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Posts Tagged ‘marketing

Details matter

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Details matter as they affect perceptions and hence emotions.
Best marketers, directors, writers, innovators, scientists pay attention to details as a form of commitment to their endeavors. For example, the movie The Grandmaster by Wong Kar Wai.

Here are 2 simple examples to illustrate the point.

1. I attended a talk to introduce a high tech small company and the technology sounds sophisticated and convincing (to me in spite of the soft spoken speaker), until I saw a typo in the reference. While I am forgiving and aiming to minimize perfectionism, I recall a warning from my structural thinking class. Consultants are rigorously trained to polish their presentation slides to the level of perfection. A single mistake in the slide means game over. An overlook of details can cause consultants to lose the trust and confidence of their clients; they simply lose their clients. Lesson: For things that matter, always double check, triple check.

2. I was excited to use a 3-color pen with a brand of Lonza on it (instead of having to carry 3 pens, I only need 1), that I received while attending a Lonza-sponsored event. But, the fact that it runs out of ink in less than 3 usage, was disappointing. I know that the pen is not manufactured by Lonza, but outsourced.
I do not mean to be ungrateful here, but this tiny experience makes me think that if I am playing a role of giver, I will ensure quality control (QC) of my gifts, particularly if the gifts are parts of marketing plan.
Giving can be a double sword, especially if the gifts are of sub-quality. Receivers of bad gifts will shift their perceptions of the givers from positive to negative.
Receivers may think that "Perhaps it is not only the gifts are lousy, but the products are lousy too!"
Receivers will also doubt the sincerity of the company / giver / (service) provider.
Lesson: Ensure QC of gifts. If I cannot ensure QC, I will just give smiles. Free but sincere.

Final remark:
If you need a team player who is attentive to details, consider having a completer finisher in your team.

Written by blueroselady

October 9, 2013 at 4:45 am

Posted in family

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From relationships to connection capital: give relevant & valuable advice

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According to Brother Michael, connection capital is anything that can help you expand your network of connections. Seth Godin refers to connection capital as your ‘tribe’.

How to get the snowball rolling when you don’t even have a pebble of snow?
How to use our network to grow our network when we don’t have a network yet?

Eben Pagan believes that most people spend most of their time worrying about these three areas of life: money, relationship, and health.
Brother Michael concludes that very few people have all there of these areas as they like.

Even the more successful (as deemed by society) than us do struggle with at least one area about which we know more than they do.
Nobody can know everything.
The more successful people are also humans, and humans have problems.

If we can give relevant & valuable advice,
we can be a ‘trusted adviser’ to people whom we want to connect with.
Being a trusted adviser to the successful people is one of the most powerful ways to become successful yourself.

When you give, do not focus your attention on the hope to get something in return.
Give with absolutely zero expectation of getting anything in return.
Do not expect gratitude.
Simply be grateful for the opportunity to help someone.

We do not give advice immediately,
it is no difference from uninvited lecturing / preaching.

Instead, find creative ways to serve people.

We can start by asking these questions:
1. What’ most exciting / interesting for you right now in your life / business?
2. What’s challenging for you in your life / business right now?

In a social event (e.g. cocktail party, dinner party), ask about their life.
In a business event (e.g. conference, networking event. talk, symposium), ask about their business.

Tips: Be extremely tactful in bringing up some topics (e.g. weight) up.

Below are areas where we can often give valuable advice to (and therefore greatly serve) people who are more powerful and successful (according to societal standard) than we are:
# food, weight, & nutrition
# health & exercises
# purpose & meaning
# hobbies & causes e.g. photography, education, meditation, philosophy, massage, travel (Yes, I have been to numerous places worldwide!)
# relationships. Brother Michael have met many notable businessman and businesswomen who are so control freaks that they are worried of the vulnerability involved in opening their heart. That’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love for a reason, grinned.
# marketing & sales
# domain expertise

Read more:
# The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg.
With the inflated cost of formal education, I must develop real-world skills highlighted in this informal book for myself and my own children.

Written by blueroselady

October 1, 2013 at 9:28 am

How to be an expert in a month?

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In my current profession, people have spent years, even decades, to become an expert.
Even among the experts, there can be opposing opinions on particular topic(s).

This post is inspired by what Tim Ferriss wrote in his book The 4-hour workweek (selling at US$ 22), page 170 (automation section), on how to be an expert in 4 weeks.
Tim’s strategies made me think twice to believe that someone when s/he claims that he is an expert.
Often, those who are PERCEIVED as experts tend to be better sellers than those who are really experts.
Note: there can be an overlap between perceived and real experts. Think of Venn diagram.
To be very successful, one has lie in the overlap region in the Venn diagram.

How to recognize PERCEIVED experts (that sell)?
1. affiliations
2. client lists
3. credentials (have given talks, written articles)
4. media coverage / features

Tim’s strategies will not work on fields like medicine or law, in which one needs to have M.D. or J.D. respectively.
However, his strategies can work on many fields, e.g. relationship, business, management.

Here, I combine his strategies with few ideas of mine:
1. AFFILIATIONS.
Join 2 / 3 related trade / professional organizations.
Quick, online, use credit cards.
2. SELECTIVE READING and SIMPLIFY.
Read 3 top-selling books on my topic.
Search historical New York Times bestseller lists online.
Like an hourglass, simplify / summarize each book on 1 page, so that I can elaborate them later (up to hours).
3. TALK.
3a. Give 1 free 1-to-3 hour talk at top universities.
Use posters / mass emails / social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) / viral marketing to advertise.
3b. Give free talk to (a min of 2) top companies.
Tell the companies that I have done steps 1 and 3a.
Companies may prefer speakers who do not (hard) sell products / services.
Appeal to the companies through my reason to get additional non-academic speaking experience.
3c. Give popular talks, e.g. TED talks.
4. WRITE and PUBLISH.
Write 1 or 2 articles on my topics for magazines / newspapers.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-3.
Alternatively, offer to interview a known expert and write the article.
5. join ProfNet
Must do research (e.g. online) to respond to journalist queries.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-4.

