I’m in the mood for a good rant today…
Tell Me Lies, tell me sweet little lies
~Tell Me Lies, Tell me tell me lies~
Oh no no, you can’t disguise
~You can’t disguise, no you can’t disguise~
Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies
It’s a song by Fleetwood Mac called “Tell Me Lies”. Maybe you’ve heard it? Catchy tune. (if you know it, bet you’re singing it in your head!)
So what does it have to do with anything?
I’m fed up with the lies, the pure garbage that is being fed to people and unscrupulous marketing.
… let me tell you a story…
I stepped into the world of touch screen phones. Yep, I got tired of waiting for Blackberry to come out with a new phone for T-Mobile and upgraded into the new HTC Sensation. It’s a touch screen, big display, 4G, has all the bells and whistles, android, easy to use – I love it and so does my wife. My kids love “Angry Birds” – wow what an addictive waste of time that game is eh?!!
I get my first bill and trying to be a good steward I review it to make sure there are no surprises.
2 bogus charges. Ugh. That means I’ve gotta call customer service. Fortunately T-Mobile has great customer service. I usually get a cheery, delightful person who is happy to help. Today was no exception. I got Jessica, a pure delight. She reviewed the charges in question with me.
The first was for insurance. When I got the phone, the sales guy pushed this hard on me. I declined several times and he persisted like a battering ram taking out a castle door. He said “it’s free for 30 days” so I relented and said ok.
Guess what? … it wasn’t free. Not only that, the T-Mobile rep said they have no authority to do that.
My Blood Starts To Boil
The second bogus charge: there’s a monthly charge of $9.99 to allow us to download ringtones from a 3rd party. Neither me or my wife signed up for it. Some cheesy 3rd party company bogussly (is that a word?!!) spammed us some cryptic texts. Irritated, we replied for them to stop.
Well, I guess they didn’t and instead they signed us up for their service and we got dinged for it. Purely unethical in my books. I’m sure they make a tidy profit, afterall how many people have cell phones and how many times do people check their phone bills? The T-Mobile rep said that this kind of stuff unfortunately happens a lot. And to cancel this bogus service, we have to contact the 3rd party and have them remove it. You can be sure I’ll check my bill next month!!
Happy Ending to This Story
Jessica “Your Friendly Neighborhood T-Mobile Rep” to the rescue!! – she reversed both charges and got us all squared away. She made it such a pleasant experience. And I’m grateful for her.
Thank you Jessica.
What Does This Have To Do With Marketing?
I have clients come to me time and time again looking for advice. I get contacted out of the blue by clients, some have gone months without reaching out to me and suddenly they want advice on a variety of topics – internet marketing, SEO, Social Media, Facebook, website design, landing pages, USP’s, the list goes on.
Why do they contact me?
Just like the garbage I had to deal with on my phone bill, there’s so much crap being thrown around out there about marketing. There are a lot of wolves in sheep’s clothing.
YOU MUST KNOW THIS AND BEWARE
I’ve had clients Adwords accounts turned off because they were seduced, I’ve had clients waste THOUSANDS of dollars changing their site to appease someone jibber-jabbing about SEO (I’ve got a great story about a test we did where we got multiple listings on the first page of Google for a term that has over 4,100,000,000 – yes, you read that right, multiple first page listing out of OVER 4 BILLION SEARCHES!! – there were some radically strange things going on that we uncovered but I’ll save that story one for another day.)
I’ve had clients come to me that have wasted tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on “guru’s” and other consultants. And within the first few minutes we could identify the problem.
Bottom line: you must be able to decipher fact from fiction and the truth from fantasy and seduction. If you can’t you’re doomed and will waste money, and even worse, massive amounts of time.
With the exhaustive expansion of online media and ways of getting traffic, if you can’t decipher this on your own, then I suggest you have a trusted adviser you can turn to. The bible says there’s safety in a multitude of counselors. Whether you read the bible or not, this is good common sense. Who are your trusted advisers?
And with all the seduction and wolves in sheep’s clothing out there, sometimes messages like this get missed.
A problem I have is I don’t have a bright shiny object I pitch.
What I do have is:
- time tested and proven, yet cutting edge and radically different methods for increasing sales
- what’s working now
- and straight answers for today’s problems
I guess that’s why people keep coming back to me for advice and allow me to help.
