Monday, July 28, 2008

Don't be a copycat

Don't be a copycat.

Enjoy this tip from the "59 Seconds to Sales Success" - weekly tip from sales trainer and author, Kelley Roberston.

Don't be a copycat

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery. That may be true but when it comes to selling you need to be original. While it's perfectly acceptable to emulate someone you respect, you should not copy or try to exactly duplicate their approach. What works for one person may not work for someone else. Here are a few ideas to consider:

When someone else's approach, technique or strategy appeals to you, ask yourself, "Why am I attracted to this idea?" It may be its uniqueness or how easy it looks or sounds to apply. However, avoid the mistake of thinking it will be a quick fix. There is no such thing.

Next, determine how you can adapt that idea so that it becomes personal and individual to you. Let's say you hear a coworker use a particular phrase with a customer. Repeating what they say will not sound natural because you will not be using your words. Take time to play with that sentence so you deliver the same message but in your own words and style.

Finally, take the modified idea and practice implementing it into your routine. Using the approach one or two times will not likely generate the results you want. It will take effort and persistence. However your discipline will pay off.

A final note on copying. You are more than welcome to use my material in your blog, newsletter, or publication providing you mention the source and give the proper credit.

Have a productive and profitable week!

Kelley Robertson

Register for the "59 Seconds to Sales Success".

Kelley's message echoes my advice when it comes to marketing. Watch this video.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Power Marketing Tips 06: Why is a Monet so valuable?

Power Marketing Tips 06: Why is a Monet so valuable?

If it's rare - it's more valuable

A painting by the French impressionist, Claude Monet, recently sold for $80 Million US. I'm not that big a fan of Monet so I'm sorry that I wasn't the seller.

There is a marketing lesson we can take from that sale. One of the reasons that paintings of the deceased masters are selling for such astronomical prices is that the masters are deceased. There is a limited supply of Monets, Van Goghs and Picassos because they're not making any more.

You can apply this principle to your product or service. By definition there is always a limited supply but it's only more valuable when your clients believe there is a limited supply. The international diamond cartel excelled at this technique.

First, your clients must believe there is some value in your offering. Second, "limited supply" is relative. It's the belief in limitation that is more important. That belief is what fuels stock market and real estate speculation.

Here's an example of "limited supply": Ducatti released a new model of super bike, the Desmosedici RR, earlier this year. The supply was limited to a total production of only 1,500 worldwide, not very many when compared to the typical motorcycle production. Here's the kicker... The price tag for this motorcycle was $72,000.

How can you limit the supply of your product in the mind of your clients?

Announce an end of line clearance
Hold a "by invitation only" event
Offer a special for the first 100 customers
Create an upscale special edition
Hold a once-a-year special event
Count down the days untill your special event
Remind clients how fast you sold out previously
Announce a pending price increase
Limit the number of sales to maintain the high level of customer attention

Run through the above list for ways you can limit the supply to boost your value. Your offer appears more valuable when people believe that they might miss out.

Create your Monet.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: tell me how this tip helps you.

Register for the Free Marketing Tips

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Viral Marketing: Photoshop & Iran Missile-gate

Viral marketing: Photoshop & Iran Missile-gate

Who’s pulling the strings – Photoshop or Iran?

This is a good example of viral marketing.

It’s clear to me that the winner of this media party is Photoshop. Therefore, we could assume that Photoshop must be pulling the strings. Was Photoshop the behind the scenes manipulator or are they simply the dumbfounded beneficiary?

I believe that Photoshop got lucky. Sometimes you get lucky. The secret is to recognize your luck and leverage the opportunity. They can take advantage of the marketing opportunity if they move quickly.

What could Photoshop do to take advantage of this marketing opportunity?

Issue a news release that denies any culpability in the Iranian misslegate.

Direct their retailers to move the Photoshop displays to the front of the store.

When the retailers sell out – put up large signs at the front of the store stating that they are temporary out of stock.

Offer experts to be interviewed by the media regarding the ethics of altering photos.

Offer free seminars on how to use Photoshop.

Issue a top ten list on the photos that folks might want to alter with Photoshop.

Sponsor a contest of Photoshop-altered photos – with before and after exhibits.

Photoshop can gain a lot of ongoing free exposure from this incident- from the main stream media, the talk show hosts and bloggers.

The pump has been well primed.

Look what "they" are talking about:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Marketing Blog Milestone: Post 251

Marketing Blog Milestone: Post 251

Celebrate your milestones - that's good marketing. Reaching significant milestones in your business speaks to your credibility, stability and persistence. All those things scream lasting value.

This marketing blog has surpassed blog post number 250. This is post number 251.

Let's review some of the best and significant posts over the past two and 1/2 years:

1. It started with a confession and epiphany in January 2006.

Post Alpha - a new marketing blog
Just recently I remarked to a friend that, "Blogs are for hobbyists and dabblers. Serious business people don't have blogs. They have real websites."So here I am starting my own blog. Why?

2. A new marketing term is revealed and defined.

Barketing Defined
A few posts ago on this blog I introduced the term “Barketing”. Since then some of you have expressed an interest in that term and asked for further clarification. Where did the term originate? Right here on this blog. This is the first time in public.

