Thursday, January 15, 2015

Just a Reminder: Email is Evil

If you own a business -- especially if you're a solopreneur -- your time is incredibly valuable.

You have the same 24 hours as your competitors to do what matters. And whoever gets more big stuff done wins.

But you probably knew that.

But did you know? Email is evi. Because it's keeping you from getting big stuff done.

I've written before that email is your to-do list that anybody can get on. All they need is your email address and they can send you a message that you've got to answer. Poof. There goes one more minute of your life, up in smoke.

But here are two more reasons to treat email like cholesterol -- and cut back:

1) By checking email less often, you spend less total time on it.
Why? Because you're more efficient those fewer times that you do. There's a fascinating article in the New York Times called "Stop Checking Email So Often," in which people who checked email less often reported that they spent 20% less time answering their email -- they were 20% more efficient.

Here's a quote from the story: "Constantly monitoring our inboxes promotes stress without promoting efficiency. When it comes to checking email, less might be more."

2) Less email means less stress.
For people in a study who agreed to check email only 3 times a day, "The reduction in stress was about as large as the benefit people get from learning relaxation techniques (e.g., taking deep breaths, visualizing peaceful imagery)."

In other words, email = stress. Less email may reduce stress as much as picturing yourself lying in the sun on a tropical beach several times a day.

According to the article, checking email less can reduce stress by cutting down on the need to switch between tasks. Our brains can't do two demanding things at once, so flipping back and forth between tasks -- multi-tasking -- is a drain on cognitive resources. As a result, you are less efficient in each of the tasks you’re trying to do.

Bottom line: Limit your email, or email will limit you. Try cutting back to checking email just 3 times a day. You can do that. And when you do, you'll free up at least one hour of newly productive time every day.

Now. What can you do to market your business in one hour? Here are 3 ideas -- pick one:

1) Grab the phone and call your top 5 clients, for 12 minutes each. Ask how they're doing and what they're working on. Then ask if you can be of service somehow. They will tell you how to help or say, "No, thanks." Either way, they will be blown away by your generosity.

2) Mail a copy of a helpful article (magazine or newspaper) to your top 20 clients. Include a handwritten message with each that says, "Saw this and thought of you." Sign it.

3) Call to interview your last 3 happy clients, for 20 minutes each. Ask how are they using your product or service, exactly? What has changed for the better, exactly? How much more time or money do they have as a result, exactly? Then ask if you can transcribe their comments to use in a "mini case study" on your web site or newsletter.

Note: If you're a Business Owner, Consultant, or Coach, you can get a toolbox of Marketing Multipliers given to you at my next Free Video Training.

Can't make it to that event? My free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.



Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Huge ROI of Increased Conversions

Today, January 1, is the start of a new year.

It's also the start of Financial Wellness Month, so you will hear a lot about finance and wealth.

Here's a sure-fire way to improve your finances: get richer, faster, with what I call The Best Investment on EarthTM.

That would be marketing.

The real estate market can and does collapse. So do stocks. Investment gurus can and will take your money.

That's why Marketing is The Best investment on EarthTM. Because, done correctly, the marketing of your business is a money making asset that pays you back more than you pay in, just like a share of stock, real estate property, or a piece of capital equipment.

What's nice about it is you can control the entire process. You don't have to bet on a hedge fund or give money to someone like Bernie Madoff who runs off with it.

And here's a way to improve your marketing and invest in yourself at ZERO risk: increase your conversions. Because anything you can do to convert more of the leads you've already paid for into clients who pay you will deliver an enormous return on investment.

Let's say you have 100 leads that it cost you about $1,000 to generate.

And let's say you currently convert about 2% of them into clients who pay you $1,000 each over their buying lifetime. So, from your $1,000 investment in marketing, you get back 2 new clients who pay you $2,000.

Now let's say you increase your conversion rate from 2% to 3%. First, congratulate yourself: going from 2% to 3% is actually a 50% increase  in conversions, so get happy. But more importantly, you now get 3 clients instead of 2 clients -- an extra $1,000 from that same initial $1,000 investment. Your ROI just shot up from 200% to 300%.

How do you increase conversions? It can be as simple as testing:
  • a new headline in your ad or on your web page
  • a new opening in your phone script
  • a new closing in your sales presentation
  • a better offer
  • new payment terms
  • a better guarantee, etc.

NONE of the above ideas is high-cost. Most are low-cost or NO-cost. That's the beauty of increased conversions. By getting more sales from the leads you already have, you mine a seam of gold, hidden in your business, that NONE of your competitors can ever see or steal from you. Your only cost is a bit of time and effort, systematically invested, to test new ideas.

