Want to get better at following up with people?

Do you know Derek Halpern?

You should. He always has great advice that you can put to work on the spot.

I wanted to share his ‘Follow up Framework’ with you. It’s a simple little method that will help you become flawless at keeping in touch with the people you meet. And it goes way beyond the typical ‘great to meet you’ email.

I don’t know about you but every time I look at the pile of business cards on my desk, I feel like I may be looking at a collection of missed opportunities…

Check out Derek’s Social Triggers page.

fast customer

Can you keep up with your customers?

Your customers know more about your industry than you do.  They may not exactly understand the exact process that gets your product or service to them, but they do have an unbiased view on what else is out there. They also decide if and how they want to buy it.

The ‘how’ is increasingly about customers wanting more control of what the product does for them – its all about personalisation.  Most industries have already understood this but finance seems stuck in the past.  Again…

In the video below, Andrew Walker and I discuss how the finance industry needs to start paying more attention to the ways product providers from other industries had to evolve along with their customers.

As with previous generations, the young consumers that are coming of age today shop from different shelves than their more analog predecessors did.

But it’s a bit more complicated than that because today’s young adults don’t seem to care very much for investment products and I think it is mainly because of 2 reasons:

They came of age during a period of global economic crisis when finance fell from grace.


They are from an emerging economy without a traditional mass market of financial products.

How do you expect this new generation of customers to understand what it is you offer?

It’s a big question – I’d love to hear what you think…


Why ‘Talent’ is misunderstood!

Talent, skill and luck.  Three big words of which two are deeply misunderstood! In this episode of the BD-Insider podcast, I speak with my friend Roland Meerdter about what these words really mean in business.

Listen to the show below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or Stitcher

Roland is the founder and managing partner of Propinquity Advisors.  a strategic consultancy firm focused on the investment management industry.

Roland Meerdter
Roland Meerdter

He helps his clients –  typically large investment groups – to develop and implement customised strategies. He assists them with their distribution effectiveness,  building more robust product platforms and even improve investment capabilities.

Before that, Roland was actually one of the largest professional fund buyers in the investment industry when he was at a major financial institution but he doesn’t only know a whole lot about how asset management companies work, but his time in the family office space also gives him a deep understanding of how high net worth investors think as well.

I’m in regular contact with Rolland and I have learned that there are few people who understand the asset management industry as well as he does.

What we discuss in this podcast:

The term ’ talent ’ is used so causally that its meaning is diluted. There are really very few talented people in the world and it seems that the ability to identify and harness true talent is even more uncommon than talent itself!

This is probably because true talent is usually unpredictable and therefore very difficult to manage. Most large organisations and their shareholders don’t like surprises nor the uncertainty that comes with cruising through uncharted territory.

We’ve confided in a system where a premium is put on experience. While many believe this to be the trumping formula there is enough evidence around us that ‘newcomers’ have not only transformed the way things are done but have also created new paradigms.

I’m referring to people like Jeff Bezos of Amazon,  he was no expert in the book business, but that didn’t stop Amazon from re-defining how this industry works forever.

And you can’t really bring up Jeff Bezos without also mentioning Steve Jobs.  It’s not  about only what he achieved in the computer space, but even more so how he redefined the entertainment industry.  Again, Steve was no ‘expert’ and had little to no experience working at record labels or film production houses.

What we also know is that Steve religiously shunned ‘experts’! Amazon, Apple, who’s missing?  Google of course!

Google may also have changed the world forever, but it seems like they’ve only just begun. Think about all the mysterious work they are carrying out at their secretive but fascinating division called ‘Google X’. We don’t exactly know what goes on in there, but if exploring solutions to transport, commercial space travel and asteroid mining are some of the main activities we get to hear about, it makes you think that we may still not be able to handle nor comprehend all the other things their talent pool is tinkering with!

These are just some of the most obvious examples, but our progress has always been made by visionaries who spent most of their lives getting laughed at for their ideas.

And for those who finally found success, was it because of talent, luck or skill?  That is what we discuss in this podcast…

Arm Cross

How your body language shapes who you are

Amy Cuddy tells us how we can influence how we feel about ourselves though our body language.

