Tips on Credit Card, Credit Card Debt, Credit Card Application and anything related tocredit cards.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Powerful Business Networking Web Site

Networking is a problem for most working professionals. Some of us just don't have much time to network (I belong to this category). Yet for others, networking is as pleasant an exercise as having a root canal at the dentist.

That's why LinkedIn is such a great idea and I suspect it may work for at least some of us. It is a website where your register specifically for networking possibilities.

After your register at you are automatically matched by 10 possible networking buddies. But this is not the most exciting part of this service since the initial contacts are pulled from your own Outlook address book. Nothing to write home about there. (Yet, I have to admit I was surprised to discover that one the suggested "networking partners" pulled from my own address book was already a LinkedIn member.)

The membership list is displayed alphabetically by last name and a cursory look reveals the depth of the membership roster.

The most innovative feature of this service is that it puts you in touch with your old classmates.

You enter the school(s) from which you have graduated (by country, state, name, years of attendance) and LinkedIn automatically pulls in all your old classmates who are also LinkedIn members, by year of graduation which you can select from a drop-down list.

And the list of schools is truly global and not only limited to the United States. Even if you went to school in Congo or an island in the Pacific, the chances are LinkedIn covers it.

I have already sent a message to an old school mate of mine whom I had not talked to for over 20 years now. It would be interesting to see if he will reply.

Web technology in the service of business. LinkedIn is a very interesting web site indeed.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Negotiation Isn't a Sometime Thing, It's an All-The-Time Thing!

When you're buying a car or a house, you absolutely, unequivocally know you're entering a big-stakes negotiation, the result of which will mean thousands of dollars saved, earned, or lost.

So, it's fairly easy to get up for the game, emotionally, but that doesn't do much good if your haven't built your skills to an equivalent point.

You need to be READY to negotiate the big items of life, but because most of us do so only once every four or five years, we aren't up to speed.

There is only one way to get more experience and that is by (1) Perceiving the frequency with which you actually negotiate, daily, weekly, and monthly; and (2) By deliberately sharpening your bargaining tools within those encounters.

I hired a pool cleaning service because I finally admitted I wasn't going to get around to adding chemicals, investing in vacuum hoses, and testing the water on a regular basis.

During the pool guy's second visit, I noticed he was on site maybe 10 minutes, and he was about to split.

Not good, because there was algae along the tiles and in various nooks and crannies.

If I let him leave without pointing out these areas, he'd get the idea that his loose standard of pool cleaning effectiveness would hold sway during the course of our relationship, and I couldn't let that happen.

I recognized WE WERE NEGOTIATING HOW MUCH WORK HE WOULD DO for the money I was paying, and his "default setting" wasn't good enough.

He got the message, and ever since, he has been on his toes. Last week, during a driving rain, he showed up to at least put the chlorine in.

We smiled and waved, and all is well in the kingdom.

The next time you go to your dry cleaner ask them, "Do you have any coupons running in the paper?"

When you speak to your cell phone customer service department ask if they have any better plans since the last time you selected yours. Most likely, they do, but they won't volunteer information about them.

You've heard the saying, "If you don't ask, you don't get."

Vince Lombardi said, "Winning isn't a sometime thing; it's an all-the-time thing."

Get ready for those really big negotiations by practicing in life's small ones.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Friday, April 27, 2007

What is Promotional Marketing?

Promotional marketing is the term used to describe the various means of communicating with customers and prospective customers. It is a key element of the marketing mix, designed to raise awareness of a company and its products or services and, ultimately, to increase sales.

The aim of promotional marketing is to inform, persuade and influence. It is hoped that by delivering the right kind of information in a persuasive manner a decision to make a purchase will be made. This is commonly referred to as AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.

Before being able to arrive at the correct promotional marketing mix, agreement has to be reached as to the message and the audience. Only then can the most cost-effective media be selected to convey that particular message. Usually a range of methods are used but in order to be most productive it is essential that they form part of an integrated campaign.

If this is not the case there is a risk that the consumer becomes confused by receiving mixed messages. If, however, all the individual elements work in harmony within a well constructed strategy, a synergistic benefit can be achieved with the total effect far outweighing the sum of the various individual ones.

One of the key elements of promotional marketing is the use of promotional products. These have been proven to be highly effective as a stand-alone advertising medium, yet significantly better results are achieved when they are used in conjunction with above-the-line advertising media such as television and print.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When To Hire A Salesperson

One of the questions I am asked is, when should I hire a salesperson and what should I look for? I have always felt that hiring a salesperson should be like any business decision. The business should consider the investment as a capital expense that will deliver profitable, measurable results. A budget should be allocated for the expense and a return on the investment should be calculated. Unfortunately, many businesses rush into hiring a salesperson and bypass the rational process.

Businesses often rush into a quick decision because they feel comfortable or safe. After all, it is a safe bet that the salesperson will sell something. This rational is unfortunate but it does explain why businesses bypass the traditional capital investment rational and hire someone without exploring options.

Consider Your Options

Every business has options to consider before hiring a salesperson. Unfortunately, most businesses overlook these options and invest in a salesperson as the complete solution. Here are a few questions to consider.

  • Is it better to grow your business with NEW customers?
  • How do customers and prospects prefer to buy from you?
  • Can you develop more business from your existing customers?
  • Are you maximizing alternative methods of reaching customers?
  • Do you have a system for getting referrals to generate new business?
  • Would a sales assistant increase response, follow-up and sales support?
  • Can you automate your selling program to increase your current sales efforts?

Determining how you want to grow your business and how your customers prefer to purchase is critical information in the overall planning of any sales and marketing program. Clearly, all the business growth options should be considered. The business decision makers should take a step back and look at their business with fresh eyes and evaluate where the business growth is coming from. Industry buying trends must also be added to the equation. Specifically, how are customers placing orders. If the business is growing through orders on the Internet, using the Internet should be a growth option.

Invest In The Results Of A Salesperson

It is easier to make a hiring decision when we take the human element out of the picture. Don't think of a salesperson as a human. Think of the salesperson as a capital investment that will deliver new business. When you do this, you will automatically look at your options more clearly. Treat the decision as you would with any production piece of equipment. If you were buying a copier, you would match the right features, speed and capabilities against your key objectives.

Test the investment against other options. For example, we offer an automated sales assistant that follows the best practices of selling. The Selling Magic system automates the selling process but doesn't necessarily require a salesperson to execute the activities. This option would allow a business to benefit from a virtual salesperson without the expensive investment and with a guaranteed return on investment.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Ludicrous Factor

Who doesn't wish to go back in time and tell their younger self all the things we have learned along the way of life that we WISHED we had known oh-so long ago? I recall one of my first sales gigs was a vacuum cleaner salesman for Kirby Vacuum. Door-to-door no less. I rode around all day with my demo-vac in a van full of people trained less than the first-timer in a hopeless MLM. I recall mostly my poor attitude, my lack of willingness to get rich off of the comical selling of vacuum cleaners in upper middle class neighborhoods full of vacuum cleaners. The first day of that sales gig would be "when" I'd go back and whisper whatever my resistant younger self could hear.

What would you tell your younger self and "when" would you go back? I would give my younger self a few tips. The first tip I would give is that Anything you are willing to offer someone else you must first offer it to yourself. In my many sales management tours I always talked to the sales force as if that one thing I had to say in the moment was the only thing they would ever remember of me or my knowledge. What I told them, I would of course go back and tell myself: A client can have anything they want (no matter what) as long as they are willing to pay for it. If I have to offer this to myself first before I can offer it to the client - what does that mean? It means in the world of Negotiations that the only thing that limits my deal-making is the edges of my absurdity.

It's absurd enough to get in a van full of sales-pretenders, each armed with a vacuum cleaner. It's more absurd to walk through a neighborhood you have never been to before and stroll around in the hot sun with your vacuum cleaner door-to-door with the hopes of selling those 5 vacuum cleaners you have to sell before they will start paying you. It's absolutely absurd that some stranger would let you in their house, vacuum the underside of their bed and then write a check for 500 percent more than the vacuum cleaner costs you.

And of course - selling vacuum cleaners is not nearly as absurd as I wish to stretch my sales force, your sales force, myself or anyone else that REALLY wants to master the art of the deal, but it's a start.

Resourceful Questions is the one thing I would spend endless days teaching my younger self if I could. The Art of Deal is almost completely about capturing, directing, redirecting and mastering someone's attention. Where attention goes, energy flows is not just some flimsy metaphysical idiom - it's pure science. In nearly every negotiation you will ever make - the person you are negotiating with (I call them my negotiating complement)is focused on what he's suppose to get from you and how he's supposed to do that. Even power negotiators sometimes get caught in this trap and as they do - their attention moves away from the absurd and toward the predictable where they will loose their shirt to the patently absurd negotiator.

Here is a guide (though you can certainly be more creative than me)to getting in character for the absurd negotiator: If you are Negotiating for a bag full of golf clubs - see if you can get your negotiating complement to throw in a golf-car, golf-course or trip on the golf-yacht. If you are ordering a burger from some nasty fast-food restaurant - ask them to cook the meat well done, toast the buns twice, have them grill your onions, pickles and request they put all your condiments in small containers instead of on the burger. If being blatantly absurd is too scary then just ask questions all the time to people until you realize they will tell you anything and let you say just about anything to them. Interview everyone you meet in your daily life if you get a chance. The arab sounding woman that is taking your drive-thru order - ask her how many hours of English she's studied, where she studied it at and what the requirements are at "that" restaurant to be work the drive through in terms of basic english.

