Adam Harris on networking, referrals and the “Check-In Strategy” – MAF199

My guest this week is speaker and author, Adam Harris.

We chat about networking and referral techniques and how he came up with the “Check-in Journal”, which helps companies with goal setting and accountability.

Welcome to episode 199 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Adam’s unusual presenting style
  • What Adam has learned about networking
  • Why you need to be clear on your target market
  • How to approach people without appearing salesy
  • The inspiration for Adam’s book
  • Why businesses need to set clear goals

Who is Adam Harris?

Adam started off working as Sainsbury’s at 16, qualifying as a butcher and baker.

Ready for a change after a couple of years, he attended university before setting up an IT recycling company, then other IT business. 10 years ago, following the merger of another IT company he owned, he found himself at a loose end. He asked trusted friends what he was good at, and they said he excelled at making introductions and asking great questions.

Today, he helps senior staff make connections to leverage better opportunities. He’s a coach for CEOs and MDs, supporting them to become better leaders by giving them the right tools to get the most out of their teams.

Summary of our chat

When Adam speaks on stage he responds to the energy in the room, making his presentations an exploratory process. He challenges the audience and encourages them to think differently. He gets them to participate by asking them to work in groups or play games.

Adam developed his skill at making connections at networking events into a framework for individuals to get themselves in front of the right people. He says regular networking with like minded people does work, so long as the group you’re in includes members of your target market.

To get clear on your ideal customer, look at your current client base. Work out where they’ve come from and who are the top 20% who make up the bulk of your business. Take time to understand them, and use that information to ask for referrals and grow your company.

To approach people the right way, Adam says you should think about the methodology you use. If you’d be annoyed by the style of approach, don’t do it. You should be focused and narrow your target. Be specific when you ask someone to make an introduction.

Adam noticed that people agree action points during meetings which they rarely follow up on. He found a personal development journal, but realising there wasn’t a business equivalent, was inspired to create one. His “Check-in Strategy Journal” can be used in companies to support goal-setting, developing focus and being accountable.

Adam says that businesses often set goals they think they should have, rather than what they want. Goals can and should be reviewed and changed. It’s also important to balance the ambitions of employees and the organisation to benefit both and encourage growth

One Thing Adam Would Like Listeners to Take Away

In Nando’s restaurants, there is a wooden cockerel on the table. After the food has been served, the staff come back to check if everything is ok. If it is, they take the rooster away, and if it isn’t, they deal with the issue.

Adam implemented a similar system in his IT business, where they followed up with customers twice. This allowed customers to raise any problems and have them resolved. We don’t like to complain in the UK, but giving customers the opportunity to get their feelings off their chest is a great touchpoint to have in place.

A Marketing Campaign or Product Which Grabbed Attention

Adam offers advice to people who aren’t happy with their situation: If something isn’t working, speak, understand, challenge, get the support and find a way of doing something for yourself.

He often sees people who are stuck in a fear cycle. Our bodies and minds will often take the path of least resistance, but if you want to do something different and be challenged, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Sometimes people can do this themselves, but often they can’t, and need support to bring about change.

A marketing campaign that grabbed Adam’s attention

In Nando’s restaurants, there is a wooden cockerel on the table. After the food has been served, the staff come back to check if everything is ok. If it is, they take the rooster away, and if it isn’t, they deal with the issue.

Adam implemented a similar system in his IT business, where they followed up with customers twice. This allowed customers to raise any problems and have them resolved. We don’t like to complain in the UK, but giving customers the opportunity to get their feelings off their chest is a great touchpoint to have in place.

Recommended Business Book

Adam recommends Radical Candor by Kim Scott, which talks about the ability to be open, honest, vulnerable and challenging to the people in your life. If you’re holding back, you’re not doing yourself or them justice. It’s appropriate for using in your work and personal life, as she gives advice on how to be challenging without being aggressive, to help you improve relationships and deal with problems.

And this is the Check-in Strategy Journal – Adam’s book.

Links

If you enjoyed – Adam Harris on networking, referrals and the “Check-In Strategy” – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Lisa Conway-Hughes on the Miss Lolly blog and writing a money book – MAF198

My guest this week is Lisa Conway-Hughes, a financial adviser and author.

We chat about why she started the Miss Lolly blog and how this led to a book publishing deal with Penguin.

Welcome to episode 198 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Lisa Conway-Hughes on the Miss Lolly blog and writing a money book - MAF198

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • What motivated Lisa to become a financial adviser
  • Why Lisa set her website up
  • How Lisa simplifies complex financial terms
  • Why financial advisers use jargon
  • The feedback on the Miss Lolly blog
  • How her book came about
  • The process for writing her book

Who is Lisa Conway-Hughes?