More on step 2:
People may read and just acquire information (which they may later forget), without converting them into knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, into action.
When we read to summarize, we think on the important points, hence transforming the information into our own knowledge and wisdom.

See also my schedule entry 20121018 for more ideas.

How to increase our income?

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Income = value x time x scalability

Indeed, in September 2012, I learned from an Australian mentor with numerous patents (KS) that scalability and low cost enable easy commercialization.

How much are you worth currently?
Your hourly current value = monthly income / hours worked per month

To create more value to our company and our clients, we must keep upgrading our knowledge, skills, intellectual capital.

We must constantly install new software into our mind in order to be able to create more value.

It is not one’s age, experience, or academic qualifications, but how much value one can create for his company / clients that matters and translates into different levels of income.

It is about "WHAT CAN YOU DO?"

Let us compare 2 insurance advisers.

Insurance adviser A, age 33, monthly income $3,000.
Waits for leads.
Follows up on leads.
Give adequate presentation on products / services

Closes the sale.
Never follows up with the client thereafter.
Closes monthly premium of $7,000.

Insurance adviser B, age 33, monthly income $20,000
Sets specific monthly sales target.
Actively generates leads from all source.

Creates partnership with other companies.
Ensures a minimum of 2 appointments for consultations / day.
Gives seminars on financial planning.
Writes and publishes a book on financial planning.
Does a a detailed needs and outcome analysis for potential clients.

Presents a highly beneficial and value-added plan for the client.
Helps the clients save money and identify important needs client may have overlooked (i.e. corporate insurance, estate planning, asset protection).
Follows up every 3 months to ensure client’s emotional and financial needs are met.
Sends a quarterly e-newsletter to his customers packed with tips on money management and investments.
Able to generate even more referrals from powerful services.
Helps recruit and train more sales people for the company.

Closes monthly premium of $50,000.

Now, let us compare 2 teachers.

Teacher A, age 42, monthly income $4,000
Has worked for 12 years.
Teaches the curriculum.
Gives and marks homework.
Gives tests and mark papers.

Fulfills minimum extra curricular duties.

Teacher B, age 34, monthly income $9,800
Has worked for 4 years.
Teaches the curriculum.
Able to motivate and inspire even the weakest and most unmotivated students.

Innovates / develops new curriculum / teaching methods.
Writes systems of best practices.
Trains new teachers.
Produces innovative marketing ideas to enroll more students.
Develops strong rapport with parents and provides additional family counseling.

Innovates ideas to increase department productivity, reduce expenses.
Has written 6 textbooks, assessment books that are sold locally and over the internet.
Uses accelerated teaching methods to boost grades.
Conducts seminars / workshops on weekends for parents on how to motivate their children.

Conducts seminars for students on exam skills.
Consultant to private tuition centers.

Things to increase in order to increase income:
1. leads
2. conversion rate
3. repeat business
4. average dollar purchase
5. net profit margin

In more details …

LEADS
learn how to create more effective advertisements (stronger headlines, more persuasive copy, i.e. text)
TV, radio, newspaper advertising
industry newsletter advertising
internet / email advertising
magazine advertising
outdoor advertising
flyers
promotion / sale
ask for referrals
member get member scheme
offer free gift
insert into other company’s invoice
letterbox flyers
sales teams
telemarketing / make more cold calls
buying / swapping database
seminars, events, roadshows
attractive window display / video
posters, large signage

CONVERSION RATE
define our unique selling proposition
set sales target
excellent customer service
introduce myself
survey our past customers
sell key benefits (not features) passionately
high quality in store posters / brochures
in-store sales scripts
be a consultant / problem solver
give a money back guarantee
benefits, testimonials list
give free bonuses that increase value
great prospects and use their name
learn closing techniques
ask for the sale more than once
personal grooming, high dress standards
video in store displays
leave price to last
study and prepare for objections
specialized knowledge about our products and industry
focus on client’s needs and emphasize benefits
convenient payment scheme (credit cards, nets)
offer installment schemes with 0 interest
allow mail order / home delivery
address concerns / possible objections upfront
sell on value not price
use NLP to build strong rapport with clients
follow up with prospects regularly
improve our presentation skills

REPEAT BUSINESS
direct mail offers of the months
keep in touch every 3 months
inform clients of our entire range of services
target likely repeat customers
send special occassion cards
make customers feel special (super experience)
build a close relationship / friendship
create a loyalty program
exceed customers expectations
discount voucher off the next purchase

AVERAGE DOLLAR PURCHASE
focus on a higher income target market
use a shopping list
sell add-ons/up sizes
make sure our client knows our full range of services
suggest most expensive first
create value packages / bundle several products in a package
buy 3 get 1 free deals
ask people to buy some more
increase prices by 10%
arrange easy finance and payment
free gift / lucky draw with $xx purchase
ask customers to buy more (e.g. McDonalds, do you want to have a combo meal? do you want to upsize? do you want to have a dessert? do you want toy?)
up sell
cross sell
do a complete needs-analysis to find out how we can add even more value to customers

NET PROFIT MARGINS
increase prices
sell on value / service than price / discounts
set monthly budget targets
track costs weekly and aim to reduce by 10%
stop running ads that do not work
sell more higher margin items / sell higher margin products 1st
source for cheaper suppliers which are just as good
bargain hard with existing suppliers
increase working efficiency

Written by blueroselady

September 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm