Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Look ,Learn and Rapid Networking at CIPD Olympia 2014 #cipdLDShow

Approaching Olympia from Hammersmith this morning, I wondered whether the CIPD had changed its initials to NCIS.

 Along the pavement I was being passed by competitively striding folk with their eyes fixed with purposeful intent on the exhibition centre. 

They were wearing obligatory lanyards and clutching their to-go coffee cups. 

 They faintly reminded me of the members of the Major Case Response Team MCRT  ie. dead ringers for the likes of leader Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, and his team of Dinozzo, McGee  Ziva and Abby et al.. 

Maybe they were  hurrying to catch up on lost time lost travelling due to the tube strike.

It all became clear  when I got to Olympia and saw a  make shift door sign. 

 The CIPD show were sharing the Olympia site with two other exhibitions/ conferences on forensics and counter terror !

Morning business was a little slow at the CIPD show due to the Tube strike. But by lunch time the dedicated L and D community had beaten a path to the doors of Olympia and the place was  buzzing.

This year's exhibition is a "Look and Learn" event,

The L and D community are constantly on the look out for what's hot and also the longer term value L and D can add to the heart of business.

As a show for L and D types, supplier stands give an opportunity for the inner thespian to burst out.  

The variety of stand dress varied from matching team T shirts ( black, green and red) seemed the most popular colours. Other sartorial approaches included orange tank top short sleeve sweaters, painters' white bib and brace overalls and ponchos with wide brim Mexican hats.

Ironically those presenting role play services and presentation coaching from the conventional theatre schools like RADA -in -Business  and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama chose conventional business attire.

Former TACK colleague of mine, David Starkings 
now Senior Account Exec with IT training 
specialists New Horizons London
It is always good to meet up with colleagues, catch up on the goss. with suppliers, conference centre providers plus a chance to do some networking at CIPD. 

The range of exhibitors this year include Publishers, Qualification based Training, Suppliers of Technology.  

The Training Suppliers seemed to have the lion's share of stand space , covering offerings on Action centred learning, Blended and e-learning, Drama based training,Experiential training, Outdoor based, Face to face m multimedia, and open and distance based learning.

 In the training support segment there were a plethora of assessment and psychometric offerings.

The free seminar zones this year are 

1. Topic Tasters
2. Learning Arena
3. Technology for learning 

The seats for the free lectures are as popular as ever
 at the Topic Tasters, Learning Arena and Technology
for learning open theatres.

The CIPD have a speed networking area facilitated by Tracey from CIPD Ripon, Yorkshire. The lunch time session was sold out. This successful exercise is in its fourth year at the show.

First morning session - early bird net workers

Lunchtime session sold out. Tracey explaining the ground rules
with her stop watch and  football whistle at the ready.
She denied she would be moonlighting as a referee this evening
 at nearby Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge Semi final for the Champions League
( Come on you Blues!)

Jonny Gifford CIPD Research Advisor
 I attended Jonny  Gifford ( CIPD Research Advisor) excellent Session on:

 The value of Social tech:

What difference does it make?

My report will be published shortly or as NCIS' Agent Dinozzo might say to Gibbs

" I'm on it boss!!!"

The show continues tomorrow . Definitely worth a visit.

Related links

Car Park - keeping delegates happy and keeping your training session under control not over spiced

Day two of the London Underground (The Tube) strike is causing problems for some . Getting around our city has been a struggle. The Car parks  full to bursting . Drivers are hunting around for spare places. Their time is wasted and stress levels raised.

Providing an 'ideas car park' is useful for learners and  trainers  / those who run meetings. 

Often in a training interaction you may need to check with your delegates what they want to learn from the session, you may need to test for current concerns  and check points they wish to bring up.

Spicy Training is a set of short
Trainer the trainer tips,
 max. of 250 words with visuals,
 suitable for mobiles
They may raise an issue which cannot be dealt with in detail during your session because there is not be time to cover it or authority present to action it or it may not be relevant to your central theme.

A place to park Ideas

The purpose of the Car Park flip chart is to quickly and positively  acknowledge the viewpoint and display it. This allows you to swiftly return to the central theme of your session and keep on track but keeps an atmosphere of shared and 'democratic' learning.

Your 'Car Park' sheet can be quickly
prepared and taped up before your session
Additional Advantage of the Car Park Flip chart 

Often the points recorded on the Car Park can be used as material and ideas for items for a future session.