Lisa started working for a financial advice firm after university before sitting exams to fellowship level. Joining Westminster Wealth Management in 2012, she decided to sort out her own finances when she had children.

Lisa runs a website called Miss Lolly, offering smart financial advice for women. She says that organising her own money was easy, but she wanted to give support to people who can’t or don’t want to pay for advice. Lisa is also writing a book called “Money Lessons”, how to Manage Your Finances to Get the Life You Want.”

Summary of our chat

Initially, Lisa got into finance because it was the first job offer she got after university. Once in the industry, she realised she’d developed a passion for it. She says there’s more to it than just pensions and tax. It’s about digging into people’s lives and building relationships. She finds it rewarding.

Lisa’s women’s networking group encouraged her to create an alter ego to stand out among the greyness of financial advice. Miss Lolly started as a Twitter account, helping people understand their finances and make the right choices. It grew from there, gaining press coverage and giving her speaking opportunities.

Early in her career, Lisa the company sent Lisa out to employers to explain how company pensions and benefits worked. She realised one of her talents was explaining complex financial products in simple terms. She uses the same tone of voice on her the website, so people could easily understand her explanations.

Lisa thinks the finance industry uses jargon like a safety blanket: “If we use it and our client looks mystified, it makes us feel us intelligent. They’re never going to leave us, they need us.” In fact, customers struggle to engage with jargon, and it’s better to communicate on their level.

When Lisa sent a survey out to her website users, she learned that she’s made a difference to people who wouldn’t normally seek financial advice. It was heart-warming to get feedback and not just a ‘thank you for answering.’ She learned that 25% of her blog readers are men, suggesting they also like her style.

Asked on a podcast what her plans were for 2018, Lisa spontaneously said she wanted to write a book. Penguin, the book publisher, then contacted her and asked to write a book for them. They helped her write for a younger market than she has for Miss Lolly and she learned what makes millennials tick.

Lisa said she had a short deadline to complete her book, and had to do a lot of rewriting to make sure she was giving the right information to the audience. She wrote on her way to work on the train and did research on the way home. She often worked all night or all weekend.

One Thing Lisa Would Like Listeners to Take Away

Lisa said when she first joined financial services, it felt like a different industry to how it feels now. She thought it was moulding her into what the industry had been, and not what it would be.

She’s pleased that she didn’t give in. Keeping her identity in an industry which might not have been a natural fit for her and succeeding in it as well.

A Marketing Campaign or Product Which Grabbed Attention

Lisa says she loves what Fidelity and Scottish Widows are doing with research into women and money. It’s creating media interest and encouraging them to write about these topics more often.

She also likes the John Lewis advert which talks about how they run as a partnership and that having skin in the game means you’ll go the extra mile and well beyond expectations.

Recommended Business Book

Lisa says the book that really stands out for her is, “The Automatic Millionaire” by David Bach. She loves the way he talks about doing small things regularly to have a big impact on your life.

It reminds her that that’s what she needs to ram home to clients and it’s not about getting the £1m but more about doing the little things every day that will make a difference.

Links

If you enjoyed – Lisa Conway-Hughes on the Miss Lolly blog and writing a money book – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

Don’t miss an episode of the MAF Podcast – subscribe now.

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3 power words to drive business in 2019

Inspire. Entertain. Teach.

These are the 3 words I’ve chosen to guide my business in 2019.

Welcome to Marketing Made Simple. So what’s with the 3 words? It’s a little exercise I picked up back in 2010. I’m not sure who started it, but I associate it most with famous marketers, Mitch Joel and Chris Brogan.

Every year I come up with three words that will drive my business and what I do in the year ahead.

In this video, let’s talk about why I’ve chosen, inspire, entertain and teach and how this fits with my goals to speak on more stages, produce more videos and finish my book.

The words are also integral to my personal definition of content marketing.

“Creating stuff that inspires, entertains and teaches people to know like and trust you enough to do business with you.”

What are your three words for 2019?

Did you enjoy this video? Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel right here.

This is the 7th in a new series of videos under the “Marketing: Made Simple” banner. I’ve been doing marketing tips videos for a while but putting them out under the title, Marketing and Finance TV. Whilst this title works for my podcast, I rarely talk about finance subjects in my videos. So it makes sense to focus on keeping marketing simple. Fighting the BS and the complexity. Marketing: Made Simple!

If you enjoyed this episode: 3 power words to drive business in 2019 – please share it with your friends and colleagues. You can use the social media share buttons just below.