If you are braver than the drive-thru litmus test then lets step up the challenge to determine your maximum absurdity. Start by reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Never let your complement determine the terrain where you Negotiate. The more absurd the location of the negotiation the better. One of the rules of N.L.P. is that people can consciously focus on 7 plus or minus 2 things at any given time. Your job is to fill up the buffer of your complement's conscious mind with irrelevant things. As he drowns in the noise of Chucky Cheese restaurant where 6 different birthday parties are going on at the same time and struggles to maneuver you into a position where he thinks he can reach your business jugular vein, simply have your secretary or maid call your cell phone every 10 minutes. Always over or under dress for a negotiation. The Art of the Deal has almost nothing to do with the logic of a presentation. Deals are made and broken on the passion and fears of your complement. They either go for what you offer because of hope or dread.

True absurdity for a Negotiator means turning your complement's "set" into a minor sub-set of your own negotiation. Most people are not trained as Negotiators - they just think they are Negotiators. Asking Resourceful Questions really just means getting the Complement to tip his hand completely. Once your complement gives you the very strategy to wrench the lion's share of the Negotiation from him then all that is left is to decide how long to gloat before you rip it from his paws.

If you are still unsure which way is up on The Absurd Factor, then go rent a clown suit and sell your daughters Girl Scout cookies door-to-door in some strange neighborhood. It is all the places that our complements WONT go that makes us powerful as Negotiators.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do You See Through Your Client's Eyes?

It's a big shock to realize that no one really cares about your business, at least in the beginning of the process. What people do care about, and want to know, is what your business can do for them.

You can imagine that information about how long you have been in business or why you started your company isn't the most intriguing introduction. So why do so many business owners do it?

I know you love what you do and you're crazy about your business, me too! It's just that most other people, including prospective clients, aren't thinking about your business. They are concerned with their own lives and what is important to them.

Think about what you prefer when you are in the position of a being a client. Would you rather learn about the background of the business or would you like to hear about how the business can serve you? What we all really want to know is, 'what's in it for me' (sometimes referred to as tuning into radio station WIFM).

This quote by John C. Maxwell sums it all up: "People don't care how much you know -- until they know how much you care."

So how can you know what your clients care about? Simply put yourself in your client's shoes and imagine what it is they want to know. Think about what issues they are facing and what they need.

If you don't know what your clients are thinking, you need to find out. The best way to find out is to listen to what your clients are already telling you. You can also ask them directly or with a survey.

Once you know the situation your potential clients are in, you can address it and share how your business can support them. Speak directly to them and let them see that you understand their situation and how your business can help.

Here's an example to show the difference between the perspectives of the business owner and the client:

* Perspective of the Business Owner – We are a talented group of tax consultants who have been in business for 12 years. Our company prides itself on delivering outstanding services to small business owners. Our consultants are experts in advising on the appropriate tax services and we strive to deliver value throughout the process.

* Perspective of the Client – Are you a small business owner who would love to never have to file a tax report again? If you would like to spend more time on your core business and end the frustration that comes with filing taxes we would love to talk with you. Our clients feel confident and relaxed knowing that they don't have to worry about penalties, mistakes or missed deductions.

Can you feel the difference? Which company would you hire to do the taxes for your business?

Implement the perspective of your clients into all of your communication, written and verbal. Think about reducing words like 'us' and 'we' and use words like 'you' and 'your' more often. You can also use questions in your copy to help potential clients identify themselves like the first sentence of the Perspective of the Client example above.

Look closely at all of your communication and see where you can make some changes. Think about areas like:

Written Words (copy)

- Website

- Letters

- E-mails

- Brochures

- Business card (always use the back)

Spoken Words

- Networking

- Telephone conversations

- Speaking

- Videos

Make the shift, turn it around and think about your business from your client's point of view. Then get into action and change the words you write and the words you speak when communicating what your business offers.

Not only will your clients find this much more attractive, it makes doing business a lot easier for you.

© Stephanie Ward, 2007

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Three Worst Marketing Mistakes You Can Make

Marketing is what we do that puts us in a position to make a sale. Good marketing makes selling easier. Bad marketing may make selling impossible.

We market to strangers so some of them will raise their hand with at least potential interest in what we have on offer.

We market to our clients and customers in order to move them up to the next level of products or services.

Most of us put a lot of time, money, and effort into marketing. For must of us it is the key activity we use to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.

But when we don't deliver on the promises we make in our marketing we unleash the deadly 3/33 viruses on ourselves.

The 3/33 virus will destroy the marketing we have done in the past and it will make it very difficult to successfully market - at least to some prospects - in the future. And for the most part the 3/33 virus is a do-it-to-yourself process.

The 3/33 virus is word of mouth marketing on steroids - in reverse. Here's how it works.

When you fulfill a promise, deliver excellent service, come in under budget, and save your customer more money than you said you would - they might tell 3 people. And that usually is because you asked them for referrals.

But if you screw up, don't do what you said you would do, or fail to deliver in any way - in your customer's mind - they will tell at least 33 people. This can be disaster.

You know I am speaking the truth. Remember the last time you got poor service in a restaurant and how many people you went out of your way to tell about it?

Here are three ways to guarantee that all the marketing you've done will backfire on you.

