Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: November, 2012

Common Sales Mistakes.

Many salespeople make a number of common mistakes.  This article highlights these and makes some suggestions to fix them.

Ignoring your presentation and selling skills weaknesses.

Make an effort to notice what you do and perhaps get training to fill the gaps.

Not keeping the supply system pipeline primed.

Make time for prospecting and asking for referrals

Sufficient lack of knowledge about your prospect

Insufficiently researching a prospect.

Failure to follow-up on prospects

Plan and schedule follow-up activities after the customer contact.

Calling on prospects that have little current need and/or no budget

Qualify your prospects early.

Talking at the prospect in a non-stop sales pitch.

Ask questions and listen eight times more than you flap your mouth.

Not focusing enough on the customer.

Focus on everything about the customer: words, gestures, tonality and context.

Continuing to sell after you’ve closed.

When you get a “yes,” stop talking, smile, and take the order..

Forgetting to ask for a referral.

At closing, obtain a promise of a referral; request one after you’re sure the customer is delighted.


Building Trust and Teamwork

Dr Brian Monger

Trust is a big issue in today’s business world. It is difficult to have effective working relationships without trust. Therefore, trust is critical for every organisation.

Successful teamwork involves building trust among team members and associates.

One of the main keys to the survival of a business is trust. Trust is a critical issue in any type of relationship because a relationship without trust is not really a relationship at all. One of the problems that managers encounter when dealing with teams is that trust is not automatic and may never develop at all. Even with the appropriate individuals on a team, a team that does not build a trusting relationship is not an effective team.

Trust is necessary for the following reasons:

  • Feeling able to rely upon others;
  • Communicating openly;
  • Effectively co-operating as a group;
  • Being able to take personal risks in making information available and putting forward ideas;

Organisations Needs Teamwork to Survive

You have probably heard the statement that there is “no ‘I’ in the word ‘Team’.” This is a good though and reasonably true (although we need to remember that people do not lose their individuality while working with others – and nor should they).  In reality high level collaboration is rare.  So called teams are usually populated with folk who know that the only people they trust are themselves.  I becomes number 1.

Face it, in the vast majority of firms individual success is rewarded better than team participation. Organisations need to be able to develop policies, methods and tools for individuals to want to grow and develop within teams.

Some suggestions

  • Only form teams to solve real problems when a team is the best answer.

Don’t automatically involve everyone from the sake of it.  Others not in a team who need to know about it can be simply just kept in the loop and have their suggestions taken without having to populate the team

  • The manager should provide people who will be in teams with teamwork training beforehand on systematic methods of team work. The team should focus on accomplishing the project, as well as how to work together as a team.
  • Review projects in progress

It is a manager’s responsibility to recognise when a group is not working and not developing healthy working relationships.

  • Make the effort to build fun and the time to share experiences into the teams agenda

Folk should like being on a team.  It is more than a waste of time and a chore

  • Celebrate group successes

Recognise the group as a whole for their accomplishments.

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know.

Also check out our sister blog site http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

Is Bullying Ever Justified?

Is bullying ever justified? What do you think? Have a say and say why.

From a Discussion on Monash Uni Alumni LinkedIn group Started by Brian Monger – Early 2012

  1. Christine Fares • No… Bullying is always attached to an excuse or a number of excuses (i.e low productivity, wrong doing, etc.) made by the bully.. The bullied victim is convinced they made a mistake of some sort.. the bully normally suppresses the the bullied person and treat them inappropriately… What both parties do not understand is the fact that no one should be treated inappropriately regardless of their productivity level or behavior.. Bulling is not justifiable!
  2. Dr. Brian Monger • Bullying – Use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants
  3. Fu Chen • Just to offer a different opinion. Bullies might be just another form of animal nature.In the animal kindom, individuals have to fight with each other for the power of control within the group. It is always the bigger , stronger ones to lead, while weaker ones have to suffer. Nowadays, animal nature of human being is supressed by moral and law. However, it is easy to go backward as it might be the most easy way to settel conflicts. Different levels of bullies can be found in workplace. Even well educated people would use their strengthness to bend others’ will. This could be achieved through physical or mental means. For example, getting a stronger body might help to achieve a better deal in business. Or using mean words could motivate others to follow instruction. If think further, using wealth to control people’s behaviour can be seen as an advanced form of bully as well. In this case, the difference is its easiness to accept by the victim.
  4. Anna Lyubomirsky • Hi Brian, bullying is a type of corporate harassment and can be expressed in a form of excessive over management, unfair critique of work, constant humiliation, intimidation and public downgrading of your skills and abilities, often causing loss of confidence, self esteem. It has psychological impact and as we are not in an animal world it can have adverse effects on productivity and personal development. It can never be justified and often those who demonstrate this behavior have been the victims of bullying bit perhaps never recovered due to not seeking help or counceling,
  5. Dr. Brian Monger • While understnading that bullying can be bad (everyone knows that). Can it not be used in a good way? For example against a bully – to stop them? Reasoning and being nice may not work in some cases
  6. Fu Chen  Bully is a negative term. It is hard to change the perception of people that it could be used in good ways.
  7. Maybe a better way to address this would be settling conflicts or how to make people follow?
  8. Anna Lyubomirsky • I too think that being nice towards bullies as a way to make them understand is not a strong or effective way of counteracting bullying behaviour. After all many of them are psychologically effected. One has to have almost equiavalent direction of address towardss bullies but remain calm and reasonable in their arguments or case presentation – bullies are emotional and insecure so its important to target those areas when resisting and battling bullying. There must be a good degree of understanding of why and what the behavious is all about in order to develop the return strategies.
  9. Shama Kazmi • It really depends on the degree of bullying behaviour we are talking about. In my opinion, bullying in the typical understanding of the word is unacceptable. It destroys human relations, breaks the spirit and rarely does it benefit either party – the person bullying or the recipient.
  10. There are shades of grey in this issue though. Kids bullying their parents into getting them a favourite toy? Teenage girls bullying their mums to let them do things that will help them ‘fit in’ with their friends – getting a piercing, going out late at night, getting their hair dyed? An elderly boss bullying his junior staff into meeting particular performance targets… the bullying behaviour manifesting in a carrot-and-stick approach.
  11. Much turns on the context. I think it is important to define the sort of bullying we are talking about here…
  12. Dr. Brian Monger • Shama – how about countries trying to bully say Iran to stop their nuc. program?
    Everything turns on situation and context I find.
  13. Anna Lyubomirsky • Political and economic bullying has always existed. Countries have done this throughout the history of mankind targetting weaker regions and attacking and conquering for gain and political power, often for oil, gas etcIts how we deal with everyday bullying at work, socially, organisations and schools. I thinks as discussed in other groups there are now platforms such as HR and other support services that would provide assistance and guidance in dealing with the bullying behaviour. The outcome however can be positive in terms of what the bully gets as a result of actions taken but at what cost does this occur? I agree that context and situation are important in the evaluation of behavious and actions needed to address them. Some may charge into a fist fight, direct conflict and some may take up a more strategic approach.
  14. Karen Price • Bullying- Who does it? Just read an interesting article by Prof Gordon Parker on Personality Disorders and how most often they are very unamenable to treatment or insight led actions. There is a qualitative difference in personality “style” vs “disorder”.
    Anyway just going along with rarely being able to reason with an INTENTIONAL bully. Some may well have very difficult personalities that have been actioned upon by both nature AND nurture to produce the sort of person we know to cuase mayhem in our families or workplaces. These people are not able to be contextural so will exhibit dysfucntional behaviours across most situations. Those with just a personality “style” however who are less effected may be able to modify responses in the right context. Prof Gordon Parker remains puzzled by his inability to pick the sociopath who of course can be charming and who exists throughout the business world. He remains challenged by this. I have been less academic than the esteemed prof of Psychiatry and used the term “wolf in sheeps clothing” a more visual metaphor for my patients. They like myself and Gordon Parker bemoan our inability to pick this wold out of the docile and lovely sheep we might meet. I now console myself with the knowledge that these wolves are indeed cunning and charming on initial greet and meet, but the seductive vortex is quickly deduced by a lack of boundaries an over familiarity and then feeling like you are in a twilight zone or feeling like you are being “recruited.”
    Sorry for such a long winded medical perspective but I am not sure there is anyway to handle a bully other than zero tolerance and strict and swift structural policy practices. Early and willing identification by an organisation or group very important.
    And the definition of a bully other than the persuasive things we all do to get other people to do our bidding. I think it comes down to Annas reply where the receiver of the bullying action is made to feel in some way demeaned, humiliated, excluded shamed, and belittled.
    I never felt that way when my kids coerced me into a toy or a treat. I just felt either tired or a pussycat parent or like a big and willing softie!!!
  15. Karen Price • So NO bullying is never justified at an individual level.
    Is Iran a threatening bullying nation?? What are the possible range of responses given the low likelihood of a diplomatic solution? Are sanctions part of the larger world view of structural policy and procedures enacted swiftly by a zero tolerance world. Assuming that the world is MOSTLY zero tolerant of the use of nuclear weaponry?
    How to live in a peaceful world ????? Anyone???? 😀
  16. Shama Kazmi • How to live in a peaceful world – a topic that probably warrants a thread of its own!
    These are my ideas for achieving peace in this world, just speaking generally:
    1. Recognise that you/ your organisation/ your nation has inherent shortcomings/ weaknesses.
    2. Be aware that you also have your strengths…
    3. Work on maximising your strengths and be realistic about your shortcomings. Be aware, be sentient, be sensitive…
    4. Cooperate, forgive, analyse, evaluate and reevaluate, review and work on realistic, practical goals.
    5. Communicate. Reflect – remember that the greatest voyage in life is the journey within.
    6. Use your strengths in a positive way. Help others to achieve their goals, save lives, benefit communities, go out of your way for the underprivileged, encourage science and the arts, teach children to read and maximise their opportunities.
    Use your weaknesses in a positive way. Learn from them, change your set perspectives which have led to stagnation and lack of progress/ growth. Grow, develop and move forward!
    Of course the above ideas are more of a sort of noble aspiration than something that can always be applied in the real world. Realpolitick and economic constraints mean that people will always be influenced to act as per the needs of their goals/ organisations. I do wish for a world where there could be peace and happiness though! And the place to start would be to look within ourselves! Sorry if I’ve wandered too far off the topic.
  17. Karen Price • Love it Sharmi!
    That is a worthy and beautiful vision and I think a lot of people fortunately aspire to it.
    I am singing ” to dream the impossible dream” (and I do love that song)
    Is it mans nature to be aggressive in collecting tokens for his nest to attract a mate.
    Also known as capitalistic greed?????
    (Really tilting at the windmills now!!)
  18. Anna Lyubomirsky • Karen – you are so right!!! I loved the comments. The Peaceful world is
    Utopia and I do not believe we will ever see this sort of a world – sorry I
    am a sceptic! Was it George Orwell who tried to demonstrate Utopia but at
    what cost – loss of freedom, freedom of speech etc. Communism propagated by
    Lenin during the Russian revolution using Marx’s model was Utopia/ideal
    socio-economic world but if Karl Marx knew what was happening he would
    have climbed out of his coffin!!!
    I love your definition of a bully “ personality style” LOL!! There is a
    clear emergence of psychopaths in the professional world (and may be social
    one as well but we have more choice who we hang around with outside work
    hours), it’s a style of my way or highway – I was recently told that I was
    arguing with my boss but I was simply in my opinion presenting my point of
    view of why things happened the way they did. She kept saying I was arguing
    and did not understand… I said that I want to be understood too and that I
    had the right to express my point of view which happened to be contrary to
    hers. I do not consider this bullying but she has the tendencies and traits
    of that nature. It’s a definite disorder that is widespread like an
    epidemic and we need medical urgent measures -Karen?? LOL!
  19. Dr. Brian Monger • So – Scenario 1:
    Bunch of people being bullied by couple of thugs – say at a high school.
    Teachers don’t notice and it continues. Should Handsome Harry step forward and tell the thugs to knock it off – OR ELSE?
    Scenario 2: LOL (Little old lady) being pressured and threatened. Should Tradie Tarzan next door intervene and threaten to thump the pressurer unless he decamps immediately?
  20. Anna Lyubomirsky • I would love to say yes to both scenarios and perhaps its an option that should be used in conjunction with direct approach to the authorities and address the school etc.
    Karen Price • anna You are quick
    in an ideal world
    but that would be because they recognise bullying for waht it is and have a sense of social responisbility because they were brought up by parents who had some kind of social conscience and gave their child the ability to think outside of the group. That is be an individual. When they disciplined their child or Harry or the tradie they did it in a respectuful sense where juniors behaviour was the problem and then they modelled themselves non bullying means of interacting with the world. Sometimes I think Bullying would be a lot less if SOME FATHERS did not resort to military style of parenting , left over from our war culture I think. Ie Do it OR ELSE BLAH!!!Add a comment…
  21. Dr. Brian Monger • I am a fan of more social intervention in public places. Yes I know you could get hurt – but if it was the expected response (on trains for example) that photos were taken, calls made and as required actual intervention, then there would be less problems.
    Thugs etc do it because they think/know they can get away with it.
    German trains (at least at one time) were clean because if you dropped rubbish, several people would bully you into picking it up.
    I have really hated bullies all my life and just about always intervened. I am getting too old to do this now but… well I guess I am going to get hurt.
  22. Dr. Brian Monger • The helping others and intervening was a result of what my soldier father taught me was the right thing to do.
  23. Karen Price • If the link doesnt work, look up todays The Conversation a Melb uni publication I think
  24. Not all military fathers parented that way Brian. 😀
    Its just that Fathering skills rarely get talked about and I see some pretty poor ones that mothers despair over and kids suffer from and its usually the very rigid authoritarian stuff they default too. Particularly useless and damaging with adolescents
    although psychology still seems particularly keen to “blame” mothers, better though than in the 1960’s I think……
  25. Dr. Brian Monger • I have a perception that for quite a while there has been a greater permissiveness with kids – less discipline?
    You probably know my perception from the comments I make about the little B’s one often encounters at say the supermarket. Or older ones in a uni tute? (not you Mersi)
  26. Karen Price • should bullying become a crime???
    I just read another interesting article on the trial of charles Taylor war crimes trial and how historic it is that crimes against women and girls are included. (one might ask why not before???)
    Anyway given that this is supremely bullying behaviour…. when does the “stuff” we consider bullying become criminal behaviour? Is the intent the same???
  27. Dr. Brian Monger • When it becomes assault – which is more than physical assault.
  28. Karen Price • When is bullying NOT an assault??
  29. Anna Lyubomirsky • Its a psychological assault and cannot be proven easily unfortunately and hence are not criminal actions, but can be put for consideration to HR and legal etc if warranted enough. When it starts to be physically offensive (that is subject to definition too), it can be constituted as assault and then criminal charges laid.
    Mersi Halilovic • Good point Anna. The psychological torment that leads to depression and sadly suicide is what cannot be proven easily and is overlooked. Interesting that many criminals have successfully defended their inhumane and brutal actions against humanity on the basis of insanity, depression and other psychological illnesses…
    Also, the psychological and emotional bullying can affect the victim to the extent that they are not willing to come forward and report the culprit.
  30. Anna Lyubomirsky• True – a lot of bullies do not put anything in writing and are very clever at the pursuit of intimidation and emotional harassment.Dr. Brian Monger • Not an assault? – no threats of violence? You did ask about it being a crime?
  31. Anna Lyubomirsky • Yes if its a clear threat to do violence – having witnesses would be wise…difficult to prove otherwise ( a friend of mine went through this for a long time until she was able to prove it)
  32. Mersi Halilovic • Another part of the problem is that many people, moi including, struggle to admit that they are a victim of bullying because that ultimately means admitting that we are different and do not fit the ‘social norm’ (some of us are proud of not fitting the social norm but so many of us are desperate to belong and to be accepted) and that we were not strong enough to withstand this sort of treatment.
  33. Vanessa – How is this even a question?
  34. Dr. Brian Monger • Well Vanessa, its got a question mark. It is an invitation to think about it and comment.
    You think there is no range of opinions or ideas possible? Or ..what is it you are suggesting?
  35. Dr. Brian Monger • When we seek to protect someone, something, from someone else – how do we stop ourselves becoming the new bully?
    Mersi Halilovic • Good point Vivien, I am sure that individuals or even perhaps society at large may deem such women as intimidating. We still live in a very sexist society and I am sure that Clinton is regarded as powerful,inspiring and admirable whereas strong women who fight for a cause like Hillary are considered intimidating and condescending.
  36. Dr. Brian Monger • I will bet that someone like Hillary Clinton (MorF) is a hard person when they want to get something.
    Reality – the meek will not inherit the earth
  37. Anna Lyubomirsky • Hilary’s leadership must be seen through the eyes of her subordunates, people she works closely with and I am in no doubt that she is wilful, determined, and intimidating to many, but would she as a people’s leader emply deliberate tactics of harassment and psychological pressure? As a world leader and woman of great causes she is regarded as Merci said before and that is vital to get her causes and actions across – we know that. That is just the issue of your personality/behaviour vs your prefessional approach and leadership again. I found myself also being hard and perhaps intimidating to some when you are on hold for hours waiting for a service centre to answer, or you have come to exchange something and they make you write 1000s of docs like you are a security risk, so many things make us display our assertiveness and I guess if Hilary can do it then so can we! Is it a form of bullying in order to get something done?
  38. Mersi Halilovic • Hm Anna, that is a bloody good point…and question! Is assertiveness a form of bullying? I never looked at it that way. The examples that you gave make this a tricky question to answer. I would say, yes it is a form of bullying. But, given your examples where you are emotionally involved ie frustrated and you perceive yourself the victim in that particular scenario, are you defensive or offensive aka a bully?