Note: If you're a Business Owner, Consultant, or Coach, you can get a toolbox of Marketing Multipliers given to you at my next Free Video Training.

Can't make it to that event? My free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Best Investment on Earth?

My favorite definition of marketing is “making selling unnecessary.”

But it’s a bigger idea than that.

Marketing is the best investment on earth.

Marketing is an investment because, done correctly, it’s a moneymaking asset that repays you many times over. Any good stock, real estate property, or piece of machinery that you buy today will repay you many times later. In the same way, you can “buy” new clients today who repay you many times down the road.

Marketing is the best investment on earth because the returns can be enormous and they are largely under your control. Examples:
  • The $770,000 my client pulled from a direct mail campaign I created, which cost less than $40,000 invested -- an ROI of more than 1,700%
  • The $10,800 one of my readers pulled in from a $1 thank-you note -- an ROI of 1,007,000%
  • The $2.1 million I pulled out of Google AdWords over 4 years by reinvesting the returns I got from a single ad that pulled in just $2 -- a mind-boggling ROI of 105,000,000%
You can NOT get returns on investment like that in any stock market without a gun. Best part: You need not invest in any expensive, esoteric hedge funds. Just invest in yourself.

You may recall that Discover Card launched a revolution by offering cash back rewards; their tag line: “Discover the card that pays you back.” I want to launch a revolution in your thinking by helping you see that marketing is not an expense, but an investment. One that pays you back. A lot.

Take action: Identify one area of your marketing where you can get back at least $3 for every $1 you invest. Is it in reactivating old clients? Mailing a new offer to cold leads? Adding an upsell to your current offerings?

Whatever you decide, stop thinking of marketing as an expense. It's an investment in yourself and your business -- the best investment on earth.

Note: If you're a Business Owner, Consultant, or Coach, you can get a toolbox of Marketing Multipliers given to you at my next Free Video Training.

Can't make it to that event? My free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Ugly Truth About Genius

Genius is the beautiful product -- the curves, shiny chrome, thrum of 310 horses under the hood, and other self-evident sexiness in a new Ford Mustang, for example.

Underneath all that, holding it together, is preparation: countless hours of wind-tunnel testing, engineering, problem solving, and other toil. It's ugly, invisible, and essential -- the foundation.

The genius of Thomas Edison -- the light bulb, phonograph, motion picture camera, carbon paper, storage battery -- was evident in his products.

Beneath that, you don't see his preparation -- that he studied year-round with his mother after quitting school at age 8 ... read every book in the Detroit Public Library from age 15 ("I didn't read a few books. I read the library.") ... worked 18 hours a day ... or that he neglected food, friends, bathing, and bill-paying in favor of inventing.

You can hear the genius of Mozart's music. But you don't see his preparation -- that he was drilled for long hours on harpsichord, violin, and organ from age 4 ... or that he neglected food, friends, bathing, and bill-paying in favor of composing.

Henry Ford. Douglas MacArthur. Donald Trump. Steve Jobs. Their genius is evident, but their preparation is hidden; you have to dig for it.

Back to Edison. You're familiar with his quote: "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." Well, genius can be easy to miss, too ...

We may see the beautiful product and stop there. But don't miss digging for the ugly preparation underneath. You can never duplicate another person's unique products -- their genius -- but you can duplicate their preparation.

Note: If you're a Business Owner, Consultant, or Coach, you can get a toolbox of Marketing Multipliers given to you at my next Free Video Training.

Can't make it to that event? My free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

How to Script Your Own Success

How to Script Your Own Success

Last week, Ohio State beat the living snot out of Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship, 59-0. They did it with a third-string quarterback making his FIRST career start. Ponder that for a moment.

Now ponder this: You can be sure that EVERY SINGLE play on their opening drive was scripted for that QB. See the play list below (read them from bottom up):



By scripted, I mean that each of the plays above were practiced in order, many times during the week, until the new QB and his players knew them cold. This gave them confidence that they could execute them on Saturday night.

Question for your business: Do you practice and script your phone calls? How about the presentations and sales closes that you make to prospects?

If not, pardon my French, but what the hell are you thinking?

Former NFL coach Bill Walsh, a pioneer of scripting the first plays of a game, once told The NY Times: “Scripting is planning; it's contingency planning. The fewer decisions to be made during the game, the better. You don't want to live by your instincts.” In the same story, Lindy Infante, former coach for the Indianapolis Colts, said: “We do not script here because we get into the game and get the feel and try to adjust.” Bill Walsh is in the NFL Hall of Fame. Lindy Infante is not.

