Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Got Sales? Want More? Reward That Behavior! How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 12 of 15)

I'm on a roll this week: Here's another thank-you note to a client after the sale  ...

Unlike yesterday, I didn't include a gift with this note ... because I sent that special "Thank you for your order!" gift separately, as I do with all first-time buyers of my copywriting and consulting services.

(What was that other gift? I'll keep it under wraps for now -- it's a trade secret with me :-)

Why thank one client two ways, with a gift and a thank-you note delivered separately?

Here's why. As Machiavelli taught (I think), when you have bad news to deliver, do it all at once so you get it over and done with. But when you have good news, dribble it out over time, so you can maximize the positive effect it has on people.

In this case, my new client Casey got a nice gift couriered to his office today -- within 3 hours of his order. But he will also get this thank-you note by mail in a couple of days, which will make him remember the gift he got today and reinforce the good feelings he has about me.

Remember: You get more of any behavior that you reinforce. And that includes sales.

Now. Before you accuse me of being Machiavellian in this approach, please realize something. Yes, it's good for business when clients get good news/gifts from me several times in one week. But I really do this because it's FUN to play Santa 365 days a year and send nice things to my clients. They like it, I like it, it's good for everyone. It might be good to try in your business, too.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.



Monday, December 30, 2013

Want More Clients? Thank Them! How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 11 of 15)

Here's everyone's favorite thank-you note to write: a "thank you" for the order.

See below ...


Wait. If everyone loves to write a thank-you note to a client after the sale, why do so few people do it?

Lots of good reasons: "not enough time" ... "couldn't find a stamp" ... "email is just as good as snail mail" ...

Wait, sorry. Those are all fake, bonehead, lazy, STUPID reasons.

Truth is, there is NO good reason not to invest 2 minutes and 46 cents in doing something tangible to thank your clients for trusting you with their money. No. Good. Reason.

And if you're thanking a client for a repeat purchase (as I do all the time), it pays to invest a bit more in your thank-you note. In this case, I invested in two $5 Starbucks cards -- the universal currency of business -- as a way to show a little extra appreciation.

Remember: You get more of any behavior that you reinforce. Want more people buying from you? Reinforce that behavior. A thank-you note does that every time.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.


Friday, December 20, 2013

Want More Clients? Don't Forget Them! How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 10 of 15)

The human memory is an incredible thing.

It's incredible how much it can suck. At least my memory -- I seem to forget everything.

Case in point: I forgot to mail a Christmas card to one of my best new clients, Jim. The only reason I remembered was because I regularly run reports in Quickbooks and my client database, looking for patterns.

When I did that today, Jim's name popped out. So I mailed him this thank-you note ...

Moral: You may think you're taking great care of all your clients. But you're not. Not unless your business has fewer than 10 paying clients. If you have any more than that, you MUST invest in two things:

1) MONEY in a good CRM package. I use and recommend Infusionsoft and SalesForce.com

2) TIME to spend a few hours a month looking for relationship opportunities in your CRM

The opportunities you're looking for don't have to involve selling. You can just pick out a few clients to send heartfelt greetings to each week. Sales will follow, if you've earned them.

Fact: In a world where almost any product or service can be copied, digitized, or done by someone in the Philippines for less money than you, the ONE thing that can't be commoditized is you and your personal relationship with clients. An investment in building that is one of the best you can make.

And a thank-you note is an easy, VERY cost-effective way to make that investment.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Got Great Partners? Thank Them! How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 9 of 15)

Here's the kind of thank-you note I love writing, in recognition for a job well done.

This note went out to Damon Lacey, an ace graphic designer. He sets himself apart from other designers by always going the extra mile ...



I use Damon for design work and send my clients to him because I know he's going to take good care of the people I refer.

Today he went above and beyond to find and purchase the license to use a graphic for a direct-mail project, saving my client about $500. He made me look very good. So "Thanks" are definitely in order.

Yesterday I wrote that you get more of what you reinforce. A handwritten thank-you note is a powerful bit of positive reinforcement, so if someone sends you a referral and you want more, send them a thank-you note.

Similarly, if a partner on a project comes through for you in spades, like Damon did for me, you can get more of that good behavior by reinforcing it. Send them a thank-you note.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Easiest Sale to Make: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 8 of 15)

One of the easiest sales to make is to a referral, especially one from a client.

Referral selling expert Joanne Black writes:
Wouldn’t it be great if you had loads of people generating new leads for you and even making sales on your behalf? They would consistently put you in touch with your ideal clients, who would in turn become sources of even more business.

