Relationship Marketing Is All About Connecting With People

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When you talk to successful business people, they inevitably tell you that it is all about relationships.

This has been true throughout time. It’s true today, and it was true way back in the bazaars of the Middle East centuries ago. People like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

To build success in business, you have to build quality relationships. This takes time, money and energy to do it right. More than anything, it takes the ability to listen to the needs of others and figure out creative ways to help them solve their problems through … Read the rest

Steps to Get Attention for Your Business Today

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Getting attention for your business and your ideas has become a priority for marketers today. Attention is the most precious resource that we have. Seems there are always more videos to watch, podcasts to listen to, articles to read and people who want to “pick our brains” all the time.

It seems to never stop. We are inundated with messages, all trying to get our attention. All of these wonderful marketers (okay, I’m being generous) are vying to get our attention and have us get involved with them and their products and services. Sometimes you just want to turn off … Read the rest

The Benefits of Virtual Reality

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Imagine a world where you immerse yourself into learning, training, and entertainment so vividly real that you forget you’re using a device. That world is not just theoretical. It is called virtual reality, and it is one of the hottest trends in technology today.

Virtual reality was vividly on display at the CES trade show in Las Vegas sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association. For me, this was an exciting time, as I was able to visit the booth of Chinese company 3Glasses as they demonstrated their new D2 headset.

Philip Kong the COO of 3Glasses, gave me my first … Read the rest

Business Apps to Improve Sales and Productivity

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Today’s world is mobile-hot, and we now treat our smartphones and tablets like an extension of our bodies. Apps open the power of your mobile device like never before.

Many apps have the ability to increase your productivity, build relationships with customers more (great for relationship marketing), save you money, and make life a lot easier.

All of the apps I’m listing are available on iOS (my choice), and many are also available on Android. Check it out to see what applies in your unique situation.

Here are some that you’ll want to consider:

  • Waze

Crowd sharing road and travel … Read the rest

Tech Tools for Successful Salespeople

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Ask any independent manufacturers’ representative or manufacturer who has several years’ experience under their belt what they feel is the greatest change in how they conduct business and chances are they’ll point to technology.

The constant change and the accompanying growth of the tools that they use to perform their jobs have transformed all of their interactions between themselves and their customers. While some might bemoan the fact the technology to some extent has impersonalized business (i.e., high tech means less high touch), the majority will maintain that today select technologies provide such an enormous leap that we wouldn’t think … Read the rest

Is Your Marketing “Salty” Enough?

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The best marketers know that what worked before does not necessarily work today.

The old idea of “push” marketing has now been replaced. It is not even “pull” marketing. Today, the key is to be able to persuade people in a pleasant way to embrace you, your products, and your services.

Today, things are different. You can’t force people to watch your ads. There are so many choices that people are programmed to flip channels at light speed. We have a whole generation trained in “the art of the delete key” when it comes to junk mail.

I recently conducted … Read the rest

Using Technology to Serve Customers

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Customer service is paramount for success in business. When you find a technology that helps you serve customers better and save money at the same time, that is a great combination. This is especially true when you’re looking to go global.

In this article I want to share two technologies that give businesses the ability to connect with customers in a very powerful, helpful way — all while cutting costs and expanding profitability.

Reaching Customers Globally

You know that global opportunities are enormous. For many companies, expanding globally helps them to temper negative local economic conditions. To connect with customers, … Read the rest

Staying Ahead of the Competition

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Throughout history people have used tools to get the job done. Better tools give a competitive advantage. Innovative tools leapfrog you ahead of the competition.

Today technology and the tools that come with it provide such an enormous leap that we wouldn’t think of competing in business without them.

Here are seven tools for success, which can give today’s salesperson the advantage in a hotly competitive market.

1. A Useful (and Regularly-Used!) CRM

The Contact Relationship Management tool you use will greatly affect how you connect and ultimately succeed. You want the tool that gives you immediate access to important … Read the rest

Avoiding Technology Overload

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Technology is great. It helps us to get more done, connect with others more, and has advanced the living standards of human beings dramatically. Medical and dental technology are so far ahead of where they were even a few years ago, that we don’t want to go back.

But there is a dark side. Technology can be overwhelming.

This often happens when we have expectations that are pressing, based on our desired outcomes. Health care professionals and psychologists have long told us about the dangers of taking on more than we can handle.

I like studying this phenomenon, particularly as … Read the rest

How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough

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Life can be tough at times. Any successful business person knows that. It can sometimes get really draining and sometimes we don’t know how to move forward.

If you’ve ever had some of those times that are very tough and you wonder how to keep going, I want to share some thoughts with you that have helped me and others.

You might have heard the old saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” This has been attributed to both Joseph Kennedy, father of President John F. Kennedy, and to Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. Whoever said … Read the rest

Where to Invest in Social Media and Get the Best Return

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In today’s whirlwind of social media exists a seemingly endless string of opportunities available for investing. But where is the best place to invest in social media to get the best return?

