a free copy of the latest “advanced” version!
 
Thank you again to Salesforce and the hospitality extended to all of us with great drinks and good choice of food: Well done and compliments for a well-organized event!  
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25 Ways to Transform Your Business, Promote Innovation and Optimize Your Sales Results (Part 2)

Reminder: your USP (Unique Selling Passion / Proposition) and Web-strategy should have been identified and ratified.  This is the core of knowing what your business delivers! Furthermore your first piece of social media real estate should be your blog: if you do not have one yet start one right now!
 
1. Develop your Social Media accounts strategy in 5 main groups:
2. Position your Social Network Icons on the top of your blog with a one click procedure automatically opening in a different tab or window so that your visitor does not have to leave your site in order to connect and find out more about your business.
 
3. Identify your customers: possible health food store customer segmentation:
4. Make it easy for customers to sign up to your newsletter with a one click subscription via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+!  Consider Pinterest, Pinwheel and other social media trendsetters, and remember Social Media is not static: It moves and changes all the time!
 
5. Please eliminate the outdated and annoying “Captcha” sign up procedure: believe me I have given up many times for not being able to read the hidden letters properly and failing to register three or four times in a row and “see ya later alligator”!  
 
6. Consider instead signing up to free web services such as Disqus and Livefyre to encourage visitors to easily comment on your site or blog! You’d be surprised how many blogs and websites do not offer this free service! Additionally use the one click Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ sign up procedure for those who do not own a Disqus and Livefyre accounts: the goal is to make it super easy for visitors to engage with your business.
 
7. Offer signed up visitors and customers the facility to upload pictures, blog articles or vlogs: think of Amazon again and how it is possible to record a video comment on the site! Trust your crowd when they are registered: look up how Lastfm encourages its community to upload comments and pictures of unknown artists: do the same be opened and social: your business will reap the rewards.
 
8. Customize your monthly newsletter so that both prospects and subscribers receive the information they are specifically interested in other words “Convenience Marketing”. (Think again of how cleverly Amazon solves this issue with: “customers who bought this item also purchased….”).
 
9. Run a tombola for best content of the month: It will motivate followers and fans to participate! Divide it in sound, video, blog & picture: It will encourage viewers to visit more often your website while leaving their customer’s / prospect’s footprints helping you in return to keep up with trends, interests and blog content marketing priorities.
 
10. Adjust the content of your website blog according to your subscribers’ interests (please review previous point).
 
11. Offer Subscribers and VIPs the privilege to guest blog on your site / blog: you will then have less to write and create! (Remember blogging might be difficult disciplinary exercise for you as it is for most of us: trust me on that one).
 
12. Insert your company’s main twitter account on the web front page with a Twitter live feed on website, blog and Facebook Fan-page (it should be possible to insert your Twitter feed into your Facebook Fan-page).
 
13. Accept most credit and debit cards, PayPal & Square as well as main currencies making it very comfortable for potential customers to buy from your business.
 
14. Develop a one click payment system procedure: (sorry again but think of Amazon!) for both physical and web. Make it convenient and fast for both registered customers and visitors to do business with you! Spell out payment / shipping / returning terms so there is no misunderstanding: be generous: trust FIRST and then you shall be trusted.  
 
15. Start planning your mobile payment strategy now because it is a very present issue with companies such as Square or PayPal right around the corner and do not underestimate BYOD’s commercialization.
 
16. Apply (if you can) a free shipping and return policy strategy right from the beginning: Think of the Culture & Service giant Zappos (now part of Amazon) with their 365 days return policy.
 
17. Make it possible for customers to order online and pickup their order in your physical shop: reward them for doing it the first time and surprise them with freemium especially if they are coming for the first time to your shop.
 
18. Organize book ordering for your customer and in shop pick up and pay as a convenience they will love dropping their book order at your shop and will come back to pick them up and pay for them: one more visit for your business!
 
19. Accept orders per Fax, Email and plan accepting them in the future via Twitter, and Facebook for registered accounts.
 
