Thursday, July 30, 2015

Now, Discover The Most Valuable Thing You Can Do To Build Your Business


Want to know the most valuable thing you can do to grow your business?

You can find it in 6 simple steps ...


Step 1: How many hours you work each week -- 40 hours? 55? 70? Add them up.


Step 2: Choose your #1 goal for the next 30 days -- a sales figure? Number of new clients? Project completed? Whatever.


Step 3: Divide your weekly working hours by 2.


Step 4: What will you do to reach your #1 goal in half the time? Write your answers down.

Example: If you work 60 hours a week and your #1 goal is $20,000 in sales this month, what will you do to reach that goal in half the time -- 30 hours a week?

Possible tactics:
  • Direct mail to 300 prospects within 5 miles
  • Joint venture with 5 non-competitors
  • Double your ad budget on Google and Facebook

Step 5: Divide your weekly working hours by 2 again.


Step 6: What will you do to reach your #1 goal NOW, in 25% of the time each week? Do your answers to question #4 change? They should. Write them down.

Example revised tactics:
  • Direct mail your 30 best clients; ask to meet by phone or in person to discuss their goals -- and how you might help achieve them
  • Joint venture with your 2 best vendors and 3 best clients
  • Double your direct mail budget for letters sent to clients and vendors

See the difference in tactics between Steps 6 and 4?

Key: What you wrote in Step 6 are your most-valuable marketing tactics. Because they are what you would do if you could work only 25% of the time. You've just proven their value with this thought experiment.

Next Step: Do more of those most-valuable tactics for the next 30 days -- and see what happens.

This thought experiment is an example of what I call a Marketing Multiplier. It's a small action that can deliver big profits.

Marketing Multipliers are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

To learn how you can put ideas like these to work in your business, visit MarketingMultipliers.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The $10,000 Rice Krispies Treat

That's not a misprint.

It is possible to create a Rice Krispies Treat worth $10,000 to your business -- or more.

In fact, I'll show you a picture of one such incredibly valuable confection. 

Here it is:

The $10,000 Rice Krispies Treat

Now, let me explain ...

Last week, I was in Austin, TX at the brand-new Westin Austin Downtown hotel. My client, Bill Gough (president of BGI Systems) was hosting a meeting for some of his clients.

Bill told me that, frankly, he was leery of holding a high-priced event at a hotel just 3 days after it opened, as was the case at this Westin. But the hotel manager assured him that our stay would be PERFECT.

Well, that turned out to be wrong. Our stay was not perfect.

It was, in fact, BEYOND perfect.

I won't go into details about the quality of the food, the rooftop pool, or the service -- those were all pretty much perfect.

But hotel employees are like baseball umpires. If you do your job perfectly, nobody notices. To stand out, you either have to piss people off or blow them away.

The staff at the Westin Austin Downtown blew us away. And they did it, not with whiz-bang technology or a 9-course meal, but with ... a Rice Krispies treat.

Here's the story: The hotel served Rice Krispies treats at lunch. One of Bill Gough's employees mentioned that the hotel treats were good, but that he missed his wife's, because she bakes them with Fruity Pebbles.

That night, after our meeting, he returned to his room. About 5 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. A bellman delivered what you see pictured above. Someone in the kitchen had created a special Rice Krispies treat covered in Fruit Loops and frosting.

Here's what the note says:

"We hope you are enjoying your stay at the Westin Austin Downtown. We remember you saying that you liked rice crispy treats with Fruity Pebbles, and wanted to give you a sense of home while you were away.

"Although it does not have Fruity Pebbles, we still want you to enjoy this variety. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do for you during your stay."

I wish I could read the name of whoever wrote that note! Instead, I'll just have to credit the entire staff at the Westin Austin Downtown with being customer service geniuses. And it could only have sprung from a culture that encouraged its employees to delight the customer first and worry about rules later.

(Quick: Imagine the IRS or Social Security Administration doing anything like this. Impossible. Finding delightful service in a bureaucratic culture is like finding roses growing on Uranus.)

Anyway, this incident is worth at least $10,000 to the Westin Austin Downtown.

Think about it.

