By k | August 31, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Last week,
I visited a Fortune 500 company.
There were signs everywhere.
No cameras,
no videotaping,
no recording devices.
I had to sign a waiver
to get past the lobby.

While I was waiting in the lobby,
I clearly heard a discussion.
It was about selling into
Wal-Mart.
It was strategic,
it was confidential,
it was coming from a closed door boardroom.
I was hearing it
through the floor.

Spend the extra money
and soundproof your boardrooms,
from floor to ceiling.

By k | August 30, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I have no problem
with other bloggers borrowing
this crazy style of posting,
as long as they realize two things.

It irritates some people
(and those people won’t ever be your readers)
but most of all…

It irritates Google.
I get almost no Google traffic.
I didn’t get much Google traffic
back in the RoadToForbes days
and I continue
to not get Google traffic now.

All my readers are here
because another human being
told them about the site.

If you, as a blogger,
can live with that,
go ahead.
I wasn’t the first
(nothing I do or write is original)
and I won’t be the last.

By k | August 29, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Everyone in the world
can reserve a flight
on United.com.
They simply can’t pay for that flight.
United.com only accepts
American credit cards.

If you are international
(as most serious travelers are
- some of us are homeless),
you have to book on the United country site
your credit card belongs to.

Yes, I know, madness.
Especially if you have multiple credit cards
with multiple addresses.

The world is global.
Make certain your website is also.

By k | August 28, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I write romance for a small press publisher.
Buyers of small press novels
are looking for a different read.
They are looking for indie authors.

They are NOT looking for slick.

So when I send my emails,
they are not slick.
They don’t have high quality graphics.
They don’t have any graphics.
The wording is very personal
and chatty.
They are similar to the emails
you receive from friends.

They are also very effective.
I enjoy a much higher response rate
than other authors.

Just because the tools are there,
and you know how to use them,
doesn’t mean you should.

By k | August 27, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

What is the biggest holiday for
discount furniture maker IKEA?

No, it is not Christmas.
It is Labor Day,
that long first weekend in September.

Why?
Because college students are relocating
and buying… student furniture.

IKEA deliberately drops their fall catalog early.
That draws the regular shoppers in.
The students,
waiting to move
and short on cash,
plan their buys.

Then Labor Day,
they visit IKEA.

By k | August 26, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

The copywriter I posted about yesterday
specializes in radio.
He’s great at what he does
and excels in a competitive business.

He is also blind.
This is NOT a handicap,
this is a strength.

Being blind,
focusing in 100% on the spoken,
each word, each nuance,
has helped make him one of the best.

I have a terrible memory.
I help launch new products.
Project manager buddies get worn down
by the high failure rate.
Not me.
I promptly forget my last failure
(I have a binder tracking lessons learned)
and continue on.

Every weakness is also a strength.
You simply have to find the right game
to compete in.

By k | August 25, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was chatting with a copywriter
specializing in radio
about tracking the effectiveness of marketing.

The easiest way with radio promotions
is to add a coupon code.
As listeners are often driving,
they won’t write down this code.
It has to be remembered.

How to achieve that?

Make the code visual.
Instead of using 3956,
use apple,
a word listeners can picture.

He also asked me to remind readers
that if they are NOT a professional copywriter,
do NOT write their own copy.
Include the cost of copy
in with the media buy.

By k | August 24, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Guy Kawasaki has a post
on what a great product is.

One of his specifications?

A great product is deep.
“It doesn’t run out of
features and functions
after only a few weeks of use.”

An author once told me
that every novel
should leave the reader
with questions
the author never posed.
It should be deep.
It should live on in the reader’s brain
after the last page is done.
That is why Fan Fiction exists.

Does your product have layers?

By k | August 23, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I went to the
Consumer Electronics Show
in January
armed with stacks of business cards.
I gave all of them away.
I’ve received calls/emails
from two vendors.
Two.

Is this surprising
after the businesses worked so hard
to get my contact information?

No.

In the superb
yet poorly titled book
Instant Income by Janet Switzer,
(it is about small business sales and marketing)
she shares
“It’s said that an astounding
80 percent of leads are never contacted
after a show.”

Follow up.
It IS expected.

By k | August 22, 2008 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

A common concern
of management
filling short term contract work positions
is that temporary employees are over-qualified.

That’s not their real concern.

They expect employees to be over-qualified.
My speciality is
M&A, new product development,
and system implementations.
No single contract position is going to have all three.

No, their real concern
is the employee will leave
before the contract is finished.

If you hear yourself labeled
as over-qualified,
your professionalism needs to be stressed.
Talk about the pride of finishing projects.