In your business, your clients and prospects are getting pitched garbage and B.S. too. If you help them decipher what’s real and what’s fantasy, they will keep coming back and refer more business to you.
P.S. Amazing how a good rant can improve your mood!
… or is it???
I see so many promotions and topics with the same underlying theme – “How To Be Unstoppable”. I see them in my email inbox, my mailbox, on the web, tv – seems like everywhere I turn there’s some guru promoting this.
I know I’m not the only one that sees this. And a shameless confession, it has a certain appeal to me. The thought of being “the guy” or being able to carve out your own destiny stirs emotions up in me. I see images of being applauded, and revered, and respected, and sought after, oh, and did I say “wealthy, happy and successful?”.
It also stirs something else up in me… pride and ego. And those two monsters have taken many people down, myself included.
So, instead of being “the guy” and being unstoppable, I’d rather be a guy who makes the best use of his gifts and talents, is diligent, seeks wisdom, plans and takes action and God willing, achieves his goals. (interesting observation – the more I do that, the easier everything else seems to be)
Now in my business, would I like it to be unstoppable?
… as long as I don’t have to sacrifice my family, friends (or anything else dear to me) on the alter.
For the record, in my opinion, unless you’re God I don’t think anything can ever be “unstoppable”. There’s always something seen or unseen that can take you down.
So instead of “unstoppable”….
What If Your Business Could Be Stronger, Rock Solid, Able To Withstand Numerous Blows And Still Keep Producing – Would that relieve some tension or make you grin?
Well the good news here is that it can.
How do you do that?
… you get rid of the silly notion that there is some magic pill to swallow or some silver bullet or your business can be changed in the next 60 seconds or less. That is pure rubbish.
What isn’t, is you can roll up your sleeves and WORK.
- setting a goal and going after it with focus and determination
- researching the market and competition to see what’s out there
- finding a niche you can dominate and crafting out a clear, concise USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that separates you from the competition
- developing a strategy to attacking the market
- creating a compelling sales conversion process
- making an irresistible offer to get your prospect or client to say “yes”
- Now picture adding 5-10 different lead generation techniques to get your message in front of the exact right people at the exact right time
Seems like a lot of work doesn’t it? Well, it is. That’s why most people won’t do this. That’s why for the few that do, they can reap most of the spoils. Did you know that 95% of the profits in a market will go to less than 5% of the businesses?
Now if you decided to be different and if you did this, how would you feel about your business? How would you feel about it’s ability to weather the storms that are guaranteed to come? Would you be confident in being able to take time off, take trips, plan your retirement, get involved in charity, or how about mentally being there for your family instead of constantly thinking about business?
If you go after something with wisdom, focus and determination and WORK on the right things, it’s amazing what you will be able to accomplish.
P.S. If you have a challenge in your business, we offer a free no-obligation 15 minute consultation where we will tackle and give you perspective on demolishing the #1 problem affecting your business. You can get more information here… Click Here eh!
To paraphrase Shakespeare:
To Buy, Or Not to Buy: That is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in your business to buy a list and suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous spam laws,
Or to take arms against a sea of spam troubles
And by opposing, end them. To rent: to sleep
And by a sleep to say: “We will not face massive fines and risk having our site blacklisted”
… Ok, what’s up with the Shakespeare you say? (in case you didn’t pick that up it is from Hamlet) My kids have been studying Shakespeare and for some odd reason I remembered that soliloquy from high school and thought it might fit here.
You might be saying, “Thanks for the Shakespeare Chris, but what the heck are you talking about?!!”
I have been getting a lot of questions lately about buying email lists that you can blast to. As you know I’m a big believer in email marketing and blasts ONLY if they are done right. Done right, you get a surge in traffic and sales. Done wrong, it’s a waste of everybody’s time.
One of the biggest questions I get from clients is “Should I buy or rent an email list?”
Certainly buying a list looks more attractive BUT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE PICTURE BEFORE YOU DECIDE WHAT TO DO. You could be facing grave penalties.
Let me explain…
Renting a list: When you rent the list, the company that owns the list blasts it out for you. They make their money by keeping a high integrity list of confirmed email lists where most (if not all) of the people have opted in to receive information. They will continue to refresh, update and rent the list. This is the bread and butter of their business. Advantages are high deliverability with no risk of spam. Downside is it’s more expensive as you pay per blast. Many good list brokers will limit your risk by only charging for emails that were confirmed delivered to the recipient’s inbox.
