Where do your customers come from?

3rd January 2012

My friend Perry for years was the envy of many. His business increased steadily and he appeared to live on easy street. Slow sales were something that he heard others talk about, not something that he experienced personally. He seemed to have the touch of King Midas. Everything that he touched in his business prospered and turned to gold. Then something changed. He didn’t know what it was at first. In fact he didn’t even realize that something had happened right away. As the weeks went by he realized that his bank deposits weren’t what they once were. Then he noticed that although his business had grown steadily for years, those days were in the past and now for the last several months his business was moving in the wrong direction. What happened? What to do about it? The fact that Perry could have seen this coming was irrelevant now. What Perry wanted most right now was to know how to generate growth in his business again. Read the full article →

It pays to read the fine print

27th December 2011

As I looked over the agreement, I noticed that the words on paper didn’t match up with the words that had come out of the salesman’s mouth just a few minutes ago. Perhaps he had emailed me the wrong agreement. But alas, he hadn’t. Although I was disappointed in the discrepancy between what was verbally promised and what the vendor was legally agreeing to, I was glad to discover the difference before the deal signed. Reading the fine print (or making sure that someone else does on your behalf) is a habit that will pay big dividends over the years for a couple of reasons. Read the full article →

Business Development – the priority that often isn’t and 3 keys to fixing this

14th December 2011

Often it seems that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Although this is a problem that most can relate to, it is especially costly for business owners. For those who write their own paycheck, the situation is like a catch 22. Without investing time in pursuit of business development, things will stay as they are. However, although business development takes time and won’t immediately contribute to your bank account, it is essential for being in control of the direction your business is going and proactively creating your future. Let’s look at 3 keys for making progress in your own business development, even when your schedule is full. Read the full article →

What’s in your marketing pie?

13th December 2011

My grandmother made the best sweet potato pie in the whole world. The combination of ingredients was perfect and the subtle balance of flavors made for an experience that was memorable. If you’ve never heard of sweet potato pie, be sure to try some the next time you’re in the Southern part of the US. Every good potato pie has a mix of ingredients coming together to form the right balance. The same is true for your marketing… Read the full article →

Aligning Interests for Best Results

7th December 2011

Brent’s dream of having his website show up on the first page of Google search results was finally realized. The problem was that although this sounded like the ticket to big sales, his results were a disappointment. Why were his results so much less than expected? There were two causes, one was technical, the second was much more fundamental – misaligned interests. When your vendor’s interests are not well aligned with yours, the results will always be disappointing. This is a fairly common dilemma that most business owners find themselves in and often they don’t know what the root problem is or how to fix it. Read the full article →

3 Internet marketing lessons from a fishing trip

6th December 2011

“Why do you say that?” I asked – not that I was dissatisfied in any way with the captain or with the sea bass that we caught that day, but I was intrigued by this fisherman’s observation about our captain and wanted to learn more. “Some captains will take you to just one fishing spot and stay there the whole time whether the fish are biting or not, others will move on to another spot only after nobody has caught anything for over an hour. This captain kept a close watch and on what people were catching and when the fish stopped biting, he moved on to another spot quickly.” As I reflected on the success of this trip I recognized that three things that made this fishing trip so successful are also essential to marketing successfully on the Internet. Read the full article →

Authentic salesmanship

30th November 2011

Brian offered what appeared at first glance to be a great deal on an advertising opportunity. As we talked he described the results that advertising with him would bring for the business. The more we talked the more I got that uneasy feeling about Brian. This feeling intensified as the call wrapped up and he began applying the high pressure sales techniques that give salesmen a bad name. No wonder his customer turnover was so high. The secret to life-long customers is authentic salesmanship. Read the full article →

3 Ways to measure advertising responses off-line

29th November 2011

John’s business was slower than he wanted it to be at this time of year, but he was at a loss on how to fix it. He had already done the standard things that he normally did to stimulate new business, but the results weren’t what he’d hoped for. His advertising was substantial and he had the big bills to prove it, but what he didn’t have was the return on investment that he needed. Although he knew that probably half of his advertising wasn’t bringing in enough business to pay for itself, he didn’t know which half it was. Knowing how to efficiently and cost effectively measure the responses to each advertisement, even off-line, is one of the secrets to generating the business you need in any economy. Let’s look at three ways to determine the response to advertising off-line. Read the full article →

Gratitude and Thanksgiving

23rd November 2011

My grandmother was the most positive person in the world. She was definitely a glass half full kind of person. She understood the profound significance of being positive. She understood that gratitude is a choice that affects your future. Regardless of whether you are predisposed to see the glass as being half full or half empty, the perspective that you hold has a huge impact on your future. Read the full article →

The most relevant business book ever published

16th November 2011

This book was definitely not what I expected it to be. It so far surpassed my expectations that I immediately purchased several to give out to a few lucky friends. The best teachers use stories to convey their message because it makes their lesson so much easier to remember. Eliyahu Goldratt’s “The Goal” is both a gripping novel and a thought provoking business book. Read the full article →