By k | January 21, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The most important part
of any romance novel
is the first one thousand words.
Readers decide in those first one thousand words
whether or not they will buy the novel.

I have rewritten the first one thousand words
of my latest manuscript
at least ten times this week.
I’m still not happy with it.

What am I searching for?

A few things…
emotion - something that makes readers feel
a hook - something that distinguishes the story
and
a connection - characters and a plot that readers care about.

I won’t be happy until I have all three
because the story won’t sell
unless it has all three
and a product that doesn’t sell
is a waste of everyone’s energy.

Know why your customers buy
and then give them that something
as soon as possible.
Everything else is gravy.

By k | January 20, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Match.com claims
that their site has led to
‘more dates, more relationships, more marriages’
than any other dating site.

Well… of course.
If the first is true,
the other two should be true also.
It is how the dating funnel works.

That’s how the sales funnel works.
More contacts
leads to more prospects
leads to more sales.

That’s how the innovation funnel works.
More ideas
leads to more product launches
leads to more successful products.

This is common sense
yet we all know people
who are trying to skip the first two steps.
I know women who want to get married
without ever having to date.
I know saleswomen who want sales
without ever having to contact a prospect.
They wonder why they aren’t successful.

Fill the funnel first.

By k | January 19, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

A little over a year ago,
I published my first paranormal romance.
I was told, at the time,
that I ‘missed the boat,’
that the paranormal romance genre was dying,
that I was wading into a crowded genre
with too much established competition to succeed in.

Since then,
I’ve published over a dozen stories.
I wasn’t a success over night
but I’m building a following
and paying some bills with my writing.

If an industry is healthy,
you will have competition.
Waiting for the competition to thin
is silly and a waste of time.

Launch NOW.
There is ALWAYS room
for a good product
with a different story.

Seth Godin has a similar post
on the subject of waiting.

By k | January 18, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

There’s a regular group
of participants on one publisher loop.
Whenever one of the regulars
misses a chat or two,
I will send a message to the loop,
saying that I missed them.

I do miss them.
This is sincere.
But the thing is…
many people miss them
but no one actually says it.

Which is silly
because the phrase “I missed you”
is one of the most powerful phrases
there is.

Everyone wants to be wanted.
Everyone wants to be missed.
Missing someone is the equivalent of caring.

If you notice that a regular is not at your event,
let them know they were missed.
It’ll tighten your relationship
and likely gain your a fan for life.

By k | January 17, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I passed a booth
at the Consumer Electronics Show.
A good looking guy was handing out samples.

He asked me if I wanted
the blue product, the yellow product,
or the orange product.
I kid you not.
That was exactly what he asked.

I asked what the difference was.
His response?
“I don’t know.
I’m just supposed to hand out samples.”

WTF?

It was costing the manufacturer
a good chunk of change
to give out these top notch samples.
This employer was stopping
prospective partners/prospects,
and actually putting product in their hands,
yet he had no idea what the product was.

What a waste!

Train your people,
including that pretty face
handing out samples.

By k | January 16, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The Consumer Electronics Show
plays host to thousands
of high tech savvy people.
You would think that
it’d take a lot
to impress or sway
such an intelligent crowd.

Nope.

As one speaker said
all it takes is a squeezie ball
given out by a gal in her underwear.

Really you don’t need much
to temporarily capture
your prospect’s attention.

Don’t spend money or time
with complicated promo.
Save those for your product.

At trade shows,
capture attention
with ‘normal’, low-cost schwag,
and then wow them
with your product.

By k | January 15, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I have people tell me
at least a few times a week
that email is dead.
Twitter is where companies want to be.
Or Facebook
Or whatever new mode of communication
is hot right now.

Bullshit.
I still read and send emails
every day.
I’m betting that you do also.

As Chris Brogan,
while speaking at the American Express Open booth,
pointed out
93% of 18-54 year olds
have an opt in daily relationship with a brand
via email.
Compare that to
4% via Twitter
and 15% via Facebook.

How to do email marketing right?

Chris has some suggestions.

1/4 of all email messages you send
to prospects should be non-selling.

Cover one item per email.
Don’t send them a catalog.

Be yourself online
but be the best you.

Email isn’t dead.
Your database is gold.
Nurture those prospects.

By k | January 14, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Guy Kawasaki spoke
at the American Express Open Booth
at the Consumer Electronics Show
about enchanting prospects.

One of the techniques is
the use of reciprocation.
I’ve talked about reciprocation before.
If you do something for me,
I am more likely to do something for you.

Guy’s pro tip is
that when you are thanked
for doing that something,
you respond with
“I know you would do the same for me.”

This does two things.
It sets up that you expect
the favor to be returned,
and it communicates
that you feel she is an honorable person.
That makes her feel good about herself.

Another pro tip
is to ALLOW the favor to be returned.
This two way exchange is essential
for a healthy relationship.
Otherwise, an honorable person feels guilt.

Money doesn’t make the world go round.
Favors DO.

By k | January 13, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’ve watched two or three episodes of Entourage
but I can’t count myself a raving fan.
After hearing its star
Adrian Grenier
speak at the Consumer Electronics Show
in Vegas,
I now, however, count myself
as one of his fans.

It was clear that
Adrian planned out talking points,
and was deliberately trying
to engage the audience.
He talked to the techies about his Blackberry.
He talked about
how he learned to live the Entourage lifestyle
in Vegas.
He credited his mother for his success.

He reached out to the audience,
pointing out things they had in common
to form a connection,
and he succeeded.

If a TV star works that hard
to engage an audience,
don’t you think
we should work even harder?

By k | January 12, 2011 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Many exhibitors,
at the Consumer Electronics Show last week,
hired celebrities to draw attention
to their booths.
These celebrities signed autographs
and posed for photos.

Blackberry/Research In Motion
hired fans.
Stars like Adrian Grenier
and Olivia Wilde
showed up with blackberries in hand.
They talked about
how much they loved their blackberries
and how they used the device.

It was authentic.
It was real.
It was effective.

When possible,
hire celebrities who use your product
to work your trade show booth.
If that isn’t possible,
at the very least,
have the celebrity hold the product.