Tips and Techniques to Manage Difficult People

Posts Tagged ‘Marketing’

Is Your Business We Focused or You Focused?

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What does it say on your website or promotional literature?Fotolia_601680_S

I was looking at some promotional literature and web sites the other day and it was interesting to note the number of times the words – ‘We’ and ‘Our’ was used in this material.

Lots of statements such as:

  • ‘We are a leading supplier of__’
  • ‘Our products do__’
  • ‘We research__’
  • ‘We have 50 years experience__’

Very rarely did I read anything that stated what these businesses did for the customer.

They were all features rich and benefits poor.

It’s not enough to tell the world how clever you are and expect them to work out how they might be able to use your product or service.

You’ve got to tell potential customers how your products or your skills and expertise bring benefits to them. Benefits such as – saving time, saving money, or making their life easier.

There needs to a lot more use of the word ‘you’ or ‘your.’

Use statements such as:

  • ‘You will save x amount of money due to the research we do__’
  • ‘Your business will reduce downtime by y amount due to what we do__’
  • ‘You will feel confident in our service due to our 50 years experience__’

Of course it goes without saying that you need evidence to back up these statements.

Think about yourself as a customer and how impressed you are with statements such as:

  • ‘We provide a quality service’
  • ‘Our company has been in business since 1832’
  • ‘We work closely with our customers’

Have a look at your promotional leaflets or your website and check if the wording is we focussed or you focussed.


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BRANDING – The Key to Success

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What Does Your Business Card Say About You?

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Are you aware that other people will make about eleven decisions about you within the first six seconds of meeting you?

So what decisions will they make about you and your business when you hand them your card?

I was handed a business card the other day, and this is what it told me about the giver.

  • Egotist
  • Self centered
  • Cheap
  • Untidy
  • Lacking in detail
  • Jack of all trades, master of none

So how did I come to these conclusions?

As soon as I touched the card I realized it was cheap low quality paper

There was a spelling mistake on the second line

The card was crammed with ‘qualifications’, approximately twenty

Because it was crammed, the text was so small, that it was difficult to read

YouTube, Facebook and Blog addresses were all written by hand and impossible to decipher.

The back of the card was jam-packed with services offered, which were difficult to understand.

You know what they say; ‘You never get a second chance to make a good first impression.’

And this was not a good first impression.

Think very carefully about what you want your business card to say about you and your business.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Find a designer, a professional you can work with and trust. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and will add so much value to your business at the end of the day
  2. Have a clear idea in your mind what you are looking for, discuss it with the designer, make suggestions, and trust them.
  3. Use color. Black and white is boring, but don’t use ‘day-glo’ colors because they look cheap.
  4. Include your photograph. It will help people remember you and make that important human contact.  The photograph needs to face into the text, not away and be of good quality. It should not be a ‘mug shot’.
  5. Use quality paper. My business cards are made from a really durable card, that doesn’t get dog-eared easily and are difficult to tear up
  6. Add your logo. Make the logo small, you’ve a lot more important information to put on your card. You don’t necessarily need a logo but it helps give you an identity.
  7. Make it a standard shape. However you can use a fold-over which gives more space for text and looks different. I used to have a small tent card. I’ve seen it several times standing on a customer’s desk. It looked too good to throw away.
  8. Do something different. Have a card that stops people in their tracks and makes them want to find out more
  9. Display benefit statements prominently on the card. Tell customers what you can do for them and how you can help solve their problems. Your name and your business details should be much less prominent.
  10. Use both side of the card. If you include a photo, benefit statements and all your business details then you’ll need both sides of the card. Business details can go on one side and benefit statements on the other.
  11. Don’t squeeze too much in – it can start to look messy
  12. Contact information should include your business name, address, phone, email and website. I would avoid putting your mobile phone number on. You can always write it on for special customers, letting them know that you only give this number to certain people.
  13. Your name should be shown as you’d like to be addressed when a customer calls you. You don’t need all the middle initials. Also avoid all your qualifications, the majority of people aren’t impressed by all the exams you’ve passed. They only want to know if you can solve their problems and they could even be put off by a whole string of letters.
  14. The text should be easy to read. Don’t use all capital letters and not too many typefaces. Fancy fonts can look really cheap
  15. Change of details. If your details change, don’t score out the old and write the new stuff in – order new cards. Putting little stickers on with your new information is another no-no; it makes you and your business look cheap.

