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August 2008
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The War of Art by Steven Pressfield -- Outstanding!

Cover_war_art I was recently directed to read a book called, The War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. It was written by Author, Steven Pressfield, who also wrote The Legend of Bagger Vance, Gates of Fire, Tides of War and other fiction titles.

This was his first venture into non-fiction and I hope not his last.

His ideas were thought provoking and served as gentle, and at times not so gentle reminders of how to be a break through blocks that keep us from succeeding in creative endeavors.

It's a perfect read for any business person who is not achieving their goals, dreams and full potential.

Buy it now, read it, follow the advice and improve both your outlook and productivity in running your business or any creative endeavor.

Cover image courtesy of Steven

Garbage In, Garbage Out

GarbageCan I was working on an article for a client’s sales process campaign that talked about audio in legal settings.

In one part of the article, my client indicated that, “The major factor in obtaining a clear transcription of an interview, no matter what the source, is the simple adage: Garbage in, garbage out.”

That got me thinking about small business. The single greatest ‘garbage in’ thought that inhibits business success is fear.

The greatest fear many small business owners face, daily, is managing the fear of sales.

The reason for the fear is most businesses do not have a compelling story to tell that potential new prospects care about.

The majority of businesses talk about their products or services from the ME perspective. As a result, buyers block instead of embrace the marketing and sales message.

This makes creating new sales opportunities an uphill battle.

Instead, understand what your buyers care about and project that story in your sales process.

The buyer-centric concept is focused on the speaking to the buyer about what they want. They generally want solutions to challenges they face.

If you target your buyer list properly, you’ll get more people to raise their hand and say the magic words of marketing success, “Tell me more about that.”

Your prospects will engage with your offer better because you are communicating in a way that they can hear you. You are talking about their challenges instead of your services and adding value to the conversation up-front.

Garbage in turns into focused messages and garbage out transforms into new sales in your pipeline.

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The Many Faces of Small Business Marketing

Ist2_4212538_close_the_deal Marketing changed again just last year and I think the change is for the better.

The reason it changed is buyer's were blocking marketing and sales messages very efficiently. Everyone realized that was happening and started looking for answers.

No one was harder hit by this phenomena more than small businesses.

Many bright people cling to the traditional concept of marketing that says“Invent a big idea and show it around continuously. The right people will show up.” While that is the traditional form of marketing, used by large businesses successfully worldwide, it doesn’t work very well for small businesses.

The reason is, it is contingent on advertising frequency. Big companies have a huge budget to spread their big idea.

Small businesses need to create sales leads and interest with minimal budgets. This reality is not a good fit for spreading the big idea.

A new idea is learn to read your clients mind.

Understand what buyers value most about your business. Give them what they value at a price that is compelling yet not to inexpensive.

Share the value you’ve created using the words of your clients. They will hear you because you are using their words, their ideas. It's like you are tapped in and able to read their mind.

Then continuously educate your buyers. Be seen as a resource that has a value they want and new buyers will start hearing and caring about your marketing and sales messages.

They will care because you are showing that you understand their pain. You are demonstrating through education, that you have an answer that makes sense to them.

As a result, new prospects will raise their hand consistently and say, “Tell me more about that.”

And when you hear those words, the magic of marketing has worked.

You read your buyers mind and attracted them into your sales system. You are now ready to convert attraction into revenue for your business.

What style of marketing are you using, the big idea or reading your clients mind? How’s it working for you?

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