Ten grand might buy a full page ad in the Austin Daily Herald. But could $10,000 buy 25 raving fans who tell everyone how great you are? No, not without drugs or prostitutes. But that's what this treat did among our group -- we spent 20 minutes talking about it the next day and I haven't shut up since I got home.

And that's not counting the future stays the 25 of us will make at other Westins ... or the seminars my client Bill Gough will hold at other Westins ... or the viral marketing this happy little incident will likely set off.

No. If you add up the potential revenue that will roll into the Westin Austin Downtown and other Westin properties, it's actually far beyond $10,000.

Your Takeaway as a Business Owner: Incredible service that delights your clients and turns them into referral-generating fans need NOT cost a bundle. No expensive technology, big ad budget, or patents are needed.

Delivering incredible service only requires ... attention. Just pay attention to what your clients and prospects are saying. Whether it's on the phone, by email, or in person, WATCH and LISTEN. Look for an opportunity to delight people by doing the unexpected.

Key: Nobody ever booked a hotel room for the Rice Krispies treats. But a Rice Krispies treat that's customized for one customer ... because of an offhand remark ... then delivered to their room with a long, personal note ... well, that's a BIG DEAL, as you have seen.

Cost to the Westin in labor and supplies: About $10.

Value to the Westin in advertising, good will, and future stays: About $10,000. (That's a return on investment of 99,900%.)

You might want to go and do likewise.

Service that surprises and delights your clients is what I call a Marketing Multiplier -- a small action that can deliver big profits.

Marketing Multipliers are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

Then, to learn how you can put ideas like these to work in your business, visit MarketingMultipliers.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Can A Plumber's Butt Crack Build Your Business?

The following marketing idea is either crazy insane or crazy good.

Watch and decide for yourself ...



You see, design and delivery are effective ways to build your business, without breaking the bank.

For example, the solution to Buck Crack comes in a bucket from Duluth Trading Company.

In reality, it's just a men's shirt. You can buy one anywhere. It's a commodity.

But ... when it's billed as "Crack Spackle," a way to fix "plumber's butt" -- with printed instructions for doing so -- that t-shirt is no longer a commodity. It's an experience.

And people will pay good money for an experience. Just ask Disney, Ritz-Carlton, or Starbucks.

The design and delivery of a bucket of "Crack Spackle" set Duluth Trading Company apart.

You can do this, too. No million-dollar ad budget or world-changing patents needed.

Just ask yourself these two questions:

1. How can you design your product or service differently?

Can you make it funny? Serious? Beautiful? Ugly? Bigger? Smaller? More expensive? Less expensive?

2. How can you deliver your product or service differently?

Can you send it in a bucket? Box? Tube? By FedEx? In person? By phone?

Great design and great delivery are what's called Marketing Multipliers -- small changes that can deliver big profits.

They are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

Then, to learn how you can put ideas like these to work in your business, visit MarketingMultipliers.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Great Design + Great Delivery = Great Marketing

How can your business stand out in a crowded marketplace?

You could invest in more technology, more advertising, more product R&D ...

... or you could invest in design or delivery -- or both.

Here are two examples -- one worth about $60 million, the other not (yet) -- of how great design and great delivery can be game-changers for your business ...


1) Dollar Shave Club

Great Design : Take a look at this hero shot of the product and packaging. Razors NEVER looked so good ...


Great Delivery: New razor blades by mail every month means I never have to worry about running out. Score!

Great Marketing: I just signed up. It was too much to resist. Apparently, millions of other guys feel the same way -- annual revenues for DSC last year were a reported $60 million.


2) Shatter Buggy

Great Design: I saw this smart car prowling Uptown Minneapolis on Sunday and had to take a picture ...


Great Delivery: According to their website, Shatter Buggy lets you schedule precise appointments rather than "windows" of time to come replace the cracked screen on your iPhone or iPad.

Great Marketing: My teenager broke her iPhone screen last week and we've been too busy to bring it to the Apple Store for repairs. So we're calling Shatter Buggy to bring the repairs to us.

Bonus: Shatter Buggy arrives by smart car, which is an affinity-marketing bulls eye for their Millennial customers.



Bottom Line: While your competition is making logical claims of better service or products (or both) you can bypass customers' brains with emotional appeals to their sense of beauty ("What a cool design! What a quirky car!") or curiosity ("Razors delivered by mail? iPhone repairs by car?").

Changing your design or your delivery (or both) doesn't have to break the bank. No world-changing patents are needed. But it could change the game for you.

By the way, I don't just write about this stuff. I live it. I created a Client Cloning Kit and ship it by mail to stand out from the bazillion other marketing advisors who flog digital downloads.

Take a look:
http://www.clientcloningsystems.com/kit/

Great design and great delivery are what I call Marketing Multipliers -- small changes that can deliver big profits. They are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

If you own a business, join me for a Free Tele-Coaching Session by phone that gives you 11 more secrets you can use to grow your business. Join me here and get Free Access now.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Online Marketing + Offline Marketing = More Sales

Want more prospects to return your phone calls ... and buy?

Here's an idea: Give them a "While you were out" message.

By mail.

This is how I do it, with a postcard I created for that purpose:



In case you can't see clearly, the message on the pink postcard reads:
You'll get an email from me on July 7 that explains this postcard, but here's a hint: Synergy.

Okay, one more hint: Following up with your prospects can be fun for you and them!

Watch your email ...
Key: I don't want to bug people into calling me back. I want to intrigue them into doing so.

And even if they don't call back, by tying this postcard into an email I'll send a few days later (as promised, without fail!) I increase the impact of both this postcard and that email.

By combining your online and offline marketing touches this way, you get synergy. You get more bang for your buck. More sales, too.

You can achieve online + offline marketing synergy any number of ways:
  • phone call + email
  • postcard + email
  • letter + email + phone call
  • email + phone call + thank you note
Get the idea? When it comes to combining your online and offline marketing, you're limited only by your imagination.

Now, you don't have to create customized postcards as I've done; marketing is my business, so this is the kind of thing I do every day.

But you do have to think creatively if you want to stand out and get noticed by your prospects in a world of ephemeral tweets, posts, blurbs, and blogs.

How do you know if your prospects are noticing you? If your sales go up. That's the only metric that really matters in marketing. And, yes, postcards like this hot pink "While You Were Out" message can make your sales go up. I've used them to close deals north of $7,500.

So, think synergy: Online Marketing + Offline Marketing = More Sales.

The ideas above are what I call Marketing Multipliers -- small actions that deliver big profits. They are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

If you own a business, join me for a Free Tele-Coaching Session by phone that gives you 11 more secrets you can use to grow your business. Did I mention it's free? Join me here and get access now.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

How To Win Clients With Speed, Shock, And Service

Every so often, a big company does something smart with their marketing that any entrepreneurial business owner can learn from.

It happened to Linda James Bennett, a Marketing Copywriter from Orlando, FL.

She got surprisingly great service, along with a "shocking" box by FedEx, both of which helped win her as a client for Quicken Loans.

And her story offers 4 powerful lessons you can use to build your business.

Here's the story ...

"I saw a TV ad for Quicken Loans on a Saturday and went to their website. I entered my phone number and within 5 minutes they called me to do an initial interview to see if they could help me," said Bennett.

Lesson #1: Speed sells. A callback within 5 minutes from any business -- of any size -- is shocking. Speed conveys two big positives about your business: You care enough to call back quickly, and you're competent enough to do so.

"After I gave them my details, they gave me a quote. On Monday I called them back and gave them the ok to get started," she said.

The process went smoothly, with many of the forms delivered online and electronically signed by Bennett. She received updates by text, email, and phone.

Lesson #2: Communicate early and often. By keeping your clients updated on what's happening and what's next, you can keep them happy and more likely to refer others, at very little cost to you.

"Once they were done, Quicken Loans called to schedule the closing for the next day. I was expecting the usual; a drive to the other side of town in rush hour traffic to close the loan, said Bennett.

“Instead, they asked what would be a convenient time for the notary come to our house to sign the documents. The notary called immediately to confirm our date and time, and arrived as promised. She was friendly, courteous, and very efficient."

Lesson #3: Deliver happiness. How you deliver the thing you sell can generate as much (or more!) word of mouth as the thing itself. By letting her choose a time and place to sign the documents, Quicken Loans exceeded expectations for Bennett. She'll probably tell others more about the service she got than her interest rate.

What happened next may shock you ...

"Ten days after closing, we received an email telling us the documents were coming. This super clever box arrived by FedEx with the closing documents inside, bound and tabbed."

Photos of that "super clever" box, also known as a "shock and awe" box, are below.


Lesson #4: Touch people memorably. In world of tweets, posts, and emails -- all of which are intangible -- it pays to show up in your prospects' mailbox or on their doorstep.

Quicken Loans took it a step further by FedExing the documents to Bennett in a fun way. By sending a "shock and awe" BOX, Quicken Loans sets the stage for doing business with them so that nobody else can stack up better.

To summarize, here are all 4 marketing lessons for you:

#1: Speed sells. Respond to qualified inquiries as fast as possible.

#2: Communicate often. Keep prospects and clients updated at every turn.

#3: Deliver happiness. How you deliver is as important as what you sell.

#4: Touch people. Find a way to make direct mail or FedEx work in your business.

These lessons are examples of what I call Marketing Multipliers -- small actions that deliver big profits. They are simple. They cost little. And you can implement them today.

Meanwhile, if your business is doing at least $100,000 in revenue, my Free Client Cloning Kit can give you a slight edge -- and then some. It's NOT another download. This is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Little Big Things That Can Wreck Your Business

Seth Godin, in his book Free Prize Inside, writes about a nasty experience he had with hernia surgery. It's a lesson in word-of-mouth advertising that could boost your business -- or wreck it, if you choose to ignore it.

Here's Godin's story ...
I had hernia surgery. It costs a lot, it hurts and the hospital makes a fortune.

The places it hurts might surprise you. The surgery gives you a very sore throat, because they clamp your mouth open while you're asleep. It also hurts a lot when you pee, because they use a catheter.

The surgeon doesn't care one bit about how much it hurts. He's a superhero, he cuts and sews and moves on. But the hospital cares. The hospital cares because they know that most patients have a choice when it comes to ambulatory surgery, and that choice is dictated in large measure by how positive the word of mouth from other patients is.

The traditional way for a hospital to improve its services is with technological innovation. Buying million-dollar MRI machines or investing in a huge new facility. But that ignores free prize thinking.

As I lay in the recovery room for two hours, all I could think about was how much my throat hurt and how difficult it was to pee. The surgeon told me later that this happens to everyone. He told me that if I had gulped down some cranberry juice and sucked on a throat lozenge when I got home, I would have had a much easier time.

So here's the question: Why didn't someone offer me a throat lozenge and a glass of cranberry juice at the hospital?

The return on investment is huge. Charging $5,000 a patient for half a day, all the hospital needs to do is get one or two new surgeries a year as a result of word of mouth to pay for a lifetime supply of Sucrets.

Now, here's the irony that can wreck any business, including yours: The hospital delivered on the Big Thing Seth paid for. They fixed his hernia. It was a Little Thing -- post-operative service -- where they dropped the ball and left Seth unhappy. Worse, Seth has since told anyone who will listen about the rotten service at this hospital. Which sucks for them (and rightly so).

All too often, we business owners work like the surgeon who operated on Godin. We are "superheroes" who deliver Big Things. That's our sole responsibility. The Little Things like post-operative care are for others to worry about.

But we need to worry about Little Things. Because those are what our clients tell others about.

So, here's the question for you: What's low-cost or no-cost Little Thing is missing from your business? Something which, if you added it to the Big Things that clients pay you to deliver, would make your business remarkable?

Examples:

1) Box of chocolate or other food item as a gift with purchase. If you deliver a high-priced product or service, sending a $25 gift basket is truly a Little Thing, but clients will appreciate you -- and tell others.

2) Phone call after delivery of the product or service, to express genuine concern for how the client is doing and answer any questions.

3) Thank-you note after the sale, after any service failure -- or both.

4) User guide or instructions downloaded from your web site, mailed -- or both -- to help clients get the most from their purchase.

5) Mailed receipt with a personal thank-you message and signature added.

The Little Things above are what I call Marketing Multipliers -- small actions that lead to big profits. They are simple. They cost little or nothing. And you can implement them today.

Meanwhile, if your business is doing at least $100,000 in revenue, my Free Client Cloning Kit can give you a slight edge -- and then some. It's NOT another download. This is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.