By k | March 31, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Chris Martin,
lead singer of Coldplay,
is still hungry and it shows.

“Every day I wake up
and think,
‘OK, today we’ve got to really prove ourselves.
We’ve got to justify where we are.’
I always feel like
my dad’s going to burst through my bedroom door
at any moment
and wake me up to go back to my real job.”

But he realizes that no matter how hard they work,
they’ll never please everyone.

“We’re like Vegemite in many respects.
A lot of people like us,
but many more people don’t.
I’d like to convince everyone
that our particular brand of Vegemite
is brilliant
but it’s never going to happen.”

Be like Vegemite
and work it.

By k | March 30, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Rapper/Producer/Businessman Kanye West
believes in innovation
and pushing ideas forward.

“I like the challenge of having
to win people over
with a new concept.”

“My father was a salesman.
And I saw him
have to talk people into things
and expose people to new ideas
all the time.
And I like that.
What’s the point
if you’re not presenting something new
to people,
that people might not be ready for,
and exposing people to new ideas?”

Exactly.
What’s the point?

By k | March 29, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur
has a list of 6 ways to increase revenue quickly.

All are good
but I especially liked #6.

“Go through your local yellow pages
and call on your competitors ads.
You will always find several ads big to small
that have disconnected numbers.
Now call your local telephone company and
have those disconnected numbers assigned
to “ring to” your main number and voila!
You’re now receiving tons of yellow page advertising for Free!”

(In the comments,
you’ll read an entrepreneur
doing the same with domain names.)

This is especially effective now,
during a recession,
with many companies
going out of business.

Take the time and do this today.

By k | March 28, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In Susan Gunelius’ post on
10 Steps to Effective Copywriting,
she reminds marketers
to focus on ‘you’,
rather than ‘we.’

“Remember, writing in the second person
helps your audience quickly connect the points in your copy
to their own lives and
allows them to personalize
the advertisement or marketing piece.
This is how the ad is connected
to an individual customer’s own life.”

Using ‘you’ in copywriting
is difficult for most corporate folks.
We’re trained from entry to use ‘we’
in every communication.
It is part of team building.

But that is the corporate environment.
Selling is different.
The customer doesn’t care about your team.
They care about themselves.
Use ‘you.’

By k | March 27, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

In an awesome interview with
Sydney Biddle Barrows,
the Mayflower Madam,
she talks about how experiences differentiate
your product from being simply a commodity.

“People will pay you more money
for a memorable experience,
something that they can remember
with pleasure and happiness
that they can talk about to other people.
Something that validates who they are,
who they think they are or
who they would like to be.
Something that gives them
the opportunity to try something
that they’ve never tried before.”

That’s why when I hear about
companies automating customer service
or downsizing sales staff,
I groan.
Employee contacts with the customer
is where these experiences often happen.

By k | March 26, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Bert Decker in
You’ve Got To Be Believed To Be Heard
points out that the ready position
is the ideal stance for public speaking.

Why?
“When you speak confidently
from a self-assured stance,
your energy is directed forward,
physically and psychologically,
toward your listener.”

What is the ready position?
“Lean slightly forward,
knees somewhat flexed,
so you can bounce lightly
on the balls of your feet.
You should feel like an athlete
ready to move quickly in any direction.”

I use the lean in
during interviews
and while sitting in an audience.
Try it next time.
Notice how the speaker zooms in on YOU.

By k | March 25, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A study by Glamorgan University shows
that women prefer
curved lines on sites,
more colors
(and women prefer warm tones like reds or oranges
vs men’s preferences of cool tones like blues or greens,
women also prefer complimentary not contrasting colors),
and informal language.

I can vouch for the informal language difference,
especially when selling to romance readers
(the majority are women).
Women buy from friends,
not salespeople.

Women also value other opinions.
I saw an increase in sales
once I put reviews by readers and other authors
on my romance site.

If your target reader is female,
design your site with her in mind.

By k | March 24, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A DJ on the radio announced
that 70% of all ringtones
are purchased by women.

What is interesting about this
(other than that the only online reference
I could find to back this ‘fact’ up
was over 3 years old
- proving how information
is forever)
is, of course,
the marketing possibilities.

A women targeted product
could offer freebie ringtones
or develop
a ‘jingle’ that samples well
or associate already popular ringtones
in their advertising
(linking their product to the ringtone).

The possibilities are endless.

By k | March 23, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’m a suit girl.
Whenever I’m meeting with people,
I tend to wear a suit,
at least for the first time.

Why?

Because it is a sign of respect.
It visually tells the person
that I feel they’re important enough
to dress up for.

In Bert Decker’s book
You’ve Got To Be Believed To Be Heard,
Guy Kawasaki shares this advice

“My father was a politician in Hawaii.
He was a very good speaker.
When I started speaking,
he gave me a piece of advice:
Never dress beneath the level of the audience.

That is, if they’re wearing suits,
then you should wear a suit.
To underdress is to communicate the following message:
‘I’m smarter/richer/more powerful than you.
I can insult you and not take you serious,
and there’s nothing you can do about it.’

This is hardly the way to get
an audience to like you.”

By k | March 22, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Accuracy of shipments is key
in keeping freight costs down
and customers happy.

When a company is small,
that means manually checking
each shipment.

However,
Richard Estalella,
Senior Vice-President at Arbonne,
shares a quicker method.*

“Whereas previously each carton at Arbonne
had to be hand-checked for content accuracy
against the merchandise pick list,
the warehouse control system has allowed
specific weight tolerances
to be established
and scales on the conveyors
allow the company to know that if
the right products were selected
the weight will be correct.”

Can you also use weight
as a double check
on shipments?

*August 2008 CMA Management Magazine