By k | May 31, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many people believe
that leaders are managers
and managers are leaders.

Not true.

As Robyn Benincasa

“Managers are facilitators
of their team members’ success.
They ensure that their people
have everything they need
to be productive and successful;
that they’re well trained,
happy and
have minimal roadblocks in their path;
that they’re being groomed
for the next level;
that they are recognized
for great performance
and coached through their challenges.

Conversely, a leader can be anyone
on the team
who has a particular talent,
who is creatively thinking out of the box
and has a great idea,
who has experience
in a certain aspect of
the business or project
that can prove useful
to the manager and the team.
A leader leads based on strengths,
not titles.”

A manager needs a team.
A leader doesn’t
and leaders can be found in any role
in any organization.

Mentor your people to become leaders.
Become a leader yourself.

By k | May 30, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many great companies,
when there are rumors of mergers
or downsizing,
will hold meetings,
preemptively addressing employee concerns.

Innovation can be as stressful
on employees.

Anita Campbell

“Anxiety about possible job loss
or changing roles,
doubt that the innovation will work
and fear of failing at new tasks
are common feelings
employees have in response
to innovation.

Trying to deny
or gloss over these concerns
will only make things worse.”

Address these feelings,
preferably preemptively.
They’re not going away
and they will depress your employee’s output
until you deal with them.

By k | May 29, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

We’ve all received the emails
that are sell, sell, sell,
with little content.
We’ve received them.
We’ve unsubscribed
or blocked them.

On the flipside,
there are the emails from
the ‘nice’ businesses.
Emails will all content
and nothing to buy.
We read, we learn,
but we don’t take any action.

The best sales emails
are a combination of
content and offers.

But what combination?

Rick Jensen
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of
Constant Contact

“Each message should consist of
three parts of valuable content
and one part offer.
When you take this approach,
customers are more likely
to remember your tips,
pass them along,
look forward to your messages
and redeem your offers.”

Three parts content,
one part offer,
that’s the recommended mix.

By k | May 28, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Unless your product is free
(and often, even then),
you’ll receive complaints
about the price being too high.

You’ll never receive comments
about the price being too low.
You’ll rarely receive comments
about the price being exactly right.

So what do you do about these complaints?

If the prospect says
your product should be free
and doesn’t give a reason why,
ignore the complaint.
You can’t build a business
on giving away product.

If the prospect says
your competitor is offering
a similar product at a lower price,
you investigate.

If you receive a flood
of general “your price is too high” complaints,
examine what has changed.
Perhaps your marketing is targeting
the wrong prospects.
Perhaps something in your industry
has significantly changed
and your company must change
with it.

Receiving a complaint
that your price is too high
is NOT a reason to immediately lower your prices.
Think before you slash prices.

By k | May 27, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

We all know authors or entrepreneurs
who are waiting for the big break.
“If I just get a break,
I’ll be on easy street.”

Yeah, no,
easy street does not follow
a big break.
Even more hard work does.

Look at Kelly Clarkson’s experience.
She was the very first
American Idol winner
and many people assumed
things were sunshine and roses for her
after that win.

As Kelly Clarkson shares

“You have to keep knocking
on every damn door.
Right after ‘Idol,’
people think it all landed in my lap.
It did not.
People hated ‘Idol.’
I don’t know if anybody remembers that
but all I did was get bashed left and right.”

“It was a lot of hard work
and playing all the state fairs
you could do.
My whole joke was
‘I started playing in town manure
and I still do.’”

Big breaks are wonderful opportunities
but only for people willing
to work
and take advantage of
that opportunity.

The Big Break is only the beginning.

By k | May 26, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

John Bradberry

“I need you
to give me space
to be a hermit,
an obsessive geek or
even a crazed sales guy.
I will put in very long hours
that fall beyond the confines
of a convenient schedule.
Despite the popular myth about entrepreneurs,
there is no such thing as
“being your own boss.”
Instead, I’ll have many bosses.
When I say no to your lunch
or happy-hour invitations,
I won’t be feeling superior or aloof.
If I spend more time
with prospective clients
than with you,
don’t take it personally.
I’ll be married to my business for a while.”

