Sep 01 2011

Generalist? Priceless. Specialist? Worthless.

Marketing, advertising,

 

PR and sales

                                  

industry-specific 

 

experience?

                  

Worthless.

 

An Opinion 

SALES

Give me a guy who can sell ketchup, propane, decorative plants, dental insurance, or rubberbands any day over a techie geek to sell your iPads, TVs, Wii programs, or Kindles. Geeks sell geeks. Sales pros sell people. Why think small when your opportunities are big? The geek market is small. Find people who are experts at serving customers, and teach them product/service knowledge.

Looking for an exceptional salesperson for your new snack products? Stop looking in the snack product industry. Find someone who sells railroad cars full of dorm furniture to universities. Surgical supplies? Get your search engine out of the med school dropout arena and find a classy cosmetics presenter with a sparkling, eager-to-learn  personality.

Oh, and remember that great salespeople don’t make great sales managers. Only great managers make great sales managers.

                                                 

PR

Find a freelance writer who has some psychology background and who can write some slam-bang persuasive headlines and sentences for all kinds of products and services– someone who is tenacious in follow-up efforts. Forget about established, specialist PR firms and groups who tend to be more interested in their names than yours. 

The public relations field is a breeding ground for con artists. I’ve seen top PR firms charge $25,000 a month and produce zero. If they can’t make what you have to sell be exciting, you lose. If they can’t follow up fanatically to get writers, reporters, editors, producers, and publishers pouncing on your story, you lose. You can teach someone with diverse quality PR experience about your industry media. 

                                            

ADVERTISING

Skip right over any provider who claims expertise in your field, unless you’re willing to spend lots of money to make no impact. Hospital advertising is a great example. It’s pathetic. Does “Excellent People” and “We Care” float your boat? Hospitals and banks are the perfect examples of advertising waste.

Get a person or small team on board who want to help you make a difference, who know how to ignite and cultivate creative thinking applications that get results. Just because something looks nice and is clever or informative doesn’t mean that it works. It may only mean that the agency is seeking to win a design award.

Don’t settle. Do your homework and due diligence. Then teach her/him/them about your business and industry.

                                    

MARKETING

Not “marketing” like healthcare people think: physician office visits with armsful of popcorn, candy, 6-foot subs, sports and concert tickets. That’s called payola, as in bring ’em gifts and they’ll prescribe or recommend or buy your products. It’s also called bribery, and it borders on STARK Law and other ethical violation issues. 

And not marketing like Fortune 500 companies hellbent on analysis paralysis before even considering a potential packaging design, pricing structure, promotional flyer, merchandising gimmick or ad headline. Part of why big companies have too much at stake to be entrepreneurial has to do with the astronomically wasted expenses involved in frivolous product and service development and meaningless market research.

You don’t need an army of “experienced (Fill in any specialty here) marketing pros.” You need a person or small team who have a proven track-record for producing results in a variety of fields. Diversity, flexibility, and common sense abilities to work with an Objective/Strategy/Tactics framework in all types of media are what count more than “industry-specific.”

P.S. Beware “Social Media Marketing Experts” who don’t understand marketing. There are plenty of them. 

                                    

THE KEY

It’s easy to teach experienced marketing/advertising/sales/PR people what they need to know about your product or service to most effectively represent it. But it’s nearly impossible to teach industry and professional practice-specific experienced people how to market, advertise, publicize and sell.

                                        

Specialization Closes Minds 

                                        

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  Open Minds Open Doors 

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Jul 12 2011

Business All-Stars!

Don’t clutter up your

                                   

 Here and Now with a

                                    

What if” Dream Team
                                    

 At some time or another, every entrepreneur has a “Dream Team.” Very few, though, ever get the chance to activate it. Why? Because dreams–like hopes and wishes–are not reality.

 ____________________
                                                                     

But we all carry images in our minds of who we’d love to have on payroll, running our operations, finances, personnel (oops sorry, human resources) and marketing, leaving ourselves free to concentrate on product, service, and idea development… and sales!   

