By k | October 31, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of the things
I love about Halloween
is that it gives us marketers
a glimpse into our prospect’s fantasy world.

According to the National Retail Federation’s
2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions
and Actions Survey,
the top adult costumes are
Michael Jackson,
vampires,
pirates,
athletes
and witches.
The trend also is for home made costumes
over store bought,
reinforcing the leaning toward frugality.

How to use these trends?
As a writer,
I would look at the vampire trend
and say ‘too late for that’
but it is a very easy transition
for readers to move
from vampires to werewolves or gargoyles or zombies.

Look at the babysteps
prospects may make
from existing trends.

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

In David Silverman’s post
How Successful CEOs Respond to Failure,
he says
“Faced with failure,
they stayed in motion.
They quit the bad job,
they separated from investors they conflicted with,
they got up off the sidewalk
and went back to work.”

I deal with failure
by having multiple projects on the go.
Right now,
I have three stories submitted to publishers,
one story in edits,
one story in second draft,
and one story in first draft.

I also have what I call a failure plan.
For example:
If the three stories are not accepted,
(i.e. I fail)
I have a list of other publishers
to send them to.

I’m 38 years old
and have a long list of things I plan to accomplish.
I don’t have time to wallow in failure.
I fail, learn, and move on.

By k | October 29, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Seth Godin has a great post
on Trolls.
My favorite line in it is
“critics rarely create”

I had a release
last week.
I am very open
about loving feedback,
especially around ‘what to work on’ areas
(and ALL writers have areas to work on).

What I find interesting is the tone.
The feedback from published writers
was constructive yet very positive.
The feedback from unpublished writers
focused on the negative.
It was critical rather than constructive.

As with advice,
not all criticism is equal.
Listen to all of it
but weigh it
based on the source.

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

When you say no to a project
is almost as important
as how you say no.

If I want a healthy relationship
with the person pitching to me,
I always listen to her entire pitch.
I don’t cut her off
mid pitch
even if I know the project isn’t for me.
(That smacks of arrogance)

If the request/project is big/important
to her,
I’ll, at least, think about the offer
over night.
When I contact her
with my no,
I’ll drop some facts about the industry/project
that she didn’t include in the pitch.
This communicates that
I was seriously thinking about it.

I never say yes
when I really mean no.
In a documentary about Monty Python,
there was some bitterness
because,
after Graham Chapman’s death,
Michael Palin said yes
to another project
‘to be nice’
when really he had no intention
of ever reviving Monty Python.
This initial yes
wasted the others’ time and money.

So say no quickly
but not TOO quickly.

By k | October 27, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

Elisha asked
“What are the good ways to say no,
mostly for job and new venture opportunities
but keep something open for the future?”

My favorite is the reco.
I’ll say something like…
‘I’ve always wanted to work with you’
(hinting that I’m open for future gigs)
‘but I’m not the right person
to make this’ project/job/business ‘a success
and I DO want it to be successful.’
(i.e. our goals are the same
and that is why I’m refusing)

If I know of a suitable replacement,
I’ll add
‘I might know of someone
who has the skills you need,
can I have her call you?’
(This gives me a reason
to stay in contact.)

If I don’t,
I’ll say something like…
‘I can’t think of the perfect person right now
but would you like me
to think about it
and get back to you?’
(Again a reason to stay in contact)

This reply sends the message
that I’m honored by the request,
I want the requester to succeed
and I’m willing to do something
with no expectation of payment
to help with that success.

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

$ales Gravy
lists the 5 closing questions
you should be asking.

One of those is…

“Could you use that?”
(or a variation like
“How would you use that?”
“Would that work for you?”
“Would that be of benefit in your situation?”)

This question is asked
after you list a benefit.

Why do you do that?
Because it makes the benefit personal.
The prospect takes ownership of the benefit.

Tell your prospect
“Product XYZ will save you $1,000.
How would you use that?”
and
she will immediately spend the $1,000
in her mind.
Walking away from your product
will create loss.

Make it personal.
Create that connection.
Ask ‘Could you use that?’

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

This weekend,
I’m at a writer’s retreat
with 5 up and coming romance authors.
All are published in eBook format.

It is an exciting format to be in
because each of us
are regularly involved
in readers’ first exposures to eBooks.

On Wednesday,
I walked a reader through the process.
The first eBook she read
was my short story Released.
My story will ALWAYS be her first eBook.
Forever.
It will always be associated with
her experience of the format.

When you hear you’re part
of a customer’s ‘first’
(first dentist appointment,
first business start up,
first job interview),
remember that you’ll be remembered forever.
Make it a pleasant memory.

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

When should you make
that important sales call?

According to a new report
from InsideSales.com and MIT,
Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days
to call to make contact with a lead.
The worst day is Tuesday.

The best times are
8-9am and 4-5pm
to qualify a lead.

Does that mean
you work only two days a week
for 2 hours each day?

Of course not.
Better to call at a non optimal time
than not call at all.

But you could save
your most important calls
for then.

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

When I work at home,
I work with the radio on.
I also have a cluttered desk
(the variety of stuff
helps with creativity).

When I make an important call,
however,
I turn off the radio
and I clear my desk of everything
except for what I need
for the call.

Why?

Because if I don’t,
I get distracted
while listening.
If I get distracted,
the other person knows
(if this happens while talking to my mother,
I get an almost immediate
‘are you listening to me?’,
my clients/prospects aren’t so obvious).
Not only that,
but I miss valuable information.

The Sales Hunter
has a great post on exactly this.

By k | October 22, 2009 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Pantone has released their predictions
of the hot colors
for spring and summer 2010.

They are…

Aurora (yellow tinted with green)
Tomato puree (red)
Eucalyptus (like the plant)
Turquoise

The article also mentions
that America’s favorite color
is blue.

How to use these hot colors?
- In flexible product design
(as they will change)
- In marketing material
- Book covers