Thursday, December 21, 2006

Santa Claus: Corporate Spokesperson

Have you noticed how many businesses use Santa Claus as their corporate spokesperson at Christmas?

Coke started this in 1931 by presenting a new image of Santa – the roly-poly jolly fella we recognize as Santa in North America today. Before this Coke advertising campaign Santa was not fat, did not wear a red suit and did not have reindeer.

What can you learn from that as marketers?

1. A successful marketing campaign can radically change the perception of the public.

2. Mythical figures are free resources for your marketing.

3. You are responsible for the images you create.

George Torok
Power Marketing
Corporate Spokesperson

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ask for Feedback

Do you ask for feedback from your customers?

What do you do when you receive feedback that you don’t like?

Do you defend?

Do you discount?

Or do you say, ‘Thank you for your feedback’?

You don’t need to change your business every time you receive negative feedback. However, you should consider what you hear. And you must thank your customers for their input. And thanking is not the same as agreeing.

Ask for and acknowledge customer feedback.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Networking – the Magic of Questioning

To build a profitable network you must first understand and master the power of questioning. You must prepare and ask good questions. You must anticipate and prepare for questions. You need to ask yourself questions. A good networker asks good questions. Networking without good questioning is doomed to failure.

You must prepare and ask good questions
Good questions will help you target the prime prospects that you want in your network. Good questions asked well will engage your prospect. It will make them think. It might make them laugh. It will help them remember you. And it will help them to help you. Good questions demonstrate forethought. Good questions don’t happen by accident. Don’t try to wing it. Networking can be a big investement of time. Successful networking can be very profitable for you. Why would you wing anything so important?

You must anticipate and prepare for questions
If you were summoned to a job interview you would think about and prepare answers to the questions you think you will be asked. A networking event is a job interview. Think about, anticipate and prepare good answers for the questions you might get. I met a financial planner at a networking event. She had a catchy opening line. Then I asked her what books on financial planning she based her advice on. Her halting reply was that she did not support any of the books out there. What a ridiculous answer. That ended the conversation as I dismissed her.

You need to ask yourself questions
These questions are most important to the success of your networking. Before you start networking ask yourself about your purpose. What do you want your networking to do for you? How will you make your networking as productive as possible?

Some folks are afraid of questions. Why? Maybe they have something to hide. Maybe they are afraid to grow. People who want to grow are learners and learners are people who ask lots of questions. Albert Einstein continually asked difficult questions of others and especially of himself. Einstein would have been an incredibly effective networker.

Successful networking is about asking good questions.

Click to learn more about Your Guide to Networking Success

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Q&A with George Torok about Branding

What is branding?
Branding is the ongoing process of creating and enhancing the brand. The brand is an emotional connection to the organization, product or person. It is important to understand that branding is an emotional connection. And emotion is devoid of logic.

Why is branding important to business?
When your branding has been so successful that customers love you – THAT is successful branding. Because when they love you – price doesn’t matter.

What mistakes do companies make with branding?
Many entrepreneurs get confused about branding. They believe that branding is about logos, fonts and pantone colors. That happens because graphic designers and advertising agencies masquerading as marketing experts state that branding is about consistent image.

Many corporations fall into this trap. The branding police insist that every PowerPoint slide be a particular color, with the company logo and in the company fonts. Readability and purpose are thrown out the window by the branding police.

How can business build a strong brand?
A strong brand is about feelings. What feelings do your customers have about you? You build feelings by the way you treat your customers.

Give an example of successful brands.
Nike and Coke are companies that built strong brands because of huge marketing budgets.

Harley Davidson, Viagra and Buckley’s cough medicine are examples of branding by creative positioning.

Is branding the best marketing approach?
No. Branding is only one approach to marketing. Marketing is about making customers want your product. Branding is about building an emotional bond with your customers. It takes time to build that bond. And it takes one of two things – money or creativity.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, November 27, 2006

Your First Marketing Question

What is the one perception that you want to convey?

Do you know the answer to that question?
If you do not – then do not spend a dime on marketing.

If you do not know what message you are trying to send – why would you spend money sending any old message?

Be clear on the message that you want to send before you try to send it.

Paul Revere had a clear message to send, “The British are coming.”
It was simple, clear and understandable.

What’s your message?

Stop wasting your time and money stating that you are all things to all people. Define your message in terms of something that makes heads snap to attention.

So, what’s your marketing message?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Networking Genie

If you found the networking genie in the bottle would you know what to ask for?

Have you watched some networkers stumbling around at a networking event? They don’t know what to say when they meet a new person. They don’t even know how to answer when asked a question.

You stumble upon the networking genie-bottle. You rub the bottle and out pops the networking genie.

The genie informs that you can create your perfect network. Instead of the ‘three wishes’ you get to wish for the three perfect contacts in your perfect network. You only need three people in the perfect network. It would save you a lot of time and money and sharpen your focus.

So imagine if you could create a perfect network of just three people. Who would you want in your perfect network? The genie is waiting for your answer. Genies are not patient creatures. Neither would you be if cooped up in a magic bottle.

Hint: Don’t ask for three clients.

Instead ask for three very different people. Each of them is valuable to you in their own way. Together they made the perfect network for you. Think about the true purpose of your networking.

Your Perfect Network – only three people

A The Client who buys from you, will write a powerful testimonial and is there for reference.

B The connector who never buys from you - but who sells to your favorite type of client and is well connected. This person’s word is trusted and priceless. This person will only recommend you after they trust you. If you are smart you will invest a lot to build their trust.

C The socializer who seems to know everybody and everybody likes him. He can make tons of connections. Most don’t pay off because they are made on social value. But this person likes you and speaks well of you and will introduce you to everyone.

If you find the networking genie – ask for those three people.

If you can’t wait to find the genie – then find those three people on your own.

Click for Networking Success Guide .....

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, November 17, 2006

Harry Houdini the Great Brand

Harry Houdini died 80 years ago – yet he is still remembered as the greatest escape artist of all time. That is the power of personal branding. Will your brand survive 80 years after your death?

Why was Harry Houdini’s personal brand so powerful?

He created a new niche – the escape artist. When you are first you are the standard. He was bold. He issued challenges to prisons around the world that they couldn’t hold him. He was a showman. He dangled upside down from a crane over New York City while escaping from a Strait jacket and chains. He was provocative. The publicity photo of him that was most often used shows his muscular body almost nude draped in chains and locks.

He was creative. He started as a magician but differentiated himself as an escape artist. He invented new stunts and escapes. He made enemies. He challenged spiritualists that claimed they spoke to the dead.

He died under mysterious circumstances. This is an effective way of enhancing the brand. But you don’t need to do this to build your brand. Yes, this method also worked for Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee.

Harry Houdini did all this and he died in 1926 – long before anyone thought about the concept of personal branding.

If you asked Houdini about branding he probably wouldn’t have understood your question. But Houdini sure knew how to build his personal brand.

What can you learn from Harry Houdini, the world’s greatest escape artist, about creating and sustaining your own personal brand?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, November 13, 2006

Unfair – no fair

Which of the following would you want your competition to say about you?

A. He is a perfect gentleman.

B. He plays unfair.

If you picked ‘A’ then you are already losing.

If you picked ‘B’ then you might be gaining on or beating your competition.

If you are gaining on or beating your competition – they will never admit that you are playing fair. That would make them look bad.

If your goal is to be fair to your competition – shame on you.

If your goal is to grow your business, and along the way – crush your competition – good for you.

Stop feeling obliged to your competition. Stop playing fair with them. Beat them. Destroy them. Crush them.