Before we finish talking about business cards let me say, Never, never, never leave home without a business card. Don’t even dig the garden, wash the car, or visit the supermarket without a business card.

You’ll always meet people who say, ‘And what do you do?’ or ‘Its ages since I’ve seen you, what sort of business are you in now?’

So there you have it; make sure your business cards always send positive messages about you.

To listen to the podcast of this article or to download it to your MP3 player, please go here

Extract from ‘How to Make Sales When You Don’t Like Selling’

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BRANDING – The key to success

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Let me ask you; do you wear a T shirt when you go to the gym? Or, if you play golf, is a polo shirt your fashion garment of choice! What about when you go to the mall at the weekend or the supermarket, do you like to wear your favourite sweater?

You probably have brand names on these items of clothing; Nike, Adidas, Polo, Gap or Armani. Do these organisations pay you to promote their brand? I don’t think so! So why not promote your own brand?


Firstly, I strongly suggest you get a brand if you don’t already have one. It could be the name of your company, a logo, or a feature of your business.
When I started my business in 1993 I named it Fairweather Associates (boring). I then changed it to PowerPlan for a few years. Then in 2002 I had a personal consultation with Dottie Walters in Los Angeles. Dottie, sadly not with us any more, was the founder of Walters Speaker Services, and a leading light in the world of Speakers Bureaus. One piece of valuable advice she gave me was – ‘Alan, get yourself a moniker!’ In other words, a nickname, a brand!


I recently attended a Chamber of Commerce networking meeting. I introduced myself to a group of people as Alan Fairweather. One man immediately said – ‘Ah, The Motivation Doctor!’ Now where he had heard of me, or how he knew me, I never found out, partly because he couldn’t remember either. But he knew that I was an International Speaker and Author and that pleased me no end! But I don’t think he would have remembered “Fairweather Associates”


On May 8, 1886, a pharmacist named Dr. John Pemberton carried a jug of Coca-Cola® syrup to Jacobs’ Pharmacy in downtown Atlanta, where it was mixed with carbonated water and sold for five cents a glass. During the first year, sales averaged a modest nine drinks per day. Dr. Pemberton never realised the potential of the beverage he created. He gradually sold portions of his business to various partners and, just prior to his death in 1888, sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa G. Candler.

A firm believer in advertising, Mr. Candler expanded on Dr. Pemberton’s marketing efforts, distributing thousands of coupons for a complimentary glass of Coca-Cola. He promoted the product incessantly, distributing souvenir fans, calendars, clocks, urns and countless novelties, all depicting the trademark. And as they say, the rest is history!

You might not wish to have a business as big as Coca-Cola, or Nike or Google. But that should not stop you always promoting your brand.
Customers are much more likely to buy if your business name, your brand, triggers something in your mind.


If I tried to sell you a pair of running shoes and offered you Nike or Apex shoes, which ones would you choose? I’d explain that both brands of shoes are the same quality with the exact same features. In fact, the Apex shoes are a good bit cheaper and will do the same job. The majority of people will, given this choice, choose Nike. Why? Because they are familiar with the brand, they trust the product, and they don’t want to be seen at the gym wearing shoes that nobody has heard of. Remember, people will always make an emotional decision before a logical one.

When I go to the gym, I always wear a T shirt with a picture of my latest book on, or my logo. And believe me; I’ve sold quite a few books that way.
Put your brand on everything you can; your email signature, website, business cards, T shirts, baseball caps and promotional giveaways. You don’t have to spend a great deal of money; just get your brand out there at every opportunity.

And to use the Nike slogan – ‘Just do it!’

To listen to this article or download it to your MP3 player, please click this link

How to Spend Time and Get Results

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Have you heard of the Pareto Principle: sometimes know as the 80/20 rule?

It states that – 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. It also states that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers. Why then should you spend time on the 80% of your customers that generate only 20% of your business?

It also states that 80% of your profits come from 20% of your products. So why sell 80% of your products that generate only 20% of your profits?

Here is some more information to torture your brain!

80% percent of your results come from 20% of your activities. So why spend 80% of your activity generating only 20% of your results?

