Just short of two weeks ago I had the great fortune to attend the Gazelle's sponsored Fortune Small Business Magazine Growth Summit in Las Vegas. It was an opportunity for Gazelles Coaches to get together, share best practices and learn of the new developments in coaching our clients.
The highlight of the summit was the speakers, some of whom you may already have heard or read their books. My intention in the next several blogs will be to update you on some of the highlights from these speakers so I can whet your appetite for what's new and what you should be considering for your business.
Robert Bloom was the first speaker, retired executive with the Bloom Agency. He was CEO for many years taking over from his father and was instrumental in many of the firm’s major clients including Southwest Airlines and Zales, the Diamond Store. He offered a number of ideas on the topic of growth and from his book The Inside Advantage, a formula for discovering this "uncommon officering."
If you wish a copy of the Growth Discovery Process use the contact us menu and let me know. I've just ordered and received the book and expect to garner more insights from this as I unravel it.
As for the major subject of his speech he offered 6 Growth Realities
1. Growth is the most universal problem for any business.
2. Doing what you do best and doing it better than anyone else will grow your company faster than anything else. He provided lots of evidence for this with Southwest Airlines and their focus on their core principles and brand promise.
3. The most important word in business is customer. He offered evidence of this with the fastest growing franchise in the world - Curves. They have a very specific customer in mind and they do everything to serve them. He offered their "no lockers, no mirrors, no men" as just part of that strategy. [We'll get into customers and loyalty much more when I provide the material and ideas Fred Reichheld, The Ultimate Question offered in his speech]
4. There is no such thing as a commodity product, only if you let it happen. He offered an example of Telecom who fostered as their promise, "faster to the market" to differentiate themselves in the very competitive telecommunication field as evidence that there is always an opportunity to do it differently.
5. The best way to expand your size, scope and profit is from the inside. Capitalize on your strengths he said. When he was working with Neiman Marcus he remembered an ad the CEO approved that he asked that they take off their address. The unspoken intention, if they don't know where we are they're probably not qualified to be a customer. It was a way of reinforcing the exclusivity of their brand.
6. The enemy of growth is in action and complacency.
The Inside Advantage offers some real insights into discovering your Unique Selling Proposition or Brand Promise by following the steps he describes as the Growth Discovery Process. Again I intend to read the book and be back to you with the ideas that stimulate more discussion on this.
I plan to be back shortly with more from the Growth Summit. Dr. Robert Cialdini's presentation on the Power of Persuasion had some wonderful examples one on the power of reciprocation for tipping that I'm sure you will enjoy.