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Terrific Tips from Jurek Leon

Eva Pettifor . 20 Jul 2017 . Comments
Terrific Tips from Jurek Leon

Jurek Leon’s Terrific Tips e-newsletter that is packed with anecdotes, ideas and examples on service excellence, customer focused selling, motivation and marketing.

As a speaker, trainer and retail consultant Jurek Leon provides entertaining, energising seminars and workshops are filled with practical tips, ideas and down-to-earth examples on word-of-mouth marketing, motivation, customer focused selling and designing and managing the customer experience.

The June / July edition is filled with more great advice and tips including positive signage, sticklers for standards and the trouble tree.

Sign up for your monthly dose of Jurek style inspiration

Welcome to the July 2017 edition of ‘Terrific Tips’ delivered to your desktop free each month.

An article in your June 2017 Terrific Tips newsletter, How to overcome negativity and spread the good news, mentioned some people’s lack of awareness and appreciation of the acres of diamonds they have in their own backyard.

Are you familiar with the ‘Acres of Diamonds’ story?

It’s one that’s had a great influence on my life. It was first told by Russel Conwell well over 100 years ago. I used to listen to it regularly in my car on an audio-cassette, I think narrated by Earl Nightingale, till the tape eventually disintegrated. That seems like almost a hundred years ago!

I’ve included an abbreviated version for you. It hope it inspires you to order the book which is once more in print. It’s even available on Kindle.

Getting across your online marketing message

“How much of the written information you put up at your website and in electronic promotional materials do your prospective customers read?”

“Are you aware that's a trick question?” says neuromarketing specialist, Roger Dooley.

People rarely read online marketing materials, they scan the text. And in doing so, eye tracking research and other studies suggest that they read between 18 and 28% of the material on a web page or in other electronic promotional material.

This isn't general advertising messages, the equivalent of junk mail in your letterbox. It is information that you have chosen to browse. So, it is purposeful viewing.

Learn more about what the research tells us about how to structure your marketing messages in the ‘Why, why did it catch my eye’ article in this month’s newsletter.

Discover the acres of diamonds in your own backyard

There was a farmer in Persia many years ago. He had a large property with orchards and wheat fields and a river running through it. He worked hard as farmers do and he provided well for his family. He was a contented man happy with his lot in life.

Then one day he heard how some of his countrymen had gone to Africa and discovered diamonds. Diamonds that glistened in the sun; diamonds that could win any woman’s heart; diamonds that could buy a man a nation and turn his children into princes and princesses.

That night the farmer went to bed a poor man. Poor because he was discontented, discontented because he now believed himself to be poor….and hard done by.

He decided then and there that he too would go to Africa and start his own diamond mine. He sold his farm, collected his money, left behind his wife and children and went in search of diamonds.

The weeks turned into months and the months turned into years. He suffered many hardships yet never discovered even one small diamond. Dispirited, starved of hope and starved of food, he began his long journey home.

Exhausted and malnourished and less than an hour away from his wife and children, he stopped by the river on the farm he used to own. He looked around at what he had thrown away and drew his last breaths by the riverbank.

But the story doesn’t end there. The following day the farmer who now owned the land, discovered this man’s body lying in shallow water on the bed of the river. And while struggling to pull his body out of the water he noticed a flash of light as he disturbed the river bed. It came from a black pebble that in the sunlight seemed to reflect all the colours of the rainbow.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, it turned out to be a diamond. Apparently, diamonds in their rough state looked very different to the final product. Legend has it that this became one of the world’s largest diamond mines.

So, the first farmer who went off in search of diamonds had acres of diamonds in his own backyard. He just hadn’t understood that in its rough state a diamond doesn’t look like a diamond.

How many acres of diamonds are there waiting to be discovered in your backyard?

Maybe they are in your customer base, or in your product range or in your relationships with your suppliers. Perhaps you employ a number of rough diamonds but haven’t yet tapped into this wonderful resource. With the right encouragement and training they might make your business sparkle.

Award winning support

In June my colleague Jan Collins was involved in a two week intensive assignment in Alice Springs and Darwin working with retail and tourism operators and conducting a merchandising audit of each of their businesses.

This included the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre run by Tourism Central Australia (TCA). The primary focus of visitor centres is providing information and promoting their region. Research consistently shows that even in this internet era, when people contact a visitor centre they tend to stay longer, enjoy more experiences and spend more money.

This is something we have an in-depth understanding of. In Western Australia we are currently undertaking a two year project on behalf of Tourism WA to assist regional visitor centres towards sustainability. This involves training and assistance with merchandising and turning conversation into $$$’s in a customer focussed way. In other words, generating funds by turning more lookers into bookers and browsers into buyers while stimulating positive word-of-mouth for each visitor centre and for their region.

So, it was good to hear that the approach we are taking in Western Australia has worked for Alice Springs. Three years ago Jan provided training and merchandising assistance for the Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre. Since then there have been management changes at the centre and we hadn’t heard how things had progressed.

