By k | July 21, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

You have a to do list.
You have your daily goals.

But these aren’t worth shit
if you don’t stay on task.

As Jessica Edmondson shares

“To give yourself the best chance
at accomplishing your daily goals,
you have to learn
to remove interruptions
from your work time.

If you let little distractions dictate
how you spend your day,
you’ll be surprised
how much time will be wasted.”

Make a list.
Stick to the list.
Get things done.

By k | July 20, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

When I worked
for a telemarketing company,
the first thing
I was given
was a sales script.

The sales script
was the basis for every sales call.
The top sellers didn’t look at the script
and they had tweaked
their script for their own style
but they had the company sales script
“just in case.”

Just in case, they were tired.
Just in case, they worried
about something else.
Just in case, they had a bad day.

Rory Vaden from Southwestern Consulting
shares

“Most salespeople are
far less technically proficient
at selling than they think.
They are scared to call
on new business
because they aren’t good at it
and they don’t know what to say.

While they will complain about
being forced to say word-for-word scripts,
you must have them available
and they must work.

If you don’t,
stop everything you are doing,
find the nearest consultant
and get some.

A sales team without talk tracks
is like a business without a business plan,
scattered and inconsistent.”

Develop a sales script
for your sales team.

By k | July 19, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I always thought my Amazon sales
were solid.
They weren’t fantastic
but they chugged along.

Then one of my publishers announced
that over half of their book sales
came from Amazon.

I looked at my sales numbers.
Well, hell,
half of MY book sales
didn’t come from Amazon.
I must be doing something wrong.

I asked other writers
and yes, I WAS doing something wrong.
I wasn’t using the promotion vehicles
that drove Amazon sales.

THIS is why
businesses need benchmarks.
If you don’t know
expectations,
you don’t know
if you need to take corrective action.

Set benchmarks
and then track your results
to that benchmark.

By k | July 18, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

There are a number of methods
to compete in crowded markets.

Joe Matthews of Poggled.com
suggests

“Rather than trying to
serve every customer,
cater to the ones
that have unique needs.
For example,
nightclubs “don’t want
to have 1,000 coupons outstanding”
that people can use anytime.
They want people coming on their off nights.”"

There were 8,240 new romance titles
released in 2010.
Yeah, that’s crowded.

To compete,
I’ve specialized
in paranormal and sci fi
short stories
(40 pages)
and novellas
(75 pages).

That’s the narrow niche
I’m playing in
with a very specialized customer.

Other methods include
personalizing the customer experience
and redefining products or experiences.

To be successful,
you have to figure out
how to compete in crowded markets.

By k | July 17, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Successful romance writers
are masters
of emotional manipulation.

Their readers know
the novel will have a happy ending
but through emotional manipulation,
using the right words,
the right sentence structures,
the right pacing,
romance writers can make readers
believe this novel is THE novel
that won’t have that happy ending.

Manipulating emotion
takes skill
(a skill I continue to learn)
but there’s an easy test
to tell us if we got it wrong.

If WE, the writers,
aren’t emotionally moved
by our writing,
our readers certainly won’t be moved.

If you’re driving your prospects
to take action,
you should read your copy
and be moved to take action also.
If you aren’t,
try again,
refining your copy.

If you ARE moved,
test your copy on someone else
(because, as a creator,
you’ll fill in any missing spaces,
while someone else won’t).

Your writing should,
at the minimum,
move YOU.

By k | July 16, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Corporate Games

No board members showed up
at our writer’s meeting
on Saturday.

I dislike chairing meetings
and
being the master of ceremonies
for events.

I grumbled while
trying to find a replacement
but when I couldn’t find anyone
and I finally agreed to chair the meeting,
I stowed the bad attitude.

I put on my happy face.
I gave people the razzle dazzle,
smiling and laughing.

If you have to do something,
you might as well
get the full benefit from doing it
by having a good attitude
and completing the task
to the best of your ability.

That’s being professional.

By k | July 15, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Whenever I hear about
a writer waiting for ‘the muse’,
I know their writing is a hobby,
not a business.

Nora Roberts states it even blunter.
“Every time I hear writers talk
about ‘the muse,’
I just want to bitch-slap them.
It’s a job.
Do your job.”

Entrepreneurs don’t have
the luxury of waiting
until they ‘feel like it’
to work on their businesses.
It isn’t a hobby for them.
It is a passion.

As Mike Michalowicz shares

“Hobbies help you relax,
forget and unwind from your day.

On the other hand,
an activity fueled by passion thrills you,
charges you up and
makes it difficult to relax
because you are so chomping at the bit
to learn more, do more and
accomplish more in the pursuit of it.
You know you’re passionate
about your business idea
when you work on it all day and into the night,
and still get up at dawn
to start all over again.”

There’s nothing wrong
with having hobbies and
with having businesses
(i.e. passions).
Just don’t confuse the two.

By k | July 14, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

An interview is a sales call.
You’re presenting a product
(you)
to a prospect
(the employer),
and you’re asking her to buy
(hire).

That means
you find out what the employer needs
(ask about the position),
you frame yourself
as being what she needs
(frame your experience and skills
around what SHE wants),
you ask for the sale
(look her in the eye
and say “I want this job.”),
and you follow up
(send an email
thanking her for her time
and asking if she has any additional questions).

When you’re interviewing for a sales job,
this is especially important,
and most higher level positions
are sales jobs.

Employers are looking
for people who can sell their ideas.
Impress them by selling you
as the best employee.

By k | July 13, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yesterday, I watched a TV commercial
for an awning company
It was solid…
up to the point
where the price was mentioned
by the actor.
The price was in one voice
and the rest of the sentence
was in another.

Yep, when the price obviously changed,
the company simply dubbed
over the actor’s real voice.

The voices were close enough
that if the entire sentence
had been changed,
prospects might not have noticed
but the only price was dubbed.
It sounded cheap, unprofessional,
juvenile,
and harmed the company’s brand.

THIS is why prices are usually only mentioned
in voice overs.
This is also why forward thinking companies
ask the actor or actress
to repeat the same lines for a variety of prices.

Saving money on commercials
is a great idea.
Prospects being able to tell
HOW you saved money on commercials
is a disaster.

By k | July 12, 2012 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Recently I met a yet-to-be-published writer
who was blah, blah, blah
about everything.
She didn’t love any books
she’d recently read.
She didn’t show any excitement
during brainstorming.
Her emotions were flat.

So I told her
“This business is tough,
and there are easier ways to make money.
If you don’t have a passion for it,
don’t do it.”

She acted surprised
and assured me she DID
have a passion for romance writing.

Maybe she did
but she didn’t show it.
She didn’t have exuberance
and I didn’t believe her claim.
I doubt an agent or publisher
would believe her either.

Passion without exuberance
inspires no one.

As Terry Starbucker shares

“Exuberance is a quality
that projects vitality, joy, and enthusiasm
for the task at hand.
If leaders can show their exuberance
in a controlled, personal and authentic way,
the resulting effect
on the rest of the team
can be profound.”

Show your passion.
Be exuberant!