20. Use QR codes for informing customers about promotions and more updated product information.
 
21. Send QR codes to your Twitter followers or Facebook fans via Twitter or Facebook for special promotion while geo-positioning them via Twitter and / or Foursquare
 
22. Organize a Tweetup with your community and engage with them by organizing a special event around your business. Do not forget to create a hash-tag about your event and to remind your participants to tweet while attending. 
 
23. Always send promotion and call to action with your monthly company newsletter and make it personal
 
24. Develop a customer loyalty program with a Business Membership Card including four levels: Silver, Gold, Platinum and VIP Statuses: Organize perks accordingly with best privileges for the highest membership level! This will increase customer loyalty
 
25. Print social media icons on all collaterals and make them visible on both physical and virtual shop (Part 3 coming up this week)

How to Transform Today’s Traditional Midsize Companies and Literally Drag Them Into Digital and Social 21st Century Transformation? (Part 2)

My favorite book (The Bible) states: without vision people perish: what a true statement and without vision many companies disappear such as this old-fashioned German Drugstore outlets Schlecker struggling to find an angel investor before the end of this very month! It is sometimes sad to be able to predict that some businesses won’t be around within the next 3 to 5 years if they do not drastically change their Modus Operandi! Often companies are way too busy with “business as usual” while not spending enough time on strategy! “If you do not know where you are going you will most likely end up somewhere else”: an old adage we all know!

Today many SME (if they have not done it yet) should heavily consider creating a new responsibility, which could be something like a “Business Facilitator”: a savvy strategic thinker, who ties up four main challenges companies are facing today!  An all-around talent, visionary, influential, inspirational and above all motivational! Some would name it a CIO but may be it should be a bit more like a CBF (Chief Business Facilitator)?

I came across some quotes from CEO leaders not only talking but walking the leadership walk and embracing the turbulent changes our networked society is forcing upon us!  In the social enterprise people and culture are the two driving forces and building blocks our Business Facilitator will increasingly have to take into account:

1. Social Culture

Creating a “Culture Is Your Brand” philosophy à la Zappos and studying Tony Hsieh’s culture book would certainly be a very good start! Without enterprise culture it is going to be tricky to create motivated employees to positively and actively participate in social media communication!  How many companies out there still use Twitter as an “Inbound” marketing tool or a pricelist Email alternative? Painful! Check out the Marketing Master Coca-Cola Content 2020:  CEO Muhtar Kent thinks that marketing is getting more and more data driven and “Coca-Cola needs to be part of Digital Marketing and IT closer to customers”.

2. Content or Inbound Marketing

How does one keep patrons drinking coffee?  By providing WIFI in all Starbuck outlets so that both business people and Twitter addicts may connect to their favorite social media accounts while sipping on their preferred coffee specialty. Or by starting a monthly campaign such as: “Global Month of Service”! How about letting customer pay in its U.S. stores with a smartphone app tied to their loyalty and payment cards? Social is important to Starbuck providing its Facebook fan page with an online suggestion box while letting fans send gift cards! Being sociable seems to be “a must” for Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz who is also upgrading his IT Infrastructure for point of sales inventory management, CRM and Labor Scheduling tools!  Desktop Virtualization is also a hot trends IT department are implementing in order to accommodate BYOD and the commercialization of smart phones and tablets.

3. Social Business

Social Media is constantly changing and the first three most visited platforms in March 2012 were Facebook, Twitter and surprisingly Pinterest overtaking layout-old-fashioned “veteran” LinkedIn! It is now impossible to do business without making Social Media full part of a Marketing Strategy: And this involves a lot more than sticking a Facebook and Twitter logo on a website!  Videos themselves are becoming an integral part of the social media portfolio and if you have not yet seen the 2012 Cartier Video, I recommend you watch it! To this day it has been viewed 14.586.933 times! Airlines are also beginning to use videos such as: “KLM Surprise” and “Air China in Sweden” as well the outstanding Mini Getaway Stockholm Case Study, which already took place a year ago in Sweden! Some funny campaigns also involving an entertaining “Dollar Shave Club” and the Guinness St Patrick’s Day Commercial 2012!

