Saturday, September 05, 2009

Getting Booked

I have a new client that I'm handling a P.R. Campaign for and will use this list as one tool in my toolbox:

7 Steps to Becoming More Bookable TODAY

Wednesday, September 02, 2009 - posted by hellomynameisscott at

“I need more bookings!”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said that before.

My hand is up. Is yours?

Of course it is. Especially in 2009. Every salesperson, entrepreneur, small business owner or entertainer expresses that frustration at some point.

Unfortunately, many of us are too quick to blame this problem on some external force beyond our sphere of control. For example:

Bookings are down because the economy sucks.
Bookings are down because the industry is changing.
Bookings are down because budgets are cut and nobody’s hiring.
Bookings are down because everyone in the world is stupid except me.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever said one of THOSE before.

My hand is up again.

Well, here’s the good news (which, simultaneously, is also the bad news):

Part of the reason you’re not booked SOLID right now is because you’re not a bookable person.

Today I’m going to share seven steps to increasing your bookability:

1. Focus – don’t spray. Small Business Marketing Specialist, David Newman, regularly publishes and speaks about bookability. In fact, attending a seminar of his in 2009 sparked this very post. So, I asked him a few questions about the topic.

“First, it’s about specificity,” Newman said. “Someone is bookable if they solve specific problems for a specific audience around a specific issue.” Newman also explained, “Articulation and distinction is the secret. Someone is bookable if they've distilled down their marketing message with sharpness and clarity. It’s all about how they talk about (articulation) what they do differently (distinction) to improve the lives of the people who buy from them.”

MAKE BOOK: Have you stuck a stake in the ground and told the world about it in a meaningfully, concrete and immediate way?

2. Be easier and faster. In June 2008, a press release called “Improved Bookability,” was published by the international travel website, Eurostar. Their new initiative offered interactive seat requests, which gave customers the ability to request seats in real time and receive an instant acknowledgement and seat map from the website. Cool!

Lessons learned: Simplify your interface. Streamline the booking process. Provide reliable expectations. Offer peace of mind with automated confirmation, up-to date information and firm reservations.

MAKE BOOK: Are you bookable enough to publish a press release about it?

3. Your fanbase may help OR hinder. In December 2008, The Huffington Post ran a fascinating article called, “Bush’s Memoir: Publishers say no thanks.” On the comments section, a reader suggested, “Bull-horn carrying protesters will follow Bush around as he makes the conservative lecture circuit. This makes him an un-bookable speaker.” Wow.

Bookability isn’t so much about the company you keep; but rather the company you attract. This reminds me of the scene in Happy Gilmour when PGA executive, Doug Thompson decides to keep Adam Sandler on the tour – extreme antics notwithstanding. “That Happy Gilmore is a real crack-up! He's bringing in some big crowds and we’re attracting new, youthful sponsors. It’s great for the game of golf!”

So, becoming more bookable isn’t a function of beating people with nine irons, wrestling alligators and doing the bull dance across the tee box. Rather, it’s about considering what types of people are the natural byproducts of your presence.

MAKE BOOK: Once you get booked, whom will YOU attract?

4. Beware of the unbookable bug. When asked to riff about the dangers of being unbookable, the aforementioned David Newman shared three excellent reminders. “First, don’t make clients deal with your ego. They’ve got enough on their plates as it is.

Second, if you're not serious about what you're doing now - STOP - and go do something about it. Get serious, get help, or get out. As Yoda says, 'Do or do not. There is no try.'

And finally, remember that lack of integrity travels fast. You'll be out of friends so fast your head will spin. And no friends = No business = Game over.”

MAKE BOOK: Are you in danger of being unbookable?

5. Share your schedule online. Posting your client calendar, tour schedule or media appearances on your website WILL get you more bookings quickly. For five reasons:

First, it proves that you’re busy by offering tangible evidence of success. Social proof is a powerful force.

Second, it invites existing and potential clients/fans to come out and see you. That way they can plan their schedules around you.

Third, it demonstrates your reach. So, when someone comes to your website and sees all the different cities, organizations and media outlets you’re working with, they’ll be thinking two things: (1) This guy MUST be good, and (2) Well, if he’s good enough for THAT company, he’s good enough for MY company too!

Fourth, posting your schedule online motivates you to fill it up. When I first posted my speaking calendar in 2004, I only had ten bookings for the entire year. And because I didn’t want people to think I sucked, that became a great kick in the pants to fill the schedule up.

Fifth, when you post your schedule online, customers start to target YOU. That’s when it starts to get cool. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on the phone with a prospect who said, “Well Scott, I checked the schedule on your website and it looks like you have March 19th available to work with us. Is that OK with you?”

To which I always reply, “Um … Sure! … I guess I could fit you into my schedule…” (Even though I’m actually thinking to myself, “YES! Of course I’m available! Oh please book me! Pretty please with sugar on top!”)

MAKE BOOK: Are you the arrow or the bulls-eye?

6. Be one step ahead. On www.CatererSearch.com, I read an article titled, “Information centers get ‘bookability’ to win back customers.” The piece reported that six of England's Tourist Information Centers (TICs) were to be converted into Holiday Shops that offered a full booking service.

"Many information centers already offer comprehensive information on the availability of holidays and accommodation, so it’s the logical next step for them to provide a booking service as well,” said ETB head of marketing, Andrew Maxted. Your challenge is to think about what the obvious next step to your main product is – then decide if it’s worthwhile to start offering that as well.

