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EnergizeGrowth NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company

Lisa Nirell

About Lisa Nirell:

Lisa is the “Chief Energy Officer” of EnergizeGrowth® LLC. She has helped B2B companies grow customer mindshare and market share since 1983.

As a strategic growth expert and keynote speaker, Lisa has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, as well as Wells Fargo, Sony, Microsoft, OppenheimerFunds, and BMC Software. Within two years, she helped her clients generate $84M in new business. Lisa is a sought-after speaker for entrepreneur groups and leaders worldwide.

Lisa is an award winning columnist and expert blogger for Fast Company, and the author of EnergizeGrowth NOW: The Marketing Guide to a Wealthy Company. She has been featured in U.S. News and World Report, American Express OPEN, and ComputerWorld.

Visit http://blog.energizegrowth.com and www.energizegrowth.com to join the EnergizeNews community. You will immediately receive five educational resources and a Wealthy Company Scorecard™ survey.

Questions:

  • How’d you come up with the name of your book, Energize Growth® NOW?

    Five years ago, I was training with my Masters Swim team. During one of the swim sets, I was ruminating about how I was going to create a new company identity. My business was facing a critical turning point. Much like my passion for swimming—something that gives me joy and energy—I want more CEOs and business owners to feel that same way about growing their business. The name just surfaced (no pun intended). It also became a great title for my book!

    • What are some issues that occur for passionate entrepreneurs when their businesses start expanding?

      The energy drain can happen when you least expect it: when you are celebrating market dominance, strong sales, and industry accolades. You feel unstoppable. Yet, if you ignore the subtle indicators that your company’s continued success is threatened, you may never muster the energy, resources, or desire to recover from them. Here are common clues:

      • Your ideal client’s profile changes significantly. You will notice when your current clients begin behaving differently. Or perhaps new clients in new markets are surfacing, and you just aren’t prepared for the onslaught of demand.
      • New, innovative companies are entering your market. This is especially true for companies in hotly contested, disruptive markets, such as technology, media, publishing, and manufacturing. For example, eReaders are turning the traditional book publishing industry upside down. One industry consultant, Mike Shatzkin, projects that ebook sales will claim as much as 25% of the total book market by 2012. Borders’ recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing confirms this. They waited too long to capitalize on the e-reader market.
      • You believe that growth planning and marketing are reserved for large, mature companies. How many times do you tell yourself “planning and visioning are important, but I am just too busy to focus on them?” Maybe you have created a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and planning gets second billing. If this continues to happen, your sustained market dominance is in jeopardy.

      I developed a “top fifteen list” available here.

      • Can you give us some tips on how our entrepreneur community can avoid these traps and retain a positive attitude?

        The easy answer is “yes—buy my book!” And seriously, this could take awhile. Let’s start with one…

        First of all, your success is defined by the expectations of your peer group. This was especially true for the leaders whom I have interviewed and advised over the past 2o+ years. Are you surrounded by peers, friends and advisors who are willing to tell you the hard truth and provide valuable feedback? During busy times, it’s even tougher to anticipate problems. Join or create an advisory group who can help, and whom you can help in return. Creating a customer advisory council is also a great strategy if you are committed to long term impact.

        • What are some ways to stay connected to customers and partners to keep your growth plan relevant?

          Great question—and it will be different for every company. I see connection at multiple levels:

          1. Your language. My mentor Alan Weiss says that “language controls the discussion, discussion controls the relationship, and relationships control the business.” In today’s over-connected world, communication needs to be crisp and clear. Eliminate slang and buzzwords from your vocabulary. Practice difficult conversations or important introductions in the mirror before they happen. Record yourself on your voicemail system. It really helps.
          2. How you spend your “connection” time. What percentage of your day is spent as a student of your customers’ or partners’ businesses? How many of their conferences are you attending so that you better understand their issues and aspirations?
          3. Media. How do you assert your expertise, and how often? When did you last ask your top customers where and how they get their knowledge? In most industries, publishing, speaking, and online marketing must be a part of your life. If you are not sharing your expertise, your market will define your brand. Do you really want to leave your company’s image and repute completely in someone else’s hands?

          What book would you recommend to others?

          I recommend Guy Kawasaki’s newest book, Enchantment. He outlines several practical strategies that you need to influence others to change the world. In today’s crazy-busy business climate, it is increasingly important to engage others in an honest, effective way. Deep human relationships trump social media madness every time.

          For more information, contact:

          Lisa Nirell

          www.energizegrowth.com

          [email protected]

          Connect with Lisa here:

          www.youtube.com/user/energizegrowth

          www.twitter.com/lisa_nirell

          http://www.linkedin.com/in/energizegrowth

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