By k | November 30, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Adele Cooper has a great reminder post
about how to use Facebook effectively.

The key tip is to update frequently
with relevant information.

I use my author Facebook page
to communicate new releases,
reviews,
guest posts and media coverage,
sales at various booksellers
(booksellers love me for this
and throw me extra promo opps),
books I’ve read and enjoyed,
etc.
Everything is tied to writing and books
because my target are readers.

One interesting side effect
of regular Facebook updates
is that it pushes me
to DO something
so I have an update.

I write more.
I look for more media possibilities.
I stay attuned to the industry.

If you haven’t updated your Facebook page today,
ask yourself why.
If you don’t have new news,
it may signal a deeper issue.

By k | November 29, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I attended a mini-writer’s retreat
this past weekend.
The biggest topic of conversation
was the gap between
what writers wanted from their agents
and
the level of service they were receiving.

NONE of the dissatisfied writers
had contacted their agents
and outlined how
(the medium)
and how often
they prefer to communicate.

NONE of the writers
have set up a regular monthly call
or email or snail mail letter
with their missing-in-action agents.

NONE of the writers
have asked for what they need
to make them happy with the relationship.

Your business partner is
NOT a mind reader.
Your business partner is
as busy as you are.

She is not sitting around
wondering whether or not you’re happy.
She assumes you’re happy
unless you tell her otherwise.

Be an adult.
Stand up and ASK for what you need.

By k | November 28, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

When I worked for
one of the big beverage companies,
the CEO often told us
to never bad mouth our competition.
Healthy competition
made for a healthy industry.
A healthy industry
translated into more profits for everyone.

If you are a salesperson,
there is another reason
not to bad mouth the competition.
It is because your prospect
is likely using that same competition
and no one wants their ‘mistakes’
pointed out to them.

It is better to focus
on why your company is the right choice
for today
because the world is changing
and so should their decisions.

Seth Godin has a great post
on this subject.

By k | November 27, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

A 90 second commercial
for seatbelts
has been voted
YouTube’s best ad of the year.

It has been viewed 12 million times.

This commercial has no spoken words.
There are no stunts
or explosions
or nudity
or violence.

Why is it so effective?
Pure emotion.
The look on the daughter’s face
when she realizes the crash is coming
is absolutely heart wrenching.

Do you have THAT level of emotion
in your marketing spots?

By k | November 26, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

You have a shiny new product
you wish to sell.
You know why everyone should want this product.
You have the benefits
and testimonials ready.

Then you pitch
and the prospect says no.

Are you prepared?

I wasn’t
when I started selling.
I always assumed a ‘yes’
and I didn’t know what to do with a ‘no.’
Since most sales start with a ‘no’,
I lost out on a lot of sales.

Tory Johnson, founder of Women for Hire,
went through the same experience.

“When I’d worked for the networks,
I was used to pitching celebrities,
and everyone wanted to be involved
—people always said yes.
Hearing no was a challenge.
That is a really important lesson
for aspiring and current business owners.
Not everybody will say yes.
I had to have responses ready
for the objections.
We spend a lot of time
thinking and talking about
why someone should buy a product or service,
and when they say no,
we’re like a deer in headlights.
It was valuable experience
to understand how to overcome objections.”

Prepare for objections
and learn how to handle ‘no.’

By k | November 25, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Bob Burg has a great post
(especially for today)
on dealing with difficult people.

His advice?
Act like you like them.

“So, take action
—take positive action
—practice feeling good about a difficult person
you know by acting good,
acting benevolently,
acting joyously toward that difficult person.
Yes, at first it is an act.
And, that’s OK.
You are acting your way into feeling,
into actually liking that person.
Perfectly acceptable.
Then, when the person picks up on your action
and feeling and relates more kindly
and benevolently toward you in return,
your good feelings really will be true.”

On Monday, I posted on Facebook
that Monday was going to be a great day.
I immediately saw the postings
of my buddies change.
They became more upbeat and happy.

I think this is the easiest way
to change the world.
Smile, encourage, be optimistic.
Watch the happiness and hope spread.

And yes, it is good for business too.

By k | November 24, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Okay, they don’t always
but it depends on your definition of nice.
If it is not deliberately harming another person,
then, yeah, you may win in life.
But if it is not asking for what you want,
you WILL finish last.

One of my writing buddies
is on the great agent hunt.
An agent was interested,
read the entire manuscript,
and then rejected it because she isn’t a fan
of angels as heroes.

My buddy has another story
with NO angels in it.
Did she email the agent back
and pitch that book?
Nope.
Because she worried the agent
might think she’s too pushy.

Filling a need is not pushy.
The agent needs a manuscript to sell
to a publisher.
My buddy has that manuscript.

BTW… we all say we like to buy
from companies and people we like.
Sure.
As long as those companies and people
offer us what we want
at the price we want.
Nice is a distant consideration
in the buying decision.

Scott Ginsberg has a great post
covering the myth of nice.

By k | November 23, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

People have been predicting the future
since the beginning of time.
Entrepreneurs like you and I,
anxious to cash in
on the next hot thing,
often follow these predictions closely.

We don’t always believe them though
and that’s a very good thing.

The latest list of dumbness…
I mean predictions…
is themarknews’s list
of 5 industries that are doomed to fail.

They are
The Record Store
Factory Farming
The Tobacco Industry
Celebrities
and
Print Media.

(Notice the clever selling.
They sandwich their wild predictions
between two more broadly accepted calls.)

Celebrities have been around
longer than predictions.
They aren’t going anywhere.

They may and will change
but as long as there are followers,
there will be leaders
and these leaders will be smacked
with the celebrity label.

As for smoking…
In 2005,
24.4% of young adults
aged 18 to 24
smoked.
Yep, a quarter of that demographic.
I don’t think the tobacco companies are worried.

Follow the predictions
but you may wish to research
the trends to ensure they are aligned.

By k | November 22, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The average day is broken down
into three 8 hour sections.

One section is for,
what writers call,
the evil day job.
This is the time you earn money to live on.

A second section is for sleep.
Many of us sleep less than 8 hours
but that is what is recommended.

The third eight hour section is ‘everything else.’
This ‘everything else’ is what
separates the women from the girls.
Women use it wisely.
Girls squander it.

Do you have to work, work, work
during every minute
of the ‘everything else’ section?

Nope.

Robert Pagliarini,
author of The Other 8 Hours,
states
“I’m not saying,
‘Be a robot
and use every minute of every day.’
If we just fill up part of that free time
with activities that bring us
closer to our goals,
we start to bridge those gaps.
For example,
if you write just one page a day,
at the end of the year you’ll have a book.
I’ve interviewed a lot of people
who changed just a sliver of their day,
and the payoffs have been huge.”

Use the other 8 hours wisely.

By k | November 21, 2010 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was a lurker
on another blow up
between an author and an e-publisher.
The author was upset
because she felt the e-publisher was neglecting
the print side of the business.

This is an e-publisher!
The print side is… well… a distant second
to the e-book side.

If the author was so focused on print,
she should have approached a print publisher
also offering e-books,
instead of a e-publisher
also offering print books.

Know the strengths of your partners.

If you get it wrong
and pull a dumb ass move
like going to McDonald’s expecting steak,
don’t advertise your stupidity.
You may get a few laughs
but no one will have any sympathy.

You are responsible for the people and companies
you partner with.