Great news: You have just such a hidden, powerful sales team already at your disposal. They’re your clients, colleagues, business associates, friends, and family. And every one of them could be a great referral source -- if you have a proactive, disciplined, measurable referral system that delivers every time.
Now, I've got about a half dozen referral systems in my marketing business. But my MOST effective system is the simplest. It's this: Reward every referral, every time.

When I tell this to most people, the typical response is: "Duh. I knew that."

Then I ask, "You may know it, but are you doing it? Do you reward every referral, every time, without fail?"

The answer, if they're honest, is often silence. Because most of us could do a better job at this.

But, really, it couldn't be easier. Here's a look at my simple "referral rewards system" below ...

My client Greg sent me a nice referral opportunity to help one of his friends with my profit recovery service. So I rewarded him with a handwritten thank-you note that went out in today's mail.

Note: The only reward here is a heartfelt thanks from me. No money or gifts need be sent, although I do send gifts for referrals that turn into sales, depending on the situation.

Modern psychology and life in general teach us that you get more of any behavior that you positively reinforce. (This other side of this coin is punishment, which is why your Mom broke a yardstick over your butt when you flushed your brother's homework down the toilet. Or maybe that was just me.)

But don't make this complicated. It's not.

If you want more referrals, reward the behavior that produces them. By showing your sincere gratitude in the form of a personal, handwritten thank-you note, you can do that. Do it every time and you'll have a simple referral systems that works wonders for your business.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Right People Produce The Right Results: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 7 of 15)

Get the right people on your team and your strategies and tactics will largely take care of themselves.

That's a fact I've proven to myself and seen in others, over and over.

In Good to Great, Jim Collins writes:  

"We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats -- and then they figured out where to drive it. The old adage 'People are your most important asset' turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are."
With the right people on your "bus" (business team) you'll pick the right destination for your company -- and be more likely to reach it.

Despite the best efforts of the imbeciles in Washington to drive our U.S. economy off a cliff, 2013
has been a good year for me. Revenues are up more than 75% over last year, which was a very good year.

I credit most of my success to the people I have on my team. One of those people is Mark, a personal friend and mentor. 


Thanks to Mark, my head has been on the right track for most of this year. As a result, so has my business. You can see my combination Christmas/thank-you card to him below ...
Not to go all froo-froo on you, but wherever you go (in business and in life), there you are. Wherever you are, your head is. If your head is full of trash, your results will stink. If your head is clear and focused, your results will be, too.

Thanks to the support of great people like Mark, my head is clear, my strategy and tactics are focused (if not yet perfect!) and 2014 looks very bright.

Are the right people on your team? If so, be thankful. And take a moment today to show your appreciation to them. If you don't have the right people, now's the time to start looking for replacements.


Right people, right results. Right? 

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Millionaire in Money is Nothing Compared to This: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 6 of 15)

Here's a change of pace for you -- a combination Christmas/thank-you card to my good friend, Jim Bear.

Bonus: You get to see Jim's card before he does. But I don't think he'll mind :-)

As I wrote in the card, Jim's given me a bunch of great ideas and support this past year. Specifically, his referral partners idea has been worth upwards of $80,000 to me in the past 18 or so months. That's at least how much new business I've brought in via referrals thanks to what I learned from Jim.

So, really, sending Jim a Christmas card is the least I could do to show my appreciation.

As William H. Danforth wrote in I Dare You:  
A millionaire in money is nothing compared to being a millionaire in friends, and everyone can be this, provided you keep these friends when you make them. And thoughtfulness in little things is the best way I know to keep them.
I've made several millions in money over the years, but the real riches come from having friends like Jim.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Backwards Thank-You Note: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 5 of 15)

There are two kinds of people who love to feel appreciated: men and women.

With that in mind, the more appreciation you can deliver to clients, prospects, and referral partners, the more likely they are to favor your business over the competition.

And as you might expect, I'm a fan of mailing thank-you notes as gestures of appreciation.

Case in point: Here's a note I mailed today to thank a past client for scheduling a call with me. We're going to discuss a possible joint venture ...




Now. It may seem odd to mail a thank-you note BEFORE a deal gets done ...

... until you remember that all people everywhere love to feel appreciated. If that's so, why wait on delivering that? A gesture of appreciation before a meeting -- as long as it's genuine, not fake -- will boost your chances of a favorable outcome. A thank-you note can do that. Text? Email? Tweet? No way.

But still. If you think it's backwards to mail a thank-you note before a meeting, consider Elias Howe.

By putting the eye of the needle in backwards, at the point instead of the head, he invented the sewing machine. His incredible invention would have been impossible any other way.

Breakthroughs are like that sometimes.


Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thank You For The Challenge: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 4 of 15)

I remember college (most of it, anyway).

