By k | December 31, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

When I first started writing romances,
I used general examples
like
‘He worked hard’
or ‘She cared for the children on her ward’
in hopes that these examples would appeal
to more people.

Instead, they appealed to no one.
Readers couldn’t visualize
what ‘working hard’ or ‘caring’ was.

Changing this to
‘He worked every day, Monday to Sunday,
from seven in the morning
to nine at night’
or
‘Every night, it didn’t matter how tired she was,
Nancy read a story from the big book of fairy tales
to Susie, a six year old patient in remission’
allowed readers to ’see’ , to believe, to care.

This is true in marketing and sales also.

Charles Rubin shares

“If you’re selling a service,
explain it in terms of real benefits
people get from using it.
Instead of
“We offer health insurance services
for small businesses,”
say,
“We can slash
your company’s health insurance costs
by 30 percent or more.”

Prospects know what
saving 30 percent on health insurances is.
They don’t know what
‘offering health insurance services’ is.

Be as precise as you can.
Allow your prospects to visualize
the benefits of your product/company.

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

“But it’s harder now.”

I hear this statement often.
In the ‘good ol’ days’,
it was easier
to start a company,
to launch a successful writing career,
to do XXX.

But is it more difficult?

No, it’s not.

Why?

Svetlana Dragayeva,
managing director of
Phenomenon films
and creator of the Virry app,
shares

“It is the speed
with which we now move
from concept to development and fulfilment.
We are constantly on the go
and highly responsive to new trends,
new technology and
new ways of creating products.

Technology always makes life easier.
I can’t imagine doing business
in the 80s
without mobiles, tech and devices.”

Today is a great time
to be an entrepreneur.
Stop making excuses
and take action!
Not January 1st.
Now.

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

Some of the biggest innovations
in industries
come from people
who aren’t rooted in that industry.

Why?

Because they don’t have a narrow idea
of what a business or a product
in that industry looks like.

I saw an interview with Taylor Swift.
She said she now labels her songs
as pop
because that’s a broader genre
than country.
She has more flexibility.

Thinking like the others
in your industry
won’t break your company or product
out.

Take yourself out of that box.

By k | December 28, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Yesterday,
we talked about
the power of story.

A clientk reader emailed me,
concerned that she doesn’t have
the grammar or writing skills
to write a great story.

One thing that the success
of Fifty Shades of Grey
has shown all writers
is that people care about emotion first
and everything else a distant second.

Fifty Shades was filled
with grammar and research issues.
Readers didn’t care.
They felt the writer’s emotion.

And that’s key
–they felt the WRITER’s emotion.
We have to feel the emotion
to relay it to others.

Why are you passionate
about your business or your products?
What makes it personal to you?
Why do you care?
What customer stories
make you feel?

Emotion is the key
to a great story.

By k | December 27, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

Story is powerful.
Hey, it is my main product.
Writers,
songwriters,
filmmakers
can make millions
by giving readers one great story.

Every business can benefit
from telling a great story.

Rachel Shechtman,
Founder of STORY,
a unique retail store,
shares

“Back in the day,
a retailer could compete on
price, quality and/or service.
Now, those are assumed.
You need to have a reason
for someone to spend time
in your store.
Today, people can have household essentials
delivered to their door in an hour,
so why leave your house?

The answer—surprise and delight!
A compelling experience.

Storytelling is
more important than ever
for retailers, and businesses in general,
to differentiate themselves.
It’s more than a trend,
it’s a fundamental shift
—both a challenge and opportunity.”

The great thing is…
stories don’t have to cost much.
You could write one yourself
or I know writers who will craft
a story around your products
for a ridiculously low fee.

Consider harnessing
the power of story.

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

A loved one told me
he doesn’t put everything he has
into any story.
He saves something
for the next story.

This fear of creating the ‘best’ story
he’s ever written
is, I believe,
the reason he’s never broken out.

The irony is…
we don’t need to follow up great
with even better.

That’s not necessary.

Great is so rare
that we can give
readers, customers, employers
the same level of great
every time
and they’ll still be thrilled.

Don’t hold back.
Be great.

By k | December 25, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

Big companies tend not
to promote heavily today.
It’s not worth their efforts.
They promote to the masses.
Many people
are busy today
with family and friends.

But some aren’t.

You and I don’t promote to the masses.
One new customer might not
make a difference to the big companies
but she/he would make a difference
to us.

That prospect is less likely
to be bombarded with messages today.
She/he might be looking for interaction.
We have an opportunity
to make a connection.

If this isn’t a special day for you,
consider posting on social media
and other low cost marketing.

If it is a special day for you,
of course,
leave the marketing for another day.
The prospects will still be there
tomorrow.

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

I grew up fairly poor
(fairly poor
because no one in North America
is truly poor,
not compared to other places
in the world).

I’d draft my wishlist
for Christmas,
knowing I’d be fortunate
to receive even one of the items
on it.

I’d draft that list
and then think about ways
I could earn
those items.

I do the same thing
now
for my businesses.
I craft my wishlist
of things
I’d love to add to the businesses.
Maybe I want a personal assistant
to help with book releases.
Or a distribution partner.
Or a centralized database
of character names and traits.

Then I figure out a way
to get some or all of the items
on my wishlist.

Consider drafting a wishlist
for your business.

By k | December 23, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I write some stories for publishers
and I self publish some stories.

I promote my self published stories
much more than
my stories released through a publisher.

Why?

Because I can see instant results
with my self published stories.
I can log onto Amazon
and see my sales increase
in real time.

With my publishers,
I receive sales information
four months or longer
after the sales happen.
I don’t have the incentive
of watching sales increase,
seeing instant results
for my promotional efforts.

The publishers could give me
that information.
They choose not to.
That choice lowers their sales.

The timing of results
impacts your employee’s efforts.
Consider sharing them
sooner.

By k | December 22, 2015 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

I watched Big Eyes,
a movie about a real life
husband and wife team.
The wife created art.
The husband took credit for it,
selling it as his own work.

Yes, taking credit
for another person’s work is wrong
but I doubt she would have become famous
on her own.
Not merely because she was a woman
but because she couldn’t sell.
She didn’t have strong selling skills
and she didn’t seem interested
in acquiring them.

Because she couldn’t sell,
she would have always
been at the mercy
of someone who could sell.

You can have the greatest product
in the world.
If you can’t sell that product
to other people,
that product won’t become known.

Learn how to sell.
Practice every day at it.