Think FedEx Kinko’s. They sold printing for decades. Then, in 2004, they expanded their offering by providing their customers with the most obvious, logical follow-up service: Mailing the stuff they printed to someone across the country. Hallelujah!

MAKE BOOK: Are you one step ahead of the people booking you?

7. What would Oprah do? Susan Harrow is a media coach, writer and consultant with a unique specialty: Getting booked on Oprah. She’s produced dozens of resources, tools and manuals explaining her system for attracting media attention. Interestingly, when I googled the phrase “getting booked,” her famous article “How to Get Booked on Oprah” came up hundreds of times. So, let’s examine each of her points. And I’ve added a challenge question to each one so you to plug yourself into Susan’s equation, just in case getting booked on Oprah isn't your main goal:

a. Tape and watch Oprah for two weeks. Are you familiar with the content, format, rhythm and pace of the person/organization booking you?

b. Get to know Oprah's preferences. What biographical information do you need to know to press (or avoid) hot buttons of the person/organization booking you?

c. Pitch a hot topic. Does booking you solve a problem that is relevant, pervasive, serious and controversial?

d. Put together a winning press kit. How could you punch people in the face with your viability?

e. Create six dynamic sound bites. Can you spontaneously spit out the most important ideas, concepts, and points you want to make as they relate to the idea you’re pitching?

f. Be more blurbable. Will the people booking you be able to remember and repeat your ten-second pitch to the person who missed the pitch meeting?

g. Get booked on local shows first. How much time have you spent fine-tuning your sound bites so they’re delivered in a relaxed, competent way?

h. Build credentials through public speaking and teaching. How can you sharpen and quantify your expertise in a concrete way that resonates deeply with the person booking you?

i. Wow the producers with brevity. Have you rehearsed enough so that when you open your mouth and start auditioning, your selling points come off as succinct, natural and inviting?

Ultimately, whether you’re trying to get booked FOR an interview, BY a hot prospect or WITH a new organization, Susan’s nine essentials will help you become more bookable in any capacity.

MAKE BOOK: Did you pass the Oprah test?

REMEMBER: External forces notwithstanding, you can’t “make” people book you.

All you can do is increase the probability of getting booked by making yourself a more bookable person.

Now if you’ll excuse me, Oprah’s producer is on the other line and I need to go change my underwear.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How bookable are you?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the list called, "34 Cultural Trends that (should) Change Your Business," send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

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Big Companies & Social Media Update


Last weekend, we had problems with Comcast. I tried their interactive website application but had better success via Twitter.

Ford, Levi's Take to Social Media

Advertisers including Ford, Levi's and Comcast are making increased use of social media services such as Facebook and Twitter both to promote their products and as a tool through which to respond to queries from their customers.

Ford will launch the latest Fiesta in the U.S. next year, and has put Interactive media at the heart of its strategy to increase awareness of the new model prior to its formal introduction.

In April, the auto giant gave 100 influential bloggers a Fiesta to drive for six months, with the sole requirement that they add a new video to YouTube, the video-sharing portal, each month offering their honest opinions regarding the car.

Similarly, it has encouraged this group to openly discuss their views on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, as it seeks to generate a "buzz" before the vehicle goes on sale in early 2010.

Scott Monty, the automaker's head of social media, argued this approach was "extremely important to this company's history."

"It's about culture change and adapting to this ongoing way of communicating. The bloggers are fully free to say what they want," he said.

Earlier this year, Levi's, the jeans manufacturer, launched Go Forth, a campaign developed by Wieden+Kennedy which aimed both to tap into the brand's long history and refresh its image for contemporary consumers, particularly young men.

Alongside traditional media, Levi's employed Facebook and Twitter, and built a website encouraging people to submit their own pictures, poems, audio and video content, some of which will ultimately be featured in a "live gallery show."

With regard to using social media, Megan O'Connor, the brand's director of digital marketing, said it was "an easy call. This is where our customers are."

Late last year, Papa John's, the restaurant chain, offered a free pizza to each member of Facebook who opted to become its "friend," resulting in some 150,000 netizens according it such a status.

Overall, Papa John's now has a total of 300,000 fans on the popular social network, and hopes to more than triple this number by the end of 2009.

Comcast was one of the first companies to use Twitter for customer relationship management purposes, having established a presence on the microblogging utility over a year ago.

Its Twitter account, @comcastcares, now has nearly 30,000 followers, and provides web users with an alternative means to communicate with the firm outside of its call center operations.

However, according to Charlene Li, founder of the Altimeter Group, corporate entities like "Ford and Levi's are at the avant-garde of social media use, but they are not typical."

The consultancy recently released a ranking of the brands which it regarded as currently making the best use of social media, with Starbucks and Dell taking the joint top honors.

However, while many marketers are seeking to use this emerging channel as a means to connect with consumers, a best practice approach has been slow to emerge, and, for most, the medium remains part of a broader communications model.

Indeed, Michael Brito, social media strategist at Intel, the semiconductor chip manufacturer, cautioned that "social media is not the messiah. It is one of several tools."

(Source: USA Today, 09/01/09, with additional content from the WARC staff)

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Learning from the Interns

Earlier this year I attended a Brown Bag Lunch put on by our Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.

I don't recall the exact title, but the topic was Public Relations, Social Media and related issues.

The panel included three people from advertising agencies.

The old guy was sort of stuck in old thinking.

The two women who are in their late 20's or perhaps in their 30's had a more current outlook.

I have discovered that age is not really a determining factor for adopting new ideas, despite the way it was presented with this panel.

