Archive for January, 2009

Are You a Victim or a Victor?

Which Story Are You Telling?

The world economic crisis is forcing everyone to tell their story. Listen, you can hear them. Call them on the phone and you REALLY hear it. Meeting planners, presidents, contractors, CEOs, sales managers, owners, self employed, doctors, etc. are all telling their story. “We’re cutting back; I can’t afford it; We’re just trying to survive; It’s the economy; It’s Washington’s (or Ottawa’s, London’s Paris’ or Canberra’s) fault; No one will come.” These are all victim stories. “I’m a victim, hear me cry!”

Did you watch the Congressional hearings in December when the Big Three automakers testified begging for a government handout?

If you pay attention closely you will notice that no one likes to hear victim stories. They chase people away. The last thing anyone wants to hear is someone whining about how hard life is. We’ve all got problems. I don’t want to hear yours any more than you want to hear mine. Odds are your victim story is your own fault anyway. C’mon, you did something that put you there and now you are wallowing in that pool of self-pity for all to see. Poor, poor pitiful me!

Victory stories are attractive. They attract people. They attract attention. They attract followers. They attract money. Tell a victory story and everyone wants to hear more. They support you. They want to get on board. Victory stories carry strength and excitement. Tell about your victory and you can sell tickets. On American Idol the people who tell their victory story always have a huge following. And the great news is, you are just as responsible for your victories as you are your problems. They are your”fault,” too.

Leaders today who are telling their victory stories are making a difference. Did President Barack Obama get elected telling a Victim or Victory story? Look where it got him. He is known as “The Man of Hope and Change.” Whether it will translate into success is too early to be seen, but it drew young peole out to vote and got him elected to the highest office in the United States – in a day when most young people were turned off by politicians. Victory stories have legs and get you mileage.

What could a victory story do for you? What difference can you make by telling your victory story to your team, your customers, your clients, your prospects, your family or your community? No matter how bad times are, victory stories attract success.

Top Ten Marketing Mistakes

One of the most frequent questions I am asked by clients is, “How can I get the edge in marketing?” It comes out when I tell audiences that I can help them triple their coverage. Also, I recently started mentoring speakers in marketing their careers. As I speak to different groups in the US and Canada and meet with other speakers I am amazed at the futile attempts being made in marketing. It is not so much that people don’t know what to do, they do the wrong things and then repeat them with the misguided perception that more of the same is better. I thought we all learned in the 1990s that doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results is insanity. Doing it more only produces more of the same results – and more insanity.

There are the ten mistakes I witness in marketing whether you are in sales or in a corporate structure. It doesn’t matter if you deliver a good or a service these errors will plague you until you learn from them and move on to better methods. Here is a list of the top ten things you shouldn’t do to be a marketing genius:

1. Direct mail. When was the last time you actually read a flyer addressed to you with a label on it? 
Read why this is a mistake.

Planning for Success

“We are what we repeatedly do.”

In the 1980’s they had one of the greatest names in the highly competitive American beverage industry. In fact, they were one of the top two beverages in their industry. They aspired to be Number 1. So they took a gamble. They began tinkering with the formula of their top-selling drink. They changed the ingredients. For a short while it looked like a good idea. But their customers wouldn’t tolerate the changes. They didn’t care.

Coca-Cola? No, Schlitz beer. Schlitz’ management was convinced they were right and the beer drinking public was wrong. As a result, the beer that made Milwaukee famous, went down in flames and eventually sold out of existence. But Coca-Cola’s leadership heard the huge public outcry and planned a successful re-introduction of the original formula for Coke. They dubbed it “Coca-Cola Classic.” It was a stroke of genius to turn this terrible public relations decision into huge sales. They listened to their top customers and responded accordingly.

In 2009, you will have the year you expect to have. Expect a bleak year, you will get your wish. Expect a breakout year in profits and success, and you guessed it, you will get what you look for. It’s called the Law of Attraction and it governs your business and personal life. So what are companies doing today that signal their plans for failure or success? What are the differences that boards, CEOs and presidents are deciding today that will make or break their careers? It is good preparation vs. bad decisions in a time of economic uncertainty. Which side will you be on?

1. Cutting back vs. spending in the necessary places. I have had much success in my speaking business. It is not by chance. Most people are amazed that I (and other speakers like me) spend most of our time marketing our businesses and selling ourselves to prospective clients. I laugh when asked if I teach sales. Teach it? I AM it. You can have the greatest speech in the world, but if you don’t market it, no one will ever hear it and you will go broke.

So would it make sense that in a recession economy, I decide to cut back on my marketing and stop attending sales improvement sessions? Would that be a formula for success? I asked an audience of board members this question last month in Desert Palms, California. What was their answer?

*Read what they said and how you can Plan for Success.

How to Fail at Sales

Why do most sales people fail? Simple; they don’t want to succeed. They don’t want to win bad enough. They lack the desire or the initiative. They make excuses or do something else that takes them off their focus. They blame the government, the economy, the weather, their parents, the internet, their manager, the company, inflation, their family, or the dog ate it. They blame everyone but the one person responsible for their failure or success: themselves. The truth is that almost everyone is to blame for their own success or failure. The only thing management did wrong was to hire them too quickly in the first place. I’ve always said, “We hire too fast and fire too slow.”

So what do you do if you want to fail miserably at your sales job and get fired quickly? What does it take to get set free to pursue other avenues that life has to offer? Here are ten sure ways to fail at sales and find yourself on the street looking for gainful employment. Caution, reading these can be infectious and beneficial to your career. Enter at your own risk.

1. Make just three contacts with every prospect.

Read why three is not enough.

Breaking Bad Business Habits

What would your business look like in two years if you didn’t fail at anything you did?
How much money would you be making? Would you be dominating your market? If your answer is “yes” then you know what the greatest obstacle is in growing your business – you. You are your own worst impediment. Your fears; your belief in your own inadequacy; your failure to commit. If you could get out of your own way, you would be overwhelmingly successful. So what is stopping you?

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January 2009


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