Saturday, 21 February 2015

Road Signs: an important lesson for businesses!

If you're anything like me as a driver; you'll have 3 points on your license (for speeding), you'll have attended 2 speed awareness courses in the last 5 years, and yet, you'll still have the audacity to complain about the speeding idiots who race down your road! To be fair, I'm much better now that I used to be and the speed awareness courses were more interesting than I expected ... and at least I'm open about my motoring-related hypocrisy!

Recently, I've noticed that somewhere in the Highways Agency, there's a creative genius who could teach many businesses a thing or two about marketing.

Do you experience those moments when you're coasting along the motorway; you've made good progress, you're keeping an even speed of 80mph, you're already tasting the cold beer waiting for you in the fridge and you're seriously keen to get home from the long day you just had?

But then, out of nowhere, the dreaded signs appear and your imaginary cold beer is replaced with real cold sweat. It's bad news, there's roadworks ahead and for 3 whole junctions, it's a 50 mph limit because where there's roadworks, there's workman/people: not gremlins in yellow coats who delight in your inconvenience, just decent, honest and hard working folk who wish they were on their way home too!

You groan, you curse your luck and depending on how much of a rush you're in, you keep to 55mph, maybe 60mph, pushing the boundaries as far as possible without risking a fine. Whichever way you look at it, those red signs are just so unfair and given the barriers between you and the workmen anyway, what does it matter if you're going at 60mph or 65mph rather than 50mph?

Now, imagine the same situation but instead of a number circled in red, you see this on the motorway instead:

If you're anything like me, your heart skips a beat and instantly you kill the speed. In fact there's no question of you pushing the boundaries and in spite of the rush you're in, it seems fair enough: after all, who wants to risk taking out Alex's daddy?

The difference between the road signs is simply this:  
  • One is just a boring statement on a placard with limited impact.
  • The other conveys a deeply emotional message which stirs our hearts and compels us to take action.  

When you think about the message you convey to your customers and prospects (which includes the people you meet at your networking breakfasts, your Linkedin connections, your Facebook likers, twitter followers and circled folk on Google+) do you convey the equivalent of a boring statement on a placard? Or an imaginative message which stirs hearts and inspires action?


When you think about your marketing message, whether you intend to convey it digitally or in person, rather than think about your business function and the features you offer, ask yourself two key questions:

1) What would happen to my customers if my business and industry did not exist?

2) What becomes possible for my customers because I exist?

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  1. Nice post sharing and thanks for the great tips for business coaching.