Buying a list – you own it. No idea how the emails were harvested. Purchased lists have high bounce and spam rates. Purchased lists can also be very old with poor deliverability, they could have been developed by a sweatshop of people in India scanning websites for email addresses and adding them to their list, or even to an extreme where someone could have stolen a list and are trying to pawn it off on some poor unsuspecting person. If you buy a list, no software provider will do the blast for you. Reputable off-the-shelf email blast companies like Constant Contact, Aweber, and Infusionsoft (the one I use), clearly state in their terms and conditions that you agree NOT to blast a purchased list; they will revoke your software license if you do.
If you buy a list, you have to search very hard to find a 3rd party that will blast it for you. They are very few and they defer all legal responsibility to you. Fines are $16,000 per spam blast, plus, you run the risk of getting your website blacklisted from the internet. Very severe stuff. If you buy a list, there is no way to effectively blast it without serious implications. A lot of companies that sell lists will paint a nice sales picture but they don’t tell you how to send it. They paint a nice rosy picture and that’s about it. Advantage to buying a list is you own the list and can sleep with a false sense of security that you have something great (you don’t). Downside is you can’t blast it, and if you do you run the risk of serious fines and getting kicked off the internet.
After going through this with clients they decided not to buy lists. By the way, this question comes up all the time. There are many people that will try to sell you lists. My advice – RUN!!
Bottom line: Renting an email list is the only way to go.
Bottom line #2: Renting an email list is a great way to get business, if (and this is a big IF) you have a powerful lead generation magnet to drive the opt-in. (I covered this topic in a free mini-course “5 Days to Success With Internet Marketing“)
Hope this helps.
For Businessowners that Want to Create an Unfair Advantage in the Quantity and Quality of Leads Coming into their Business:
Do you want an in-expensive, highly profitable way to create a continuous flow of new leads into your business?
Today we will cover something that every businessowner needs. And that means you too!
But first, when it comes to utilizing your website there are a couple different approaches…
2 Schools of Thought When Handling the People that Come to Your Website:
- Go for the jugular and close the deal
- Capture their contact information so you can continue to market to them (called “Lead Generation”)
If you are going for the jugular that’s fine. Just know that you are leaving at least 33% of the money YOU COULD BE GETTING on the table. It most cases you would be losing 200% or greater.
If you capture their contact information, then you can market to them forever for free until they buy (or die).
In my opinion, school of thought #2, capturing their contact information, or Lead Generation is supreme. This is one thing that every businessowner needs!
Lead Generation is designed to do one thing and one thing only – constantly and continuously generate high quality leads for your business.
To create this, you need what one of my marketing mentors, Dan Kennedy, calls “a lead generation magnet”. A lead generation magnet is something of interest and value to your prospects that gets them to say to themselves “Hey, I want that!” and they give you their contact information in exchange for whatever the lead generation magnet is about. A minimum is to get their email address.
Your lead generation magnet can take many forms, some of the most popular are white papers, special reports, free e-books, videos, interviews or a free email course like this one. They are all good and choosing the right one for you depends on your strengths and the interests of your market.
There are many advantages to a lead generation magnet. The vast majority of people aren’t ready to pull the trigger and won’t buy right away. Instead they research to see what’s out there and check out several sites to get a feel for who’s selling what. If you offer them something of interest and value to help them in their decision making process, then you can take them out of the market and follow up with them. In your follow up you can demonstrate why you are the BEST solution for them and separate yourself from your competition. One more lead for you, one less for your competition.
To create a lead generation magnet, you will need:
- The lead generation magnet – white papers, special reports, free e-books, videos, interviews or a free email course. This should appeal to the emotions of your market. Find the problems they are having, talk to them about those problems and offer them ways to solve their problem – as in, buy your product or hire you!
- A landing page – this is the page on your website where they go to learn a little about what you do and enter their information in exchange for your lead generation magnet.
- An opt-in mechanism to capture their information for follow up. Here are a couple of options: Aweber and Infusionsoft (Aweber is cheaper, Infusionsoft is way more powerful and also more expensive. It’s the one I use. Both are excellent. A business just starting off might only need Aweber)
- A thank you page – after they give you their contact information you immediately take them to this page to access their information.
