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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Big surprises and strange miracles in a small country - and my friend the stand-up comedian

Slovenia, where I am now, is one of the smallest and most beautiful countries in Europe. Great skiing (and cheap).

Its people - about 2 million - must also be one of the most knowledgeable about marketing, largely because of a man called Ales Lisac.

Ales publishes books and writes them, runs seminars, advises on marketing, makes speeches, writes terrific copy and is an amazing promoter. Three years ago he got 4,000 people to attend a direct marketing event here.

If you got that percentage of the population to turn up to something in the UK you'd find it hard to find anywhere to stage the event.

I get Ales to speak at my EADIM event every year and people love him because he is also extremely funny. So much so that he has entered a contest to find the best new stand-up comedian. I bet he wins.

He got me to come and talk to a small audience by his standards - only 460. No simultaneous translation, so they must either speak pretty good English or be too polite to say they didn't understand a word of it.

Then we did a half day with 43 people talking to them about their business problems. When I say "we", Ales, among his fine qualities, is a cunning fellow, so I did all the work. I guess they knew all his jokes and wanted some new ones.

People seemed to love the morning - in fact I may have two new clients.

This reminds me that a few weeks ago I said I might do some mentoring. I'm not sure about that but if anyone's interested I will do in London what I did here. I did something similar in Chicago last year with Ken McCarthy and Perry Marshall and it seems to work.

There were two products that fascinated me. One is called Flaska. It is a bottle that purifies water - actually changes its structure and makes it healthier for you. Really. It is scientifically validated and they call it "living water". I predict the man behind it will make millions. It's already doing very well and I have three samples. I will tell you what happens for me.

The second, believe it or not, was an electronic candle for churches with a machine that measures how much people are donating. This does very well here and in Italy (Slovenia once belonged to Italy). I love weird products, and they certainly qualify.

Yesterday I met some guys from a Reggae Dub band on tour here - and had one of those small world moments. One goes to the same church as my daughter in New Jersey. They put me on the guest list for their show but I was too late after dinner to make it.

Talking of which my neighbour at dinner makes and sells a crystal holder for i-phones. It does extremely well in Japan and the U.K. Some people even buy it despite the fact they don't have i-phones.

Who understands people? Not me.

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