Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Raise or Lower the price

From Chuck McKay:

The Psychology of Pricing

The following stories are true. The author personally witnessed each as it unfolded. There is a commonality, which will become obvious.

1. A young man spends $400 on a new set of tires for his car, and then promptly totals the car. He pulls the new tires from the car and displays them in his front yard with a sign that says “New tires, $10 each.” No one even stops to look at them. After two days he changes the sign to read $5 each.”

2. A convenience store operator decides to get rid of two cases of cans of an off-brand fuel additive which haven’t sold at the recommended $1.67 per can. He puts the individual cans in a basket near check-out marked “Twenty-five cents each.” No one buys even a single can.

3. A music store has a collection of posters for guitarists and keyboard players which explain chord theory. They’re left over from last year’s inventory, and aren’t selling at the imprinted price of $5.95 each. Much like the convenience store owner, the music store owner displays the posters near check out. He prices them at fifty cents each. They don’t sell, and the owner is now considering dropping the price to twenty-five cents just to get them out of his inventory.

Interestingly, the solution is the same in each case.

That solution?

Raise the price.

The young man changes his sign to read “New tires, $50 each.”

The convenience store operator marks the cans “Cleans fuel injectors like nothing else. $4.95 per can.”

The music store tags the posters at $5.95, and adds a small sign to the effect that the poster is a valuable reference for any recording studio.

The results?

The tires sold. The fuel additive sold out. The posters sold out.

Consider it from the perspective of the potential buyer. There’s a psychology of pricing in which the old saying "You get what you pay for" is the lens through which the buyer views the world. Consciously or unconsciously, the vendor conveys the value of his product through its price. If the price is ridiculously low, the goods must be of low worth. But displaying them proudly, at a premium price, conveys value, too.

Everyone appreciates a bargain. No one wants to buy junk.

Would you have any interest in $5.00 tires?

Why would you even consider putting a twenty-five cent additive you’ve never heard of in your car’s fuel tank?

Would you even glance twice at a piece of “art” that costs only a quarter?

You don't want to sell junk, do you?

What’s in your inventory that you need to move? Can you price it aggressively, and move it to a high-profile location?

Drop a note and let us know how it turns out for you.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

What are you really driving?

Earlier this year I bought a Mercedes. It was a 3 or 4 hour decision. The possibility was placed in front of me 6 days earlier, but I had no intention or reason to buy another car, any car. Then due to my daughter’s car being broken into, all of a sudden the need for another car came up, and the seed that was previously planted bloomed so to speak.

We did some car swapping and I got the Mercedes and it has been an interesting study in perceptions. All of this is my own lead-in to a story that was released today concerning marketing automobiles. Read it for yourself:

DETROIT — It's an article of faith among enthusiasts that "product" — irresistibly appealing vehicles — is all that matters when it comes to attracting customers.

Perhaps no one believes this philosophy more ardently than Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor, who has a background in engineering and product development.

Since the debacle of GM's failed era that emphasized marketing, when the company was led by experts from packaged consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, product has been the undisputed king at General Motors.

But the company has learned, to the never-ending chagrin of the product guys, that marketing matters, too.

"A big part of the luxury game is image and fashion," said Taylor. "You are not buying transportation."

Consider the CTS entry luxury sedan. The car's first-year sales — when hot new models rack up their highest numbers — reached 38,000, only 2,000 cars short of the company's fondest hopes. But in subsequent years sales continued to rise, topping 61,000 in 2005. Four years after its launch, the CTS was selling 50 percent above GM's most optimistic forecast, rather than trailing off, as is the typical pattern.

Cadillac has been able to keep increasing CTS sales, mostly on the strength of marketing, as the brand shifted its image from the sleepy, stodgy, has-been choice of the Geritol generation to a more vigorous, active and, ultimately, cool image.

That can be seen by the company's measurement of consumers' opinions of the nameplate. While that image shot up with the arrival of the CTS, it began sagging back toward its original levels a year later. But the introduction of the hotrod CTS-V and the launch of that car's racing program corresponded with a rapid increase in that opinion during 2004 and 2005.

The CTS and the Escalade are also helping pull down the average age of Cadillac buyers. That stood in the low 70s five years ago, but has since dropped about five points into the upper 60s. With STS and DTS still popular in Del Boca Vista, the CTS and Escalade enjoy popularity with the prized younger customers.

Trouble with those customers is, there aren't really that many of them out there, said Taylor.

"Everybody has that target guy in mind, who is 42 and good-looking and an investment banker, but there just aren't that many of them," he said.

Instead, empty nesters in their 50s, relieved of the cost of college tuition, are the segment who actually buys most luxury cars.

Cadillac's SRX crossover SUV has lagged in sales, to Taylor's frustration. But he said he hopes that an ongoing campaign to introduce the SRX to consumers will begin to pay off. Currently the popularity of the Lexus RX 330 and Cadillac's own Escalade put the SRX in an unenviable position.

"Who knows how many SRXs we would sell if we weren't selling 50,000 Escalades a year," Taylor said.

To keep pressing Cadillac's marketing momentum, the division dropped the Led Zeppelin-backed "Break Through" ad campaign it had used since 2001 and switched to hip new ad agency Modernista! "The Led Zeppelin commercials were getting too confining," explained Cadillac spokesman Kevin Smith. It was time, Cadillac management decided, to move on.

Today's commercials feature a variety of music, rather than sticking with a signature dinosaur rock sound, including on the "Evolution" ad, music of a younger generation with Iggy Pop singing a Teddybears song titled "Punkrocker."

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Lessons Learned

This summer when I was interviewing people for a couple of sales openings that I had, I wrote the following on the whiteboard, paper, or back of an envelope, (which ever was there at the time):


This job will either become the HARDEST job you have ever attempted,
or the EASIST job you have ever had, hopefully both.

What makes the difference is do you have the GUTS
to take ACTION?

Another Lesson that I learned about 20 years ago when I was in Detroit:
Radio advertising if done right, can be as effective as Word of Mouth, only with a bigger mouth. I have on my own personal business cards the following "WORD OF MOUTH ADVERTISING WITH A BIGGER MOUTH" printed on there because of this fact.

Last lesson for now:
Advertising is simply sending out invitations to do business with you.

Too many times people plan for the party (set up their business), but never send out the invitations (advertise!) And they need to send out invitations all the time, not just once.

Have a Thankful Weekend

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sales made easier with a plan

Over the past few years I have discovered first hand and by observation something that others before me knew all along and that was in the sales world a significant ammount of money was lost due to lack of follow up. Last week I wrote the following to my team:

Don’t you hate it when you’ve talked to somebody once or twice about advertising with you and then you hear them on a competing radio station?

Yeah, it bugs me too.

Each of us have a limited amount of time each month.

We need to FOCUS ourselves. How many businesses have you contacted since you started here?




How often have you been in front of them? Face to Face? Phone call? E-mail? Letter? Drop-in with a new idea? Ask them how their wife’s sister who has cancer is doing? Anything?

This point came to me again this week when I was doing an interview with a friend of mine that does 30 cold calls a day for a temp agency. I asked him how often he stays in contact after that first contact. His answer, once or twice a year, maybe. Wrong answer for success.

The reason we do all this prospecting is not to collect business cards, but to find people we want as clients. Let me repeat that. Prospecting is a process we go through to find people/businesses we want as clients.

Do you want to work with 500 different clients? I hope not. How about 10 good clients? If you have 20 good clients, you should be sitting pretty.

The steps to get from where we are today to those 10 or 20 good clients are the steps we need to do now, and next week, and the week after that, etc.

My job is to help you be successful, not just for the week, but for the month, the quarter and the year.

We will do this in bite size chunks.

Then today as I was doing some info gathering for a client I came accross this:

Follow up leads to profit
by Brian Parsley

Salespeople spend a lot of time trying to find new customers. They're cold calling -- trying to get an appointment. After getting the appointment, they spend all of their time working on a proposal -- trying to win the contract. And after getting the chance to do business, maybe even at the expense of any profit -- they lose the deal to a competitor.

The cycle repeats itself every day in sales.

What if it didn't have to happen? What if, instead of cold calling, you were out picking up checks? Instead of telling people about yourself, people were telling others about you?

There's a simple formula that will break the cycle and allow you to not only win the business, but also win the customer's loyalty.

The formula is called Follow-Up.

Read the rest of this article

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

What is your U.S.P.?

No, that is not computer slang, tech talk or otherwise. U.S.P. It has be defined slightly differently by different "experts of advertising" for the past 50 plus years. There is Unique selling proposition, or Unique selling point which if you clicked on both of those links, you'll see it is a matter of what noun to use.

Anyway, you can read about it, but it is most important to know what yours is.

It started for me in 1986 when I crossed over from the programming and on-air side of radio, to the advertising and commercial side with a career shift that took me to Detroit and Crawford Broadcasting's WMUZ.

Today I sit in my "overall favorite" coffee shop, and realized what their USP is for me: They have overflowing cups of coffee. Yes, really. When you get a specialty cup of joe, like my fav a white mocha, and then they add the home-made whip cream, you cannot put the lid on until you sip away some of the mixture. Other coffee shops just give you less coffee, or ask "Do you need room for cream?".

The next time I see the owner of this place, I will ask them if this is something they have as a policy, or is it just something they do. Overflowing cups of your favorite coffee beverage, made especially for you.

If you don't know what your USP is, you risk becoming lost in the schuffle. Each person has a USP too! Mine is probably that radio guy with the beard, at least at first glance.

Here's a challange, ask your customers to write a sentance that discribes your business to them. Collect as many of these as possible over then next couple of weeks or months depending on your business cycle.

Ask your friends, co-workers, clients etc to write 3 words that discribe you. Collect those and be prepared for a few surprises, if they are honest.

Perception is reality when it comes to your USP. Focus on your strengths now that you know what they are.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How good is your loyalty program? What would happen if you cancelled it?

The following is from Chuck McKay... go to his blog by clicking on the title above

In Their Own Best Interest
In the 1960s Country music was a true niche radio format, with only a few hundred radio stations in the U.S. playing the music.

Country radio managers and programmers claimed their listeners were “loyal.” They claimed it so loudly and so long that all through the 70s the loyalty of Country listeners to their favorite station was accepted as fact.

In the early 80s Country became mass appeal, and the number of radio stations broadcasting the music grew to the thousands. Care to speculate what happened to all of those loyal station listeners?

Like radio listeners of every other format, they migrated to other stations which played a better selection of the songs they wanted to hear, and had disc jockeys who spoke about things the listeners related to.

Perhaps you can relate to radio listeners. Perhaps not. The principle is the same whether we’re discussing radio listener loyalty or customer loyalty programs.

The principle hasn’t altered since Adam Smith first proposed it in his 1776 book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations: When given a choice, people will always do what’s in their own best interest.

That means that customers are never truly loyal. Shall we look into your customer loyalty program?

* Will people truly be loyal to your store because you saved them seventeen cents on a can of tuna? Remove the incentive and see how many remain “loyal.”

* Will people keep buying CDs from your record club just to earn the membership points?

* Will they fly your airline exclusively because you made them members of your club? Or do they also have all of your competitors’ club cards?

So, it appears that you’re not buying loyalty with your customer loyalty program. You’re offering a discount to your regular customers. You think this is good business?

What’s that? I misunderstood? You’re using the program to attract new customers?

Cool. Will they stay after you remove the incentive?

It could happen. You stand a much better chance of them staying, though, if your customer service is spectacular. Of course, if your customer service was truly that impressive, you wouldn’t need the customer loyalty program. The resulting word-of-mouth would keep bringing in new shoppers.

Nope. You can never buy loyalty. It can only be earned.

What are you doing to earn it?

Please don’t tell me you’re discounting the tuna by seventeen cents.

Share This Article With A Friend.

Read more!

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Thursday, October 19, 2006


Have you lost your focus? By that I mean do you ever find yourself going in multiple and sometimes opposite directions? Do you really know what direction you want to go and what you want to focus on?

Over the years I have changed jobs, occupations, even careers and it took a bit of self evaluation to reflect on the past and see my strengths and decide how I wanted to use them.

Yah, you should know your weaknesses too, but don't focus on trying to improve them yourself (unless they are personally damaging). You can always find a way to compensate for those weaknesses by deligation, partnering, or hiring someone to do those tasks. If you hate ironing, take your shirts to the cleaners for example.

What if you don't know how to find your focus? There are a couple of web sites that may help you, this one or google it.

Ask the people that know you best, and then be prepared for the truth.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Wanna free book?

I have won a couple of times and maybe you can to. Or at least buy a couple if you don't win. Go on.... check it out. And there are no wrong answers:)

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Monday, October 09, 2006

Cowboys’ Guide to Life

One of the first books I read about sales was by Harvey Mackay. This is from his website where you can sign up for a regular newsletter like I did.

Maybe Willie Nelson was wrong to sing, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”

Years back, I wrote about Gene Autry’s “Cowboy Code,” and the response it got made me wonder whether the cities would empty out because of the cowboy boom. Just recently, I came across the “Cowboys’ Guide to Life,” taken from a book by Texas Bix Bender, “Don’t Squat with Yer Spurs On!” It’s a little different from Autry’s, but it hits home, whether you’re home on the range, or home in the corner office suite.

Here are a few of my favorite lines from his book with my homespun comments. The list may seem simple, and frankly, it is. But it is so right on. Follow these rules, and in the final roundup, you’ll be one of the good guys:


Don’t squat with yer spurs on. Ouch! But it’s even more painful to find that you’ve self-destructed. Why would you stab yourself in the back(side) on purpose? Aren’t there enough sneaks in the office just looking for the opportunity? If you’re going to sit down on the job, make sure you don’t put a tack on your saddle. Pay attention to your business and no one else will need to.

The easiest way to eat crow is while it’s still warm. The colder it gets, the harder it is to swaller. Everyone makes mistakes. What separates the cowhands from the rustlers is how they handle them. Take responsibility for your missteps and get it over with. People will forgive honest mistakes. No one looks kindly on passing the blame or ducking the issues. Did I say it would be easy? Of course not. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. If you find yourself going in the wrong direction, switch directions. Realize that taking a new tack is not conceding defeat; it’s preventing a problem from getting out of control. Take the bull by the horns. And don’t be afraid to ask for help getting yourself out of a hole.

Always drink upstream from the herd. You know what happens downstream where the herd is. Why would you want to be part of that? Whether it’s office gossip or nasty politics or whatever the group mentality may be, take the high road. Rise above the fray and do the best job you can. How others behave is up to them, but only you dictate your deportment.

If you’re ridin’ ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it’s still there with ya. There’s a big difference between real leadership and thinking you’re in charge. I’d go one step further and advise you to take not only a look, but also a listen, and make sure you’re still connecting.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back. Oh, that we could take back some of those thoughtless remarks and arrogant statements. What were we thinking? The spoken word has been responsible for the demise of many careers. That’s a shame, because while you may not have control over what goes through your mind, you do have control over what comes out of your mouth. Remember, your opinion isn’t always necessary or important. It’s not bad to be the strong silent type.

And never, ever, miss a good chance to shut up. This is more than a continuation of point 6. Every discussion needs an ending. Every comment doesn’t need a retort. Every issue does not need another opinion. Speak up when it’s important, and shut up when it isn’t. What you don’t say is often as important as what you do say. Sometimes it’s better to leave them guessing about what you’re thinking rather than to confirm that you’re not really thinking at all.

Mackay’s Moral: My favorite from Texas Bix Bender – Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006

What Buyers Hate About Sellers

The following is taken directly from an email I got today. Go to his website, get stuff like this free in your e-mail too! Buy some of Jim's stuff like I did. Do Both! But use it, and practice it. Then you can watch your life change.

The more things change, the more it seems they don't change.

Most salespeople just don't get it. Too many salespeople just talk
too much.

One of the fatal flaws of professional selling is too little listening
and too much talking.

According to John Asher, another sales trainer, 95% of all salespeople
talk too much and I think he's right.

Salespeople just love to talk. And why not - that's why you're hired.

The best salespeople listen more than they talk and the simple truth
is the less you say the smarter you'll sound.

Take a breath and and try using your ears more.

In fact, employ your ears before you engage your mouth. As soon as
you start listening more, you'll start learning more about your
customers. This is what selling is all about.

When you do this your sales performance will sky-rocket.