For a long while.

I’m in that place right now
with the writing venture
and it is challenging,
especially during the summer
when it feels like
everyone else is sitting on patios
drinking beer.

Notice John Bradberry doesn’t mention choice.
We choose to work these crazy hours
the same way
corporate folks choose to go to work
on Mondays.
The long hours are often a requirement
to make our dreams happen.

If you know an entrepreneur,
please be understanding.
If you are an entrepreneur,
I’ll be working right beside you.

By k | May 25, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

In Kentin Waits’ article
7 Sure-Fire Tips for Selling on eBay,
he advises…

“The best copy is brief
but thorough,
accurate and positive.
Use marketing-speak sparingly,
keep sentences short, and
end on a positive note.
For example,
if you’re selling a pair of leather sandals,
stress how great they look
with dark-wash jeans or
how perfect they are
for summer vacations.”

Notice how brief is
the first requirement.

My editor shared
that the best copy
for selling books,
not matter the length
of the book,
is less than 140 words long.

When it comes to writing copy,
longer is NOT better.
Keep it brief.

By k | May 24, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When Laurann Dohner signed
a 75 book deal with Ellora’s Cave,

many in the literary world thought
both Laurann Dohner and Ellora’s Cave were crazy.
What if she wrote crap books?
What if her career took off
and she could earn more money elsewhere?
What if?

But by signing the 75 book deal,
readers were given a clear signal
that Laurann Dohner was a writer to watch.
Ellora’s Cave,
because they had so much invested
in her career,
took an active role in
managing and supporting it.
Laurann Dohner is now a regular name
on both the New York Times
and the USA Today best sellers lists.

When Rihanna, then an unknown singer,
signed a 6 record deal with
Jay-Z’s Def Jam Recordings,

many people in the music world
thought both sides were crazy.
Many artists don’t last in the business.
If Rihanna did last,
she might be able to make more money
somewhere else.

But the 6 record deal
sent a signal to the world.
Rihanna was talented,
Jay-Z believed in her,
and she’d be in the music business for a while.

Jay-Z often states
“I don’t sign songs, I sign artists.”
THAT is what a long term commitment is,
it is a tangible vote of confidence
in that person, that company, that relationship.

Yes, flexibility can be great
but long term commitments have benefits also.
Think about your partnerships
and the signals they send.

By k | May 23, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

The erotic romance
50 Shades of Grey is very hot right now.
The media is covering it constantly.
Many of the reader communities are talking about it.

My writing isn’t anything like
50 Shades of Grey.
However, friends and family
and especially my dear wonderful mom
have been telling others
that I’m writing the next 50 Shades of Grey.

I respond with “I might be.”
Because it is wonderful and rare
to have this sort of support
for my writing.
I am certainly not about
to do anything to dampen
that support.

If you’re an entrepreneur,
odds are…
friends and family and maybe complete strangers
have been asking you
if you’re building the next Facebook.

They’re looking for a reason
to believe in you,
to support you,
to boast to others about you.

Let them have that reason.
Bask in their support.
Use their faith to push you toward success.

By k | May 22, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

At a recent author panel,
panel members were asked
how they achieved their breakout hit.

No one knew.

Yes, they wrote a great book
but they thought previous books
were as well written.
Yes, they sent it to the right publisher
but these publishers published previous books.

They couldn’t point to any one thing
and say THAT was why the book broke out.

Marketers often say the same thing
about marketing going viral.
Previous campaigns had the same ingredients
but not the same results.

This unpredictability is good and bad.
It is good
because the next book, the next ad
might breakout.
There is hope.

It is bad
because we can’t control
this breakout.
And it might never happen.

Plan for a slow build.
Hope for the breakout.