Oh well, we entrepreneurs can’t dream about an All-Star business team because… we have made ourselves into: e-n-t-r-e-p-r-e-n-e-u-r-s, and entrepreneurs are business people who do it all, at least until things get up and running, which typically takes 5-6 years, and often longer. So what’s an entrepreneur to do with all this dream stuff?

Can it. Save it in case you have to take a government job! Put it on the shelf. But don’t clutter your “here-and-now” with “what ifs.” Contrary to popular opinion, fueled by uninformed mainstream media people, entrepreneurs are not dreamers. They are parttime planners and full time doers. And they don’t bet the farm or buy lottery tickets.

Entrepreneurs take only reasonable risks. And most entrepreneurs recognize that one solid business plan will take them farther than a year of nightly fantasies. If you’re not sure about how to best put one (a business plan) together and seek help from an expert, by the way, contact Tim Berry.

If you’re not a talented marketing writer, hire one. Find someone to write your business plan narrative section who can digest your company mission, vision, track-record, marketplace, competition, and uniquenesses, and present you in the best possible light. Be prepared to pay well. It’s an investment in yourself and your business.

If you’re not an accountant, hire a CPA to do your business plan financial projections, and certify your balance sheet and income statement. Expect to pay well. It’s an investment in yourself and your business.

If you’re not an attorney, hire one to review your plan and provide the legal statements you need to avoid problems. Pay well. It’s a safety net for you and your business.

These are real issues that require real dollars. (Hmmm, maybe that’s why we dream so much?)

So, enjoy tonight’s All-Star Game and start out tomorrow with your Dream Team in a closet while you roll up your sleeves and get some kind of business plan planned. Fantasy is for children, artists and politicians (and maybe some of your off-hours), but only reality thinking can survive and thrive in this economy.

                                                                                                          

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Jun 30 2011

4th of July Sparklers

Seeking sales fireworks?

                                      

Check your sparklers!

 

                                

Business owners constantly want more sales results than they’re typically ready to put their shoulders to the wheel for, in terms of the marketing words (their “sparklers”) that they use.

The average response to meeting the need for coming up with the right sets of marketing words to represent business products, services, and ideas is a lazy one. Most small business owners, it seems, either wing it to save money, delegate it because they’re afraid of it or want to “give someone a chance”

. . . OR they hire some fancy high-priced group of self-proclaimed experts to get it done.

What works? None of the above.

                             

When you wing it

. . .  it’s like not fastening the screws that hold your product parts together, or not providing the terms of the services you offer. It’s a great deal more than that because you’re dealing with peoples’ brains and that delicate experienced edge of psychological savvy mixed into the creative pot is what makes the difference.

You are not in business doing what you’re doing to be a great marketing writer any more than you’re in business to be a great lawyer or accountant (unless of course you’re a lawyer or accountant!).

So why waste time and energy (and ultimately money) trying to be something you’re not, when you have the option to be driving your business to a successful destination by applying your full resources to operations, finances and sales? Okay, so promise you won’t wing it, okay.

                                                        

When you delegate it 

. . . you’ll hand it off to that assistant of yours . . . you know, the one who’s always writing some book, or poetry, or funny Facebook posts. When you delegate the task, regardless of what you think might be signs of talent rising up from someone on your staff, you should expect to get the inadequate results you will get.

I can assure you after seeing years’ worth of these dynamics, what you get back will simply not be professional enough a representation of your business strengths. Nor will it be put into the customer-benefits language you need in order to succeed at producing the sales results you seek.

What you get, in fact, could very well end up undermining your other sales-building efforts.

                                          

When you hire a fancy group

. . . an advertising or marketing or PR agency — you should know that this choice delivers about 85% odds that the group you hire will be very skilled at not letting you know that they are more preoccupied with winning themselves some type of marketing, advertising or PR award than they are with helping you make sales.

When “getting sales” is what’s important, being “pretty” and having the best designs don’t always count for much.

Odds are also that they will be fantastically talented at not letting on that they don’t really know how to help you make sales. Ask them if they’re willing to work on a expenses plus performance incentive basis. That question usually separates reality from fantasy.