I have a confession to make. I didn't always do what I'm asking you
to do.

In fact, growing up in New York, I was everything but a good listener.

I remember my first sales job. I also remember being able to talk
so fast I could complete sentences for anyone I happened to be talking
to, including prospects and customers.

I could shoot from the lip with the best of them.

You could say, my mouth was the center of my universe. You could
also say I would routinely get mugged by my own mouth.

Talking too much and talking too fast isn't an easy habit to change.
But change you must if you want to succeed in sales.

There is just less tolerance for mediocrity today. Truth be known,
you can cut back on your talking as soon as you start asking better
questions. It's simple and it's easy.

Just don't try winging it. A good word is like a burning ember that
lingers on. Imagine stringing good words together to create powerful
questions. WOW!

Good questions are what great selling is all about.

I've written a book about questions, but most of you already have
that one. Maybe it's time to write a new book about the best questions
to ask prospects and customers.

You can help me write the book and see your name and questions included
in the book.

If you have a really good question that you'd like to share with other
professional salespeople send it to me via e-mail.

If I use your question in my new book, your name will appear in a list
of credits in the new book - and I will send you a complimentary copy
of the eBook version of book.

Please send only open-ended questions. These questions should have
between 5-12 words and cannot be answered with a one-word response.
Good open-ended questions can begin with the words how, what, describe,
and tell me about.

Just as a reminder, the title of this letter is What Buyers Hate About
Sellers. You now know that buyers don't like salespeople who talk too

What Buyers Love About Sellers are really good questions that show
interest and concern for the buyer.

Nothing shows a buyer that you care more than a good question.

Don't forget to send me your best open-ended questions.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

A busy month

A Full 30 days without any entries to this Blog. Life is good, and it is time for an update.

As me and my wife were talking recently, The Internet and Computers, (like all tools) can be used for good or evil. Okay, evil may be harsh, but in reality, it may go to that extreme. But, there are lots of people and organizations that use Instant messenger services to talk to someone in the next cube. Or they use e-mail as a substitute for a phone call. A good friend of mine, keeps his list of activities and his "to do list" all on a yellow legal pad and a clip board, just like he has been doing for the past 30 or 40 years.

A question we all need to ask ourselves is: Is the technology available for us to use as tools, a help or hindrance? This is a personal question; there is no one answer that fits all.

Which brings me to another theme we have had at our company, SIMPLIFY.
Lloyd Roach, a gentleman, about the same age as my previously mentioned friend, joined our company, after sitting on the board of directors, working behind the scenes to steer this ship and SIMPLIFY. Cut out all the unnecessary, and get back to what makes us money and makes our clients money.

As an analytical but practical person, I delight in theses strategies and focus, and yet sometimes find myself still overdoing the unnecessary. So it is time to unclutter our lives, select the BEST, over OKAY, and use the tools of technology to move forward and not get bogged down.

Here are a few practical items that may apply to you and your world:
1. I get several free subscriptions that I really do not need. Both Print and E-mail. Get your name off the "quote of the day" e-mail or anything that clutters your life like that.
2. Read the books and magazines you already have and then give them to others. I have more un-read books than books I have completed in my collection. The Business Magazines, I brought to work and have available for my staff to use for information or research on a client.
3. Forms. In working with our business manager, we are looking at ways to eliminate redundancy. Our previous General Manager was also a lawyer, so there was a lot of CYA stuff in contracts. We still go by the rule of no verbal agreements, but we can use an e-mail, back of a business card, or a hand written note on letterhead to do some stuff that was not possible under previous management.
4. Prune. This is a favorite of mine. Stop trying to fix the weak, and focus on the strengths. We eliminated 3 radio formats that were the weak sisters of the bunch and are now directing our efforts on the very best we have to offer, and it is working.

That’s all for now, time to get stuff done and enjoy time with my family. (By the way, for an update on what else has been going on this past month, visit my other blog.)

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Change Has Taken Place

Pick and Click right below your favorite Logo to see what the new Summit City Radio Group has to offer!


ROCK 104

The River Website
And now we get back to the fun of connecting our 150,000 + weekly customers with the businesses that want them as their customers.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

What's Happening....

The following is from the website allaccess.com which is a trusted source of radio news and information:

Several Format Changes At Summit City Radio/Ft. Wayne
SUMMIT CITY RADIO Alternative WXTW (X102.3)/FT. WAYNE, IN has been sold and will flip to Spanish on 8/31. The new start-up group -- ex-ARTISTIC MEDIA GROUP/FT. WAYNE GM JOHN HENRY and former local hockey legend GEORGE KOSTOPOULUS -- will operate the station under an LMA agreement until the sale closes.

Meanwhile, there are several other format changes forthcoming at SUMMIT CITY RADIO on 8/31:

First, Adult Hits WXKE (102.9 MIKE FM) will switch to a simulcast of Adult Standards WGL-A.

Top 40/Mainstream WYLT (MY 103.9) will flip to Rock as WXKE (ROCK 104), resurrecting the orginal call letters, frequency, and PD of the market's the Heritage Rock station from 1976-2002. DOC WEST, who programmed ROCK 104 for 23 years, returns for PD/mornings, transfers from the same slot at Classic Rock WCKZ (Z94.1). WCKZ will switch to a simulcast of ROCK 104. WXTW PD/morning man JJ FABINI moves to WXKE as MD/middays. FABINI will also retain PD duties of Adult Standards WGL-A. WXTW morning co-host/middays LAUREEN McCRADY moves to AE for ROCK 104.

The ROCK 104 line-up:

Mornings/STONE & DOC (former WCKZ morning show)
Middays/JJ FABINI (WXTW mornings)
Afternoons/BUSTER MEYER (transfers from WCKZ afternoons)
Nights/JASON LEE (moves from afternoons at WXTW)
Overnights/ALBRO (was nights on WXTW).

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Today's Word is....

With a new management team in place, we are looking for ways to cut through all the stuff that bogged down our organization and simplify the process. Our job is to earn money by selling advertising to businesses that need customers, and even though I have done this for 20 years, I welcome your input. That's why this is called Collective Wisdom.

Anyone who has some tips or resources on this, please add a comment! Thanks...

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Anatomy of a Sale

Here are a few items from a guide I wrote last week for my staff. There are a few items that are specific to the radio business, but smart people like you can find ways to adapt it to you and your organization.



PART 1 the destination

$2000 A MONTH GROSS PAY ($24,000 a YEAR)









$5000 A MONTH GROSS PAY ($60,000 a YEAR)


PART 2 how to get there

The Sales Process Simplified:

1) Make appointments to meet with money decision makers
2) At meeting, gather ideas for campaign based on their needs
3) Prepare campaign ideas
4) Present ideas, negotiate, and sign them up
5) Service, upsell, renew.

(Then of course there are details and paperwork behind the scenes that have to take place too, but unless you are doing the above, you are just wasting time, money and gasoline)

Want details?

I have some very important information that I can share with you on how to do the above, but you have to e-mail me.

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Do you want to be a salesman or help people buy?

Let's face it, there are lots of jokes about salespeople, most not very nice. Car salespeople are at the bottom of a survey done a couple years ago.

Here's Gallup's list, starting with the professions rated "very high" or "high" on honesty and ethical standards:

1. Nurses (79 percent)
2. Druggists, pharmacists (72 percent)
3. Military officers (72 percent)
4. Medical doctors (67 percent)
5. Police officers (60 percent)
6. Clergy (56 percent)
7. Judges (53 percent)
8. Day care providers (49 percent)
9. Bankers (36 percent)
10. Auto mechanics (26 percent)
11. Local officeholders (26 percent)
12. Nursing home operators (24 percent)
13. State officeholders (24 percent)
14. TV reporters (23 percent)
15. Newspaper reporters (21 percent)
16. Business executives (20 percent)
17. Lawyers (18 percent)
18. Congressmen (10 percent)
19. Advertising practitioners (10 percent)
20. Car salesmen (9 percent)

Yet, people buy cars every day. Even if they don't want to be "sold", they do want to "buy". Here is a link to an 18 minute podcast from another guy named Scott that echo's what I believe about marketing relationships. Give it a listen. Subscribe to his free stuff too. The episode is number 10: Are Marketing & Dating the Same Thing?

