Mind Capture News E-Letter
Thursday, December 18, 2008, 05:36 AMHere are three smart strategies to help you market in challenging times.
1. Focus more marketing dollars and attention on existing clients. Beside referrals, here’s a quick Mind Capture reminder list of zero and low cost strategies you can do to stay in touch with clients and key referral partners:
*Use a monthly newsletter or eletter to keep people updated
*Send a press release to your local media monthly or at least once a quarter
*Update your website with great content to educate and serve clients and prospects
*Host a client appreciation event with key business partners
*Send your top clients a thank you card or note of appreciation for their business
*Partner with a non-profit in your community that needs funding and positive PR
*Have a sale or special event exclusively for your best clients
*Sponsor a chamber of commerce event and invite key clients and prospects to attend as your guest
2. Resist the temptation to cut back on your marketing efforts. Too many businesses let their CPA or the competition scare them into cutting off the oxygen, marketing, within their business. I’m a big advocate for continuously tracking and monitoring what’s working and what’s not in your marketing and making adjustments. I have several clients who are actually doing more marketing now and finding great deals on media.
Having sold advertising for many years I can tell you that most media reps will negotiate great deals and discounts when the economy tightens up. It’s much better to have some revenue versus zero. Remnant space is your friend. Be on the lookout for opportunities when close minded competitors have cut back or are in a play it safe mode.
Another overlooked strategy is to joint venture and share resources with other businesses to lower costs and share customer lists. Too many businesses try to carry the load by themselves and miss out on simple, low cost ways to leverage their time and marketing dollars with fellow business owners who are seeking to get the word out and add more value to their existing clients.
3. Go on the offense and guard your mindset. I was speaking in Seattle a couple months ago to a group of chamber of commerce executives and found that many of them were actually GROWING their memberships. Were they lying, delusional, pulling my leg? No, many of them stated that this is the best time to grow and retain current members on the value the chamber proposition offers when utilized. Amen. Far too many non-profits and even some of their peers are stuck in the “woe is me” mode and have bought into inaction, fear and retreat with their mindset and marketing efforts. This is what I often refer to as hope being a poor marketing strategy. Hope is what’s choking the life out of too many organizations.
Lessons from the best investor in the world
Why does one of the world’s greatest investors, Warren Buffet, go on buying binges when everyone is selling stocks? Simple. He knows that this is the best time to buy, get great deals and go on the offense. This logic is a great lesson for business leaders to model as it relates to growing their customer base and standing out in their industry. While many complain, retreat or “play it safe” the savvy, well positioned marketer goes on the march to grow when the market place is stuck in quick sand or fear.
Happy Holidays and Keep Capturing Minds!
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Monday, December 1, 2008, 07:05 AMI’m absolutely amazed at the large number of businesses that take their customers, prospects and referral partners for granted. In the non-profit world the same mentality is often seen in relation to donors, volunteers and key board members. I know I sound like a broken record to some of my loyal subscribers, but here are three key reasons why tightening the bond of communication with those who influence, shape or spend money with you is a smart marketing strategy:
1. Inexpensive versus pure cold prospecting efforts
2. Great way to differentiate
3. Produces repeat business and referrals
If these three outcomes don’t get your marketing mind cranking and your bank balance dancing with glee, then I’m worried that nothing will. Yes, I know it seems like common sense to follow up with people and many of you do it well. I read your emails carefully and look at everything you send my direction with high priority. Here’s the challenge though: We live in a sped up, digital, MTV world, where manners and follow up are often forgotten or given little justice in the commerce arena.
One, create and use a monthly newsletter or eletter. This is challenging for many businesses because they assume that they have to do an eight-page full color newsletter mailing each time, or that they don’t have the time or know-how to pull it off on a consistent basis. I’d like to challenge this type of thinking. Start simple with a two page update and get it in motion. As you get more and more newsletters done, it gets easier and becomes a priority.
If you’re not a good writer, hire a local freelance writer or local college student to edit and shape your ideas, post-it-notes or scribbled messages containing your ideas and notes. I’m not joking. There are lots of great folks in your area or available online that do a great job and are a steal to pay versus you or one of your key staffers spending hours to launch, edit and get the newsletter done and out the door.
Let’s look at why EVERY business or non-profit should be using an eletter. Folks, email is essentially free and plugging your rolodex into a simple, user friendly eletter program is easy. I’ll save you some time searching and highly recommend that you explore Constant Contact. It passes the Tony test. If I think it’s easy to use, then you or someone on your team will breeze through setting it up and using it on an ongoing basis.
Two, send thank you notes. I’ll go a step further and make this easy. Grab a pen (Seems that most salespeople have forgotten what these look like unless they’re trying to get a signature on a contract!) and write down three lists that contain your top 10 customers, referral partners and prospects. Pick up some postcards, stationary, and fire off a few hand-written notes.
If you’re lost for words I’m going to make a recommendation that I strongly suggest you investigate for yourself. Check out Send Out Cards. Yes, some of you know of them, or I bet have received one and had no idea that you can use this as a resource within your own business. I use them and have become a raving fan. I’m tough to impress sometimes and this product solves a TON of follow up issues.
Since there’s more to the story and we have one more strategy to cover, here’s what I’ve decided to do. If you’d like more information and a FREE gift account of 5 cards, please contact Kim at our office directly at: email@example.com.
Three, continually roll out new promotions or programs. I believe that once trust has been established and earned with a key customer or referral partner you owe it to them and your continued success to offer additional products or services that improve and add value to their life. One of the biggest sins many businesses make besides being boring, and lifeless with their marketing, is a lack of consistent follow up by not making new offers or announcements to encourage their customers to come back again or refer people they know who may have an interest in what they do.
Here are a few great shortcut questions to ask yourself in advance when rolling out potential new offers to your customers:
*Will it save them time?
*Is the new offer consistent with our core business strengths to increase the odds of repeat business with them or referrals from others our customers know in their contact sphere?
*What are logical upsale opportunities we’re missing based on what customers are telling us they’d like to see us offer that we’re currently referring to someone else?
Until next time, keep ‘Capturing’ Minds!
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Friday, November 21, 2008, 08:31 AMWe live in an interesting age. We have more information and resources available than at any other time in history, yet most people feel overwhelmed or flat out lost as to how to use it to their advantage. Humans at their core absolutely dislike and rebel at change. There is another way. Those that thrive on change in this age of information and media overload have developed powerful new thought patterns and beliefs to make information a tool of opportunity and abundance, not a handicap.
I’d like to share with you three incredibly powerful and liberating ways to get more done, achieve productivity breakthroughs and free up more time in your personal and business life. Yes, a tall order indeed, but let’s get started.
The Enemy of the Entrepreneur is Distraction!
Time blocking is a great way to achieve bursts of productivity and get the truly key projects and goals knocked out with pure, and focused attention. In the age of information overload distraction and interruption are lurking at every corner. The good news: you do have a choice in relation to defending your time and your mind. Far too many people allow the Internet, cell phones, emails, blogs and other forms of ‘instant messaging’ to control, distract and totally run their lives for them.
I’m often asked by others, “Tony, how in the world do you get all of your writing projects done for clients, your business, for magazine deadlines, podcasts, eletters and blogs with all of your other commitments including family and intense travel?” The answer is simple. I block out actual appointments on my calendar for getting deadline driven projects done. The article you’re now reading was written bright and early at 6:15AM on a recent Wednesday morning based on an appointment I made in my calendar the week prior to insure it made deadline and into this issue.
The Power of Habit Force
The second strategy to liberate your mind is the power of positive habit force. In his powerful book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield* discusses how habits, good or bad, shape our destiny along with proven ways to set and create positive new one’s for ourselves. If you have key items within your business that are mission critical – such as reading and listening to every issue of this newsletter as soon as you get it – your goal or aim should be to make them a habit each day if possible. For example, reviewing my top 10 one-year goals each morning is a non-negotiable habit before I begin the day. It’s now engrained as a powerful habit in my life.
If They Can’t Find You, They Can’t Distract You
The third and final idea regarding getting more done is what I call the black out strategy. This is simply the ability to shut off ALL forms of media or distraction during a certain period of time when you need to focus or do not want to be interrupted. I employ this strategy Monday through Friday when I review goals and write each morning at the crack of dawn with no one around to call, email or distract me. Yes, I even shut off my cell phone on many days – much to my wife’s chagrin - to avoid temptation and insure I get these two vital habits in motion and done. Unless it’s a scheduled call, family emergency, or I’m running through an airport at an early hour these two habits are never missed.
I hope these three productivity strategies serve you well. They’ve positively impacted my life and the hundreds of other high achievers and business associates I know directly who use them on a daily basis to improve their own life and the lives of countless others they serve and influence. Unlike other life forms on planet Earth, driven by instinct or necessity, we humans are incredibly blessed to have free will and the power of choice to govern how we proceed and use each day. In the age of information overload and digital distraction, this should give each of us peace of mind and a sense that we are in control of our own dreams and destiny!
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 10:19 AMExcerpt from the #1 Amazon Bestselling new book, Mind Capture: How You Can Stand Out In The Age of Advertising Deficit Disorder, visit: www.MindCaptureBook.com
I want you to imagine that every time you create a marketing offer or message that produces Mind Capture the prospect is thinking in their mind, Why in the world should I believe a damn thing you’re saying! As I point out in live seminars and in consultations I want you to imagine that when you meet a person for the first time, especially in a sales setting, that when you’re talking about what you do that the prospect is glancing up and reading a message written on your forehead in bright red lipstick that reads:
B.S. – Prove It!