- Follow-up sequence – this is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle that many businessowners miss. You will open the floodgates by effectively utilizing this. (Again, Aweber or Infusionsoft will do the job)
Here are some questions for you to ask yourself:
- Are you using Lead Generation?
- How effectively is your magnet working for you?
- Would you like to have a River of Leads Constantly and Continuously Flowing Into Your Business?
- Do you want to free up your time and let technology do all the hard work for you so you can do something fun?
If you have any questions or would like to comment on the information, please comment below.
P.S. In you want to get this into effect now, I have a done-for-you service to free you of all the hassles, frustrations, unknowns and concerns you may have. Contact me and we can discuss this affordable and valuable tool.
P.P.S. Want more bang for your internet marketing buck? … Click Here
Had an interesting dialogue with myself on the trail today… ever have conversations with yourself or am I the only one?!!
It was cool and misty at 8:15 this morning as I laced up my shoes to go for a nice trail run in Aliso Woods Canyon. Was supposed to be an easy 13. I’ve been starting to log some longer miles to get ready for “who knows what event I’m doing next”. Truth be told, running trails is a sanctuary for me. I love being out in nature, free from noise and distractions. As long as I have water and food I’m good.
So off I went this morning. Had my fuel belt with water bottles filled up. My food for today was none other than peanut butter & strawberry jam. Love my PB&J!!! I had enough water and food to be out for just about 2 hours.
As I started out on my familiar route, one voice in me said “lets go and explore a new trail”. The other voice said “it’s on the way to the park entrance where we usually start so it’s no big deal, let’s do it”
So off I went exploring a new trail. As I was nearing the end of this trail I saw another trail shoot out to the left with a nice short, steep climb to a small summit. One voice said “let’s go”, the other said “the path is well worn singletrack (narrow trail), so yes, let’s do it”.
To the top of the hill I went. As I looked down into the valley below, I could see the park entrance. No idea how to get there since there was no path down the hill. I could also see another path I had never seen before. It ran parallel to the one I usually run on, but somehow this one seemed secluded. There was no one on it, the other path I normally take I could see runners and mountain bikers all over it.
Hmmmm, one path is empty, secluded and I would be the only one on it. Scenery looks better too. The other path, has lots of people on it. I gotta do the new path! It was like it was calling out to me.
But how do I get there? There was no way down the hill to get to it. I looked and looked. There was heavy dry brush that would be really hard to navigate and would scratch the heck out of my legs. What to do, what to do…. Then I saw it!
I could carve a new path around the heavy brush, then there was a stretch of not-so-thick grass I could go through where there seemed to be a very faint path where someone else walked. That was it, I could get there! I could accomplish my mission and had to do it. Would be a fun adventure.
Felt like a little kid again. Full of excitement and adventure!!
Smiling, almost giggling, I set off.
Then the other voice kicked in “You know Chris, the grass is thick there, you don’t know what’s underneath it. Could be ticks, maybe deer ticks with lyme disease. Or worse, you could step on a den of rattlesnakes. Better not go. Better go back and get on the familiar path and play it safe. Don’t want to get hurt you know”
… hmmm, good points, I thought. He’s right. Maybe I should go back. What was I thinking? Oh well.
Then the other voice chimed in “hey! Let’s go!!!! I want to go this way. It’s gonna be a great adventure!! Let’s go!”
…. hmmm, good point. I did want to go! And I needed to resolve it, since both voices made excellent points.
So how did I resolve it? What did I do?
I decided it was time to have a meeting. I brought the two voices together (seriously, you could make a good case that I’m a certifiable nut job at this point! Again, I’m I the only one that has this happen??!)
I asked the excited voice why he wanted to go. “Because there’s a new, really cool looking trail. We will be the only one on it. Who knows what we will see!! It’s going to be a great adventure. Let’s go!”
I asked the conservative, safe voice why he thought we shouldn’t go. “Because there could be danger there. Ticks. Snakes. You don’t have your phone with you. If you fall and break your leg, smash your head on a rock, or get bitten by a snake it could be game over”
…. good points on both sides.