Related Links

Training issues from L and D Technologies 2014

Thursday, 17 April 2014

FRUITS OF SUCCESS WITH HUGH blog hits 250,000 pageviews

250,000 pageviews to this site

Thank you very much to all who have visited my Blog.
*Apologies to  Rogers and Hammerstein – Sound of Music

“For here you are, at my blog, surfing me
Whether or not you should
So somewhere in my past or childhood
I must have done something good...”

Over 500  selling related posts

Some highlights :-

“On the go” info for your mobile

Professional Selling (140 posts)  

Conference Reports (42 posts)

 Presentation Skills (14 posts)

Plus some meerkat meanderings with Aleksandr and Bogdan Orlov ! ( who say "Hi" to all in Meerkova)

Loads more posts to come in the future - so please return soon

Good Selling

*You Tube Clip of the real song from Sound of Music ( Tissues at the ready!)

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Selling and Giving Rights - Faith Trust and GOSH - Pixie Dust

After The Business Biscotti  networking meeting last Wednesday in Gloucester Road, I decided to walk to my next appointment at Earls Court Exhibition Centre for the 2014 London Book Fair. The Fair is much about Rights , Copyright, Access and Publishing. So mind was wondering about such things in the Spring sunshine.

As I cut through Collingham Gardens SW5 and noticed a wonderful eye catching display at No 5. Giant inflatable Rabbits !!

They were collecting for the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital for  this Easter

No 5 Collingham Gardens
In  April 1929 the Great Ormond Street  Hospital for Children (GOSH) was the recipient of playwright J. M. Barrie's copyright to the Peter Pan works, with the provision that the income from this source not be disclosed.

This gave the Children’s Hospital control of the rights to these works, and entitled it to royalties from any performance or publication of the play and derivative works.

 Four theatrical feature films were produced innumerable performances of the play have been presented, and numerous editions of the novel were published under licence from the hospital.

When the copyright originally expired at the end of 1987, 50 years after Barrie's death, the UK government granted the hospital a perpetual right to collect royalties for public performances, commercial publication, or other communications to the public of the work.

 The UK copyright was subsequently extended through 2007 by a European Union directive in 1996 standardising terms throughout the EU to the author's life plus 70 years.

 J M Barrie’s gift of the rights to Peter Pan has provided a significant source of income to Great Ormond Street Hospital ever since they were given to the hospital in 1929.

Giant Easter Bunnies in Collingwood Gardens London SW5

Copyright Designs and Patents Act CDPA
The copyright first expired in the UK (and the rest of Europe) in 1987, 50 years after Barrie’s death.

However, former Prime Minister Lord Callaghan successfully proposed an amendment to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) of 1988, giving Great Ormond Street Hospital the unique right to royalties from stage performances of Peter Pan (and any adaptation of the play) as well as from publications, audio books, ebooks, radio broadcasts and films of the story of Peter Pan, in perpetuity.

Little Bogdan Orlov thinks it's a good cause too

In the UK, the CDPA therefore prevails so that the hospital will continue enjoying the benefit of Barrie’s gift in perpetuity.


This means that whenever a performance of Peter Pan is staged or a book published, a royalty (a percentage of the ticket price or book price) is payable to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

Well I found out more about the selling of Rights and the London Book Fair which I will write up on another post.
There's big Easter bunny behind you Bogdan !

Friday, 11 April 2014

3 Social Selling tips from the Vikings - Trade, Raid and Invade

* “Those that go down to the sea in ships, do business in great waters..” 

Business development is not the sole province of sales and marketing folk. Historians are also minded to re-think and even re-write their history.

The current “Vikings” exhibition at the British Museum, London has gathered some amazing artifacts that show us there are still further things to learn from the Vikings. The ‘old skool’ Viking mission statement that I grew up with was the classic three

Sack, Rape and Pillage.

But the Vikings were more than their stereotypical portrayal as eleventh century asset strippers and slave masters.

For those of us with an interest in commerce and human behaviour (Social selling) there are some fascinating exhibits on how Vikings went about their business and managed their export drives.

Outside the British Museum for the Vikings exhibition 

We can also see parallels of business of today’s digital business development which is following a similar path to how Viking business developed.