At the radio stations I work with, we have interns and we have guys in their 30's, 40's and 50's doing sales work. We can learn from each other, (and we do).

AdAge presented this recently:

From the Mouths of Babes: What the Interns Think

Surprising Thoughts on Advertising, Business and Social Media

Phil Johnson
Phil Johnson
Watching the summer interns grow younger every year is a humbling experience. I had a particularly poignant moment a few weeks ago. A bunch of us were hanging out in the kitchen, and I offered an intern one of the candies that I was eating. She lit up and said, "My grampy really likes these." I haven't felt that young since I dusted off my original Woodstock album.

All three of our interns came from the Boston University School of Communications, and I'm telling you they are impressive -- bright, hardworking and ambitious. As the summer went on, I found myself asking a few questions: Why in the hell are they interested in advertising? Why did they choose a professional program, as opposed to a liberal arts program? Where do they think the industry is going? A couple of days before they departed for Paris, London and L.A., respectively, I asked Margo, Lakshmi and Martin if I could interview them.

We should all be so clear-thinking and thoughtful. As for why they chose a communications program, all three of them have a practical bent and want to graduate with a definite career path. Lakshmi wants to integrate her interests in business, psychology and art. Martin wants to make his living as writer. Margo wants to balance business with creativity.

Margo, Lakshmi and Martin
Margo, Lakshmi and Martin
I was curious whether they had any cynicism about advertising -- you know, helping to sell stuff people don't need. Their idealism surprised me. Martin saw real value in getting the word out about good products that deserve to be successful. They acknowledged that advertising could be manipulative, but they are more focused on the power to inform people and solve problems like the economy or global warming. They don't like ads that manufacture problems that people don't have. As for favorite ads, they unanimously and emphatically said Apple, but for reasons that surprised me a bit. Lakshmi cited the simplicity, the soothing voice and the music. Nothing about the product.

When I asked what was hot in their program, they answered in unison: "Social media." What else, I asked? "Social media," they repeated. Here's where the conversation veered off center. They see the social-media universe very differently than I do, and there were some surprising contradictions in their responses.

While they all acknowledged its importance, there is much about social media as a career that doesn't appeal to them, especially the always-on aspect of blogs and social networks. Someone said, "Why pursue a career in social media? It's what we do with our free time." They are also suspicious of the hype, especially around specific platforms like Twitter, and suspect that it has peaked. They are much more curious about what's the next big thing. Margo said she is interested in where people will experience social media, and everyone expressed excitement about applications that will make social media more useful. Margo mentioned an application that integrates Google with Craigslist, so, for example, if you're looking for an apartment, you can see the location.

All three confirmed a fact about Twitter that has been picked up in the media: teenagers and college kids find it boring. They're not interested in what their peers are posting. They see it as a platform for people in their 30s and above who like to share content. Lakshmi made a great point: "Twitter is not just for people. It's a great platform for fiction and entertainment." Facebook, on the other hand, "is for your life. It has your books, pictures and friends."

Since business consumers increasingly rely on blogs for product information, I was curious if they read or followed a lot of bloggers. Only their friends, they said. All said that if they want content, they go to traditional news sites that they trust. Another surprise was a general dissatisfaction with Google for the difficulty in pinpointing specific data. Margo uses KGB, the mobile search service, but predicts it will fail because it charges 99 cents per query.

So, what does the future look like, I wanted to know. Martin wants to spend a year with Teach for America and then explore a career as a writer. Lakshmi hopes to get the chance to work on a great campaign, on the magnitude of Apple. Margo wants to play a role in a world-class agency where she's excited by the work and surrounded by good people. All three fear monotony and boredom. They want to make enough money to be comfortable, but wealth won't be the deciding factor in their life choices.

We've got some good citizens in the making, and I'm feeling optimistic about the future.

~ ~ ~
You can follow Phil Johnson on Twitter: @philjohnson.

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Risk


Craig Garber:

It's a fact. More accidents, more crime, and more
excitement goes on during the weekend than the rest of the
week.

It's bad enough that you have to take risks when you leave
the house, but one thing you really need to be mindful of
is the amount of risk, or perceived risk, you're making
your prospects take.

Especially new prospects who aren't familiar with you.

Minimizing your customer's risk isn't just something you
hear bantered about because "people say you should do it,"
it's something you really need to pay close attention to.

Especially nowadays when it comes to ordering stuff online.
And especially if you've never done business with a
prospect, or if you're new in business in general, you
really want to make people feel at ease about working with
you.

So let's talk about a couple of ways of doing this:

1. Testimonials. Most people think testimonials just
credentialize your product, but they also speak to your
integrity and your work ethic. That's why they're so
important. And that's also why having "big name"
testimonials isn't enough.

See, your prospects aren't stupid. They know if some
big-name guru gives you a testimonial, that guru didn't
spend one thin dime with you. In fact, in many instances,
you effectively paid them! So while the quality of your
product MIGHT be represented, your business ethics aren't.


If you'll notice, the lion's share of the testimonials I
have all over my website are from regular entrepreneurs.
People slugging it out and fighting the good fight every
day just like you and me. These are the folks who
scrutinize things under a microscope.

Passing their test means a lot, because I'm not "hooking
them up" with jack! They're paying their way and they're
working hard for their money so they aren't messing
around.

2. Guarantees. When you give a guarantee, you effectively
reduce your prospect's financial risk down to zero.

I have yet to see a client of mine NOT make more money by
giving a stronger or longer guarantee.

