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You’ll only succeed in continually improving your results if you’re focused upon continually developing those who work for you – and you’ll not be able to help them to develop unless your own self-development is almost obsessional…

Here’s a selection of articles for leaders on all aspects of self-development.

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK TO ENHANCE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND – STEP 6

HOW TO WRITE A BOOK TO ENHANCE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND – STEP 6

Writing a book will raise your profile, enhance your personal brand and advance your career – so why haven’t you started? This series takes you step-by-step through the process of writing a book – using a process that doesn’t require that you put your life on hold to get it done.  If you haven’t already made a start you can get an introduction to this entire series here.  If you’ve been working through the process then well done – you are just a few quick steps away from starting to write the content of your book! This series had originally been planned to run for just six posts.   This is the sixth, but I’m afraid it’s not the last!  To make the post size more manageable I have had to extend the series to last a further two posts. In the last post you took all of your thinking and planning from the first five steps of this process and converted all of your work from your ‘war room’ into a formal outline for your book.  The structure and content of your book is now becoming very clear indeed.  The only major step remaining is the writing of your content. But before diving into writing your content, fleshing out your book’s content, you should take a little time to polish your outline.   Any work you do at this stage will save you a lot of time and effort later – the more polished your outline the faster you’ll write your book. Ask yourself these two questions: 1. Is Your Outline Detailed Enough? Consider whether each point in the outline represents... read more
Proposal Strategy Development – the Key to Success

Proposal Strategy Development – the Key to Success

Proposal strategy development is one of the critical first steps in making your business proposal a winner. You would not run your business without a business strategy – neither should you write a proposal without a clear strategy to ensure its success. Here’s a step-by-step guide to proposal strategy development that all of your proposals are on target. Generic Strategies Think about some past deals you may have pursued, particularly those where you ultimately won the business on the basis of a proposal.  Now consider why you won that business. Most decisions reflect the purchaser’s concerns at the time the decision is made, and most can be traced back to one, or a combination, of the following concerns: Cost You might well have won the business for one of the following reasons: Lowest price, or Best price/performance, or Return on Investment (ROI). Technical Aspects In this instance the lead decision-maker was most likely a senior technical officer in the client organisation. You will likely have won because of: Superior specifications, or Programme/solution design, or Better technical personnel. Quality A quality orientation can manifest itself in either of two ways: “Snob” value, or Proven high quality/reliability. Competitiveness There are two ways in which you may have found your proposals were successful on the basis of competitiveness: The extent to which you proved that your solution was vastly superior to that of any of your competition, or The extent to which you convinced your client that your solution would afford them some significant competitive edge over their own competition — an edge which would not be afford them by any other vendor’s... read more
How to Write a Proposal – Getting Started

How to Write a Proposal – Getting Started

“How to write a proposal?” – Even the question suggests that the first thing you should be doing is getting straight into writing. Not so! Do you want to build a first class proposal that blows your prospect or client’s socks off? Do you want to do that in the shortest possible time? Of course you do! That being the case then trust me – writing is about two thirds of the way into the proposal process – there’s some initial preparatory work do be done first. Getting the Writing Started Before you even think of putting pen to paper for the first time you’ll want to be sure that you have analyzed your client’s requirements well, have built a winning solution, have a winning strategy for your proposal – and so on. You can find practical guidance on all of these key steps here. How to Write a Proposal – The Process If you’ve been through all that then let’s start into the proposal writing process. By the time you’ve completed the fourth module on this page you’ll worked your way through the three proposal writing stages in the figure above, will know exactly how to write a proposal Here are the five modules you can reach from this page – they will set your writing up for success right from the off  and will have the content of your proposal fully written. Preparing a Proposal Outline – First Steps (Click) The best business proposal writers know that a successful proposal is born long before the proposal is written – its success is the sum of lots of small pre-writing processes that... read more

The Business Proposal Letter

The business proposal letter is one of the most important parts of the proposal process – but, in my experience,  most people don’t give invest enough time and effort in  getting this critical letter right. The assumption is that  it’s exactly the same as any other business letter writing. Not so. In the module on presenting your proposal I strongly suggest that you NEVER deliver your proposal in any manner other than in person – and that chapter took you step-by-step through the process of creating a compelling  and impactful proposal presentation. Even in situations where you get to present your presentation you will want the proposal to be accompanied by a cover letter that introduces it briefly. Sadly, there will be occasions when your client will not allow you to personally present your proposal and will insist that all proposals be delivered by courier or mail in the first instance. For both of these situations you will need a business proposal cover letter. From here you can access four modules that will completely demystify the process of creating a great proposal cover letter: The Importance of the Business Proposal Cover Letter (Click) Write a great proposal cover letter and you dramatically increase your chances of winning the business – but before you start to write take some time to understand how your business proposal letter should relate to your proposal. Here’s the science behind world-beating proposal cover letters. Writing Cover Letters for Business Proposals (Click) Now that you understand the science behind the proposal cover letter you are much better shape to produce one that does what you want it... read more
SALES ACTIVITY PLANNING 101

SALES ACTIVITY PLANNING 101

Think sales activity to increase sales despite the tight economy.  Get planning! In this economy two things will determine your sales success more than anything else – the sales activity goals you set for yourself and your team, and the extent to which you follow through on those activities. In the first post in this series, “Coaching Salespeople in a Tight Economy” we looked at the effects that the pressure caused by the media’s catastrophizing treatment of the current economic squeeze can have on salespeople – now we’ll look at how you can plan your way past these effects. Whether you coach a large team of sales people, or just yourself, you should recognize that almost no one is immune to the effects of the negative messages that surround us daily in a tightening economy.   And, as ever, the best antidote to fear, uncertainty, and lack luster sales results is lots of focused outbound prospecting activity.  Your sales activity plan is more important than ever. You need to increase sales every year – no matter what the economy does.  If you and every one of your quota carrying salespeople do not have a clear, week by week, month by month, sales activity plan that outlines exactly what they plan to do every day to the end of 2011 and beyond then you’re risking your sales success.  You and your salespeople must go to your beds each night with the comfort that you have activity plans that will assure that they achieve the sales results required of them – regardless of what’s going on around them in the world and the economy... read more
ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT?

ARE YOU A SOCIAL MEDIA EXPERT?

Are you a social media expert? Can you help my readers and I to understand how to take the best next steps in using social media to reach everyday business objectives? I am offering a free copy of Leadership Charisma for the best 5 ideas I can use.  I will also feature the providers of the best ideas in a future post with a bio, picture and a link to their blogs / sites (they also become friends for life!). Who am I and what’s my objective? I’m a senior executive of Profiles International. I’m also an author and speaker on leadership topics. My objective is simple: I want to raise my personal profile as an online authority and an offline speaker on leadership issues so that I get to network more with people who might be interested in how Profiles International might be of help to them. I ‘d also want to raise my profile so I can sell more copies of my books! I’m a generous guy!  I know that you get nothing for nothing in this world. In pursuit of my objectives I am prepared to be a good social media citizen and am aiming to contribute more than I get back by providing articles, blog posts and free advice & support to all on leadership issues. I’m ready to serve. Here’s what I have done so far: Set up this blog: which I update three times weekly with original material Set up my Facebook business page (and a personal Facebook profile) – I update my page it each time I post and with other items of interest... read more

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