Perhaps the Vikings’ mission statement is better understood as:-

Traders, Raiders and Invaders

“They journeyed boldly.
went far for gold out in the east,
and died in the south in Saracenland”
                                              Gripsholm runestone AD 1000-1100

The Viking exports included timber, furs, amber, jet  and lignite. From the North Atlantic they used whalebone, walrus ivory .The hides of seals and walruses were made into ropes .

For these exports they traded with the east for silks, rock crystal,  beads and precious stones.

Vikings -life and Legend at British Museum 2014

At first the Vikings used simple barter where goods of the same value were exchanged. 

 Today the Internet provides barter platforms which the Vikings could only dream of !

Barter Internet sites such  Swap site offering many goods and services. and Goods for exchange, ranging from cars to ukuleles.  Clothing and accessories.  explains you how to arrange a clothes swap party with friends. Book-swapping site. Houses all over the world available for holiday exchanges. Community networks which link people who want to swap their skills and goods. allows businesses  to swap staff members' time with specialists in other firms.

For eleventh century Vikings beads, furs and dried fish were used as currency of ‘ commodity money’ because they held their value and came in quantities that were easy to measure.

Before 800 CE the Vikings had no coinage of their own .The first imported coins as metal valued for its weight and purity.

  There is a fascinating display showing portable scales to weigh things and also a mould for making silver ingots .The  eastern dirham  and western coinage were absorbed into their trading. They later developed their own silver and gold coinage.

inside the covered courtyard of the British Museum.
Love the way the shadows from the ceiling make a pattern on the walls.

Perhaps we can see a parallels here in  social selling where conventional money  has now seen the internet’s own ‘coinage’ such as bitcoins.

In the commercial exhibitions’ arena there were the Great Halls  of Viking communities . They would gather in such a place which could be  some 80 metres in length. These were spaces for public shows of wealth, gift giving and entertainment - a forerunner perhaps of the courts in  17th century Aragon which previous posts on this blog have  examined.
Through wonderful oral tradition of the Viking sagas later written down  ,the exhibition quotes from Havarmal written in  1270 CE on etiquette in the Vikings’ business.

“A man shouldn’t clutch at his cup but moderately drink his mead; he should be sparing in his speech or shut up; no man will blame you for bad behaviour if you go early to bed”

Regrettable photos on today’s Facebook come to mind. Quite possibly  the Viking selfies would  have be even more extreme than Neknominate snaps.

The Havarmal  offers pretty sound advice on the conduct that Professional Salespeople should employ at corporate hospitality events and business entertaining activities today .

So fellow modern day Vikings -I wish you Good Selling to you in your  equivalent to ‘trading, raiding and invading’ inspired by  our courageous Viking forebears. 

 Good fortune whether you go down to the sea in ships, on land , in the air or the virtual space of the Internet to do your  business.

*Psalm 107: 23

Related links

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Ennobled Selling, Discover Connect and Grow through Networking

This post is a 'Tapas sized 'selling tips-to-go
at the  "The Tapas Bar". each post is less than 250 words.

Watching the splendid and historic State banquet in honour of the President of the Republic of Ireland at Windsor Castle on TV last night, gave us a view of modern day royal court behaviour.

As networking events go, both the host, our monarch and her honoured guests last night, had to practice the arts of small talk mingled with serious affairs.

In his maxim No.11 the 17th Spaniard, Baltassar Gracian gives tips for today's courtier, the Business Networker !

Networking Selfie with Mrs Business Biscotti  (Sue)  at London
 launch of Business Biscotti Gold at London SW Biscotti 9th April
His initial encouragement sets our mind to a positive frame

Listening and Conversation

"Let friendly interchange be a school of erudition, and conversation, civilised instruction"

"Make friends your teachers, joining learning's usefulness and conversation's pleasure."

Balance listening with self esteem

"The intelligent ( Gracian is talking about you and me !) combine two pleasures, enjoying the applause that greets what they say and the instruction received from what they hear."

Celebrating with Nina the 2nd Anniversary of
SW Business  at Biscotti morning
 networking meeting at Gloucester Road Casino, London
Gracian further scrutinises

"Usually we are drawn to someone through our own interest., but here, that interest is ennobled."

Theatres of Greatness or Palaces of Vanity ?

"The circumspect ( we again dear reader) frequent the company of eminent individuals whose houses are theatres of greatness rather than palaces of vanity.

