By k | January 31, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

When I attended
the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show,
one truth quickly became clear.

If a company didn’t have
a clear phone policy,
casual workers employed
to field guest questions
at display booths
spent most of the day
looking at their phones.

I suspect if the company
has a retail space,
those employees do the same thing
in these stores.

Most people are addicted
to their devices.
If they don’t have a reason
to stay away from them,
they won’t.

Ensure that your employees
are using their phones, tablets,
smart watches,
when YOU want them
to use them.
Have a policy.

By k | January 30, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I firmly believe
there are holes in EVERY market.
Many of us,
in our respective fields,
are aware of these holes.

Bobbi Brown*,
founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics,

“As a freelance makeup artist
using everyone’s makeup,
I realized most of it
was pretty unflattering and unnatural.
When I started my company,
my aesthetic was that
makeup should be
the natural color of your skin.
It should enhance your beauty,
and I realized that
there was a hole in the market
for natural-looking makeup.”

Either you will fill the hole in your market
or someone else will.
It is your choice.

*January 2015
American Way

By k | January 29, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I keep abreast of the competition
in the romance market,
noting changing reader tastes
and trends,
but I don’t write
with this competition in mind.
Because they’re already owning their space.

Ian Schrager*,
founder of Studio 54,

“I’m curious what’s going on
in the market,
but at the end of the day,
I’m marching to my own drumbeat.
If you’re always looking over your shoulder,
you never get peace,
because there’s always somebody there.
I’ve learned a long time ago
not to do that.”

Be aware of your competition.
Don’t try to BE your competition.

*January 2015
American Way

By k | January 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

One thing entrepreneurial parents
often debate is
whether or not
to make their children work in the business.

Eric Trump*,
one of Donald Trump’s sons,

“One thing I can say
about our father is
he always made us work.
Donnie and I were cutting down trees
and mowing lawns,
you name it.
It made us really understand
the value of a dollar
but also stay out of trouble,
because we were so tired
at the end of the day!”

My mom would say something similar.
If parents don’t give their kids
something to do,
their kids will FIND something to do
and that something might not be
what parents want.

Consider involving your children
in your business.

*January 12, 2015
People magazine

By k | January 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I’ve attended sales pitches
for products
I had no intention of buying
simply because
the salesperson was so d*mn good.
I knew I’d learn something.
Sometimes what I learned
prompted me to buy the product
I didn’t think I needed.

Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

“Customers were painfully blunt
on this point:
They perceived very little difference
between suppliers on things
like brand, product or price.
At the same time,
the sales experiences they delivered
were highly variable.

Some reps, they said,
would so thoroughly waste their time
that at the end of the sales call
they felt as though
they’d just been robbed
of an hour of their lives.

On the other hand,
those same customers told us
that other reps would take the time
to provide information
so interesting and valuable that
— to paraphrase Neil Rackham
— the customer would have been willing
to pay for the conversation itself.

“I love meeting with those folks,”
customers would tell us,
“I always learn something
when I spend time with them.””

If your sales pitch is informative
and interesting,
prospects WILL listen.

By k | January 26, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As a writer,
I’ve observed
that what a reader focuses on
says a lot about her as a person.

What Angelina Jolie*
focuses on,
while talking about Unbroken,
the story of Louie Zamperini,
says a lot about her.

“People often simplify things
by saying there are good people
and there are bad people.
Little kids hear it:
What a good person so- and so- is,
or what a troublemaker.
And I think the beauty of Louie is
that he’s someone
every single human being can relate to,
even those of us who have really felt
that we weren’t great people
– we were, if anything even,
bad people,
or not fit for society,
or not helpful to others.
His message is that
you can choose to rise above
and to redirect your life.
Someone who was as troubled
and as full of fire as he was
can choose to redirect that fire,
and it can be a great thing.”

You can redirect your fire also.

*December 2014
American Way

By k | January 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

As an entrepreneur,
you are likely trying
to launch a different product or service
in an established industry.

Don’t expect these established players
to support or appreciate
what you’re doing.

A buddy of mine
launched an interactive romance novel.
She thought book bloggers and reviewers
would be excited.
She was giving them something different
to discuss.

They weren’t.
They didn’t want different.
Their blogs and readership
revolved around existing romance novels.

Toller Cranston,
a figure skater who was ‘punished’
in the 1970’s
by judges
who didn’t understand
his new way of skating,
a way that judges
now accept as ‘normal’,
once shared

“To be a genuine individualist
requires a great deal of
strength and courage.
It is never easy
to chart new territory,
to cross new frontiers,
to introduce subtle shadings
to an established color.”

Changing the status quo
isn’t easy.
Do it anyway.

By k | January 24, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Are you struggling with a problem?
Consider taking a walk.

A 2014
Stanford Graduate School Of Education
co-authored by
Daniel Schwartz,
showed that creative output increases
by 60 percent
when we walk.

How fast should we walk?
“Walk at a rate
where you don’t really have
to think about your walk,
so it’s not too fast
or too slow.”

I’ll often pace around the home office
when I’m stuck on
a plotting problem.
It works for me!

Consider walking to boost creativity.

*January/February 2015
The Costco Connection

By k | January 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

I was checking my email
outside the meeting spaces
of a major technology company
at the Consumer Electronics Show
a few weeks ago.

These meetings were by invitation only.
The company didn’t have
any other display space at the event.

Curt security guards turned away
anyone dropping by.
They didn’t know who the person was.
He could have been the CEO of a partner
who didn’t expect to be at the event
or a reporter for TV station
or ???
It didn’t matter.
If the person’s name wasn’t on the list,
he wasn’t welcome.

I watched this
and thought
“What a waste!”
Here were people interested
in the company,
in their products,
and they were being turned away
empty handed.

The company had hired people
to man the ‘doors.’
How hard would it have been
to give these security guards
an informational pamphlet
or some sort of promo
to hand out?

When you host an invitation-only event,
think about how you can turn
the drop in guests
into happy customers.

By k | January 22, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I receive quite a few emails
from clientk readers
asking me to write longer posts
or to add photos.
That’s not what clientk is.
Clientk is a approximately
100 word snippet reminders
of key business lessons,
often with a link to a longer article.

Scott McKain
in What Customers Really Want

“In the early days
of my professional speaking business,
I worked at providing my “prospects”
with a wide range of topics.
I figured if I could provide programs
on everything
from time management to selling skills,
from leadership to motivation,
I would be able to get more bookings
—and therefore, more income.

The problem was,
by taking everything that came along,
I didn’t create an identity for myself
as a provider of quality information
on anything.
It wasn’t until I started getting picky
and focusing on just one thing
—the creation of the experiences
that ensure customer loyalty
—that my speaking career blossomed.”

“As strange as it sounds,
I believe that Wal-Mart is picky.
It is not in the market
for every person seeking
a retail experience.
It shoots for the segment
of the buying pubic
who seeks the best possible
price/value ratio
—and that is not everyone out there.”

Be picky about what you do.