July 30, 2019

So, We Have a Business

Every business person, whether they are a business owner or an employee, should have guidelines in how they conduct their life. If we do not have standards to follow and policies that reflect our manner of living, we will fail in both our business and personal lives.

1.)  Every business person should operate in a professional manner. We must treat our business as a business, not as a hobby. We ought to devote every effort that we can to our business, its customers, prospects, employees, and anyone else involved. We should be honest and ethical, provide great customer service, and build relationships with others. We must be supportive, loyal, and reputable and never do business with anyone who does not conduct their business professionally. Above all, we must operate our business, no matter what it is, as a business. To do less is disrespects everyone who does operate as such, with their heart and soul involved.
2.)  Each of us must operate our business with passion. We must show the rest of the world that we believe in what we do, have pride in what we do, and treat others well. We must believe in these traits, showing that belief and pride to our prospects and any customers that we have. Others will know if we don’t really believe in what we do, the product or service that we have, or what it should mean to others.
3.)  We also must be a product of our product or service. If we don’t actually use what we market, no one else will. They may even consider us to be frauds. No one can possibly believe that they should purchase our product or service if we ourselves do not utilize it. If it isn’t good enough for us, how can others believe that it is good for them? To have credibility is a must.
4.)  Finally, we must be personable with other people. This includes treating everybody as a person, a human being, and as a valuable part of our lives, not just part of our businesses. Stop looking at others for what they can spend with us and see what we can do for them. Give to give, not to get. When we put service to others before our profits, karma will bring goodness to us and our businesses. Turn customers into clients through gratitude for what they do for us, for others, and for the world in general. Money will follow our gratitude. All of us will prosper, and success will follow the karma that we put forth.

We all need to take a look at ourselves and our businesses and see how these principles can apply to us. How have we slacked off from what caused us to be in business originally; how has our demeanor and behavior changed since we started our businesses; how do we view prospects, customers, and everyone else? Have we lost the essence of karma that served us so well originally?

Can we honestly say that we are professional in all that we do and say? Are we passionate about our business, and are we a product of our product or service? Can we say that we treat everyone in a personal manner, as people, not as numbers in the business? Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

April 22, 2019

Our Success - Gratitude Marketing Can Help Us Reach It

Our success in business depends on many things, all of which can be made more impactful through Gratitude Marketing. Here are some factors which may help us in achieving success in both our business and personal lives. (Thanks to the April, 2019 issue of the Costco Connection and Blake Snow for the article “Success Hooks”.)

Our level of success depends on the actions of others. No one exists in a universe of one. We are social creatures and rely on the talents of others to make up for our own short comings. Bottom line, if we do not have customers we have no business at all. Those without customers usually have all sorts of excuses and a failing business.

Our success depends on our own persistence. Sales go to the person who is stubborn and keeps showing up. If we practice “drive-by networking” instead of building relationships, we will fail, and fail miserably. Stay the course, keep doing what we should be doing, and success will follow us. Remember karma and how she can reward all of us.

How determined are we to succeed? Success depends on our own resolve and purpose. We must establish attainable and specific goals. As we attain our immediate goals, our confidence will build, and we can reach further and further past our comfort zone, growing our own ability and confidence. Goals are fluid and must be rewritten often to both challenge us and respond to changing environments. We must learn to be better at goal setting.

Business is full of droughts and down times. Anticipating them will get us past these periods so this timing must be factored into our success. Planning for the “bad” times will require our patience and maintain our goal setting skills. Maybe what we discover are lulls in our business when we can “catch up” with our competitive research.

Success depends on our ability to remember those who need our help and discover how we may benefit them. Do not forget those who helped you, and reach out to them in their times of need. Our relationships may be very beneficial in our own times of need, but they should be nurtured for the overall benefit, not for what they may return to us only. Remember to never keep score.

Gratitude Marketing can reward us and make us wildly successful, but it has many aspects to it beyond just smiling and saying “Thank you”. Do you want to chat with someone about your marketing and how it can be improved? Give me a call at 360-314-8691 so we can connect and help each other. Email me with your ideas and thoughts at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or leave your comments here for others. I am always looking to expand my networking partnerships.

January 24, 2019

Marketing Efforts – Gratitude Marketing Can Help When Money is Tight


Recently I was told by someone whom I had just met that they did not have enough money to market their business since they had no customers. My response was one of shock. How does anyone expect to gain prospects, turn prospects into customers, and turn customers into clients if they do not market themselves and their business?

Many businesses decrease, or eliminate, their marketing efforts in slow financial times. In fact, when financial problems are prevalent, we all may need to expand our marketing efforts.

When a business cuts its marketing effort, their public presence diminishes. The general populace believes that the business is going out of existence. When a business increases its marketing effort, the public awareness is increased and people believe that the business is viable and stable. They become, or continue to be, customers of that business.

The person to whom I referred in the start of this blog does not respond to attempts to meet to get acquainted, does not respond to any type of correspondence, and does not even answer the phone, or respond to voicemails. How does anyone expect to have business success by following this plan?

