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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Relationship Marketing Lessons from Blu-Ray over HD DVD

Lessons From Blu-ray Victory Over HD DVD

By Terry L. Brock

The conflict quickly ended. It was the conflict raved about for a few years in the computer and business press. Over and over we heard that it was like “Beta vs. VHS all over again.” We heard that so many times that it become nauseating.

The end came the other day. When Wal-Mart made the decision to back Blu-ray over the HD DVD format, the final shot was heard in the battle. It was the battle of Yorktown for Blu-Ray (American forces) and HD DVD (the losing Brits). Now it is all over except for the dancing and shouting.

What lessons can you and I learn from this? What important considerations can we take from this event and apply to our own small business?

Lessons Learned:

1. It Is Not About The Technology. It Is Always About The Relationships. Both formats had good technology. It was the key relationships which Sony nurtured and cultivated that ultimately won the day. Yes, technology was a factor. However, the big decisions in business are made by people who make decisions for emotional reasons. Sorry about that, my die-hard techie friends. It ain’t about the technology. (I know, bad English but true). It always has been and always will be about relationships. Cultivate these and you build Relationship Marketing (R-Commerce).

2. Achieve Key Wins Which Stack Up To An Insurmountable Victory. Sony didn’t win only one battle in the Blu-ray vs. HD DVD fight. They won several over a period of time. You can’t win the ultimate prize with only one knockout blow (sorry, Hollywood -- it just doesn’t work that way in the real world). Don’t rest on your past victories. Each day, you face anew the opportunities to engage in competition and learn and grow no matter what happens. Become a better person with each day’s results.

3. Lower Prices Don’t Win The Day. HD DVD dropped prices recently in a last-ditch effort to win market share. Too often salespeople try to win business by just dropping their price. Don’t get me wrong; price is always a factor. However, it is never the primary factor. Relationships matter more. People will pay a little more (not excessive) to do business with a firm and people they know and trust. Building that trust is key to gaining business.

4. Supporting Technologies And Tie-Ins. PS3 is a strong player for Sony. It is unlikely that parents would buy more than one game machine for their kids. Therefore, it is imperative that Sony come to the market with some dazzling technologies to retain market share. PS3’s position didn’t hurt Sony in their Blu-ray combination. In your business, don’t have only one approach but have multiple tie-ins that “bundle” products. Phone companies do this with cellular, television, Internet access and more benefits. Think about add-on products and ways to tie customers to you in multiple formats.

5. Never Give In. There were numerous times when Sony might have thrown up their hands and quit. Hey, they were up against the behemoth of Microsoft. Remember just a few years ago when so many were railing against Microsoft as the devil incarnate? Couple Microsoft with the not-insignificant Toshiba and you have a powerful force. However, Sony remained undaunted. You are going to be slapped down from time to time. It is going to hurt. In the midst of that marketplace slapping you around, realize it is normal. No, they are not out to “get you.” Frankly, “they” don’t care. However, if you have that internal resolution and fortitude (read, guts!) to keep going in spit of the inevitable hardships and setbacks, you will succeed.

Winston Churchill made a famous speech, often misconstrued, to the boys at Harrow, his old school. It was on 29 October 1941. In that speech he told those boys to “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never in nothing, great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming fight of the enemy. Don’t not let us speak of darker days; let us rather speak of sterner days.”

In your own business and sales, you will encounter those times you want to give in. When those thoughts come, imagine Winston Churchill standing there (in a good, thick British accent) admonishing you to “never give in.” Somehow I think the people at Sony might have had that thought with Sir Howard Stringer at the helm as their CEO.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

3 Important Tips for Public Speaking with Tim Patterson

A couple of days ago I was visiting Salem, Oregon (beautiful place!) and had the chance to have lunch with my buddy Tim Patterson. Tim helps people, like you, to be better public speakers. He gave us 3 importance tips for anyone who is doing public speaking. If you're new or scared about public speaking, invest a few minutes with this video of Tim and you'll do a better job.

Here's the video. Let me know what you think.

Terry -

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Terry’s Tips And Technologies To Tackle Tough Times

By Terry L. Brock

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” Robert Schuller.

We’re supposed to be experiencing an “economic slow-down.” The so-called experts are telling us that times are hard and we need politicians to “do something.”

Yikes! I don’t know about you, but every time I’ve seen politicians “do something” it means we better grab and hold on firmly to our wallets. Good intentions often end up with very poor results, Milton Friedman used to tell us. Often the best thing for government to do is nothing and the best thing for you and me is to kick ourselves in the backside to get moving.

Yet, in the midst of an economy that could be performing better, we see great opportunities. Many have said that the Chinese symbol for crisis represents danger and opportunity. Expert Sinologist and Chinese Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Victor Mair disputes that saying that it really means crisis and danger. (See his excellent work at: However, I still believe that there is opportunity in every hard time. Napoleon Hill wisely informed us years ago that each setback or failure carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit.

I’ll go with Napoleon Hill on this one.

So, what opportunities are there and what can small businesspeople like you and me do in the midst of an economic slowdown (or whatever euphemism we choose to assign to these times)?

Strange that you would ask (as I’d say in my seminars) but I’ve got some ideas for you that can help you immediately---as in when you put down this paper or click off this web page.

Here are some tips and technologies that can help you tackle --- and defeat --- tough times.

Be Resilient. Bouncing back is the key to success anywhere. Charles Darwin was right about his concept of survival of the fittest. Some might not like to embrace that but it is true. Survivors are those who can adapt (quickly) and meet new environments. Others are weeded out. This happens long-term and it happens in the short-term. Build resiliency into your mental and physical stamina to overcome obstacles. Keep coming back when knocked down and you will make it. Think of the character played by Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke,” No matter now many times you’re knocked down, you can still get back up to fight. Just use judgment and know when to duck!

Be Flexible. A great song back in the 60’s sang, “Only the Strong Survive.” I understand the message of that but would modify it to say not the strong, but the flexible--- the adaptable--- survive. Those who can adapt to changing times thrive. Just building a better cart or buggy whip wouldn’t have beat the new-fangled horseless carriage of the late 1800’s and early 1900s. However, those who were flexible enough to stop building buggies and modify their knowledge of buggy-building (good term, huh?) into car-building not only survived but did very well, thank you.

Make New Plans. What worked before was good back then. That was then. This is now. New times call for new plans that comprehend the landscape today. This means you’ve got to study. How many books have you read in the past month? How many lectures have you attended? Hey, they are on the Net now in video form---for free! There is no excuse for not being educated! Get educated in areas that matter and make new plans.

Embrace New Technologies To Serve Buyers
. Don’t just get nifty, cool technologies. Hey, I know how tempting it can be. Focus on practical benefits for your buyers. Here are a few new tools that I like: 1) Tekkeon’s new MP1550. It is a battery-powered phone and PDA charger. Stay in touch with important people when your battery dies. 2) Ri-Data’s USB storage and extender. I love this little tool. I have a 1GB storage and it has a Y-form to allow for 2 additional USB devices. Cost for the 1GB is about $20. Nice. 3) – this is a great tool which is free for now. Call a toll-free number and you can leave a message. This message is transcribed automatically and sent to you via email. This is a great tool to jot quick thoughts and notes from your cell phone. This has been a great boost to my own productivity in many ways.

There are a lot more ways you can do more than just survive but thrive in tough times. Hey, this will be a great time to buy a bunch of bargains as you do the right things and others have to drop their prices. You’ll do better in business and have more money so you can buy more assets and income-generating tools at cheaper prices. Many millionaires made their money during hard times buying bargains and then reaping the benefits later.

Sounds like a good combination to me. Somehow I think Robert Schuller would agree.

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Adapt to Succeed in Hard Times - A Little Secret How

By Terry L. Brock

Ouch! Can you feel that pain? Yes, the economy is going through some challenges (that’s a nice euphemism for “It is really bad out there”). We read about it in the news and hear of difficult times ahead.