                                              

If the words you’re using don’t sparkle enough to spark action, find a wordsmith. Do some homework and scout around for an experienced individual who has a proven track-record in writing words that get sales results. Find someone who demonstrates interest in your business but not an “expert” at it. An expert writer is what you want.     

You need fireworks? Start with someone who knows how to spark sales with “sparkler” words . . . words that attract attention, words that create interest, words that stimulate desire, words that bring about action, words that prompt satisfaction.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” 

[Thomas Jefferson] 

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 Open minds open doors.

Thanks for visiting. God Bless You.

God Bless America and America’s Troops.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jun 27 2011

Every blink you blink

 Every step you take,

                            

 every word you say,

                                  

 every blink you blink

                           

  . . . is marketing.

 

 

You’re a professional practice or small business owner or manager. Whether you have 100 employees or work out of your bedroom closet, the words you use (and don’t use) and the ways and places you move (and don’t move) say worlds about where you’re headed and how long it will take you to get there.

Every step you take and word you say, every blink you blink is a form of marketing to someone for something.

                                                                     

It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to get your rich brother-in-law to loan you his $1,700,000 Bugatti Veyron to drive your best customer to dinner at the club, or whether you want to motivate your new assistant, or get approval to cash in a free WAWA coffee coupon that expired yesterday, you are constantly engaged in marketing.

Your business plan and loan applications are marketing documents. When you hire a consultant, you have to impress on that person or group (oh, sorry, “team”) that you and your business are worthy of her/his/their exertions on your behalf. You slide a little salesy language into explaining what your business is all about.

The thing is that most hard-nosed, competitive, aggressive business people know all this and make no bones about practicing proactive, assertive language and posturing at every turn in the road. But those who often have the most to offer in terms of creativity and innovation will typically get themselves caught up in the process, not the selling.

We can’t turn timid creative genius personalities into super sales pros overnight (and probably shouldn’t try or even want to), but we can help raise these folks up a notch by pointing out that five criteria are part of every successful marketing effort . .  and that EVERYthing is marketing SOMEthing! Your steps, words, and blinks must:

  1. Attract Attention

  2. Create Interest

  3. Stimulate Desire

  4. Prompt Action

  5. Deliver Satisfaction

                                                          

All five of these must be present in every form and function of marketing to bring about ongoing and long-term success. Look around you. The extent to which these five criteria are effective determines how effectively your message is being delivered to your target markets.

Look for the five in print advertisements and broadcast commercials; billboards and other outdoor advertising vehicle messages; print and video promotions and displays; online presence (websites, social media sites, etc.); sales presentations (in-person, seminars, webinars, teleconferences; trade and professional shows); public relations programs (events, news releases, etc); packaging and labeling; merchandising; even pricing can all be measured for effectiveness when they succeed at making these ten words work . . . even in your “elevator speech.” 

Remember you are being:

watched; heard and overheard; listened to (there IS a difference!); read about; sized-up; checked out; assessed; evaluated; figured out; thought about; tested; weighed; raked over; admired; followed; respected; loved; praised; scourged; mocked; appreciated; and bought

— all day, every day, even as you sleep!

                                                 

The same way that you buy or don’t buy others, they buy or don’t buy you. Your best insurance for achieving success is to make the sale. Your best way to make the sale is to accept that it is what it is, and that you need to be forever on the alert to opportunities.

Opportunities are created by marketing that attracts attention, creates interest, stimulates desire, prompts action, and delivers satisfaction.

Drive your imagination forward with reality. 

 

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Hal@Businessworks.US

 Open minds open doors.

Thanks for visiting and Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Jun 18 2011

“FREE” Takes Time!

No-cost/low-cost marketing

 

doesn’t happen overnight!

                                                             

When you commit to spending minimal or no dollars to get your marketing message out to your target market, don’t expect miracles. Be realistic enough to recognize that a great many factors can impact your effectiveness. 

Whatever you do must be well done. If it’s news releases, you need to distribute a series of at least 5 or 6 different ones, 10-20 days apart, to a reliable list of media contacts, whose names and titles are double-check spelled correctly . . . and who are treated with utmost respect and gratitude for consideration.