4. Modernize IT infrastructure and move to the cloud while embracing mobility

Legacy systems may sometimes be responsible for slowing down technology growth and we all know mobility demand is on the rise: it is now time to reconsider a more focused cloud outlook!  Lowe’s CEO Robert A. Niblock has understood Lowe’s need to zero in on modernizing IT infrastructure with faster internet connections and deploying a gigantic action to equip store personnel with 42.000 IPhones. He also recognizes the challenge of a multi channel strategy while planning to equip both call centers and retail outlets with better access to company’s 250.000 products, customers’ accounts as well as being able to close sales on Iphones! TJX’s CEO Carol Meyrowitz has similar priorities with a multi channel strategy: “We continue wanting to marry shop and web since Ecommerce gives TJX the opportunity to sell things, which are not carried in the physical shops”. Procter & Gamble’s CEO Bob Mc Donald plans to move accounting from traditional responsibilities to operational: “accounting systems aren’t designed today for operations–they tend to look backward–but we’re working on integrating our operational system with the financial system to move in that direction.”

The Business Facilitator’s challenge is immense but one thing is for sure silos have to be dismantled: Over are the days were company departments could allow themselves to work “independently” as a block almost against each other! Time has come to transform our work environment into a social networked place following the example of Apple and Starbucks with their IT helpdesk coffee shop allowing employees to choose IT smart phone & Tablet on display and directly bill them to their departments as well as technical support and suggestion on how to make IT run better!  

How to Transform Today’s Traditional Midsize Companies and Literally Drag Them Into Digital and Social 21st Century Transformation? (Part 1)

I rarely write about myself so please bear with me! I remember 25 years ago; my first sales rep days as a Frenchman in Bavaria and Southern Germany. I would often be searching for public phones carrying stacks of German Mark! Thanks to vandalism phone cards were introduced and public card-phones had soon after to be searched for! At that time I was selling Volvic (French) Mineral water! Outbound marketing was in: I had flyers, a few cotton T-shirts no one wanted and for the most part practiced good old B2B door to door basic “hardcore” selling!  Like most companies we did not have Coca-Cola’s marketing budget! In many ways it was easy: I’d come up with a map, mark and pin it according distributors, key-accounts, customers and prospects, and start my regular tours planning around 10 daily visits selling, merchandising and prospecting for the most part!

We did not know about the silo mentality: we were living and exemplifying it! Customer complaints were turned around to make Volvic France shine! I particularly remember how dirty the French plastic crates were and how meticulous German car owners would regularly complain about them! Volvic France could not care less: they were so far away and I bet some of the people at the plant did not even know where Munich is! Every Volvic-silo was doing their own thing: bottling; packaging; warehousing; transporting and finally us: selling! During those 3 years I did not receive a single phone call from France asking me how things were on the ground! Mind you the ground? Obviously it Volvic France and customers were mostly for them a hassle, constantly making requests or complaining about something while our job was to convince them that most (if not all) of their requests were unreasonable!

Thankfully things have changed, as a matter of fact, changed so much that it is frightening: Volvic and everybody else now can receive emails, calls, reports, written-, spoken- video-information regardless of where we are! Sales people are expected to answer phone calls 24/7 and emails at the best before they have even been sent!  To the repertoire of traditional commerce has been added social enterprising, content marketing, E-commerce, social media, cloud computing and mobility! The 21st century traditional and wannabe digital sales-geek has to understand a lot more than ever in order to grasp Social Business & Media, Inbound Marketing, Mobility as well as Cloud communication (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS)!

Here is an exaggerated caricature of today’s midsize companies “operating silos”

  • Sales: trying to motivate Management and Production to finally manufacture products Sales can sell and this at an acceptable price, while complaining at the same time about delivery delays and quality issues!
  • Production: ranting about manufacturing “too many products” not properly streamlined by Sales & Marketing (Dream of every plant manager is: couple of products manufactured without disrupting too much his production lines).
  • Marketing: usually not having a clue of what is happening in their own company because of their mostly and until now “outbound” function!
  • Controlling: mainly informing Direction and Sales Management about things they already know!
  • IT Department: relentlessly upholding legacy structures, struggling to innovate but mostly slowing down everybody else!
  • CEO / Managing Director: trying to please the board of director breathing down his neck while having to meet financial targets and business strategy.

