This month of September has been branded by our New South Wales State Government’s Department of State and Regional Development as Small Business Month and there’s been a raft of government and business sponsored activities to go with that.

Up here in the Northern Rivers region, a semi-rural community hundreds of kilometres (or miles) from the State capital, Sydney, we don’t get the full version of the program but today we had a gem of a presentation, at a breakfast, by Rick Segel, a highly accomplished retailer, professional speaker and author of several books.

Rick’s presentation was on ‘Ways to differentiate … and stand out in a crowded marketplace’. Highly entertaining, with more than one laugh a minute, Rick had lots of commonsense and insightful tips on how to succeed with selling.

One aspect I found especially enjoyable was that among his many recommendations, Rick encouraged those present to get a blog! As it happened, in speaking to a couple of people before the presentation started, I had mentioned that they could expect to hear about blogging sooner rather than later, having no idea that Rick was even going to mention blogs.

As I said to Rick after the presentation, when he told people they should get a blog, I felt the urge to leap up then and there and run around giving everyone my business card which says – Business Coach & Blogging Evangelist. I resisted it!

But what I noticed afterwards was that some of the people present, who had previously heard me going on about blogging (and may well have tuned out – not that I blame them, ‘blog’ and ‘blogging’ are such weird words when you think about it) seemed more interested than previously in having a serious conversation about the subject and how blogging might help them in their business activities.

Will there be some business in this for me? Can’t say, but I believe that what Rick said has helped me by opening a fresh perspective in the local business community.

Seriously – or humorously – if you hear that Rick Segel is coming to give a presentation in a location near you, don’t miss him. You’ll certainly come out smiling and you will probably learn (or remind yourself of) something valuable for your business success.

By the way, on his own blog, Rick has an excellent post on Sept 13 – ‘Handling That Problem Customer’ – entertaining and with some good advice for anyone in business.

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