'Where's my Battenberg?!'

A few weeks ago, I was with a client who orders a very nice buffet lunch each time I visit; a much welcomed refreshment break in an otherwise fast-paced day. On this occasion, at the appointed time the caterer arrived with platters of freshly made goodies.  That is, all except for one important platter – the home-made cakes were missing!

The caterer told us in a very matter of fact way that he had forgotten to bring the home-made cakes.  He then went on to explain that we were the …

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'Right, now to unleash my brilliant plan .....'

It’s often when your back is against the wall that your Eureka moments occur. It may be that you’ve been digging deep to find a solution to a long standing business problem or, have been searching for inspiration to launch a new product or service but until those grey clouds blotted out the sun, you were struggling for the answer.

That’s not to say you’re not capable of great ideas in the good times too; it’s just that when the money is rolling in and …

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'I say, what's a gorgeous creature like you doing in a place like this?'

Charm.  It’s the missing ingredient in so many sales communications.  Sales letters, e-mails, websites, flyers; you name it they are all waiting to be liberally dosed with charm.

We are all so busy nowadays aren’t we? Sending e-mails that are abbreviated to the point that they render the message insipid and characterless.  And what about Twitter? We let our impetuous nature get the better of us, cramming text talk into 140 characters because we can’t be bothered to spend …

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'Change the record, mate.'

You know those tedious few minutes just before your plane takes off and you’re (hopefully) heading towards a week or two of sunburn and siestas?  Yes, I’m talking about those ubiquitous safety instructions from the cabin crew. We’re told to stop what we are doing and to give them our full attention as they painstakingly explain what we must do (apart from descend into hysteria) in the event of the plane dropping from the skies.  Well, I do confess that most of the time I switch off whilst …

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'Dear Sir, Just a quick letter to let you know that nobody writes letters any more!'

I received an invitation to a networking event a couple of weeks ago.  The highlight of the event was an author promoting his latest book with the compelling message that traditional marketing is dead.  The invitation went on to extol the virtues of the online universe in an evangelical and uncompromising manner.  Apparently, if we are not all downing our traditional marketing tools – you know, those that may have generated us …

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'Hey boss, somebody calling themselves a customer says they're looking for something called service'

“We’re no worse than any of the major retailers on the high street.”

This was the jaw dropping response from the Managing Director of the fashion chain Pilot to Channel 4′s fashion guru Mary Portas after being shown secretly filmed footage of his staff in one of his stores doing anything but delivering great customer service.  Had it been revealed by an ordinary consultant, I’m sure he would have defended the indefensible and …

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'And our toast is made in the shape of a spaceship!'

A recent stay at a bed and breakfast inspired this particular blog.

My husband books a bed-and-breakfast online.  It’s at the higher end of the pricing bracket for bed-and-breakfast establishments in this particular neck of the woods, so he is reasonably confident with his choice.

We pull up outside a very modest looking semi detached house and the owner, brimming with enthusiasm, shows us to our room.  As she is lavishing praise on the filtered water in the fridge, …

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'Right, that's the warm-up done....'

I suspect that like many of us, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to become physically fitter.  And so a few days ago I contacted a local gym that was advertising a women’s fitness programme.  Their advert looked promising.  There was a special offer to encourage newbies, a description of the type of short, sharp and successful workouts they provide plus a very promising before and after picture. And the icing on the cake was that they are part of a national …

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'Freeze! Now tell me where the Santas are!'

In the commercial world, we often send Christmas cards as a timely reminder to clients and prospects, to let them know that we’re grateful for their business, or that we’re champing at the bit to do business with them.  But they can be a little unimaginative at times.

And so, I advised one of my clients this year to create a printed Christmas card with a twist.

I wanted the card to incorporate a response device – a simple but charming …

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'No, for the umpteenth time, I don't fancy a burger and chips !!!'

A few days ago I attended the 10th anniversary party of the Financial Mail Women’s Forum in London.  It was a lovely evening attended by the journalists and feature writers from the Financial Mail, part of the Daily Mail.  The journalist that I liaise with at the Financial Mail for my column introduced me to the Enterprise Editor as follows:

“Dee writes a column for us… she’s always on time… I never have to change her …

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