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

Nov 11 2010

Customer Service Lessons From Our Military!

Adapted from an original archived blog post on this site…

WHY DO YOU THINK U.S. MILITARY

PERSONNEL ARE SO MUCH BETTER

AT RELATIONSHIP-BUILDING THAN

CORPORATE EMPLOYEES?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

What?  You think this isn’t true?  I’ve got news for you.  The comparison is not even close. 

Pick up your phone and call any U.S. Military installation with a request for information about any aspect of life on the base you’re interested in—from when’s the next parade, to how do you reach the person in charge of the USO lounge or the family service center, to whether it’s possible to arrange a tour for your child’s school class—and see what you get! 

Besides the standard “Yes, Sir!” and “No, M’am!” courtesies, you will (I’m willing to bet) be treated to honest, direct, friendly responses.  And sincerity.  I actually hear sincerity coming across on the phone. 

Oh, and odds are pretty good you’ll also speak with a real live human being and, on top of that, a real live human being who’s not sounding like you’ve just demolished her or his hopes for having a nice day with your interruptive call. 

You might even get someone on the line who sounds interested in what you have to say! 

Positively, you won’t be hearing sloshing ice cubes, straw-sucking and cracking gum on the other end. 

                                                                          

I’ve had this positive military telephone courtesy experience a number of times in recent years, but never gave it much thought until getting dissed or badgered or completely misunderstood in a few calls to big companies in attempts to identify the best and most economical services to buy. 

Then, I had the good fortune of making half a dozen ”blind” or “cold” calls to Dover Air Force Base to try tracking down a couple of sales prospects for a client of mine, and “like sunshine on a rainy day,” one after another, the nicest, friendliest, most helpful people I have called in months.  (And not so incidentally, they all spoke fluent English!) 

Each listened carefully without interrupting.  Each asked questions to help qualify my interests.  Each suggested names and numbers and situations I might want to consider and no one rushed me. 

One even gave me a very candid and objective assessment of what she though my odds would be with each of the four other officers she referred.

All I kept thinking was why can’t tech companies, as a prime example, take a page here?  Why does it have to be so difficult to be treated appreciatively and respectfully by a company I’m looking to spend my hard-earned money with? 

Why aren’t corporate telephone people standing on their heads to exude overkill courtesy to prospective and actual buyers?

Anyway, besides the fact that our blessed troops take pride in what they do, and are proud of the nation, and we the people they represent, it seems to me that the sense of discipline (and resultant self-discipline) our military personnel buy into is the single training difference (from businesses) that most impacts external public relations. What do YOU think? 

     Before I forget saying what should be said,

to every past and present member of the

Armed Services, not just today on

Veteran’s Day, but every day by all of us:

                                        

Thank you ladies and gentlemen

                                                 

for your service to our country! 

                                                                                                                

     So, do companies need to give demerits and KP duty?  Hmmmmm might be a damn good idea, actually!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

www.TheWriterWorks.com  

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

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

and God Bless all of our U.S. Troops and Veterans.

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

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

Oct 16 2010

Consistency Sells.

Q. What if it walks like a duck

                                

 and quacks like a duck, but 

                                      

 looks like a tyrannosaurus rex?

 

A. You’ve got trouble. . . 

                                       

right here in River City!

 

And if we’re talking about A~N~Y aspect of your business, you can be sure that your customers will have even bigger problems than you, which is not a good thing.

Take it from experience, the last thing you want is for your customers to be confused, because confusion doesn’t just cost you patronage; it costs you your reputation. All the good things you’ve done, and are doing, get flushed away with one jerk of the handle.

Anything that costs your reputation, costs you sales to existing customers, and costs you prospective customers too. Like winning sports teams, businesses that offer consistency succeed. Attitude consistency is paramount.

From McDonald’s to Charles Schwab, from Hershey’s to Microsoft, from Federal Express to Wal-Mart, consistency of products and services (and of innovation, operations, marketing and sales) is what puts businesses like these over the top.

                                                               

Consistency doesn’t mean having inventories that collect dust or never trying new methods or line extensions, or always doing the exact same things in the exact same ways. Those are investments in maintaining the status quo — a boring and unhealthy practice.