And frankly, if you aren't giving a guarantee, a customer
has to start wondering, "Why not?"

I give very liberal guarantees on my products, and when my
book comes out later on this month, I'm so convinced it's
going to be one of the most incredible manuals ever
released, I'm actually going to be offering a Lifetime
Guarantee on it! (sign up for the early-release and get
three free chapters of "How To Make Maximum Money With
Minimum Customers" at http://blog.kingofcopy.com/max )

Oh sure, we'll get a couple of weasels who'll try and rip us
off, but I don't care about them. I care about the
thousands and thousands of people who don't know me or have
never ordered anything from me, who are looking for some
kind of genuine reassurance about what they're spending
their money on.

These people are VERY important to me and I want them to be
as comfortable doing business with me, as they'd feel if
they were walking into my corner store and shaking my hand
in person.

Keep these simple, yet critically important things in mind
when it comes to dealing with your customers -- especially
new ones.

Oh, and never drink and drive.

Have a great weekend and...

Now go sell something, Craig Garber

P.S. SPEAKING of guarantees: $15,000 or MORE in your pocket
guarantee, right here: http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl

***

"How To Make Maximum Money With Minimum Customers" - get
three free chapters of my newest book at
http://www.kingofcopy.com/max

Hottest offline marketing newsletter gets you more leads,
higher conversions... proven marketing strategies, no
nonsense. Now get two issues free at
http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl

Copywriting and emotional direct response marketing "how to"
products at http://www.kingofcopy.com/products

Marketing videos that answer your toughest questions at
http://www.kingofcopy.com/askmebaby

Now I'm on Facebook - friend me now at
http://www.kingofcopy.com/facebook

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Friday, September 04, 2009

Friday Night Marketing News

From Mediapost:

Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
While industry results, on the whole, are down, the decline wasn't all that steep. Retail Forward says sales at its index of stores declined 2.5% in August, a decidedly better performance than July's 4.6% tumble. (In August 2008, the index gained 0.5%.) ... Read the whole story > >
Research
by Tanya Irwin
"The online commercial challenge for leading consumer brands has less to do with the 'long tail' than with the collapse of physical structures that literally help distance leading brands from smaller brands offline," Nielsen's David Wiesenfeld says. "It is not the number of brands available online that matters, but that there is less separation between them." ... Read the whole story > >
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
"Consumers in the African-American market, who are usually underserved by these kinds of events, respond very favorably," says Uptown's Len Burnett. "We have done parties for 125 people at which we sold two of the vehicles from the dinner party, and these were very high-end vehicles. Reaching out to consumers like this derives positive results. " ... Read the whole story > >
Restaurants
by Karlene Lukovitz
"To succeed, there has to be strong buy-in on the part of the brand's senior management, because brands can no longer just sit back and take in their royalties, even with a strong partner doing most of the heavy lifting," says Broad Street Licensing's Bill Cross. "Today, with retailers reducing SKUs, the brand has to be committed to supporting the retail effort." ... Read the whole story > >
Entertainment
by Karl Greenberg
Disney's consumer products division is rolling out a lifestyle, merchandise and fashion program around the studio's forthcoming tent-pole feature film, "Alice In Wonderland." The effort includes "interpretive" collections of character-themed jewelry, collectible toys, home d├ęcor, stationery and health and beauty products. ... Read the whole story > >

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The Change Continues


The combination of technology, the economy and customer conditioning is what causes most if not all changes in business. Seth Godin wrote about this recently:

Where have all the agents gone?

Travel agents... gone.
Stock brokers... gone.
Real estate brokers... in trouble. Photographer's agents, too.
Literary agents?

The problem with being a helpful, efficient but largely anonymous middleman is pretty obvious. Someone can come along who is cheaper, faster and more efficient. And that someone might be the customer aided by a computer.

The airlines don't want to pay travel agents, because the travel agents were making more money on each flight than they were. Some house sellers hesitate to pay real estate brokers because they don't believe the 6% payment is an opportunity, they see it as a tax. Investors abandoned full service stock brokers because trading stocks directly is faster and more accurate than using the phone.

Middlemen add value when they bring taste or judgment or trust to bear on a transaction that isn't transparent. Literary agents are crucial when publishers believe that their choice of content is essential but have too many choices and too little time. But publishers don't trust every literary agent. They trust agents they believe in. Key point: anonymous agents are interchangeable and virtually worthless. Agents that don't do anything but help one side find the other side in a human approximation of Google aren't so helpful any more.

Think about how anonymous the typical real estate broker is. He will sell almost any house or represent almost any buyer. When selling a house, he has a fiduciary responsibility to represent that house to the best of his ability. Just like every other broker. The great real estate brokers do far more than this.

Travel agents still survive, but in a very different way than they used to. Now, the best ones are paid by the traveler, not the airline. The best ones provide a differentiated service that is worth paying for. Instead of being middlemen, then, they are the front men, the attraction, a key asset to the traveler.

To thrive in a world of self-service, agents have to hyperspecialize, have to stand for something, have to have the guts to say no far more than they say yes. No, you can't publish this book. No I won't represent you. No, don't take that flight. No, I won't sell this house, it's overpriced, list it yourself.

The second thing agents must do to make a smart transition is to consider who they are selling to. Should talent agents only sell to Hollywood? Literary agents only to book publishers? Should ad agencies specialize in Google Adwords, not just Super Bowl spots? When markets change, agents can lead the way, not follow along grudgingly.

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Coasting?


from one of my favorite authors:

Coasting toward apathy

When you're very comfortable in your job, and things seem to be going pretty well, you may be tempted to ease up—coast a little. Resist that temptation!

Jane Goodall, the famous naturalist, relayed a fable that her mother used to read to her and her sister when they were little, about a competition of birds to see which could fly the highest.

"The mighty eagle is sure he will win, and majestically with those great, strong wings he flies higher and higher, and gradually the other birds get tired and start drifting back to the ground. Finally, even the eagle can go no higher, but that's all right, because he looks down and sees all the other birds below him.

"That's what he thinks, but hiding in the feathers on his back is a little wren, and she takes off and flies highest of all."

That's the danger of coasting, not giving it your all. We get in a comfort zone and don't challenge ourselves. Always doing your best should be your goal.

I'm sure almost everyone remembers the fable about the tortoise and the hare. They bet on who was the fastest to run a certain distance. The rabbit was way ahead and stopped to take a nap, while the turtle kept chugging away and crossed the finish line first. Everyone knew that the rabbit was faster, but he coasted—took things for granted—and lost.

Even in winning, people can coast. For example, I remember being at last summer's Olympic Games in China at the men's 100-yard dash final. Usain Bolt from Jamaica blew away the field and won in a world-record time. However, I couldn't help but think how fast he actually could have run, had he not coasted at the end and looked around at his competitors. His record will be broken one day, but we'll never know how fast he could have run that race.

Several years ago at one of Lockheed Martin's electronics facilities in Orlando, Fla., complacency from past successes started to infect one of its manufacturing processes. Occasionally, parts were omitted from component kits prepared for assembly and inspection at another factory. Each missing part disrupted the assembly process and frustrated the workers assembling the products.

Norman Augustine, chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp., said: "I borrowed an idea from an automobile dealer in Dallas I had heard about. The dealer received few complaints from customers because he gave them the home telephone numbers of the mechanics who worked on their cars. I arranged for workers to include their names, work phone numbers and self-addressed postcards in the kits they prepared. Complaints dropped precipitously."

I can tell you from personal experience that Mr. Augustine is 100 percent correct. When you put your name on a business, as I did, you have nothing to hide behind. The buck stops here. Maybe I'll squeeze in a round of golf, or a short vacation, but that's as far as I let myself go. It's easier to stay motivated than to get motivated again.

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer of his plans to leave the house-building business and live a more leisurely life so he and his wife could enjoy their extended family. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go and asked if he would build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter said yes, but in time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work his employer came to inspect the house. He asked, "Are you satisfied with the house?" When the carpenter said that he was, his employer said, "Good, because the house is yours. "My gift to you!"

The carpenter was shocked! What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have made sure it was all first class.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting less than our best into the construction. Are you cutting corners and squandering time, commitment and effort?

Mackay's Moral: Coasting can lead to a big downhill slide.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Thursday Night Marketing News

My first meeting this morning was with a business owner who was raving about how impressed he was with his Ford...

Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
Rik Paul, automotive editor of Consumer Reports, said Ford's reputation has been bolstered by the fact that it was the only one of the Detroit domestics that did not seek a government bailout. The bad news -- as if there weren't enough of that -- is that only 9% of those interviewed are likely to buy a car in the next year. ... Read the whole story > >
Research
by Karlene Lukovitz
"When you probe, you find that they definitely see social media being incorporated into the feedback loop to a growing degree in the future," Allegiance's Chris Cottle tells Marketing Daily. "But companies haven't yet seen a lot of direct correlation between social media feedback and dollar value or ROI, which is always true of a new technology. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
Fans are invited to customize a digital running shoe tread with a personal image and tailored message at two Web sites. Both include videos, training tips from elite runners and the latest Bank of America Chicago Marathon news. For each submission, Bank of America will donate $1 to the designer's choice of one of 22 charities. ... Read the whole story > >
Media
by Karl Greenberg
About 117 million Americans -- or about 52% of U.S. adults -- have taken at least a two-day trip in the last two years. But only 47% of them used to Internet to research travel services. And 39% of recent travelers say online media actually influenced their choice of travel services, with hotel/bed and breakfast Web sites having the most influence. ... Read the whole story > >
Retail
by Sarah Mahoney
The Crazy Cleaning Confessions Contest encourages consumers to rat themselves out on their housekeeping peculiarities -- from letting poodles wash the dishes to laundering dungarees in the freezer. Consumers can post videos of their cleaning antics on YouTube, and the chain will award three grand prizes from its Kenmore Elite line in October. ... Read the whole story > >
Research
by Erik Sass
Johnson & Johnson, Sony and Apple top the list of brands that college students say they "trust," according to the 2009 edition of Alloy Media + Marketing's College Explorer survey. The survey canvassed 1,521 college students to capture a much-desired ad cohort of young adults ages 18-30, numbering 13.8 million. ... Read the whole story > >

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Social Media Usage in Indiana


Why Indiana?

That's where I am. Fort Wayne, Indiana to be more specific, the 2nd largest city in the state.

This is from Linking Indiana:

The results of this year's Indiana Business Social Media Survey are in. In short social media has arrived with 94% using social media weekly and 72.6% reporting daily use of social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This is a giant change in how Hoosiers use the internet over 2008, when less than half of Hoosiers accessed social networks weekly.

The survey also uncovered that:

  • Hoosier business people prefer Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Facebook is used primarily for keeping up with friends and family.
  • Most businesses are not effectively using social media and do not have a blog.

The full results of the survey are available here (You must be logged in to access. If you are not a member, you can join here).

I will be doing my part to increase the third point when I do a Social Media & Marketing Seminar next month. A limited number of free guest passes will be available. Contact me for more details

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New Ad Campaigns

from Amy:

Join the Chick-fil-A virtual wave. Old Spice offers a variety of scents. Trump shills Oreos. Let's launch!


Toshiba tackles important "what if" questions in two spots running in Canada. The first question concerns inconsistent TV volume and making it stop, stat. Don't you hate when the volume is fine for a program and you rupture an eardrum at commercial break? The boyfriend in "Nakeder" wishes he had this solution before he changed the channel from chick flick to something more "adult," awakening his sleeping girlfriend. See the ad here. The next issue is security. As in, wouldn't it be nice if access to your laptop required facial recognition, thereby preventing your girlfriend from stumbling upon incriminating bachelor party pictures? Watch the ad here. Zig Toronto created the ads, directed by Aleysa Young of Partners Film, Toronto.

Apple launched its latest trio of Mac vs. PC ads. "Surprise" features Mac attempting to sell a PC to a consumer. Said consumer questions Mac's authenticity and leaves undecided. Then the mask comes off. It's PC, posing as Mac. Justin Long's scowl expressions were priceless. See the ad here. Patrick Warburton plays a "Top of the Line" PC in the second ad, shown here. He's used as a selling point but loses to Mac when he tells the buyer that all PCs get viruses. Warburton gives the woman his card in hopes that she'll one day compromise. Methinks not. Robert Loggia plays PC's personal trainer in the final ad, seen here. He doles out more positive reinforcement to Mac than his client. TBWA/Media Arts Lab created the campaign and handled the media buy.

Old Spice bowed "Different Scents," a TV spot promoting its variety of product scents while making its intended audience look like tools. We have men who ski, read books in leather chairs and pump iron, all while crashing through trees. Then there's the man who swings a golf club with one hand, a preppy who morphs into a woman, who's later joined on the beach by the prepster. Confused? Me too, but it's a step up from earlier ads I wrote about here. Watch the latest spot here, created by Wieden + Kennedy Portland.

Just when you think you've heard the last from Donald Trump, you see him in an ad for Oreo Double Stuf Gold, challenging Eli and Peyton Manning to a lick-off, following a failed attempt to purchase the DSRL, or Double Stuf Racing League. Anyone else traumatized by this vision? Needing a race partner, Trump reveals his ace in the hole: comedian Darrell Hammond, portraying the Donald himself. Watch the ad here, created by Draftfcb New York.

Think of this ad as a Tug of War where everyone's a winner. The International Olympic Committee launched the second phase of its "Best of Us" campaign, an effort aimed to motivate the world's youth with Olympic values like respect and friendship. Olympic athletes representing various countries and sports unite physically in "All Together Now." The oversized athletes pull their respective countries together by rope, uniting them as one. "The best of us" concludes the ad, seen here. The spot debuted during coverage of the 12th IAAF World Championships in Berlin, Germany. Cole & Weber United created the ad.

Fashion's Night Out, a global initiative that takes place stateside in New York City on Sept.10, encourages shopping, shopping and shopping. More than 700 stores will stay open late, engaging shoppers with celebrity guests, designers, musical performances and food. Profits from a charity T-shirt will benefit the September 11 Memorial and Museum, while a citywide clothing drive helps the NYC AIDS Fund. Advertising can be found on bus shelters, street pole banners, phone kiosks, online, TV and 6,500 taxicab monitors. See creative here. The PSA, produced by Laird + Partners, is chock full of fashion industry members wearing the charitable T-shirt and encouraging clothing donations and late-night shopping. Look for Anna Wintour, Vera Wang, Sarah Jessica Parker, Diddy and Zac Posen throughout the ad, seen here. NYC & Company created the campaign.

Sometimes you don't feel like standing for the stadium wave at sporting events. Now you can be part of a virtual fan wave, thanks to Chick-fil-A. The company launched a Web site to promote the 2009 college football season and its Labor Day giveaway. Online, consumers can join the Chicken Wave by uploading a picture and customizing their avatar. The first 250,000 people to join the Wave will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, and the next 750,000 fans receive a coupon for a free Coke Zero. There's also a daily drawing where Chicken Wave participants are eligible to win a $50 Chick-fil-A gift card. On Labor Day, Chick-fil-A is giving away a free Chicken Sandwich in-store to customers wearing any sports team logo. So grab your Mets gear and stop at the nearest Chick-fil-A! Click Here created the site.

"Nature in the city begins with all of us. The harder we try, the more it will thrive. We need your help," says copy on a print campaign for Evergreen, a Canadian-based non-profit that preserves nature in urban environments. The ads, running in Canadian Gardening, depict heads with wild hair as the roots of growing trees. See the ads here, here and here. "Be the Root" was created by zig.

Random iPhone App of the week: Be prepared, should an emergency arise, with the American Heart Association's Pocket First Aid App. The $3.99 App offers information on CPR, choking, bites, bruises, burns, seizures and diabetic emergencies. The App also includes a phone-based medical profile feature, where users can store their family's medical information, including doctors' contact information, emergency contacts, allergies, medications and insurance information. The data is stored only on the person's phone and is deleted if the App is removed from the phone. Jive Media created the App, available here.

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at amyc@mediapost.com.

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Movies or Real Life


From Art Sobczak:

Sales Points From a Movie

Greetings!

I've not yet seen the new movie, "The Goods:
Live Hard, Sell," with Jeremy Piven as a hired gun
who comes in to turn around failing used car dealers.