Is this a time for despair? I can understand why some would say it is. However, I think it is a great time for opportunities --- but only for those who can apply a critical principle that has worked for centuries. Keep reading and I’ll let you in on a secret of how to make it in times like these.

Every economic downturn has generated many astute, successful people. This week I interviewed Aldonna Ambler, a brilliant consultant based in New Jersey. Aldonna has helped many millionaires to burrow out of enormous problems. She has helped several Presidents (as in the Washington, DC, living in the White House kind). When she says something, I listen. She told me this week that she has always seen businesses who grow faster and do better in recessions. They take advantage of the times and leverage their abilities accordingly. Thank you, Aldonna!

Here’s something you can use: Follow the pain that your clients are experiencing. Become the solution for them.

Get your head out of your own problems and focus on their pain. Besides, you’ve probably spent way too much time complaining already about how bad you’ve got it. Get over it! Find out about the pain that others are going through and help them solve their pain.

Peter Drucker once said to someone who had been complaining about numerous problems, “Sure, you’ve got problem. So does the rest of the world. And what are you doing to help them? Once again, the Drucker man was profound.

Get out of your own problems and get focused on how to help others overcome their problems. When you do that you’ll benefit in two magnificent ways: 1) You’re likely to come up with some serious ways that will help your clients, customers and others. 2) You’ll also benefit in learning new skills to solve that type of problem (see, you’re already getting better!). Those customers you help will undoubtedly be grateful that you’ve assisted them. This won’t hurt in the long run when you’re looking for business! Even if someone you help is not grateful, you still gain. You learn new skills, new ways of doing things and expand your skill set. Even if some don’t appreciate your help, you gain new skills for others who will appreciate you. No matter what others do, you win!

Success in life comes as we do something that is counter-intuitive to our nature. It is natural to take care of yourself, think of yourself and focus on your needs. Little children only think of themselves and how they can get what they want. As they grow older, they learn they are not the center of the universe and have to get along with others.

In business we all want to have a bigger salary, a nice bonus, have a better position and all the accoutrements of success. This is good. The amazing thing is that the way to get what we want is to do the exact opposite of what comes naturally. It is natural to think of yourself. Hey, after all we all live in our own heads and see the world from our own perspective.

The delightful paradox of life is that we gain more by giving to others more. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get anything you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” The Zig man was right on target with that!

So what does this mean for you and me in our own businesses right now? Remember we’re facing ominous economic times---at least this is what many pundits want us to believe. Hey, it ain’t all that bad (I know---bad English but really true). The world has seen lots of economic ups and downs. It will see many more after you and I are gone. The principles of life are what matter and last. Focus on those principles that don’t change in a world that is constantly changing, and you’ll have an anchor to get you through any storm.

One of those principles is that the more you can help others achieve the goals they want, the more you will get what you want. During slower economic times you have a chance to sow some seeds that you wouldn’t under busier, more harried times. You can explore new options and stretch your mental muscles developing new skills.

Throughout history, only those species survive which have been able to adapt to changing times. This Darwinian principle is alive today. Yes, the world is different today than it was a while back. But the principles remain the same. Lock into non-changing principles in a time of ever-increasing change.

Learn new skills that will benefit others. Study the pain they are going through and learn how to help them overcome their pain. Get your focus out of your own head! Focus on the problems of others and how to solve them.

This strategy will provide you with the mental state to achieve the goals you want. You’ll help others and they will be grateful.

Who knows? You could come out on the other side of this economic downturn much better off for the long term. One thing is for sure---the more you help others achieve their goals and overcome their own problems, the more you’ll be able to achieve your own goals and live a better life.

It’s at least worth a try!

Terry Brock is an international marketing coach and columnist who helps businesses market more effectively, leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their days using time-honored rules and practical technology tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at or through his website at

Copyright © 2008, Terry Brock, Achievement Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.