Here's an example from my own experience: I was speaking to a prospect for my resume service years ago who sounded ready to buy ... until he uttered those fateful words: "I want to think about it."

I had heard that before. (You, too?) But, because I had heard that one -- and answered it -- before, I looked down at my phone script, which I had practiced before, and replied: "Two heads are better than one. Why don't we think about it right now?"

It turned out that he was concerned about price. I told him about my payment plans and money-back guarantee. He was sold, right there on the phone, and gave me his credit card number.

Now. I guarantee you he would have never called me back after "thinking about it." He would have been poorly served by choosing one of my inferior competitors or trying to fix his problem alone. And I would have been out one sale. Sales scripts pay you back. Big time.

Here's a note I got recently from a client in my Marketing Multipliers Club (thanks, Kathleen!), whom I worked with to develop a sales script:

 "Thanks to your outstanding sales coaching I snagged a reluctant Angie's List member. When I mentioned we do not charge diagnostic fees and just get to work, she was amazed. She then had ammo to ask competitors and found out our originally higher price was a real bargain ... even when compared to service providers within a mile of her house!"

To create your own sales scripts, start writing down anything you've ever said to a prospect that closed a sale.

Then, keep adding to your scripts as you develop new answers to tough questions. Practice your answers before making a sales call or whenever you have free time.

Key: When you write down and practice your words that sell, you'll have a script you can follow for higher profits.

Simple? Yes. Profitable? Yes. That’s what makes scripts a Marketing Multiplier -- a small action or simple tool the delivers BIG profits for your business.

Note: If you're a Business Owner, Consultant, or Coach, you can get a toolbox of Marketing Multipliers given to you at my next Free Video Training.

Can't make it to that event? My free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Marketing Training for Consultants, Coaches, and Service Professionals


Do you own a business or sell a service?

If so, this is for you ...

Announcing a FREE Webcast: "Marketing Multipliers: 3 Secrets to More Leads, More Sales, and More Profits"

Here's the deal: You couldn't attend my in-person "Marketing Multipliers" session here in the Twin Cities. And that's too bad.

Because the people who came had comments like these ...
 


"I just attended Kevin's one-hour workshop and I got more great ideas I've never thought of before -- and frankly, I've read every book there is out there -- and I can use them right away. These are brain-dead simple to execute, and I can't wait to get started!" - Dan Janal, PR Leads
  
 
 




"I enjoyed it a great deal. Really nice, tangible things -- I've already got a list of things to do by the end of the day. A great session!" - Jim Reid, Bottom Line Business Advisors




But I'm doing a Live Video version of the training and you can watch it FREE at your desk.

No replay is planned, so please clear just 45 minutes on your schedule for this. You'll be glad you did! 

Learn more and save your spot here.

Move fast -- the first 25 to sign up get 3 Surprise Gifts after the Webcast.

Go here to register Free Now

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What's the Big Picture?

If you're a consultant, coach, or service professional and you face commoditization, you MUST do something to stand out in your market.

You probably knew that.

The solution? A USP.

First popularized in 1961 by Rosser Reaves in his book, Reality In Advertising (out of print), USP is short for Unique Selling Proposition, it's your answer to this question: “Why should I buy only from you, at the price you’re asking, now?”

You probably knew that, too.

But I'll bet you didn't know that early USPs were doubly powerful, because they were visual as well as written.

Why? So busy housewives wouldn’t forget the product between then time they saw it on TV at night and went shopping the next day.

Below are two powerful USPs that combine words and pictures (both created by Reaves):



See how visually involving and convincing these graphics are? They're screen caps from TV commercials that ran in the 1960s.


Now, here are 3 modern examples of visual USPs:

Plenty of blenders claim to be fast, convenient, powerful, etc. But only one -- Blendtec blenders -- proves their claims visually like this, with a fun YouTube channel. That's a USP.


Plenty of sushi restaurants claim to offer yummy authentic food that will delight you. But only one -- Ebisu Sushi, in Vancouver, BC -- proves their claims visually like this, with a wall of these unique customer photos. That's a USP.



The Selling Card

Plenty of marketing tools claim to make selling easy for you. But only one -- The Selling CardTM -- proves its claims visually like this, by showing you a sales letter masquerading as a business card.

Key question: How can you make your USP visual and well as verbal? That makes it doubly powerful, and can make your business doubly profitable.

A USP is a perfect example of what I call a "Marketing Multiplier" -- a small action that multiplies your profits. And if you're a Business Owner, Consultant, or Coach, you can get a toolbox of Marketing Multipliers given to you at my next Free Video Training.

Can't make it to that event? My free Client Cloning Kit can help. It's not some cheapo download -- this is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.