Our very own Gail Z. Martin spoke last week at The Millionaire Woman Club in Edmonton. Here is the video link from her interview with founder Debra Kasowski:
Monthly Archives: October 2011
New year budgets—Managers who ran out of discretionary budget before the end of the fiscal year just ending may be counting the days until the new year’s budget starts and they can buy what they need. Make sure your business is top of mind by getting your message out early, before the holiday clutter. September and October are not too early for managers who are budgeting purchases for January.
End of year panic—Fall can be a moment of reckoning for managers who realize that there is more project left than there is calendar to complete it in. That can lead to forced spending on extra resources, productivity-enhancing tools and outsourcing to meet year-end deadlines. If your company can help with the last quarter crunch, start getting the message out in September!
Back from the beach—Some companies take a break over the summer. They put projects on hold, and set few deadlines. Then, as soon as school reopens, managers are back at their desks and everyone is recharged and ready to get down to business. That can include making decisions about purchases that have been deferred over the vacation months. Early Fall is the perfect time to follow up on proposals and close those deals with fresh sales materials or customized direct mail pieces.
Get ahead of your competition by revving up your marketing engines in the Fall. Use the pressure of the business cycle to your advantage, and market your goods and services relentlessly as the year counts down. By helping your clients have a successful year-end, you’ll also be doing your own bottom line a favor.
Is your company’s marketing ready for Fall opportunities? If you plan to make a big splash about an early Fall event or promotion, remember that it requires four to six weeks advance notice at the least to prepare marketing materials without incurring rush charges. Even if you are expecting big things from the winter holiday season, the time to start the marketing machine is when the kids go back to school!
Why is Fall such a great marketing opportunity? Think of it as a side effect of the traditional business cycle.
End of year budgets—Some managers are cautious during the first half of the year, hoarding their budget. Then during the second half, they realize that year-end budget planning and deliverables are coming up, and the purse strings loosen to get key projects completed on time. This is especially true for companies with a “use-it-or-lose-it” budget approach, where managers have an incentive to spend down before the end of the year.
Ramp up for the holidays—It is a wonderful thing for business that so much of the world celebrates a holiday of some kind during the last few months of the year. Between October and January, almost everyone has a reason to buy gifts, stock up on special groceries and entertain. If your business sells gift items, food, entertainment services or home décor, this is the season to make sure everyone knows about you! You’ll need some extra marketing savvy to cut through the clutter.
by Rochelle Togo-Figa
originally published at https://breakthroughstrategist.blogspot.com/2011/09/is-your-authenticity-shining-through.html
Imagine you’re sitting across from the prospect, you’ve just presented your services and you’re unsure what to do next. You end up leaving the meeting not knowing what the next steps are. Sadly, you realize you spent more time during the meeting in your head wondering what to say than learning what’s important to the prospect. You leave discouraged and believe you don’t have what it takes to sell. If this has ever happened to you, you’re not alone.
Many people believe there’s a certain way they have to sell if they’re going to be successful. They’re stopped before they even get started because they believe they’re lacking a special style.
The truth is, we’ve been selling ourselves since we were very young. When you were in school and making new friends, you were selling yourself. When you were looking for a job, you were selling yourself. What helped you make new friends and get that job was your authentic style. It’s the same in business. What helps you close sales are the innate qualities you already have.
None of us was born to sell. Successful people learn sales skills and techniques that help close the sale. Most importantly, successful people work at creating the relationship with the client right from the start by being authentic.
The key to authentic selling is to sell from your heart. When you sell from your heart, you’re not following a canned script. Nor are you trying to copy anyone else’s style. You’re being genuinely interested in the other person by asking the right questions and listening keenly to what’s being said.
Have you ever noticed how much more you enjoy a conversation when you feel heard and listened to? Well, that’s what you’re doing when you’re authentically selling. You’re allowing the prospect to do most of the talking. When you follow these steps you’re creating a long-lasting relationship that leads to getting the business. You’re showing you want to learn as much as you can about him or her to see how you can help.
