Are you a natural salesperson? Or, maybe the word ‘sales’ make you cringe?

Want the lowdown on selling? Meet ‘Blake’ played brilliantly by Alec Baldwin in the movie, Glengarry Glen Ross.

Spare a thought for sales folk

Blake is the archetypal salesperson we love to hate. Do we judge him and others too harshly? I mean, any business needs sales.

Do you have to sell as part of your job?

What’s your style? You get your ‘Blake on’ and crush it?

Do you have a systematic process that you follow?

Or it just kinda’ happens for you?

Whatever your style, selling ‘ain’t easy.

There’s a reason for that — more about that later. For now, take a look at this business card carefully. Can you see Larry’s job title?


We do want customers…

Hope you’re OK?

Has time has dragged over the last few months?

Then this issue’s for you.

First, I want to start with a story of a rainy taxi ride (don’t worry it gets better). 👇🏼

07:35 to London Paddington — early noughties

One morning I grabbed a taxi from my flat in Clifton en-route to Bristol Temple Meads station.

It was raining (it rains a lot in Bristol) and I was flustered as I jammed myself, my bag and a wet brolly into the back of the cab. ☂️

Luckily, the taxi driver was chilled. On the trip to the station, he didn’t say much. …

Hey, 👋🏼

Hope you’re good?

I forgot to send this issue out earlier.

Sorry it’s late.

Let’s think about how easily we can remember things…

Ever watched a lineout in rugby?

In football, there are throw-ins and corners. Rugby has scrums and lineouts.

The lineout is where the big players compete for a ball thrown-in to them. 👇🏼

Lineouts looks chaotic but they are a carefully, choreographed routine.

Just before the two sets of players have lined-up, the player will tell his hooker (the player who throws the ball in) where to throw the ball; to the front, middle or back.

Back when I played rugby…

The hooker called…

Productivity is the problem child of UK business

The UK ranks 31st out of 35 for productivity.

The UK is at the bottom of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in growth of output per hour from 2008–2017.

Our productivity hasn’t improved since the last recession. Experts have called this the ‘Productivity Puzzle.’

What would productivity actually mean to you…

In 2015, Professor Jon Van Reenen said that if Brits were as productive as German and French workers, they could work a 4-day week and still earn the same £.

Pandemic productivity

Thanks to the global pandemic, the Productivity Puzzle remains unsolved.

Have you been more productive working…

It’s half-term so this post is about school.

What can we learn from kids creativity?

I reckon we can learn and unlearn a lot…

The hotbed of creativity

Want to visit a hotbed of creativity? ♨️

Forget marketing agencies or Silicon Valley start-ups — visit a primary school.

It’s half-term, kids are bringing home their projects.

If you don’t have kids, cast your mind back…

  • Space rockets made out of cereal boxes and egg cartons.
  • Bright paintings packed with colour, pinned to the fridge.
  • Animals built from yoghurt pots and pipe cleaners.

In the case of my daughter, it was a volcano made from leftover Amazon packaging (see above)

The skills you can’t work without.

Companies looking to ‘innovate’ should go back to primary school rather…

One morning in early January 2009, I walked out of my house and headed for the library around the corner. Lily Allen’s ‘Fear’ was playing in my ears through my iPod.

It was a miserable time of year. The economy was in freefall. Experts still didn’t know ‘where the bottom of the market was’. The world was on its ass. I was rock bottom too. I’d lost my job and had racked-up huge debts thanks to a failed business venture. I was missing the perks of a full-time job — the salary, mobile phone and a computer. So I was off to use the library PC and WiFi.

The library had two PCs that you could use for 20 mins. On that morning, one PC was not working, so the library…

Village greens, seat belts and why we struggle to think about the future.

Long Melford Green. Source:

According to a poll by Savills, the estate agents, Long Melford is the seventh most desirable UK village to live in.

Long Melford owes its existence to Suffolk’s wool trade that started in the middle ages. The village has beautiful buildings that reflect the wealth of the merchants who once lived there.

Long Melford lies between Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury. If you drive through the village from the east, you’ll travel down one of the longest high streets in the UK. You’ll pass bakeries, antique shops, pubs, butchers and towards the end, you drive past The Bull Hotel, a beautiful timber-framed building built in 1450.

Carry on…

How to research your customers and build a better business.

Just imagine the scenario… for weeks and months, you’ve poured your heart and soul into your new idea, and you’re down to the moment of launch. Excitement builds as you press the buttons:

  • Emails — sent
  • Website — published
  • Campaigns — live

Now you wait. And wait. The anticipation is killing you.

Then nothing. Silence. No traction. No sales. No interest. Zilch.

Your world slowly unravels in front of you. The blood, sweat and tears hurt. Was it all for nothing? What happened? Where do you go next?

Now wake…

Photo by Noelle Otto from Pexels

Our communities are full of different people. Some look like you and me, some don’t.

If you‘re a’ ‘people watcher’, you’ll notice the traits and quirks that make humans different. You’re not creepy — just an observer of what makes us all tick. That is a valuable skill. If you’re in marketing, you might group these people into segments.

Perhaps you label them the ‘target audience’. But, as those segments grow, it’s less about people — more about ‘data’. Dashboards get built and slowly, the invisible barriers go up.

Big data is great, but the price is anonymity.

To get meaning from the data, we have to use numbers. I don’t know about you, but I forget numbers––but names and faces stick with me…

Photo of Nye Bevan
Photo of Nye Bevan
Nye Bevan above. His famous quote below. Image credit: BBC

The truth hurts. That’s why we avoid it. Confronting truth can be so painful that we put things in the way to cushion the blow.

Al Gore summed this conflict up neatly in the title of his Oscar-winning documentary, ‘An inconvenient Truth’.

Let’s face it: the truth IS inconvenient.

At times, truth is an irritant to the status quo. Gore’s film certainly stirred up the orthodox view of the environmental agenda. His movie was released in 2006. Since then, the ecological movement has marched on. Greta Thunberg has made her mark. A climate emergency has been declared.

But still, others…

George Beverley

I write about insights, design thinking and digital miscellany. Subscribe AKA The Audience Detective

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