Competition: One Month’s Free Coaching for one luck subscriber plus free linkbacks for all entrants

Posted by jasoneconomides

We have had a busy week at Eco Business Academy.  New businesses that we are coaching just this week included jewellery design, catering and stringed instrument makers.  We showed a luthier how to run a direct mail marketing campaign to all of his last 30 years’ customers at ZERO COST.  In fact done right, it may even turn him a small profit before without him even needing to sell anything.

We want everyone to experience the powerful benefits of this type of coaching and training, but not everyone can afford it.

So, we are offering the opportunity to ONE small business owner the opportunity to win one month of sales & marketing coaching (worth in excess of $300), to one lucky Eco Business Academy follower.

All you need to do is go to, and sign up to the 10 free video series (enter your details in the box on the homepage, or watch the Lead Generation Mistakes video at, and tomorrow I will announce here who the winner is.  All entrants will get free advertising as we will post your web address on the blog if you put in brackets after your name your URL e.g.

Name:  John (

email: john @

So, if you’re feeling lucky, click on one of the links above, and you will be entered into the draw.


What you do, what you are, what’s the difference?

Posted by jasoneconomides

Have you ever gone up to someone, and asked them “So John, what do you do?”, and you get an answer like “I’m an accountant”.

Don’t you think that’s interesting?

The problem with John’s answer here, is that he has just labelled himself, and we all have our own image, preconceived idea or in NLP terms, internal representation, of what an accountant is. You know, a short thin guy with round glasses, an old grey suit that hasn’t been dry cleaned for 12 years…your image of course may be different. But either way, the words “I’m an accountant” is most likely to conjure up the image of a person, rather than the results or service that the person offers.

So think about how to answer that question next time you are asked it. Let’s move back to John. How else could he have answered? Well he could have said, depending on his individual specialisation, something like:

“I work with people to help them decrease their tax obligations and increase the efficiency of the management of their cash flow”. Immediately we get a clear picture of the benefit of what John has to offer.

So whenever you are in a meeting, and your running through your list of previous customers, and describing who you currently work for, make sure you simply describe what your value-add is to each customer, why they initially hired you and how you helped the customers save money, get their new kitchen built, have a great driving experience, sleep better at night etc….

Give examples of how you have done this. Telling stories is a great way to sell your point. Simply making statements or stating facts, is all very interesting, but doesn’t get someone to buy. Maybe you already know the expression :

Stories Sell
Facts Tell

Remember, in the context of a meeting, the irony is that the customer has a problem, which is why they have made the time to speak to you, yet at the same time they will be quite on their guard to reveal their real needs or spending capability – it’s a human pride and defensive mechanism. Being aware of this is particularly important, or easier to demonstrate in a slightly differentselling context.

Namely that of a counsellor or psychiatrist selling their services to a potential ‘patient’ (isn’t that a horrible word to use). Let’s say Mary is a therapist, she will be looking for new patients, or as I prefer, customers.

So, Mary is introduced to someone who has some kind of marital issue going on for them. Mary at this point can do one of two things:

“Hi, I’m Mary and I’m a family therapist and work on marriage and relationship problems. How can I help? (Translation: What’s your problem?)” – This will immediately put the potential customer on the back foot, because as you know, they don’t need therapy! ;-)

or a much softer approach:

“Hi, I’m Mary. I recently met with someone who was facing some issues within their relationship. At first it seemed to them (note: no use of the words “patient, client, customer” etc) that the situation was hopeless, that there was no way of getting out of the downward spiral that the relationship was going. We talked a lot about how the two were communicating, or not communicating, and quickly discovered from both sides that they actually had the same views, goals and ambitions, but were too scared to talk about them. Now they are really happy, and the relationship is blossoming stronger than ever before. If you are feeling low, maybe I could share some of my experience of how to overcome any anxieties you have right now.”

Mary in this case has sold her services, using a story, a real life example, to which her prospective client can relate to.

Human beings love hearing sensational stories, that’s why newspapers sell so well. You’ll never see a newspaper saying “US Economy coasting along very nicely thank you very much” or “Business at IBM is doing generally alright, executives say”. You’ll only see sensationally negative or positive headlines like “10,000 people laid off at Walter Mitty Plc as business is hit by economic downturn” or “10 million people get huge tax break”. The Media sells the story, and they do it exceptionally well. It’s a love hate relationship.

Identifying the customers’ issues, and then outlining examples how you have fixed similar issues in the past, is going to be your priority and will be key to succeeding in closing the sale. Tell stories, and ask them to share their similar stories.

What’s your story?

Ask the Expert: How to make a winning presentation

Posted by jasoneconomides

Today we have an interview with presentations expert Beth Harvey, who I often send clients to for a presentation masterclasses. Here is what Beth had to say about what to do and what not to do to make a winning presentation in interview.


Eco Business Academy: Hi Beth, thanks for sparing some of your valuable time to share some pearls of wisdom with our readers. Why don’t you start by telling everyone how you became to be the ‘presentations guru’ and why this has become such a passion of yours?

Beth: My first ever presentation as a management trainee, longer ago than is appropriate to share, was probably the most terrifying experience I had ever had. But I persevered, and eventually learned to love it, so much so that I ended up training and presenting for a living. It’s a passion for me because I firmly believe that presentations are just conversations with groups of people and don’t have to be huge ordeals – and I’d rather other people reached that conclusion earlier in their careers than I did! Consequently, I really enjoy working with people of all ages, levels of seniority and backgrounds to help them enjoy their presentations, regardless of subject matter.

EBA: Fascinating! Okay, to get everyone started, perhaps you can tell us a couple of stories. One of a particularly great presentation, and one of a badly prepared presentation. What made them so good or so bad?

Beth: A professor of positive psychology at a conference delivered the best presentation I have seen recently. The worst was a results presentation to City analysts. What was fascinating for me was that although the content in the latter was (arguably) better composed, the presenters approached their audience as “the enemy”. In the first one, the whole session felt like a conversation with a very large group of friends. What both sessions reinforced for me was the importance of treating your audience, and their views, with respect.

EBA: thanks. Can you give us a top 5 Do’s and Don’ts to help job?hunters ace their presentations. What fonts, sizes, colours usually?work best? Should one put pictures or even sounds and moving pictures?in presentations?

Beth: Not sure about a top five either way, but there are definitely some golden rules that apply!

Prepare your presentation before you do your slides. Some of the worst presentations are written straight onto PowerPoint, and it shows – mainly because the author has just “brain dumped” whatever came into their head, and then tried to present it. Get your key messages straight first. What do you want the audience to remember?

Remember that a PowerPoint presentation doesn’t replace what you’re saying, so your presentation materials need to support, rather than replace, your content. It’s almost impossible to build a relationship with your audience if they’re trying to read a complicated slide before you move on to the next one. So a good rule of thumb to use is:

• No more than five bullets per slide?• No more than five words per bullet

It’s also helpful to take a minimalist approach to your materials – less is definitely more. No-one wants to endure Death by PowerPoint! Ten slides for a ten minute presentation is, in my opinion, at least six too many. You’ll struggle to get through them. If the organisation you are presenting to likes to use detailed or complicated materials, provide further, more detailed slides as handouts after the presentation, and cover the “headlines” in your allotted presentation time.

For interview presentations, try and use a font size and colour which are the same as, or similar to, the ones used by the organisation you want to join. You can usually pick these up from their websites. The subliminal message is “We are on the same wavelength!”

EBA: Ah, yes, matching – I can just hear the NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) practitioners out there resonating with that one!

Beth: Pictures are helpful, and often illustrate a point far better than words. Moving graphics and sounds can work but again, need to be appropriate and useful and support your key messages, rather than an exercise in demonstrating your IT skills. If you’re in any way worried about how they will work, best to avoid them.

So the questions to ask yourself are:?“Do my materials reinforce my main messages?”?“Are they appropriate to the culture of the organisation I am presenting to?”?“Am I confident that I can get it all to work properly on the day?”

A final tip – always take printed copies of your slides in case the laptop or projector fails you on the day. Having a contingency plan in place makes all the difference.

EBA: are there any good websites where we can pick up more?presentation tips or templates?

Personally, I’m not sure that templates are the answer – if you want to see them used comically to great effect, visit and see how Lincoln would have coped with modern technology… has lots of great tips and ideas, particularly for nervous presenters.

EBA: So far we have mainly talked about the electronic side of?presenting, you know, how to put together the materials. How about?the physical aspect of presenting. How should one deliver the? presentation? Does one stand up, and if so where? I know when I stand up and present I tend to walk around a little bit, and I try to engage my audience as much as possible with questions. I think that if one is in a situation where the recipients are sitting down, it’s better?to remain in the same plane or at the same level – as it helps maintain that all important rapport. What are your thoughts on this?

