January 26, 2014

Appreciation Marketing – Still in Business?

When you started your business you had an idea about what you wanted to do, to provide a product or service for others. You had some level of knowledge about what you wanted to offer to the world, but you realized that you did not know everything. Therefore, you found partners that filled out what you knew about your offering.

You also did not know everything about the running of a business. You needed someone to teach you about human resources, funding, facilities, and management of the world that you were creating. You learned from them or had them work for you.

If you are either the owner of a business or an employee, did you do this? Did you seek out others who may know more about whatever you need, learn from them, and thus, make your business more successful? Do you now spend time every day in self-improvement activities? This way you can continue to learn.

We do not know it all. You may be the expert at what you do, but do you know everything about running your business, negotiating the pitfalls of human resources, the details of facilities setup, and the problems of management? I think not; none of us are experts in everything. So we need to seek out others and learn from them.

After we listen to others, and learn from them, we should try what they have to teach us. Listening is the first step; learning is the second; implementation of what you learn is the third, and the hardest. We must learn to change what we are doing when the change can improve our results. If we don’t, we will never succeed like we can; we will fail.

In marketing I meet people every day who listen, sometime intently, to what I share with them. Some people listen to me and even agree that their business would be helped from Appreciation Marketing. They may agree that we should meet again so they can become my client. But their follow through falls short and they decide to keep doing what they always have done. I know that the ideas that I impart to others actually work.

These people realize that what they have always done is not working like it should, but they just don’t want to spend the time, money, and effort to try something new. Their commitment is lacking, and they keep on the path that they were on before we met. They probably do this with everyone with whom they meet.

Many of these people are out of business some time later. What they were doing is not working when you meet them, and it never does work. They don’t understand, and they make excuses for their failure in business, but they never see the fact that trying someone else’s ideas would have helped. If they are still operating their business, they are really muddling through, never succeeding as they should.

As marketing people we must keep on doing what we do. We must remain consultants and not sales people. We must attempt to help others succeed and therefore be of service to others. Sooner or later, someone will listen to us, learn from what we share with them, and implement what we teach them. When it works, everyone wins.

What do you think; what would you do if someone taught you something new? If you did not try what they taught you, would you still be in business? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

January 19, 2014

Appreciation Marketing – Is Marketing Therapy?

So you decide to engage with the people that you meet during your networking activities and seek them out for meetings one-on-one in order to get to know each other better and therefore be able to help each advance the success of your businesses.

The first problem that you may face will be the reluctance of others to believe that you really want to help other people succeed. You must be able to have these one-on-one meetings in order to get to know each other. Without these meetings you are unable to see each other’s facial expressions, hand gestures, and other actions that add to what we hear from someone’s words and speech.

We must make each other comfortable enough so that we will be able to have these face-to-face meetings and actually be able to speak frankly and honestly with each other. The intention of these meetings is not to sell to each other but to discover what each of us needs to succeed. We must convince each other that we are not meeting with them to sell them anything, but to find out about them and their business.

You must reassure the person with whom you wish to meet that you are not going to pitch your products or services to them. You are merely attempting to discover facts about them, their business, and their goals and aims for the future. You must get them to understand that you cannot refer others to them for any reason without knowing who they are, what they do, and how they can help others.

This need to get them comfortable with the process is one of the more important aspects of building relationships that you can teach to others. If you can get others to accept the premise that these meetings are not for selling, but are for getting acquainted, you have truly helped them move toward relationship building.

Are you going to be successful in all attempts to impart this fact to others? Of course not; there are going to be business persons who will never see the possibility, but some will. Perhaps those who don’t wish to even consider that this opportunity exists are not the people with whom we want to build a relationship. We should still try.

This week, during a discussion of this problem, someone said that he often felt like a therapist. I could not have agreed more. We are therapists, and we need to hear the hopes, dreams, goals, and fears of others if we are to provide the help that we claim to want to give to them. We need to know them before trying to assist them.

Talking out situations with someone is the best approach, and listening is a great tool to employ. After all we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. We should use them in that proportion, and that is the approach of many great therapists. Don’t try to fix someone before you know what is wrong with them. To do so would be counterproductive to the process.