Consistency means carrying integrity and leadership and customer service to the extreme every day of your life that your business exists. It means maintaining and nurturing one strong, simple, single image throughout all the ways you represent yourself to the rest of the world.

It doesn’t matter if some people don’t like your image or your message. What does matter is that your image and message is consistent and delivered consistently across the boards…in your advertising, marketing, promotional and PR efforts, online and off…all of the time, without exception.

You know that repetition sells.

Repetition sells.

Repetition sells.

                                                                                

Repeating what you do and the ways that you do it, over and over, is the best way to build and strengthen a loyal following. Ask any stage performer, producer, or director.

In that sense, you are no different. You are on your business stage every day (and often at night), and your performance (what you have to offer and the ways you offer it) is being judged by others all of the time, even when you’re not aware of having an audience. 

Look at it this way you want to get in better physical shape, but can’t make that happen by eating ice cream, candy and fried foods,  drinking heavily and smoking cigars only on weekends and justifying it by taking a long walk on Sunday afternoon.

Like building a healthy life, building a healthy business is a full time commitment to consistency.

If your business walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, don’t make it something it’s not. Consistency sells.

# # #

 Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US        or comment below

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

 Make today a GREAT Day for someone!

 

2 responses so far

Aug 18 2010

ADVERTISING NO-NO’s

Nine “Do Not” lessons

                                         

learned from 30+ years 

                                               

of sales-winning advertising

                                                                                                                                             

I know, accenting the negative isn’t always the best thing, but if you know what NOT to do, it’s a lot easier to figure out what you can and should do. I don’t pretend to know what you can and should do, but I sure can tell you what I’ve found out that doesn’t work (and throw in a few hints about stuff I know that works better!).

Here’s the scoop:

1. Do NOT advertise that you have integrity, or even about what wonderful integrity-inspiring things you or your business have done. When you conduct business at all levels with a high-trust approach and attitude, you will gain or boost a reputation for integrity that speaks for itself!

2. (…and this is really #1): Here is the single most difficult marketing, advertising, sales and PR challenge to face for all businesses everywhere (yes, you did indeed read that right: “all businesses everywhere”)– ready for this? — Do NOT promote how great you are to the rest of the world. Nobody cares. Well, maybe your mother cares, but nobody else does.

3. Do NOT get too cutesy. Readability must come before cleverness in font (lettering) use and treatments (Italics, boldfacing, spacing, underlining, shadowing, using a horseshoe for the letter “U” or crossed swords for “X” or an egg for “O”…etc.). And don’t trust a designer to worry about readability; most have no training or experience in how to design with and around text, especially branding lines.

4. Do NOT emphasize product and service features. Nobody buys features. People buy benefits. Make sure your marketing, advertising, sales, promotion and PR efforts focus on benefits — on answering the question, what’s in it for me?

5. Do NOT buy into fancy dog and pony presentations that stress how the work a creative service provider individual or organization or group or team can do for you will put you head and shoulders above the rest of your industry or profession. Get rid of creative service providers who seem more interested in winning awards for themselves than in making sales for you. Use performance incentives.

6. Do NOT ever accept a media rate that’s printed on a “rate card” or “rate sheet.” Think of it as the asking price for a house just put on the market this morning. Media people who aren’t willing to work with your budget aren’t worth your time and consideration. There are always other ways to market your business.

7. Do NOT try to hand-off advertising/marketing/PR responsibilities to someone who works with you because they articulate well or can write a mean email. And don’t try to do it yourself unless it’s what you specialize in. Remember that there are two success keys involved: writing skill and psychology expertise. Persuading customer and prospect brains is what it’s all about. 

8. Do NOT communicate too little or too much. Ask prospects and customers what they think the right amount of information is. Have someone who’s experienced at it run a focus group for you to get these answers, and to test alternative marketing approaches. 7 target market representatives for an hour works for this purpose. Give each a $20-$25 value reward for their participation.

9. Do NOT “settlefor ads, commercials, websites, landing pages, blogs, brochures, news releases, or social media executions or strategies that don’t feel right! If you don’t feel sure about something, remember it’s your business. Your gut instinct is your best decision maker.   

                                                                   

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!

2 responses so far

Aug 05 2010

“Womentrepreneurs” Boost Business

Female Business Owners

                            

Excel Over Men

                                                      

 in All But Logic

                             

and Hardsell!

(Yes, this is an “opinion piece,”

but it’s based on 35 years of experience!)

                                                                                       

Let’s face up to it, guys! Women are better at almost every part of owning and running a business than we are. They are generally more creative, better money managers, and more personable and charming.

These last two attributes of course give them — if you’ll pardon the expression — a leg up on us with respect to customer service and employee relations . . . not to mention investor solicitations!

Bottom line is that, unlike men (thankfully), women business owners don’t typically put their egos on the line with every decision they make. Every business deal does not have life-threatening implications and repercussions.

Female business owners and managers (as opposed to probably 99% of their male counterparts) don’t analyze issues to death.

                                   

They take things in stride. They may cry more. And perhaps they can’t lift as many heavy cartons as some men, but they are more inclined to take action than talk about it.

 Men: If you’re married more than 20 years,

you know what it’s like to work for a woman.

                                  

And some of us have actually had female employers. I’ve had a few. One was the shining star of the New York Madison Avenue advertising agency world, and she commandeered respect with every workday breath. Her self-discipline, creative spirit, and enthusiasm were contagious.

Do women make better salespeople? I think that depends on the products or services being sold. Women, it seems to me, have a tendency to not go for the jugular in making whatever might constitute a hard-nosed sales approach. Is that a plus? I guess it depends on how hard your nose is. Q. Are women sometimes illogical? A. Does a bear…? 

Okay, so yes, they might have a couple of faults . . . uh, compared maybe with a few dozen faults chalked up on the macho side of the scale? Right. I do in fact know about the Men are from Mars stuff, but I’ve learned that while women may cross up other women on occasion, they tend to be much more authentic human beings than men most of the time.

If the way one man treats another is consistently honest and straightforward, there’s a good chance at some point the the good guy will get screwed in some business deal.

                                     

If that same Boy Scout-type dude treats a woman in business with honesty and straightforwardness, he’s likely to be treated with consistent respect in return.

I might add here that most men in business impress me as not knowing how to express empathy (or care much about it) because they are consumed with acting strong and tough and making sales and making operations work. “Your 15 year-old dog died this morning? Sorry about that. Would you please be sure to get that report on my desk by noon?”

Women, on the other hand, I believe, unhesitatingly put themselves in other’s shoes, and aren’t afraid to interrupt plans and schedules to offer counsel as needed. (I’m not talking about holding hands and spending the day with a troubled employee, watching TV and eating bonbons).  I’m talking here about taking some time out to help make a difference for someone.

Does empathy make women better businesspeople? Probably, because it undoubtedly makes them better leaders. And:

 Business success is all about successful leadership,

regardless of how you’re packaged!

 

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!

No responses yet

Jul 31 2010

A Money-Saving Marketing Guide

 The bigger they are,

                            

the harder YOU fall

                                          

 …but the little guys

                                   

can cripple you too!

                                                                                      

Here’s the inside scoop on “outside” marketing experts . . . 35 years’ worth of experience and considered judgment for you to chew and digest:

                                                                               

WEBSITE DESIGNERS who claim to have the gift of marketing genius have nada. If they’re older than 14 to start with — even 30-something — they are still probably 14 mentally; and odds are they haven’t a clue about marketing, but have learned to sound convincing about it. Exceptions? Sure. Check my blogroll.

                                                                                     

AD AGENCIES know less than website designers. They are heavily invested in winning themselves awards and cornering clients into excessive payments. They have no down-in-the-trenches sense of how to make sales, nor do they particularly care as long as the next big client stands ready on the horizon.

  •      They are particularly skilled at song and dance “dog and pony shows” that tell clients how great it’s going to be but that accomplish nothing to write home about, as long as the next big client stands ready on the horizon.
  •      If you’re looking for artsy or funny or insulting or dramatic ads and commercials that have high impact but make no sales, go to an ad agency. And the bigger the agency, the more it will cost you and the least likely you’ll get the results you seek.
                                                                                                     

PR FIRMS do have a pretty good camaraderie with numerous media people and can be effective — depending on whether you pay them $10,000 a month or $15,000 a month — at wining and dining and schmoozing editors, writers, and sometimes publishers into considering coverage for the news releases they write and submit for you.

  •      And they certainly know how to play the news release format game, but they rarely if ever are able to capture the essence of your business message and bring about action because they almost universally seem to think they know more about your business than you do. So what comes out is mundane, meaningless babble.
  •      Make them write three test releases and explain why the words in them are the best words and who and when they would submit them to and why.
                                                                                    

MARKETING GROUPS will tell you they’ve got you covered, yet only a minuscule number actually realize that marketing is the umbrella and that the functions under that umbrella include sales, advertising, promotion, packaging, pricing, merchandising, PR (public relations), industry and investor relations, customer service, CRM (Customer Relationship Management), website design and development, email and social media promotional activities, employee alumni associations, buzz (word-of-mouth) marketing, and on and on.

  •      Ask them HOW they “cover” you and see how many of these avenues are mentioned.  
                                                                                                  

MEDIA. Would you have a guy from the slaughterhouse prepare your meals?

                                                                                 

SBA SCORE COUNSELORS. SCORE is Senior Corps of Retired Executives. A lot of the world’s nicest, most well-intentioned people in this organization that provides FREE consulting.

  •      Unfortunately, like the federal government they represent, they are completely out of touch with the realities of day-to-day business management, and may as well be on Jupiter for the marketing guidance they provide. Time is money. Don’t waste your time.
                                                                     

     What’s left? Independent consultants and project managers. Probably these folks represent your best choice, but only if you’re careful in your selection. Some of them are just as crooked as many of the others.

     ASK QUESTIONS. Ask for explanations about HOW a candidate thinks about what she or he claims to have accomplished. Ask for examples. Ask why something that worked well worked well and why something that didn’t, didn’t. How confidentially do they offer information? Who are a couple of client types they can suggest for you to contact to confirm.

     Beware of self-proclaimed “experts”

with cookie-cutter solutions!

 

# # #  

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

Mar 13 2010

HOW TO FIX THE ECONOMY . . .

IF YOU CAN FOLLOW

                                                       

these 8 sentences, you 

                                 

understand how to fix

                                                              

the economy — and the

                                                                     

White House is puzzled.

                                           

(PART 1 OF 2)

                                                                            

     Entrepreneurs pursue ideas. They taste, test, trial-and-error, and explore applications of their ideas. When they settle on a direction, they find or attract enough financial support to do two things: 1) Create an operations process to develop (manufacture, fabricate, enhance) the product(s) and/or service(s), and 2) Design and deliver a marketing program.

     Marketing drives prospects to the door and creates a support platform for sales. Salespeople (or the entrepreneur herself or himself, acting in a sales role) produce(s) sales. Sales produce revenues. Revenues pay operations process and marketing (and perhaps investor) expenses and hopefully generate profits.

     Profits allow entrepreneurs to create jobs.

     Big business really doesn’t create new jobs. Research demonstrates time and again that far more than the vast majority of new jobs created in America originate with small business.

     So— why does the White House insist on avoiding and glossing over small business as an insignificant source of new jobs? Why does the White House pretend to befriend small business, shaking hands with the right hand while stabbing it in the back with the left hand?

     Can someone please answer this? Can the answer please be a real one, and not some convoluted response anchored by union-held political chips or fantasyland corporate moguls riding bailout coattails?

     How do”We the people…” choose to allow narcissistic political arrogance to override the critical needs of our economically-threatened society to stimulate and foster job creation?  Part of the answer is that we have a federal government that’s universally comprised of individuals who have not one iota of business experience, and who adamantly refuse to get the business advice needed for economic recovery from the only source that matters: small business.

     And surely–because, really, no one could be this dumb– the government can’t possibly be thinking that the SBA is the place to turn for meaningful input. (Yes, this is the same Small Business Administration administered by small-business-braindead government employees and stimulus-recipient big business corporate types who can’t even spell entrepreneur, let alone think like one) .

     The message is: WAKE UP AMERICA!  There’s more to this story, and it’s coming tomorrow.

     I hope you’ll return for –as one of my heroes, Paul Harvey, used to say– the rest of the story!

                           

# # #

                                                   

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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“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!

No responses yet

Jan 11 2010

Hidden Customer Service Salespower

“Customer service begins

                                                     

 

after the sale is made!”

       
–IBM, the early days

                                                                                                

Is it just me? I hate the put-stuff-together, 46-fold-road-map-style directions printed in fading gray ink on tissue paper (but in 27 languages!) for products I purchase. Like the Christmas toys that even your child can assemble that kept you up half the night, HO! HO! HO!

And then there are those great power tools from Mexico with instructions that challenge your English-Spanish pocket dictionary left over from trying to deal with the landscapers last summer, when you offered them –por favor– a bowl of eyeballs instead of ice cubes.

You got the tools for putting together that great “Early American” furniture set from China, with instructions in broken English and diagrams to match? Oh, and only 89 of the 92 parts?

Or how about those “E-Z Steps” that accompany the new services you signed up for? You know, the “techy” ones with 11 disclaimer paragraphs of .4 type that protectively entomb a microscopic 800 phone number to call for further information about account activation?

Right! It’s that number you’re allowed to call between 9am and 11am or 2pm to 4pm, Pakistani time. Yup, the same one included in the box of Mexican power tools and Chinese-American furniture, that by now you’ve learned to not mind being left on hold for 45 minutes for the privilege of finally connecting with a non-English-speaking, unintelligible “counselor.” 

Of course by this time, you full well know where you’re going to plug the thing in, and what your plans are for the new drill and saw set as soon as you can Google the counselor’s phone number to get a street address and take the next flight out.

                                                                                                     

I’m not being multi-cultural-diversity friendly, you say?

Sorry, I don’t think it should have to be a huge time-wasting political struggle just to be a customer a paying customer no less!”

                                                                                         

Don’t underestimate the sales power of product and service directions. You need to exercise at least as much care in thinking through and writing (and printing) instruction information as you do for your marketing, advertising, promotion, and sales materials.

A well-written business plan might help you wrangle some financial backing, and some super website content and marketing materials might help you drive customer traffic to your products and services, but customer service (the real thing) starts the minute a customer settles in to figure out how to best use and care for your products and services.

Customer service doesn’t mean you smile and handshake and backpat people through the orientation period that needs to frollow every purchase. (Why do assembly and activation instructions have to be more complicated than frozen food package directions?)

Whatever credibility, integrity and branding value you may have worked hard and spent much to achieve will go out the window in a heartbeat when your customer spreads out the paperwork and finds small-type loopholes in the warranty, a missing or damaged part, no clear diagrams or explanations, stickers that don’t come off…

Make it hard for customers to not be thrilled!

                                                                                     

If manufacturers or suppliers aren’t doing their jobs, don’t represent them, OR do their jobs for them because–in the end–your customers are your customers who will boost your repeat sales numbers when you boost your attention to after-sale details, like directions.

# # #  

Hal@BUSINESSWORKS.US 

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

Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

No responses yet

Nov 10 2009

CUSTOMER DIPLOMACY

Blow the sale or

                                                

hold your tongue?

                                                                                        

Diplomacy: Skill and tact in dealing with people

It’s comin’ ’round agin… the ole trainin’ ground fer dip-lo-macy. Yup! Thanksgivin’ gatherin’s.

Now if you can get through the entire dysfunctional-family -Thanksgiving-experience this year (especially this year with the sucky economy and your brother-in-law crabbing about the price of gas to drive to your house to eat), you will have earned a medal.

But –more importantly —  you will have completed the qualifying round for your annual refresher training on how to deal diplomatically with your internal and your external customers! (Internal: associates, employees, referrers, alumni, key suppliers; External: customers / clients / guests / patients, other suppliers, industry and community organizations, and the media) Maybe missing someone here, but you get the idea.