You can put money into Facebook advertising, LinkedIn advertising and now we have Twitter advertising. Let’s not forget about YouTube advertising that is also available. In addition to all that, we have some of the more traditional Search Engine Optimization tools (SEO), Google Ad Words and more.

Plus, don’t forget about the options you have for putting ads on your own website linking to products you’ve created, ads … Read the rest

Back to the Future —
Wait, We’re THERE!

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“It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”
— Popular quote attributed to a Danish philosopher.1

This is 2015. It is a momentous year for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is the very year that is celebrated by the greatest time travel movie series of all time — Back to the Future. That series starred Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd as Doctor Emmett Brown.

In the movie, Back to the Future Part II, Marty, and his future wife Jennifer, are taken from 1985 by Doc Brown … Read the rest

Leapfrog the Competition With Creativity

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Competition is abundant. Whatever field you’re in, there are competing forces offering your product or service — or a good substitute.

Price competition is often the way many choose to beat the competition. That is not the best way to compete. There is a much better and more profitable way to do business.

It wasn’t that long ago when many would joke about their “crackberries.” These were the ubiquitous Blackberry cell phones that inspired technology addiction jokes, and many felt that the Blackberry brand would always be the dominant force. No one could dislodge them.

Well, along came this uppity … Read the rest

Outsourcing, David Ricardo and You

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“What are you doing that you don’t have to do?”
— Mike McKinley, professional speaker

You don’t have to do it all. It sometimes can feel that way. You have to hunt for leads, make the appointments, close the sales and maintain the relationships. You also like to have control over things. You like to manage details about all the “stuff” happening in your business.

Well, let it go. Let it go and prosper. Let me explain.

You have expertise in certain areas. That is why you are in business for yourself. You have a few things where you have … Read the rest

Digital Tools for Successful Salespeople

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I was recently speaking to a client about an upcoming presentation I am scheduled to do for his company. He’s a successful salesman and was recently promoted to chairman at a large company. We were talking about what is essential for successful salespeople today.

My client expressed frustration that some of his more seasoned salespeople don’t embrace technology as a sales tool, relying exclusively on their social skills to connect with customers. He wants a sales force with both tech savvy and a knack for conversation.

I agree! In my experience, salespeople who leverage technology succeed more.

To help you … Read the rest

Get What You Want in Business and Life

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Want to get more in life?
Want to have more of the things you want?
Here is the simple (but not easy) process.

The late, great Zig Ziglar was right when he said you can get anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want. However, the real crux of the matter is “How do you help enough other people?” What do you do to help them? What value can you provide for them that they are willing to pay you serious money?

That is where you have to be prepared. Zig would be the first … Read the rest

Social Media Myths and Musts

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OK, OK, OK. So ya’ know that ya’ need to get involved with social media. All right already! But, WHAT do you do to improve sales and what is simply a waste of time, money and effort? That is the question.

Knowing these three myths and three musts (plus an important bonus!) will help you successfully embrace social media.

Myths of Social Media

  • You have to be on every platform

Baloney! You need to be on the platforms that will work for YOUR system in YOUR operation for YOUR customers. Period. End of story. You need to have tools and … Read the rest

The Power of Taking Decisive Action

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“Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German poet and dramatist

You know it is true. As an entrepreneur or salesperson (and aren’t we all in today’s warp-speed economy?) you know that results only happen when you take wise, decisive, results-driven action. Losers in life sit and plan and strategize forever. Then when things don’t work out just right, they complain that it wasn’t their fault but someone else who caused the problem. They spend their creative energies trying to Read the rest

Tips for Maintaining Profitable Performance

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Building mutually beneficial relationships is the best way to long-term profitable business growth. It goes beyond the quick fix and short-term. This is the mentality that ensures your business not only has a good week or quarter, but decades of business growth.

Several components are built into the model for establishing, building and maintaining profitable business performance. These components are integral in the process of what I call R-Commerce. It is not about the E-Commerce (the electronics). It is about the R-Commerce (the relationships). These relationships are the roots of your business tree which grow deep to produce the bountiful … Read the rest

Success Principles Learned From Zappos

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I’m always looking for great ideas to share with you about how to be more successful in your business and personal life. Well, I hit a bonus when I recently visited the headquarters for Zappos, the online sensation selling shoes and many other items. This is a company that is known for its dazzling customer service and the outstanding leadership of its CEO, Tony Hsieh.

It was Gina, my partner, who came up with the idea. I thought it was not bad, but we’d be too busy. Boy, was I wrong! What a great enlightenment we had from the moment … Read the rest

Social Networking, Open Source and Your Business Success

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Social networking is a logical extension of Relationship Marketing or what I call R-Commerce. It is the desire for people to connect with others who share similar interests, values, ideas and can help each other. It is also a symptom of how marketing has changed.