Being a consultant to others is much like therapy. Learning to listen before we speak may be great therapy for us ourselves. How can you offer your networking partners and business relationships anything else but your best? Would you expect anything less for yourself from them? I don’t think so. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

January 12, 2014

Appreciation Marketing – Marketing Tips

There are many ways to market a business. Here is a simplified list of some marketing tips.
      1.   Practice Appreciation Marketing liberally in your business and personal life.
a.    Make sure that all your clients, prospects, and everyone else knows that you appreciate them for everything that they do for you.
b.    Show your appreciation through your deeds as well as what you say.
c.    Always do the “right thing” when you market and deliver your product or service.
d.    Treat everyone as you would want to be treated or better.
e.    Everyone loves to be noticed for what they do for you.
f.      Everyone loves to be noticed for what they accomplish in life.
2.    Become a consultant, not a sales person.
a.    Always look for opportunities to be of service to others.
b.    Discover what others need and try to help each of them find it.
c.    Be a mentor to others who are not as proficient at marketing as you are.
                                                i.     Teach others how they can improve their marketing skills.
                                              ii.     Let others learn from your mistakes as well as your successes.
3.    Focus on client retention instead of prospect acquisition.
a.    Retaining your current clients is less expensive than prospecting.
b.    Clients who are happy will help you grow your business.
c.    Re-follow up with clients frequently to discover how you can help them.
4.    Be clear and concise in your marketing.
a.    Be certain that everyone understands the terms of your marketing.
b.    Stick to what you promise or offer a better deal for your prospect.
5.    Plan ahead for your business.
a.    Challenge yourself by setting attainable goals.
b.    Adjust your goals as you grow your business.
c.    Celebrate milestones as you reach your goals.
6.    Spend time each day in self-improvement.
a.    Watch DVD’s, attend seminars, listen to CD’s, read books, or schedule webinars.
b.    Realize that review may be as important as learning something new.
c.    Match yourself with an accountability buddy.
7.    Attend as many networking events as you can schedule.
a.    You never know who you may meet or who they may know.
b.    Follow up with everyone who you meet.
c.    Meet others one-on-one and get to know who they are and what they do.
d.    If you cannot become clients, try to refer each other to others in your networking relationships so that you can help each other succeed.
e.    Schmooze, don’t sell. You are marketing, not selling.
f.      Consistent attendance and presentation is great advertising.
g.    Share networking opportunities with others who may need to attend them.

Marketing is necessary for any business. If you do not have any clients, maybe no one knows who you are. If your clients believe that you appreciate them, they will market your business to everyone that they know. Appreciation Marketing brings real results. Practice it each day with everyone you meet, and you will prosper.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

January 5, 2014

Appreciation Marketing – What Did You Say?

Did you ever walk away from someone with whom you have had a discussion and ask yourself what it was all about? Did you ever ask anyone for information about their product or service and wonder what they told you after they replied? You should never let a prospect leave a discussion without knowing what you said and what you meant.

When we meet with our prospects, our clients, or our networking relationships, we must explain ourselves in clear, concise terms. We must never allow anyone to be mystified by what we have said or by what we meant when we speak with them. Whenever we are asked about our products, our prices, or anything else, we need to be very precise and provide the basic, true facts about what we offer.

Have you ever met with someone who could never give you a straight answer to your questions? When they talk about their services or products or prices, they cannot seem to be pinned down to specifics. They have a different “package” or “level” for every customer that buys from them. If it was a Tuesday and you decided to buy before Noon, the price would be different than if you made a choice on Friday?

It is imperative that we take our customer service seriously and treat all our clients and prospects, as well as all our networking relationships, as intelligent adults and as human beings. We must not insult them by trying to confuse, baffle, or mislead them, especially about products, services, and prices. To try to do so is bad business and bad karma.

There are lots of people who will never buy from you. They don’t need what you have. Discover what your prospects need before you attempt to market what you have to them. You should never attempt to overcome their objections if they don’t need what you have. It’s like trying to sell a pickup truck to a lady without a driver’s license. She doesn’t need it and cannot use it; you are unprofessional if you sell it to her.

Once you establish a need for whatever you have, proceed to advise your prospect about your offerings and your prices. You also should counsel them on whether it is the wise move to actually purchase from you or not, what the alternatives are, and what you can do to assist them. If they need what you have, but cannot successfully use your products or services, then you should not market to them.

You must become a consultant instead of a sales person. Selling anything to those who do not need it, or cannot successfully implement it, is irresponsible and not professional. Consulting with your prospects, like everyone else in your realm of relationships, is what makes you successful. It is what makes you the person who will receive referrals for the future. These referrals are more important than the immediate sale.

In the past we have discussed what referrals can do for your business success. Referrals are the currency of successful businesses, not the sales made in place of referrals. The prospect who will never purchase from you because they don’t need what you have and who refers others to you is more important than the prospect who buys from you once and never purchases anything else.

Be clear when you market to anyone; then market what your prospects need. You are a consultant, not a sales person. Karma will reward you. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.