Before enrolling and choosing my classes as a freshman at Michigan State, I was recruited for the Honors College. (It had something with my fluky PSAT score and NOTHING to do with my high school GPA).

And I remember a very short conversation that went like this ...
Me: "Is there more homework in the Honors College?"
Honors Student: "Well, we like to challenge ourselves. We work harder and we get better."
Me: "So, to confirm, there IS more homework?
Honors Student: "Of course."
Me: "No, thanks."
To this day, I regret that immature decision to skip the Honors College. Yes, I managed to get an excellent education. But I can't help wondering what might have been if had only challenged myself more ...

Which brings us to today's topic: Challenge.

As you may have figured out, I am now a fan of challenges -- mental, physical, all kinds.

And that led me to write the thank-you note that I mailed today. Take a look ...



Tim is one of my favorite clients because he's such a master implementer. He gets an idea at breakfast and has me writing a sales letter to promote it by lunch. 

Today, after a particularly challenging letter (that I wrote in about an hour of frenzied activity), I wanted to thank him for forcing my brain to stretch in new directions. I'm a better writer now than I was yesterday as a result of Tim, and I hope he will be a little more profitable tomorrow as a result of working with me.

Either way, this is a perfect occasion to say (and mail), "Thank you."

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Thanks For The Speaker Booking: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 3 of 15)

Here's my thank-you note for the day, written and mailed to Kit Welchlin to thank him for booking me to speak at an upcoming Sales and Marketing Executives event.

Why mail a thank-you note for something like this?

Several reasons ...

First, it's the right thing to do.

Sales and Marketing Executives are among the best prospects for my copywriting and "profit recovery" services. And Kit just gave me a venue to position myself as an expert in a roomful of my ideal prospects. So a thank-you note is definitely in order.

Second, I just gave Kit one less thing to worry about.

Because, if I'm conscientious enough to handle a "little thing" like writing and mailing a thank-you right after we spoke on the phone, it proves that I can handle the big things. As a result, Kit won't have to worry about me showing up an hour late, or at the wrong address or drunk, or otherwise making him look bad as the event planner.

Thank-you notes are old school, sure. They're also impossible to get caught in a spam filter, which makes them infinitely more effective than a thank-you email.

Writing and mailing thank-you notes to prospects, clients, and referral partners can help make your business 100% referral-driven. It's done that for my business, in less than 3 years.
 

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 166-Year-Old Facebook Trick: How to Grow Your Business With Gratitude (Day 2 of 15)

Here's a fun one. I just wrote the thank-you note below to Mark Guerrettaz, in gratitude for a story he shared with me yesterday ...

It seems that Mark is smart. You see, he writes and mails thank-you notes to every client and prospective client who visits his Revolution Fitness Club. Everyone who gets his handwritten notes appreciate them.

But one woman took her appreciation to a new level.

She posted a photo of Mark's thank-you note on her Facebook account, with the comments: "Best. Personal Trainer. Ever!" Take a look ...



What happened next? I'll let Mark tell you ...

"... it got 68 likes with 6 comments. Oh, and it got me 7 calls within the next few days and 3 new clients just from this."

It's funny. By sending his note of appreciation via U.S. Mail (which first issued stamps 166 years ago, in 1847), Mark got a ton of new social media love ... and 3 new clients. In later conversations, he shared that this was worth $10,800 in new business to him.

Not bad, eh?

Important: Do NOT mail thank-you notes to clients and prospects because you expect more money to flow into your bank account. Do this because it's the right thing to do.

When you do right by the people who matter -- your clients and prospects -- they will remember you today. And do right by you tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Monday, December 9, 2013

15 Days of Growing Your Business With Gratitude - Day 1

Here's the first of 15 straight blog posts in a new series, Growing Your Business with Gratitude, aka "Thank-You Marketing."

The concept is simple: Writing and mailing thank-you notes to prospects, clients, and referral partners can help make your business 100% referral-driven. It's done that for my business, in less than 3 years.

What am I going to write about on this topic for 15 days in a row?

I have no idea.

But one thing will happen every day in this series: I will post a picture of the thank-you note that I mailed out that day, as a way to force myself to do it.

Below is example 1 of 15 -- a thank-you note I just mailed to my #1 Referral Partner, whom we'll call, "CC." He has sent me more than $65,000 worth of copywriting projects over the past few months.


CC likes what I do, and I do it pretty well. So he refers somebody to me almost every week.

But I'm convinced that CC refers people to me for one more reason. Beyond that fact that I'm professionally very good, he knows that personally I'm going to take good care of the people he sends my way. And I prove that by mailing him a thank-you note after every referral, whether or not it turns into a project.

