Thursday, June 28, 2012


Has Harvey Nichols just shot itself in the foot (again). A recent promotional flyer (A5, thick, quality card, impeccable printing) featured a 30-something stick-thin model in spray-on trousers peeing herself in anticipation of the sales.

Sales Director Anna claimed it was a reference to Pretty Woman. I don’t remember Julia Roberts walking around in urine-stained trousers….

Now I am not in the least bit outraged by this ad - just surprised that it fits with HN's demographic. I'd love to know how it affected sales.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


A recent LinkedIn discussion zoomed in on the issue of trust and particularly the question of how you cultivate it in others. How do you bottle it and dispense it when required?

Lots of debate followed which was tempting to engage with.

But then the penny dropped: If I just focus on who and what I trust - and to hell with what others think about me - then the whole issue goes away.

Just make sure that you trust yourself as well...

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Have you noticed how often the dragons of Dragons' Den disagree over what is and what isn't a viable business proposition? Sometimes to the point of agressive and entertaining argument.

This leads me to the unequivocal conclusion that those esteemed business gurus must be wrong - and completely wrong - at least some of the time. After all if two people disagree they can't both be right.

Now there are two ways forward from this notion:

1. If the dragons can't be right all the time, what chance do we mere mortals have of being right at all?

2. The dragons are mere mortals too - and we are as well equipped to make decisions as they are.

Which of these beliefs define your behaviour?

Friday, June 01, 2012


Persuasion and Influence are seen as the Holy Grail in many professions. From trade unions to advertising agencies, the clamour to change minds, alter perceptions and shift entrenched positions is deafening.

I'd be surprised if nearly every being on the planet hasn't attempted to sway another being at one time or another. It's endemic...but does it work?

My experience of persuasion has often been that the more effort one applies, the more resistance one encounters. And that, most definitely, also applies to sales and marketing.

There is another way. It's counter-intuitive; it's very simple; it's quite difficult; it works in a mysterious way...

It's listening.

Yes, you heard...

Listening is the most effective form of influence and persuasion. Now what do you think?