In the old days (not that long ago), marketers would craft their message and push it out to the masses. Vehicles used included television and radio advertising, newspapers and other tools. These were good for taking your message and sending it to the masses.

Today things are different.

The old model has been turned upside-down. … Read the rest

Follow-Up:
The Ultimate Separator Between Success and Failure

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Follow-Up. This is a critical, and often neglected, skill for success. It is imperative in today’s busy world. Your prospects are swamped with all kinds of communication that they need to address. We are all so swamped with so much to do that we have to engage in massive filtering on a regular basis.

So How Can You Follow Up Without Being a Pest?

You can’t just keep calling with some lame response like, “Uh, I’m just calling to see if you got my dull and boring e-mail from last week.” Ugh! We all have been accustomed to the unwanted … Read the rest

Must-Do Steps for Success in Social Media

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Things are different today. What was an “endorsement” years ago meant something different than it means today. Meanings change with time. Words are fluid and ebb with the flow of time. We have to adapt and change.

This makes an impact in social media with LinkedIn “endorsements.” If you’re on LinkedIn, you’ve probably seen this. You are asked to “endorse” a person for a particular skill. I’ve heard people object to this, sometimes vehemently. “I barely know Herkimer so how can I “endorse” him?” Why am I asked to “endorse” Esmeralda when I don’t have a strong relationship with her?”… Read the rest

Conducting Business With
“High Touch” While Dealing With an Avalanche of “High Tech”

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Years ago the great sage John Naisbitt coined the phrase “high tech and high touch” in his classic work, Megatrends. The idea was that we should embrace both.

Fast forward to today.

Now we have an abundance of technology that is integral in our lives. Most independent manufacturers’ reps today use mobile technology to get more done from just about anywhere. Most reps and manufacturers wouldn’t think of trying to get through a business day without employing some sort of touch points with technology.

So, how can a rep use the technology today and still maintain the sense of “high … Read the rest

Relationship Marketing: It’s About Engagement, Not Broadcasting

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If there is one thing that ticks me off more than anything with social media it is the people who are abusing it. I’m sure you’ve seen the type.

They take their “stuff,” whatever that is, in the form of text, video, audio or whatever blather they have, and they simply broadcast to a list of as many people as they can buy. When the message is sent, they don’t care about the needs of those receiving the message. They only want to get their ideas sent to as many people as possible.

Ugh!

This “broadcast approach” demonstrates such a … Read the rest

Focus on Business Results — Not Just Activities — with Social Media

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Activities don’t matter by themselves. Results matter.

Losers like to engage in feel-good activities. They think that they are “doing something” and that is the final goal. They (erroneously) think that just by checking e-mail, sending a few Twitter Tweets, posting a message or two or saying “Hey!” to some friends on LinkedIn, they are getting results.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In Social Media — just like everything else in life — what matters is not the activity, or even the effort expended. What matters always is getting the results you need.

This is a principle that … Read the rest

Keys To Being Innovative Today To Get Business

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Today’s market is different than anything we have ever seen before. To succeed requires being innovative in some fun and clever ways that go outside what has been done previously.  

Pace Robinson, Dottie Ramsey and Joan Hatcher from Modern Supply in Knoxville, Tennessee, recently gave me an interview where I asked about what they were doing that is working so well.

Founded in 1949 by Pace Robinson’s father, the company had been successful by following a more traditional format of appealing to contractors and plumbers who were predominantly male-oriented, conservative and established. Modern Supply’s success came from providing quality kitchen

Read the rest

In Business, We’re All Still Human

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Social media like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and other tools are changing the way business is done. This is not because of their technology.

Yes, the technology of these and other tools is pretty amazing. The ability to connect with, say, all your friends who like baseball in Centerville on Thursdays provides a sense of community. Yes, we’ve had that for centuries, but now we have a way to do it faster, easier and in a cost-effective way. Even better, we can have that community world-wide at very low or no cost.

Courtney Boyd Meyers recently wrote an article for the … Read the rest

New Technologies To Make Personal and Professional Lives Easier

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Here are a few quick technologies I’ve been using for about a month which can help you in your business.

xShot for Stability, Better Pictures and Video 

One of the best features of the iPhone 4 is the video camera and camcorder. The quality is good, and it is easy to carry with you. However, with video it is often best to bring a tripod or other device to make a more stable video.

A company called xshot has an iPhone 4 case that gives you the ability to shoot jitter-free video. It consists of an easily-assembled case with two

Read the rest

Innovations Lessons From The Past For Us!

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In 1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was posing a major threat to the powers that existed in Europe. The Austrians, the Russians, the British and probably a bunch of others didn’t like this uppity Corsican who had turned the French military into the dominant force. 

Austrian General Karl Mack von Leiberich was determined to stop this pesky little Napoleon and do it the right way. He knew from years of training and battle experience what was right and “proper.” He knew he would stop this menace to his known world with a massive amount of force (combination of the various powers) and Read the rest