How To: Be A Team Player

Team Player

Today the people in our work teams might be spread out across the country – or the world. It is easy to take it for granted that because of technology, we are able to work together and solve problems no matter where we are physically. The need for good teamwork will always be a necessity. What can you do to be good team player and help your team run smoother?

  1. Be humble. Unsurprisingly, being a good team player means not focusing on yourself or thinking that your ideas are the best. On the flip side, not having confidence in your ideas is also a violation of humility. As the saying goes: “Humility isn’t thinking less of ourselves; it’s thinking about ourselves less.”
  2. Be hungry. Be willing to hustle. People who have a strong work ethic are often successful on teams because they don’t do the bare minimum. They want to do more than expected. When everyone on a team works hard, things go smoother.
  3. Be smart. Have common sense. Think before you speak. Think about what effects your actions will have on the project and on your team members.

It’s important to be able to identify what gaps your team has. And to look at yourself and see what you can to do make things run smoother.

What have you found to help your team run smoother?  


The Truth About Your Best Weapon

Information OverloadEvery day, thousands of advertisers and marketers wrack their brains. How do you spread your message, sell your products and change people?

Simple. Give something away for free.

Could this be the most powerful business idea of the century? Look at Google. Giving out free things made them obscenely rich.

A free search engine, YouTube and then Chrome, the free browser everybody uses. Plus free maps, free email… on and on.

Doesn’t free make your stuff less valuable? Nope. People don’t value things because they paid. They value what others value.

Doesn’t free attract the wrong people? Sure. But it attracts everybody. And if everyone likes it, it’s valuable.

And when people are hooked on it and they need it? Now you can charge real money for it. Or create a bunch of services around it and charge for them.


And since free works so well… you’re bombarded by it every minute. Chances are, you won’t even finish (or get the value) of this article. All because you’re distracted by something “free.”

The Cost of “Free”

Are you an entrepreneur, marketer or creative person? You’re especially at risk for this shiny object syndrome. Creative people crave new ideas, new projects, new things.

The new thing is exciting. So you invest time and money in it. And then… something else comes along. Another new idea. Of course, with “free” training.

It’s like somebody brought free donuts in the office. Mmm… tempting. Colorful sprinkles… creamy filling… you can taste the glaze just by looking at it.

And free? Don’t you pretty much need to eat one? It’s ungrateful to say no. Stupid to pass up such an opportunity. Right? Right?

Wrong. Dead wrong. Sugarcoated lies. Poison.

More than anything, new “free” stuff keeps CEOs, CMOs and smart people like you from completing projects. Jumping ship and switching strategies? This destroys consistency and momentum. And keeps you from ever seeing your potential.

A constant stream of new and free keeps you away from the best long-term game plan… Wrong or incomplete action is far worse than no action.

How many great ideas have you “tried” (but really just threw away) because of new and free?

And oh, does new and free ever make you burn through the cash!

So many hundreds of techno tools with free trials. All so impressive, effective and fun to use.

That is, until your accountant (or empty bank account) says you’ve subscribed to too many services. And jumped between too many platforms.

Do you work with employees or business partners? Oh… this is even more terrible.

Your people won’t keep up. The new/free stuff changed direction in your business yet again. And when the previous projects, tools and goals are suddenly irrelevant?

Harvard Business Review’s grim answer: your people won’t be loyal anymore. Nor productive.

A decade ago, information overload (distraction) costs the US economy $900 billion per year. Do you think it’s any better now?

Most people spend 20 hours a week managing distractions from emails alone. And even if you could recover the money, the time is gone forever.

If someone offered you 3 days of free training, what would this really cost you?

Free training is noise. It almost never gives you all you need to master the new skill you want.

Get rid of the messes and noise in your life.

Everyone’s fighting for your attention. And too many people are stealing it. Distraction is the greatest thief of time – and you can never get it back!

Sure, sometimes you need new innovation, new ideas. They can spark life into your business. But too many sparks cause out-of-control infernos.

Make sure new ideas give you strength, not destruction.

The Great Rewards of Minimalism

Steve JobsWhy did Steve Jobs always wear a black turtle neck, blue jeans and his New Balance sneakers every day? As the co-founder and CEO of the most valuable company in the world…

What did Steve know about decisions and distractions that most people don’t?

Every decision, every distraction sucks up mental energy. Even a small one, like what you’re going to wear. Instead, he wanted 100% focus on making Apple legendary.

“It’s what Apple said ‘No’ to that ultimately made them successful.” – Steve Jobs

Special forces on a military mission realize this. They maintain strict isolation. No contact with other teams, no TV, news nor internet. Why?

To protect their focus and deliver perfection on their goals.

How can you do this?

If you want results like you’ve never gotten before, get crystal clear on what you want. Then clean out all the distractions. Strengthen your focus.

Make your work environment and schedule as predictable as possible. The fewer decisions you make, the more effective they’ll be.

Once you develop this attitude, your life suddenly gets simpler. And it’s simply the fastest way to reach your goals.

Don’t Just Pay For Training, Learn Like A Master

People go crazy, even with paid training… books, conferences, seminars, multiple coaches, videos and programs.

And yet they’re completely overwhelmed. Stuff just sits on their hard drive or bookshelf. Useless. They don’t apply any of it.

Yes, you need a wealth of knowledge to build real wealth… but implementation is the key. How fast can you put the knowledge to work?