Beth: I agree with you, Jason, and I think that the culture of the firm is important here too. Don’t forget that national culture also has an impact on presentation approach, so if you’re presenting abroad, do your research on this. Check out the expectations of the audience in advance if you can. Do they expect a formal approach, where you stand up and they sit down? Can you ask people to interact, or will questions be kept until the end? Or is the organization or association the kind of place where everyone sits down and has a chat? Ask the person who is organising the engagement as many questions as you feel you can – about the people attending, what style the organisation prefers, and even the room itself. Preparation really does count here. The more information you have in advance, the more confident you’ll feel about your approach – leaving you free to concentrate on the content.

One final thought. Presentations are rarely the first stage in a selection process; the organisation has usually decided that you have something to offer before they ask you to prepare something like this. So remember – this is your opportunity to share your wisdom with a wider audience, and prove conclusively that you are the person for the job. Have fun, and good luck!

EBA: Thanks Beth for all of your advice, I know that Eco Business Academy readers will have found some fantastic tips here.

What 99% of business startup owners don’t do and hence why 1% of them succeed.

Posted by jasoneconomides

I meet startup owners all the time. They are passionate about a product or service they have invented, and spend lots of time refining it and perfecting it. But the truth is unless you have a solid marketing plan, ain’t nobody never gonna hear about it.

Marketing is the systematic process of letting the world know about what you have to offer them.

Business startup owners spend time putting together 30 page business plans to appease their banks or investors. Sure they mention marketing in the plan, but does it actually happen systematically?

No. Why? Because
a) Most business owners aren’t trained in marketing, they are only trained in their specialist area.
b) There isn’t time to do the marketing or even learn about it

So consequently, the vast majority of brilliant idea generating entrepreneurs have their business fail because they don’t do the one action that is NOT OPTIONAL. Marketing.

So what can be done about it? There are different options
1) Hire or JV with a good business development manager or marketing expert who you know and trust. Get them to do the legwork for you.
Or if you don’t feel comfortable delegating the entire task,
2) Get someone to help YOU do it yourself. (One-to-one coaching and training)

If you choose option 1) here is the critical thing in choosing someone to do your sales or BDM FOR you. They have to be passionate, I mean, really passionate about your product or service. If they can’t convince you of this, find someone else and fast, because every day that goes by is a day where they are not putting the same effort that YOU DO into making the business thrive.

If you choose option 2) congratulations, you have now truly taken the first step to sales success for your business. Remember the mission of your company is not to have “invented the best widget in the world”.

The mission is to invent “the best widget in the world and SELL IT”. There’s no point inventing something and then going bankrupt because you don’t hit your business plan’s sales objectives.

If you are not sure where to start, how about downloading a series of videos on marketing. There’s lots of stuff on YouTube and right here in this group. But where to start? What topics?
Here are a few:
1 – Putting together a powerful million dollar message – your elevator pitch
2 – How to construct a business card that actually pulls in prospects to your business as opposed top just informing them of information they don’t care about – i.e. your business name (nobody cares about who you are! They only care about what your company can do for them.)
3 – How to create adverts that actually engage their viewers
4 – How to put together a website that generates leads and gathers targetted customer information so that you have people to call and sell to (google ‘landing pages’)
5 – How to write scripts that you and your staff can use that give a consistent message out and compel prospects to buy what you have to offer.

I could go on….but guess what, researching and learning how to do all this ‘stuff’ takes time. And that time needs to be set aside in your diary. No really, I’m not kidding. You need to plan when you are going to do your marketing in the same way you plan and diarise when you are going to meet a client or prospect.

It is essential! No marketing = No Sales = R.I.P. Widget Factory.

So please, don’t make the mistake to miss out this key component of business success.
We have put together a series of 10 videos (completely free) covering the exact topics above, and more (along with lots of examples for you to look at), and you can download them by visiting the home page. Why not start now by watching one of the most important videos you will watch this week “The Three Lead Generation Mistakes Small Businesses make and how to overcome ALL OF THEM”

Dedicated to your success!

Jason Economides
Founder of and
For more really useful business marketing ‘stuff’:
Twitter: @ecobizacademy @econetacademy
or email us at info {at}  (replace {at} with @)

Which LinkedIn groups you need to join to get the word out

Posted by jasoneconomides

If you are using social media as one of your marketing strategies (this only applies to ALL OF YOU!), then it makes sense for you to not only have a LinkedIn profile and presence, but also you need to join relevant and LARGE LinkedIn groups.  Why large?  You need as many people to view your posts and discussions as possible, so it makes sense for you to join groups with large members.

Please respect group rules though, and post proposals etc in the appropriate sections of the group (many have Promotions sections, so if their rules are to post there, then that’s where you should do it).

So what are the biggest LinkedIn groups by membership?  I have found a link to an article with the 50 Largest LinkedIn Groups:

Take alook, and see if there are any groups that make sense for you to join.