1. Don't Do What You Said You'd Do
In 2006 I met the author of a marketing book at the Search Engine Strategies event in New York City. I had been receiving his email newsletter and had heard a few things about the book. A table where he could autograph books had been set up for him at the Search Engine Strategies meeting. When there was no one around I approached him and found him to be a very insightful person, someone whose book would probably be of value to our readers.

He offered to send me a review copy and I thanked him. After the event I emailed him a note with my mailing address. I never received the book. I received several emails to the address I had given him, but they were solicitations sent to everyone he'd come across at the search engine event.

I don't know if he never intended to follow up with his promise, or if he turner it over to someone else, or what. The bottom line is that I will never have anything positive to say about him, his organization, or his book. That can't be what this marketer had in mind when he went to the time, trouble, and energy to come to New York.

2. Disappear With Your Customer's Money
The Internet makes it possible to hire people you will never see to do something you can not do and really have no way of knowing it will work until it's too late, and pay them via your PayPal account before they'd even begun to do the work.

I have done this several times without incident. Recently however I hired someone, on the strength of another person's recommendation, who kept my money and disappeared. He had promised to do the work within 48 hours of receiving my payment. But instead I heard nothing from him for six weeks, at which point he contacted me to see if there was some way to make up for his failure to follow through.

I was astounded, but since I'd already paid him I asked him to do something that was worth less than half of what he'd already been paid. Hey, we all deserve a second chance. What happened? Nothing, I never heard from him again.

It's hard to say if I would have ever needed his services in the future anyway - so it was just a tedious time consuming event for me, getting someone else to do the job and so forth. But what did it do to the relationship I had had with the person who recommended him?

This was someone I trusted. Now I have to think twice about anything he has to sell me. And I am not going to tell my friends to do business with him in the future. Why would I take the chance he will recommend something or someone whose lack of performance comes back to bite me?

3. Embarrass Your Boss
Everybody's got to serve somebody was a line in one of Bob Dylan's songs. So no matter who you are or the position you have in your outfit - you do have a boss, maybe many of them.

Prior to events where I am registered as part of the media horde, I receive a stream of emails from companies that are making presentations or have exhibits there. A week before the 2007 Search Engine Strategies meeting in New York I received an interview request from the PR firm representing an organization I wanted to learn more about.

Actually I received three emails from them, each with open time slots, so I could chose one of the remaining times for the interview.

This is the way it's always done. By the time I get to the site I have several one on one interviews set up with people whose message, I think, will be of value to our readers. So I emailed my choice of day and time, from one of the remaining time slots.

In this case however, the PR person never go back to me. How was that possible, that was his job?

I was curious about the lack of follow up, from a PR person no less, so I printed out the email I'd sent and took it along with me to the meeting.

On the second day of the search engine conference I scoured the exhibit halls and eventually found the person I had wanted to interview. I still wanted to talk with him if we could work out the time.

You can imagine his response to my story and the copy of my email when I presented it to him.

You can also guess the fate of the PR firm who had mishandled their account. It seems I was not the only person affected by this - one of whom was an industry leader the boss really wanted to meet.

So, who's your boss? Whose opinions are important to you? Who do you serve? Are you doing everything you can and more to make sure you aren't disappointing or embarrassing them?

How can you be sure to avoid the three worst marketing mistakes? Only make promises you can keep, and keep the ones you make. It's as simple as that.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thrive Not Just Survive In Network Marketing

Regardless of whether you are representing a product or a service, you must be confident that your company will deliver according to its promise at all times. Moreover, your upline mentor or sponsor must be able and willing to help you achieve good results when you enroll in a network marketing business.

Probably the best thing you can do before starting a network home based business is to try the products or services yourself and give them your most fair rating. If you can see yourself recommending those products or services to your friends and family even if you did not receive some kind of benefits, then you have just found the right business for you.

You do not want to invest time, money and effort into something of poor quality or for which there is no market. Make sure that you are building your future success on a product or service people really need and want.

The next highly important step is to check how successful your sponsor has actually been, and how determined they are to walk down with you on the path leading to success. It is critical to know from the very start where you are standing. If your sponsor or mentor is not really interested in helping you, you are bound to work much harder. In fact, network marketing experts will tell you that this is a people's business rather than a product or service business.

Perhaps you believe that now is the moment to start your network marketing home based business. Well, not quite. Take your tine and review everything you know about the company, its product or service and the success stories it generated. Check your local library for books on getting your own business started.

Just because you will be dealing with network marketing it does not mean that you should treat it differently to running any other traditional business. It goes without saying that hard work is needed in order to create a six figure income. Therefore, don't forget to attend all your company's meetings and teleconferences – you will have a great chance of knowing other marketers and learn valuable tips from them.

Labels: , , , , ,

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Book Publishers Best Marketing Tips

Your book selling, book marketing, and book promotion planning should begin before the manuscript is completed. Assuming you're a self publisher or book publisher and you've already published your book, you need to immediately implement a strong, no-holds barred, book marketing and promotion strategy to sell your books fast. You can have the best book in the world, but if no one knows about it, no one will buy it; publicity, promotion, marketing and a focus on selling more books should now be a big part of your daily life.

