Roy's Blog: August 2016

August 22, 2016

Your best speech happens when you screw-up

It’s counterintuitive, but your best speech can be given when you screw up.

I’ve had all the nightmares happen to me. Slides come up out of order, I suddenly forget the point I’m trying to make in the middle of a sentence, power is interrupted and slides disappear and the room goes dark, my iPhone goes off while I am speaking and a heckler chooses to be a co-speaker and tries to dominate the airspace.

These unpredictable events are opportunities; time to pump it up not shut down.

The psychology is quite simple.

People like the unpolished, un-slick and informal.

They like real.

And real is having the unexpected happen in a presentation. 

The key is what you do when it happens.

And if you recover well that’s what the audience will remember and talk about; the screwup contributes to the experience they had with you.

They forget that the microphone went out and remember what you said and did when you were silenced by technology.

Don’t deny the event.

It happened and everyone knows it.

Use it as a catalyst to send you in an unplanned direction.

Use it as a force to do something different.

Use it as an opportunity which may not otherwise have presented itself to surprise people and blow them away with your ability to go with the flow.

Acknowledge the heckler, thank them for the interruption (yes thank them!) and use their point to strengthen your own. Never put them down; honour their right to disagree with you.

When you forget your point, make a joke about yourself - “An unexpected senior moment highly unusual at the age of 30”. People love it when you make yourself the butt of a joke.

My formula…

Screwup success = stay on form (keep your momentum going) + SURPRISE ‘em with something they don’t expect.

Think about what you will do before it happens.

Be prepared for “Murphy”.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 8.22.16 at 06:06 am by Roy Osing
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August 15, 2016

5 ways to get dignity and respect as a customer

I have seen people attract nightmare service and I have seen others attract caring, respectful and dazzling service.

From the same organization.

From the same server or customer service rep.

Despite the fact that an organization has a strong customer service culture and employees are recruited and trained to deliver amazing service, the customer controls much of “the moment” and it’s outcome.

Customers can do these 5 things to at least have a fighting chance for a memorable service experience.

(FYI, I suck at most of these but in a rare moment when I actually practice what I preach, I am amazed with the results I am able to get. I continue to try harder….)

1. Don’t bitch about the line up. I know it’s more than annoying but I guarantee that laying out your frustration on the server will get you less of what you want not what you expect. Empathy and cheerfulness will reap you the unexpected rewards.

2. Lose the righteous customer attitude. You are not superior to them. Bullying those who serve is a terrible behaviour on so many levels. Try treating them as an equal human being with feelings and watch the magic that results.

3. Smile and be light hearted in your demeanour. Happiness creates the right atmosphere for a delightful experience; gloom, doom and frowns is ominous foreshadowing and puts the server on guard rather than being open to serve.

4. Try to be gentle if there is a screw up and your expectations are not met. In fact since you are dealing with a system comprised mostly of human beings I think it’s a good idea to LOWER one’s expectations to stand a better chance of being satisfied.

5. Ask for the manager ONLY if there is no other option. Avoid the temptation to jump to this action too early. Give the server the opportunity to solve whatever problem you’re having and redeem themselves. No one likes to be disempowered from making it right with a customer.

In a perfect world, organizations with a customer centric strategy would deliver flawless service to us consistently.

But we live in an imperfect world where our outcomes in large part depend on what WE do and how WE behave in a service situation.

Give it a try.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
“The Weird” must inherit the earth
8 ways you can build #marketing muscle
Your competitive claim must be more than just hot air
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  • Posted 8.15.16 at 05:14 am by Roy Osing
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August 8, 2016

8 ways you can improve your marketing effectiveness

There are organizations that are really good at marketing who they are and what value they create.

They exhibit marketing effectiveness.

They have marketing muscle.

There are others, on the other hand, who struggle to get their message across and are not contenders.

Building marketing muscle isn’t just the job of the marketing department; the entire organization must take on the responsibility and work in harmony to deliver it.

Try this muscle building routine.

1. Consistently WOW! your customers. Delivering awesome customer service is fundamental to building muscle; it’s the basic platform you need to build a strong sustaining brand. If you don’t serve your customers in an exemplary way (or at least have plans to), ignore the rest of this article.

2. Lead with innovation. Be the first ones to do something creative and “out there”. Yes, it’s risky to try something new, but if you try often enough you will have the winners that add dimension to your brand.

3. Surprise your market. Do something that people don’t expect. Muscle builders pulse surprises from time to time, creating buzz and attracting a great deal of attention. And they don’t surprise just anybody; “delight tactics” are aimed at their loyal customers. Check out Richard Branson to see how it is done.

4. Earn the customer’s business everyday. Don’t feel entitled to it just because you have it. This is all about never taking the customer for granted; assuming that since you already have them, you don’t have to do much to keep them. This is a fatal mistake! Investing in deepening your relationship with a customer and earning their trust will not only keep them spending with you, it will also motivate them to “spread your word” to others.

5. Integrate yourself in your community. People want to do business with organizations that care about the communities they are in; that give back in some meaningful way. Muscle is built with a HUGE dose of humanity, and social investing is an effective way of allowing your softer side to be seen. And target community investments to programs aligned with your strategic plan; avoid trying to support every cause out there.

6. Adopt “customer learning” as a core competency. Learn about your customers as a continuous process rather than a periodic task. Customer needs, wants and desires change and it is critical to keep up. Muscle strength grows proportionately with how knowledgeable you are about who your customer is and what their top priorities are.

7. Have fun! It’s amazing how impactful it is to shed the business formality thing and show an informal playful persona from time to time. Casual language, humour and making fun of yourself are ways to show your customers “it ain’t all about the bottom line”.

8. Think “personalized”. Shift your thinking from mass production to personalized value creation. Narrow your focus to create solutions for small groups of customers rather than trying to come up with one size that fits all (which doesn’t work anyway).

Keep in mind that muscle form isn’t developed overnight; it can take years of blood, sweat and tears before the market sees you as a contender.

However, there is no time like the present to get on with it.

Define your muscle building program.

Start executing.

Don’t look back.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Recent articles you might like
“The Weird” must inherit the earth
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  • Posted 8.8.16 at 06:06 am by Roy Osing
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August 1, 2016

“The Weird” must inherit the earth

“The best” describes someone who conforms to rules and expectations more closely than others.

They spell more accurately; answer history questions more correctly and score the highest mark on linear algebra exams.

“The best” does a masterful job of performing their task according to the rules of the day. They colour inside the lines perfectly.

There are certain professions where we want the highest mark. It would not be comforting, for example, knowing the pilot scored a blistering 25% on his aircraft landing test. Nor would we trust our life to a heart surgeon who had a bypass surgery success rate of 4 out of 10.
These types of professions we want the best and need “in the box” thinking and performance.

In business, however, conformance to a set of rules or a set of standard operating rules does not guarantee success. When organizations conform, they all look alike; they are all the same.

They all are members of the herd who are indistinguishable from one another and struggle to gain competitive advantage.

Conformance to a best practice might improve operating performance but it will NEVER create strategic success.

Organizations who consistently succeed are brilliant at not merely thinking outside the box, but creating a new box to play in.

They create a new form with a different set of lines to draw in.

They are masters of contrarianism and going the opposite direction to the momentum of the crowd.

They focus on separating themselves from the herd.

Don’t press yourself or others to be “the best”.

Honour the weird, odd, crazy, quirky, strange, “out there”, ridiculous and unusual.

Signs of weirdness.

Weird people:

- Find the notion of doing it like everyone else repugnant.
- Hang out with other weirdos.
- Aren’t taken seriously by the crowd.
- Are quite often the target of bullies.
- Are infatuated with technology and the cool things it can do.
- As young students were often In the Principle’s office.
- Hate following the rules.
- Turn out to be leaders of retro fashion.
- Invent their own language to describe the latest trends.
- Eat way too much pizza.
- Tend to enjoy their own company; they don’t have time for faceless crowds.
- Are fuelled by the art of the possible.
- Chase stuff.
- Aren’t afraid to fail; they do it all the time.
- Ask “Why?” in every conversation they have.
- Don’t use labels to define people. Weird is normal; it’s all they know.

The weird shall - no they MUST - inherit the earth.

Our future depends on it.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like
It’s about time we honoured weirdness
We’re weird at Zappos

  • Posted 8.1.16 at 05:08 am by Roy Osing
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