A few comparisons between marketing and dating prove that they're the same exact thing.

Oh, and yes I noticed that my profession ranks at number 19. I'm trying to change that, 1 at a time.

Drop me a line or comment,

Scott Howard

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Moving, Moving, Moving, (raw hide)

If you have been following some of the comments recently to my previous entry or read anything in the past week about changes at my company, Yep there were a few. A few management changes, a few more hirings, a few more exciting things in the works. And for the past 3 1/2 years, we have had many changes in our world, haven't we.
Think for a moment, what is different in your life today compared to July 2006? Go ahead, I'll wait.

How about compared to July 2003? Think how your life has changed, how your relationships have changed, how your workplace changed.

Change is often good. As a good friend of mine likes to point out, every business is going down, staying the same, or moving up. If you are in the last category, great! If you are staying the same, you are most likely losing ground, because there are others we call competitors that are moving up wanting to take your place, your customers, your income and money! And if you are going down, either jump ship, or take action NOW to turn things around.

My company makes changes in order to move up, which we continue to do. I hope and pray that each of us is smarter, wiser, and better equipped to serve than we were last month.

Never stop growing. No matter how old a human being is their finger nails grow until they are dead. Adopt that same attitude with the changes that take place in your life. Keep growing, keep learning, and trim those nails.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Networking Groups

Okay, this is in response to a request that I write about this subject, or to be more specific, "...if you have some time, could you write about networking groups, their purpose and some of the successes resulting from their use... also maybe why there are so many in Fort Wayne and how to make the most of as many or few of them as realistically possible?"

This is from a young lady that I first met over 20 years ago who is now in the business world and wants to be as successful as possible. Her employer hired her so that some of her co-workers could go out and network to increase their business; and she is also involved in some fill-in work at some formal networking groups.

When I returned to my profession of radio 3 1/2 years ago, I knew very few people in this town that knew me too. Let's say less than 15. Probably more like less than 6 who knew what I did and how I had helped others be successful in their businesses.

Within 6 months, I was invited by a potential client to come to his informal networking group and talk about radio advertising. Well, I attended with about 6 or 7 other business owners and instead of talking about what I did and my level of expertise in radio advertising, I spoke about their telephone!

I wanted to give these men and women some information that they could apply to their businesses right away, and we spoke about the subject of marketing, specifically, "What happens when a current or potential customer calls you? How is the phone answered? What is the attitude of the person answering the phone, etc?" I wanted to present myself as someone that could help them with many areas of their marketing and relationship with their customers, not just give them a pitch about how great my radio stations were.

Afterwards, I made sure they had my card and invited them to schedule a time for me to help them evaluate their business marketing, including their paid advertising. 2 of those 6 later became paying clients of mine.

Networking is about leveraging your time.
Networking is about building your reputation.
Networking is about developing relationships.
Networking is about helping others.
Networking is about setting yourself apart from others in your profession.
Networking is about building a solid foundation so that you don't have to wonder where your next sale or dollar is coming from.

Thursday afternoon I was given a list of 51 networking groups in the Fort Wayne Area that meet on a regular basis. I attend 2. I asked a man sitting next to me how many he attends, and he said 5 or 6 a week. There is no correct answer; it depends on how you need to balance your time.

There is no one else in my profession (radio advertising) that attends any of these networking groups on a weekly basis that I am aware of in Fort Wayne. Only occasionally have I seen anyone from newspapers or TV attend. Earlier I attended a business seminar and there was one other person from my company that attended but they left early.

I have never had a problem finding enough leads; I have had problems making time for everyone. (This is why our company is in the hiring mode right now. Contact me directly and I’ll give you more info.)

One of the groups that I have been apart of for the past 2 ½ years is a B.N.I. group. We have had our ups and downs, but we continue to be strong. Check out their website for more information, or again contact me directly for more info. I volunteered about a year ago to provide the education segment for our group. This gives me double the amount of “talk time” and enables me to help others and opens doors and, well, everything else that I mentioned above.

B.N.I. is a structured, organized group of professionals that pay dues, and in return members are offered exclusivity in their profession.

The other group I attend meets later on the same day as the B.N.I. group and has its own format and pros and cons. I have done business with members of both groups and they have with me, but here is the most important part, I believe, of networking groups:


While it would be great to have all 20 members of my B.N.I group as clients, along with the 30 who attend my other group, that is NOT what I really want for me. That is too short sighted and probably why there is no one else in my profession in town that does this like I do. Because of my giving to others, either an idea for their business, or an education piece that I presented, or passing along a contact name and number that someone was looking for, I have people that I do not know, contacting me, looking for me to help them either spend their advertising budget, or help them with evaluating their business marketing, or serving on a board, or, you name it.

This goes back to the leveraging your time. If you can give the others in your networking group enough good, quality information about you and what you do, then they are your marketing sales staff.

Too often though a business person does not present him/herself well when they have their minute or two in the spotlight at these meetings, and that needs to be overcome. Look at what was written about competition recently in this blog and keep that in mind as you prepare for your chance to present yourself to the group. Even if you are the only one in your profession in your group, there are others that we know that we might be referring our friends to unless you can give me concrete reasons to put you at the top of the list.
When my wife and I bought a house recently, I knew about 4 or 5 agents and a couple of mortgage companies. We chose the ones we were the most comfortable with to get the job done.

Okay, to finish the answer to the original question of the successes of these groups, it depends on how you measure success. For me it has been a long term, growing measurement. I know a carpet cleaner who gets leads every week from our group. He has also been in the group for 8 years. And this is his number one source of new business.

One of the reasons I like B.N.I is we ASK for referrals and also GIVE referrals. We have a simple form we use to do this and it is immediate. The other group does not have this and it is like making a presentation, but not asking for the sale.

Aside from these organized groups, there are also a couple of business people in town that I trade leads with. It could be as simple as giving him a name and phone number, to a personal introduction over lunch.

And finally, two more things:

1) Pick a group to go to and then become a member, not an occasional guest. This is about building relationships, not a “one night stand”
2) Remember Givers Gain. That is the motto of B.N.I and it is true.

Again if you have any questions or comments, contact me directly.

P.S. Here's a guide for those of you who attend networking functions (mixers) from the folks at JustSell.com

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

here's another GREAT one

or two or however many you have time to read

Also subscribe to his daily just sell e-mail. (free, but valuable)

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

More ideas on the Web

Isn't the Internet a great resource? Recently we have designed a program that connects local businesses with local consumers and so far results have been great! Contact me if you want more details at biz@scloho.net.

There are also a number of ideas and sites that are out there to help you. Todays link goes to one of those sites which was brought to my attention do to them contacting and responding to this web site. So let me return the favor and share this Collective Wisdom, (which is what this site was designed for in the first place!)

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Monday, June 26, 2006

Marketing vs. Advertising. What works and why?

This was inspired by a conversation I had with my Insurance Agent.

Marketing vs. Advertising. What works and why?

1. Marketing is the BIG Picture. Marketing includes many different elements that add up to how you and your company are perceived by the public.

2. EVERYTIME a person thinks about you/your company, an impression is being made, either positive, negative, or somewhere in between.

3. These impressions add up to create the overall image of you/your company.

4. What causes a person to think about you/your company?
• A conversation specific to you/your company.
• A conversation about a competitor of you/your company.
• An overheard remark about you/your company, or your competitor.
• Advertising for you/your company, or your competitor.
• A hands-on experience with you/your company, or your competitor.
• Other sensory experiences that trigger a thought about you/your company, or your competitor. (The aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the sound of an ambulance, the touch of a little child’s sticky hands)

5. Okay, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. There are internal and external elements to your marketing. Let’s start with the internal:
• First customer contact. Telephone? How is the phone answered? What is the mood and tone of voice of the person answering? Is it inviting and welcoming or does the person answering sound rushed, bothered, or unfriendly. Same concepts for your walk in traffic. What are the impressions you and your staff project to your clients and potential clients? What improvements need to be made?
• Follow up and service. Is there anything lacking? (Nearly everyone and every business have at least on area that could use improvement. Find out what could be improved with you/your company.
• Ask, and work to improve, instead of making excuses. There is a bit of truth in every complaint. Also find out what people are not complaining about.

