August 31, 2014


Zig Ziglar once said: “If people like you, they will listen to you. If they trust you, they will do business with you.” Taking that thought a little further, if people trust you, they will also refer others to you.

Obviously if people do not trust you they will not do business with you nor will they refer others to you. We must gain the trust of others if we are to be successful in gaining their business and especially if we are to gain their referrals. How do we do that; how do we gain someone’s trust to the degree that they will tell their closest partners about us and urge them to do business with us?

It has been previously been discussed that we must get people to know us and like us before they will trust us. That is still true today. If someone doesn’t know you or doesn’t like you, then they will not trust you. This is simply common sense. We must get acquainted; we must get to know each other and decide if we like each other for there to be a business relationship possible.

How do we get to know someone after we meet them for the first time? We must spend some time speaking with them, finding out the background of their life and business, and developing a relationship with them. Without that time spend in research, we cannot decide how must we like the other person, or if we ever will trust them. We cannot develop a true relationship without taking time to learn about them.

Building relationships are all that building a business is about. Without relationships we will have no continued business with anyone, and we have no basis for gaining their trust or their referrals. You cannot survive if all you do is attempt the quick sale, over and over. You must build relationships with those whom you meet. Relationships are what your business needs to survive over time.

Wouldn’t it be better to have referrals driving your continued business success than having to beat the bushes over and over for the next customer? If you continue to look for the fast sale and never try to build relationships, you are leaving your business growth and success to chance. You are rolling the dice every day and gambling with the future of your success. You are also gambling that people will overlook what you are doing, damaging your reputation, both in business and as a person.

How many people have you heard tell you that they don’t like a pushy sales person? How many have told you that they really don’t like sales people in general? Then, how about you stop being a sales person and start building relationships with others? You may find that you like this process that doesn’t have the pressure of finding the next customer and instead lets you be the wonderful, supportive person that you believe yourself to be.

Why not try finding out what makes others do whatever they do, how they came to be where you met them, and what they need to make their business better? Then maybe you could discover what you can do to help them gain whatever they need and how to build a relationship for the long haul. Do you believe that the other person will learn more about you, perhaps like you, and as a result trust you?

People build relationships with those whom they know, like, and trust. They do business with those relationships, and they refer business to those same relationships. Stop trying to sell whatever you have to everyone. Start trying to build relationships and help those others obtain whatever they need. Then you both will gain the business and referrals that you deserve. That’s Appreciation Marketing.

Who have you build a relationship with lately? Is it something that you try to do each and every day with everyone that you meet? Try it, and you may be pleasantly surprised. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 24, 2014

Make It Easy

One of my favorite marketing suggestions is for a business to make the buying experience easy for the customer. If the customer does not have to jump through all sorts of hoops or over many obstacles, they will actually enjoy buying from your business. They will then tell everyone else how easy the experience was, often saying that they enjoyed the process and had some fun doing it.

There are businesses that make the customer buying experience very memorable. However, there is good memorable and there is bad memorable. We all want to be known for the good memories that we give our customers, not the bad ones. Therefore, we must provide a buying experience that the client remembers as pleasurable and good, not as something that they never, ever want to go through again. It should be a purchase, not a death march.

Does this mean that we must wine and dine our customer during the buying process? Of course not, unless that is the product that we provide. We must give the customer an easy route to the conclusion of their purchasing process, making it as easy as possible, and maybe making it enjoyable, or even a fun experience. It should not be exhausting or frustrating to the customer.

Perhaps every customer starts at your website. Is it easy to navigate; is it easy to read? Is it easy to locate, or is it the website address difficult to type into your browser? Can they find your product listing and prices easily; can they pick out their purchases quickly and check out in a straight-forward manner? Do you accept various methods of payment, and does the customer feel secure in providing their information to you?

If you have a storefront operation, some of the same questions apply. Is it welcoming, easy to locate, safe to venture into, and well-lighted especially if you are open at night? Are your offerings displayed so that they may be easily perused, well-marked as to price, and readily available? Is your staff helpful, knowledgeable, and pleasant to your cliental? Is the purchase process quick and easy, and if the items purchased are heavy or large, do you deliver or at least assist out of your store?

In either situation, is there a way to follow-up with you if there are questions or problems? Can the customer ask questions and receive answers in a swift manner before, during, or after their purchase? Do you state your policies regarding purchases, shipping, and returns clearly and simply? Have you ever asked others to review your website, or store, and give you their opinion of it from the outsider’s point of view?

Have you ever asked your customers their opinions, or have you ever asked your former customers? Is your delivery staff friendly, non-threatening, and able to complete the tasks required in an efficient, but professional manner? Can they answer questions, make adjustments if necessary, and resolve issues on the spot? What is your procedure if there is a mistake on your part, if there is an error on the customer’s part, or if there is a broken, or missing, portion of the product in question?

All of the parts of the customer buying experience are important to a business’s continued success. Your customers will return to buy your products or services if their experience is pleasant and enjoyable. If it is not a good experience, they will not return for whatever you have, and will also never refer anyone to you. They will be your greatest advocates if you make it easy for they to buy from you, but will drive prospects away if they have a difficult buying experience. You want them to be happy, and satisfied, customers and marketing advocates.

What is the experience of your customers? Have you ever asked them, especially the ones that did not remain clients? We all need happy, satisfied customers to prosper and succeed. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 17, 2014

Why Not?

So, you went to a networking meeting, found someone who wanted to meet with you and chat over coffee. You met them in a nice coffee shop, had a beverage of some sort, and they asked you to tell them all about your business, yourself, and how you reached this point in life. You told them all about yourself, your hopes, dreams, your business, and how you came to be where you are now.

Then you spoiled the entire meeting by announcing that you were leaving, never asking them about themselves and their business, or their life. Are you that rude, or are you just that clueless about networking and building relationships? Maybe networking is a one-way street for you; maybe you believe that networking is only about getting new customers for your business. Maybe, for you, it is all about getting yourself a new career; maybe you could care less about the other person.

Networking is a two-way street. We must learn that in order to succeed. We must understand that we must give to others in order for karma to recognize that we are in this relationship building business for the long haul. We must understand that in order to get referrals of any sort, we must know enough about the other person to give referrals to them that are solid, pertinent referrals.

How can you honestly look another person in the face and say that you want to build a networking relationship with them and not try to learn anything about them or their business? How can you expect them to value a relationship with you if there is no effort on your part to do so? How can others want to know about you if you don’t want to know about them? Did you just give lip service to the relationship building idea when it was proposed to you, or did you actually mean to take it seriously?

Every day I meet people who are serious about building their business and the relationships necessary to make that business a success. These people understand that a great client is not one who writes the immediate order with you, but is the one who builds a relationship with you that lasts longer than you could ever imagine. They may write orders over and over with you, always putting money into your pocket. However, their real value is the fact that they refer other prospects to you, increasing your bottom line more than you ever could do alone.

Every day I meet other people who are either representing a business or looking for a new career, and who have no clue as to what they are doing. They are looking for the next sale, the next career opportunity for themselves, never giving a thought to what they can do for others. Do they learn what makes a great client for someone else’s business; do they tell someone else about a career opportunity that may be perfect for another person besides themselves? Do they just go through life thinking about themselves, never considering the importance of trying to help others?

Success in business is built on Appreciation Marketing. Make your clients believe that they are the most important part of your business life; make your employees believe that they are the most vital cog in your business operation. Make your family believe that they are the rock on which your life is built; make your business relationships believe that you will do whatever you can to help them be successful. Then you can say that you have the path to success down pat. Why not try it?

Have all your marketing plans been successful, or are you muddling through each day, getting exactly what you have always gotten back from your efforts? How many referrals did you receive this week, this month, this year? Maybe you need to try something new. Why not try to give more and not attempt to sell so much? Why not try a new batch of friends and associates? Maybe you could even try to teach others to try something new while you are learning how to do the same. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 10, 2014

Stuck in a Rut?

Robert Brault once said: “An old belief is like an old shoe. We so value its comfort that we fail to see the hole in it”. Sometimes running a business is like wearing old shoes; you are so comfortable that you ignore the problem that is preventing success. You keep doing whatever you have always done and refrain from trying anything new or different. Is this because you fear the unknown or because you are lazy? Maybe you just don’t like change; maybe you cannot deviate from your normal ways.

People who keep doing what they have always done, in spite of receiving back what they have always received are said to be insane. I believe they just cannot bring themselves to try anything new because they don’t believe that the new something will make a difference. They want a guarantee, and guarantees are in short supply. There are not many actions available that have a guarantee.

When you started your current venture, no matter what that was, a new company or a new position working for someone else, you did not receive a guarantee from anyone. No one told you that you would succeed in what you were starting to do; no one gave you a money back warranty that you would not fail. That is not how life works; we just do not have that safety net.

