Interview: Kim Allen talks about The Pocket Book of Marketing and Sales
Kim Allen is a C.E.O with over 30 years' experience in sales and marketing. He is an accomplished business leader, problem solver, and author. He has his own company, Let’s Talk Business, www.ltbc.co.nz , and he spends his time developing and growing SMEs in NZ. Kim talks to NZ Booklovers.
Tell us a little about The Pocket Book of Marketing and Sales.
The book has 30 sections; the topics have been carefully selected to give you direction and support in business. I have tried to look at the 'how' as you plot your journey. Every section has a space to list your action points. The heartbeat of businesses today is marketing and sales, and the book reflects how important these are and the transforming world we live in today.
It also brought back many fond memories of doing a job that I loved, and how important it is to help and support others. Whilst writing the book, it ingrained into me how the formula to a successful and rewarding life is to share and care, and give to your fellow man and ensure your people are growing. I felt that if there is one important component that is missing from the business tool bag it is to train and develop your people. If you invest in them, they will be confident and secure in going the extra mile for you. I spent some time on the 'how' so as leaders we can change the way we operate. A few small shifts in our thinking we can make a big difference in our achievements.
It is not what we do that determines who we are. It is who we are that determines what we do.
What inspired you to write this book?
I believe it was the 40 years that I spent leading and developing sales operations. In that time, I was securing as much information as possible whilst developing my skills as a leader. I decided I wanted to give something back and help and support businesses. My time is now spent not only writing but also mentoring business leaders.
What research was involved?
Quite a lot really, and the enjoyment and friendships that I established talking to some great leaders in business was immense. I interviewed both large and small company leaders, and the information was invaluable. I really could not have put this together without their knowledge and wisdom.
Research is an activity that I practice daily. Keeping up to date with change and new initiatives are key. I speak with many people in business on a weekly basis and I have made some amazing friends.
What was your routine or process when writing this book?
It was a pleasurable experience and one that I relish doing again. I still want this book to be part of a series and am working on my second.
I derive a great deal of satisfaction and inspiration from writing, not just books, but blogs and articles. Also, when writing the book getting away to a country retreat was immensely helpful. I was able to gather insight and motivation from the solace and calm, with no distractions.
What do you hope readers will take from your book?
Quite simply, tips and action points that will help them become stronger and creative leaders who will go on to create successful businesses. I cannot change the 80/20 rule that exists and is still telling us that 80% of business won't be around in two years, but we sure can reduce the numbers. I want to see leaders in our SME market achieve both growth and balance, too many leaders are burning out as they struggle to balance the plates.
Ask for help! Delegate and embrace a collaborative culture.
I think there is something for everyone in the book. I have not exhausted every situation and challenge, but I believe we have answered a lot of burning questions
If you had to highlight three key tips from the book, what would they be?
1. Be strong and take your people on your journey. Share your vision and do not lose sight of your dream.
2. Be decisive and consistent, make those decisions that will inspire and grow your business.
3. Delegate ask for help, engineer trust.
What did you enjoy the most about writing this book?
The memories of working with, and for some of the most amazing people, leaders that care and share. Having worked for one of the largest publishing companies in the western world who built their business on encouraging and developing their people.
The friends I made along the way and the experiences exchanged. Writing is something personal that you make public if one person/leader’s life becomes successful and enjoyable, then our efforts have been worthwhile.
What did you do to celebrate finishing this book?
A gasp of relief in lots of ways, it was relatively easy to start but really hard to complete. I was never happy until my wife explained that I was getting more like Victor Meldrew, by the minute, so I hastened to finished it.
What is the favourite book you have read so far this year and why?
That is easy, the Bible. As a committed Christian I find the Bible holds the truth and divine inspiration.
My fondest memories from my early days was reading “Scott of the Antarctic”, a great rendition of real life adventure and extreme conditions. Compassion and heartfelt emotions in this book leave you facing reality from a different perspective
What’s next on the agenda for you?
My next book. I am currently getting in touch with some of our most inspirational business leaders that will form part of my story and hopefully will encourage businesses with something different. Albeit this will be their stories, I want to pick the golden nuggets from the interviews.