Most people buy based on the K-L-T Factor. They first want to get to know you, they need to like you, and then trust you. Once you establish the K-L-T Factor with prospects, they’re ready to listen to what you have to say. The business relationship begins when you relax and allow your authenticity to shine through.
I remember early in my career how inauthentic I was with people. I was more concerned about how I was doing than learning about the prospect. I covered up my insecurities well. To everyone I looked as if I had everything handled. The truth is, I didn’t—far from it.
The turning point came when I became seriously ill. My life came to a screeching halt. It was then I slowed down and took an honest look at myself. For the first time in my life, I let my guard down and became real. Instead of listening to myself, I started listening to others. Rather than pushing and forcing things to happen, I began to listen to people with a genuine interest in them.
I let go of being pushy and aggressive. And within a short time I noticed a lot more business started coming to me easily. The sense of urgency and intensity I used to display disappeared and I started having fun.
Start to look for yourself to see where in your life or your business you’re pushing too hard and trying to force things to happen. Write down the areas where you’ve been inauthentic and covering it up. How is this impacting your life and your business? What are you committed to changing? Once you begin to make these changes and apply them in your business and life, you’ll feel more confident and relaxed because you’re being authentic.
All you need is to be genuine. Clients will be attracted to you when you become more interested then interesting. You’re allowing your authenticity to shine through!
Today’s email marketing programs also include tracking. Take the time to review these reports, because they will give you valuable information about how your readers are responding. If you see a lot of people opting out, you may be sending information too often, or you may not have a good match between your content and your readers’ true interests. Are people clicking to open your newsletter? That’s a good sign, but it may not tell the whole truth about the number of people who are actually reading the newsletter, since many people can preview an email without clicking to open it. Look at your report to see how many people are clicking through on the links you provide. This will give you insight into which offers and what kinds of information are of greatest interest. Refine your newsletter by eliminating the parts that don’t work well and doing more of the elements that are capturing your readers’ attention.
Building your opt-in email newsletter list is an essential part of your online marketing strategy. Offer a free, downloadable bonus item on your Web site and on your social media sites. This might be an article, white paper, case study, tip sheet or quiz. Make it clear that receiving the free bonus item also includes a free subscription to your monthly newsletter, with the ability to unsubscribe at any time. Change your downloadable bonus offer every few months to keep it fresh and to entice new visitors to subscribe.
Ideally, you want to build a list of people who like what you have to say and have given you permission to stay in touch with them via email. Never purchase or borrow an email list compiled by someone else. Sending mass emails to people who did not request to hear from you is spam and it can reduce your businesses’ credibility and even get you dropped from your Web hosting platform. If you want to reach someone else’s email newsletter audience, work out an arrangement for that person to feature an article with your by-line, or run an ad with an affiliate link to your product. You gain credibility by being recommended by the list owner, and you keep yourself out of trouble.
Excerpted from 30 Days to Online PR and Marketing Success, coming in November from Career Press and available for pre-order now on Amazon!
This month is all about transition. Many transitions need to move through a stage of grief. What’s the difference between “good grief” and a pity party? As a business decision, I closed my massage practice of 17 years last week. I knew it was the right decision, but I’ve been grieving the loss of my connection to many wonderful people, and my chance to contribute to their lives.
I really wanted to avoid the pity party, but in doing so, I also ignored a very real emotion that was welling up, and I found myself with a lump in my throat that I even tried to imagine was a cold coming on!
- Crying when I need to
- Sleeping when I want to
- Staying in meditation as long as I can
- Allowing a wound to heal
It made me think, that if I were cut, I’d take care of the wound, keep it clean, keep it safe from any further tearing, and spend very little time in a pity party. I’m learning a lot about good grief.
What resources do you use to give space for grief while honoring your own integrity and intention toward your future?