Remember you are asking these people to give you free publicity. They decide if you get it or not, if your words are worthy, if they like the way you ask, if they are in a receptive mood, or if they will require you to buy advertising time or space first.

Your releases must be:

  • NEWSWORTHY – Use “enlightened” self-interest, not just self-interest!

  • GRAMMATICALLY FLAWLESS – Use Spellcheck. Use AP and UPI “Style” books, and Strunk and White’s Elements of Style

  • 1.5 PAGES MAX, AND 1.5 – 2 LINES PARAGRAPH SPACING

  • 3-4-LINE PARAGRAPHS

  • ACCOMPANIED BY:

    • Your contact info
    • Interesting, captioned photos whenever possible
    • Short, personalized-as-possible cover notes that point out why each release will have interest to the recipient’s reader or broadcast audiences

If you’re using social media and/or emails (and you should be on both counts, if for no other reason than to support and promote the use of releases), think before you “Send.”

Always include a shortened link to your site. Be social. A steady stream of sales pitches, day after day numbs Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn subscriber brains into Delete Mode.

As with your news release headline, make sure your message attracts attention without being alarmist or overstepping acceptable boundaries of good taste.

Be smart enough to realize that the economical course of action you choose for your marketing simply does not offer the same accelerated pace of providing and paying for an advertisement and getting immediate exposure.

“Free” takes time!

Expect — even when everything and every person involved in the process falls neatly into place — it’s going to take you longer than you want it to, to make things happen.

                                              

A news release that finds its way to a receptive editor may get tossed at the last minute because a major news event breaks. Coverage of that takes priority because it sells newspapers, magazines and broadcast aduiences.

That’s what sells advertising time and space and that’s what pays salaries.

                                                            

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“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Apr 04 2011

Budget woes? Slash a trillion!

C’mon . . .When was the last

                                         

time you ever remember 

                                   

in your whole entire life

                                    

having a “trillion”

                             

of ANYthing????  

                                   

                          

Have you been listening to all the politicians talk about budget-slashing? They must be kidding!

Hey, it’s definitely no joke the economic mess we’re in. And TRUTH? Truth is -no matter who says what– truth is that we’ve got to live with it all for at least another three years. It’ll take a year and a half or more just for the new White House to undo the reckless spending tangle that the great “Hope and Change” hero created.

Business Owners Beware!

                                                                                   

If you own a business and you’re not already working at unseating the socialism plague that’s practically brought you to your knees, you must be part of that crowd that thinks it understands “trillions.” I just read somewhere that a million dollars a day every day since Jesus died wouldn’t even add up to close to a trillion dollars.

The deal is that you must protect your budget without tearing it out by the roots. Oh wait, that’s your hair. Well, the thing is that if your business budget isn’t bare bones yet, you may already be out of hair and roots!

Here’s an example of spending priorities

that smart business owners must consider:

                                                                            
  • MARKETING — You should be spending money for a professional marketing or branding writer to create your sales messages, but you should NOT be spending money needlessly to get your messages out.

Maybe that sounds like a “Catch 22”? It’s not. There are plenty of ways to reach your target market effectively for free, but you’d better be saying something worthy of capturing attention, creating interest, stimulating desire, and bringing about action and satisfaction, or get back to your budget board and start all over!

  • OVERHEAD — Of course you have to pay the mortgage or the rent, but can you sublet part or all the space to a business that operates when yours doesn’t? Many instructional program businesses operate in evening or weekend hours. Do you have extra space you don’t need that you can separate from your workspace?

A lumberyard office building barters one small corner of space to a moonlighting graphic designer who provides the lumber company with free brochure and flyer designs in exchange for the space, electricity, and computer hookup.

  • PAYROLL —Maybe space-sharing’s not practical, but what about sharing people? A centralized reception area and receptionist can save two or three or four businesses money and afford to hire a hard-working quality employee.

There’s much to be said for the old entrepreneurial “incubator” days, where all kinds of services and workspaces were shared. These included common area receptionists, centralized booked-time conference rooms, cleaning supplies and maintenance services, delivery and fuel costs, security systems, office supplies. If you can think it, try it!

  • PROFESSIONAL SERVICES — When did you ever meet an accountant or lawyer or consultant or creative service person who wouldn’t be please to offer a discount for two, two, two clients in one? (Oh, that was “mints”? Sorry.)  

This kind of arrangement is especially win-win when common elements or interests prevail. Adjoining physical therapy and occupational therapy offices that both require similar electronic medical forms maintenance for insurance coverage reimbursements. A publisher and designer who both need a copyright lawyer.

Dig out your imagination here. Do the railroad track warning thing: STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN. Look around at what you’re doing from the standpoint of sharing, bartering, co-sponsoring . . . and maybe you too can “slash a trillion” or so!

 

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Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 12 2011

Stop Running Scared!

This is an attitude message, not a sign-up or recruitment decree

                                                                                   

Don’t let the media  

                               

and the White House

                           

bully you around!

 

                         

It’s your business.

You’ve captained it through rough seas before.

You’ve made it this far.

You know in your heart that –as bad as this economy continues to be (in spite of all the White House and media protestations to the contrary)– you can survive the present turbulence by holding your ship steady and running the engines full ahead.

                                                                  

Why this message now? Because I see and hear about many small businesses getting weak-kneed and starting to actually consider caving in to all the psychological bullying messages that continue to run rampant out of the White House and the federal government’s puppet media, who have abandoned reporting for propagandizing.

Political manipulating has clearly replaced the reality of what it takes to turn around the economy. Don’t be bullied into buying all the nonsense spewing 24/7 out of the army of talking heads. Small business holds the only key to economic turnaround with genuine new job creation — real jobs that provide real career opportunities! 

I’ve had conversations with three business owners this past week (one retail, one manufacturer, and one service) who are claiming to be on the verge of abandoning most if not all marketing efforts to save money. “So board up your doors and windows too! Just toss in the towel now!” I was tempted to exclaim, but realized I’d simply be fueling the fires.

The L~A~S~T place to cut corners is marketing!

T h e   L~A~S~T   p l a c e.

No marketing, no prospects.

No prospects, no customers.

No customers, no sales.

Is that rocket science?

“Oh,” they say, “but we just can’t afford it anymore; marketing costs a fortune.”

                                                                        

No marketing doesn’t cost a fortune! Maybe the kinds of marketing you’ve historically done is proving too expensive to keep afloat in this killer economy, but good marketing does NOT have to be expensive.

In fact, really great marketing can be done for free or close to free when someone knowledgeable and experienced is handling it.

“Yes, but then there’s the expense of retaining those kinds of services!”   

First of all, the “Yes, but’s” run in the woods with the “Rabbuts.”

Secondly, and most importantly, there are VERY many resource people out there who have the know-how and the experience and the creative talents to put together a marketing program for you that is free or minimal expense, and that works, for far less money than you’ve been pouring into your earlier-days efforts.

Stop running! Stop doubting! Start searching! Be a detective!

If you are intent on marketing your business successfully for minimum expense and you are willing to focus a chunk of energy in finding the right individual or team who can do this for you, you will succeed!

And won’t that surprise your competitors? And (ahem!) the White House?     

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www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Dec 21 2010

DEFRAGMENT YOURSELF!

When you finally slow down for

                                          

(or from) the weekend,

                                      

DEFRAGMENT!

 

 

No need to explain why. You already know all the economy, industry or profession, marketplace and competition reasons.

So let’s get to the heart of it. Use this slow-down-time period to step back, adjust your glasses, put your hands on your hips, stretch, yawn, take some deep breaths, and defragment — put all the pieces out on the table.

                                          

Start with your business . . .

What’s been going on these past few months? Weeks? Where’s your business now, and where’s it headed?

~~FINANCES?

Management? Strategies?  Communications? Budgets? Investors? A/R? A/P? Cash flow? Payroll? Other overhead? Reimbursements? Taxes? Revenues? Charitable donations? Profits? Accounting systems? Bookkeeping services? Add your own here: _____________________  

~~OPERATIONS?

Management? Strategies? Communications? Equipment? Supplies? Storage? Shipping? Inventory? Warehousing? Operating systems? Work flow? Scheduling? Purchasing? Leases? Legal actions? IT? Add your own here: _______  _________________________________   

~~MARKETING?

Management? Strategies? Communications? Branding? Sales? (Yes, sales is a function of marketing.) Public and community and investor and industry relations (Also all marketing functions, including news releases, special events, blogs, BUZZ)? Advertising (another function of marketing, including online, traditional and direct media . . . as well as the creation and production of all of it) Pricing? Packaging? Promotion? Merchandising? Social media? Add your own here: _____________________________  

~~HUMAN RESOURCES?

Management? Strategies? Communications? Benefit programs? Customer Service? Referral values? Recruitment? Hiring and firing? leadership, teamwork and skills development training? Performance incentives? Motivational programs? Add your own here: _____________________________

                                                  

[So you noticed those 3 primary targets for each category, huh? Well, in my experience, poor management, poor (or no) strategies, and poor communications have consistently been the primary reasons for business failure!]

                           

That should give you a place to start. When you’ve exhausted your business thinking, switch gears to your SELF.

 

What’s been going on these past few months/weeks  with YOU? Where are you now, and where are you headed?

                                                       

~~HEALTH & FITNESS?

Are you squeezing in enough exercise every week to keep yourself in decent shape? You need not lift or jog for three hours a day and eat powered protein shakes with 37 raw eggs for breakfast in order to stay physically fit.

Many experts say 3 hours a week of brisk walking and avoiding overdoses of red meat and fatty foods will suffice for most people with busy schedules. Are you getting routine medical and dental health checkups as recommended? What do you need to do to motivate yourself in these directions?  

~~FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS

Are you spending enough quality time with children, parents, spouse or significant other and (get your finger out of your throat!) your in-laws? How can you combine some time-consumers more productively? Walk with family members or friends. Partner up for health tests (easier to deal with when you have company).

Get serious about sharing healthy food preparation ideas, recipes, and meals. Small specialty of handmade gifts and handwritten thank you notes work wonders as relationship cement. Add your own ideas here: ____________________

~~SELF-EXPRESSION, SELF-AWARENESS & SELF-DEVELOPMENT

Surely you know what you need to do in these categories to defragment yourselfand move forward with the adventures in creative expression and self and academic learning that you’ve always wanted to fit into your life, but never chose to make the room for. Now’s your chance to choose, and blame it on me!

The more you can learn about yourself, the better you’ll be as a leader and coach and role model . . . the better prepared you’ll be to inspire and motivate others to productivity and peak performances. Choose to make yourself make room for this. 

                                            

Weekend time slow-down periods are the perfect times to reevaluate and make commitments to yourself.

No, not token promises that never happen. Get serious here for a minute.

You have only one life, and the rest of it starts the minute you leave this blog post, so how about making the rest of your life make the kind of difference you’ve only ever dreamed of?

Hey, what’s to lose by trying?

 

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www.TheWriterWorks.com

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Dec 08 2010

Are You Selling What You Think You’re Selling?

If you didn’t know you,

                               

would you buy

                             

what you have to sell,

                                    

from you? Are you sure?

                               

MacDonald’s sells consistency, not hamburgers. Golden Arches customers know they can get the exact same fare prepared the exact same way at any of their “I’m Lovin’ It!” locations in the world. It’s like a security blanket for your stomach (assuming your stomach can stomach what’s served up!)

Revlon’s founding family president Charlie Revson was often quoted as saying “We don’t sell cosmetics; we sell the promise of sex to single teenage girls!” Airlines don’t sell seat rentals; they sell destinations. Churches sell redemption and hope. Disney World sells brain escape. IT businesses sell “solutions,” but often just add more problems.

Self-appointed SEO and Social Media “experts”? They don’t seem to know what they’re selling. But –by now– YOU must have a pretty clear idea of what works for you, or maybe not . . . 