Bottomline: “It ain’t working that way no more” as our “over-the-pond “US neighbors would colloquially say! What do we do next? Who should put the pieces together?

  • Sales: I do not think so: Why? Because I have been a sales person most of my life and I know that most sales leaders cannot fulfill that responsibility.
  • Production: What do you think? (I hope you do not even have to think twice about it).
  • Marketing: probably not a good idea!
  • IT: hm…. Not really customer oriented for the most part don’t you think?
  • Controlling: usually informing company but mostly sales about the past, which is not going to help us much about future strategy!
  • Managing Director / CEO: yes definitely and this is the way it should be BUT his responsibilities are so immense that he needs assistance and help in order to fulfill his vision and above all get the RIGHT information!

Who should be fulfilling this strategic role! Stay tuned for the second part of this article!

10 Fundamental Ways to Transform Your SMB, Promote Innovation and Optimize Your Sales Results (Part 1)

Social media or not, Customer Service is what is being added to customers’ purchase before and after the sale has been executed! B2C retailers and B2B platforms should heavily reconsider rewarding both regular customers and brand faithfulness with additional perks and special privileges! Customer loyalty cards are already a given and let’s be frank we all know that most of those are not adding much value anyhow! It is now time to harness your creativity and develop a state of the art Social Business Marketing Enterprise!

1. Ratify your USP (Unique Selling Proposition and Unique Selling Passion) in order to focus the targeted customer audience your business will want to reach! The more precise the better! Brainstorm and debate: If you are still not sure about your USP make a turnover hit-list of your top 30 to 50 (or more depending on your business size) best customers and ask them personally to give you some input into what they would love your business to communicate about and sell! This will be a great way of getting them involved right from the start.

2. Your first piece of real estate should be your blog before even starting a website! Create one right away if you do not have one already and start communicating with your clients, prospects, visitors by posting relevant information around your USP relating to your audience, business and core values by publishing the following information:

  • Own and guest posted articles
  • Own videos (think of Gary Vaynerchuk’s creativity and audacity)
  • Videos uploaded on your site relating to your audience
  • Interviews, Podcasts and Webcasts on specific topics of interest
  • E-books, White papers, E-articles
  • Pictures, Recipes (if you are in the food business)
  • Featured articles linked to other sites (it will help SEO)

3. Refine your Social Media portfolio by making sure you have accounts in the following areas narrowing it down to 10-12 platforms at the most:

4. Create a digital company newsletter, which should include blog content with some specific items reserved to your exclusive circle of contacts and personally delivered to their mailbox always including a call to action! Consider making this letter custom made according to their preferences and interests by adding personal perks and offers.

5. Customer Content Marketing: Communication goes both ways: Reserve plenty of space for your visitors to upload the same sort of material your company is uploading:

  • Customer articles and / or links.
  • Give them the freedom to build their community on your website: it will dramatically increase your traffic!
  • Customer videos, personal videos even if not relating to your business (be personal and social and grant them the freedom to communicate)
  • Personal pictures, anecdotes they would like to share with their peers
  • Events customers want to share with your business and their community
  • Trust them first, in return they will start trusting your business

6. Read, listen and consider what your customers are sharing with your business on your blog / website; it will definitely help you fine tuning and adapt your blog-menu to your audience’s tastes, needs and expectations.

7. Make it simple and easy for visitors to sign up and upload any media content (picture, sound, video & text) and please drop this annoying “Captcha” by facilitating the signing up process with most popular media sites Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or YouTube.

8. Transform all your written collaterals by physically including your customers’ most relevant Social Media Icons

  • Ad your company’s blog & website link(s)
  • Ad Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and Pinterest logos to all your printed collateral including business cards
  • Facebook, Twitter logos and links should automatically be printed on your cash register receipts with a call to action changing on a regular basis
  • Make your inside signs with your blog address, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest discretely visible on both physical and virtual shop.

9. If your business owns a physical shop give your customer the flexibility to sign up on site (with a touch screen computer) to your blog, Facebook Fan page or follow you on Twitter: Reward them on the spot with some free goodies and thank them with a smile.