Amy CuddyAmy is a social psychologist who is mostly interested in power dynamics, specifically the non-verbal expression of power and dominance. She is an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School.

We all know the cliche by now, the one that goes ‘most of what we say is not with words’.

However, most of us live unaware of the ‘vocabulary’ of our bodies because very few people actively use the unsaid in a conscious way.

What I find especially interesting about this presentation is that Amy shows us how our own body language has an impact, not only on others, but also on ourselves. (minute 7:30).

In this presentation, there’s a part about how we can quickly boost our confidence before we have to perform and make a great impression like giving a presentation, or interviewing for a job. (min 13:20).

But one of the main takeaways is about how to ‘fake it until you make it’. Amy tells a moving personal story about how she rose above feeling like an impostor to actually becoming the part.  (min 15:40)

Take 20 minutes to watch this inspiring and entertaining talk.

I hope you find this informative. Post a comment and let us know what you think.

keep it simple

What you should never do with journalists

I learned an important lesson the other day. Actually, I was reminded of something I should have figured out a long time ago:

I got four of our investment managers to block out time for a long conference call with a journalist who was commissioned to write a piece about our area of expertise.

During the call we wanted to impress the journalist by handing out as many of our insights as possible. Our objective was to clinch a big presence in the article by sharing our deeper and more refined insights with him. We pulled out all the stops.

In the end, all we got were a couple of minor quotes about some of the pretty obvious and mundane things we casually mentioned ‘in between’. Frustrating!

But we need to be fair here. The journalist wasn’t to blame. We are the ones who got it all wrong.

Here’s what we forgot: the media usually doesn’t have much use, time nor interest in trying to decipher your ‘insightful’ comments.  All they want are witty quotes they can attribute to someone who knows what they’re talking about because most of the time it’s only about writing a credible story and moving on to the next piece.

So, unless you give them something verbatim, in plain language, making your point in no more than two or three sentences, you might as well be talking to yourself.  If a journalist really wants more depth, it will become quite obvious from the questions they ask.

The ability to ‘Dumb things down’ is an important skill worth mastering. Somehow we all know it but we keep forgetting it.

Content is only great when it is useful and the user is the one who ultimately gets to decide when something is helpful…


Want to learn how to be a Rainmaker?

I want to tell you about an amazing podcast series that came online only a couple of weeks ago called ‘The New Rainmaker’.

But before we get into that, I’d like to ask you a question:

Do you listen to podcasts?

I do. All the time. I see at as an ongoing MBA program, only better because I get to listen to the best thinkers in the world, on my own time, for free!

I even listen to podcasts beyond the obvious ‘idle’ moments such as commuting, grocery shopping or while I’m working out.

You’ll even find me with my earbuds in when I’m doing routine tasks such as email, spreadsheets, admin, design and other activities that don’t require an interaction with others. In fact, I’m listening to the podcast I’m about to recommend while I am typing these words…

“My name is Baldwin Berges and I am addicted to podcasts”

OK, I made my case for listening to podcasts. Let’s get back on topic:

As I was saying, Brian Clark and Robert Bruce of Copyblogger Media recently launched the ’New Rainmaker’ podcast.

It’s tagline says it all: ‘Generate a flood of new business with the power of a personal media brand’

They could’t have chosen a better title for this series because the rainmaker is the one who brings in the business and the profits in any organisation. The rainmaker is a powerful person. Secure, respected, and paid-in-full.

So If you are serious about business development, you will certainly get tons of value from this show that became the #1 business podcast on iTunes after only one episode.

When you listen to it, you will immediately understand why.

Click on the link to give it a go:

The New Rainmaker

personal branding

A great little infographic for better personal branding

I came across a simple but very useful infographic that provides much clarity on how to approach the 10 main social networks in order to grow you personal brand.

Making the right impression online is important because people increasingly google each other before they meet.

What will they see when they look you up?

Thanks to the team at Boot Camp Digital – Cincinnati Social Media Training !

Tips, Tricks and Technology for Great Business Development