The CEO Stephen Schwer told Jan when she was back in June that the first thing the previous CEO gave him when he took over the visitor centre was Jan’s report and recommendations from 3 years ago. Stephen said he completed the implementation and they won a 2015 Australian tourism award and then won again in 2016. So could he have a picture with Jan holding the trophies as “…we won because of your recommendations”.

Well, imagine how that made my wonderful colleague feel! You will find the visual evidence below.

Susan Silvester, Alice Springs Visitor Information Centre, Grant Whan, Tourism Central Australia Board Member, Jan Collins, Terrific Trading.

Why, why did it catch my eye?

Sit in any café and watch the interaction. Notice how often people, particularly ladies, will share photos with one another from their smart phone or tablet.

Visual content works. Just look at the immense popularity of Facebook and Instagram for sharing information.

Apparently, more than half the surface of the brain is reserved for processing visual information. With that much brain power behind understanding visuals, it makes sense to harness the power of images to communicate our messages.

Besides, we all know we’re drowning in words. There is so much content. It takes concentration and effort to absorb all these words and there is not nearly enough time to read everything we want to catch up on.

Images are processed in a different part of our brains than words. Using them gives the tired and weary word-crunching parts of our brains a break.

Images have the capacity to attract attention to your carefully crafted words and hold that attention long enough to have impact, to make a meaningful impression.

There is a saying that a picture paints a thousand words which is fine as long as the words that the viewer gets from the picture are the ones you intended.

Ask yourself, what is the purpose of including each image? What message is each supposed to be giving to the viewer, the reader?

Ideally, each image should have an accompanying caption. This helps ensure that the reader gets the message that you feel the picture illustrates. The eye is attracted to visuals and then goes straight to the caption.

Our brains also process images far faster than words. The images you use have the capacity to open the door to the rest of the information you present.

Including relevant images increases the credibility of your claims. This again indicates how the brain processes and is influenced by visual information.

In one study, the statement, “Turtles are deaf,” was judged to be true more often when accompanied by a photo that shows a turtle but in no way demonstrates their (lack of) hearing ability.

Another study found that when a photograph of a patient was included on a CT or X-Ray, doctors recommended more caring and attentive treatment. The photograph acted as a cue that focused on the patient as an identifiable individual, rather than one of a faceless group.

Key Learning Point: Supporting your marketing message with well-chosen visuals and carefully worded captions can dramatically improve the power of your message.


Roger Dooley, Neuroscience Marketing

Jacob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group

Mike Davenport, Copyblogger

Steve Martin, Influence At Work

Humour – A marketing lesson from Rome

Two beggars are sitting side by side on a street in Rome, Italy.

One has a Cross in front of him; the other one is holding the Star of David. Many people go by, look at both beggars, but only put money into the hat of the beggar sitting behind the Cross.

The Pope comes by. He stops to watch the throngs of people giving money to the beggar who holds the Cross while none give to the beggar holding the Star of David. He feels sorry for him.

Finally, the Pope approaches the beggar with the Star of David and says: "My poor fellow, don't you understand? This is a Catholic country; this city is the seat of Catholicism. People aren't going to give you money if you sit there with a Star of David in front of you, especially when you're sitting beside a beggar who is holding a Cross. In fact, they would probably give more money to him just out of spite!"

The beggar with the Star of David listened to the Pope, smiled, and turned to the beggar with the Cross and said: "Moishe, would you look who's trying to teach the Goldstein brothers about marketing!"

Choosing a motto

Following on from last month’s It’s alright it’s only a customer article, reader Vaughan McCue shared the following options for United Airline’s new motto.

Selected your top three, submit them to United Airlines and they will probably ignore you as they seem to do to so many of their customers. Either that or they’ll beat the living sh#t out of you!

  • “We put the hospital in hospitality”
  • “Board as a doctor, leave as a patient”
  • “Our prices can’t be beaten, but our passengers can”
  • “We have First Class, Business Class and No Class”
  • “Not enough seating, prepare for a beating”
  • “We treat you like we treat your luggage”
  • “We beat the customer. Not the competition”
  • “And you thought leg room was an issue”
  • “Where voluntary is mandatory”
  • “Fight or flight. We decide”
  • “Now offering one free carry off”
  • “If our staff needs a seat, we’ll drag you out by your feet”
  • “Beating random customers since 2017”

Terrific quotes

“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” Russell H Conwell

“How many acres of diamonds are there waiting to be discovered in your backyard? Maybe they are in your customer base, or in your product range or in your relationships with your suppliers. Perhaps you employ a number of rough diamonds but haven’t yet tapped into this wonderful resource. With the right encouragement and training they might make your business sparkle.” Jurek Leon

“Let every man or woman here, if you never hear me again, remember this, that if you wish to be great at all, you must begin where you are and with what you are.” Russell H Conwell

Thank you

My goal is to double the circulation of this newsletter within 12 months. To do this I need your help. If you find these ‘Terrific Tips’ a useful read, PLEASE do pass them on and suggest to your colleagues and friends that they subscribe or email us. Any friend of yours is welcome.

Copyright Business Enterprise Centre NT. Please seek our permission prior to reproducing this article in any way but feel free to link directly to this page if you wish to use this content.


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