How about YOUR business?

  • Are you putting out “mixed messages”?

  • Do those people you seek to attract as customers get it?

  • Are you presuming or have you actually asked them?

  • Do your customers buy what you have to sell, or what you claim to be selling?

  • Are you selling real products and services or images of what the benefits are that one gets from buying your products and services?

  • Have you made your marketing effort an exclusively online production?

 

If you are selling benefits (and you SHOULD be, by the way), does that represent some sense of ethical compromise to you? If you’re not doing that (and instead emphasizing and selling features, for example), has it occurred to you that your competitors surely are or will be selling benefits?

Do you think you would have lasted long in the passenger airline industry selling short-term rentals of seat manufacturing components while competitors sell happy couples skipping through the Caribbean surf or exploring Mediterranean fishing villages, or visiting Hawaiian mountain waterfalls, or diving off Mexican cliffs, or singing and dancing in Austria’s Oktoberfest?

When did you last sit still long enough to really take apart your sales message and examine the pieces?

 

Do the words work? Do they sell? Is there one word too many or too few? What you think you’re saying and what in fact communicates may be two separate things. How does your sales message look? How does it feel? What’s the intent? What did you discover by answering these questions?

How can you tweak or adjust or revamp or update what you have to make it better? To make it sing? To make it reach out and grab? If any of this leaves you puzzled and you are earnest about improving the process of selling what you’re selling, call me. No telephone fees. No strings attached. I’ll give you ideas. If you want more than ideas and I can’t help you, I can point you in the right direction.     

# # #

302.933.0116   Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

3 responses so far

Dec 06 2010

Walk The Talk!

Follow, deliver, be urgent

                        

and reckless

                              

hardly sounds like a

                       

success formula, but 

                  

. . . NOTHING in business is more telling about the character and integrity of an individual or organization than the honoring (or not) of commitments.

 

  1. Consistent follow-through and follow-up

  2. Delivery of what’s promised when it’s promised

  3. An all-pervasive sense of urgency, and 

  4. The reckless pursuit of customer delight

. . . are the marks of true business leadership.

                                                                 

Underpinning those magical business attitudes are respect for others, and a mission to maintain quality and value at every turn.

Besides –that all by themselves– those qualities make for explosively productive marketing and branding programs, regardless of the nature of the business or the goods or services offered.

Humans buy benefits first, attitude of the provider or supplier second, and product or service features a distant third.

                                                                

Who knew? Not most business owners (who continually insist on marketing features first, and who routinely dismiss attitude issues as ones that impact the bottom line, and that they have little or no control over).

In fact, benefits and attitude offered are the engines that drive the bottom line. They are also largely a matter of choice. Attitude is 100% choice. If product or service benefits are limited, it’s because someone at some point didn’t recognize or flex that 100% choice muscle in the process or decision making about what to offer customers. But choosing a corrected attitude can upgrade the benefits.   

The only problem is that I can just barely think of slightly more than a handful of businesses in my lifetime that actually deliver consistent follow-through and follow-up, delivery of what’s promised when it’s promised, an all-pervasive sense of urgency, and the reckless pursuit of customer delight.

You?

What happens when you put these four yardsticks up against the ways you think and the ways your organization is doing business right now? How do you and your business measure up?

Are your weakest-link areas ones you can correct/adjust/improve or boost on your own, or will you do better to enlist outside help? How big of an issue are the expenses associated with getting expert input? What’s your opportunity loss?

You could well be, for example, losing more dollars worth of business opportunities right now because your and your business’s emphasis are on the least productive points (like marketing features?) which could easily be costing you more than to bring in a professional specialist who can help you stop the trickle before it becomes a flood.

If you go this direction, be careful about who you choose to step in. Make sure that that team or group or individual exemplifies the four points identified above. Yes, there are plenty of earnest and capable individuals (especially) out there who can deliver the results you seek. Do due diligence. Ask for references and ask references for references. Use your gut instincts.

~~~~~~~~

www.TheWriterWorks.com  

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

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