You see, it's one thing to claim that your service is tops and that you'll go "above and beyond" or whatever. But it's another thing to prove that you deliver remarkable service. And that's what a thank-you note in the mail can do.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Cookie Stick Letter -- Sweet Way to Boost Profits

I've written before about the importance of "stick" letters.

Stick letters are something you send by MAIL (not email, not text) to clients to thank them for their purchase, allay buyer's remorse, and thus help them "stick" with you.

One of my very smart clients, Ryan Skalla, has developed a new and yummy twist on the stick letter for his real estate investment firm.

I call it The Cookie Stick Letter.

How does it work?

According to Ryan, "Anytime I make a sale, I get a contract, or somebody says yes on the phone, they get a basket of Mrs. Fields’ cookies delivered from me.

"That gift actually gets delivered before they get the escrow documents from my title company. And when I order online, I can add a personalized message, like 'Thank you for selling me your rental property.'"

Pretty neat, eh? And Ryan's clients? They're delighted.

"Since I started doing it, several people have written testimonials that said, 'Thank you for the cookies!' so I know it’s making an impact," he says.

This kind of post-sale followup is critically important in the emotional and volatile world of real estate. Anything you can do to build trust with clients is a big plus. And Ryan's doing it with cookies.

Meanwhile, if you want to increase your cash flow and get more clients like your best clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Announcing The Unadvertising Agency That Guarantees Results

Do you own or manage a service business, doing at least $500,000 in revenue?

If so, here's news ...

I’d like to help design a money-making plan for your business, identify your ideal clients, and show you how to compel them to ask you for help. This way you can bank more profits every month, without having to worry about where your next client will come from.

I offer this service because I’m a direct-response copywriter specializing in helping my clients boost their sales and profits …

… and there’s a good possibility that you already have a list of undeserved clients who are very responsive to the marketing plan that I’ll be giving you for free. It can make you TWICE as profitable.

If you find the plan that I create for you is valuable, you may wish to become a client of mine. If that’s the case, my rates start at $3995 per month, with no contracts or commitments.

How much new revenue can I deliver for you?

Rapid gains of $50,000 or more are possible. Keep reading to see how …

First, please understand I am not offering you a sales pitch in disguise. I promise not to pressure you or trick you in any way. In fact, if you feel I’ve wasted even one second of your time when we talk, just let me know and I will immediately write you a check for $250.

But before we go further, you need to know that I can’t help everyone …

There are 5 requirements to working with me. You must be able to say "Yes" to all of them:

1) Do you need help? If I think your business is doing all it can to maximize profits from your inactive clients, I'll tell you so. I'm not a know-it-all and you may be doing very well already.

2) Are you willing to let me create "unadvertising" that I know will sell? Except for legal or factual approval, I retain creative freedom. You, your spouse, or your Uncle Al can't mess with what I come up with.

3) Is your business doing at least $500,000 in revenue now? Any business below $500,000 doesn't have the volume to make this work.

4) Do you have a list of satisfied clients or customers I can speak with, to generate testimonials about you?

5) Are you honest, ethical, and do your references check out? I WILL call them. In other words, are you a "salt of the earth" Midwestern type who will honor an agreement to pay me when the money is due?

Now. You may be wondering, "Hey, what have you done for your clients?" Fair question.

I wish I could say that I hit a home run every time, but of course, I can't. But overall, my clients do very well. Here are a few examples ...


  • For a Real Estate Investor, I created a sales letter that he mailed to prospects already in his database. The phone started to ring and sales started to happen automatically. Previously, his best year was $200,000. In less than half a year mailing my letters, he's at $660,000.

  • For a Technical Sales Professional, I advised him on a simple follow-up process. Within 24 hours, he made a few calls to existing clients One call netted a sale for $193,000.
  • For a Computer Support Service, I created a letter to a 2-year-old list of past clients. The letter did so poorly that I never got another chance. I took the loss on all creative fees and my client paid nothing, in keeping with my guarantee.
  • For a Strategic Consulting Firm, I created a two-page letter to mail to their past clients. It resulted in a windfall of $77,098 in new revenues, with more to come by year's end.
  • For an Insurance Agent, I created a new print ad for him to run in the newspaper. By making just a few changes in wording, I increased his profits by 671%.

What should you do now?

If you’re interested and if you qualify, you can apply for a free Profit Discovery Session with me at this link

You’ll see a form there with a few questions about your business and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Once you submit that information, I’ll do some market research for you and set up a time to go over it together by phone.

Sound fair? 

If so -- and if you think your business could use a cash windfall of at least $50,000 -- please apply for your no-cost Profit Discovery Session with me at this link.

Sincerely,

Kevin Donlin
Copywriter + Marketing Strategist


P.S. -- A partial list of media that have interviewed me on marketing includes Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur magazine, New York Times, KARE-11 TV (NBC), WXYZ TV (ABC), KMSP TV (Fox), and WCCO Radio (CBS).

P.P.S. -- As a courtesy, I give past clients first right of refusal on anyone who may compete with them. So it may already be too late for you, if someone else has contacted me from your geographic area. Please schedule your free Profit Discovery Session with me at this link … before schedule fills up. After that, this offer will be withdrawn.
 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Client Service: The Ultimate Marketing Weapon?

Want to see a customer service manual that's worth $1.2 billion and is updated every day? Just plug "Zappos review" into your favorite search engine, read, and emulate.

Here's just one example that I found online today ...



Your takeaway: You canNOT buy or create advertising any better than the testimonial above. When you deliver outrageous service that not only delights but delightfully surprises your clients, you've got a recipe for explosive growth.

Good news: You don't have to delight your clients with what you actually sell to delight your clients.

Read that sentence again. I'll wait.

You see, Zappos sells shoes. But the 5-star raving testimonial above (one of thousands like it you can find online) is not about shoes. It's about the delightful surprise this customer experienced when receiving a rapid, hassle-free refund.

And before you gripe about refunds, know that this one resulted in:
  1. valuable free publicity (here and elsewhere)
  2. a second purchase at full price
  3. a customer for life
 Any business can do that. Including yours.

So, the only thing stopping you from delivering the same kind of billion-dollar service as Zappos is ... you.

And, yes, the way Zappos treats customers is worth $1.2 billion. Because it was legendary service like the example above that made Zappos worth the $1.2 billion that Amazon paid for it in 2009.

Meanwhile, if you want to smooth out the bumps in your cash flow, by getting more clients like your best clients, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Instant Newsletter Solution

Last week I spoke to a gathering of local entrepreneurs.

After my talk, I handed out a survey and got back 25 of them. Their answers to my questions were insightful (I love surveys!), but one was especially interesting.

To my survey question, "Do you send a newsletter to your clients?" the answers were:


Translation: 40% of respondents send NO newsletter to their clients. Bad. Very bad.

Only 8% send a newsletter by U.S. Mail, while 32% send one by email, and 12% send a newsletter by U.S. Mail and email (the best option -- online + offline = synergy).

Why do you need a newsletter?

For every month that you don’t communicate with clients, their value drops about 10%, according to research by The Direct Mail Association.

Erik Van Vooren, of the Direct Marketing Know-How Institute in Belgium, puts it this way:
"Suppose your company lost 10% of your inventory last month? You would panic. You'd get together your staff, lock the doors and figure out exactly where that inventory went. However, the same company can lose 10% of their customers without even noticing."
So, think of a monthly newsletter as a systematic way to plug the leaks and lock the doors in your business, to keep your clients (and profits) from escaping.

If you’re not sending a newsletter of any kind to clients, try the following, in order:

1) Find one useful article online this week. Email it to one client, with a short summary of the article and a note, telling them why you think it’s helpful.

2) Do the same thing next week for another client.

3) Combine the two emails. Write a short introduction. Presto! Instant ezine issue #1 for your business.

4) Print the ezine and mail it. Presto! Instant printed newsletter issue #1.

By the way, I don’t write newsletters, so this is not a pitch for my services. It’s just me urging you to do the right thing. If you do need a newsletter done for you, the BEST in the business is Shaun Buck over at The Newsletter Pro.

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Thank-You Marketing: Get Real

Writing and mailing thank-you notes to your prospects and clients can help make your business 100% referral-driven. It's done that for my business, in less than 3 years.

In fact, I now refer to this simple, powerful concept as "Thank-You Marketing."

And yet, I still get asked the same question: Should I thank people by email or with a card in the mail?

Answer: How would you send your mother a birthday message, by email or paper mail? How about your spouse -- would you give him or her an anniversary card by email or on paper?

Treat your clients the same as any other VIP. Only a real thank-you note, on paper and mailed with a stamp, counts for anything.

In fact, mailing a real thank-you note to someone creates a lasting impression that's simply NOT possible with an email. And there's science to back this up.

Research by The UK's Royal Mail and Bangor University found that tangible materials, like a letter you can hold in your hands, "triggered greater emotional processing."

The study, Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail, found that "tangible materials actually leave a deeper footprint in the brain."

To quote the study at length:
This research strongly suggests that greater emotional processing is facilitated by the physical material than by the virtual. The “real” experience that the physical media provides means it’s better at becoming part of memory.

It generates more emotion, which should help to develop more positive brand associations. The real experience is also internalized, which means the materials have a more personal effect, and therefore should aid motivation.
Bottom line: a thank-you note they can hold is literally more real and emotionally compelling to the recipient than an email they can only see onscreen.

(Of course, this idea goes well beyond thank-you notes. A printed sales letter is "more real" and more emotionally involving than the same sales message sent by email, text, or social media. But those are topics for another day.)

Now, do you still want to send that "thank you" by email?

Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Client Cloning Blueprint


What's this?  

The Client Cloning Blueprint.

It shows you how to get more clients like your best clients. Without advertising.

You'll be hearing a LOT more from me on this in the coming weeks ...

... but for now, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, 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 your free copy now, while they last.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

7 Ways to Manage Your Email (Before it Manages You)

Email is a great way to communicate and can save you time ... when used wisely.

It can also drive you insane.

I hear over and over again from clients how their inbox drives their day because they’re constantly reacting to the latest “ding” announcing the arrival of an email. They’re fearful of missing something important and let their inbox dictate what they will work on today.

If you find yourself in the same boat, here are 7 tips on how you can manage your email -- and stay sane -- taken from my book, Take Back Your Time: 101 Simple Tips To Shrink Your Work-Week and Conquer the Chaos in Your Life.

1. Schedule a block or two of time during the day to review and answer email, your volume of email will dictate frequency and how long to read email. I schedule a 45-minute session to review email in the morning and an hour session mid-day. Communicate that to your audience in your email signature to set expectations with them.

Here is the exact verbiage from my email signature: “Note: I set aside 7:15 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. CT and 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. CT every day to read and respond to emails. As time permits I also glance through my emails throughout the day. If you require urgent assistance (please ensure it is urgent) that cannot wait until 7:15 a.m. CT or 1 p.m. CT, please contact me via phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.”

2. Write meaningful subject lines (for example, don’t reply to a random email with a completely unrelated topic) and change the subject line if the email has become a chain of emails and the topic has now shifted.

3. When replying “thank you” or writing a very brief email (one sentence), put the thank you or brief sentence in the subject with EOM (End Of Message) at the end. People will know that is the end of the message and there is no need to open your email. I would suggest adding EOM to your key in your email signature mentioned in tip 1 above.

4. Think of key people whose emails you want to stand out in your Inbox. Create rules to color code emails that come in from those individuals. For example, blue from your boss and green from key customers. Then you can quickly scan through your emails to find those that are most critical to respond to quickly.

5. If you are having difficultly composing an email, it usually suggests that a higher order of communication, such as a telephone call or face-to-face meeting, is necessary. Abandon your email and either call the recipient or set up a meeting with them.

6. If you need someone to answer a question right away, don’t send an email hoping she’ll see it instantly and promptly respond to you. Just call her.

7. Move emails directly from your Inbox to your calendar and schedule a block of time to complete the request in the email. This saves you time as you won’t need to add it to a task list and you’ll remember at an appropriate time in the future to complete the request.

What's your favorite way to manage email?

A guest article by Shari McGuire, founder of ShrinkYourWorkWeek.com and author of Take Back Your Time: 101 Simple Tips To Shrink Your Work-Week and Conquer the Chaos in Your Life.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The 30-Second, 6-Figure Marketing Idea

If your marketing depends on one-shot promotions, a sales letter mailed once, or a single email blast, it’s just like this little broom ... 


... and you will find it very difficult to sweep up profits.

By contrast, if your marketing has at least 3 steps built into every promotion -- if you "touch" every prospect at least 3 times with your sales letters, postcards, emails, or phone calls, it's just like this broom ... 


... and you will find it relatively easy to sweep up profits.

Idea: Stop with the one-shot promotions. Unless you enjoy drudgery and feast-or-famine when it comes to cash flow.

Instead, be systematic. Use multiple steps -- at least 3. And sweep up more profits in your business.

This idea is worth at least 6 figures to you ... but only if you use it.

And, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Avoid Being Commoditized

Here's a guest post from my client and ace sales trainer, Terry Slattery.

Read it and reap -- sales gains, that is ...

One day, a salesman client moped into my office. He had lost his biggest customer -- who had been with him for 10 years -- over a 3-cent price difference. He pleaded, “How do I win them back?”

I said, "Answer this question: ‘What's going to happen to whom because they are not buying cinnamon from you, and how will that affect their life?’”

First, background: A new purchasing agent had called my client, saying: “I understand you've been providing us great service for 10 years. But you charge 3 cents a pound more for the same cinnamon I can get anywhere. Out of respect for our relationship, I want to give you the chance to match that lower price before I move the business.”

The salesman started talking about service and support. Then freshness and quality. But, like a broken record, the buyer kept coming back to 3 cents a pound … 3 cents a pound. And the business was lost.

Turns out, my client never mentioned his big Differentiating Value (D.V.): Time to market. This salesman, who nearly has a PhD in food science, told me, “In exchange for charging a slight premium on cinnamon, I shared my expertise with their R&D department. Without my help, they estimate it will take at least 3 weeks longer to get a product to market.”

When I asked what those 3 weeks meant in terms of money, he said, “About $80,000 in daily sales. Three weeks are $1.6 million. And they roll out about 6 products a year. All told, it’s about an opportunity cost of about $10 million.”

I asked, “Who feels that $10-million loss? It’s sure not the purchasing department.”

He thought for a moment, then said, “It’s the brand manager.” I asked him, “Do you even know their name?” “No,” he replied. And I said, “That’s fascinating because that is your real customer.”

A strange look came over my client’s face. He said, “I thought I was selling cinnamon. But what I’m really selling is 3 weeks.”

This story has a happy ending. I advised him to call the brand manager and leave a voicemail, which resulted in a rapid return call -- and my client winning back the account.

Your Takeaway: No matter what you sell, you face the curse of commoditization … unless you get absolutely clear on your D.V., then communicate it to the customer who matters -- which may be a different customer than the one you’re selling to.

To get clear on your D.V. -- and get the script for the startling voicemail message that helped my client win back that lost account, contact Terry Slattery at his website.

And, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

There Is NO Business Problem That Can't Be Solved With This

"There's got to be a better way!"

Sound familiar?

If you're like me, you've said (screamed?) the following at least once about your business:

  • There's got to be a better way to get more clients!
  • There's got to be a better way to sell more of my products/services!
  • There's got to be a better way to use my time!

Fortunately, for almost every business I know of, there's one way to do all 3 of the above -- and a whole lot more.

What's the answer?

A sales letter.

The late, great marketing genius Gary Halbert once said, "There is no business problem that can't be solved with a really good sales letter." And he was right.

Case in point: My client, Ryan.

After the departure of his business partner, he was facing a potential loss in income ... hours spent banging the phones to sell his service ... loads of frustration.

In a word, problems.

But I solved those problems for him. With a simple sales letter.

To the tune of $250,000.

In 7 days.

How did we do it?

Read my interview with Ryan below and discover for yourself the truth in this statement: "There is no business problem that can't be solved with a really good sales letter."


Kevin: Tell us about your business. What do you do?

Ryan: I own a real estate investment company that buys houses through the mail. I’ve been doing it for about 9 years and the last 3 months have just been the most amazing turnaround that I’ve seen. It’s been pretty amazing and I have you to thank for it, but we can get into that in just a minute.

Kevin: What was going on before we started working together?

Ryan: When I first got started in the business I used to go out to people’s homes and sit in their living room and try to negotiate with them and that was a tremendous waste of time.

So I got a business partner and for the last three and a half years, when we decided to stop meeting with people in their homes, we switched to doing it all over the phone. We would send them something in the mail to get them to pick up the phone and call and we negotiated with them over the phone and tried to buy the houses that way. It was me and my business partner and we made it work. But it was very labor intensive.

Kevin: So, it was labor intensive. Now, what motivated you to seek me out to write a sales letter for you? Were you hoping to clone your selling process and turn it into a sales letter somehow?

Ryan: I recently split from my business partner, and he was the phone guy. I hate being on the phone. I’m not a good negotiator and I acknowledge and recognize that. My job in our partnership was to make the phone ring; his job was to talk on it. I know that it’s not my strength and when we parted ways I realized that I had to replace him pretty quickly and I was not going to be the one to do that.

I figured it seemed like the logical step was to replace him with a more automated process, with sales letters -- trying to do what he did over the phone through the mail.

Kevin: So you were trying to fill a really big hole in your business.

Ryan: It really was. Of course, I had my reservations, but because you came so highly recommended by Craig Simpson, I knew that if my idea was going to work, you were the guy to make it happen. And I’m really excited about the results that I’m having.

Kevin: Yes, so let’s talk about that. The big question is, have we been able to automate your selling and put some money in the bank?

Ryan: Yes, you are one of my favorite people in the world right now, because after we started testing the sales letter that you worked on, the phone started to ring, people started to call with stuff for sale, and it started to work automatically -- what we used to do with a lot of manual labor over the phone.

Seven days ago I got an offer accepted from a guy -- I did no negotiating with him. He got your package in the mail, he called and said yes, and I think we’re closing on that one tomorrow morning. I’m going to make $115,000 on that deal. That’s pretty amazing. Even I’m just in a little bit of a state of shock over that right now.

