Peak Your Profits: Your market, message and Michelangelo

Jeff Blackman

Bruce Turkel sees things from a fascinating perspective. And it’s not because he stands six-foot-four. Instead, it’s because he has the ability to help leaders and companies, as he likes to say, “uncover innovative creative solutions and strategies to futureproof their brands in a world of constant disruptive upheaval.”
Bruce is a fellow Hall of Fame speaker and author, (“Building Brand Value” and the recent “All About Them.”) Last month, we were together in Dallas. And that gave us the opportunity to chat, laugh and ponder possibilities.

Jeff Blackman: You say, “Good brands make people feel good. Great brands make people feel good about themselves.” Tell us more …

Bruce Turkel: For years Volvo has told us their cars are safer. While safety is important, it isn’t an asset that makes a car better at its function — getting the driver from A to B. What a safety brand does do, is it allows and empowers a Volvo owner to feel better about themselves. Because driving a safe car means being a better parent, spouse, friend or citizen.
Understanding your client or customer is the key to creating an “All About Them” brand. Once you know who your customer is and what they care about, then you show them why your brand helps them reach their aspirations and self-expression.

Statue of David by Michelangelo in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence Italy

JB: Who are some of the entrepreneurs you’ve worked with? And what valuable lessons did they teach you?

BT: John Hendricks at Discovery Channel. He taught me the importance of strategy, when he told me his idea was to build, “everyone’s second favorite network.” 

The Bacardi CEO, who explained that even though he sells a product, he really sells an experience.

The CEO of Babies R Us, who taught me the importance of systemizing creativity, when she explained her operations people couldn’t understand the magic of creativity, but understood the inevitability and security of systems.

JB: What’s your advice, to folks who claim, “For our customers, price is everything!”

BT: I try to show them, if that’s the only thing their customers value, they won’t be customers for long.

JB: How can one strengthen their creativity?

BT: Here are four strategies:

  1. Great creative thinkers stand on the shoulders of giants. Constantly expose yourself to great music, art and architecture. Develop a voracious curiosity, so you have resources to draw on.
  2. Understand that great ideas are ephemeral and fragile. When you’re thinking, creating, take off your critical thinking cap and write down every thought. There’s always time to cull out the bad ideas, but you never know when a bad idea is the impetus for a great idea.
  3. Create lots of ideas. Quitting when you think of one or two good solutions often stops the process, long before the best idea arises.
  4. Creativity must be “exercised.” If you want to write great prose, write. If you want to paint great paintings, paint. Talent matters, but potential without effort equals nothing.

JB: To drive growth, what do you know, most folks don’t know, yet need to know?

BT: People don’t choose what you do, they choose who you are. Customers can purchase the products you’re selling from lots of sources. If you haven’t built a relationship that helps your customers achieve their own aspirations, you’re already out of business. You just haven’t realized it yet!

JB: You claim, “Special sales secrets hidden in plain sight.” What are they?

BT: To thrill your customers: Watch them. Study them. Learn everything you can about them. Just like a savvy poker player watches for their competitors’ “tells” — your customers will show you how and why you matter to them. Their answer, and your solution, is “hidden in plain sight.”
As Michelangelo answered, when asked how he carved the David, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

JB: You stress, “think about others.” What are the best ways to do that?

BT: People will listen, when what you say benefits them: Entertain. Educate. Enlighten. Best of all, do all three. Create a message that’s truly, all about them!
To discover more ways, Bruce can help you craft meaningful and memorable messages, take a peek at

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Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847.998.0688 or And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's free e-letter, The Results Report.  Jeff's books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the soon-to-be released 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.