Don't underestimate the value of a good press release for making book sales. When picked up by wire services, a press release can easily end up generating hundreds of mentions for your book. Make sure your press release spells out the 'who, what, where, when, and why.'

Send out at least 10 press releases to the print and broadcast media in your area every month. Send out the same press release to the editor of your local daily newspaper every week until you are called for an interview or are written up. Make sure you have at least one good press release, written in AP style, which you can send out for the lifetime of your book.

Press releases can generate thousands of dollars in sales when picked up by national trade or print media. Using press releases can be a very effective marketing tool if used properly.

Your sales letter or flier should include an eye-grabbing headline, the benefits to the buyer, the book features, book sales information and testimonials. Create an online contest and list it in online contest directories to drive traffic to your website. Find a non-exclusive distributor with a good reputation to carry your book for the book store trade, as well as for other retailers.

Get as many testimonials about your book, as possible, from experts in the field relating to your title, not customers; use on your fliers and back of books. Make sure to promote and market your book each and every day, both online and offline. Market your book to your number one market first, and then go after the secondary markets.

Every day it's important to focus on a variety of marketing approaches. Submit articles to online article directories that focus on your book's topic to drive customers to your website. Print and online publications provide longevity to your marketing campaign in terms of having something tangible for people to reference ongoing.

When you get a nice write up or feature about you and/or your book, have it laminated and set it up on an easel at trade shows. Build a web site that provides another avenue for ordering, a virtual online press kit and link exchanges with sites that relate to your topic. Women buy more books then men; see how you can fit your book into the women's market.

If your book fits a specialty market, find a store that fits the genre and offer to leave books on consignment; many publishers have sold thousands of books this way. Remember to make sure your book is listed in Books-in-Print; don't assume it's already listed.

It's important to publish a website that focuses on your title; you'll be able to refer editors and customers and all interested parties to your book information with the click of a mouse. Offer to trade writing a monthly column in a trade publication in your books' genre, in trade for display ads on the same page.

Now promote, promote, and promote your book some more! Don't delay another day if you've fallen by the wayside; make sure to focus on promoting, selling and marketing your book each and every day. Use your book promotion and book marketing dollars wisely; go after the free and cheap resources daily.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Top 10 Mental Hurdles to Getting More Clients and the 4 Steps to Resolving Them

Are you attracting enough clients or customers to your business? Do you ever wonder why you may feel blocked around this situation when others around you are flourishing?

Let's look at the top 10 reasons people give as to why they don't have a full client roster

1. I am uncomfortable networking

2. I feel like a used car salesman

3. I don't like hard selling anyone anything

4. No one will want to pay me for my work

5. I have no credibility (education credentials or otherwise)

6. I have no time to market myself

7. I'm not perfect at what I do

8. I have a "shady" past that I'm afraid people will find out about

9. I just don't feel like I know what I'm doing

10. I'm afraid…… (you fill in the blank)

Let's take a look at this same list but view it as a list of limiting beliefs that coincide to each statement above.

1. I am afraid to be out their speaking my truth

2. I have no credibility, I sound unauthentic when I sell my skills, I sound stupid

3. Selling must be done in a harsh way to get people to listen

4. I don't deserve to be paid for my skills/gifts

5. I don't believe in myself enough to be out there. I don't believe in my natural skills.

6. This isn't important enough for me to make time to market myself.

7. I judge myself harshly and demand perfection

8. I am afraid to be my authentic self

9. I have no confidence and people will see that I am a fraud

10. I'm just plain afraid …….and here's the punch line: I'm just plain afraid of being rejected.

That's it. That's basically what it comes down to: FEAR OF REJECTION. Oh, I can hear the moans and groans. Some of you have even gone back in time during this split second and relived being the last person to be picked for dodge ball when you were 6 years old or not having a date for the prom. Come back! : )))

Let's go further. What is this fear of rejection about? Well basically if you break it down to the smallest common denominator it is a LACK OF SELF WORTH. When you fear rejection or reprisal by being you're true authentic self then you have a self-worth issue. You're business is a very personal extension of who YOU are. That's a whole lot of esteem that you put out on the line each and every day you market yourself. Make sense?

In effect, what you've created is a negative Law of Attraction situation. The negative is what is boomeranging back to you. The image of the boomerang is a wonderful illustration of how energy works in the world. You throw a boomerang as hard or soft as you like, it still comes back to you in the same manner you let it go out of your hands. So it also is when you send out into the world negative, self defeating limiting beliefs about you and your business guess what comes back? Yup, negative or null and void energy. The important thing to note here is that the boomerang really doesn't care what the energy (or intention) is behind being thrown, it just comes back.

Let's erase these limiting beliefs that are causing your self esteem issues and thereby the negative boomerang. You will need 2 pieces of paper for this exercise.

