By k | July 31, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Most of us travel constantly
for business.
In every business trip,
there are blocks of unused time.

Or there used to be
blocks of unused time.

Not any more.

With Twitter and other social networking,
with detailed customer listings,
and contact lists of thousands,
there is always the opportunity
to meet with one more person.

I’m attending a wedding this weekend.
Having spare time,
I’ve sent out emails to reader/writer loops
and arranged coffee meet ups.
I’m also sitting down with booksellers.
The only unused blocks of time I have left
are those I wish to be unused.

There is NO wasted time
except the time you decide to waste.

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

A great product developer
always compares her packaging
to her competitor’s.

A major beverage company I worked for
mocks up a shelf of competitor product
(easy to do on the computer)
and inserts their proposed package
into the shelf,
moving that package around,
ensuring that it pops
regardless of placement.

Why?

Because 70% of purchase decisions
are made in-store.
Because 68% of in-store purchases
are impulse decisions.
Because shoppers make those impulse decisions
in 3 to 7 seconds.

If your product doesn’t stand out
(in a good way)
and deliver the right selling message,
you’re losing out on 70% of your possible sales.

Spend time on package design.

Oh, and make certain your package FITS
on shelf.
If it is taller than the standard shelf height,
(I’ve seen that happen)
your product won’t be placed.
You’ll then lose out on 100% of sales.

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

I went to the hairdressers yesterday.
I’ve never dyed my hair before
but, concerned about my grays,
I asked the hairdresser if I should.

I know what you’re thinking
“Dumb question,
she makes more money
if I dye my hair.
She is going to say ‘yes.’”

That would be a legitimate concern
if she hadn’t already earned my trust.
But she had
and I asked.

She said
No.
There was no reason for me
to dye my hair.
Confirming my trust in her.

Trust is earned.
Not by fancy commercials
or great products.
It is earned by the little interactions.

By k | July 28, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I’m working on a new novel
(tentative release date 2012).
I got the idea from a newspaper heading
(I steal all my best ideas).
I have a fair idea where it is going.

I haven’t told anyone about it yet.

Why?

Because there is a sensitive time
between getting an idea
and being able to effectively sell an idea.

If you share the idea too early,
you won’t have the ability to sell it
(as you’re still exploring the idea)
so
it will be torn apart
(often as The Engaging Brand shares,
due to politics).
Because you haven’t yet committed to the idea
(accomplished by spending time with it)
you won’t care enough to defend it.
Your idea will die.

Until you can sell an idea properly,
keep it to yourself.

By k | July 27, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The common misconception is
that small businesses
are given a pass on quality
by customers.

That is untrue.

The moment a small business
doesn’t meet the quality expectations
(usually set by the big companies),
they’ve lost a customer.

My small press readers
expect the same quality story
from me
as they do from the New York Times Bestselling authors.

But they also expect more
to compensate
for risking that quality,
that proven consistency.
They expect a different read,
a ground breaking read.

Small business must deliver
both on
quality AND a unique premise
to compete
against their larger competition.

By k | July 26, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In this great little F**kin’ slide show,
it is clear that social media
is changing the way
customers deal with companies.

The company folks
doing the talking
should also be the folks
doing the listening.
It is a conversation.
Customers expect two-way communication
with the SAME contact.

The other realization is…
social media is very, very crowded.
You can’t toss an average video on YouTube
and expect it to be watched.

It is challenging out there,
trying to get the attention
of prospects.
If you have their attention,
take good care of them.

By k | July 25, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The radio versions of
the latest LMFAO song
“I’m In Miami Trick”
change in every major city.

In Miami,
it’s ‘I’m In Miami Trick.’
In New York,
it’s ‘I’m In New York Trick.’
In Tokyo,
it’s ‘I’m in Tokyo Trick.’

Yep, the song is tweaked
for each major city.
Right now,
it is a gimmick.
Tomorrow?
It will likely be the norm.

This is not personalized marketing.
This is personalized product.

One size does NOT fit all.
Prepare for the individualized future.
Build the ability into your product.

By k | July 24, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I walked into a store recently
feeling down in the dumps.
The store clerk took one look at me,
and asked
“Tough day?”
I nodded.
“Well, lets see if we have something here
to make your day a bit brighter.”

I was absolute putty in her hands.

If you ask anyone about any recent purchase,
they’ll come up with a perfectly
rational reason why they bought.

They’d also be lying.

People don’t buy on reason.
They buy on emotion.
They come to you
with one emotion,
wishing to exchange it for another.

If you want to sell,
ask how your prospect is doing
(i.e. feeling)
and REALLY care about her answer.
Listen to the words
and her tone.
Read her face.

Then give her what she needs
to deal with that emotion.

By k | July 23, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Due to a merger
in the Fortune 500 company
I worked for years ago,
20% of the workforce was cut.

We were already lean
so that 20% was mostly cut
from the new business development teams.
I happily took the package
and was working the next day
(literally).

You see…
only the talented risk
being part of project teams.
Projects get cut
and when that happens,
short sighted executives cut
the staffing associated with that project.
You have to be pretty darn sure of yourself
to chance that.

Today, many, many companies
are cutting to the core.
Foolish management teams
are giving their best and brightest
their walking papers.
These employees are snatched up
by long term thinking competitors
or start rival companies
or otherwise change the world.

Don’t let that happen at your company.
And if you have the excess resources,
invest it in people.
This is a great opportunity
to build a superstar team.

By k | July 22, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A blogger sent me an email Monday morning.
I was sucked into a project
and because I wanted to respond
with a concrete idea,
I didn’t reply immediately.

I received a follow up email
from that blogger Monday afternoon.

Expected response time has
significantly decreased.
Customers, partners, vendors
want to hear back within minutes.

Magic happens
when customers hear back
within minutes
from companies they didn’t even know
they contacted.

A PF Chang’s customer tweets about lettuce wraps.
PF Chang’s responds
by sending her a free dessert and appetizer.
IMMEDIATELY.
That is the magic of Twitter.