10. Embrace mobile devices (Smart phones & Tablets) Please do your company a favor and organize smart phones for your sales and marketing people ASAP! It is not a toy it is a modern marketing tool you cannot afford not to have! Make also sure that the same web / blog content is readable on any platform and remember BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is not a buzz word anymore it is reality! Welcome to the 21st century “tradigital” business!

It is extremely important to keep up communicating with customers while delivering content in real-time! In future posts we shall review more items on how to make SMBs more competitive in this thriving mobile social media environment!

12 Reasons Why Enterprises Will Be Forced To Bring More Cloud Computing Into Their Own IT Environment

Cloud is more than ever the 2012 buzzword for both CIOs and CMOs! Your business wants to stay afloat?  Read on and prepare your company for your IT’s mandatory creative disruptive reconstruction!

1. Cloud is nothing new: as a matter of fact there is a suggested one billion users using cloud-based applications such as Gmail, Hotmail & Yahoo without being completely aware of it!

2. Social Media Platforms: It would be redundant to remind ourselves that all our social media pictures, music and favorites are now saved on the cloud! Think of services such as Flickr or Instagram to name just two!

3. Free private cloud “hard disk” space for everyone, which should be very dear to some of my German friends:  Google Docs: 1GB for non Google documents; ITunes’ ICloud: 2GB; Dropbox: 2GB; Box: 5GB formerly Box.net and its handy Microsoft Office extension allowing user to save directly to the cloud;  4shared: 10GB; Microsoft’s Sky Drive: 25GB; Adrive: 50GB a mega vault  recommended for bulk pictures , sound and video files.

4. Giant PC software manufacturer Microsoft wanting to compete with Google’s array of free online applications and finally moving up its fabulous Office Suite to the cloud: Office365, a secure anywhere access to professional email, shared calendars, IM, video conferencing and document collaboration.

5. PC manufacturer Dell reinventing itself and is on its way to becoming a Cloud Company having made lots of acquisitions in the last months and weeks: Dell already acquired Make Technologies (Software solution relieving organization from legacy application and platforms), Wyse giving them an entry into thin computing and mobile technology,  Sonicwall a leader in advanced network security and data protection, Clerity  a provider of mainframe migration, modernization and optimization solutions.

6. CRM Cloud Company Salesforce has also been shopping lately: already acquired Social Media marketers’ well known Radiant6  and recently Heroku a cloud application platform and Ripple  a telecommunication client providing chat and conference services throughout the US and obviously moving from traditional CRM to Social CRM aka SCRM.

7. Cloud giant Amazon with its Amazon Cloud Drive: 5GB of free private online storage or AWS (Amazon’s Web Services) providing professional users with free cloud storage space thus assisting them to access data at any time from everywhere and on every imaginable platforms or device!

8. Technology Commercialization:  the challenge “par excellence” for IT leaders struggling to integrate BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to the existing IT structure! If companies want to attract savvy workers, management will have to integrate the smart-phones and tablets to 21st century E-Portfolio workforce!

9. API-fication From Applications to Apps: quote from Gartner’s website:

“When the way that applications are designed, delivered and consumed by users changes, it has a dramatic impact on all other aspects of the market. These changes will have a profound impact on how applications are written and managed in corporate environments. They also raise the prospect of greater cross-platform portability as small user experience (UX) apps are used to adjust a server- or cloud-resident application to the unique characteristics of a specific device or scenario. One application can now be exposed in multiple ways and used in varying situations by the user.”

10. Mobile Technology: unimaginable to plan a website which is not Multiplatform ready! Computer patrons want to access their data everywhere and at anytime and from all sort of device!  The Cisco report also predicts that:

“Smartphone traffic will grow by a factor of 50 between now and 2016. a) The network traffic from tablets alone will grow more than 62 times between now and 2016. b) Mobile video will take up 71 percent of 2016 mobile data traffic. c) Service providers will increasingly look to offload mobile Internet traffic to fixed or Wi/Fi networks. d) There will be 5 billion tablet devices by 2016. Each mobile user will consume more than a gigabyte of mobile data each month in 2016, compared to .5 percent who did so in 2011.”

