Friday, February 15, 2008

Networking Guru Inteview: 3

Networking Guru Interview: 3

Enjoy the third and final part of this interview with Canada’s Networking Guru, Michael Hughes.


Networking Question
What is your most effective networking tip?

Answer from Networking Guru
The most effective tip I can offer to getting more and better networking results is moving away from networking to sell and towards networking to build relationships. This is simple to say, yet difficult to do. It requires courage, commitment and discipline. It involves intent and investment. It flies in the face of our “me-first” society. But it holds the biggest payoff.

Networking Question
Is online "social networking" a worthwhile business networking tool?

Answer from Networking Guru
Social networks have taken on a life of their own. They allow us to connect as never before. This is a good news-bad news story. The good news is that we now have access to a huge network of contacts. The bad news is that, without focus or context, most of these are worthless, and only serve to complicate and overwhelm our already overly-busy lives.
So what’s the value of social networks?

Research continues to affirm that we maintain our strongest relationships with a small group (usually no more than a dozen people). It has also confirmed that face-to-face contact is still the most powerful relationship-building vehicle. The other side of the coin is that our increased connectivity allows us to stay in touch better, supporting and accelerating the relationship-building process with these new technology tools. In addition, this increased connectivity does permit access to more and better resources when we do have a need. The bottom line is that social networks are an enhancer to networking, but will probably never replace the human dynamic we require.

Networking Question
Your final thoughts?

Answer from Networking Guru
The relationships we have, and the relationships we make, hold untold power and incredible potential to propel us in the direction of our goals and dreams. The secret to leveraging this invaluable resource is to continually invest in creating, building and reinforcing more and better relationships. The Laws of Networks reward those who respect their impact and act as an obstacle to those who, actively or unwittingly, overlook their effect. Relationships are the foundation for success in business and in life. They are based on trust, value and contribution. Networking, in its simplest terms, is the process on creating and developing relationships, from initial contact to ultimate outcome. As you connect with others, are you conscious of building trust, adding value and contributing to their success?

Michael Hughes Bio
Known as Canada’s Networking Guru, Michael J. Hughes specializes in helping business professionals increase sales, build their business or advance their career by utilizing networking as business strategy. Get more details on his programs and services by visiting


George Torok

Learn how to get "Your Guide to Networking Success"

Read how Networking can save your life

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Join the Net Reporter

Join The Net Reporter

We all learn from other experts. And where do I go to learn about Internet business?
I find Jim to be a invaluable resource. He not only knows the goods - he explains it clearly and simply. He offers easy to implement gems.

Check it out.

Jim Edwards - The Net Reporter.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Marketing Your Service Value

Marketing your Service Value

Marketing should demonstrate value especially when you offer a service. Don't make the mistake of thinking that value is based on cost. If that was the case we would pay pennies for a cup of coffee.

Business is about exchanging value. That value is measured by the return on that investment. In other words value is best illustrated by what is in it for the buyer. Sustainable business is based on the ongoing exchange of value.

Bad business is about taking. Actually – that could be labeled as theft. Yet, have you noticed that some people want to take from you. They don’t want to pay for the value. If often happens in the service business. When you offer a service to unappreciative prospects they might object with, “Why is your price so high? It doesn’t cost you that much.” Try that approach the next time you order a latte from Starbucks.

However this objection is common when selling a service. Why? Because your prospect does not understand and appreciate the value of what you offer.

If your clients are asking you to reduce your service fees – they don’t appreciate the value of your service. If someone tries to steal from you – you can’t blame them - they might only be testing. If you let someone steal from you – you are the fool.

When someone tries to steal from you – tell them your price and stick to it. If they are serious, they will buy, if not they will move on and stop wasting your time.

George Torok

Personal Marketing

Marketing Speaker

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Networking Guru: Michael Hughes

Networking Guru Michael Hughes
Interview Part Two of Three

I contacted Networking Guru, Michael Hughes, in Ottawa, Canada. I asked him a few questions about networking hoping to gain more insights about the dos and don'ts of networking. You might be interested in reading his answers. His response was so good that I divided this interview into three portions to make it easier to read and digest.Enjoy part two of this interview with Networking Guru, Michael Hughes


Networking Question
What bugs you about the preaching’s of some "networking experts"?

Answer from Networking Guru, Michael Hughes
Too often, networking experts or sales trainers promote networking as a set of canned sentences that can be memorized or as a series of manipulative tactics that provide immediate results.

It’s a business-first approach, built on the premise that contact equals commitment. From “What do you do?’ and “Who do you know?” to “Here’s my card.” and “Call me if you need XYZ.” It’s schmooze, sell and move on. Not only does this self-serving approach not work, it complicates and compromises an already anxiety-filled experience.

Networking in a business environment is different from that in a social environment. It brings a different set of challenges and issues. So what is it that has such a radical negative impact on this inbred tendency to interact with others when it comes to professional networking? In a word: business.

The most powerful professional networking skill is not advancing a personal agenda, but building on the relationship spark that arises as a major part of the interaction. This is best done by shifting the focus to the other person’s interests, insights and issues.

The effect of this strategy will be to have your conversation partner see you as a caring and competent professional, and open the door to hearing about the value you have. It is imperative to recognize and accept that networking as a business activity produces the best results when it is used not to sell but to sow.

What some “networking preachers” fail to address is the fact that networking is a core skill that requires the right combination of attitude, practice and patience.

Networking Question
Is networking the poor man's marketing tool?

Answer from Networking Guru, Michael Hughes
Marketing has been expressed as the entire process that takes a product or service from concept to client. It encompasses every aspect of business and permeates every activity.

But the most effective marketing strategies are usually those that offer the biggest impact for the least amount of invested resources. This is more a basis of reality than a measure of size although smaller companies, especially SOHO entrepreneurs or individual business professionals, are perhaps more challenged in marketing effectively. It is a continuous battle for them to leverage their limited time and resources and gain maximum visibility.

One of the most common mistakes about networking is the inability of an individual or company to visualize the incredible leverage power and potential this strategy contains.
Most professionals see networking as a one-dimensional activity meant to identify contacts and qualify prospects. This limiting perspective doesn’t allow them to reap the full spectrum of benefits that networking offers.

Networking, when viewed as a marketing strategy rather than a prospecting activity, can deliver incredible opportunities and options. The residual impact of joining, then leveraging a networking group includes direct access to the membership, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, but more importantly, to multiple networks through the connections that become available.

This potential is available to anyone, for the price of a membership and the willingness to invest in a personal marketing program. This powerful resource is available to anyone who has the vision and the commitment to make it happen. So the truth of the matter is that, in this context, networking is every man’s (and woman’s) marketing tool.

Michael Hughes Bio
Known as Canada’s Networking Guru, Michael J. Hughes specializes in helping business professionals increase sales, build their business or advance their career by utilizing networking as business strategy. Get more details on his programs and services by visiting


George Torok

Order your copy of “Your Guide to Networking Success

Register for the free monthly Power Marketing Tips

Article Reprint Permission

Article Reprint Permission

You have permission to reprint posts from this blog on your website, blog or ezine with the following conditions:

1. There is no charge.
2. You will reprint the post article in its entirety.
3. You will include the following credit and bio with the live link.
4. All rights are reserved by George Torok.

George Torok helps his clients gain an unfair advantage over the competition. To get a free copy of “50 Power Marketing Ideas” register for the free Power Marketing Tips at

PS: The exception to the above permission to reprint is for material that I have reprinted or quoted from other sources. Please obtain reprint permission directly from those sources.

George Torok

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ground Hog Day

Ground Hog Day - Feb 2

Ground Hog Day is one of those days that you might leverage to promote your business. Hold a special event, promotion or sale for ground hog day.

Years ago I decided to mail a Ground Hog Day post card to my database. That included clients, prospects and media contacts.

I ordered 500 Ground Hog day postcards from Wiarton, Ontario - the home of Wiarton Willie. The postcards arrived in November and I handwrote them over the Christmas holidays. On January 15 I dropped them into the mailbox.

I had hand addressed all 500 postcards with the message, "Willie predicts a great year, George Torok."

Willie died just before Ground Hog Day. He was 14 and for a ground hog that was like 90 in human years.

Because of that post card I got media coverage and business. The point for you is that if you do the right things it will pay off, never how you think or when you expect it.

George Torok

Boston Globe
Groundhog Predicts More Winter Weather -
... groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, holds Phil as his other handler, Ben Hughes, pets him on the head Ground Hog's Day in Punxsutawney, Pa.

Groundhog .org - the Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club
Official site of the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Groundhog Club. Includes detailed history of the day, a listing of local events, and printable activity

Groundhog Day
The history of how Groundhog Day started and what it means.

Groundhog Day (1993)
Directed by Harold Ramis. With Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott. A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again.

Groundhog Day - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Open-content encyclopedia article covering the history of the holiday.

Groundhog Day (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Groundhog Day is a 1993 comedy film directed by Harold Ramis, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell. It was written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis and ...

Groundhog Day History from Stormfax® 2008
Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Day history from Stormfax® with Folklore & Winter Weatherlore.

Groundhog Day: February 2nd. Great links to kids' crafts and ...
Get into Groundhogs this February with the kids! Here's a collection of Groundhog Day Fun from all over the web.

Groundhog Day - The Website
visitors from Groundhog Day, 2000 till Groundhog Day 2001 There were counter.1998.gif (1597 bytes) ... visitors from December 10, 1997 till Groundhog Day, 1998.

Groundhog Day Facts and Tradition - Is it Spring Yet? - Candlemas
How Did the Groundhog Get a Day of His Own? The lowly groundhog, often called a woodchuck, is the only mammal to have a day named in his honor.

Groundhog Day: The Movie
Groundhog Day, the movie, is about how we can break through to our true selves so that compassion, creativity and love are an inherent part of life.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Tom Cruise getting Ducati superbike

There is an important marketing lesson about getting media coverage in this recent news item about the new Ducati superbike.

Below is a copy of the news as reported on Yahoo News. If you Google "Tom Cruise Ducati" you will find the same item almost word-for-word from several other news sources. What does that tell you? That the news release aka press release was used word-for-word. It's not often that your news release gets used exactly as is because the media try to improve on it and add their own slant to your news. In this case the Ducati media relationships people did such a good job of their news releases that the media used it as is.

Read the news below and notice what Ducati did so well - and how you as a marketer can learn from this successful example.


Tom Cruise getting Ducati superbike

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. - Tom Cruise is the first on the list to get Ducati's newest motorcycle — a $72,500 superbike bristling with titanium, magnesium and carbon fiber technology that can scoot up to 200 mph.

Cruise is scheduled to take delivery of the Desmosedici RR at Beverly Hills Ducati this week. Only 1,500 of the red-and-white Moto GP racing replica motorcycles will be made and Cruise gets the first.

Michael Lock, chief of Cupertino-based Ducati North America, said the Desmosedici RR "is the impossible dream — made possible."
"We are delighted to be able to deliver the world's first production unit here in the USA to Tom Cruise, who is a well-known Ducati enthusiast," Lock said in a statement.


The Media-Relations Lesson

Lead with the biggest story and in this case, Tom Cruise is a bigger story than Ducati. Ducati launching a new big is news to Ducati owners and fans and owners and fans of other makes of superbikes. And even fans and owners of other bikes might be interested to know about a $72,000 bike that can go 200 miles per hour. However the biggest audience is people who like or adore Tom Cruise. Many of these people don't even care about motorcycles but they want to read about almost anything that Tom Cruise does.

This is the win-win outcome. The media publishes a story that their readers want and Ducati gets the coverage both inside and outside of their market.

Notice too that the photo that accompanies each of these articles is of Tom Cruise. Not the Ducati, not even Tom Cruise near a motorcycle.

The big mistake would have been to write a news release that starts with "Ducati is pleased to announce..."

And yet that is the way that too many marketers write their news release.

So, tip of the hat to Ducati media relations people on a job very well done.

Here's another thing for you to think about. Do you think that Tom Cruise asked to be first? Of course not - why would he care. And do you think that Tom Cruise paid for this $72,000 bike? Of course not. I wonder how much Ducati paid Cruise over and above the value of the Ducati.

If you are launching a new product and you want publicity how will you tie it to a bigger story? Remember when Microsoft launched Windows 95 they used the Rolling Stones song "Start me Up" as the theme song

PS: I posted the photo of the Ducati here - because I would rather look at that than Tom Cruise.

PPS: If you want to see Tom Cruise photos click here

How to write your news release click here.

More tips on grabbing media exposure click here

George Torok
Marketing Expert and Author
Marketing Speaker
George Torok in the media


Tom Cruise 1st in line to snag Ducati superbike - Autos-
29 Jan 2008 ... Tom Cruise is the first on the list to get Ducati's newest motorcycle — a $72500 superbike bristling with titanium, magnesium and carbon fiber technology

Tom Cruise Gets a Pricey Ducati - Luxist
With only 1500 of these primo bikes produced, he'll be part of an elite group of motorcycle enthusiasts and Ducati collectors. Now Cruise will have the ..

Top Celebrity News Stories for Wednesday Jan. 30, 2008 Donald ...
Sugar Bits — Tom Cruise Gets First Ducati Superbike ... Tom Cruise will be the first customer to receive the new $72500 Ducati "superbike,"

Valleywag: The Tom Cruise Ducati bike
This is the Ducati superbike that Hollywood star Tom Cruise will become the first person in the world to own.

Enterprise Magazine: 10 Years!

Enterprise Magazine celebrates 10 years of publication.

Congratulations to publisher, Hayden Bradshaw. The magazine business is a tough business. You have probably seen many magazines come and go. It's one of those businesses that look easy to outsiders. And a magazine aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners has got to be even tougher.

And yes that's me, George Torok on the cover of this aniversary issue. The cover text reads "Marketing Wizard George Torok: "What a Difference a Decade Makes!"

This feature article examines the trends, and changes in marketing over the last decade.

What a Difference a Decade Makes in Marketing

Imagine that you could continue to market successfully the same way for ten years. Do you like that thought? Well delete that daydream because it just isn’t so. Welcome to marketing 2008. It’s more threatening, more promising and more exciting. Buckle your seatbelt, take your motion sickness pill and be prepared to be amazing. Because that is what you need to compete today.

Still the Same
Of course some things remained the same. Let’s establish our foundation before we venture into the swirl of the Time Tunnel.

The fundamentals are the same. That’s what makes them fundamentals. Marketing is still closely intertwined with selling and the purpose of marketing is to help you sell more. Marketing and selling are both strategies to help you make a profit. In fact marketing was and is a fundamental responsibility running through every function of your business.

“Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of it final result, that is, from the client’s point of view.”
Peter Drucker

Strange that even though management guru, Peter Drucker, offered that advice more than a decade ago – many organizations ignored his wisdom. That’s why we still see marketing departments and sales departments with little cohesion and cooperation. Why? Perhaps too many marketers see themselves as artists or statisticians while they see sales representatives as slimy. And the sales department labels marketing as a bunch of flakes who don’t know about the real world.

The purpose of marketing is to do one or more of the following three things:
Grab Attention
Demonstrate value
Build relationships

The world is still round – or is it now flat? How is the “How” of those fundamentals changing?

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Enterprise Magazine

Enterprise is Canada's magazine for small and medium enterprises.

George Torok

Marketing Wizard, George Torok in the media

Order the book, Secrets of Power Marketing

Arrange a presentation or speech