"They are those renowned for their discretion whose example and behaviour are oracles in all matters of greatness and whose entourages are also academies of good and gallant discretion."

No time to place bets just now - networking at Business Biscotti
Whether you are networking today at a Casino , an International Exhibition or a State banquet - Good Selling.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

5 minute Busy Busters Sales Network Building Tips

Building your network

Pick one of the following five and action it.

  1. Post an article on LinkedIn
  2. Stop by / phone a work colleague for quick catch up
  3. Send a thank you note to someone whose work you appreciate
  4. Check you calendar for any contacts you have yet to put on LinkedIn
  5. Digitise / Roladex/ Index any recently collected business cards

For further tapas sized selling tips-to-go
,drop into the "The Tapas Bar".

each post is less than 250 words.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Aleksandr Orlov goes to the Boat race 2014

Aleksandr meets new friend outside the Temperance Pub, Fulham 

YOU TUBE CLIPThe start of the 2014 University Boat Race

Putney Bridge,,
 Red Buses --Spring Blossom on the Fulham shore adds to the spectacle

All Saints Church Fulham from Putney Bridge
 - the start of the Boat race

Home for Seniors gets into the spirit on Fulham shore

Craven Cottage Fulham FC in background

Putney Bridge early morning of boat race day before the crowds arrive and high tide slack water of the Thames

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Scorn in Social Selling , 'Two Muppets and a Dunce' dangers of rubbishing your Competiton

Scorn in the Chamber of the Palace of Westminster 2014
Scorn in the Court Of Aragon 1647

Question:         Should scorn ever be a part of Social Selling as it is a part of everyday party  Politics ?

The weekly session of Prime Minister's Question time has a popular following for those enjoy  sound-bite political polemic. As an election approaches the questions and answers slip into school-yard name calling and scorn.

This week her majesty's opposition launched their attack on the cheap selling of the Post Office. The leader of the opposition Mr Milliband used a movie metaphor quipping that Mr Cameron was not so much The "Wolf of Wall Street "more "The Dunce of Downing Street." 

The  Scorsese film , still showing at selected Cinemas in the UK , is the story of a New York stockbroker.Jordan Belfort's life is enacted from his early life living the American dream to corporate greed. Belfort starts from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late '80s. 

The power of Milliband's scorning rhetoric played  on the alliteration of Wolf /Wall and Dunce/Downing street. The Prime Minister's retort was to refer to the Shadow Chancellor and Leader of the Opposition as the two Muppets  ( possibly referring to the new 'Muppets most wanted' movie ?) who with the previous Prime Minister Gordon Brown sold off the UK Gold at knock down prices. The content  detail of the debate will probably be forgotten but the Dunce and Muppet scorning will be remembered longer.

Scorn in the Court of Aragon and Social Selling

Baltazzar Gracian's 1647 guide The Pocket Oracle and Art of Prudence is worth looking at particularly his maxim No. 205 .

Know how to use scorn.

Gracian writes " The only maxim of the wise is never to defend yourself with the pen. since the written trace it leaves only contributes to a rival's renown rather than punishes their insolence."

The  2104 'traces' we social sellers leave today include email, twitter, facebook , LinkedIn , blogs and video sharing websites like You Tube.

" Unworthy people " Gracian observes " astutely oppose the great in order to gain a reputation indirectly that they do not merit by right...We wouldn't be aware of such people " Gracian notes  " if their far superior opponents hadn't paid them attention."

Gracian makes me think back to those strange requests to Link up with LinkedIn with folk one are unsure of their true motivation. Similarly  how threads on group forums where the 'conversations' can deteriorate from  uncivil through the banale to abusive within 5-6 comments. This also has echoes of Margaret Thatcher's phrase " the oxygen of publicity"

So what does Gracian advise that we Social Sellers consider as a better way to scorn ?

" There is no revenge like oblivion, which buries them in the dust of their own insignificance...The way to silence gossip is to pay it no  attention; to fight it causes harm, to give it credit, discredit. It causes rivals rivals satisfaction, for even a shadow of a blot tarnishes the greatest of perfection, though it can't totally obscure it."

The upshot of this advice of from 17th Century Spain is that it is seldom useful to rubbish or scorn the competition. It is unwise to be draw into being scornful of a competitor's offering by a potential client.

The tactics of scorn in politics do not transfer well to the world of selling. You never know in these days of multi careers, you may want  to sell for them later in your career. Keep your options open.

Good selling

Related Links

Other selling Tips from Gracian

Friday, 4 April 2014

Selling CHARM and avoiding smarm

In 1561 the Elisabethan linguist and diplomat Sir Thomas Hoby 1530–1566 produced a best selling English translation of “The Courtyer” by Baldessar Castillio a Venetian Courtier from the court of the Duke of Urbino.

In the book, the courtier is described as having
 a cool mind,

  a good voice (with beautiful, elegant and brave words)

  along with body language of proper bearing and gestures.

At the same time though, the courtier is expected to have a warrior spirit, to be athletic, and have good knowledge of the humanities, Classics and fine arts.
The above could make for a useful job specification for the attributes of a modern salesperson

Recruitment of Talent

 Salespeople are the courtiers of today’s modern business markets.  

A charming salesperson takes an interest in you, laughs at your jokes and is never intrusive or overbearing.

 Certainly, (s)he makes you feel good about yourself.

They may have their own agenda, but it is, or at least seems, subservient or complimentary to yours.

Of course, the charmer might also be a liar, charm is not as Stephen Bayley describes it “ a morally uncontaminated property.”

 The great thing about the charmer though is, they rarely lose. And if they do, they lose with a certain style and grace.

Charm remains exasperatingly difficult to define, but yet ever “ easy to detect, especially in its absence” so writes Stephen  Bayley in his book Charm.

 I think we also pick up pretty quickly on clumsily employed charm in the form of obsequious smarm.

Charming nature or Charming nurture ?

Charm can be trained argues Bayley, like accountancy, writing computer code or practicing first aid, or is it a genetic accident  like blue eyes?  Maybe it is something of each.
We can practice charm when we enter a noisy party and make new friends.

Bayley’s Three Musketeer Heroes of Charm   --Messrs. Ethos, Pathos and  Logos

The study of classical rhetoric and its three-part structure is helpful.
The first was ethos. This is where the speaker presents their credentials as an honest person.

 So for example, I might approach you at a networking meeting and offer you a biscotti biscuit and my winning smile J  and a polite inquiry about your possible need for a fill up of coffee. That's ethos.

Pathos is the way to make an emotional appeal. So, having furnished with the biscotti biscuit and replenished your coffee, I wonder how you are coping with the stresses of the economy, the dreadful weather ( floods has been topical), the effect of the Chancellor George Osborne’s budget.

 Third is logos, the practical line of reasoning when an offer of some substantial sort is made. Perhaps to fix up a quick lunch meeting, a coffee, appointment or visit to site?
Charm is not just a matter of ‘fluttering your eyebrows’ but of mastering the technical disciplines of persuasive communication.

Four skills help develop Charm - take a modern hero of charm  007

First is critical perception. How do you analyse your responses to a person or a place?

Second is situational analysis - the critical path through the circumstances you find yourself in.

Third, is literacy and articulacy.

 It's essential to know how to use words because charm is never mute. Find good words and use them well.
 Finally, anxiety management. Charmers are many different things, but they are always attractively... relaxed. And this is a quality they confer happily on all in their circle. Charm’s positive mental attitude makes everything better.

When you  trained yourself in all of this, you will know how to placate a cross customer. You will be better able to persuasively win an argument or a deal. You will be admired because you can liven up a dull meeting . You will like yourself more and so too will everybody else.

Charming people are emotionally and intellectually superior beings, never upstaged by circumstance, embarrassed by accidents or short of anything amusing to say.
In our often truculent and discontented business  market courts  we new charming salespeople would become

more easy-going, yet ambitiousmore  competitive, but sensitivemore confident, but consideratemore articulate, but  also good listeners too.

When you think about charm in all its meanings, you find a depiction of every sort of competitive advantage.

Charm is an essential tool for survival in the world of selling .

 In social life it makes everything more pleasant. In business life, it makes you more effective.
Manners - Baldassare Castiglione's Book of the Courtier is probably good background reading..

 Charm makes you better at business and better with people. Charm a will get you to sell better. We Salespeople don't need less charm, we need more.

Related Links and Reading

Charm by Stephen Bayley published by Harper Collins  the Friday Edition on Kindle
The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth  published by Icon Books
Hobson translation of The Courtier