Don’t play fair. Play to win. Your customers will applaud you.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, November 10, 2006

What Audiences say about George Torok

CPSA presents over 150 events across the country in a year and you are the most professional speaker I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
Ann Babej
Canadian Professional Sales Association

My sales brokers were not only presented with excellent, usable material that they can apply in their daily work, but they were also thoroughly entertained – what a rare combination.
Dan Lawrie, CLU, C.F.S.B.
Dan Lawrie Insurance

This has been the most productive seminar our association has ever held - totally captivating from start to finish.
Doug King
Ontario Monument Builders Association

George entertains with more useful, behavioral insights and tips usable today than any other speaker I’ve heard through TEC and elsewhere.
Bob Michener
Campbell, Michener & Lee

You have a gift.
May-Anne Leeder
Molson Centre for Innovation

Are you ready to hear this speaker?

What business owner do you know that needs this speaker?

What association do you know of that craves this kind of audience feedback?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Signs

Election signs

What is the purpose of election signs – specifically lawn signs?

Are lawn signs an effective marketing tool for politicians and would-be politicians? Or are all these prospects promising change while marketing themselves this way because it’s always been done this way?

If someone promises change yet they use the same tools in the same way as everyone else has for decades – how serious is that person about change? Ask them when (if) they knock on your door. And as a marketer are you doing the same things in the same way as your competition but spouting false promises of being different?

We are less than two weeks from voting day and I have spoken to only one candidate at my door. This in spite of the fact that I will cast my vote for four different positions – each with at least four candidates running. Of at least 16 candidates only one thought to try and talk to me. Where is everyone else? And where will they be when I need to call them?

Are lawn signs intended to get the name out there? Do the candidates hope that voters will think “Never heard of this candidate but I saw the name on my neighbours’ lawn therefore I will vote for him.”

Do many lawn signs convince folks to vote for the one with the most lawn signs?
(I don’t know much about the issues, but I trust my neighbours.)

Is the theory of lawn signs that the last name I noticed on Election Day is the one for whom I will vote?

Are lawn signs used because it is the cheapest form of advertising?

So my big question is this.
Are lawn signs a good form of marketing? Imagine if the local restaurant, dry cleaner, hair dresser, video store or car dealer used lawn signs? Promote a grand opening, special sale or product launch with neighbourhood lawn signs. It would be different. Offer a gift to everyone who allows you to place a sign on their lawn.

If lawn signs work for politicians – one of the most difficult commodities to market – the lawn signs might work for other products and services.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Marketing Test: So What?

Does your marketing material stink?

Let’s be more direct -- Does your marketing material suck?

You might not like that question. But it is an important question for you to hear and ponder. The more you ask that question the more money you will save.

Even more important is the question, “So What?” This question will save you a huge amount of money. Look at what you are saying and view it from the mind of your prospects while asking the question, “So What?”

Don’t be afraid of that question. Learn to ask it more often.

Consider this:

Your marketing material states that you’ve been in business for 10 years. So what?
What does that mean to your prospect?

You offer a round-the-clock help line. So what?
What does that mean to your client?

You have a big showroom. So What?

You have clean uniforms for your staff. So What?

Test all your marketing statements against this question, “So what?”

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, October 16, 2006

Breakfast Networking

Breakfast is a good time for networking. Why? Because it is a good way to start your day - focused on building your business. Also breakfast is an inexpensive meal and the meeting need not go on too long – unlike dinner. Lunch is a good second choice for networking meetings.

One-on-one or small-group breakfast meetings are even more effective for exploring and building business relationships.

A large business group breakfast is another type of networking meeting.

Meeting with a networking group can be an effective way of building your business. Or it could be a huge waste of your time. The business success that you get from your networking group depends mostly on you and partly on the nature of the group.

Recently I attended a breakfast meeting for a local networking group as their guest speaker. It was a delicious buffet breakfast. They had the typical agenda: networking time, breakfast, self-introductions to the group, guest speaker, special announcements and finish by nine. A reasonably tight agenda.

However, while eating, I was disappointed by the discussion around my breakfast table. The discussion was frivolous and negative. My tablemates talked about petty things - like the bank representative who complained about her office with no windows. The others found other things to complain about. As I listened in dismay I wondered how this discussion would help any of them get more business.

They seemed to miss the whole point of this networking breakfast – to develop their networks so they could get more business.

Perhaps they thought that networking was an on-stage thing. That they are only networking when they deliver their 30-second introduction. Maybe they believed that while eating breakfast they were not networking.

The reality of networking is that while in small groups over breakfast you have a captive audience to develop your networking relationships. This group squandered their opportunity and they might have irreparably damaged their image amongst that intimate group. Who wants to be remembered as a whiner and complainer?

It was a good thing that the breakfast was delicious – and the guest speaker was fabulous.

When it comes to networking – you are always on-stage.

Develop your networking with “Your Guide to Networking Success”.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fortinos - Lettuce and Tomatoes but no Heart

Follow-up to my post of August 16, 2006 regarding Fortinos Grocery store.

I heard nothing from Fortinos and I did more digging into the Fortinos website. I wanted to send an email to a person at Fortinos - I could not find a person to contact on the Fortinos website. Yes I did find a warm story about John Fortinos the entrepreneur who started the store (they did not mention the date).

But no contact information.

I clicked on “About Us” and there is no “us” as in people - just corporate drivel. (Read my earlier post regarding About Us)

Click down on “Work with us” and it tells you to contact your local store – but not how.

“Talk to Us”
That seemed like a good tab to click on. Here is what I found on that page:

Loblaw Companies Ltd.
1 President's Choice Circle
Brampton, ONL6Y 5S5
Attention: Fortinos Customer Relations Centre
2nd Floor, North Tower

Customer Relations Centre: Toll Free 1-800-565-9690
Customer Relations Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8:30am-5:00pm
Fax: 905-861-2387


Notice: no names, no easy way to contact them.
Nothing personal about “Talk to Us”

If you want to contact Fortinos you must write a letter and mail it to their corporate office care of Loblaws or call their anonymous “Customer Relations Centre”. None of that is encouraging or inviting.

It is a good thing that there are many choices on where to buy groceries.

“Your supermarket with a heart”
That is their slogan – a great line. But like most creative marketing lines – a lot is lost in the delivery. Was the slogan created by an ad agency without checking out the store? Do the managers remind themselves and their staff about this slogan?

Any slogan without the heart behind it is wasted.

When I visit the Fortinos grocery store I can easily find the lettuce and tomatoes.
But where is the heart in Fortinos?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New Marketing Articles

What’s new on my Power Marketing site? Here are three new articles about marketing – online and offline.

You can read the introductions below then click over to the Power Marketing site to read them. If you publish articles, online or offline, feel free to reprint them – free. Be sure to follow the reprint conditions as shown; mainly giving me credit, including my short bio and contact information.


Blog - Questions and Answers

Answers to these 11 questions about blogs:
Why should you have a blog?
What is a blog?
Where did it come from?
What can a blog do for you?
The nature of blogs?
What might you write on your blog?
Why use a blog instead of a regular website?
Why do search engines like blogs?
Where do you start?
The mistake?

What should you do now? Read More. (1007 words)

Networking or Sweatworking?

Yes, I believe that networking works.
Yes, networking can be frustrating – even when you are doing the right things. It’s more frustrating when you are doing the wrong things, and even more frustrating when you are not sure if you’re doing the right things. Read More. (547 words)

Is your website working hard enough for you?

If you want to reap the highest return on your website consider these important questions. Why do you want a website? What is the purpose? How do you expect this investment to make you or save you money? Read More. (1076 words)

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Marketing Articles for you

Here are a few of the marketing articles published on my marketing website,

Build Credibility, Value and Trust on a Shoestring Setting priorities in your business? Your first job is to sell. Selling is - writing the orders; receiving the cash; feeding the beast. Your second priority is marketing. Marketing is taming and grooming the beast. Marketing is everything that makes it easier to sell. Use these low-budget techniques to build credibility, value and trust on a more (982 words)

Secrets from David Copperfield David Copperfield - live at the MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas! You might be fascinated to know what I discovered behind the curtain. Watching a master at work inspired me to do more than just watch - to observe and learn. I can reveal to you the secrets of David Copperfield that you can apply in your more (1079 words)

Systems for Success What does it take to succeed? How many times have you asked that question of yourself and others? You may have heard many different answers. I have found one thing that successful people have in common. They use more (955 words)

Shoestring Marketing:Where to Save and Where Not Time to save money on your marketing? How can you do that and still get effective results? First, avoid five big mistakes that many make. Then use the nine more (979 words)

Secrets of Power Marketing:Your Guide to Personal Marketing "Secrets of Power Marketing: Promote Brand You" is a refreshing guide for individuals who have already discovered the fallacy of the better mousetrap. If you cling to the 'better mousetrap theory' don't read this book. This is a personal guide for you to market yourself, your association and your more (960 words)

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, October 02, 2006

Excerpt from Networking Success

Excerpt from…

Your Guide to Networking Success
Principles, Strategies, Techniques, Examples and Tips to help you Get More Business by Building Stronger, More Profitable Networks.

Time is the only non-renewable resource. Use it wisely.
-Peter Urs Bender

1. Maximize your time and message

How do you get more from your networking time? Plan your networking both strategically and tactically.

Create a networking plan that fits your business plan. Choose networking groups that fit your plan. In selecting your networking groups ask yourself these questions. Who do you want to do business with? Who do you want to associate with? Who do you want to be known by? Who can help you do more business?

The best groups to join and visit are those your best prospects belong to. Some associations allow supplier members. That is letting the fox in the henhouse.

The next best is one where you will find possible allies or advocates. These are people who because of their positions might influence others to do business with you. This might be a referral, “I heard they were looking…”, “You can use my name...”, or an endorsement and direct introduction.

The third-best networking groups are ones where you might find second best prospects, secondary referrals and social contacts.

Some groups might be a combination of these three types.

Read the rest of the book: Your Guide to Networking Success

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Questions about Your Website

How hard is your website working for you?

Are you asking the right questions about your website?

What else should you consider?

How does your website compare to your competition’s?

What is most important in the design of your website?

How should you examine your website?

What should you speak to your webmaster about first?

For a better understanding about how hard your website is working for you read this article.

Get your website working harder for you. It is a marketing tool. Sharpen the tool.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sears Catalogue blunder # 2

If you read recently on my blog about how Sears messed up on the delivery of their catalogue then you might find this interesting.

The Sears Catalogue that I received at the end of August appears to be the “Summer Sears Catalogue”.

I wondered why the Sears Catalogue received at the end of August had bathing suit-clad models on the cover.

So not only did Sears deliver their catalogue late – they delivered it clumsily.

Sears might try to blame Wal-Mart for their woes.

It is seldom the competition that kills you. It is your own stupidity.

Memo to self:
Sell Sears stock quickly.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, September 22, 2006

Be available to the media

A common myth that I hear from business owners is, “The media hates business”.

That is not true. The media is a business. Why would it hate business?

However, the media is a business that most other business owners don’t understand.

I saw this demonstrated in a recent news article. The article announced the entry of a relatively unknown (I never heard of him), local business owner running for political office. The article sounded like it was picking content from a news release. It was boring stuff, nothing that convinced me of this candidate’s capability or commitment. The last line of the article stated that the new candidate was unavailable for comment.

Not a good start to a political campaign. A political wannabe who is “unavailable for comment” does not understand the power of the media.

The media operates on deadlines. When you send a news release to the media – be available.

PS: My early prediction in this political race is: This candidate will not win the seat.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Branding: Death Cigarettes

I heard the best yet “How to create your Brand” story on this podcast with UK entrepreneur BJ Cunnigham.

BJ created a company called The Enlightened Tobacco Company in 1991, selling a cigarette called “Death Cigarettes”. It was presented in a black package emblazoned with a white skull-and-crossbones logo. Just imagine how this might appeal to the rebels.

His premise was to take a position that none of the other cigarette companies was taking. Great advice - and at the time all the tobacco companies were denying any ill effects of smoking tobacco. The branding in the cigarette business was all about life style - cowboy, sophisticate, artist, debutante - imaginary stuff, and all lies.

So why not be different from the crowd and admit the truth. Come on – smokers today know that tobacco smoking is bad for you. Tell a smoker that cigarettes can kill you and they will tell you, “Hey, it’s my life.”

So here are the words of ‘branding brilliance’ that resonated with me.

There are two ways you can create a brand - either with oodles of money or creative positioning.

Nike does it with oodles of money.

Death Cigarettes did it with creative positioning as Cunningham explained in his three rules:

1. Take a polarized position.
2. Make enemies.
3. Create tension.

Examine your position. How creative is it? If you have oodles of money like Nike then spend it on your brand. Otherwise, the only way you will build your brand is by creative positioning.

Take a position away from the crowd. Stand where no one else is standing.

Be bold. Be prepared to disagree with the status quo and make enemies along the way. Pick your market and be willing to annoy others.

Create tension. Make people choose. Create a controversy. Coke or Pepsi. Windows or Mac.

Who can you think of that has created their brand by following these three rules of creative brand positioning?

Harley Davidson jumps to mind immediately. People love them or hate them. That is powerful branding. Remember, branding is about creating powerful emotions.

Are you ready to create your brand?

If so, follow these three rules for creative brand positioning:

1. Take a polarized position.
2. Make enemies.
3. Create tension.

You will need to be bold. You will upset some - mainly your competition and those who never buy from you. Can you live with that?

Have you noticed that the strongest brands have lots of enemies?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, September 18, 2006


Are you unique?

If not why should anyone buy from you?

If you want your prospects to buy from you, then you must demonstrate how you are different from your competition. If you can state that you are only as good as the competition – why should anyone buy from you?

Are your policies the same as the competition? Are your promises the same as the competition? Do your ads sound the same as your competition? Do you treat your customers the same as your competition?

If so – you are not unique.

If you want to be unique then decide what is the one thing that you can say that your competition cannot.

Then tell everyone.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Write Head-Snapping Headlines

Writing a good headline for your marketing material is important. But writing profit-pulling headlines is the holy grail of marketing copywriting.

It used to be very difficult and thus very expensive to hire a powerful headline writer. Good headline writers are the elite of marketing copywriters. It is the headline that grabs your target’s attention and gets them to read the rest of the copy. A bad headline wastes the time and money expended on writing the marketing text.

Now you don’t need to spend hours writing or thousands of dollars for a top-notch headline writer. (Good copywriters spend years studying and developing their craft.)

Well, technology just made it easier for you. Technology does level the playing field – but only for those who take advantage of it.

I recently discovered the software that helps you write your own powerful headlines in seconds. I tried it and was blown away by how easy it is to use. It’s called Headline Creator Pro.

….AND I can’t believe how inexpensive it is.

Save yourself a bundle on your next marketing campaign and make it more profitable for you. If you ever need to write headlines for your marketing materials, websites or articles check it out.

George Torok

PS: It comes with a money back satisfaction guarantee.

PPS: It costs you nothing to learn more now.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Networking: Q & A

Networking is a powerful personal marketing strategy. A good networking strategy can pay off big time. A lousy networking plan and action can be hugely frustrating. What is the difference? How do you get your networking to pay off for you? These questions and answers might help you.

Q: What is the most common networking mistake that entrepreneurs make?
A: The most common networking mistake is in the approach. Too many think that networking is about attending events. They might even be seduced into believing that networking is about the event. The reality is that networking is a process. The networking events are just points in that process.

Q: What is the networking process?
A: Effective networking follows a three-stage process.

1. First contact - the handshake, introduction and exploration.
2. Cultivating - nurturing and building the relationship.
3. Harvesting - getting leads, support or business from the relationship.

Q: Which stage is most important?
A: The cultivating stage. This is where so many give up. This stage is the most time consuming. This stage is where you demonstrate who you really are.

Q: Why do so many get frustrated with networking?
A: Because it takes time. Networking is a long-term plan.

Q: What are the benefits of networking?
A: Networking is an inexpensive form of marketing. It takes some time, effort and creativity. If you are able to expend those things you can be an effective networker.

For a Systematic Networking Strategy read “Your Guide to Networking Success”.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Networking or Sweatworking

Yes, I believe that networking works.

Yes, I can give you examples of how networking helped my career and my business.

No, networking is not a quick fix.

Yes, networking can be frustrating – even when you are doing the right things. It’s more frustrating when you are doing the wrong things, and even more frustrating when you are not sure if you are doing the right things.

What is the most common mistake in networking?

The myth is in thinking that networking is an event.

The reality is that networking is a process.

Perhaps you have attended a networking event and witnessed “Mr Power Networker” in action. He runs around the room distributing his business card like a cheap flyer. He shakes as many hands as he can, spewing his 30 second commercial then pouncing quickly on the next victim.

This misguided networker is not networking – he is sweatworking. He is sweating as he works the room. He believes that he is doing good – because he believes in the mantra – “no pain, no gain”. And he knows this is painful and sweaty work. He just doesn’t realize how much pain he might be inflicting on others. After the event he sweats by the phone and wonders why nobody calls.

Networking is a strategic process.

To be more successful at networking you need to formulate and follow a plan. Any good plan includes goal definition, systematic processes, resource allocation and skill development.

A good network can give you a strategic advantage over your competition. Yes, networking takes time and patience. When you follow a good networking system you will be better rewarded for your preparation.

Yes, you will still attend some networking events – but you will make better use of them. You will prepare for each event and follow up. You will net more and sweat less.

These insights from:
Your Guide to Networking Success

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Dumbest Marketing Mistake

What is the absolute dumbest marketing mistake you could make?

To believe that you have no competition.
This is sure suicide.

Perhaps you have heard entrepreneurs state, “There is no competition for this.”
What a stupid thing to say and believe. Bankers have heard this claim way too many times. If you say this while supporting your loan request they will deny you the loan.

There is always competition for your time, money and solutions. If you can’t see the competition you cannot run a successful business.

Your product might be unique but there is always competition. You might even be the best on the market but there still is competition.

Remember your target audience has a limited amount of time, money and interest. You have tons of competition. Wake up. Start competing Win more.

Identify your competition. What other choices do your prospects have? Then figure out how to defeat them.

A successful marketer is a little bit paranoid.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, September 01, 2006

You Cannot - Not Market

Everything you do - or don't do - sends a message; and marketing is about sending messages. You can market well or you can market poorly, but you cannot - not market!

What message are you sending with your dress, stationery, phone message and printed materials? Is it the message you intend to send? Your prospects don't listen only to the message you want to send - they observe and interpret your unintended messages as well. You brag about quality but your letters are full of typos. You claim speedy service yet it takes days for you to return phone calls. You boast that business is good then you drive up in a rust bucket. Shame on you. The unintended messages you send can kill your business.

Marketing should be part of everything you do. If you love what you do - we can tell. That is the best marketing you can do. Show every client, prospect, and colleague how much you love your business and how confident you are in what you provide.

Define your mission in business; what sets you apart, why should clients buy from you. Then check all your messages to test for the consistency of your messages. Inform your staff that they're all in marketing. Make sure they know the message you want to send and help them send that message. Equip them with the tools they need.

Marketing is not just the ads you place - it goes much beyond that.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sears Catalogue

On Aug 14, I posted about the destructive marketing messages that people in your company might be sending. All the creative work of the “marketing department” can go ‘down the drain’ because of sloppy execution or poorly trained front line staff.

Then along comes Sears, providing a good example.

The Sears catalogue was delivered today. Where would you expect to find your Sears catalogue when you look out your front door in the morning? In the mail box? In the magazine rack? Perhaps laying on the mat? Maybe on the porch? Or at least close to your door?
All reasonable guesses and expectations.

I discovered the Sears catalogue at the far end of the drive by the street where I normally put my garbage for pickup. I know that’s how papers are delivered in rural areas – end of the driveway - but we are right in the city. It’s a short driveway – tough to fit two cars one behind the other. It is not a long walk to my front door from the street. Yet the Sears catalogue was dropped or thrown out of a car window on my driveway as though it were litter.

As I went for my morning run I noticed all the houses on my street and neighbouring streets had a Sears catalogue on the driveway by the edge of the road. Fortunately they were wrapped in plastic because it had rained. Most were probably dry inside the bag – assuming that householders would pick up the wet package, brush off the wet leaves and not throw it directly into the garbage.

Some packages were ripped open and the pages strewn across lawns.

Just imagine the time and money that went into the creation of that catalogue – plus the hopes of the CEO and VP sales. They probably patted themselves on the back for creating another colourful catalogue. The marketing department probably awarded themselves another trophy for their creative design.

So will anyone really know why sales are down during this next season?

Perhaps they’ll conclude that catalogues don’t work anymore.

Where the catalogue is placed is a small detail – and small details can sink your marketing campaign.

George Torok

Power Marketing

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Genghis Khan, the Mongolian Marketer

Play word association with the word “Mongolia” and you might reply with “Mongols” which would lead you to “Genghis Khan”; then you might run out of words.

So what do you do if you are Mongolia, a country that suffered almost 70 years of Soviet communism? (The Russians didn’t like the Mongols.)

You are emerging into capitalist markets. You want to sell your products and attract tourists. You leverage the greatest resource you have - the name of the most famous Mongol, Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan is more famous than the Beatles – and according to John you know how famous they were.

Most people don’t know the capital city of Mongolia, (Ulan Bator), but you do know the name of the international airport, university and vodka – they are all named Genghis Khan. And of course there are the many restaurants around the world bearing that name.

The beauty of the Genghis Khan name – it has worldwide recognition and there are zero endorsement fees. No one owns the name.

So instead of spending millions for a Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong to endorse your product why not search through the history books for some long dead adventurer, conqueror or poet to attach to your brand?

George Torok
Power Marketing

Friday, August 25, 2006

Key Marketing Questions for the CEO

As the CEO your job is not to know all the answers. Instead your job is to ask the right questions. Then listen.

As the CEO here are a few key marketing questions you might ask. Some of these questions might disturb someone – maybe even you.

What is your key marketing message?

Who knows this?

What do you do that sends this message the best?

What do others in your organization do to reinforce this message?

Who sends this message the best?

What do you do that might detract from this message?

What might others in your organization do that detracts from your key marketing message?

What resources lie untapped or underutilized to help send this message?

Is everything you do and say consistent with your key marketing message? If not - why not - and how will you correct that?

What will you do to magnify and multiply your marketing message?

Why should you not delegate total marketing responsibility to your marketing department?

George Torok can help you ask and answer these questions. When you are ready he has more questions – and answers - for you.

Do you want some disturbing questions asked?
Do you want to gain an unfair marketing advantage?
Do you want to transform your marketing efforts from a department fixation to a company-wide force?

When you want these difficult questions asked - and answered - call George Torok at 905-335-1997

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Executive Briefings – Power Marketing

What will you do now?

That is the question that CEOs and presidents of mid-sized businesses were asked after listening to an executive briefing with George Torok. You might be surprised at what they said.

After meeting with George Torok the CEOs said they would change in these ways:

Talk to more media. I found the presentation a good touchstone to remind me to follow up with existing customers and also to increase the touching base with media and others closer to us – customers, suppliers and staff.
Keith Chen

Find our niche, develop one focused message, and find a good way to deliver it. A great re-awakening and very pragmatic!
Mike Brigham

Use Postcards to promote our new retail store and create an award for the most unique installation of our columns or related products.
Richard Reynolds

Thank people more often and do it in writing. Change my method of sales to change perceptions in the eyes of customers. Perfect timing for me; I needed help to create change in my future approach to staff and customers.
Stan Engelberg

Personal notes, thank you’s and congratulations, personal contact.
Practical and easy to understand and implement ideas on bringing business back to the human element.
Terry Sunderland

It is excellent. I learned more in a couple of hours what I did wrong in the past. I got a couple of very valuable points to improve my business.
Felix Gutnik

Work on getting people to talk about our company and our people, especially myself.
David P. Vella

Excellent practical pointers in marketing and relationship building.
Donald Taylor

More effective use of referrals. Informative, provocative and pragmatic. A very entertaining and useful session. Thank you on behalf of ExecForum.
Paul F. DeCarlo

Our image with more visibility using pro-active means. Simple and succinct…easy to pick ‘nuggets’ and implement.
Louis Zammit

As you can see – these CEOs and presidents reaped a fabulous return on investment from working with George Torok. If you are ready to reap similar results – call George Torok now. 905-335-1997

George Torok
Power Marketing - Executive Briefings

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Marketing Myths

What marketing myths have you “learned” or are you being fed? Marketing has its own dogma - outdated beliefs and mumble jumble all intended to protect self-declared marketing mandarins. Marketing should be helping you get your key messages out - so you can grow, sell more and win more of the time.

Watch out for marketing rules that only seem to protect the marketing mystic without helping you grow your business.

Beware of the marketing bureaucrats who seem to be missing the point of marketing. Depending on what business you are in, marketing must help you sell – product, service, membership, investment, participation, and/or support.

You can get past the myths of marketing. You must get past the myths if you want to out-market your competition.

Where do you start busting marketing myths?
Here is a good place to start.

Dangerous marketing traps and myths you must avoid:

The “talent” trap
The myth is that you should hire “talented” people.

The reality is that you should never rely on talent. It runs hot and cold. It subjects you to the whims of prima donnas. Instead – build on systems.

The “build a better mousetrap” fallacy
The myth is that you should build a better mousetrap – then wait for the crowd to arrive.

This is an old myth. The reality is that you need to market. The difference between the financial failure of Van Gogh and the success of Picasso was marketing.

The “find a need and fill it” myth
The myth is that you should find a “need” and fill it.

This myth is still taught by many business schools. The reality is that people don’t buy what they need. They buy what they want. How can you make your customers want what you sell?

Myths about the media
Too many business owners believe that the media hates business.

That is not true. The media is a business. The media will help you if you help them. What they need is information and stories. How can you best convey your stories to the media in a way that works for you?

The myth about “how to be number one”
It is surprising that whenever I ask this question of business owners many answer, “Deliver the best product or service.”

The reality: To become number one; create your niche. How can you find and declare a niche of your own?

The fallacy about value
Value is not what your engineers create or accountants measure.

There are two elements to value – real value and perceived value. How can you maximize the value you deliver from both elements? And why could it be disastrous to ignore the importance of perceived value?

The “lucky break” myth
Stop hoping for the lucky break.

Success is never about the lucky break. Torok learned this lesson well from the hundreds of entrepreneurs and CEOs that he interviewed over the past decade.

The reality is that success results from good systems that you follow. Even an imperfect system is better than none.

The above are just a few of the dangerous marketing myths that you must be aware of, and prepared to avoid.

George Torok has a way of destroying myths and getting to the truth. Work with George Torok to recognize, avoid and master these myths.

“The Greek and Norse Myths make for wonderful fantasy. But if you base your marketing on myths – your success will only be a fantasy.”
-George Torok

George Torok

Power Marketing

Friday, August 18, 2006

50 Power Marketing Ideas

It’s powerful, it’s effective and it’s free. And you can make it work for you.

Enjoy the first three ideas from the booklet, “50 Power Marketing Ideas”.

1. Own one day of the year. Create an annual promotion, sale, or event. There are 365 days in the year. You can claim any one or more of them. Look for creative ways to link your business promotion to anniversaries, holidays or seasonal events.

2. Barter your product for media advertising. Approach the media to trade your product or service for theirs. Or work through a barter exchange group to do the same thing.

3. Run a cross-promotion with another business. They put your offer on display and you give coupons for their products. There are many variations of this one. You set up a booth in their store. You donate your product as a prize for their contest.

If you like what you just read and would like to have all 50 Power Marketing Ideas then you can download a free copy of this ebook. Find out how here.

George Torok

PS. The regular value of this guide is $27.95. You can get it free along with the special bonus.

PPS. Don’t waste time. Get this guide before your competition does.

Get your free copy of “50 Power Marketing Ideas

®Power Marketing is a registered trademark of George Torok

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Good Policies Might be Hurting You

Fortinos - The grocery store

The scanner priced my 10-lb bag of potatoes. I noticed that the price was $1 more than advertised. Reluctantly I pointed the discrepancy out to the cashier. She was obliviously new and was out of sorts. The customers behind me in line looked displeased. But I waited stoically. When the supervisor arrived she looked at my bag of potatoes, the computer display, then muttered something that both the cashier and I missed.

The supervisor punched some cash register buttons and walked away.

The cashier and I stared at each other waiting for something to happen. Then we figured out that the supervisor had rung my purchase of potatoes as free.

I did not expect my purchase to be free – only to be as advertised so I was awkwardly yet pleasantly surprised. The cashier was obviously new and did not know the store policy so she could not tell me about it. Who knows why the supervisor did not explain the store policy to me and/or the cashier.

A well-intentioned customer service policy was diluted by the actions of the grumpy supervisor. The impact was lost on me – the customer. Instead of feeling special I felt confused, frustrated and cheated.

Learning point
The best marketing is training, testing and reviewing your staff.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, August 14, 2006

First, Train your People

Everybody in your company is marketing. Marketing is about sending messages and everybody is sending messages. Are they marketing for you or against you? Are your people sending the right message for you?

Your people need to know the message that they should be sending. They need to see you sending that message. They need to be trained to send it consistently. They need to be reminded.

Some messages your people might be sending:

Your sales rep who makes unrealistic promises to get the deal

Your customer service manager who hordes customer information

Your marketing expert who creates campaigns in isolation

Your delivery driver who drives recklessly

Your accountant who verbally abuses and threatens your client

Your purchasing manager who lies and misleads suppliers

Your receptionist who is cold and unfriendly

Your warranty officer who is obnoxious

Your cleaning staff who claim “Its not my job”

Your engineer who tells the customer that everyone else is too stupid

Your production foreman who complains that the sales rep lied again

Marketing Point
Before you spend millions on advertising, spend a few thousands on training and communicating to staff. You could save millions.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

Get media attention when the news is slow, and it is usually slow during the dog days of summer. How can you leverage the Dog Days of Summer as a marketing opportunity?

Here are some Dog Days of Summer ideas that you might consider:

  • Hold a Dog days sale with a dog theme.
  • Hold a Dog Days beauty contest.
  • Put doggie water-dishes outside your shop.
  • Hold a “who looks like their dog” contest.
  • Show dog movies like Rin Tin Tin and Lassie.
  • Photograph owners with their dogs (or hire a professional photographer)
  • Collect and donate money to the animal shelter.
  • Mail a Dog Days postcard to your clients and prospects.
  • Give away free doggie biscuits.

It might be the Dog Days of summer – but you can still have fun with it.

George Torok

Power Marketing

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Early Days of George Torok

In case you wondered about his early years in business....

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away. An onion keeps everybody away."

George Torok claims that he never wanted to be in sales.
Yet when he was nine years old - he and his younger brother, Stephen, set up their first lemonade stand at the front door of the office building down the street at 3:00 pm. It was a hot summer day. They ran out of lemonade.

A couple of years later George piled all of his precious comic books into his wagon, recruited his younger brother again and together they walked about the block to sell and trade the comic books with the neighbourhood kids.

When George sold apples for Boy Scouts - he devised a sales pitch, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away. An onion keeps everybody away. I'm selling apples today. Please support Scouting." Even then, George knew that when you make people laugh - they are more likely to like you and buy. That little ditty, his smile and energy helped him to outsell everyone in the district.

While he was in Junior Achievement, he sold candles and key cases door-to-door. That took guts and a lot of forced smiles.

As a student at Delta high school, George knocked on a lot of doors selling pens, peanuts and sponsorships to raise money for the high school band. The band had ambitious travel plans and they did a lot of fund-raising. George played trombone in the band. He was happy to travel by bus and train around the country.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, August 03, 2006

What’s New in Marketing?

One company president asked me this question just before I was about to speak to a group of company presidents. He went on to tell me that this was the information he wanted.

I quickly told him technology and terminology were new – but the fundamentals remain the same. He looked at me sideways with a funny look.

Then it was my turn to speak to the group.

So, I told the group of company presidents that nothing was new in marketing. However, many of the fads might have made them forget the fundamentals – and they need to understand the fundamentals before they can use any of the tools.

The fundamentals that they heard from me were:

Success comes from using systems – not talent
Marketing is about sending messages
Be clear on your message before you send it
Be clear on who you are sending it to
Your prospects’ perception is more important than your intended message
People notice the discrepancies in your message
Total value is the sum of real value plus perceived value
Relationships are built on simple acts like thank-you’s
People are emotional beings and make emotional decisions

And yes, I did offer them examples and anecdotes of these fundamentals in action.

In the end I noticed that this message appeared new to them.

The same company president approached me after my presentation to tell me how much he got from my message.

Curious; sometimes new is old revisited.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, July 31, 2006

Hot & Humid

We are experiencing unusually hot and humid weather - Temperatures around 30 degrees Centigrade and 60% humidity. I was dripping sweat just walking early this morning.

What a marketing opportunity!

Consider the marketing events you might schedule in this type of weather. Here are some ideas to create publicity, survive the humidity and have fun:

  • Put a free lemonade stand in front of your shop. Ask for donations that are given to a local charity

  • Put inflatable kiddie pools on the front lawn. Fill them with ice and invite contestants to sit in the ice.

  • Fry an egg on the sidewalk

  • Give away paper fans

  • Collect and Post a list of ideas to stay cool (on your website, on a sign, on flyers)

  • Interview experts on the best foods to eat and drink

  • Invite people to finish the phrase – Johnny Carson style – “it was so hot…”

    Marketing Point:
    Leverage everything that happens as a marketing opportunity.

    George Torok
    Power Marketing

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Media Friendly

Make your website media friendly

Create a media section on your website. This demonstrates that you are willing to talk to the media. Yes, I know the media can sometimes be cynical and might not use what they find in your media section. Showing that you respect and are willing to work with the media is more than a good start.

Many will use your words. In fact it will surprise you when some of the media use your propaganda word-for-word. It has happened to me. Sometimes you get lucky.

So, how do you make your website media friendly?
Below are some ways you can make your site more media friendly along with links to examples of how to do just that.

Post all your news releases on your website.

Post a collection of your media appearances – radio, TV and print.

Provide fodder for new stories.

Include photos and logos.

Include mock interviews.

Include a FAQ section.

Tell the media how to contact you – by phone, email and snail mail.

Maintain a blog for your informal comments (like this one).

George Torok
Power Marketing
Business in Motion
Speech Coach for Executives

Monday, July 24, 2006

Improve Your Marketing Story

Marketing is about sending messages that make it easier for you to sell.

The best messages are stories. Branding is building a good story.

Tell a good story to grab attention, convey value and stay memorable.

You can learn how to tell better stories in your presentations by listening in on the teleseminar, “How to Create and Tell Better Stories”.

Learn more about the next teleseminar - July 27, 2006.

Register for this teleseminar - How to Create and Tell Your Stories.

Limited number of lines.
Hurry before it is all booked up.

Be a better speaker when you are a better storyteller.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Wanted - More Best Customers

Power Marketing Tip

Promote Brand You!

Don’t be fooled into believing that logos, artwork and slogans are your brand. This myth is perpetuated by hungry hordes of designers, marketing consultants and “branding experts”.

Images, colors and words are not your brand. They might be symbols of your brand, but they are not the brand.

Don’t fall in love with your symbols. Changing your symbols is no big deal – changing your brand is huge. For that reason choose your brand very carefully. Change it very thoughtfully.

What is brand?
The answer to that question is better understood after we consider, “What can brand do for you?”

A good brand helps you charge more money, sell more to clients and bring in more new clients. What will do that consistently? Not promotion. Not price cuts. Not cute business cards.

Emotion. How people feel about you. That is brand. Emotion drives most of our decisions – even the “logical” ones.

The neat thing about brand is that you don’t even need to describe it in the exact words that your clients do. As long as they are feeling what you want them to feel. Feelings are individual and we don’t all verbalize them the same way.

For example:

What is the Nike brand?
To me it means winners. Why else would Tiger Woods and Roger Federer wear the swoosh?

What is the Coke brand?
To me it is feeling good about the status quo. Why else did so many Coke drinkers rebel at the introduction of New Coke?

What is Madonna’s brand?
To me it is being provocative. Even though some describe her as constantly “rebranding” herself.

What is your brand?
What do you want your market to feel about you? Get that straight first. The pantone colors, fonts and clever slogans are the easy part.

Tell me how this tip helped you. I will add your comments to my website. Email me directly at

PS: The best marketers are great story-tellers. Creating and telling powerful stories is one of the most effective ways of building your brand. A well told story grabs emotional heart-strings. Learn how. Listen to this teleseminar - How to Create and Tell your Stories. (for more info click here)

PPS: Are you an entreprenuer in the Niagara and Hamilton area? You can hear George Torok speak this fall. Watch for the notice. If you want to be sure to be notified just email us directly at and mention "Niagara" in the subject line.
Forward this e-postcard to your colleagues who need and want to market more profitably.

Call George Torok to speak at your conference or sales meeting. 905-335-1997

Arrange:An executive briefing for your senior management or business partners.A training program for your sales and marketing professionals.An inspirational keynote speech for your annual meeting or conference.
Reprint these tips in your publication, email or website at no charge. Be sure to include my name and website.

Order the book Secrets of Power Marketing

Subscribe to this monthly Power Marketing tip here

What they said about George Torok:

"It was the reinforcement that I needed to implement some of the tools you suggestted to create a better marketing plan. Your presentation style was uplifting and lively, but still allowed for interesting interactivity, expecially considering the audience."
Kevin M. Andrews CEO
Corpfinanace International Limited
Toronto, ON

Copyright © 2006 George Torok. All rights reserved.

Monday, July 17, 2006

How to Create Content for your Blog

The keys to a successful blog are: relevance, frequent updates and practicality.

How can you create the content for your blog?

Here are a few examples:

Tips lists

Article introductions – two paragraphs that link to an article

Interviews with other experts – three to five questions

Q & A with you – tell us what you often get asked

Book reviews – who do you learn from

Comments on recent events and news


News Releases

Your mistake or lesson of the week – what did you learn this week?

Your frustration of the week – this is an easy one

Your recent success – tell us what excited you

George Torok
Power Marketing

Monday, July 10, 2006

Marketing System

When I am asked, “What is the most important element in a successful marketing program?”

My answer is, “Following a good marketing system.”

I have found that following a system is critical to success in any field – including marketing.

Too many people fail when they try to run their life, their business or their marketing by the seat of their pants. They make the mistake of believing that luck, talent and flitting about will pull them through.

What a mistake and what a shame.

If you want to appreciate the power of systems – go to Las Vegas. Watch what the casinos do. They follow good systems. And they clean up.

The fundamentals for a good system are the same in any field.

Rules to a Good System
1. A system is a process. It is the means to the end. It is not the goal.

2. A system is built on a key principle or set of principles.

3. A system is a set of habits and routines. Almost like a series of logic statements; if this – then that. A system must not depend on how you feel.

4. A system must be persistent and consistent.

Follow these four rules and you will build good systems.

Remember that an imperfect system is always better than no system. So start building your systems because that will lead to more success for you.

To build better marketing systems – read the book, Secrets of Power Marketing.

To implement better marketing systems call George Torok at 905-335-1997.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Marketing Articles

Marketing Articles for Your Publication

If you are the editor of a newsletter or magazine then you may reprint these posts in your publication.

If you are not the editor then you might help your editor by pointing out this valuable resource of marketing articles. There are dozens that you can choose from.

You can also reprint from longer, more formal marketing articles for your publication.
Most of these articles range from 500 to 1,200 words.

The two sources for these articles are:

Torok Library

Power Marketing

You may reprint these articles in your publication at no charge as long as you do not resell the article and that you include the contact information of the author.

All rights are reserved by the author, George Torok.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: George Torok is the co-author of the national bestseller, Secrets of Power Marketing.
He has written and published over 200 articles.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Marketing Stories

Good marketers are good storytellers. Great marketers are great storytellers.

I said storytellers – not liars. There is a difference.

A storyteller conveys a message in an interesting and entertaining way. A story engages, clarifies and sticks in the mind of the listener. A well-told story stimulates visual images and touches emotions.

Think of some memorable childhood stories like The Night Before Christmas, the Cat in The Hat, and Jack and Jill.

Why did those stories touch you and why did you remember them so well? Notice how little logic has to do with any of these powerful stories. Imagine if your marketing messages worked as well. They can if you learn to tell great stories.

Telling marketing stories and telling stories as a public speaker have a lot in common.

Great leaders use stories to inspire.
Great sellers use stories to persuade.
Problem solvers use stories to find common ground.

You can learn how to create and deliver great stories by listening in to the teleseminar on Thursday July 27, 2006.

It will take just one hour but the information you gain will transform your ability to tell more great stories.

Register for this teleseminar now.

Learn more about this Story Telling Teleseminar.

George Torok

PS: If you can’t make it this time you can still order a copy of the program.
Send an email to

Learn how to tell your story with more impact.

Friday, June 30, 2006

The Value of Recognition: Association Awards

"Plaques on the wall don't translate into profits on the bottom line."

Very few things in business translate directly to the bottom line. Sales is the only direct impact - everything else is a cost that indirectly impacts the bottom line. However, plaques on the wall can pay off in a few indirect ways - all of them positive and we need more of that.

Why should business nominate, accept and in general participate in the annual chamber awards program?

Marketing is about sending messages, and winning an award definitely sends a message. The best marketing is when others talk about you like they do when you are nominated or receive an award. This has more credibility than advertising and is longer lasting. Many companies spend lots of money to create a credible image. Winning an award is very cost effective marketing.

When your company wins an award you feel good about your company, your product and yourself. And all of that helps the bottom line. Happy staff tends to translate into happy customers. In addition, companies who win awards tend to attract better employees.

When others in the community read and hear about successful companies in our backyard we feel good about our own futures and business endeavors. Contrast that with how we feel when we hear about layoffs and recessions. Curious. Why don't we have a word for the opposite of recessions?

Let's encourage people to celebrate the successful businesses in our community and encourage more. Success breeds success. Keep the fields fertile.

George Torok, co-author
Secrets of Power Marketing

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

RSS Feed – Soup Tins on a Waxed String

What is an RSS feed?

It is a simple way to send content from one website to another.

Closed Circuit TV
The concept is like a closed circuit TV that takes pictures from one room and displays it on a monitor in another room. This technology can be used in several ways: e.g. security and seminar room overflow (many university courses are delivered this way).

The content could be text, images, audio or video. Text is most common and audio is the next developing field.

There are three parts to the RSS feed - the sending site with the content, the connecting software, and the receiving site that displays the content.

Soup Tins on a Waxed String
It is modeled on the child’s old homemade telephone made of the two empty soup tins joined by a waxed string. One soup tin is the sending site, the other tin is the receiving site and the waxed string is the connection.

The websites at either end could be a regular website or a blog.

The connection is almost as simple as the waxed string. It is a copy of the feed page in an XML file. The receiving page simply looks at this XML (feed page and displays it or part of it on the receiving page). The software is the wax on the string that does the magic part.

Here is an example:

This blog has several RSS feed links at the right side of the main page. Click on any one and it takes you to the XML file for the particular style of feed. The simplest is XML.

On of the websites that receive an RSS feed from this blog is

This website is a good example of a website that is entirely composed of RSS feeds. Using RSS feeds on the receiving end is a great way to capture and display relevant content that changes often. The owner of this site chooses which feeds he will display. is a website that specializes in displaying financial and business information.

Marketing Point

Using RSS feeds is one more way of getting your message out. You can offer your site as a feed to get your message on other websites. You can also collect relevant information on your website from other sources for your clients.

Please feel free to use an RRS feed from this blog to send valuable content to your website.

George Torok, co-author
Secrets of Power Marketing

Monday, June 26, 2006

Market Yourself as The expert

As a small business how do you compete with the big guys and their big budget advertising campaign? The big guys don't read this magazine so we can share these low budget yet high-impact marketing secrets with you.

Use these tips to market yourself as the expert in your field:

Write tips sheets - for your clients, prospects and the media.
Write and publish articles in magazines, newsletters and newspapers.
Write letters to the editor expressing opinions, advice and clarification.
Publish your own newsletter.
Write a book - the best way to be seen as the expert.
Send out regular news releases.
Be interviewed by the press.
Sponsor a contest or award.
Make speeches to service clubs and associations.
Offer information seminars to prospects and clients.
Stay informed and leading edge on your area of expertise.
Offer your clients extra 'free advice from the expert'.
Earn designations and awards from your industry or trade associations.
Seek out the top experts in your field - know and get known by them.
Act, sound and feel like the expert you want to be - confidence is powerful.
Find a mentor you admire who can help you and make introductions.
Seek out leaders in other businesses to trade ideas and do joint promotions with - we judge you by who you hang around with.

Why market yourself as the expert? Clients come to you and you can charge more money.

Excerpted from the national bestseller, Secrets of Power Marketing.

George Torok, co-author
Secrets of Power Marketing

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


A mentor can help you cut years off your growth curve. They are more experienced in the business and willing to give you some of their time, advice and support. Mentors never do this for money. They see in you some potential and maybe a little bit of themselves. They want to help and you must be ready.

How to find a mentor?
Go to business functions, get known in your community, associations, and industry.Get in contact with potential mentors - send them notes. Call to meet for breakfast or coffee.

How to maintain a mentoring relationship?
Respect their time, advice and experience. Ask them probing questions and listen. Ask about the smartest things they ever did - then try to do them. Ask what they would do differently if starting over again.

Act on what you learned. Report back with the results even if they weren't great. At least you listened and tried. That's what they want to hear. Thank them for their help - and be sincere. Never waste their time. Give back to them - with your ideas, thoughts and help. The worst thing you can do to a mentor is ask for their advice - then ignore it.

George Torok, co-author
Secrets of Power Marketing

Monday, June 19, 2006

Did you market yourself today?

"If you build a better mouse trap - the world will beat a path to your door."

Do you still believe that?

Let's try another one. "Go to school, get a good job, and the company will look after you." The first statement is from Emerson - the second you may have heard from your parents. Both are no longer true. Don't blame your parents or Emerson for their dated wisdom - things change.

You still have to be good at what you do. But, in any career you choose today - you must learn 'the job' plus how to sell and market yourself.

Marketing is not selling. Marketing is everything you do - or don't do that helps you sell (or hinders you). You cannot 'not market'. Marketing is about sending messages and everything you do or don't do sends a message about you. The way you answer, or don't answer your phone sends a message. Send out a sloppy resume and that sends a message.

You can influence how others perceive you if you follow the Secrets of Power Marketing.

What you know and can do is not necessarily how others see you. What they perceive is a combination of their beliefs and your intended and unintended messages. You must be aware of all these messages and manage the perceptions.

Do you want to be seen as an expert? A good person? A thorough worker? A fun individual? An intellectual? Sensible? Analytical? Creative?

Use creative ways of sending your message. Here are some simple tips you can use. For more tips read - Secrets of Power Marketing - a refreshing guide to personal marketing for individuals who want to succeed.

Get involved in your community. Volunteer to work on a fund-raising campaign. Become a spokesperson for your club or association. The more the public sees your name the more 'they think they know you'. If they know you, they have a chance to like you and we would rather hire, promote, or recommend someone we like.

Build relationships with key decision makers. Send them a thank-you note when they did something to help you. Send a note of congratulations when they did something that deserves a compliment. Recommend a book that you think they would like. Clip and send them an article that might interest them, (maybe this one). Meet for coffee, breakfast or lunch.

Never stop marketing.

George Torok, co-author
Secrets of Power Marketing

© George Torok is co-author of the national bestseller, Secrets of Power Marketing. He delivers keynote speeches and training programs to help organizations grow. For more information call 800-304-1861 or visit to register for weekly tips.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Does your business have a blog yet?
If not, what are you waiting for?

What is a blog?
It is a specialized type of website. The word “blog” is composed of the two words “web log”. A blog is a website that is easy for non-programmers to update. The owner of the blog can update as often as she wants. Many blogs are updated as often as every day - some only once or twice a month. Blogging gained public notice in recent political campaigns and social protests. Why? Because these groups are more willing to engage new technology in their quests. Business is often the last group to get on board. Business blogging is catching on. Try not to be the last one on your block.

Why should a business owner have a blog?
It is another marketing channel you can use it to post tips, announcements and news about your business and industry. It is an efficient and effective way to stay in touch with your clients. It is a powerful way to put a more personal face on your business. Most blog posts are short and informal. Blogs can help boost your main website ranking because search engines like blogs better than traditional websites. Blogs are listed in the main search engines as well as blog directories. Blogs have tools that automatically submit to the search engines and directories every time you update it. The most popular blog – is owned by Google. One more bonus: you can have a blog for free.

What are you waiting for?

George Torok
George Torok Seminars

Monday, June 12, 2006

Build Relationships with Postcards

When you get a postcard in the mail how do you feel?

My guess is that you might feel curious at the least – “who sent me a postcard?”
You might feel excited – “Wow! I got a postcard.”

What do you do with it?
You will probably look at it before you open your other mail.
You will probably look at the picture side then turn it over to see who it’s from and what the message is.

If it is a souvenir postcard with a hand written message you will likely read it and feel good. If the postcard is from an exotic place and you like the photo or the sender you might even display the postcard. You might even tell others about the postcard that you got from Bora Bora.

Now think about that.

If a simple postcard can make you feel so good – why not send more postcards to your clients, hot prospects and associates? Imagine how it might make them feel when they think of you.

When I travel – on business or for pleasure - I send a few postcards to my contacts. It might be as few as 20 or as many as 200. It depends on the cache of the location and how much time I have. I sent 600 postcards from the Yukon. I can’t imagine how many I would send from Bora Bora.


Because people remember the postcards. It delights them. They tell others about my postcards. I stay on their mind. It has helped me get business. It has helped me get media coverage. It is a relationship builder. It helps them remember me and feel good about me.

Oh, and it doesn’t need to be from Bora Bora. Any postcard has the same effect. The last batch of postcards I sent was from Saint Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick.

George Torok, author
Secrets of Power Marketing

PS: Don’t write, “Wish you were here”. That is not true. Write a short upbeat message and sign your name clearly so they can read it. Otherwise the postcard was wasted.

PPS: Handwrite the address and your message. Preprinted labels kill the effect.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Two hours on the runway

What agony.
What boredom.
What a set of broken lies.

That is one way that it might turn out.

Or it could be a powerful marketing opportunity.

We landed late May 31, 2006 at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
It was an Air Canada Regional Jet. We spent more time on the runway than we spent in the air.

It wasn’t Air Canada’s fault. There had been a lightning storm and the whole airport was shut down. And frankly that was a lot more reassuring then a terrorist attack. So we weren’t worried – just bored and frustrated.

So how did Air Canada handle this opportunity?

Mediocre at best.

What did Air Canada do well?
We received several reports from the pilot about our status.
About one hour into our wait the flight attendant came around with water for everyone.
A couple announcements were made about connecting flights.

What did they do poorly?
It was difficult to clearly understand most of the pilot’s announcements.
Every promise of time was broken.
The flight attendant was mostly invisible during this time.
I am still not clear on what the problem was or why the possibility of lighting shuts a whole airport down. (I just want to understand.)

What might they have done differently?
The pilot could have given updates when the timeframe he stated was up – even if he didn’t have new information. We just want to be informed.
The flight attendant could have spent more time walking the aisle and talking to customers.
The airline could have sent every passenger a letter or short note apologizing for and explaining the inconvenience.

Could Air Canada have done even more?
Lots more.

I wonder, is their motto ‘It’s not our fault’?
Or ‘We’re no worse than the others’.

How many companies follow that customer service standard?

Don’t be part of the ‘Not-our-fault’ mob.

George Torok, co-author
Secrets of Power Marketing