6. External marketing. This is often what we call advertising. Questions to ask:
• Is it consistent? Do you present a uniform picture to the public of what you are about and why they should do business with you? (The opposite is a scattered, all things to all people, confusing, and blurry image for you/your company)
• Are you using the most effective mediums to leverage your time and resources? Until recently drug companies did not advertise directly to consumers for prescription medicines. For dozens of years, they spent their time and money going directly to the doctors to convince them to prescribe their medicines. Who are your most likely customers? Are you inviting them to use you? How are you doing it? There are strengths and weaknesses of Radio, TV, Billboards, Internet, Newspapers, Direct Mail, Magazines, and each one of these are effective for the right business, when matched up properly with realistic goals and objectives.
• Networking is one way to get the word out about you/your company, if you understand what it can and cannot do. Give the people you network with the information so they will a)want to recommend you to others (EMOTIONS) and b) understand why to recommend you to others (FACTS)

7. You/your company, does not operate in a vacuum. Consumers need to know why they should buy from you/your company instead of your competition. EVERYONE HAS COMPETITION. I want to know why I should give YOU my money instead of spending it on something else or somewhere else. Too many businesses fail because they fail to recognize this principle.

8. Understand that your marketing and advertising needs to be designed to BUILD RELATIONSHIPS with current and future customers. Building relationships take time and exposure. People want to feel good when they spend their money and it is a combination of facts and emotion that produces that good feeling. The more personal a message is, the easier it is to build that relationship. That’s why I prefer radio for many of my clients, because it is a very personal medium that involves talking, imagery, emotion, and facts. It can also be cost effective depending on what needs to be accomplished to produce a nice return on investment. And it can be used in combination with other mediums to enhance an advertising and marketing program.

For more information, contact Scott Howard at Scott @ScLoHo.net

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?


The wait is over... not for your cat but for the book itself. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?, the newest book from Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg (along with the incomparable Lisa Davis) is now on the shelves. Having read a pre-publication copy, I can assure you this is one book you're going to want to get your hands on. Plain and simple, it's all about persuading customers to do business with you when they ignore marketing. And this team of authors does a heck of a job. Read an excerpt from the book here. .

In the book, you'll learn:

* How the customer's buying process works in a cross-channel, new media-driven marketplace
* Why customers respond differently today than they used to
* How to use the Web to generate persuasive momentum across multiple channels
* How the various touch-points within a business affect each other
* How to guide prospects through the buying process at every customer touch-points
* How personality traits influence customer behavior online and offline
* How to anticipate the different angles from which customers approach your business
* How to identify and provide meaningful answers to your customers' questions at each stage of their buying process
* How to begin implementing Persuasion Architecture™ techniques for your business

In addition to the book, you also get an 80-minute DVD of a conversation about the book that took place between the Eisenbergs and some of the great marketing minds of the day (yes, I'm in the audience and no to your other question). You can watch a preview of the video here.

You can also read reviews from folks like Seth Godin, Jeffrey Gitomer and Roy H. Williams. Go to this page now and you'll save 35% off the publication price - the more copies you buy, the lower the price!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How to DOUBLE the number of Leads and Referrals you get from Networking:

How to DOUBLE the number of Leads and Referrals you get from Networking:

1. Ask yourself the following question: WHAT DO I HAVE TO OFFER THAT MY COMPETITORS DO NOT (OR CANNOT) OFFER? Too often we know someone else in your line of work and we need to know why to recommend YOU and not them.
2. Use an opening line that invites us to want to know more. Instead of something that will cause “tune out”.
3. INTER-ACTIVE. Use a question that we will say yes to. Such as, “Do you want to make more money?”
4. Ask for specific referrals.
5. Smile.
6. Deliver what you say you will do.
7. Give more.
8. Again, set yourself apart by asking yourself, WHAT DO I HAVE TO OFFER THAT MY COMPETITORS DO NOT (OR CANNOT) OFFER? And let us know about it.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Sales Presentation Checklist

Great sales presentations begin well before the actual presentation is delivered. Preparation is critical and it shows your attendees (prospects and customers) that you value their time (and yours).

To maximize effectiveness, ensure your presentation:

1. Focuses on the benefits of your offering as they relate to solving the specific problems of the prospect.

2. Begins with the most important benefits and continues in descending order of importance, including only pertinent benefits.

3. Has no unneeded statements (zero fluff; ask yourself, "does it really matter?")

4. Includes a very brief company background discussion only if it adds credibility to the product or service, or if it's anticipated that the audience would like it addressed.

5. Includes appropriate, customized and easy-to-understand illustrations where applicable.

6. Includes opportunities for prospects to engage.

7. Includes a powerful conclusion which clearly illustrates the benefits your prospect will receive as a result of buying your solution now.

8. Is 10% shorter in terms of time than would be expected for a presentation which discusses a solution of its relative complexity.

Source: justsell.com (2006)

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Sunday, June 04, 2006


Okay. I know. It's been a while ince I last posted anything. But I've been rather busy recently as my youngest daughter Tiffany became Mrs Lloyd yesterday.

Here's some goodies I've come across recently:

Buying Signals

Salespeople often misinterpret signs of interest from a prospect as a sign of reluctance. Be aware of these positive buying signals:

-- Hesitancy. The prospect may be seeking more information in order to make a decision.

-- Indecision. The prospect may be looking for options to help make up his/her mind.

-- Reasoning aloud. The prospect may be selling himself or herself on the merits of what you are offering. It is best not to interrupt.

Source: Dartnell's Sale$ Leader (4/10/06)

Learn from the Best

You begin succeeding in sales by finding successful people and surrounding yourself with them.

Be with the people whom you'd most like to become like. If you want to be average, then stick with average people. If it's your desire to achieve greatness in sales, then learn what the great ones do and do it!

You'll find that top professionals in this industry aren't threatened by your desire to learn what they do. There's plenty of opportunity for everyone, and really great leaders want to have followers who will get the job done.

Find out who the top producer is in your company, invite that person to lunch and listen to what they have to say. (Be sure to bring something to take notes. I didn't do that the first time I asked a pro to lunch and ended up writing notes on napkins.)

Source: Sales trainer/author Tom Hopkins (tomhopkins.com -- 2006)

Price vs. Value

Successful salespeople don't sell price. They sell value.

Price will always seem high if value is perceived as low. When you focus on price either because of poor product knowledge, poor client knowledge or poor sales skills, you will always lose in the long run.

Clients don't want cheap. They want the best value for their dollar. If you are focusing on price you will never make it big in this dynamic profession. However, if you always sell value you will never have to worry about losing business to price competition.

Oh yes, in the short term you might lose a sale here or there. But if you are in this business for the long haul for both your company and your client, sooner or later your prospects or clients will come back to you and the value they need and desire.

Source: Sales trainer/author Tim Connor (timconnor.com -- 2006)

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Sunday, May 21, 2006

Stay focused on the big picture

The following is from Harvey Mackay. Harvey had a major impact on my life and he should on yours too.

Originally published May 18, 2006

A reader of this column sent me an email recently, thanking me for a column I had written on getting outside the box. She then told me how she had lost focus for a while, but had turned things around. She encouraged me to write a column on staying focused.

I immediately thought of my varsity golfing days at the University of Minnesota many years ago. Back then The Saint Paul Open was one of the top tournaments on the men's professional golf circuit. Prior to the tournament, I had a chance to meet Gary Player when he was taking a lesson from our team coach, Les Bolstad. Later that evening I went to dinner with the world's future #1 player when he was still an unknown.

The following day at The Saint Paul Open, I saw Gary after he teed off the first hole and ran up to him to say hi. I wanted to tell him what a great time I had the night before. His steely eyes remained focused on the fairway ahead and he never broke stride. "Harvey, please don't talk to me. I must concentrate. I will see you when I'm finished."

I remember how devastated I felt, but I learned a valuable lesson on focus. Many years later when he was world famous, my wife, Carol Ann, and I ran into Gary and his wife in South Africa. I reintroduced myself and reminded him of what happened on the golf course. Gary's wife told me, "Don't feel bad. He doesn't even talk to me on the golf course."

That's the focus that it takes to do your best. If you have the ability to focus fully on the task at hand, and shut out everything else, you can accomplish amazing things.

Arnold Palmer, another golfing legend, recalled a tough lesson he learned about focus in Carol Mann's book "The 19th Hole":

"It was the final hole of the 1961 Masters tournament, and I had a one-stroke lead and had just hit a very satisfying tee shot. I felt I was in pretty good shape. As I approached my ball, I saw an old friend standing at the edge of the gallery. He motioned me over, stuck out his hand and said, "Congratulations." I took his hand and shook it, but as soon as I did, I knew I had lost my focus. On my next two shots, I hit the ball into a sand trap, then put it over the edge of the green. I missed a putt and lost the Masters. You don't forget a mistake like that; you just learn from it and become determined that you will never do that again." Trust me, your friends will understand!

A response Babe Ruth once gave to a reporter sticks in my mind. "How is it," the Babe was asked, "that you always come through in the clutch? How is it you can come up to bat in the bottom of the 9th, in a key game with the score tied, with thousands of fans screaming in the stadium, with millions listening on the radio, the entire game on the line and deliver the game winning hit?" His answer, "I don't know. I just keep my eye on the ball."

In other words … focus.

How many times have you heard an athlete talk about focus? It's a topic I also hear about frequently in business. The most common complaints? Too many irons in the fire. Too many projects spinning at one time. Too many interruptions. Too many phone calls. Too many emails. Too many things to do. Too little time.

The late Peter Drucker, management consultant and author, observed, "When you have 186 objectives nothing gets done. I always ask, 'What's the one thing you want to do?' In Mexico they call me Senor Una Cosa." (translation: one thing)

Decide what's most important. Make a list every day or every week and prioritize your activities. Scale back the amount of time you spend on meetings; they can be the biggest time-wasters of all. Learn to delegate, and make sure all members of your team follow through on assigned tasks. Set aside a specific time of day to return phone calls and emails, and keep distractions to a minimum. In other words, set rules about how others use your time. And if you're not the boss, work with your supervisor to make sure you agree on priorities.

Stay focused as best you can, and don't let things happen to you - not when you can make things happen.

Mackay's Moral: The person who is everywhere is nowhere.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Everything Old is New Again....

I just spent the last hour reading my own blog, the older stuff from a few months ago and from last year. I found it refreshing, like a gentle reminder of how to do things, or sometimes a harsher slap in the face to wake up and do what needs to be done.

When I started this blog over a year ago, it was for my own use, to capture the wisdom of others and lessons I've learned along the way. Every once in awhile, I tell someone about this blog so they too can learn that "Collective Wisdom" that I have learned too.

If you have read this and want to make yourself known, leave a comment.

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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Is There a "Dress Code" for Public Relations?

The following is from an e-mail from Margie Fisher. Good stuff!

It has been said that "you never get a second chance to make a first impression."

And first impressions are made, in part, based on how people look. Thus, an important factor is your personal dress code. What you wear is a part of your public relations, because your dress code communicates messages to the world -- and, in particular, the business people you meet with on a daily basis.

For instance, I know a (male) printing salesman who dresses in a nice shirt, tie, slacks and great shoes. I know he cares about how he looks, and that translates into the care he takes in his printing jobs.

I also work with lots of "creative" types who wear jeans and sweats while they're in their own work environment but wear suits or nice shirts and pants when meeting with clients. While they want to have freedom of self-_expression while doing creative work, they also realize they must have, as Marketing guru Dan Kennedy says, a "selling wardrobe."

This dress code issue is a very personal one to me. Now that my husband, David, is about to join the business full-time, we've been talking about his wardrobe. Coming from an industry where he wore khakis and polos every day, he obviously has wardrobe gaps. Living in Florida and dealing with 90+ degree heat doesn't help, either.

So we're going shopping soon. And if any of this makes you think about your own wardrobe, be aware of this: people prefer to deal with successful people. Your wardrobe (and my husband's) should reflect the fact that you are a successful person with whom others want to do business.

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Friday, May 12, 2006

More great tips on converting customers from competitors

Converting customers from competitors is a fact of life for salespeople. Customers become dissatisfied and switch. Your market share will increase if they come to you. Here's how you entice prospects to switch.

1. Think long term. Don't give up when you hear, "I'm satisfied." Satisfaction may be temporary. Your prospect's needs may change, or you may provide a good reason for switching.

2. Develop a relationship. Establish rapport with a prospect, sale or no sale. By developing a friendship, you will be able to revisit the issue at a later time.

3. Study needs. Take your time, do research, and ask a lot of nonthreatening questions so you can find out your prospect's needs and how well they are being satisfied. The key is to find a need gap and offer a solution.

4. Sell yourself. Personal chemistry is important, but so is the knowledge that you are an enthusiastic, earnest, professional, ethical, caring expert who would be nothing but an asset to know and do business with. Come up with new ideas for your prospects. Show them that you are on their team, sale or no sale.

5. Add value. So many products and services are commodities that differentiation may be difficult. That is why you sell yourself. That is also why you have to differentiate your product with added value such as service and performance guarantees, superior services, better delivery schedules -- whatever it takes to be better.

6. Ask for a no-risk trial order. Many customers are loyal to their suppliers, but will grant you a trial order if you ask for it. Make it a no-risk proposition. Ensure your prospect's satisfaction with some kind of guarantee, and bend over backward to make sure the trial order makes a very positive impression.

7. Ask for a portion of their business. Converting a competitor's customer may not be an all-or-nothing deal. You may have to do it bit by bit, proving yourself slowly as you go along. Ask for a small percentage of the prospect's business and you may find that percentage will grow.

8. Be persistent. Nothing succeeds more than persistence. All things being equal, the persistent salesperson will win the account every time. Keep in touch with prospects, think long term, be a consultant and ally, and you will plant drought-resistant seeds.

Source: Dartnell's e-Tips for Sales Professionals (May, 2006)

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006


More responsabilites, More Opportunities. This week it was announced that I was being promoted to Station Manager of WXKE, MIKE-FM. If you are unfamilar with this format, check out our website This involves mostly the sales side however it includes working hand in hand with our Director of Programming who handles all 6 of our stations. This is going to be fun! (and a lot of hard work too)

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Sunday, April 30, 2006

How One Idea Can Influence....

The following is from Jim Meisenheimer. It is a review of an excellent book that EVERYBODY, no matter what you do for a living should read at least once. I have read it twice in the past 60 days and need to put it away and read some other goodies I have, but read it at least once each year. Which reminds me, Do you have a book you would like to recomend? Let me know and we will share it with others, after all, this is "Collective" Wisdom.
Okay, read on...

How One Idea Can Influence
Your Income And Happiness

I just did it again.

I reread one of the best sales books ever written for the fifth time. It's a classic book on sales. I first mentioned this book to you 18 months ago.

I've got so many notes in this book I can barely read the type on the pages. The title of the first chapter is, "How one idea multiplied my income and happiness."

This guy really knows how to grab your attention. Here's his powerful and provocative idea.

"Nothing but the determination to act enthusiastic increased my income 700% in 10 days!" Your enthusiasm really does make a difference, so you'd better have it with you during every sales call.

This book is getting hard to read now because I have so many things underlined and highlighted. The inside front and back covers are loaded with notes. But that's good isn't it?

I'd like to share some of the things the author said in his book:

1. He said, "When I force myself to be enthusiastic, I soon feel enthusiastic."

2. He felt no one was cut out to be a salesperson. He said, "You have to cut yourself out to be whatever you want to be."

3. He said, "The most important secret of salesmanship is to find out what the other fellow wants, then help him find the best way to get it."

4. He used the word "You" and "Your" as often as 69 times in a 15 minute sales call.

5. He discovered the most important word to use in sales had only three letters - "WHY." He used that word often when dealing with objections.

6. He talked about a daily ritual he performed and got these results, "I became more welcome everywhere, when I did this."

7. When faced with objections he often said, "In addition to that, isn't there something else in the back of your mind?" Imagine what you could learn about your customer when you ask this question.

8. He also believes, "By concentrating on one thing at a time, you will get farther with it in one week than you otherwise would in a year."

9. He said, "A salesperson cannot know too much but he can talk too much."

10. He pondered, "Have you ever noticed that the breaks seem to go with the person who has a sincere, enthusiastic smile?"

11. He also said, "Give every living soul you meet the best smile you ever smiled in your life, even your spouse and children, and see how much better you feel and look. It's one of the best ways I know to stop worrying and start living."

12. He devoted an entire section, five full chapters, of his book describing ideas on "How to make people want to do business with you." This is a must read if you're in sales.

Well, you'd probably like to know the author's name and here it is. Frank Bettger wrote "How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success In Selling." It's a classic sales book with over 700,000 copies sold.

This book is so powerful I just bought another 50 copies. That's right another 50 copies. I did the same thing 18 months ago.

So what am I gonna do with them? I'm going to make you an irresistable offer which includes your personal copy Frank's book.

I guesstimate only 1% of my readers will scoop up this very special package.

And I can't wait to get your e-mails telling me how the ideas in Frank's book helped you close some BIG DEALS!

Go here for complete details:

The last time I made this offer - we sold out within three days.

Let's go sell something . . .

Jim Meisenheimer

PS - Thanks to those who ordered my new Special Report, "25 Ways To Get Motivated For A Sensational 2006." Included in this Special Report are my
5 best time management tips plus an extra bonus section called "Seven Ways
To Get Off To A Rocket-fast Start In The First Quarter of 2006."

Get your copy here!

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

44 Ways to DOUBLE Your Approachability by Next Friday

The Following is from Scott Ginsberg. Scott is a professional speaker and the author of HELLO my name is Scott and The Power of Approachability. Scott works with people who want to MAXIMIZE their personal and professional approachability – one conversation at a time. To book Scott for your next association meeting, conference or corporate event, contact Front Porch Productions at 314/878-5419 or www.hellomynameisscott.com.
I subscribe to his free newsletter and this was in the latest:

44 Ways to DOUBLE Your Approachability by Next Friday

1. Never leave your office, house (or anywhere for that matter) without at least 8 business cards in your pocket. Because just when you think, “Yeah, but I won’t need them when I go to the baseball game,” you’ll wind up sitting right next to a potential customer and saying, “Damn it! I wish I had one of my business cards with me!”

2. When someone asks you, “So, what do you do?” offer an UNFORGETTABLE answer in less than five seconds that makes them say, “Really...?” “Cool!” or “Oh yeah, that sounds interesting.” Remember, even the most boring job in the world can sound magnetic, cool and unique.

3. If you read at least one book every year on remembering people’s names AND stop telling people that you suck at remembering names, you will become amazing at remembering people’s names.

4. If you refuse to wear a nametag because YOU feel uncomfortable, just think how uncomfortable OTHER people will feel when they forget your name.

5. If the only reason you’re crossing your arms is because you’re cold, that’s exactly what your staff will think you are: cold. And if the only reason you’re crossing your arms is because it’s comfortable for YOU; that means it’s probably uncomfortable for one of them.

6. Sit with your toes pointing directly at your conversation partner. Toes pointed away = resistance.

7. Don’t try to be different. In fact, don’t “try” to be anything. Just be. Be yourself. Be the world’s expert on yourself, and be that person every day. Nothing is more approachable than authenticity.

8. The more imitable you are, the less valuable you are.

9. Smile for ten seconds every time you walk into a room.

10. Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. So be friendly to everyone, especially people who appear unimportant. Because you never know when you’re being evaluated by someone who IS important.

11. Don’t be afraid to interrupt someone by saying, “Wait, I don’t know what that means.” It shows you’re listening and shows you’re human.

12. Walk slower. Make it easy for people to get your attention.

13. Share you knowledge from your successes AND failures. And remember that people remember stories, not facts; and not to tell ‘em what you did - but to tell ‘em what you learned.

14. Most people avert their eyes from oncoming strangers when they get within 10 feet of each other. See how many of them you can get to acknowledge you in one week. Then try to double that number the next week.

Read 30 more tips just like this here!

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Marketing is Like Marriage: You Have to Work at it Constantly

The following article was written by Margie Fisher. Get her free bi-weeklynewsletter (like I do) and check out her valuable website by Clicking Here. Or Here. Or Here !

Marketing is Like Marriage: You Have to Work at it Constantly

The other day, a potential client asked if he could pay me based on the sales results he got from each media placement. I told him that P.R. doesn’t work that way. While sometimes a placement can result in sales immediately, it generally takes several exposures to achieve the maximum growth effect on a business.

Because I have been asked this question before, I realized it would be an important topic for the newsletter -- namely, the fundamental propositions for marketing, which includes P.R., direct marketing, advertising, and more.

Having worked in my own business and held corporate positions in every area of marketing, as well as having a business degree and an M.B.A., the basics of marketing have not only been drilled into me, but also used on a daily basis.

Here are some of the principles of marketing:

  1. Marketing tactics are not a one-shot deal; they must be done over and over. Studies have shown it can take many exposures of the same ad, direct mail piece or P.R. placement before a potential client will take action.
  2. An offer, with a reason to respond now, should be in every marketing piece, including ads and direct mail, and even including P.R. stories (example: during your P.R. interview, mention that clients can find an important free report with additional information on your Website).
  3. Your target market and previous clients will help determine to whom and in what type of media you should focus your efforts.
  4. The easiest kind of client to get is one who has been referred. And, since most referrals come from satisfied clients, be sure to treat those clients well, and be in contact with them often -- or they will forget you, no matter how great you are.

Using these basic principles will help you stay focused on one of the most important aspects of your business … marketing.

Copyright 2006 Margie Fisher

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Article from the Wall Street Journal

Strong Self-Esteem
Can Help You Advance

Bob T. is the kind of guy parents dream of raising. Teachers long to claim. Young women always eye. And now almost every law firm in San Francisco is eager to hire.

What's so special about Bob? His resume reveals good, but not outstanding grades. An athletic scholarship. A respectable, but not prestigious law school. Solid work experience, but like most neophytes, no gold stars -- as yet. So, what gives?

As soon as you meet Bob, you know the answer: He's a confident young man -- not cocky, but he exudes a positive self-image. His "I-can-do-it spirit" appeals to everyone. It's this exceptional quality that propels him, helping him overcome whatever difficulties stand in his way.

Traits like Bob's don't automatically come with a law degree. Recruiters know it. They prize Bob's self-esteem, aware that it's essential for a successful career.

No single factor is as important to career success as self-esteem. People with healthy self-esteem have a basic sense of their own competence and worth, a fundamental certainty about their ability to cope with problems and adversity.

In a person with self-esteem like Bob's, you usually find four basic qualities: self-confidence, faith in oneself, a positive self-image and freedom from fears of success and failure. Individuals with secure self-esteem take responsibility for their actions, insist on living up to their own standards and seek the stimulation of demanding goals.

Confidence grows from solid feelings of self-acceptance. Self-assured people like Bob are content to be themselves. They feel they can master challenges and overcome obstacles. Their morale stays high, their ultimate goal is always in sight and their work to achieve it is fulfilling.

While self-doubters agonize, confident people act. These doers feel in control of their lives. They believe whatever they achieve -- or fail to achieve -- lies within their influence.

Perhaps self-faith is even more crucial than confidence. It gives people the power to survive serious disappointments and defeat. Though their confidence may slip under stress, they never lose faith in their instincts, abilities and convictions. They aren't devastated by a run of bad circumstances beyond their control, and they don't allow past failures to forestall future opportunities.

Self-image, the way you habitually think of yourself, determines your success because of its prescriptive power. What you believe to be possible influences your hopes, aspirations, actions and the outcome of your plans.

Successful men and women have a realistic, yet secure self-image. They don't need to dodge or ignore information that may be threatening to their self-worth. Many people with low self-esteem, however, have a sieve that filters out information offensive to their self-concept. Threatening information is simply ignored, misinterpreted or forgotten. By acknowledging only information that reinforces their self-image, they filter out feedback that could help them correct shortcomings.

When Bob applied to two Ivy League schools for undergraduate work he was rejected by both. Undaunted, he applied to a state university, was accepted and offered an athletic scholarship. Had Bob let his initial disappointments get the best of him, he may have never succeeded. The scholarship would have gone to someone else.

People like Bob never fear success or failure. Mistakes and setbacks are temporary detours on the road to their goals. They bounce back after disappointments, map a new route to their objectives and concentrate on the next project with undiminished enthusiasm.

On the other hand, people with low self-esteem habitually retreat after suffering a few bruises or a defeat. They tend to blame other people and circumstances for their failures, instead of attributing them to defective judgment or other shortcomings. Because they don't realistically appraise situations and learn from what goes wrong, they're apt to repeat mistakes.

Confident people welcome challenges and changes. That's why they immediately pursue another objective after attaining an important goal. They delight in overcoming difficulties, managing to transform problems into challenges. Those who lack confidence, however, let their fears stand between them and their ambitions. They resist change because it threatens their sense of security.

People with high self-esteem compete only with themselves. They want to break their own records, not someone else's. Yet, the less self-assured person feels compelled to equal or surpass his colleagues' success. Victims of the comparison habit suffer from praise-starved egos. They endlessly seek approval and applause. Usually they're trying to make up for earlier, often childhood, humiliations and privations, but never can get enough praise to compensate for them.

Diffident people often let their shaky self-esteem and fears of success and failure thwart their aspirations. Without self-assurance, they'll never reach their goals and enjoy their achievements.

Take this quiz to determine your level of self-esteem. If you need to raise it, read the suggested guidelines for building self-esteem.

Guidelines to Building Self-Esteem

The process of building self-esteem can be learned and honed with practice. Follow these seven practical guidelines to self-esteem and you'll become a doer rather than a doubter.

1. Eliminate self-killer phrases. People with shaky self-esteem riddle their proposals with lines that cast doubt on their competence. For example, if you say "This may not work, but…" or "This may not be the right time, but…," you have forfeited any chance of acceptance. You may be fishing for encouragement or protecting yourself from criticism, but you're also creating a negative attitude. Eliminate apologetic phrases and wishy-washy statements. Instead, use forceful and assertive phrases, such as "I'm sure I can do it," or "I'm excited about the challenge of this project."

2. Rid yourself of self-limiting attitudes. Many people limit themselves unnecessarily, creating most of their problems. Consider this example of the power of self-limitation:

An elephant was tethered to a pole when it was young. Struggling to free itself, the rope finally cut a sore around the elephant's leg. Realizing the futility of its attempts to escape, the elephant stopped trying. As the years went by, the elephant grew into an enormous creature and was used daily to dislodge and carry large poles to a pile. Every night he was tethered with the same size of rope to the pole. With his increased strength it would have been an easy matter to free himself, but he'd been conditioned to think it impossible.

Many of us walk around with mental shackles as real as the shackles around the elephant's leg. Our low self-esteem and self-limiting concepts deter us.

Take a minute and examine your self-concept. What are you convinced of that you can't do? Is there a position you want to apply for, but somehow know you wouldn't get? Is there an activity that you think you lack the skills to master?

Identify several self-limiting attitudes or images of yourself, and then challenge them. Isolate the artificial barriers, then set a specific time to overcome them. Determine that you can do it, and you'll enjoy it. Give yourself every chance to succeed; set yourself up to win.

Afterward see how you feel about the new experience. Chances are you'll gain self-respect for your courage. And your new I can image also will gain you the respect of others.

3. Avoid negative talk. Many people poison their self-esteem by negative self-talk: "I look terrible," or "I sure am tired," or "I'm, fat, silly, stupid, clumsy, a failure" and so on. Soon they start believing it and sometimes actually develop the problem.

When we're preoccupied with self-criticism, we run the risk of communicating our negative self-images to others. "If we tell people we're inadequate, they may do us the disservice of believing us," say Sharon Anthony Bower and Gordon H. Bower, authors of "Asserting Yourself" (Perseus Press, 1991). So, project a positive attitude.

4. Learn new techniques to deal with disappointments. We all encounter situations that disappoint us. But a disappointment need not be a disaster or cause for depression. Sometimes what may appear to be bad news is actually a blessing in disguise or an opportunity to head in a new direction.

Most people go through three stages when confronted with a serious disappointment: denial or distortion of the true nature of the problem, resentment directed toward those who allegedly caused the problem and depression, which usually paralyzes thinking and any subsequent action.

One way to head off the incapacitating period is to stand the problem on its head, reverse your thinking about the problem by writing down all the good things about the problem. For example, to the hypothetical question, "What's good about having been fired from your job?" a person could list the following points:

  • I've lasted longer in this job than anyone ever expected.
  • I've gotten experience, which will be valuable in a new job.
  • I really wanted to get a different job anyway.
  • I can land a new job that pays me at least 25% more.
  • My boss was impossible; I'm glad to be rid of him/her.
  • I can now move to Arizona (Florida, California) where I've always wanted to live.
  • I'll now have time for a much-needed vacation.

From such a list, which can go on and on, you see the difficult situation in a new and different light. You can actually begin to find many beneficial and useful things inherent in the problem. By turning a difficult situation around, you can detect new advantages and possibilities in what may have been regarded as a hopeless situation.

5. Imitate the behavior of people with high self-esteem. Observe and study the way self-assured people stand, walk, speak and behave. Even if you're feeling insecure inside, you'll seem confident if you act assured. Stand tall, speak clearly and with confidence, shake hands firmly, look people in the eye and smile frequently. Your self-esteem will increase as you notice encouraging reactions from others.

Research reveals that the following attributes characterize self-confident, assertive people:

  • They express an air of self-assurance with upright carriage, holding their heads slightly more erect than less-confident people.
  • They exhibit an air of relaxation, an unrestrained movement with arms swinging freely at their sides when walking.
  • They have a penetrating but unself-conscious gaze.
  • They exhibit free-flowing, high-level energy, which they are able to maintain in whatever they do.
  • They have strong feelings of mastery and confidence to handle challenging situations and a diversity of personalities.
  • They are untroubled by the prospect of a confrontation, but seldom initiate or seek it out.
  • They are flexible, able to choose and adopt several roles, rather than perpetually wearing the same face. They feel no compulsion to follow approved or expected scripts and are freer to experiment, ad lib and break new ground in unfamiliar situations.

6. Be persistent. When you think about the occasions that provided you with a solid sense of self-esteem, you're apt to find that persistence played a large role in them.

It's easy to be awed by the achievements of bigger-than-life people. Most people assume they were so outstandingly effective because of their superior talents, while in reality it was mostly because of their willingness to persist, frequently against all odds. If you develop perseverance you will master the habit of victory. As Calvin Coolidge once said: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race."

What are your dreams today? Identify them -- now.

7. Become your own best friend. To enhance your self-esteem, start thinking and saying positive things about yourself. According to Sharon and Gordon Bower, "You can alter your self-concept by synthesizing a history of successes in the theater of your imagination. You simply insert a set of very favorable, self-enhancing statements into your stream of internal monologues. With repetition, the new information can alter your self-concept in a dramatic way."

In other words, make a list of positive things about yourself (capabilities, intelligence, personality, interests, achievements, etc.) Review them when you're taking a shower, driving to work or taking a break. Instead of thinking, "I'm easily discouraged," think, "I will persevere and succeed." Change the "I can't" phrases to "I can."

You also can use visualization techniques to boost your self-esteem and hone your skills. Experiments with people in sports have shown that visualizing a winning performance just before the event markedly improved their technique.

Some people who use visualization regularly to enhance their lives think of their minds as a computer with a TV screen. They use their imagination to project pictures of the way they want their careers and their lives to be. You can do the same.

Email your comments to cjeditor@dowjones.com.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Blair Singer

Thursday Night I went to a seminar that was hosted by Dick Read of Sales Partners and featured Blair Singer. I have a lot of material from the event to review in the next few weeks, which I'll be reporting on as I do, however, I would urge anyone that wants to be more successful in business to attend one of his seminars. The meeting I attended was free if you reserved a spot ahead of time.

You know, unless you are out there providing your own training, and taking responsibility for your own attitude and motivation, you are going to suffer at the hands of someone who is doing those things.

There were a lot of people in the room, a couple hundred at least when the seminar started. Yet some left before it was over.

Ever since I was 26, I have been exposed to the benefits of continuing education and training, and so for 20 years now, I have seen what a difference it will make in a person.

I attend a few different networking functions and I am usually the only person in my profession that I see at these events. Wow, 1 out of 200 last Thursday. Who do you think has an advantage? Me or the guy watching the Playoffs?

Do you want an advantage? Then make it yourself. Or contact me at scloho@scloho.net and I'll start you in the right direction.

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