Step 1: On page 1 make 2 columns. Label the first column "why I am not getting the clients I want". Then label the 2nd column "the corresponding limiting belief." You're basically going to do exactly what I did with the 10 statements above. Purge as much as you can onto this page. Go back and uncover all the hidden sabotaging voices that are impeding you. They can even be people.

Step 2: On page 2 write across the top "My New Beliefs and Behaviors". Write the necessary positive affirmation that would correspond to each point on page 1. Using my lists above, I'll give you a few examples:

1. Networking is easy for me. People are drawn to me and want to hear what I have to say.

2. I speak eloquently about my skills and talents.

3. My gentle persuasive soft sell allows me to seal the deal with ease.Etc…, you get the idea.

Step 3: Now here's your choice. You can keep page 1 or you can keep page 2. It's totally up to you. You always have a choice. If you choose to keep page 2 – congratulations! Now ceremonially, reach down to your shredder and run that list of negative things through it. Say the following:

"I release all of these negative patterns from every layer and level of my body. I no longer need these things. I choose a better me, a better life and an abundant business with lots of clients!"

Step 4: Tape your new list to the mirror in the bathroom and say those statements every morning. Be sure to look yourself in the eye as you do so! : ) You've just become a conscious co-creator in your life. You are setting the Law of Attraction into motion by changing your focus! Be prepared to catch it!!!! : ))))))

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Any Old Rags

Some years ago, when I was in the insurance industry, a colleague of mine told me a story. He had been in Insurance for 5 years selling it door to door. One night his mother commented that she had just taken out a large insurance policy with another company. My colleague screamed "why did you not come and see me?" His mother replied, well you never asked if I needed insurance but my agent did.

The moral of the story is, if you are marketing something make sure everyone knows about. You do not need to shove it down their throats but mention it once in a while or you could lose a customer staring you in the face.

My colleague nevertheless, is a cracking salesman and told me about an idea on how to get a hundred or so names of potential customers from any old newspaper.

First start from page one and start to write down every name you see. For example If the article reads "Mr Jones got run over by Taxi when he was leaving the church. The minister Rev Thompson says he was one of the church elders". etc etc. Therefore Jones and Thompson go on the list. Go through every news item and write down all the names. When you have your list link real people to the names. Who do I know called Jones or Thompson. Who are their friends? These names will jog your memory and and you should have a massive list of people to visit and promote your business by the end of this project.

Secondly, go back to the first page and start again with the first story. Now ignore the names and concentrate on the items. Who do I know who drives a taxi. Who do I know who goes to church or is a minister, who has been knocked down? You get the idea. By the end of this you will have truck load of names to market your business to.

You may say but I do not want to do business with these people who are too close to me and my family. Well in that case you do not value the business you are marketing. You must have confidence and trust your product to be able to sell it.

Now go and ask your mother if she wants what you are selling before someone else gets in first.

Labels: , ,

Monday, April 09, 2007

Small Business Email Advertising - 3 Keys To Success

If you're a small business person and you would like to use the power of email to communicate your sales message to your prospects and customers, here are three keys to doing it the right way and being effective.

The first key to successful small business email advertising is to collect the email addresses of your customers. To do this you must establish systems within the framework of your business. No matter how your staff comes into contact with your customers, they must ask for the email address at the point of contact.

Whether that contact involves working a cash register, by telephone, or in the customer's home, training your frontline staff to ask for the email address is imperative. You can support their efforts with secondary collection tactics, like web forms and contests, but nothing is more important than well trained personnel.

The second key to effective small business email advertising is using the right tools. For this purpose, nothing beats an online autoresponder. There are other alternatives, like do-it-yourself software located on your pc (too unstable) and a dedicated server (too expensive), but the online autroresponder provides the best combination of cost-effectiveness and features for the small business person.

Autoresponders enable you to essentially "set it and forget it" by providing a platform for email deliverability and list building. By automating much of the email campaign process, an autoresponder can free up your time to do what you are best suited to doing- building your business. You should strongly consider using an online autoresponder for your small business email advertising.

Finally, the third key to effective small business email advertising is consistency. The power of email is that it allows you to maintain regular, laser-targeted contact with your prospects and customers, thereby building a relationship with them. Relationship is the foundation of incremental sales. Your competitors are using email to build relationship with their customers, and trying to do so with YOURS. You absolutely must meet and surpass them, or you will find your customers defecting, and your business growth slowing.

Delivering your message consistently, week-after-week, is a powerful tactic made possible by email. Learn now to make use of this flexible tool for small business email advertising, and you will find yourself at the forefront, with your competitors striving to catch up.

For more on email advertising for small business, try and find tips, tools, and techniques.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

How To Promote Your Self-Published Books

With careful planning you can market, promote, and get (free) publicity (publicity is always free) on a limited budget; you can take the cheap and easy way. Your book selling, book marketing, and book promotion planning should begin before the manuscript is completed. Whether you've just published a book or have a book that isn't selling, now is the time to get to it; start promoting and marketing today!