Folks, we’re an incredibly skeptical society. In relation to advertising we’re for the most part jaded, and tired of hollow messages by people and organizations that all claim to be the best, provide superior service, lowest prices, blah, blah, blah.
An easy question: Would you ever plan a trip and attempt to drive the whole way with a flat tire? Absolutely not. What’s this have to do with marketing? Here’s the connection point. If we know that prospects are incredibly jaded in relation to marketing messages, what will you do differently to help overcome the mental concerns and objections they have when considering switching their buying habits or exploring a completely brand new product or service?
Ignoring prospect concerns and not making proactive changes to your marketing to address potential objections is like voluntarily jumping in the deep end of a swimming pool with a 100 pound bag of bricks that you tied to your back and then wondering why you can’t float. While obviously dangerous and dumb it’s nobody’s fault but your own.
A Few Mind Capture Guarantees Some Famous, Some
Not So Famous To Study and Learn From
*Hot, fresh pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less or it’s free
*Try it for 30 days. If you’re not completely satisfied, simply return it and pay us nothing
*The home of the 10 minute oil change
*Your home sold at a price acceptable to you within 180 days – guaranteed – or I’ll buy it
*If you have any problem within the first 12 months we’ll fix it or replace it for free
*Triple your money back
*You’re gonna like the way you look – I guarantee it
So How Do You Create An Irresistable Guarantee For
Your Product Or Service?
I do an exercise with audiences and one-on-one clients that quickly identifies areas of opportunity to craft a great guarantee. Here are three simple questions you can ask a new or existing customer either in person, over the phone, via email, or through a survey:
1. Why did you choose to do business with us?
2. If there were one thing about _______ (insert your industry, product or service here) you could change what would it be?
3. What were some of the reasons you left your former _______ (mortgage provider, bank, health club, etc.)?
Once you’ve uncovered key areas of strength or identify a consistent pattern of headaches for the customer, you can begin the formation of crafting a unique and powerful guarantee based on these findings to help position you differently in the crowded market you compete in.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008, 07:53 AMWhat drives people to achieve? Seek a better life? Keep learning and growing each day? These are a few questions I ponder when I see people turning idle time into distraction to simply get through the day, versus investing this valuable moment of time to improve their life or situation. I recently witnessed something on a trip back from speaking in Phoenix that made me really reflect on these heavy, yet critical important questions that almost everyone of us thinks about at some stage or point within our lives.
A Mystery at 32,000 Feet
It was set to be another routine flight on a hot 90 degree August morning when I reached seat 8D. As I overheard bits and pieces of conversation from my seatmate and his friend across the aisle describe their recent golf escapades and funny moments from last few days, I reached below my seat and grabbed a new book on sales I’d purchased and tore into with anticipation and a hunger to gain new insights and ideas.
Call it psychic phenomenon, but as we took off and gained altitude I could have almost predicted exactly what my seat mate was going to do next. Sure enough, I nailed it. Not more than five minutes into the flight as we ascended over the Memphis sky he grabbed his laptop computer, headphones and plugged them in. A few minutes later I glanced over and noticed that he turned on the card game solitaire along with his music. Nothing out of the ordinary I guess. An hour and fifteen minutes later as the Captain prepared us for landing I couldn’t help but notice he was still playing the game on his computer
Are You Learning and Growing Each Day?
As we touched down on the ground I glanced up at the right hand corner of my book page and realized I’d clipped off 79 pages of a wonderful book by Chet Holmes. As I glanced back a few pages I noticed several action items marked up and underlined to review and aid me in improving my game and to share with key clients.
As soon as I closed my book an impulse of ideas hit me and I grabbed a pen and wrote down a few observations on a sheet of paper that was being used as a book marker related to what had just occurred during the flight. When it comes to creating your business, career, income, dream lifestyle are you focusing too much time on playing when you should be planning? Why does it appear that everyone’s stressed out, busy, yet they still find time to read the newspaper, burn time on the Internet or watch hours of TV or new movies each day? Is it a time conspiracy or excuses and distraction getting in the way?
The young man next to me in seat 8C couldn’t have been a day over 30, and seemed very nice. I’m not judging him as a person but I do wonder though, if this was his habit of dealing with time. Instead of planning out the next day, his career, and ways to improve his life, was he finding or creating diversions and distractions to kill time versus investing it in himself and others? I mentally asked myself these questions because I still see so many people walking around in what appears to be a daze. Oblivious to any thought, as if they’re in a coma like state. Going through the motions, uninspired, and looking for something to distract them from the negative news and self-imposed monotony their life has become.
Two Questions To Think About Each Day
1. Are you playing like an amateur or a pro?
2. Is most of your free time spent on distraction or are you investing some of it in yourself and your future?
In conclusion, I wonder if the man in seat 8C ever considers these two questions. This is a big challenge facing far too many people who’ll unfortunately reach the twilight of their life and careers and wonder, where did my life go? If only they had known about and asked these two questions earlier than later.
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