If you are not doing it now…

A while ago I watched Oprah interviewing a couple of doctors, truly dedicated to their profession. One was working with cancer patients, the other one in the emergency room. Both daily under a lot if stress — but of course both passionate about their work and it’s meaning.

There was a talk about coming to terms with our own mortality – the doctors admitted that they have plenty of opportunities to think about this. When Oprah asked “what would you do if you had only 3 months of life left?” — the answer was: “I would be here with you”.

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What your customer knows…

I don’t know who you are.
I don’t know your company.
I don’t know your company’s product.
I don’t know what your company stands for.
I don’t know your company’s customers.
I don’t know your company’s record.
I don’t know your company’s reputation.
Now – what was it you wanted to sell me?

(from “Ogilvy on Advertising”)

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How to get your prospects read your message

According to the American Library Association only 10-15% of Americans are avid readers who read everything. These people are detail oriented and not only appreciate what they read – they will also spot every error on the page.

10-15 percent of Americans are either functionally illiterate or can read but do not – these people look mostly at photos and read just headlines. They will rather call the phone number listed on your material to for more information than read the entire copy.

The rest, the majority of Americans, 70-80%, only skim and scan the text. They make quick decisions based on the headlines and will read something that appeals to them, but they prefer brief paragraphs, bulleted lists and captions under photographs.

What does it mean?

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You can’t hit the target if you don’t have one

As I’ve said many times before, the better the target, the more likely you will hit it. Sadly, most people select too general a target – don’t fall into that trap. If you market to “women,” you have no target because you are aiming at half of the world population. But you can easily identify a number of specific markets within any general one. If you market to women, go after women who are real estate agents, or insurance brokers, or women CEOs, or young mothers who work from home, or post-menopausal women who live in Florida.

You might come up with a revolutionary product or service, easy to order, easy to ship, and with a worldwide market needs. It sounds great, but if you can’t reach a high number of potential buyers with your marketing message easily and inexpensively, you are doomed to fail.

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Are You Taking Care Of Your Golden Geese?

I’m sure you agree that “by referrals” is one of the best ways of growing business – no money thrown away on advertising that doesn’t work and no time wasted to convince strangers to do business with you. The referred leads are presold – because trust and confidence exist, at least to some degree. It boils down to getting more of that good thing – leads, right?

One of the best ways to get more leads is to focus on those who send you referrals already and to encourage them to do it more often. So, how are you doing in the department of rewarding your sources for referring you in the first place?

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The Myth Of a Repeat Customer

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, the average business never hears from 96% of its unhappy customers. And for every complaint received, a business will have twenty six others that are unreported, six of which are serious.

Why am I writing about this?
Because of the myth of a repeat customer.

I hear all the time business owners proclaiming proudly “most of my sales are repeat business”. Many business owners think that just because they get repeat business and customers stay with them, it means that they are doing something right. Sometimes they do. Quite often they don’t.

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How to Grow Your People Farm

How to grow your business relationshipsHave you ever grown tomatoes? Or flowers? Even if you haven’t, I’m sure that you have some idea what gardening is all about. Take tomatoes. You wouldn’t expect to plant one day then harvest a perfectly ripe tomato the next morning. Or even in two weeks.

Chances are you are perfectly aware that you would need to spend more time to cultivate your tomatoes. You know because you read about it or you watched your parents grow tomatoes, or your friends talked about it. Or maybe you even saw it on the Discovery Channel.

In any case, knowing what to expect – you would plan in advance. Starting with a decision as to what variety of tomatoes you’d like to grow. The large and juicy ones, or the small berry types. Or any other type in between.

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