I asked the excited voice if he would be ok if we didn’t go if it was deemed unwise. His response was a hesitant “yes”. I asked the conservative, safe, fearful voice if he would help us if we went that way and he said “yes”. Then I asked for his wisdom. “Could we make it down there? – yes. Is this something we have done before? – yes. Is it likely there are ticks in the brush? – no. The grass we would have to walk through, it’s short, there appears to be a set of footprints through it, it’s cold and damp, is it likely there will be snakes there? – no”
I gathered all the data. Thought it through. And in my final anaylsis, it seemed like a reasonable thing to do. To go down there.
Both voices cooperated. Both voices were needed as there were some tricky spots to navigate. And low and behold, we made it!
By the way, on this new (to me), secluded and almost private path, I saw many wonderful things I would have never seen…
- I saw deer. The deer and I were within 10 feet of each other. Neither moving. Simply checking each other out. (I also came across a family of deer later on, momma, daddy and baby. The buck had a nice big set of antlers on him).
- I saw a really cool owl. About 5 feet away from him. We just checked each other out for a bit before I went on my way.
- I saw a primitive looking “Man vs. Wild” shelter by a hidden part of a stream. The adventurer in me was feeling very refreshed at this time!
None of this I expected. It was a very pleasant surprise. The trail was simply beautiful.
Don’t go off and draw a conclusion that I saw all this because I took the path less traveled. That would be unwise. I never would have taken this path if it would have been deemed too dangerous and silly. No, I’m not into stupidity (got most of that out of me in my 20′s!!).
Here’s the moral of the story…
When facing a tough decision in life, it’s good to listen to the two voices. You need the one to look for opportunities. You need the other to make wise decisions. Don’t be foolish and only listen to one and tune the other out. If you do, you will miss out on wonderful opportunities or you will make foolish, stupid decision you will regret for years to come.
Here’s the process I use to make decisions:
- Search the Bible to see what it says (seeking wisdom)
- Consult people with expertise and perspective I don’t have. Including my wife since she can see my blind spots – just wish I listened to her earlier in life, would have saved me from some painful situations. (again seeking wisdom) There is safety in a multitude of counselors.
- Decide what I want while checking to make sure my motives are right and not self glorifying.
- I prayerfully consider all the data and do my final analysis. Then I decide and take action.
I have made many decisions in my life. Some good, others I would take back in an instant. As each page on the calendar is flipped, I have resolved to be wiser and more audacious. Isn’t that how you truly have a full life and fulfill your mission?
How do you make your decisions?
Would love to hear your take on this.
… where to start….
This week I read “An Enterprising Life” by Jay Van Andel and re-watched Jerry McGuire for the umpteenth time. Both worthy of the time invested. Both have great stories. Both have been bouncing around in my mind.
If you’re not familiar with Jay Van Andel, he co-founded the Amway Corporation along with his lifelong friend Rich DeVos. Doesn’t matter your opinion on the Amway business model, you’ve gotta admit that they built a very successful business enterprise doing sales of $8.2 Billion worldwide. I’ve never built a company that size and I’m guessing you haven’t either. So obviously there is a lesson or two that can be learned.
One of the things that really struck me was his lifelong relationship with his friend and business partner Rich DeVos. They had some great and entertaining stories of businesses they built along the way. A couple quick ones:
- They built an airplane charter company when neither one of them knew how to fly. One time, one of their planes ran out of fuel and was forced to land on a lake too small for them to take off on. So they filled the tank, tied a rope around the plane and the other end around a tree, revved the engine and then cut the rope loose with a knife. The plane had just enough speed to barely clear the top of the trees.
- They sold their plane business, restaurant business, and took a year off to sail to Cuba. They bought a sailboat and set voyage even though neither one of them knew how to sail. (what were they thinking!!). One night Rich took a wrong turn off the coast of New Jersey and ended so far inland on one of the rivers that it left the Coast Guard perplexed as they were towing them back out to sea. They had never seen a ship get so far inland. Crazy. Their voyage to Cuba continued smoothly until they sank 10 miles off the mainland in a shipping channel and had to be rescued by a passing freighter. They did eventually reach their destination.
Made me laugh and shake my head in wonder.
I also admired the camaraderie they had. Sure they were a couple of young entrepreneurs off on a daring adventure. But that’s how their whole life was.
Jay said that one of the keys to success was the relationship he had with Rich. It was so deep that they had a long standing agreement that when one partner was away, the other had full ability to make any and all decisions, even if it was different from what the other had in mind. Jay stated one example of how this played out during a new construction of a building. He said their trust in each other was so deep that they both felt so secure the other partner would make a decision in the best interest of the company. Not out of pride or ego, but out of the best interest of the company.