    I think that we all have a bully in us when it comes to assertiveness and some people do require a bit of extra motivation to get the most simple of tasks done, but there are levels of bullying.
  39. Dr. Brian Monger • Ah – the thinking behind the original question.
    Yet we had some others just say “No” – the expected answer.
  40. Mersi Halilovic • Brian, am I a bad person by tentatively saying ‘yes’ in certain situations, although I choose to redefine the behaviour?
  41. Anna Lyubomirsky • Very much so – there are levels and borderlines to bullying. I personally think that being assertive is not bullying and as we know bullies are insecure and often are unstable and need to dominate. I am assertive and strong (at times but ssometimes get sick of being pushed around) but I am not a bully and will identify one when one appears to display those qualities. It is a fine line and subject to personaly and values. I often help the underdogs at work who cannot organise themselves to produce something – so get them started because it increases their confidence. Those managers/leaders who deliberately isolate and disengage their staff and do not aknowledge their successes are also bullies – its just a different type of humilation, outcasting and intimidation.
  42. Anna Lyubomirsky • Brian – you are a magician by extracting the darkest thoughts from us that stimulate the discussion and ourselves.
    Merci – I do the same … and cannot say NO when I should. is there a pill for that?
  43. Dr. Brian Monger • Mersi – you are certainly not a “bad person”.
    In Asia “Yes” does not necesarily mean “I agree” It could mean – “Yes I hear what you are saying”
  44. Mersi Halilovic • Phew, thanks Brian! 🙂
    I think I am saying ‘yes’ in a way, because my interpretation of bullying is a bit more complex and more encompassing than that of others.
  45. Karen Price • Ideally I do not agree that bullying is acceptable in “certain circumstances”. Assertiveness and forceful defence are entirely different matters. I believe it is the intent rather than the action that needs to be considered. If the intent is to humiliate, belittle, inhibit then that is bullying and not the most functional response. Physically maybe it is akin to intentional torture. If the requirement is that you shoot your enemy before they shoot you or others that is a different intent. (A defensive intent but violent nevertheless) Being assertive and not accepting bad behaviour or intimidation by another with forceful rebuttal is not bullying.
  46. Vivien Gardiner • Something I ponder often: let’s consider the converse. There is a particular Western cultural development which has burgeoned in many European countries since the Second World War (and is now apparent in Australia) which tends to celebrate victimhood. In Australia, we often embrace it as barracking for The Underdog and it now permeates most aspects of social and political discourse. Paradoxically, this necessitates the growth of a “human rights” industry which itself often bullies and harasses, depending on which side of the ledger you stand.
    In the Asian societies I’m familiar with, what we would often describe as bullying is perceived as strength. Paternalism is welcomed. Submission to “bullying” is considered pious, even though to us it might appear as subservience.
    I agree with you Anna: it has much to do with the underlying motivation (often difficult to discern at first), delivery and timing. However, I’ve often found those who disguise their insecurity by being abrasive, rude and uncooperative will soften considerably when responded to with respect and dignity. Sometimes the most collaborative and rewarding relationships can result from a tempestuous beginning. I always find encountering bullies makes me more self-aware, more resilient. It helps develop my own thinking and be conscious of modifying my own impulses when engaging with others.
    Sexual harassment is a whole other can of worms, so to speak.
  47. Dr. Brian Monger • Karen – I am all for the concept of ideal – but I don’t think we are even going to get improvement unless we better understand the concepts better.
    Really, while it is part of the right process, in some circumstances being assertive is not going to fix the problem
  48. Anna Lyubomirsky • Very interesting comments Vivien. Self-awareness and self-resilience are
    definitely sharpened when dealing with a bully but what about autocratic
    management – one that is so old fashioned, by delegation only, no
    nurturing or engagement, one that never celebrates successes but only picks
    on errors and hurdles and one that has to be one way – theirs. Is that a
    form of bullying? Its reverting back to our discussion on leadership… As
    you say Vivien some societies do not tolerate weak behaviour and lack of
    assertiveness and encourage what we would sometimes call aggressive
    professional behaviour and lack of tolerance – eg. Japan.
  49. Mersi Halilovic • Karen, what you are saying makes sense in terms of the intent of assertive and forceful behaviour. However, bullying can still occur even if the intent wasn’t there. If you are forceful in your communication and offend or upset people, that is bullying. It doesn’t matter what the intent was.
  50. Karen Price • Hmm then we are at the mercy of other peoples perceptions Mersi? I do not entirely agree with that. If an assertive woman is called bullying (but not often an asserive man as that is gender appropriate) do we fine her and call her in for remediation. I agree with Vivienne that there is an interpersonal skilled approach required. Human beings are constantly misunderstanding and misunderstood with no evil intent necessarily. Conflict resolution and good policy and procedure in the workplace help provide a lighted path who dont possess Good EQ themselves.
    Being assertive doesnt always fix the problem Brain thats why I mentioned carrying a gun.
  51. Vivien Gardiner • Many moons ago, when I was an Operating Room nurse, I used to have surgeons screaming and shouting and throwing instruments at me. I would sometimes observe – with amazement – a senior and experienced nurse approach, look the surgeon in the eye (nothing like a face-mask to intensify the death stare, lol) and say in a calm but firm (aka assertive) tone something along the lines of: “When you have finished throwing your tantrum Doctor, and decide to behave like an adult, we will be able to proceed with the surgery in the best interests of the patient and all involved in their care”. We underlings would of course be in awe of person who had stood up to the bullying, so when the surgeon tried to raise hell in admin, he would find himself without any support.
    Those who stand up to bullies (without resorting to bullying themselves) win much political support and many friends.
    Of course, the “career line” vs “staff” aspect is a mitigating factor. Karen, your senior colleagues might have had to deal with arrogance and pomposity in the hospitals quite differently.
  52. Karen Price • Yes Vivienne power does corrupt some. There are shining examples of leaders who did not succumb due to robust psychological strength and an integrated adult personality. These are the leaders I remember fondly. Your senior nurse was spot on. If I had done speciality training I would have kept my mouth shut more which I am not good at by the way. There were surgeons I remember who threw instruments and were pathetically immature. I remember even as an intern taking him on with humour at his attempt to intimidate me and he never attacked me again. Alas it was not so good for my very timid registrar. Awful stuff. Worse were orthopedic surgeons some of whom back then were misogynistic and that was actually more difficult as the discrimination was more subtle. I did complain nevertheless to the admin about that but I didnt have to worry about getting a job in that speciality training program. My friend who wanted to do Paediatrics got sick of being asked what school she went to and what her parents did and gave up. More difficult than outright aggression is the passive and behind the scenes undermining which becomes impossible to confront and at the time seems petty, but overall is a more insididious form of bullying which women/girls particularly seem to excel at, sadly. Yes just said something gender biased.
  53. Dr. Brian Monger • Vivien – At Cabrini they don’t put up with much of that – they have a waiting list of surgeons to fill any gaps.
    Still not perfect though
    Vivien – you are so right. There are so many righteous people who do not
    tolerate other people’s opinions or views, and they use these tactics that
    you would think were passed onto them through 10 commandments by Moses and
    we all have to abide, agree etc. I deal with such people all the time and I
    am starting to crumble because it takes so much resilience and energy to
    deal with them, that I am beginning to think (may be because I am sick with
    flu) that self-preservation is more important. People in power use the
    empowerment in the wrong way and sometimes it’s hard to keep fighting it
  54. Mersi Halilovic • Karen,
    I think we always are at the mercy of other people’s perception, that is the reality which makes everything quite complicated.
  55. Dr. Brian Monger • And what is perceived by one as reasonable and assertive behaviour can be perceived by others as too much – and being a bit bullying.
  56. Dr. Brian Monger • Perfect communication is not possible – even good communication is hard
  57. Dr. Brian Monger • As per the message of the “Should women behave..” discussion. The key to dealing with bullying is to have a set of good behavioural tools that you can work with.
    And – recognising that everything is situation/context specific – and all behaviour is on a continuum.
    Bullying is not one single activity.
  58. Dr. Brian Monger • In novels and film we seen to appreciate the “morally abiguous” characters – but we cut little such slack in the real world.
    Be slow to find fault and quicker to accept.
    We need to understand things more – and in greater depth before we take a hardline stance on things I think
  59. Karen Price • Well said Brian. a toelrant understanding world.
  60. Mersi Halilovic • Agree with Karen, well said Brian!
    “Be slow to find fault and quicker to accept”- I really like this.
  61. Vivien Gardiner • The morally ambiguous character was a fashionable element of post-structuralism, but perhaps less so these days? Any theories anyone?
    IMHO, too much emphasis on tolerance and understanding creates a space for the rise of the intolerant and unjust. We must be vigilant about upholding our values and ethics lest they morph into something more sinister. It was social pacifism in post-WW1 Germany which allowed Nazism to flourish, remember?
  62. Dr. Brian Monger • Vivien, good thoughts (vigilant about upholding our values and ethics) – but Germany post WWI had a lot of social and political violence- Sparticists; Frei Corps Beer Hall Putsch
    1930 – Communists V Nazis and others
    Modern morally ambiguous antiheros that come to mind – Jack Sparrow; Batman; The Crow. Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen (Deadwood) Cromwell (Bring up the Dead) Tony Soprano; The Crow
  63. Dr. Brian Monger • At one time I used to punctuate lecxtures with pics of polar bears. Everyone kept watching (not playing with their phones) in case they missed one..
    Someone said they liked the bears and I said I had all the polar bear porn – didn’t go down well.
    Like the time I showed a class the whip I bought in Argentina. Told them it was a motivational tool.
  64. Dr. Brian Monger • Laura Croft; Catherine the Great; the crazy homocidal woman in the Luther TV series 9I like her) come immediately to mind.
  65. Anna Lyubomirsky • Marie-Antoinette, Joan of Arc, Marie Currie, Golda Meyer, Indira Ghandi,
    Katherine Hepburn, George Sands, Camile Claudel ….
  66. Mersi Halilovic • My list includes: Marie-Antoinette (my obsession…probably my past life 😛 ), Catherine Medici, Joan of Arc, Ida Dalser, ‘Samantha Jones’, Boutica (unsure of proper spelling)
  67. Charbel Yamouni • No, bullying is never justified; it not only belittles a resource it creates a toxic environment. Positive culture must be endorsed and led by the organisations executives ensuring bullying and harassment will not be tolerated.
    I believe bullying or harassment will drive the project to be unsuccessful or alternatively when handed over to operations (BAU) it creates major issues in realising the projects benefits.
    Bullying can possibly lead to depression which has its own implications; people need to be accountable for other people’s happiness in ensuring bullying is non-existent!
  68. Dr. Brian Monger • No doubts at all Charbel? No shades of grey suggest themselves? Did you read any of the previous inputs?
    I know that there is a lot of social chatter here so let me put in some earlier thoughts:
    When we seek to protect someone, something, from someone else – how do we stop ourselves becoming the new bully?
    There are shades of grey in this issue though. Kids bullying their parents into getting them a favourite toy? Teenage girls bullying their mums to let them do things that will help them ‘fit in’ with their friends – getting a piercing, going out late at night, getting their hair dyed? An elderly boss bullying his junior staff into meeting particular performance targets… the bullying behaviour manifesting in a carrot-and-stick approach.
    how about countries trying to bully say Iran to stop their nuc. program?
    Everything turns on situation and context I find.
  69. Dr. Brian Monger • Pushing people to help them realize their full potential isn’t always enjoyed by the pushed, (which in some cases can be described as bullying)
  70. George Stevenson • What do you do when an employee neglects elemnts of their job or is excessively slow and unproductive. If you try the softly softly approach and it does not work you have 2 choices; be more agrressive or rehire. Our employment rules and those of some of our Asian neighbours dont look favourably on firing without excessive counseling. Is taking an aggressive stance bullying?
    We critiscise our educators and parents for raising our kids wrapped up in cotton wool, are we then responsible for making them more susceptible to bullies?
  71. Vivien Gardiner • Good input George. I also wonder at times if our culture of “victimhood” is massaged too frequently. I have no experience of employing in Asia, but here our current workplace laws require disproportionate support for unproductive and problematic staff who cry “bully” whenever the topic is broached. Troublemakers are quick to exploit this and can create havoc in a workplace.
    Having said that, I think one can be firm without being aggressive. If the situation becomes untenable then the poisoned fruit must be jettisoned for the health of the whole, even if that is a disaster for that individual apple.
    Agreed, our kids need to learn strategies for coping with unpleasant individuals and situations.
  72. Dr. Brian Monger • Good comments Vivien.
    Bullies thrive when there is no effective ways to deal with them.
    I used to be fond of RUNM – rolled up newspaper model 🙂
  73. Dr. Brian Monger • Mind you RUNM only useful in person to person situations – Being bullied by an institution – like a university or govt dept needs other methods.
    Vivien Gardiner • I have great respect for the RUNM, having been at the receiving end often when my father was cross 🙂 Institutions are another matter indeed, but there are always like minds around. I’s just a matter of locating them and finding safety in numbers.
  74. Dr. Brian Monger • Only once did I hit one of my kids. I saw that as a failure for me. Only rarely have I ever had to use force in any situation. But most folk knew it was one of my options.
    The best strategy is to win without having to actually implement force. But the threat is also a form of bullying.
  75. Mersi Halilovic • I can see where George is coming from, which is why I said previously that perhaps bullying is sometimes justified…I think…I know that a number of us, expressed some politically incorrect opinions.
    I too fear that we are creating a culture of out of control, precious and cocooned children. You said that we “critiscise our educators and parents for raising our kids wrapped up in cotton wool, are we then responsible for making them more susceptible to bullies?”…there is a study that show that it is these overly protected and precious kids that become the bullies because the belief that they are precious, better and can do no wrong is instilled in them from very early on. I think that these same kids are the one who do bugger all at work and a lot of time get away with it, because we live in a society that frowns upon pretty much every disciplinary action and everything becomes discriminatory
  76. Dr. Brian Monger • Good thoughts Mersi.
    Just imagine a teacher not handling their class as if they were not precious and wrapped in cotton wool? 🙂 LOL!
  77. Mersi Halilovic • I was brought up with respect for authorities, including teachers and the police. I would never ever EVER dare speak to teachers and police the way I have seen young adults and school children speak. In countries where the children have stricter upbringing and are taught the meaning of respect you do not hear of suicidal and depressed teachers who are forced to quit their jobs because they cannot handle the abuse.
  78. Anna Lyubomirsky • Hi George,
    may be the emplyee in question needs more training, one on one support and skill management, developmental strategy, job rotation, Is there a reason for his/her lack of productivity? A soft approach may not be appropriate but a cut-throat one of being aggressive or get rid of them may not be that good for morale, the fact that the organisation has invested time, effort and resources for recruiting that person and more insight in needed as to why elements of their job are being neglected – lack of ability, skill, overload of work…I do not believe in wrapping anyone in cotton wool but black and white solutions are old school management I think…
  79. Dr. Brian Monger • Bullies succeed because they can.
    “Victims” need “effective” mechanisms to deal with it.
  80. Dr. Brian Monger • Mersi – I agree.
    It is a matter of civic and social respect.
    I think there would be little need to have to think about paying teachers more if the job was not so difficult.
    Mind you, I think teachers were at the forefront of promoting “accepting behaviour”.

Positioning your Product in the Market

Determining the Positioning Strategy

Dr Brian Monger

Having explored the alternative positioning strategies available, the marketer must determine which strategy is best suited for the firm or product and begin developing the positioning platform.   The development of a positioning platform can be seen as a six-step process:

1.  Analysing the buyers’ preferences

The earlier discussion of segmentation in this chapter, noted various factors that may distinguish groups of buyers, including situation, benefits sought, behavioural factors and lifestyle differences.  Each of these segments may have different purchase motivations and different attribute importance ratings.  One way to determine these differences is to consider the ideal brand, defined as the value offering the consumer would prefer over all others, including value offerings that can only be imagined but do not exist.  Identifying the ideal product can help you identify different ideals among segments or identify segments with similar or the same ideal points.

2.  Assessing buyers’ perceptions of our value offering. 

The organisation needs to determine how their brand is perceived by buyers in relation to their preferences in 1. above.  Which attributes are important to buyers in evaluating this type of product?

3.  Identifying competitors. 

This process requires broad thinking.  Competitors may not be just those products and/or brands that fall into your product class or with which you compete directly.  The organisation must consider all likely competitors, as well as the various effects of use and situations on the consumer.

4.  Assessing buyers’ perceptions of competitors. 

Once the organisation has defined its competition, they must determine how they are perceived by buyers in relation to their preferences.  Which attributes are important to buyers in evaluating a product and/or brand?

5.  Determining competitors’ positions. 

After identifying the relevant attributes and their relative importance to buyers, we must determine how each competitor (including our own entry) is positioned with respect to each attribute.  This will also show how the competitors are positioned relative to each other.

Adopting a positioning strategy.

Going through the previous steps will help a firm understand which position to (try to) assume in the marketplace.

These judgements raise a number of questions:

•           Is the segmentation/targeting strategy appropriate?  Positioning is the result of a decision to segment the market.  The question here asks whether the right variables have been focused on.

•           Are there sufficient resources available to communicate the position effectively?  It is expensive to establish a brand position.  Marketer need to commit to a long-range effort in all aspects of the marketing campaign.  Further, once a successful position is attained, it is likely to attract competitors.  It may become expensive to fend off me-too brands and continue to hold on to the brand distinction.

•           How strong is the competition?  The marketer manager needs to ask whether a position sought is likely to be maintainable/defensible, given the strengths of the competition.

•           Is the current positioning strategy working?  If current efforts are not working, it may be time to consider an alternative positioning strategy (repositioning).  If they are working, a change is usually unwise.  Change may cause confusion in the marketplace and weaken a brand’s position.  Unless there is strong reason to believe a change in positioning is necessary, stick with the current strategy.

           Monitoring the positionOnce a position has been established, it needs to be monitored.  Tracking studies measure the image of the product (or firm) over time.  Changes in buyers’ perceptions can be determined, noted and reacted to.  The impact of competitors can be determined

Did you find this article useful?  Please let me know

Also check out the article on Segmentation, Targetting and Positioning on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

Success is about learning to deal with failures – Part 1

Part of a Discussion started by Dr. Brian Monger

Brian Monger LinkedIn Profile – http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=28112234&authType=name&authToken=IRUg&trk=anet_mfeed_profile

Success and Failure Discussion – The Harvard Business Review group on LinkedIn



Aditya Madiraju • “Isn’t it time you learned how to treat failure differently? Isn’t it time you changed how you’ve been changing?” —

“Geeze this is not the plan I have invested in” – that is what I call failure. In general there are 4 types of failures — cognitive; social; financial and spiritual. In my experience the social failure that bites the most.

Dr. Brian Monger • If you are afraid to fail, don’t start?

Dr. Brian Monger • If you are afraid to fail – overcome your fear and start anyway?

Anthony M. • Thanks for the post Brian. The ideas around failure, what it means, how do we process it and can vs. should it be avoided are really interesting (there is similar discussion on the fourm and it’s insighful to see the diverse opinions and what it means for organisations)

There is a book by Michael Roberto called ‘Know What You Don’t Know – How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen’. In the book there is a chapter titled ‘Encouraging Useful Failure’ which explores this concept really well using case studies. In here it takes about what failure is important and the costs of culture that doesn’t deal with failure well.

‘Built to Last’ by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras also has some great discussion, with case studies, around this idea.

As someone once recently point out to me this ides is (or at the very least was) very popular in the ICT sector – where the mantra of silicon valley is ”Fail often, fail early, fail cheap”.

Someone once said to me the mantra of those who use failure

Dr. Brian Monger • Good comment. No-one knowingly sets out to fail.

Robert Pratt • My experience is full of failures as well as successes. I personally think a person can not really taste either, without having tasted the other. Probably, they last about the same amount of time. However, failure always seems to be eternal when it really is not.

The best way for me, (and I have to remind myself constantly) is to treat failure as a bad dream, and forget it as soon as I am awaken.

Anthony M. • What if by forgetting we also forget what we have to learn?

Robert Pratt • Is there a need to get burned twice to know what fire does? But, also there is also no need to be afraid of fire. Fire, has many uses and benefits. I do not know if I am making any sense. Failure = Fire. It has its good use, but if you stay to close for too long well, you will be well done. Same goes for failure if you let it stick to you, it will drag you down.

Anthony M. • Thanks Robert. We could be talking about two different things. I don’t find the idea of equating fire to failure helpful – it seems to imply we should be afraid of failure and try to avoid it because it is somehow painful, could lead to harm or other form of discomfort. If this was idea then progress and achievements made by people from James Dyson (5126 prototypes for his vacuum cleaner), Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Michael Jordon and many others wouldn’t never of happened. (See the link below – great list)


Maybe this is not what your saying though – are your implying we shouldn’t let our past failure be barriers to us achieving in the future. Don’t get bogged down in the past so to speak or let fear of failure adversley impact our future decisions? Or worse still choose to repeat our past mistakes not learning the right lessons from the first time.

Robert Pratt • Exactly to the second paragraph. I think of failure as a great teacher, but as students we should surpass the teacher. Learn from it, not dwell on it.

Aditya Madiraju • Brian, I think failure stems from 2 facts – not being upfront somewhere at the beginning and covering one lie with another. As long as these 2 are taken care of. I think failure is just a matter of “agreeing to disagree”.

We have to give the person the option to articulate their reasons. Only way to learn from mistakes.

Dr. Brian Monger • I think there is a phrase – success has many fathers while failure is an orphan

Aditya Madiraju • @Anthony, Many take waiting times as a proxy for failures. In my part of the world capital is such a scarce resource, people make ridiculous tradeoffs.

Hi Brian – I agree that is a popular saying most would have heard. The big question for each of us then is to we proscribe to it or do we own our failures. Even if it means we are the ‘only father’ so to speak.

Aditya Madiraju • Instead of going to Harvard AMP, they go to a less branded AMP 🙂

Dr. Brian Monger • I am always amused when reading the case studies of successful companies/people. Rarely tells us of the original plan, the many failures. I think most case studies are filled with lies really.

Dr. Brian Monger • If one studies battles, you will note that they rarely went to plan.

Anthony M. • If you look at the case studies in ‘Built to Last’ and ‘Good to Great’ they’re littered with the companies failures and there rarely is a grand methodical plan. More like a general idea followed by trying a whole pile of different stuff until they found what worked well.

Rashid Basheer • Success is learning to deal with failures, but to fall for the same mistake someone else has fallen for is not the right idea. We need to fall for new mistakes and failures so that the failure brings value to us. We neednt find something, others have already found. Learn and add value to the world, not merely learn.

Georgi Paleshnikov • Nice article, Brian.

Seems we are on the same wavelength on this issue. In another nice thread in this group, namely “Self confidence is it nature or nurture?” by Peter Gerlach, some of the followers, including me, express the same idea.

Failures are inherent in all spheres of human activities – both personal and professional. The way you deal with them determines your path in life.

We all speak mainly of successes and failures are not that much discussed, if they do not become a public issue, i.e. affect large groups of individuals. I think we would all agree that success is generally a chain of failures. Strangely though, our society rewards success and punishes failure as a rule. Isn’t this a peculiar paradox?

Georgi Paleshnikov • Success and failure are a strange though common duality, like good and bad, ugly – beautiful and many other things.

Just to finish my previous comment, I will cite an old Roman thought which says:

Ut vincas, disce pati, ut vivas, disce mori.

In order to win, learn to be patient, in order to live, learn how to die.

Everyone is free to make his conclusions.

Aditya Madiraju • @Rashid, in corporate world one can find fall guys. So at least experience provided has to be different even if the reason is similar.

Naela Blosh • we many not normally look upon failure as a good thing, but it is!! Of course, we don’t wish failure upon us , but if we do fail, there are just so many things that we can learn from it. Failures always teaches a person valuable life lessons. It prepares us better and makes us a more complete person. If we look back at our many failures, we would realize that had some of those failures not happened to us, many of the good things that subsequently happened wouldn’t have happened either. It is surprising that the thing that we thought at the time as the worst thing to have happened to us, turns up becoming the best thing .

Sanjib Chaudhuri • Whether it is success or faliure it is a judjement. its is matter of meeting some targetss/deadline. We are more concern about how otherss are viewing it.

So in my opinion ihoe we handle our critics is matter most otherwise most of us know to learn from our mistakes I repeat mistakes

Binod Atreya, Ph.D • How success is measured? For commercial organization it could be profitability. But at individual level, how we measure success? Is it a better situation than yesterday ? Is it the happiness? Learning from failures will shed on light to move forward positively. Individuals needs emerge once we satisfy the immediate ones. If the next need is not met, one could argue being unsuccessful. Therefore, what could be possible indicators for measuring success?

Georgi Paleshnikov • @ Binod Atreya: Good point, Binod!

Last year I came across something on the internet exactly on this issue. It could be interesting for this discussion. I am sorry for not being able to quote the source (I can’t quite remember where it was from), but here is a part of it:

[…] There is a dependence between the social-economic status of those, taking care of the kids, and the cognitive potential of those kids. People having low or middle level of social status have a quite different concept about the world. The IQ, a way to measure the intellectual potential, depends equally on both the genes and the circumstances, in which a child is being raised.

There exist several indications, characteristic of those who are “programmed” to be poor. Aptitude for regretting oneself – people susceptible to poverty, regret themselves and assume that they are not destined to be rich. Some people regret that they are not from the opposite gender, or that their figure is not perfect and this prevents them from getting the desired job. Some regret that they are not yet married, others – just the opposite. Self-regret is a means to anchor oneself to a certain position in life, it stops you on the way of personal development and thus eternal poverty is secured.

Greed – the drive to total cost-cutting and saving is not a sign of prudence but an indicator, that your income and expenses are not balanced and you try to solve the problem with the wrong tactics. When all your energy is concentrated on the search of promotions and discount sales, it is a sign that you possess the second feature of the poor. A person, programmed to be rich, is ready to pay the real price on things and services, and to reward generously his collaborators and employees, but expects the same from all the others.

It is often the case people work something they hate actually, no matter what, driving them in displeasure, just because they have to pay bills, loans or something alike.

These people are ready for the hardships of poverty and the cause of this are the feelings, driven from the necessity to do things, which are unpleasant for them.

The key point of escaping this habit of poverty is to do something not because you have to, but because it gives you satisfaction. This is the only way to improve yourself and achieve excellent results.

A “beggar” measures success only in terms of money. He is convinced that only owning a certain sum of money in the bank account could bring him happiness. Money has to make him happy because of the clothes he can afford, journeys around the world, independence of the partner, or indeed quitting the hateful job.

But practice shows that happiness never comes this way. A successful person measures happiness in different units than just monetary ones, and everyone decides for himself exactly which they are.

Calvin Wilson • Failure I believe is an imperative criteria or in a general /alternate term ‘experience’ which also coincidentally also projects its relevance to “success” – experience good or bad, success or failure has to come across ‘hands-on’, enabling us to learn, adapt, develop and apply strategies and efforts to ensure or minimize any repetition of past failures (experience) – learning is an infinite process.

Vangelis Vandoros • i think success is to learn to leave with wins or on the orher hand simply you can be a successfull loser just by learning to leave with your failures..just a simple thought.

Thomas Schildbach • I guess “try and error” is not a problem as long as the “error” is optimizing the number & quality of “tries” for reaching a target. Is the only success to reach a target or is it already successful to tune the “tries” and learn how to do this for future targets? Depends largely on the culture, the view angle and the individual satisfaction level, I would say. Some people say that the journey is the reward (and this is true, at least sometimes).

Dr. Brian Monger • Binod – success, personal or corporate is measured against definitions and objectives.  You define it, I can measure it.

Dr. Brian Monger • Trial and error is sort of OK. If you use some skills. Otherwise the error may well kill you. Actually or otherwise

Dr. Brian Monger • We try to manage so that the likelihood of success becomes greater.

If we do the planning (process) well then when we do stumble, we are better able to stand up again and continue

Rizvan M. Jaldeen PhD, CPM, MSLIM, MBA, FSSAM • Failure is also caused by some trying to reinvent the wheel. may be one can innovate the wheel but there is not need to invent it because its already there. Yes those who know how to deal with failures are the real managers / leaders

Managers who know how to deal with failure manage better and become better leaders. hosted a discussion on the same topic a few weeks ago.

Henry Obi Okwo some have alluded to, I have learned much more from failures than successes. If you are not failing enough, you are not challenging yourself to the max. How you react after failure is what counts the most. Risk and Failure go hand in hand, organizations should encourage employees to push beyond their comfort zones and take more risk without fear of failure.

Binod Atreya, Ph.D • @ Georgi and Dr. Brian: Yes, Georgi, you have touched the hearts and minds of millions people living in this world for those success means different things depending upon the situation and circumstances they are bound to live with. I agree with the last para people measures success in their own way.

Dr Brian, I agree with you that success can be measured against the definitions and objectives. Let me share an example of my own. Having a Ph.D degree was one of my objective and the day I was honored with the degree, I felt a great success in my career. Presently, the success for me could be different objectives and definitions and these go on changing once we move in our career. Do we measure success with the past?

Aditya Madiraju • Thanks Georgi for your comments.

Your comment – “There exist several indications, characteristic of those who are “programmed” to be poor. Aptitude for regretting oneself – people susceptible to poverty, regret themselves and assume that they are not destined to be rich.” really resonated well. I have found similar arguments in other Linkedin groups focused exclusively on Sales and discourse on Self-Confidence in this very group.

In the context of this discussion… I have to wonder if the attribution of failure is really because of “regretting”. Many people do use more exaggerated language many times…..

Dr. Kulbir Bhatti • Success is what we yearn for & failure is what makes us who we are today. As the famous quote by Francis Bacon goes-

“Prosperity discovers vice; adversity discovers virtue.”

To put it in the language of management-

“True success is Continuous Quality Improvement, taking failures as a feedback mechanism!”-

Thomas Schildbach • How can failure making & learning be turned into a success? Actually the basis is, that failure are allowed and are ok as long as you learn. Starts with a positive feedback…people receiving only negative feedback or comments for failures will try to avoid them or hide them in the future. A missed chance for development.

You observe this when you have kids..the processing of failures or negative scenarios makes them more experienced, self-confident, robust. Failure are simply an important factor for development.

Karthik Chinnasamy, MBA PMP • @Henri Obi – I think you are spot on Henri! How you react after failure determines what result it is going to give. One can decide to take it as a huge hit on their pride, their ability to succeed, etc., and go with fire on all cylinders to do whatever it takes to succeed. Or, there are a few who gets depressed, come to a conclusion that failure would be inevitable and do not take the risk of putting the efforts to be successful. Personal circumstances do matter, but at least one should constantly try and achieve smaller things by taking calculative risks rather than not trying at all due to the fear of failure.

Robert Pratt • It depends. If circumstances allow it, then the experience can be use it right away, and apply it from this point forward. Sometimes circumstances do not allow for immediate rework.

Aditya Madiraju • Analytically speaking Trial & Error is also known as Champion Challenger framework. Which when used effectively does create a platform to fail cost effectively. But I find very few takers for disciplined implementation.

S. Soner Selçuklu • I think learning from mistakes does not work well all the time, it is not a cost effective way to live your life. Also, we can’t know whether the alternative action would be the correct one. Countless alternative actions can exist. Plus, even if we promise ourselves that we won’t repeat the mistake, it is likely that we will make the same mistake again. On the other hand, using problem solving and thinking techniques that help to forsee potential consequences and learning from other’s mistakes and good experiences are actions that can help us to avoid failure.

Georgi Paleshnikov • @ Soner Selçuklu • You are quite right, Soner. Wise people learn from the mistakes of others, not from their own. That’s why history IMHO exists in the first place.

But world changes constantly, becomes more complex and thus more fragile. Plenty of room for new mistakes. Everyone prays it won’t be him. But after all, someone has to go the wrong way in order that another one finds the right one.

Dr. Brian Monger • Was it Eddison who said something like “I made 990 mistakes before inventing the light globe?

Dr. Kulbir Bhatti • A great point by Mr. Georgi & Dr. Brian here.

Just to simplify it a bit for novice minds like myself-

It is the virtue of successful people to learn from failures of others, BUT at the same time if the realm is an unexplored one, there are no lessons to learn from third-party failures!

In such a situation there is no other option than to be prepared to face the failures, learn from them. That’s how you deal with failures & eventually succeed.. just like Edison!

Georgi Paleshnikov • @ Brian & Kulbir: Excellent points!

When I said that “…someone has to go the wrong way in order that another one finds the right one” I did not exclude the option that this “another one” could be the person, who actually did the mistake. It depends on the way he deals with it.

If something does not kill you, it makes you stronger.

This is Part 1 of a very good, long Discussion.  More to come shortly.

You may also want to check out the other SmartaMarketing blog site – http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com – Perhaps subscribe and get regular notifications?

Favourite Words of Wisdom – November 2012

LinkedIn Discussion started by Dr. Brian Monger

LinkedIn Profile – http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=28112234&authType=name&authToken=IRUg&trk=anet_mfeed_profile

From LinkedIn – TED: Ideas Worth Spreading – Unofficial



Julianne Vaughn, MBA • Don’t resent the game – learn the rules … and then play your best.


Ed Foley • “Let It Be” – – McCartney


Ed Foley • “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – – Gandhi


Ed Foley • There will always be a faster gun


Ed Foley • Live for today, there may never be a tomorrow


Ed Foley • Dr. Monger, thank you for prompting me to think about it…you have me on a roll. One more for tonight that has really stayed with me ever since I heard the words (variation on “if at first you don’t succeed”):

“You can get it if you really want

You can get it if you really want

You can get it if you really want

But you must try, try and try

Try and try – you’ll succeed at last”

– Jimmy Cliff


Ipshita Mazumdar • Value every moment of the present …. as it is the only window that shows what you have been through in the past and what you are in for in the future 🙂 So live every moment like there is no tomorrow !


Dr. Brian Monger • Good thought Ipshita. I also do what I do, for tomorrow – not for me so much but for others


Ipshita Mazumdar • Thank you Dr. Monger, for bringing out this thought from my mind. A single good deed done for others, comes back to us manifold times …


Phil Frederix • Carpe Diem.


Thomas Meeh • We can predict everything, except the future.


Amy Lunov • Less is more.


rémy rodriguez • Brian I like these two quotations which guides me a lot:

“This is not looking at the light that we become luminous, but by plunging into obscurity. But this work is often unpleasant thus unpopular “(Carl Gustave Jung)

“we never possess really things. We are only holding them one moment. If we are incapable to let them go, it is them who possess us ” (Antony de Mello)


Damian Corbet • Follow your intuition. You may not succeed in your endeavours but at least, by trying, you’ll never have to ask yourself, “what if?”


Jane Canning • The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,

Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Omar Khayyam (fate)


Stefan Weyers • This too will pass

John Mark Williams • Follow your heart.


Dr. Brian Monger • Never put off until tomorrow what you can totally dispose of today.


Dr. Brian Monger • To thy own self be true


Oscar De La Peña • Fire with enthusiasm or you will be fired with enthusiasm!!! V.Lombardi.

Nobody left behind…USMC code of honor.


Naela Blosh • Genius is the ability to renew one’s emotions in daily experience. – Paul Cezanne


Dr. Brian Monger • A stich in time – saves nine


Dr. Brian Monger • Make something from nothing – one of the 36 Strategies of Asia. – One of my favourites. Any fool can spend a lot of money


Farzaana Garib • Never let success get to your head.

Never let failure get to your heart


Mark Bischak • It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.


Mark Bischak • Don’t put the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket – keep it in your own.


Mark Bischak • Blessed are those that can give without remembering and receive without forgetting.


Mark Bischak • You know you’ve got the greatest friends when the only time they make you cry is when you’re laughing too hard, or they gently touch your heart.


Richard Gould • Don’t sit on fences (You get shot from both sides)


Sarah Clark • The key to failure is trying to please everyone


Anupama Thakur • In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away


Ed Foley • “Don’t follow leaders, watch the parking meters” – Dylan


Ed Foley • The darkest hour is right before the dawn.


Crystal Kay • NEVER stop learning


Dr. Brian Monger • Albert Einstein: “I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity. The world will only have a generation of idiots.”


Dr. Brian Monger • More than one path to reach a destination – Meng Bo Yuan


Jane Canning • In every gain there is a loss; in every loss, a gain.


TJ Bren • Treat self, others and the Earth with the kind of tender care that ensures well-being. Everything else is detail to customize for your comfort.


Dr. Brian Monger • Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” – Jawaharal Nehru


rémy rodriguez •

The last two stanzas of a song of ” Atahualpa Yupanqui ” Preguntitas sobre Dios:

“Hay un asunto en la tierra

Mas importante que Dios.

Y es que nadie escupa sangre

Para que otro viva mejor.

Que Dios vela por los pobres ?

Tal vez si, y tal vez no .

Pero es seguro que almuerza

En la mesa del patron. »


“There is one subject on earth

More important than God.

That nobody spits the blood

So that the others live better.

Does God stay up the poor people?

Maybe that yes, maybe that not.

But it is sure that he lunches

At the table of the boss.”

The penultimate stanza speaks about the disappointment on the human nature and its incapacity to suffer for the others.

The last stanza was treated repeatedly by other poets anti-authority as Sartre or even Pascal, but as the subject is taboo it’s little approached by the men of property.

Atahualpa led a fight for his people by wondering all his life, aout the contradictions between the acts of gringos and what their God said to them that was good or bad.


Dr. Brian Monger • “Learn from the mistakes of others; you can’t possibly live long enough to make them all yourself”


Duane Sharrock • “Nothing fails like success. In other words, when a challenge in life is met by a response that is equal to it, you have success. But when the challenge moves to a higher level, the old, once successful response no longer works–it fails; thus, nothing fails like success.” –historian Arnold Toynbee


Duane Sharrock • “Sometimes, when you win, you lose.” This applies in relationships, especially for conversations. I had first heard these words in a Robin Williams movie. Now, it reverberates as I read the book Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High.


Haytham Al-Nasairi • Make sure your words are nice and sweet, you never know from time to time which one you have to eat….


Sarah Clark • Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass.. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.


Michael Pinto • The definition of Insanity (I have this framed sitting on my desk so I look at it…very often): Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result – Albert Einstein


Don’t be afraid to make new mistakes everyday. Try not to repeat the same ones twice.


Thomas Yonker • This too shall pass.


Eswari Kalugasalam • There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts – Mahatma Gandhi


John Urwin • Don’t try…just do. Yoda.


Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your destiny.


Vlad Kunko • “A good day starts with a good breakfast.” — Winnie-the-Pooh


Ed Han • In whatever you do, make it about the people, not the work. Do the people part right and the work will follow.


Lynn GentryWood • Never do something permanently stupid just because you are temporarily upset.


rémy rodriguez • “La sagesse commence où finit la crainte de Dieu. Il n’est pas un progrès de la pensée qui n’ait paru d’abord attentatoire, impie.”

” The wisdom begins where finishes the fear of God. It is not a progress of the thought which seemed at first attentatoire, godless. ” (André Gide / 1869-1951 / Newspaper 1889-1939 / January 15th, 1929)

“Tout le problème de ce monde, c’est que les idiots et les fanatiques sont toujours si sûrs d’eux, tandis que les sages sont tellement pleins de doutes.”

“All the problem of this world, it is because the idiots and the fanatics are always so sure of them, whereas the wise men are so full of doubts”

(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)


Jane Canning • Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt Lynn. Agreed.


Arabi Mahbub • Wisdom of the all wisdom is that the Life, of the Human.


Jim Walters, D.V.M. • How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct. – Benjamin Disraeli

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.- Henry David Threau

Classic marketing mistakes

Everyone markets.  Some do it well.  Others not so well.

There are many mistakes in marketing which we see time and again.  Are these mistakes you are familiar with?

Our market  is – Everyone

Not Marketing to a Defined Group: Find your target audience and gear your marketing plan to that audience. Trying to appeal to everyone typically does not work.

We need new customers

Not Focusing on Repeat Business: Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers and not building relationships with current ones.

The Research Tells Us …

Relying on the results of market research as the deciding factor when making marketing decisions is a risky proposition. Why? Because research is inherently fraught with many potential problems. These problems are often the result of how the research is designed or how it is executed.

Pump More money/effort into Promotion

Viewing marketing problems in terms of promotional deficiencies is extremely shortsighted. Marketing is much more than advertising. Sales problems could be the result of numerous other marketing problems. Before deciding to spend more on promotion it probably makes more sense to spend time reviewing all marketing decisions to make sure problems do not lay elsewhere.

Not Having a Clear Marketing Message:

Marketing messages that are contrived, confusing, too subtle or too long can easily miss the target market entirely. The most ingenious marketing plan is wasted if no one gets it.

Having the Best Product on the Market

You might think it’s the best product, but remember the marketer is not buying the product. The marketer’s target market is supposed to buy it. If a marketer can’t understand why customers are buying a competitor’s product when the marketer thinks the competitor’s product is inferior then the marketer does not know the market well enough.

Our Customers Only Care About Getting the Lowest Price

No they don’t. They care about the best value for their money. Customers first and foremost want to feel comfortable with their purchase and know they got their money’s worth from their decision.

We Know Who Our Competitors Are

Most marketers when asked to name their competitors can easily rattle off a list. While the length of this list shows strong knowledge of the market, what is more important is who is not on the list. Companies not viewed as competitors are potentially the biggest threat to a company, especially for companies operating in a rapidly evolving market.

What Matters Is Profit

Sometimes a firm must make strategic decisions that sacrifice profits in order strengthen other parts of the company.

No time to Plan

Marketing executives within fast moving industries often feel planning beyond the short-term is useless since the market changes so rapidly.. A marketing plan can help the company insert controls on marketing expenditures. It also has the added benefit of having marketers take a step back to see where the company has been and may uncover important information that was not apparent earlier. Additionally, a marketing plan may help ensure that everyone within the company is on the same page with regard to the basic direction of the firm’s marketing efforts. This may prevent finger pointing down the road. Even if a plan is limited to only covering the next six months of operations it is an exercise that should not be avoided.

Not Getting Feedback:

Test your marketing ideas and do focus groups. Don’t launch it without getting some feedback first.

Making a Change for the Sake of It:

Just because you are tired of your marketing plan doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Too many marketers make changes because they think they have too. Often a tried and true formula will keep working.

Want more marketing ideas?  Have a look at smartamarketing.wordpress.com.  And check out the Marketing Association website – http://www.marketing.org.au

Brian Monger

How to present an offer that can boost your response and increase your sales

There are many ways to present an offer that can boost your response and increase your sales

There are hundreds of offers and thousands, perhaps millions, of offer variations. Some offers are proven winners. Here are 60 of them to get you started

1. Free Trial. This may be the best offer ever devised. People can try your product for free and without obligation for 10 days, 15 days, 30 days, or more. The time frame should fit the product. This offer removes risk for the prospect and overcomes buying inertia.

2. Money-Back Guarantee. This is perhaps the second-best offer. A customer pays up front—but if dissatisfied can return the item for a full refund. Like the free trial, this offer removes risk but allows you to use customer inertia because only a small percentage of people will take the trouble to return something.

3. Free Gift. When you offer a freebie that your customer wants, your offer will usually outpull a discount offer of similar value. That’s because a gift is a more tangible benefit.

4. Limited-Time. An offer with a time limit gets more response than an offer without one, especially when you give a specific deadline. It forces a decision, and the faster a decision the more likely it will be in your favor.

5. Yes/No. You ask your prospect to respond positively or negatively, usually by affixing a Yes or No stamp, checking one of two boxes, returning one of two reply forms, etc. This offer creates involvement and usually pulls more response than an offer without a No option.

6. Negative Option. This option is generally used with a free trial. You allow your prospect to try your product for free and then you bill (or begin repeated automatic shipments) unless the prospect specifically refuses the order within a certain timeframe. Often the result is higher returns and a few more irate phone calls, but the negative option pulls better up front and can produce higher overall sales.

7. Credit-Card Payment. Nothing is easier than paying with plastic. These days, there’s no reason not to accept credit cards, whether by phone, mail, fax, or the Internet.

8. Sweepstakes. You can dramatically increase your order volume. Just remember that running a sweepstakes can be a pain, sweepstakes customers are seldom loyal, and many marketers find that once they start using sweepstakes it’s hard to go back to more-traditional offers.