Then, yesterday was a Monday and at 8:30 in the morning I got not one but two sellers who had received your sales package last week. I didn’t have to negotiate with them on the phone, I didn’t have to talk to them, they got your package, and they were both calling to accept first thing on a Monday. I mean what a great way to start a week.

So in the last seven days I’ve got $250,000 in cash and equity that are lined up as a result of the work that we’ve done with you. So it’s money well spent.

Kevin: Fantastic. Ryan, thank you so much for sharing your story. !

Like all good stories, this one has a moral. And it's this: One really good sales letter can change your life, just like Ryan's.

One sales letter can deliver your best selling message by mail to your prospects and clients, while you do other things.

It can bring you all the leads and new clients you can handle ... get them to keep buying again and again ... bring back “lost” clients ... even give you an endless stream of referrals.

And it doesn't matter what product or service you sell. Heck, if you can buy and sell homes by mail, you can buy and sell pretty much ANYTHING by mail.

Think about it. A sales letter never calls in sick. Never takes a day off. Never asks for a raise. Never complains about commissions. And it never quits on you.

That's the power of one really good sales letter. Food for thought.

And, to learn more about how I do that for entrepreneurs across America, you should first grab my Free Client Cloning Kit, here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Want It? Give It. The Giver's Gain Strategy

Here's a simple idea that can grow you, personally and professionally, faster than almost anything else I know.

It's this: Give what you want to get.

When you give of yourself to your marketplace, you put things in motion that I don't fully understand, but which never fail to make you and your business bigger.

When you are giving, you are growing. When you were giving, you are sharpening your skills and raising your profile.

When you are giving, you are gaining the attention and goodwill of your prospects and referral partners.

What to give? Whatever you want to get.

  • Want referrals? Give referrals.
  • Want leads? Give leads.
  • Want people to buy your cookies? Give samples.
  • Want attention paid to your blog? Give attention, by posting comments on other blogs.
  • Want people to buy your business acumen? Give it away, on a blog, in articles, in free reports, in public seminars.
That last idea gets a LOT of resistance from marketing "experts" but that's understandable. It seems counter-intuitive. Until you realize something. Two things, actually:

1) Nobody does anything with free advice, no matter how good. That's why the libraries are full of people watching YouTube or playing video games instead of reading the books that can solve their problems. So don't worry. Nobody's going to get rich with your brilliant idea.

2) Everybody is impressed by good advice that's free. They think, "If that's the free stuff, his paid stuff must be awesome." So they buy. Because you gave your good stuff away and rose to expert status in their minds (and wallets).

It's not that easy, of course, but you get the idea.

Give what you want to get. At the very least, it will prime your confidence pump by putting you out in the marketplace among prospective clients, instead of home alone in front of a computer screen.

My business doubled last year and it's up another 80% this year largely as a result of this one idea.

Try it.


Meanwhile, if you want to put an end to "feast or famine" syndrome in your business, my free Client Cloning Kit can help. Grab your free copy now, while they last.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10x Bigger or 2x Bigger?

Chances are, if I have a great idea, it's somebody else's :-)

Among my mentors, idols, and teachers in business are Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, Brian Tracy, and Dan Sullivan.

That last name might not be familiar to you, but Dan's a legend when it comes to coaching entrepreneurs. He may have been the very first to do so, some 30 years ago.

For two years, I got on a plane every 90 days and flew to Toronto to be coached by one of Dan's Strategic Coaches. Frequently, Dan would drop in and share some of his latest thinking with us.

What does this have to do with you?

Well, with July winding down, you may be making strategic plans for August, the rest of Q3, and the years beyond.

(If you're not, you should be!)

With that in mind, I thought, what better way to make strategic plans than with the guidance of The Strategic Coach, Dan Sullivan?

So, here's a great little video to introduce you to Dan's thinking.

It's called, Why Growing 10x Is Easier Than Growing 2x.



Please note: I make NO money from this recommendation. Dan doesn't even know I'm doing this. But I know you'll find it helpful. You'll probably want to watch it several times. So I'm happy to share it with you.

Now.

After watching the short 3-minute video above, you want to exchange ideas to build your business by 10x -- and IF your revenue currently exceeds $200,000 per year -- let's talk.

Background: I've helped explode sales by writing direct-mail sales letters for
  • a 21-store retail chain ... 
  • a carpet cleaner ... 
  • an insurance agent ... 
  • a travel agent ... 
  • a commercial cleaning company ... 
  • a real estate investor ... 
  • and too many others to list here

You can learn more about what I do -- and see if you qualify for a FREE copy of my book, 21 Quick Ways to Get More Clients, here.