Man, I admire and respect that.
They also had the same relationship with their key vendors. They didn’t make decisions off of whoever was the cheapest bid. They did’t go after whoever had the latest bright shiny object. They did not go after whoever talked the best talk. That would have been building a house of cards. Instead, they developed key business partnerships with people that shared the same philosophies.
People they could trust.
One vendor, Dan Vos Construction, was with them from the beginning. He did a couple of jobs for Rich & Jay that were way below what they would normally do – installing simple shelves in a building the size of a gas station – that turned into a relationship that awarded them millions and millions of dollars in new building projects.
The list goes on and on from here. I think you get the point.
… switching gears, the movie Jerry McGuire…
Unless you’ve been under a rock you’ve seen this movie. The 2 lines…. say it with me now…. “Show me the money!!!” and “You had me at hello”….
The whole point of the movie was that the industry was in disarray. Jerry was disgusted with it. He saw how corrupt and shallow it became. He wrote his “memo” about less customers, more attention.
I think you see where I’m going with this. Everything seems so shallow on the surface with business today. Especially in the world of marketing and internet marketing. There is so much stuff out there. I don’t know about you but among the many solicitations I get are the ones from companies in India to do SEO for me. They promise to get me top ranked positions. (By the way, never confuse rankings with success, but I won’t get into that today, that’s a topic for another day…).
Business is faster. Speed is everything. So many people pitching so much stuff. It’s so mind boggling.
And that my friend, is the problem with success in the new economy.
As a business owner, you were successful in the past from doing things mostly on your own. It was easier. You just put your mind to a problem, would concentrate your efforts on it and it would go away wouldn’t it? You could accomplish anything you put your mind to.
Worked in the old economy.
In the new economy, not so much. It’s not like that anymore. There is too much to do. And with the digital age everyone is a friggin expert. We are all surrounded with so many things to do, and so many options – SEM, SEO, PPC, Adwords, Social Media, Facebook, Text Messaging, Link Building, Direct Mail, Sales Letters, Website Design, WordPress, Email Marketing, Email Marketing 2.0, Autoresponders, Opt-ins, Lists, Segmenting Lists – does it ever stop?!!
And the list goes on.
So the problem is that you are fully competent of being successful in any of these ventures on your own, you are so busy being successful in the running of your business, where do you find the time to implement ANY of these? How do you find the resources?????
Wouldn’t it be nice to have trusted business partnerships like Rich and Jay had?
Like what they had with their vendors? … having sources that could help you achieve more success more rapidly through relationships built on trust?
And like Jerry McGuire, having vendors that paired down their client list to make a bigger impact with less people.
By the way, if that’s what you’re looking for in a vendor, in a business partner, then know my friend, that is what I have dedicated the rest of my life to do. Helping you achieve your goals at such a rate that everyone will think you’re cheating. Where, at last, you can have a true business partnership built on old-school trust that will deliver the BEST solution possible for your specific situation.
Would love to get your thoughts on this, please post your comments below.
Dan Kennedy, one of the top marketing experts frequently says that “one” is the worst number any business can have – one client, one source of revenue, one product, one lead source – you get the point. If you have only one way of getting leads, what happens if it dries up?
Let me tell you a story…
Tony, a friend of mine, has always been a hard working guy. He was in the Marine Corps, recon division, not afraid of much. When he got out he didn’t want to work for anyone else, had too much drive, so he went to business school. One day after class he asked the professor what businesses he owned. The professor said he never owned a business. Confused, frustrated and irritated Tony left. That was the last time Tony was ever seen there.
Tony is also a strong minded man so he decided he would learn business the way he learned to fight – in the trenches. He started up a yacht maintenance company and worked his tail off. Toiling day and night he finally landed a big account subcontracting for a bigger yacht maintenance company. Life was great. Big checks, steady year-round work, wife, kids, house, mortgage, car payments.
Then one day it happened… the bomb hit…
He showed up Monday morning to pick up his list of yachts to clean as he did many times before. This time he was told he was no longer needed. 90% of his income gone in the blink of an eye. It’s a hard pill to swallow, especially when you are a hard working man with a wife and kids looking up to you and depending on you.