9. Double-Your-Money-Back Guarantee. Since most people never make a return, this is a simple way to dramatize both your offer and your guarantee for low-priced items.

10. Long-Term Guarantee. This is another way to dramatize your offer and guarantee. Instead of a 30- or 60-day guarantee, you offer a one-year, multiyear, or lifetime guarantee. If you can reasonably expect your product to last, this puts inertia and forgetfulness on your side because few people will take advantage of, or even remember, your guarantee later on.

11. Guaranteed Buy-Back. This is just another way of offering a standard money-back guarantee. You offer to “buy back” the item if your customer is not satisfied. It is often used with collectibles and durable goods.

12. Guaranteed Acceptance. If people usually go through an application process to use your product, access your service, or join your club, you can provide a guarantee to accept them. You’ll often see this offer with credit-card or financial products.

13. Limited-Time Introduction. This lets prospects try something with little risk before making a greater commitment. “Try 13 weeks of The Wall Street Journal for only $34.00.” You must track responses, though, and be sure your conversions justify the lower price.

14. Yes/Maybe. This is another way of making a low-commitment or no-obligation offer. You’re happy to get the maybe response, which could be for a free trial, product information, an introductory offer, etc. And if you get some yes responses, that’s gravy.

15. Dollars Off. You offer a certificate or coupon with a dollar value that may be redeemed toward a purchase. Or you simply show the original price, cross it out, and offer a lower price. However, test carefully, because a free gift of equal value often works better.

16. Refunds and Rebates. With a refund, you may ask $3 for your catalog and send a $3 discount certificate to be used on a first order. With a rebate, you offer a delayed discount, which encourages a purchase, and then you send a check or coupon with a particular value.

17. Sales. A seasonal sale is a trusty standby to raise volume. A “reason why” sale is similar but gives some explanation for lowering the price, such as going out of business, inventory reduction, or overstock.

18. Introductory Price. This allows people to try something at a reduced cost for a short period. You can use this to get new customers, though it may annoy loyal customers who might feel they should get the best price.

19. Relationship Discount. This is the opposite of the introductory price. For example, new customers pay $30, while regular customers pay just $25. The goal is to reward current customers, not get new customers.

20. Group Discount. To target certain markets, you can offer a special discount exclusive to a type of profession, industry, club, etc. For example, an investment magazine can offer a “professional discount” for accountants.

21. Quantity Discount. The larger the order, the better the deal. For example, if your customer orders five books, you provide a 5% discount, or you offer a lower per-issue price for a two-year subscription than for a one-year subscription.

22. Step-Up Discount. This resembles the quantity discount but is based on the incremental dollar amount. For example, a 5% discount for orders over $50, a 10% discount for orders over $100, and a 15% discount for orders over $250.

23. Early-Bird Discount. This encourages more and faster orders. Make sure the discount is a real discount. Don’t just raise prices for those who order later.

24. Price-Matching. If you compete on price, you offer to match any competitor’s price. The idea is to assure prospects that you offer low prices.

25. Trade-In. You offer dollars off when a customer trades in a previous model or version and buys a new one. The trade-in can be your own brand or a competitor’s.

26. Last Chance. This is usually a reminder that you’ve previously made an offer and time is running out. If you say “Last Chance,” mean it.

27. Limited Edition. This works well for art, plates, coins, special book printings, and other collectibles. The item is special in some way, and there is only a limited number available or there’s a time limit on the item’s availability.

28. Enrollment Period. You establish a “window of opportunity” when prospects may enroll for insurance, home study, business services, etc.

29. Pre-Publication Offer. This is a popular offer used by book publishers, especially for expensive reference works. You need to plan your print run, so you offer a special deal to reserve copies. Readers are guaranteed a copy and save money, usually 10% or 15% off what others will pay. Actually, you could use this for anything that is “published,” such as software, but you’ll need a different explanation.

30. Price-Increase Announcement. Announce price increases ahead of time so people can take advantage of the old prices one last time or can stock up.

31. Charter Membership. You offer the chance to be one of the first to subscribe to a publication or join a club or an organization. A special introductory price, gift, or other incentive is usually included.

32. Payment With Order. This is not a motivating offer by itself, but it is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. It’s often used with a money-back guarantee and sometimes with other incentives, such as a credit-card-payment option or a premium.

33. Bill Me Later. You get some of the promotional power of a free trial offer but with a stronger sense of obligation. This appeals to the modern consumer who has been trained to postpone payment until the last possible moment. It can double response over a straight cash-up-front offer.

34. Installments. This offer takes a larger price and divides it into a set number of smaller monthly payments, usually with no interest. This makes a high price less painful. It’s most effective when you highlight the installment amount and de-emphasize the total price. You can come up with your own name for it, such as “Value Pay.”

35. Positive Option. This is the reverse of a negative option: The customer must take some action for an item to be billed or shipped. Response to this offer is lower than it is to a negative option, but overall customer quality is often better.

36. Reservation Option. You offer to reserve or set aside an item that will soon be announced to the general public and which may sell out. You may also give a special price or a premium as a reward for responding by a certain date. It’s similar to the pre-publication offer but has more urgency.

37. Free Shipping. People are used to paying extra for shipping and consider it a necessary evil. But you can offer it free as an unexpected and inexpensive incentive.

38. Gift-Shipping Service. A customer sends you a gift list, and you send the gifts directly to everyone on the list for free or for a nominal charge. It’s convenient and generates a lot of orders simultaneously.

39. Rush-Shipping Service. You promise to ship an item overnight or within a shorter time period than normal shipping. As with gift shipping, you can offer this for free or for a small additional charge to cover the extra cost of FedEx, UPS, or other service.

40. Free Keeper Gift. This encourages prospects to make the decision to try your product or service. You offer a gift, and they can keep it even if they change their minds later on.

41. Free Gift With Payment. This encourages prompt payment, increases cash flow, and helps reduce instances of no payment. You can give a gift for every paid order or for orders of a minimum value. You can offer one gift or multiple gifts.

42. Choice of Free Gifts. You offer a choice between two or more gifts. Though this seems very appealing, it’s less effective than offering a single gift, since the choice may create indecision and inertia.

43. Stepped Free Gifts. You reward customers based on order size. The more they order, the more gifts they get or the higher the gift quality.

44. Two-Step Gift. The customer gets a small gift for taking a first step and a bigger gift for taking the next step. For example, you can offer a freebie for trying your product and then another freebie for buying the product.

45. Cumulative Incentives. This is a reward for customer loyalty, such as points for buying books, frequent-flier miles, or every 13th rental free. This approach works best when the customer can see the value increasing. For example, you can provide a running total of points earned on each billing statement or order form.

46. Deluxe Version. You offer a second version of the same item, but with enhanced features, for a little more money.

47. Good-Better-Best. This gives your prospect a choice of quality. It also subtly urges people to spend more than they might if you can demonstrate that the “best” choice is the best value. Ideally, you should show more features for higher-quality items.

48. Load Up. In a continuity series, you send all the items in a series after the first few are paid for, allowing your customer to continue paying month to month. Or you might offer a certain number of items for a low price with a commitment to buy a certain number at the regular price within a certain time frame.

49. Membership Fee. You ask your prospect to pay a onetime fee to become an exclusive member of your club or organization in return for reduced prices and other benefits not available to the general public. The fee can be assessed yearly, or it can be a larger, onetime, lifetime fee.

50. Ship Till Forbid. This is often used with continuity programs, business services, or perishable products. Your customer gets the convenience of regular shipments and the option of canceling those shipments at any time while you get regular orders.

51. Free Information. This is the ideal offer for identifying interested prospects for a sales staff, making two-step sales, creating a list, and initiating a first contact for a long-term relationship or sales cycle.

52. Free Samples. If you have a good product, it can sell itself if you can get a sample into a prospect’s hands. You can offer a free sample or charge a nominal fee (which may encourage the prospect to try it).

53. Free Gift for Inquiry. You offer a gift as a reward for requesting information about your product or service. As you might expect, this can boost the number of prospects who inquire but lower their quality.

54. Sales Call. Your prospect asks for a salesperson to call and set up an appointment. This produces high-quality leads, but a much lower overall response. Generally, those who want to talk to a salesperson are ready to buy.

55. Free Survey of Your Needs. You offer to analyze your prospect’s requirements with no obligation. When the prospect responds, you show how your product or service can fulfill those requirements.

56. Free Demonstration. This is especially good for new or complex equipment. You offer to bring the item to the prospect or invite the prospect to a particular location for a demonstration. You can also send a free CD demo or offer a demo version of the product.

57. Free Estimate. For businesses that get bids or analyze costs carefully, this a good first step for getting a foot in the door.

58. Free Subscription. You offer a subscription to a newsletter, journal, or other company publication to educate prospects and build your database. It should include valuable editorial material, not just promotional puffery.

59. Member-Get-a-Member. You give your customer a free gift for providing the name of someone else who may be interested in your wares. This is a good way to build your customer base.

60.  Free Happiness with every order.  Try a little humour/whimsey

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