11. Mobile Payment systems have been developing with recent Silicon starters such as Square already followed by Paypal and others will obviously come

12. Ambient Social Networking: one of Austin’s 2012 SXSW buzz words! Ambient Social Networking instead of connecting people to places such as Foursquare connects people to people in real time including startups such as Catherine Fake’s Pinwheel and upcoming companies Highlight, Sonar, Glancee,  Gindr , Banjo or Discover Circle!  

More and more IaaS, PaaS and consequently SaaS will have to be included into IT portfolios in order for companies to fully harness social marketing and keep up with real time consumer conversation. Social networking within companies itself has become a priority for astute entrepreneurs searching for social enterprising tools such as Yammer and exploit the power and wealth of knowledge within their own group, pro actively addressing the SILO mentality, which stifles  mobility, creativity and innovation!

When are you moving to the cloud? What is your company undertaking this year to make things more “cloudy”? Let me know and let’s update these points together because as the cloud progresses so will this list!

Constructive IT times to you with partly sunny but cloudy days ahead and wishing you a wonderful Passover Season! 

10 ways to transform your USP: Unique-Selling-Proposition into your Unique-Selling-Passion

While attending an excellent course here in Hamburg on how to create successful business plans and brushing up on the latest, I am amazed at how lightly attendees take the program: showing up late, leaving early, skipping classes and most likely missing the point all together on the message delivered! Where is their purpose? Where is their passion? Why did they sign up? Why bother? Do you bother? Do I bother? What’s their “MO” (modus operandi)?

Tonight someone close to me mentioned having an early start tomorrow morning because of a USP meeting! Wow did I think: that’s brilliant and realizing again that for many businesses, it is one of the most painful exercises ever! I cannot help thinking of all the unique USPs out there such as Pizza Domino: “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.” ! Is your USP your MO? Is my USP my MO? So here we go without further ado: 10 ways to transform your small or large business USP and become more passionate about what you are doing / selling!

  1. Change the generic term of USP Unique Selling Proposition into UNIQUE SELLING PASSION
  2. Seriously brainstorm and write down your passion (15 – 20 words); memorize it, dream and read about it!
  3. Create updated and curated information about your passion from RSS feeds (see my series of three articles on how to create RSS feeds on this blog)
  4. Embrace your passion, get excited about it, dream about it, sleep with your passion and get up at the crack of dawn in order to pursue YOUR PASSION!
  5. Write about your passion on your blog! Do you have a blog? If you do not have a blog yet start one ASAP and write! I do not care how painful it is and believe me it is going to be painful because it is just like jogging or excising, we all know we “ought to be doing it”! Do it! Let it hurt! Make a commitment to your passion and write about it and get used to the hurt of blogging!
  6. Communicate your passion (on Twitter with hash-tag words) on your social media platforms and I guaranty you that you will build up a crowd of enthusiastic followers! Think of it as a niche of very special friends, whom you want to serve well! Honor them by twitting relevant stuff about your passion and be genuine! Serve gourmet tips and advises and you shall reap benefits in due time! Be altruistic! Give do not trade! Did you get that: GIVE do NOT trade!
  7. Divide your Unique Selling Passion into categories of products / services and assign them to your team members according their personal love and passion! I could not genuinely sell vegan in a health food shop but would excel in the wine, cheese and foie gras area!
  8. When Passion has been “divided” accordingly call on those specific team-members to attend customers (both off and online): I guarantee your company will significantly increase sales and profit!
  9. Passion sells: Kevin Onarecker (@KOnarecker) from his article: “Sell with Passion”: “Passion sells. Passion creates interest, excitement and anticipation. When we meet a sales professional who communicates with passion and conviction we are moved to action. We like that sales person… we respond to that sales person. AND we want to buy! When people buy, they buy three things: your product, your company and YOU.”
  10. Please do yourself a favor: Ratify your Unique Selling Proposition / Passion NOW!  Do not delay it! Do NOT procrastinate! Brainstorm with company management ASAP and write it down! WRITE IT DOWN! It is the best thing you will have ever done in order to manage and focus your business! I promise everything will be much easier to organize and manage

Let me know how you are doing with your USP and post any ideas or comments about articles, achievements or progress you are making and remember to be PASSIONATE about what you are writing or doing! To your passion!