I won’t bore you with all the details of what happened next but the short version went something like this…. hurt (crushed is a better word), confused, bills, anger, determination, prayer, supportive wife, strong work ethic, lesson learned, focused. Stayed in same business, printed flyers, hand delivered them, got a couple clients, provided un-paralleled value, knew his competitors were lazier, delivered superior service, treated his customers like gold (wow is that missing in businesses today!), got more customers, raised rates, hired workers, increased customer value by adding more services, continued to diversify, started brokering deals buying and selling yachts, bought a bigger house to support his bigger family.
You may be saying, “great story Chris, but how does that relate to me?”
If you don’t have multiple streams of generating leads, then you may want to start. Here’s the problem I see, too many businesses don’t have enough leads and so they start to look for ways to advertise or get their name out. Everything sounds so darn good that they try to do too much without much thought into anything. Nothing gets done.
Here’s the BIG lesson: develop focus. Draw up a marketing plan and focus on one source of leads at a time. (if you have an abundance of funds then outsource to get more done at one time).
Think about this, if you add one source of traffic every two months, then in the next year you will have 6 different sources of leads working for you, or 12 sources in 2 years. What do you think your business would look like if you did this? If you focused your thoughts and efforts and got one source going every two months, do you think you would have more success or would you be worrying about where your next lead was coming from?
Tony got focused and kicked some butt.
Now it’s your turn to kick some butt!
Hope you enjoyed this.
Is your business with or without wax?
… and just as important, what do your customers think?
I did a talk this week for a group of successful businessowners on internet marketing. I revealed why most internet marketing fails to deliver the results that most were led to believe. In a meeting I had afterwards, a business client was telling me about how he was promised the moon and delivered garbage instead. This is an all to common problem many unsuspecting businessowners are falling prey to. (side note, never confuse rankings with results)
In a relatively short period of time I explained what caused the bad results. You could see his whole energy shift from confusion to contentment as he got it. I won't get into the details of what happened or what he was missing, I will tell you this, ONE of the missing components was congruency.
I learned something interesting at church last week. The Pastor was talking about sincerity. Like many, I've been taught to be sincere since I was a young boy. But what I didn't know, what was completely new to me was the origin of the word.
"Sincere" is derived from the Latin words: "sine" and "cera". Sine means "without" and cera means "wax". So "sincere" means "without wax".
In ancient Greece or Rome, dishonest sculptors and merchants would cover flaws in their work with wax to deceive the consumer. They would use wax to cover up cracks in their work and would be able to make their pottery or sculptures appear better than they really were and thus would charge a higher price. The customer would get screwed. Therefore, anything that was honest and pure would be tagged "sine cera", or "without wax".
Have you ever seen a business that looks good from the outside but when you get into it, you find they used wax? A client of mine was researching a vendor he was considering using. From the outside the vendor looked beautiful. Bright. Shiny. Clean. Said all the right things and made him feel good. Fortunately my client is a wise businessowner and through his due diligence found a whole bunch of wax. Saved himself a whole bunch of money and headaches.
So how does this apply to you?
First, check yourself. Make sure you are without wax. Meaning you don't try to come off as something you're not. I worked with a number of big name speakers, several you would know. Sadly many of them were not the same off stage as they appeared to be onstage. The Canadian Rock Trio, Rush, said "all the world's a stage and we are merely players" (Shakespeare said that too). Just be sincere in who you are. Don't be the overhumble guy that downplays himself to his own advantage. Also don't make yourself appear to be bigger or something your not just to win a piece of business. Don't worry about others that do this. Sure they may get a piece of business for now, but they will get what's coming in due time.
Secondly, check your business. You may be "without wax" but is the rest of your company? For example, sometimes sales people can over-promise and under-deliver to win a deal. I've witnessed this many times in sales. I recommend calling in to your business and see how you are being treated. Are the things that are being said true? Do they match the values of your business? Call some of your customers yourself and survey them. Find out from their perspective.
One way of avoiding having your customer wonder if you are with or without wax is to be very clear and upfront about who you are, who you're for, and you aren't for. (Simple tactic: don't do this in a pure sales-y, all-inclusive way, but in a legitimate, defining way)
How can you tell if someone is with or without wax? One way is to look for consistency over time.
Hope you enjoyed this.