That guy Pareto has a lot to answer for. I think the message for us is – we need to take a long hard look at how we spend our time, and spend it on activities that bring results.

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How to Get More Customers from Referrals

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Let’s face it; if people like you, already use your product or service, and are totally satisfied; then there’s a good chance that they’ll recommend you to others.

However, that won’t always happen – people won’t necessarily go around singing your praises to other people, unless someone asks them about you.

You can, however, take various actions to improve your chances of getting referrals; or word of mouth as some people like to call it.

  • Ask people – Ask your existing customers if there’s anyone else they know who could use your product or service.
  • Ask if it’s okay to contact them – and if it’s okay to use their name
  • Ask them – if they’d be kind enough to refer you to the other person
  • Ask if it’s okay to check back – and find out what the other person said. (This encourages the person you’re speaking to – to refer you)
  • Offer incentives – Offer free product, a discount or a prize to an existing customer who refers you to a new customer.
  • Offer a ‘finders fee’ – to anyone who finds you new business or donate money to their charities
  • Have a referral form – This needs to be a simple document that you hand out to customers or give away at events or even post to people. It needs to say something like – “Who do you know who could use our product or service?” Then leave some blanks on the form for the details. Mention what the incentive or reward is for them to do this.
  • Ask for letters or emails of recommendation – Always ask existing customers for some comments you can use on sales letters, your web site or brochure.
  • Listen for referrals – Keep your ears open for referrals. Often a customer will make a throwaway remark – “My brother-in- law suffers from the same problems in his business as I do.” You then, ask politely about the brother-in-law’s business and if it would be okay to contact him. (This seems so simple but many people don’t pick up these remarks or do anything about them.)
  • Thank people for referrals – When new customers contact you, ask them how they heard about you. (You should always do this so that you can evaluate your advertising or promotional activity) If they tell you that they’ve been referred by someone else – send a thank you note to the referrer. It’ll encourage them to refer more people.
  • You refer business to them – It’s the old “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine” story. Tell people about businesses you’d recommend. If you think they’ll do something about it – phone your contact at the business you’ve recommended. Tell them – “Watch out for so and so who’s going to phone or come and see you.” Pass on any details you have, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you one day.

And in these days of technology, why not record a video referral. The one at this link, was taken using a compact camera, and it took as long to make as you take to watch it.

Now that you are armed with this information, get out there and find some new customers and clients.

I wish you every success.

To listen to this article or download it to your MP3 player, just click

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5 Ways to Find New Customers

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Do you need more clients or customers; of course you do. However, are you one of these people who are brilliant at working ‘in your business’ but not so good at working ‘on your business’ In other words; you’re good at making the product or providing the service, but you’re not so good at finding new customers and generating more sales.

You may not be too keen on making cold calls and selling your product or service, but you DO need new customers and lots of them. You might be thinking – “I have customers and as long as I keep them happy things will be okay.” However, I hate to tell you; but no matter how good your product or your service is, you will lose customers.

They’ll either leave the area; they’ll die, they’ll go out of business themselves, or just decide to deal with somebody else. So you need to find new customers just to stand still.

However that’s not why you’re reading this – you don’t want to stand still; you want to find lots of customers. To do that; you must get in the right mindset. You must become and think like a – ‘Marketeer.’

You need to think about:

1. Your Target Market; who do you want to do business with and what is the best way to make contact with them. Think about your existing customers, and think about how and why they do business with you.

2.  What Problems do your customers have; what challenges do they face that could be solved by your product or service?

3.  What Solutions do you offer; how will your customers benefit from dealing with you?

4.  How can you prove what you do; what evidence, references, and testimonials can you produce to influence a prospective customer.

5.  What is it that you do that’s different; what is your unique selling point that differentiates you from other businesses.

Every day you need to allocate time to marketing your product or service. DO NOT fall into the trap of saying – “I’ll do it tomorrow, I’m too busy today.” Overall, you need to spend about 20% of your time on marketing your product or service.

There are many failed businesses that had a fantastic product or service. However the majority fail because they didn’t spend enough time marketing.

That is not going to happen to you because you are – ‘The One Marketeer.’

If you want to listen to this article or download it to your MP3 player; please click this link

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