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How to become the oldest guy in the room – 5 Top Tips

All my career I was the youngest guy in the room. Then overnight, I looked around and was shocked to discover I was the oldest guy in the room. How did this happen? What happened to all the other guys? What had I done to survive: to stay one step ahead?

On reflection, I discovered my ability to stay relevant and ‘in demand’ had been achieved by following five simple habits- habits which continue to make me a valuable contributor.

We’ve got one shot at our careers. Working on ourselves to stay relevant is the key if you want the chance to be the oldest guy in the room one day. Here are the five top tips on how to do just that.

Why apricots are the secret to outstanding leadership

To get the best out of your teams, you as a leader have to get one habit very right. It’s the secret to outstanding leadership, whether you lead a team of two, or a team of two thousand. Here are two true stories, both of which are beauties and illustrate the ‘habit’ perfectly.

The first is about a chief executive of the Australian operations of a global software giant with whom I worked in the mid 1990s. His background was in sales, where his prowess had seen him rise to the top of a demanding, high performance organisation.

The second story is about Phil Waugh, a former Australian rugby team and current New South Wales Waratahs captain, and one of the most relentless, physical and enthusiastic player I’ve seen.

The secret to winning pitches

To win new business pitches, having great ideas that solve client problems is not enough. We also have to beat our competitors.

It’s easy to get absorbed in solving client problems when working on a pitch. The client wants a strategy and ideas which will deliver certain results. That’s our focus and has to be nailed, absolutely.

But to ensure a world class ‘win’ hit rate, developing great strategies and ideas for the client is not enough. Sometimes competitors beat us not because they are better than us, but because they beat us.

To win more often, put just as much energy into developing YOUR AGENCY’S STRATEGY to win… your strategy to beating your competition.

‘Sexing up’ client relationships – 5 top tips

To ensure clients keep coming home to you when competitors wink at them, follow these five proven relationship ‘sex it up’ tips right now.

Relationships get stale. The magic of the early days dwindles. You start taking each other for granted. This is a high danger time and you need to move fast to spice up the relationship.

First, though, remember the Golden Rule of client retention and growth.

The most powerful weapon to growing your business

It started when Andrew Parker sent me a dozen mangoes and a bottle of French champagne. With that gesture I learnt the secret to guaranteeing a steady flow of referrals and new revenue to any consulting services firm. Andrew called it his MICRophone program. This is how it works.

When I started my own firm, I had 17 years of ‘sweat equity’ behind me of relationships and favours done. I expected a stream of new client referrals in those early days, a ‘thank you and good luck’ gesture from a long list of professional ‘I Owe You’s.’

3 vital ingredients to winning new clients

There’s nothing sweeter than the taste of a new client win. To drink more often from that winner’s cup, follow these three vital ingredients for new business success.

Winning new clients validates who your firm is and what you offer. It lifts heads. It inspires and creates momentum.

Remember clients are making up their minds about who to hire from the moment they contact your firm. It’s vital to hit the right buttons at every meeting and on every contact. The three vital ingredients to winning new clients need to be ‘seeded in’ at every opportunity during the process.