IF you can deal with your in-laws,  little kids terrorizing your dog and spilling unknown fluids on your furnishings and floor coverings, your uncle ranting about his adolescence (which he’s still in), your aunt Tilly reminiscing about her last 47 Thanksgivings, the neighbor’s kid revving up his overhauled Mustang next to your only broken window, and having to step over eleven spastic bodies glued to some idiotic football game on the TV that separates you from the only available bathroom, while hearing that four hours into the roasting process, the turkey still has ice inside of it

… YOU are ready to sell (No, not your house! Your products and services!)

How do we know this?  Because you’ve managed to deal with all of that and not be in jail, or the nuthouse! Somehow, you’ve risen to the occasion, kept the peace, swallowed your pride, bitten your gums and held your tongue (doing the last three items at the same time, by the way, is a pretty good trick!)

So what will you have learned  on the Thanksgiving firing line? There are times to speak and there are times to listen. EVERYONE is a prospective or repeat customer. EVERYone. Your appearance and demeanor and receptivity will determine whether others have a good time or not. Too much alcohol can undo the best of intentions. Too much food will give you a stomachache. Not stepping outside into the fresh air periodically will give you a headache (but avoid the side of the house with the revving Mustang!)

Every day is a new opportunity to do the best that you can do.  Thanksgiving, besides being a truly great opportunity to appreciate family and friends and all the brave young servicemen and servicewomen who make it possible to be able to gather together in the first place. It is also a great day to practice diplomacy and carry that renewed spirit forward in returning to your work.

OR, hey, don’t wait ’til the end of the month;  just read about it here, today, and start holding your tongue tomorrow! Sales are only made by listening! 

# # #

Hal@TheWriterWorks.com  Thanks for visiting.

Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day!

One response so far

Nov 04 2009

BANK Bu$ine$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Banking on your bank?

                                              

Don’t waste your time!

                                          

     The economy continues to hemorrhageOh no, that’s just not true, I heard that it’s not true on the news today:  The federal government says “we’re seeing many signs of things turning around.”

     I can’t imagine  what’s in some one’s line of sight that would prompt THAT statement. Also in today’s news, Microsoft just laid off another 800 employees. You connect the dots.

     The point is that when the going gets tough,  the average hard-working business leader thinks: The BANK. The BANK will bail us out. The BANK will lend us what we need. The BANK is the answer.

     One leading national bank  says they’ll even give loans to illegal aliens. Another says it will help customers who need help. Don’t you believe either one of them, or any of the other sleazy branding line enticements being offered out there in medialand. 

     You cannot depend on The BANK.  Period. Banks are tripping over themselves trying to outdo hospitals and the US Postal Service in the stupidity and low trust departments.

     Banks are at least 50 years behind reality  and –just like the hospitals and US Postal Service– think that slick, clever slogans, spiels, and marketing devices coming from empty suits and empty heads are going to make up the difference, the decades of incompetence.

     Credit unions offer a bit more comfort,  because they answer to their “members” not a board of directors and stockholders (but can also be a bit more risky for businesses because loan percentages, for example, can end up being higher than credit card rates if you’re not careful and alert).

     You think BANK  because the BANK has convinced you that it is your good neighbor, that because it’s been doing business in your town for a zillion generations, that it’s honorable and will loan you the money you need when you need it for a ridiculously low rate because they’re your neighbor.

     Good Luck!  A lot of businesses are failing because they naively trusted The BANK would support them in hard times. Reality Check: The BANK supports itself in hard times.

     What else is there?  Investors. Great, but guess what? Today’s investors want immediate gratification ROI and enough proof and collateral to guarantee it. Not much help if you don’t already have the money you need! 

     “Angel” investors  are getting tainted with skepticism, and are also requiring more than you probably have cause if you had it you wouldn’t be looking for it! Hmmmm. Barter. Right. Well, barter is great up to a point, but it rarely if ever produces money. Stockpiled merchandise and services have increasingly marginal value. 

     So, that leaves (ta-ta-ta-ta-tah-tah!):  SALES. Innovative, value-added products and services = SALES. SALES ALWAYS BEAT The BANK. How to boost sales now must be your number one (and perhaps only) priority. There is no greater or more important issue for you or your business to be dealing with right now, unless of course you own or run The BANK. 

# # #               

Input always welcome Hal@TheWriterWorks.com “Blog” in subject line or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! Hal

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