By k | January 10, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

The average person
is selfish.
I know I am.

If the first thing
a salesperson does
is talk about her product,
I tend to tune her out.

I’m not interested
in her products.
I’m interested
in finding solutions
for my problems.

If the salesperson
asks about me,
about my needs,
I’m fully engaged.

Seth Godin

“When someone acts
in a way that says,
“can I help you buy something?”
“can I help you achieve your goals?”
then we’re on our way.”

Make any sales pitches
about the person
you’re pitching to,
not your product or service.

By k | January 9, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I recently returned
from a cruise
on board the Caribbean Princess.
This ship has
one of the best libraries at sea.

How do they do this?

It’s simple.
They have a paperback exchange.
Cruisers can take a book
and leave a book.

Many cruisers, like myself,
take multiple books
on vacation with them.
Instead of discarding the books
I left all of these recent releases
in the ship’s library.

Some cruisers forget
to bring books
(or they read the books
they brought quickly).
They borrow these discarded books.

For no cost,
other than some shelf space,
the cruise ship
has added value to
their customers
AND decreased waste.

Is there waste
in your company
you can convert
to a bonus
for your customers?

By k | January 8, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

There’s been a cold snap
in most of the U.S.

On social media,
folks are talking about
the weather.

Which makes it
an excellent event
to market around.

I sell romance novels,
a product that doesn’t really
have anything to do with the weather.

One of my most popular memes
this week,
however, was
“If you’re cold,
he’s cold.
Bring your hunky romance hero
inside today.”

There is ALWAYS a reason
to promote your products or services.
Be creative.
Have fun with it.

By k | January 7, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

The business you’re building
might be selling
a product or a service
but it is also selling an emotion.

That emotion could be fear,
pride, envy, security,
surprise, or countless others.

In the Romance Novel Business,
as with many entertainment industries,
we’re selling happiness
(also love, optimism and hope).

My books (products) are designed
to give the reader (customer)
a shot of happiness at the end.

Knowing this,
I try to craft
all of my marketing
and other material
to also give the reader (customer)
a shot of happiness.

That is my branding.
That is the emotion
I want associated with my pen names.

Any negative emotions
I communicate
can mess with that branding.
This doesn’t mean
I’m happy-happy all the time
but I keep that in mind
when I’m not-so-happy.

What emotion are you selling?
Does your marketing and sales material
reflect this?

By k | January 6, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

New is scary
for many of us.

Sometimes as business builders,
we forget this.

Because we’ve been working
with our products/services
for days, months, years,
we often also forget
how new our offerings are.

Seth Godin

“…having an experience
for the first time
is frightening.
So we try to avoid the fear
by simulating it,
putting the experience into a box
that makes it like
something else we’ve done,
something that’s safe.”

The Romance Novel Business
does this very well.

Every story is unique.
I’ve written stories
with cannibal heroes,
post apocalyptic events.
That can be scary for readers
but because the stories
are classified as romance,
because readers are assured
there will be a romantic
happy ever after or happy for now
at the end of the stories,
readers take a chance on them.

Framing the new with the old
can make your offering
less scary for prospects/customers.

By k | January 5, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I always listen to my gut,
to my instincts,
when making a decision.
Sometimes I ignore them
(when, for example,
I know I’m operating
out of a place
of fear)
but I always listen to them.

But I’ve also worked on
developing my instincts.
I note when they’re wrong
and when they’re right,
when they are emotion-based
and when my brain
subconsciously picks up details
I can’t verbalize.

Seth Godin
shares a great way
to develop better instincts.

“Practice going with your instincts
in private.
Every day,
make a judgment call.
Make ten.

Make predictions
about what’s going to happen next,
who’s got a hit,
what designs are going to resonate,
which videos will go viral,
which hires are going to work out.

Write them down
or they don’t count.

It makes no sense
to refuse to practice your instinct
and to only use it
when the stakes are high.”

Work on developing
your instincts.
They are another tool
you have
at your disposal.

By k | January 4, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Marketing

We have a saying
in the Romance Novel Business
- Once a story is published,
it belongs to the reader,
not the writer.

What this means is
writers can’t control
how their stories are interpreted.
Readers bring their own viewpoints
to each story.
No two readers read the same story.

This applies to ANY type
of communication,
including marketing copy
and sale pitches.

Seth Godin

“What you say
is not nearly as important as
what we hear.”

Don’t assume your customers/prospect
have interpreted your words
the way you want them
to be interpreted.
Consider verifying
your message has been received.

By k | January 3, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in Sales

Speaking of Facebook parties…
Many hosts think
the real drivers of sales
at these events,
the primary factor
influencing party goer satisfaction,
are the posts
-the contests,
the questions asked,
the graphics.

Those ARE great to have
but they aren’t the most critical factors.

The most critical factor
is replying to comments.

The guest host could post ONE post
and if she replies to comments,
keeps that thread going,
party goers will be happy.

The key thing
Facebook party goers want
is the interaction with the guest host.
That is why they show up.
That is what makes them happiest.

THIS is the power
of responding to your customers/prospects.
Some of them will attend an event,
put aside time in their busy schedules,
simply to talk with you.

By k | January 2, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I was a guest host
at a Facebook party recently.
I was the most experienced person
at that type of event

No one asked me for advice.
That’s normal.
People often hesitate
to ask.

The people guest hosting
before I did
were confused,
clearly didn’t know
how these events worked.

Then I guest hosted.
I posted something new
every ten minutes.
I replied to every comment.
I greeted commenters, etc. etc.
I did all of the expected things.

Almost every guest host
after me
mimicked my guest hosting stint.
The party goers became happier
and participated more.
The guest hosts were more relaxed.

You might not think
you’re mentoring people
but you are.
People are observing what you do.

By k | January 1, 2018 - 6:00 am - Posted in New Business Development

I had to finish
my latest book
a week earlier
than I normally would.

I was panicking
because that meant
quite a few extra words
to fit into my schedule.

But when I reworked my schedule,
it only meant an extra 500
every day.
That was an extra hour
of writing.
Totally doable.

With my blogs,
I try to get ahead
by writing two blogs
every day,
instead of one.
That’s doable also.

When we think of
‘getting ahead,’
we think of
busting our a$$es,
working all night,
sacrificing weekends.

Often getting ahead
is as easy as
an extra hour a day.