Did anyone tell you not to do whatever you did? Did anyone tell you not to start a business; did anyone tell you not to make that last career move? Did someone tell you that your new venture would fail? Did it make a difference to you? Obviously, it didn’t slow you down. You didn’t get a guarantee; instead you received a warning of impending doom. Didn’t stop you, did it?

So what changed? Did you get old, or did your get cautious? Did you get scared of trying new stuff, or did you just get boring? Whatever happened to the fearless, brave entrepreneur that started a business, or the daring employee who wanted to answer a challenge to make a difference? Did you get burned by something that happened, or did you make a mistake in judgment or action? So what; what difference should that mean?

What if you did make a mistake? People who don’t make mistakes don’t do anything. They meander through life, never taking action of any type, never taking a chance or making a decision to try anything new. If you never try something new you may not make a mistake, but you may never succeed as you might. If you don’t play, you cannot win. While business should never be treated as a game, you must play to win, and that involves risk.

Risk can be great, or it may be small in degree. The risk of trying anything different from whatever you have always done may be scary, or it may not, but it might be fun. I am always in the mood for fun during business as well as in life. There is nothing that prevents us from mixing fun with the scariness of risk. Sometimes we need to enjoy the moment and stop and smell the roses. You cannot do that if you never plant any roses.

When you operate a business or work as an employee, you cannot be stuck in a rut. You must try different, and sometimes scary, actions that will allow you to succeed more than ever. The only thing that stays the same is change. Change is a constant, and businesses that change have better chances of success. Get out of the rut, try something new. If it does not produce the results as planned, try something else. You must do something if you want to grow and move forward.

What new action have you tried lately? What have you done to move your business forward and grow? Have you consulted with your networking partners as to what they may have tried to make their businesses succeed? They might have the secret that you need to implement that will move your company forward. Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691.

August 3, 2014


If you can imagine it, you can make it happen. Have you ever heard that philosophy? Do you believe that if you can imagine something, you can make that something happen? Does it matter what you can imagine; can you really make something happen that you can only “see” as real in your mind? What type of person really believes this?

We all want to be successful in our lives, both in our personal ones and in our business ones. What does it take to make us successful? Is it the big salary that drops into our bank account, or is it the sleek car in our garage? How about the size of the garage or the house with which it goes? How about the family that depends on the salary, or is it the business that we have built or are building? Maybe it is all the other people that depend on our help, employment, products, or services?

How do you measure success? Can you imagine success through that measurement? Maybe you have revised the manner of measuring success over the years? Does the same standard of measurement that you used in the past still gauge your success today? If you have not changed the standard of measuring your success, I believe that you have not grown, either personally or in business.

What do you imagine as your objectives in business? How about in your personal life? How do you see yourself, as successful or as a failure? How about as a person mucking along in life, moving from one average situation to another? What does it mean to you? Maybe you should take a look at how others see you, “others” being people whose opinions really matter. Can you imagine what they say about you?

Do these “others” seem successful, and what makes them so? Do they imagine their success differently than you do? Have you ever asked them? Imagination is a very powerful tool, but how do we use it, and how do we apply it to our lives? Maybe those relationships that we have built might help us see the answers. (You have built networking relationships, haven’t you? You have applied Appreciation Marketing to your business and personal life, haven’t you?)

Personally, I imagine a world without hate, bigotry, prejudice, and cruelty. I imagine a world without poverty, disease, and famine. I also imagine a world of business owners, and their employees, who operate daily on the principles of Appreciation Marketing. It doesn’t matter if we are discussing your business life or your personal one, Appreciation Marketing principles apply. Don’t know what they are? Reread the past years of posts on this blog.

Imagination is a very powerful tool in our lives. What do you imagine, and what actions do you practice to make that dream come true? Do you just day dream, or do you actually take charge of your life and try to make the dream come true? If you try to achieve your dreams, you will constantly revise and change them to be more encompassing and involve more people than originally you intended. What a difference you can make when you look beyond your own self.

Why not try to get your imagination in gear and then look to imagine something really great for others, and for yourself? Why not imagine what you can do for someone else today, and tomorrow? What can you do for one of your networking partners to help make them successful? I guarantee that karma will look upon you with favor and that you will be rewarded for your efforts.

Whether you agree with me or not, what does your imagination say about you and your dreams? Please leave me your comments, or email me at, or call me at 360-314-8691. Maybe we all need to imagine something outrageous sometimes to exercise our minds and our abilities to make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others.