There are two kinds of learners: amateurs and masters. Both want just as badly to transform their life and business.

The amateur wants to get as much information as possible. As fast as they can. And the motivation feels good and helpful for a bit.

But as time goes by, there’s no real change.

The master learner knows exactly what their goals are. And yes, their goals might mean learning lots of skills down the road.

But what are the one or two skills to focus on right now?

And the master learner picks the right mentor or coach: somebody who stretches them just enough to change…

But not so much that the learner wants to give up: the master makes sure the training is broken down into manageable chunks. Reachable deadlines. Simple actions.

And the master doesn’t move on to anything else until they… you guessed it… mastered the skill they’re learning.

Which Kind of Learner Are You?

What does your finances, your business reveal?

Now that you know the honest truth about new ideas and free training, what will you do?

Yes, giving away free stuff can be your greatest marketing weapon. But eating up time consuming free stuff is easily the biggest business problem today.

Make it your aim to be the kool-aid producer, not just a kool-aid consumer.

And when it comes to kool-aid, only drink the flavor that makes you more alive. The kind that rockets you toward your goals.

How to Succeed With The One Habit of Highly Effective Marketers

This one habit is everything: finding the right people.Predictive Modeling

Because let’s face it, this is more important than all the sales methods, copywriting techniques and negotiating tactics in the world. The wrong person doesn’t have the money. Or they don’t care. Or may not be as easy to convince.

If your marketing doesn’t get you in front of the right people, you’ll never sell. Plain and simple. Yet even this is not enough. In these competitive times, if you try to sell to everyone who will buy…you will fail.

Starbucks understands this. They know that 40 out of 100 people are willing to pay 50 cents for a cuppa joe. Yet they find and focus only on the 8 people willing to pay $2 to $5 for the luxury blends. (And this is why all those corner coffee shops went out of business.) If you’re not targeting the crucial 20% of your audience (or 10%), you need to learn how. And how do you do it?

Predictive analytic models.

Yes, there are a variety of these models to increase your revenues and delight your customers. But don’t let all the science or choices scare you. Here are some (hopefully) simple, real-world examples to help you know what to do.

Think of these models as tools in a toolbox. (You wouldn’t use a saw if you needed a hammer.)

First, just like in the Starbucks example above, you need to segment (or cluster) your audience. Who are the 50-cent people? Who are the $5 people?

This is not just demographics like age and zip code. Want to delve deeper and get a more profitable answer?

Customer Behavior

Some of your customers may be big spenders on their first order. Others may purchase less at a time but be more loyal, long-term buyers. Still others may buy more because of discounts. Do they contact you via your website, in person or use the phone?

Not only could you look at average order size or total revenue for each…what about days between orders? Total number of orders? Total items per order? Size of first order? Number of products in their first order? Percentage of spending on discounted items?

Let’s say you have a group of frequent buyers with small orders. A simple offer like this could really increase your profits: “Earn double reward points when you spend $20 or more.”

You could also segment your customers by product. Do they like coffee or tea? French or Italian roast? If you represent multiple brands, which brands do your best customers prefer? Which brands do they have the least interest in?

Have you thought through who your best customers are (or might be)? Talk to an experienced data provider about this kind of segment/cluster modeling to help you analyze your own buyer data. And once you know who your very best customers are, you still need to find more people like them. How?

Propensities Predict Profits

The best data companies can also match your best customers with their records – and find a whole lot more of the best kind of people, ready to buy from you. From this new, larger list, propensity modeling can rank each listed person a number of ways:

You can predict someone’s…

  • Future lifetime value as your customer – even before they buy from you. This data also tells you their demographics, email and what channels they use to buy. Can you see just how valuable this is when choosing how to market to them?
  • Share of wallet. For example, if a customer spends $100 with you, is this 10% or 90% of their total spending on this type of product/service for a given time period? If you know your future revenue potential with them, you can design campaigns to capture this money.
  • Propensity to engage. If they don’t click on emails, you don’t want to send emails to them. Or you might see that they will answer the phone or open direct mail.
  • Propensity to unsubscribe. This allows you to know how often to send them emails. If they are good buyers but likely to unsubscribe, send them emails, but less often.
  • Propensity to convert. You already spend enough getting offers in front of people. Reduce your spending by only putting offers in front of people likely to respond.
  • Propensity to buy. When you know who is ready to buy and who isn’t, you also know how aggressive to make your offers. And ready prospects don’t need high discounts. Stop eating up your margin with them. (But you might want to make more aggressive offers to get incremental profits from people who are still high value.)
  • Propensity to churn. One auto insurance company used this model, calling it their Auto Insurance Switcher model. Think of how profitable it is to know who is likely to buy your insurance now but switch next year to get the current cheap rate. Instead, you can reduce ad spending while increasing profits – all by targeting people more likely to stay with your company.

What You Must Know About Propensities

Propensities, when used right, can be scary accurate. They can predict what people will do, long before even they realize what they are going to do. Yet this kind of math has lots of variables. Here are a couple common ways to fail:

  • Use one provider to analyze your data, but buy your list from another vendor.
  • Use one set of methods to select your best customers, but another set of criteria for your prospect list.

A good data partner can help you gather your data, compile reports, identify your audience and best prospects. Every winning company this coming year will take their data and their data partner very seriously.

After all, finding the right people is the one habit of highly effective marketers.

What will you do? How do you find the right people?

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