November 29, 2015

Just Stop It

Let’s discuss two sides of a question. While we all know that we should never prejudge anyone and should always give others the benefit of the doubt, what do we do when we just cannot get a concrete answer from a prospect? Do we keep trying to gain a commitment from someone who refuses to make a decision, or do we throw our hands up and walk away from future attempts to gain the prospect’s business?

We all have met this person, and we have heard the comments:

“I really want to do business with you, but…”
“As soon as I have cleared my schedule, we will meet and I’ll sign up with you.”
“I have committed my entire budget this year/quarter/month, but I’ll call you when I start planning…”
“Your product/service is perfect for us, but…”

Gratitude Marketing means that we stay in touch with people and acknowledge what they do for us and/or for other people. It does not mean that we keep beating on a dead horse or pounding our heads against the wall of rejection. When someone has more excuses than clients and more reasons to delay making a decision (no matter what it is), they probably cannot be motivated to change their decision to not make a decision.

When we practice Gratitude Marketing, we stay in touch with people who we appreciate and keep them in our networking relationships. We may never gain these networking partners as clients, but we should remain in relationships with them, pass referrals back and forth, and consider them as partners. We are never going to sign all our partners as clients, but we can keep them as partners in networking relationships.

People who cannot make a decision to become our client may not be able to make a similar decision to become our networking partner. We must recognize that situation and realize that the relationship will probably not become what we want it to be. Then we have a decision to make of our own, whether to stay in touch with the person and keep them in our contact list for future reference. Why not; what would it cost us?

The costs of operating a business include various expenses with varying purposes and results. To keep someone in our realm of contacts, staying in touch with them, and perhaps giving them information or referrals occasionally does not cost us much, especially when it is a part of our ongoing marketing. Then, maybe one day, that person will return a call with an inquiry to become a client.

Stop trying to lead people to the client table when they cannot decide what to do. If they probably will never become our client, or even a networking partner, we should devote time to those prospects who will. Just be patient, keep in touch, and keep giving to give, not to get. Let karma take its time and see what happens. Remember that everyone else we meet can be that next prospect, or client.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. Stop losing sleep over the people who cannot make decisions and be patient with those who can. It will make us better business people and better people personally.

November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving

When we practice Gratitude Marketing, every day should be Thanksgiving. Every day we should look for, and find, occasions to say “Thank You” to other people. These occasions may be when the other person does something that directly impacts us as individuals. Some occasions may mean an indirect result that benefits us. Sometimes the action for which we should express thanks doesn’t impact us at all, other than it may show us how we can be more gracious to others.

We have often discussed the gratitude that we should show to someone who becomes our customer, literally putting money into our pockets. What about the people who reach out to us and become our friend, our partner in the business society, or our associate in some endeavor that we support? We must express our thanks to those people just as much because they also enhance our lives.

We have also discussed that we must show gratitude to the person who refers someone to us, either to be a customer or a partner. If someone is introduced to us and becomes a customer, once again our fortunes are increased, and the referring person should be thanked. If the referred person becomes our networking partner, they also have enriched our life and the person who introduced us should be thanked for that.

What about the person who does something that impacts the life of someone other than our own? Shouldn’t we show some gratitude to that person also? They have not only brightened or enriched the life of another person, possibility a total stranger, but they have shown everyone else how we should all behave. These people should be noticed and acknowledged for their efforts.

Holding a door for someone, smiling when serving a meal, answering an inquiry for directions, pointing out that someone has unknowingly dropped something, and allowing someone to enter into traffic are all efforts that deserve a “thank you”. Think how we feel when no one notices our efforts to be polite to others. How would everyone’s day be better if “thank you” was expressed more? As an uninvolved observer, doesn’t this type of act make our day better?

Every day we see, participate in, and hear about acts that should invoke a “thank you” from someone. These people who take the time to make someone else’s day better should be thanked by someone. Think how much their day could be enriched if we said “thank you” to them. Think how little it would cost us.

Gratitude Marketing can make Thanksgiving every day. Just see how many times we can say “thank you” every day to everyone that we see do something for someone else. Don’t stop at those people who act to benefit us; look for those people who we do not know, who don’t directly impact our lives, except through their examples. Then say “thank you” to them in some manner, verbal or written. It will make their day and yours better than it was before you reached out.

Every day try to see how many times you can say “thank you” in a single day. How many of these can be to strangers that don’t line your pocketbook? How many of these gestures make your own day better? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

November 15, 2015

Just Say No

We all have experienced the prospect who continues to tell us that they are “just not ready” to purchase whatever we offer. They may say that they need to gather the funds necessary to make the purchase, or they may tell us that they are too busy to make the decision “at this moment”. It is the end of the year; it’s the start of the holidays; it is their busy season; it’s “not a good time right now”. These are all excuses that we hear.

What is the prospect really telling us? Are they actually that poor at controlling their business or personal lives? Are they serious about our product or service and adding it to their life? What do they really mean to say to us? Is their real message that they will never purchase from us and they just cannot bring themselves to declare that fact?

We cannot move every prospect whom we meet to the status of customer or client. It just will never happen. Perhaps there is a financial status that our offering requires that our prospect will never gain in order to have the funds to buy from us. Perhaps our offering requires a level of discipline to implement or utilize that the prospect cannot adapt. Maybe they just do not want to do business with us personally.

Whatever the reason, we will never be able to add this prospect to our customer list. It will never happen, no matter how much we hope, dream, or envision. We have been taught that we should never say never. For us personally, there are prospects that we will never, ever be able to secure as customers, and we must realize this fact before we waste any further time and effort on these prospects.

“Sacrilege”, we say. How can we afford to give up on any prospect before successfully bringing them into our family of customers? Go for it; pursue them to the ends of the earth, crossing the line from marketing and follow-up to the level of stalking. We must realize that it just isn’t going to happen. Otherwise we will become frustrated and ignore the other prospects to whom we can market and then be rewarded for our efforts.

We should leave the door open, not insulting these prospects, but they should no longer be the main object of our efforts. Stay in touch with them through subtle marketing and let them know that we are still here, still available to them as networking partners. Perhaps a birthday greeting or maybe a reminder of a meeting that would be of common interest would be appropriate. Maybe one day they will see the light.

We must be adults here and not threaten our prospects. We must make them comfortable enough with our partnership that they can just say “no” to us and let us stop trying to gain their business. We must make them referral sources because they know what and who we are, like us for our methods and approach, and trust us to do the right thing, always. It is not the end of the world; it should be another moment among friends.

Gratitude Marketing means that we value others as partners and nurture those relationships that bring great karma to both parties. It does not mean bitter, all or nothing, relationships. It means that we can hear “no” from others and not become hostile. It also means that we can foster environments where our partners are comfortable saying “no” if they wish, and we can if we wish.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691. A “no” today may mean a “yes” from somewhere else tomorrow.

November 8, 2015

Sincerity Part 2

Last week we discussed sincerity in business. Our marketing must be sincere in what we tell others about our products, services, and how we do business. If it doesn’t, we will be known for our hypocrisy, and we will fail to succeed. We must look at what we say and how we say it when reviewing our marketing efforts.

We must remember that everything that we do is part of our marketing. We can show our positive side, or we can demonstrate a negative side in our marketing, depending on what we do or say. Our attitude towards our customers and prospects must be taken into consideration as part of our marketing and when examining what we say and how we say it.

We must put ourselves into the position of our prospects and customers and look at our business through their eyes and ears. What do they think of us, and do we make our buying experience stress-free for the prospect or customer? Is the purchasing process enjoyable and easy to navigate? Is it difficult and frustrating for the customer, making them turn to whomever will warmly welcome them and treat them better?

Have we ever called into our business as a customer would on the telephone? How are customers greeted; what type of service do we use if we don’t have a receptionist? Do we have an automated answering and routing service, and is it easy to navigate? Is the voicemail greeting for our individual number friendly and welcoming; do we return calls promptly and in a positive manner? If the customer cannot successfully contact us, we cannot market to them. We may never know they tried to connect with us.

How do we relay order information to the customer, including delivery dates and methods? Are we vague about a delayed delivery, or do we do everything that we can to keep the customer informed and satisfied? If we market a service, did it meet the customer’s expectations, or why not? If we cause an error at any stage, how do we rectify it, and how do we make the customer whole in their dealings with us?

If we lose a customer, do we ask why? Do we really care, and what is our attitude towards the customer who just fired us? How do any of our customers feel about doing business with us; are any of them ashamed that they spent any money with us? Do customers, current or former, speak ill of us to their friends, or do they praise us?

All of these questions are ones that we should be asking ourselves every day of our business lives. If we do not know the real answers, we must find out what the truth is. We must discover what others think about us and about doing business with us. If they aren’t honest with us, what did we do to make them elude our questions?

Practicing Gratitude Marketing means that we want our customers and prospects to know that we care about their business. It also means that we do whatever we can to make their experience with us as pleasant, easy, and rewarding as we can. If it isn’t, we must discover what is wrong and fix it. We must be sincere in our methods, the reasons behind them, and in all aspects of our marketing.

Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.Together we can grow and prospect as partners in business and in life.

November 1, 2015

Sincerity

All of us market either specifically our product or services or generally our business or ourselves. It is what we do. We market in everything that we do from the time we wake up until we go to sleep. It is every smile, frown, laugh, word we speak, story we tell, or gesture we make. We are a constant marketing machine, and we must understand that.

It does not matter what we put forth in our marketing if it is not the truth. We must remain honest and forthright in what we say and do. We cannot mislead prospects or customers. We must never cheat someone with whom we are partners, either in business or in networking. People do business with, and refer business to, others that they know, like, and trust.

If you lie to someone, they will discover the lie, and they will stop trusting you. Moreover, they will tell others that you are not trustworthy, and that will damage your credibility. We must do everything that we can to remain credible and have others trust us. We must never lose the trust of others. We must remain above the urge to stretch the truth to make a sale.

In the search for trust, we should always give the other person the feeling that we are sincere in our words, our gestures, and our actions. It does not matter what we say or do; do we appear or sound sincere at the time of the spoken word or gesture? Does our marketing material ring as truthful, and does it read as sincere to the person to whom it is directed? Would we want our family to read it and believe it?

Previously we have discussed that what someone says is very impactful, but how they say it is equally important. We can tell someone that we cherish and love them, but if we do so in a different manner, it can be hurtful and cruel. We can have the best product or service available, but if our marketing material does not present that fact in a sincere manner, we are doomed to gain new customers.

If anything sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. If our claims are so outrageous as to appear unbelievable, no one will believe us. We want others to believe us and embrace our marketing material as facts that they can rely on. Why do we ever make outrageous claims that others must defend if they support us or are our customers? We never want others to be ashamed that they believed lies from us.

When we are sincere in our marketing material, we put others in a comfortable situation when they become our customers. We want them to refer others to us and encourage those others to join them as our customers. We want our customers to be our unpaid marketing associates and partners. We must make their referrals valid by making sure that we never mislead them, and we must be sincere in our words or actions.

Gratitude Marketing provides us opportunities to make others believe that we are grateful for their business or support. We must be sincere in our expressions of appreciation and make other know for a fact that we appreciate their actions to support us. Keep in mind that we are remembered for what we say and do but also for how we say and do it. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.