By k | January 21, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

One of my buddies
is perverse.
If I say the sky is blue,
he says the sky is green.

This creates challenges for him.
Why?
Because selling is an essential part of any job
and selling can’t happen
without agreement.

As Grant Cardone
shares
in
Selling: The Secret To Success

“If you want agreement,
you’ve got to be agreeable
with your customers.”

By saying
“Yes, I understand your concerns”
or “Yes, that is a valid point”,
we’re aligning ourselves with
our clients/coworkers/employers
and making it easier
for them
to say yes to us.

Say yes.
Be agreeable.

By k | January 20, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Many of us have multiple projects
on the go.
When we are stuck
(or waiting)
on one project,
we jump to another project.

Often,
working on this other project
will shake some solutions loose
on the first project.

It also can increase productivity,
decreasing down time.

Can.
Because it can kill productivity
Projects that are never finished
(at least to the point
where there’s a possibility of a return)
are a waste of time.

One of my buddies starts stories weekly,
never finishing them.
She jumps projects
and never returns to them.

Having learned from my friend,
I never have more
than two stories in progress.
This rule forces me to finish a story
before I can start another
yet it gives me a break
when one story isn’t working.

Jumping projects can be productive
as long as you also finish projects.

By k | January 19, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The BBC caused a stir last year
with their coverage of booth babes
(good looking females working at the booths)
at the Consumer Electronics Show.

They returned this year
to discover that
Surprise!
Nothing had changed!

Actually, it had.
I saw a marked decrease in
both booth babes
and females working in any capacity
(because as one female engineer shared
companies didn’t want to take any chances
that their regular R&D and Marketing female employees
would be smacked with a booth babe label).

But even if it hadn’t changed,
sex sells.
Why did the BBC cover this story?
To have an excuse to showcase coverage
of these booth babes.

Why does my publisher
put pictures of shirtless men
on my covers?
Because it grabs women’s attention.

Will using sex to sell products
anger some possible prospects?
Yes.
But then,
any marketing campaign you run
will anger some possible prospects.

As with any tactic,
test and evaluate.

By k | January 18, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Another topic
Chris Anderson,
author of The Long Tail
and Makers
,
discussed at the Consumer Electronics Show
was the rise of 3D printers
(printers that can replicate
3 dimensional objects).

The example he gave was doll furniture.
Doll furniture is outrageously expensive
compared to the materials used.
The scale of doll houses are different
so it is challenging to find pieces that fit.
And the selection is limited.

With 3D printers,
all of these issues go away.
Children can design their own custom furniture,
scaling it to fit their specific house,
and produce it without leaving their room
for the same cost or less.

What does this mean for
doll house furniture manufacturers?
They’re looking at possible obsolescence.
They’re facing the same challenges
the music industry and the publishing industry
are now facing.

3D printers are coming.
The prices are dropping
and the quality is improving.

Look at your business.
What can you do now
that will stop customers from switching?

By k | January 17, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Chris Anderson,
author of
The Long Tail
was at the Consumer Electronics Show
talking about manufacturing,
the subject of his latest book
Makers.

When asked by an audience member
about manufacturing in the U.S.A.,
Chris Anderson was optimistic.

Why?

Because of the use of robots
in manufacturing.
“We all buy robots
at the same price.”
With robots,
“the cost of labor
diminishes as a factor.”

When an audience member
pushed back
that robots would cost jobs,
Anderson stated these jobs
had already left the U.S.A.
China should be worried
about robots taking jobs,
not Americans.

Having products manufactured
in the U.S.A. can be
a great marketing strategy.

When evaluating places to manufacture,
don’t assume the U.S.A is more expensive.

By k | January 16, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of the biggest trends
I saw
at the Consumer Electronics Show
last week
was the move
from
events open to all attendees
to
events open to an exclusive subset
of attendees.

There have always been private events
at the Consumer Electronics Show
but in the past,
these private events
were in addition to
the open events.

This year, companies such as
Microsoft, THX, and Nokia
didn’t have booths.
They had conference rooms
or buses
that were only open
to invited partners, vendors, customers.

In other words,
heavily branded companies
selling multiple products
to the public
didn’t think a booth
at the biggest electronics show
in North America
was a worthwhile investment.

Evaluate
your trade show expenditure.
Is it a good use of resources?

By k | January 15, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Some business building gurus
talk about complex business plans,
start up courses,
market research,
and a zillion other things
they feel
aspiring entrepreneurs need
before starting.

Not Avner Ronen,
Founder of Boxee.
He tells would-be entrepreneurs to

“Just start.
The biggest enemy of
starting a business
is not starting it.

You can always find reasons
not to do something.

Just start,
give it a name and
treat it as a real thing.

If you don’t start,
it will never happen.”

An object in motion
is more likely to stay in motion.

Just start.
Today.
This minute.
No hesitation.
No excuses.
GO!

By k | January 14, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

When I was fretting
about pitching a new product
to a team of executives,
one of my mentors told me
that sick feeling in my stomach
was a GOOD thing.
It meant
I was doing something different
and only by doing something different
could I grow
and truly make a difference
in the world.

Robert Gorelick,
president of Benefit Equity, Inc.
applies this thinking
to business.

“Being innovative takes
an open, inquisitive mindset
that encourages you
to look outside of your comfort zone
to analyze what has successfully been done
in other industries
so you can adapt those tactics
to your business.”

Do something different
or learn something different
every single day.
It could be as simple
as eating your eggs sunny-side up
rather than over-easy
or as challenging
as learning a common sentence
(like “Do you speak English?”)
in another language.

Get outside of your comfort zone.

By k | January 13, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

One of my pen names
(i.e. brands)
stands for fun, humor, craziness.
This pen name doesn’t take herself
or her writing seriously.

So when I choose reviews
to highlight
for this pen name,
I choose the crazy reviews.
Reviews like
“This book is better
than chocolate-covered man candy.”
or
“I laughed so hard, I peed my pants.”

The upside to this
is I have readers who rush
to write crazy reviews
simply to out-crazy each other.

Everything associated with your product
becomes part of your branding
including the reviews you use.

If you have a fun brand,
choose fun reviews.
If you have a classic brand,
choose classic professional-sounding reviews.

But ALWAYS consciously choose
the reviews you talk about.

By k | January 12, 2013 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As you grow your business,
you eventually should be
delegating the day-to-day operations
and taking a more strategic or managerial role.

Often we don’t realize
how involved we are in our businesses.

Paul Meades,
managing director of
Meades & Company,
suggests*

“Look at your organizational structure
in a chart.
If you don’t have one,
imagine one.
Think of each business function or process
having a box on that chart
- e.g., sales, customer service,
fulfillment, production.
How many of the boxes on the chart
are you regularly involved in?
Think about how you can get out
of those boxes you don’t want
or need to be in
- by outsourcing, delegating
or recruiting.”

Allow your business to grow
by removing the bottleneck - you.

*The Costco Connection
January/February 2013