The reviews I've seen call it a tremendous waste of
time, incredibly stupid, and an embarrassment for Piven.
(All of which means I'll probably like it.)

Seems like people always ask me about the movies with a
sales theme, so I probably should see, but don't want to
waste my time if it truly is horrible. If anyone has seen it,
let me know your thoughts.

One sales movie that I stop on and watch every time
I stumble upon it while channel surfing is "Boiler Room."

It's kind of like the older movie, "Wall Street" from a few years
ago ... young greedy stockbroker chasing big bucks, conflict
with dad, a romantic interest, gets involved in some shady
stuff, and an unflattering depiction of salespeople using the
phone, particularly brokers. If you liked "Wall Street,"
or are in the securities business you'd probably love it.
And, I'd say anyone using the phone in sales would
get a kick out of it. Worth renting.

However, there are a couple of scenes in the movie that
perpetuate the cliches and myths of professional sales,
and at least one that is accurate.


MYTH: "THE ABC'S of SALES: ALWAYS BE CLOSING"
This line is used by Ben Affleck's character,
who although is billed as one of the stars in the flick,
has a very minor role as a trainer in the unscrupulous
securities firm, J.T. Marlin. His tirade with the trainees
about closing is a classic. You can watch it on YouTube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izOIOvguncU
(WARNING: lots of foul language.)

As I've said so often, this is one of those myths that give
salespeople a bad name. Buyers can smell a "closing technique"
a mile away. No one likes to be techniqued. Granted, we do need
to ask for the business, but it must be part of the overall
sales process, where we progress through questioning to
identify needs, pains, problems and concerns, then make an
appropriate recommendation, THEN ask for some type of
commitment for action, whether that be the sale or the next
step. When done correctly, at the right time, it's the
logical, rational, seamless next step in the conversation.


But, when a sales rep uses a closing technique before the prospect
or customer is ready, that causes resistance and objections.
Like when rep cold calls someone and says, "I'm Pat Seller with
Ace Services. We're a leader in the ____ industry. I'd like to
drop by and show you a few of the things we could do. Would
2:00 or 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday work better for you?"


MYTH: "SALES IS PURELY A CONTACT SPORT"

Meaning, it's just a numbers game. In the movie, I believe
they wanted their trainees making 700 calls a day. It's not
JUST a numbers game, it's a quality game. Granted, you do
need to be on the phone to sell. But you should place
emphasis on QUALITY contacts.


REALITY: "DON'T PITCH TO WOOD"

That was their terminology for the most realistic sales
point made in the movie, meaning that the reps shouldn't
spend time with people who can't or won't make a decision.

And don't waste time sending info out to these people or
following up with them.

I see plenty of sales reps chasing shadows every day ...
placing follow-up calls to people yanking their chain.
Don't be afraid of asking direct questions,

"I'll be happy to call you back next month. What's going
to make that a better time for you?"

"So you're saying you'll be ready to move forward at
that point?"

OK, so there's my movie review for you. I think I'll stick
with my day job.



QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Forget the times of your distress, but never forget what they taught you."
Herbert Gasse




Go and have your best week ever!

Art

Contact: Art Sobczak, President, Business By Phone Inc. 13254 Stevens St.,
Omaha, NE 68137,
(402) 895-9399. Or, email:arts@businessbyphone.com

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Wednesday Night Marketing News

Mmmmmm Good...

Food
by Karlene Lukovitz
The TV commercials for the new campaign by Chunky agency Y&R, launching this weekend, convey those benefits by featuring the "average hard-working guy" who "wants to eat better, but not have to think too hard about it," in the words of Chunky soups and chili senior brand manager Doug Brand. ... Read the whole story > >
Automotive
by Karl Greenberg
The party may be over, but the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program delivered, especially for imports, with Hyundai, Honda and Toyota cars reporting their best August sales to date and Ford posting sales that were 21% better than August last year for its Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands. ... Read the whole story > >
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The group is warning students to beware of the slick marketing campaign and think twice before signing up for a credit card that could result in large and high-interest debt by graduation day. The credit card companies have just five months left to sign up young borrowers before new federal regulations restricting aggressive marketing go into effect. ... Read the whole story > >
Retail
by Karl Greenberg
Advertising launches this week on bus shelters, street pole banners, phone kiosks, newsstands and at New York City information centers. There is also a PSA produced by Laird + Partners that will run on 6,500 city taxi cab monitors as well as on TV, online at sites like style.com, and via social media hubs like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. ... Read the whole story > >
Book Review
by Sarah Mahoney
In her latest review of books for marketers, Sarah Mahoney discusses tapping into women's amazing upward spiral, the shifting rules for CMOs and how to become an online trust agent. Read all about it! ... Read the whole story > >

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How Social Should You Be?

From Drew:

Who really owns your social media persona?


Twitter-logo_000jpeg One of the uncomfortable truths that social media is hoisting upon us is that the clear separation between our personal and professional lives that most of our parents enjoyed during their careers is now nothing more than an illusion, if we even try to keep up the facade.

When I look at my Facebook updates, my Tweets and even my LinkedIn account (not to mention all the other social media hot spots) I see a blend of my old high school friends, my family, my marketing peers and MMG clients.

So when I tweet about my never-ending cough or my daughter's latest role in the school play...my clients see it. And when I have my most recent blog post or a link to a marketing article appear on my Facebook newsfeed...my high school friend the chef sees it. There's no way to keep the two apart.

For me, because I own my agency, that reality is pretty comfortable. I'm mindful of it, but it doesn't change all that much for me. After all, people are going to associate me, Drew, with McLellan Marketing Group no matter what.

But here's what I am wondering. If you are employed by someone else -- do they in essence own a part of your social media persona? Aren't you (despite any disclaimer language) representing your employer just as much as you the person when you tweet, blog or update a status?

  • Does your boss want you posting weekend party pictures to your Flickr account?
  • Should you be playing "Pimp Fight" on Facebook when you know that some of your friends are also "friends" of your company?
  • Do your blog posts (again, regardless of the disclaimer) reflect on your boss or company as much as on you?
  • When you drop an F bomb in a Tweet, do you think your boss has the right to wince?

What do you think?

Do you think employee manuals of the future will have "social media guidelines?" Do you think your boss has a right to censor your social media activity? Do you think you have an obligation to do so?

Interesting stuff, eh?

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You are Biased

That's what I tell my clients who think they know it all. Here's what they should do:

I'm Sold, but I Still Don't Get It

Even if you use the product or service you sell, that doesn't mean you know what it's like to be a customer. The reason, argues Rohit Bhargava in a post at the Influential Marketing Blog, is that most business owners or execs don't go through the buying process.

He uses the example of General Motors executives who drive company cars. "They didn't research the car online," he says. "They didn't shop around and talk to several dealers about it. They didn't have to trade off something else in their budget to afford the car and figure out how to finance it."

Furthermore, they don't have to worry about day-to-day ownership issues such as paying for maintenance or gas.

In other words, our hypothetical executive might know what it's like to use a Cadillac, but he might not know what it's like to buy and own a Cadillac. And that is why Bhargava advises businesses to:

  • Research your product or service online, just as your prospect would.
  • Go into a retail store and discuss the pros and cons with a salesperson.
  • Place an order online to see how soon it arrives, how the packaging looks and whether anyone from your company follows up.

The Po!nt: "You need to experience the entire process around buying it to really understand your customers," says Bhargava.

Source: Influential Marketing Blog. Click here for the full post.

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Benefits

Continuing a series from Jim Meisenheimer:

Start Selling More Newsletter
Issue 421


StartSelling more



Selling Benefits

The last time I wrote about the Ultimate Sales Tip. In that
article, I mentioned I found some inspiration from a
copywriting course I was re-reading.

I'm guessing most entrepreneurs and professional salespeople
have little or no interest in improving their copywriting
skills.

And that's too bad because copywriting is merely salesmanship
in print. A lot of what you see in print can be used when
you're selling face-to-face.

Trust me on this one because I do it all the time and so
can you if you're receptive to the idea.

As I plow through this workbook they have a chapter on
selling benefits.

Everybody and his brother realizes that people buy
benefits not features.

Every entrepreneur or a professional sales person knows
this - however most of you only talk about features.

There are reasons why you do this. The features are the
basic facts about your products and services.

Of course what's the first thing you learn about a new
product - yup, the basic facts.

Features are all plain Jane facts. Things like size,
dimensions, color, horsepower, lumens, mpg, cast iron,
16 oz. etc.

Benefits are an acquired taste. They require imagination.
They demand some thinking time.

Benefits have to be crafted carefully so they link
emotionally to specific features.

The copywriting course offers several examples of
straightforward features and statements that sizzle
with benefits.

Selling benefits isn't easy and doesn't come naturally
to most salespeople.

Try this on for size and see how well you do.

Here are four features of a #2 pencil.

1. The pencil has one end capped With a rubber eraser.

2. The eraser is attached with a metal band.

3. The pencil is 7 1/2 inches long.

4. The pencils are sold by the dozen.


There you have it - four factual statements about a
#2 pencil.

So take a minute and write a benefit that sizzles for
each of these features.

Not easy huh!

Next time I'll give you examples of well-written benefit
statements for these features.

Please don't underestimate the relative importance of
selling benefits.

It's the hooks and loops of professional selling. It's
like Velcro - it's made to stick.

The feature is always about the product, whereas the
benefit is always about how the customer gains from
using your product.

In my book, 47 Ways To Sell Smarter, I have a chapter
devoted to this subject, titled "Two Words That Make
Your Benefits Sizzle
."

eBook version or paperback


Chances are if you're not using these words you're
probably not selling benefits. You're leaving a lot
of money on the table.

You'll start selling more as soon as you start offering
more benefits.



Favorite Quote

That which costs little is less valued.

Cervantes


Now You Can Over Achieve
Your Sales Quota

eBook or CD - "Screw The Recession: 17 Ways To Get
Sales Up, When The Economy Is Down."

These street smart ideas are tested and proven to work
for you which means more sales and less resistance:

Order right now


Visit My New Blog

Sales Tips Plus - almost daily insights into selling.


Twittering Yet?


See Jim's Twitters, rants and raves
plus a whole lot more . . .

http://twitter.com/jimmeisenheimer


Start selling more today and everyday . . .

Jim Meisenheimer

21 years . . .

522 customers . . .

72.7% repeat business . . .

P.S. - Order the book that includes the chapter titled,
"Two Words That Make Your Benefits Sizzle."


eBook version - http://tinyurl.com/47-sell-smarter

paperback - http://tinyurl.com/sellsmarter

P.P.S. - "Don't sell - SOLVE" using my 12 best questions to ask customers.

Available in print and eBook versions.

or you can cut and paste this into your browser:

http://meisenheimer.com/products/salesquestions.htm

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