Your book press release should not be written as you would a sales letter or flier, it should be written for the editor and tell about your book in a factual way, no opinion or glowing remarks. Press releases can generate thousands of dollars in sales when picked up by national trade or print media. Invest in press release submitting software and set aside time every week to send out a press release online to the press directories.

Mail a press release to at least 1000 print and broadcast contacts just prior to publishing your title and again and again after you publish; you can never send too many. Make sure you have at least one good press release, written in AP style, which you can send out for the lifetime of your book. Don't underestimate the value of a good press release for making book sales.

Make sure your press release spells out the 'who, what, where, when, and why.' Send out at least 10 press releases to the print and broadcast media in your area every month.

Build a web site that provides another avenue for ordering, a virtual online press kit and link exchanges with sites that relate to your topic. Be your own publicist and send a press release along with a review copy of your book to publications in your book's genre and to book review magazines. It's important to publish a website that focuses on your title; you'll be able to refer editors and customers and all interested parties to your book information with the click of a mouse.

Offer to trade writing a monthly column in a trade publication in your books' genre, in trade for display ads on the same page. I've not found that book signings sell many books for publishers and are often a waste of time; better to spend it elsewhere. Print and online publications provide longevity to your marketing campaign in terms of having something tangible for people to reference ongoing.

If your book fits a specialty market, find a store that fits the genre and offer to leave books on consignment; many publishers have sold thousands of books this way. Remember to make sure your book is listed in Books-in-Print; don't assume it's already listed. Find a non-exclusive distributor with a good reputation to carry your book for the book store trade, as well as for other retailers.

Arrange to speak at local, regional and national events that relate to your book topic; bring books along and have an associate sell them at the back of the room. Local radio shows and television appearances are good but are often forgotten within hours of the broadcast; make sure to make or get a copy of any television broadcast for future promotions. Contact non-bookstore booksellers and offer to leave books on consignment.

Your sales letter or flier should include an eye-grabbing headline, the benefits to the buyer, the book features, book sales information and testimonials. Contact any companies, corporations or organizations that might use your book for promotions; offer significant discounts for volume orders or for thousands of copies offer a specified amount above book production costs.

Get as many testimonials about your book, as possible, from experts in the field relating to your title, not customers; use on your fliers and back of books. You can giveaway your book in a raffle at a local function to promote your book and get more book recognition; look for these opportunities.

The success of any book marketing effort depends on a good book and just plain hard work; its been done many times before and you can do it too. Use your book promotion and book marketing dollars wisely; go after the free and cheap resources daily. Now promote, promote, and promote your book some more!

Labels: , , , , ,

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Easiest Way To Win New Clients

Most business people complain constantly about the lack of time to do all that they need to during the day. It makes sense therefore to have as many activities as possible on auto-pilot. That's why I like networking as a method of keeping my client portfolio topped up.

Or perhaps I should say I like networking when it works for me automatically and with very little effort on my part. That was always part of the brief I gave myself when I started to think seriously about networking.

Like every other business professional who starts his own business I very quickly got enmeshed in the day-to-day needs of the business. And then, quite suddenly it seemed, we had a pressing need for more clients.

It was funny really. There I was a "Marketing Expert" and I hadn't given nearly enough thought to how I was going to market my business. Of course I had a plan, but it was a relic of the way I used to think in my 'large company' days. The plan looked great on paper, but implementing it would take far more time than I had available.

A friend said I had to get into networking. He took me along to a Chamber of Commerce breakfast. The food was OK, but there wasn't anyone in the room who worked in the sort of company who I wanted as clients.

That was the first lesson – "you've got to go where the people you want to meet go." I was a bit relieved by this conclusion because I hadn't really enjoyed the atmosphere at the breakfast.

In my marketing plan I had a hit list of the companies I wanted to work for and the job titles of the people I wanted to meet. The question was where and how could I get to meet them?

And there was another even bigger question: "How would I get to meet them at a time when they needed my services?" When I eventually worked out the answer to that question my life became a whole lot easier.

Now I know that the secret of good networking is to meet the right person at the precise moment when they need your product or service. And that's what I eventually succeeded in doing, time and again.

Now that I am nearly ready to retire I share my marketing techniques with others. Anyone who joins my Marketing Club will learn how to network really effectively. Like most things, it's easy when you know how.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Add Some Piazza To Your Internal Marketing Plan

Good chemistry in an office can make all the difference in the world. Whether it's employees forming friendships that go beyond the monthly happy hour or blurring the dividing lines between upper management and employee base, a happy and cooperative office can change the way you do business in several positive ways, especially in times of transition and change. Take for example when you want to launch a new product or update your current logo and tagline. If you start your launch with a strong internal marketing campaign you can get your employees excited and prepared so that the overall transition can succeed. And what better way to pump up your internal marketing campaign than through promotional products.

Many companies, before launching their marketing and advertising plans, look to
bolster support from the inside with their own employees and clientele first. This serves three important purposes. First, internal marketing teaches your employees about your change or new product before the company releases it to the public. It allows for familiarization of the transition so that your employees know all the details and can really sell it. Second, it encourages more unity and cooperation in the office. If you can get the employees excited first, they will get all current and potential clients excited and ready to buy. Lastly, an internal marketing campaign can generate an overwhelmingly positive perception of the company as a whole. To execute a successful internal marketing plan, add promotional products designed especially for your employees. These products can achieve all three functions and also spread your company to more than just the employees.

The promotional products industry places a high importance on promotional gifts, designed to not only thank employees but also prepare them for an upcoming event or change in the company. These products support the company's event or change and serve as a constant reminder. If the product will promote an upcoming event, it can serve as the invite and save-the-date item. It will also raise awareness and inquiry about the event. A well-chosen promotional product for an employee and event mirrors the theme and motif of the event. For example, if you're putting together a wine tasting charity event that requires a high attendance of your employees, give them a wine glass with the name, date and time of the event engraved on the glass.

Other than events and transitional periods, promotional products provided during an internal marketing campaign can raise overall company morale. In a slow time during the year, think about giving your employees a product like boxes of chocolate or bath kits to remind them of your appreciation and encourage them to rejuvenate themselves.

Various products can work to enhance your ideal internal marketing plan. Want to give your employees something useful in the office? Think about giving them well-labeled desk calendars or desk clocks. Want to encourage them to relax and focus? Given your employees aromatherapy candles and beauty kits to emphasize a stress free environment. Planning on introducing a new program or product? Generate excitement with awareness bracelets, flags and even T-shirts.

No matter what you plan on doing to your company in the next couple of years, whether you want to add a whole new tagline and logo or throwing a corporate event, make sure to include promotional products as a part of your internal marketing plan.

Labels: , , , , ,

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Will Your Brand Take Root This Spring? - Part 1

They use an integrated approach to their marketing, combining a great visual identity with a compelling message that gets delivered through a variety of channels. People are bombarded with hundreds to thousands of messages a day. It's just not reasonable to expect an ad that runs one time in one newspaper will be enough to get your prospects' attention and rally them to action.

Over the next few issues of our newsletter, we'll be sharing thoughts with you on various channels of marketing and advertising in order to clarify the pros and cons of each one
and to demonstrate why a layered, or integrated, approach is worth every dollar you'll invest. We'll start with the obvious -- your visual identity.

Your visual identity -- it's more than a logo
Strong brands use every opportunity to mark their world and their customers' world with the organization's visual identity. Do you? Sure individuality is important, but how often have we gone into a store or office and not been sure who's a customer and who's an employee? Rewarding your staff with high quality logo'd items that they can wear to work, identifies them as staff embers on-site and subtly promotes the business off-site.

Every business is cost conscious, but are you cutting costs at the expense of visibility? Sure you can buy plain white envelopes for your business's correspondence but envelopes with your logo and mailing information look more professional and show you care about the details.

What promotional items link with your business, your mission and values, and have a significant shelf life or staying power for your clients? Coffee mugs? Don't we have enough of them? A client recently had us create bookmarks. What a clever and appreciated little thank you. Add it to a book that relates to a subject of interest to the client, or that relates to your industry, and you've got a perfect thank-you gift that has significant shelf life.

You wouldn't dream of using a business plan that hasn't been updated, so why would you want your customers or staff to come to an office that hasn't been updated? Are your office colors in harmony with the environment and the brand message being sent by your visual identity? Sure, it can be costly, but not investing in your environment is also costly when it results in customers who think you don't value them, or causes them to feel things aren't going well for the business.

This concept of "environmental branding" is exemplified by retail giants such as Ikea (an example that it doesn't have to be a costly investment), Borders, and the Disney Store.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Marketing Tips That Fit on One Hand

Marketing tips that are simple to use and easy to remember work for me. Business is so complex that whatever actions can make life just a little more simple go to the top of my list.

The first tip is that marketing must always be directed to the business results. When the business results are not known from the marketing activities, everyone works harder and not smarter.

Another tip is one of alignment. All of your marketing strategies should be in alignment with your strategic plan and the desired results that you are seeking from that plan.

When your marketing activities are working, don't stop is the third tip. Many times business owners change strategies and tactics to try something new when their current actions are working. This is a big mistake.

For example, Ford had a terrific and well known vehicle, the Ford Taurus, that had an incredible loyal customer base. Yet, some marketing genius or Ford executive decided that this well known and branded product needed to be put out to pasture for a new vehicle that began with the letter "F." Ford lost market share when they couldn't afford to lose any customers. Their marketing was working and they changed horses in the middle of the stream.

The fourth tip is to focus your marketing message on your customers and not what you do. For example, one of my messages is that "I work with professional service firms and manufacturing companies who frustrated…really frustrated by the lack of results from their people. And no matter what they have done before, they still can't change their results." This tip allow you to become the Red Jacket in the Sea of Gray Suits.

These four tips all fit on one hand. The fifth and final one, well, if you need one, that is up to you.

Labels: , , , ,