Maybe deceasing, or increasing, your marketing effort is not the solution. Maybe you should use your current budget better rather than throwing more money into your efforts. Work smarter not harder. This is a rule that should apply to everything that we do in business, including our marketing. Using the correct tools is working smarter, especially when it may be easier, faster, and make you look better to your clients.

We all need to take an intelligent look at out marketing efforts and how we are applying our budgets to maximize our return on investment. Just as we should maximize the return on investment on all our expenses, we need to do the same with our marketing efforts.

So how does Gratitude Marketing apply to marketing efforts and maximizing our return on investment? Sometimes the simpler methods are the most reasonably priced and the easier ones to implement and use. Tom Hopkins, the author of How to Master the Art of Selling, advocates the art of the thank you. Simply, he encourages everyone to thank everyone for whatever they may do.

Everyone includes anyone that you do business with, your customers, your suppliers, your contacts, businesses that you patronize each and every day, people that you meet, whether on purpose or by chance. How does this help improve our customer base? Maybe these people become customers; maybe they know others that can become customers; maybe they just become our networking partners.

The list of people to thank can be long. It includes your daily contacts, no matter the subject of any conversation. It also includes contacts after a marketing call on your or even their part. It includes customers after their initial purchase, and after any repurchase. Perhaps a customer sends you a referral who might become your new customer; perhaps they introduce you to a new supplier who saves you money on their product or service. Maybe the recipient of your thank you is just someone who has touched you, or someone you know, in a special way.

Don’t forget to include people who you have not connected with in some time, and don’t forget to include the contacts that fail to become customers. They will appreciate your efforts and remember you when someone else needs your service or product. Have we left anyone out of this list? Everyone includes everyone that you know or that you meet or you remember in a moment of reflection.

Isn’t this expensive; doesn’t this cost money, time, and effort? Yes and no. It might replace a marketing effort that costs a lot more and brings you nothing in return. It might take less time and effort than you believe. Look at everything in your marketing plans with the return on investment question in your mind. Then look at the public perception of you and your business.

What people believe you to be will shape their future business with you. People do business with those that they know, trust, and perhaps like. Maybe you need to use that philosophy in building your client base, retaining the clients that you have, and obtaining referrals from those people that you know. It will make a difference in your business life. In addition it will make a difference in your personal life; the two are more connected than you think.

Do you want to chat with someone about your marketing and how it can be improved? Give me a call at 360-314-8691 so we can connect and help each other. Email me with your ideas and thoughts at Jim@SOC4Now.com, or leave your comments here for others. I am always looking to expand my networking partnerships.

January 1, 2019

Relationships

Over and over we have stressed the importance of building relationships before trying to sell anyone what we have to offer. No one wants to meet someone new and hear that whatever we have exactly what they need. Our current customers don’t want a constant barrage of sales proposals about the newest upgrade or “important” new product or service.

Whenever we meet someone new we must build relationships instead of trying to sell the other person whatever we have to offer. We must discover what the other person needs or wants and then assist them in locating the source of whatever they are seeking. We must build long term relationships even when we cannot satisfy the other person’s search. These relationships should be customers, referral sources, or both.

If we have built the relationship correctly, and it has a strong foundation, the other person will be honest, direct, and supportive of us even if they are not our customer. When they are enticed to become the customer of a rival business, they will tell us and share that story with us. This is not to leverage a better deal with us, but to keep us informed of what they are considering. This is a partnership.

Our customers must believe that they can share their thoughts, inclinations, and changing needs with us. They must be able to discuss with us what new products, proposals, and possibilities they have discovered from other sources. These discussions must be non-threatening to both parties; they must be between partners who support each other in business. We must foster these partnerships and ensure that our partners understand them.

These partnerships should provide safe, non-judgmental environments where the partners offer advice to each other without any doubt as to the intention of either member of the relationship. This advice must be available even if it has never been requested, and it should be given with the intent of helping the recipient. We should have a vested interest in the continued success of each other. Without this continued success, the partners cannot remain in business and be able to assist each other.

Even non customers can be referral partners. If someone just doesn’t need whatever we have to offer, they can still be the source of referrals for our business. Through the relationships that we build, we also build a reputation for our business. We become known to our partners as people to whom they are comfortable referring others as potential customers, knowing that those referrals will be treated with honesty, ethics, and integrity.

Do these non-customers ever become customers over time? Of course they may. They see how we operate our business and decide that, since their referrals enjoy our offerings, maybe they should also. Perhaps they discover that they actually have the same need for our products or services. That becomes the best of all worlds, a referral partner who becomes a customer.

Gratitude Marketing means that we build relationships before trying to make a sale. It also means that we care about customer service, before we even meet a prospect, before the sale, and especially after the sale. That mindset will result in more business for us, better relationships, and more success. Please leave me your comments, or email me at Jim@JimTeasley.com, or call me at 360-314-8691.

Thank you for the privilege of your time.