3. An example of using controversy as a marketing tool.

Christian Crusaders want to discuss DaVinci
That headline in the Globe and Mail (May 19, 2006) caught my attention. Why? Because with the reported religious controversy over the movie, The DaVinci Code, this sounded like a different approach. And that statement is a positive one.

4. Lessons to make blogging easier.

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:

5. The best branding example I've seen.

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.

6. A good example of bad marketing.

Travelodge Hotel Accuses You
At the Travelodge Hotel You Are Guilty Till Proven Innocent. At the Travelodge Hotel, (Burlington on the Lake) you are guilty till proven innocent. How’s that for customer service? How’s that for marketing?

7. The power of controversy and how it stimulates viral marketing.

Flick off!
How do you create a powerful viral marketing campaign? Clearly identify and know your target market. Really know them – what they do, where they go, how they think, what motivates them, how to grab their attention and how to speak their language. (How much of that do you know about your target market?)

8. A branding genius in the buff.

Richard Branson has Chahones
Richard Branson has ChahonesRichard Branson has chahones and he likes to show them off. Here he is running nude in the waves. Sir Richard thrives on challenge and controversy. He is the billionaire that has retained or reclaimed the boldness and brashness of a teenager. (How many boomers remember streaking?)

9. Example of partnering with a movie for cross promotion

Iron Man - the latest movie from Marvel Comics
Watch the trailer. It looks sharp. Looks like Marvel has successfully made the transition from comic book producer to movie producer. Several Marvel Comics have been transformed into movies but this is the first movie that Marvel had produced since they decided that they could do it themselves. (It's always enlightening to watch a child grow up.) Can you guess the name of the theme song for the Iron Man movie? Hint: The band is Black Sabbath.

10. Wake up call for small business - stop wasting your money on branding!

Forget branding, invest in relations
George Torok, Financial Post Published: Monday, May 12, 2008
The majority of business owners could be headed for disaster this year. Small business does best when it acts like small business. It does poorly when it blindly attempts to copy big business.The results of an Ipsos-Reid poll in March, 2008, should scare you. It found "a majority (59%) of small to medium-sized business owners have identified branding as a top priority."


George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Business Speaker

Friday, July 11, 2008

Power Marketing Tip 05: Business or personal?

Power Marketing Tip 05: Marketing - is it business or personal?

Marketing is about building your business. However, if your marketing is not personal enough your business might fail. Your marketing should be both business and personal.

Personal marketing is more powerful than impersonal marketing. Personal marketing is more profitable because you spend less on mass marketing and get higher revenue from your target customers. The power of personal marketing is based on the principle that we would rather do business with people we know and like.

How can you make your marketing more personal? Connect with your customers on a personal level. Here are some of the ways you can do that:

Friends not prey
Treat customers more like friends than prey. When making choices in your business ask yourself the question, "Would a friend do that to a friend?"

Staff are number one
The corollary to the previous point is to treat your staff more like friends than like slaves or idiots. Your staff is on the front line treating your customers the same way you treat your staff. Southwest Airlines, which is well known for their exceptional customer service, considers their staff their most important priority. Customers are number two. And Southwest Airlines is the only airline to consistently make a profit for over 30 years.

Helping Versus Selling
Adopt a helping mode instead of selling. If you are proud of what you sell and you honestly believe that it can help, then show how your product might help your customers. And help them arrive at that same decision. Help them - don't trap them.

Show respect
Convey respect for your customers' values, obstacles and decisions - even when you don't understand their decision. Be like the waiter - no matter what wine you order with your meal he always declares, "An excellent choice."


George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Expert & Author

Register for your Free Marketing Tips

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Return My Call

Return my call

Do you wish that more people would return your phone calls? Do you know why they don’t? Would you like to have more of your calls returned?

Okay. Let’s deal with one question at a time. If you are making sales calls and leaving messages then one of life’s frustrations can be not hearing back from people.

Do you wish that more people would return your phone calls?
Not necessarily. You only want the right people to return your calls. You don’t want to waste your time with people who don’t want or can’t buy what you are selling. So those folks are doing you a favor by not calling you back. In fact your message should dissuade them from calling you back.

Encourage the right people to call you by leaving a message that states your unique benefit. At the same time, those who are not interested in buying what you well will not call you back and thus not waste your time.

For example, don’t leave a message that simply states your name, phone number with the message, “Call me.” That’s just plain dumb.

Instead consider these examples:

“For a no obligation quote to re-shingle your leaky roof call us at 555.5555.”

“Leaky pipes and backed up toilettes are stinky situations. Keep this number handy to help when disaster happens.”

“How much did you spend on advertising last year? Do wish you got a better return on that investment? Call now for a free evaluation of your advertising choices.”

“Does your business experience highs and lows? Learn how we can supply the right staff when you need it without the costs of hiring and firing.”

George Torok

Friday, July 04, 2008



Here's a cool tool to shorten your long URLs.

Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have it break when sent causing the recipient to have to cut and paste it back together? Then you've come to the right place. By entering in a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.

Enter a long URL to make tiny: