Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kids hate haircuts - but love this barber

Kids hate haircuts - but love this barber

Kid Snips has reinvented the business of cutting kids hair. The kids sit in chairs that resemble carnival rides - planes and cars. Instead of staring at a mirror they watch a video. And the kicker - the hair cuts cost between $15 and $18 instead of $10.

You can charge more when you transform a painful experience into a pleasurable one.

Plus - the shop also sells toys, candy and other kids fun stuff, (more revenue for the shop).

So what could easily be a tantrum- spawned headache can instead be fun and easy. Isn't that worth paying extra for?

When you think about it - the answer was obvious. Barber shops and hairdressers were designed to serve adults. No wonder kids don't enjoy them.

But if your market is young children look around and learn from the best. That includes Disney and McDonald's. Kids like going to McDonald's because of the toys, playland, and quick simple treats. Parent's like taking their kids to McDonald's because they don't have to fight with their kids to take them. The result - a positive experience for the parents and the kids.

How might you transform the experience for your clients?

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Business Speaker

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Marketing: Don't make the same mistakes I did

Don't make the same mistakes that I made!

I started and chased several business ideas in my early days. Some did well and some failed. None did great. Why - because I did not fully understand the power of following a simple and effective marketing system. I didn't have a mentor. No one taught me the secrets of marketing. I didn't have a role model. But I knew that there had to be an easier, better way to succeed in business.

So I started reading all the business books I could find. I read hundreds of books, attended seminars, listened to tapes and watched videos. I even registered for a college marketing course - but dropped out because it was boring and impractical. As I gathered all this information I discovered there was a lot of useless information out there. The gems that I found I recorded, tried, analyzed and simplified. I started to develop my system of power marketing.

I used this new system when I launched my business a decade ago. I hit the ground running. Wow - were things different this time! Sales growth. Profit growth - and it was fun.

Then I met Peter Urs Bender - he was more experienced in the business. We discovered that we had gone through similar learning experiences. And again it was his simple system of marketing that built his success.

We compared notes and discovered common principles and techniques. We also shared our marketing horror stories - the dumb mistakes we had made. Perhaps if you had enough time and money you could suffer the same mistakes.

But why waste your time, money and the embarrassment?

We put the best of what we learned into Secrets of Power Marketing. We kept it simple, practical and effective - because that's the way we prefer to work.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Marketing Mess: Meatball Sundae

Meatball Sundae

That's what Seth Godin called it. Mixing things together that really don't go together.

Mixing ideas is a creative approach to marketing. But some things just don't belong in the same dish.

For example:
Steak house and vegetarian menu
Day care and casino
Ice cream and blood pudding
Pet hospital and Chinese food
Fine foods and sewing machine repairs?
Here is a shop that can't seem to figure out what business they are in. And if you read the signs I'm not sure you want to do business with them? The marquee reads, "British Fine Foods"

First, I'm not sure that British and fine foods belong in the same sentence. That combination is certainly open to argument.
More importantly look at the second photo of the sign in the window just to the left of the door where the same store that claims to offer fine foods also offers sewing machine repairs?
What is the synergy between these two services and why would you buy both services from the same shop?
What do people who repair sewing machines know about preparing fine foods?
Perhaps it's a British thing. Perhaps they don't care or don't know the difference.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Blackmail Selling

Blackmail is not a good sales technique

You’re great. Who says?

You think that you are great – prove it.

Yes – you should believe in your product, service and company. Yes you should make bold statements about that belief.

Most importantly you should be prepared and willing to back up those claims of superiority.

You should not be surprised when your prospects ask you to prove yourself. And you should not make your prospect feel uncomfortable or guilty by asking you to prove what you claim.

Recently I was approached by a company offering an intriguing web video service. I was impressed by the technology and toying with some possibilities. However I had never heard of this company nor did I recognize the names of any of their clients. And the investment was significant so I was thinking about ways that I might get a good return on my investment.

So I asked for some references that I could call. I wanted to talk to other people like me and learn about how they were using this tool and learn about their level of satisfaction.

Sounds like a reasonable request. But I was surprised and disturbed by the response of the sales rep.

His response to my request was something like this, “If I give you some references I need a commitment from you that I can ask you to close this deal.” He said the word, “commitment” as if only I should make a commitment – as if he was doing me a favor. He wasn't committing to anything.

I responded, “Yes you can ask.” But I felt awkward about his tactic. I'm sure my voice conveyed my unease - yet he didn't seem to pick up on that. Why was I being polite to this person who just was impolite to me?

If you are in sales – you always have the right to ask for the sale. However this exchange felt like blackmail to me. I had simply asked for some references. I was not shopping for this service. I wasn't sure how I might use it. But this sales rep made me feel both trapped and angry by his tactic.

I simply asked for references. The best response would have been, “I’m happy to provide some references for you. How many would you like? When can I follow up with you?

You must demonstrate over whelming value first - then you ask for the sale.

He did not give me any references and we are supposed to talk in two weeks. The chance of him making a sale? You guessed it – zero to none.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Motivational Business Speaker

Friday, August 15, 2008

Your media interview - how to be great

Your media interview

So you finally get a interview call from the media. How do you make the right impression?

Follow these tips from PR specialist Pam Lontos

Pam Lontos Column: 15 Tips (Plus a bonus!) to a Great Interview

Besides spreading the word about your speaking services, what's the best thing about landing interviews? The answer is: you can conduct the interview wearing your pajamas! But there's a catch. You can't sound like you're wearing your pajamas. That's right. Even though you're talking on the phone to the reporter and no one can see you, you still have to communicate a professional image. Otherwise, you might get bumped form the story and theydefinitely won't call you back for future stories. So how can you ensure that you make the right impression and, perhaps more importantly, that you're called back for more interviews?

You can use the following fifteen tips for giving great interviews:

1. Allow yourself private time prior to the interview. Use this time to relax and focus. Imagine that you are speaking with the interviewer face to face. Rehearse the points you want to make and remember that you can never be too prepared.

2. Seek a quiet spot for the interview. If you are speaking from home, close yourself off in a room with few distractions. Turn off your computer, TV, or radio, and clear your desk so nothing can take your mind off the conversation.

3. Write your main points before the call begins. Do not read scripted responses from a pre-printed sheet, because reporters can tell when something is being read to them versus when you're giving honest answers. But do prepare a note card with three to five topics you would like to touch upon during the interview. That way you won't struggle with an answer during the interview.

4. Show that you care about the reporter and their story. Be helpful and responsive to their requests. Ask the interviewer what you can do to make his or her job easier. Then really listen to their answer and be an eager, accessible source of information.

5. Stand while giving the interview. Even though you're talking on thephone, act as if you are giving a live presentation and stand tall. Standing will raise your energy level, and you will be more alert than if you were sitting. Interviewers love energy and really pick up on your mood.

6. Smile, and answer honestly and sincerely. People can hear your smile over the phone, and a reporter will feel more comfortable after hearing the joy in your voice. Also, the sound of smiling builds a rapport with interviewers. If they feel they can trust you, they will think of you first for their next interview.

7. Put energy and spunk into your voice. No one wants to listen to amonotonous drone, and the reporters and producers are no different. So put energy into your voice. This could make the difference between a mundane interview and a great conversation.

8. Have backup information handy. Reporters will inevitably ask you one question you don't want to or can't answer (this is another place your notecard comes in handy). In case you are unable to respond, you can say, "That brings up an interesting point." then go on to one of your prepared statements. Or, offer to find out the answer to the questions and get back to them as soon as possible.

9. Be concise. The average answer given is only nine seconds long. If you cannot convey your message in this short amount of time, your answer will not be used. So be careful not to ramble and be sure to stick to the facts. Don't overload the reporter with unnecessary information that is not directly related to the story.

10. Be forthright. Answer the reporter's question accurately and thoroughly, and don't be afraid to give away too much information. Many speakers fear that they might give away too much information and then no one will book them for events. But it's impossible to spoil years of experience and training in a short interview, and the audience will actually want more when you give them a little. So answer the questions and don't say, "You'll find the answer to that when you hire me for a keynote."

11. Use the word "you" often. The word "you" draws the audience in and helpsthem relate to what you're saying. And always give them a reason to pay attention by adding benefit statements to the facts in your presentation.

12. Let the reporter lead the conversation. The reporter most likely has an agenda for the story's development already in mind, so don't attempt to take over the conversation or talk about points the reporter does not want to cover.

13. Incorporate personal experiences into your responses. Audiences love to hear firsthand accounts of experiences relating to the topic. It helps them feel as if they know you personally. But make sure you stay on topic and don't get distracted with your story.

14. Be prepared to back up your claims. Reporters want factual information.So instead of saying, "The majority of people do this." say, "Eighty-five percent of my clients do this." And don't say, "I think" or "maybe." Speak with authority and confidence.

15. Find future stories. After the interview, thank the reporter and ask what other stories they're covering. Even if their stories don't directly pertain to your speaking topic, explain how you can be beneficial to what they are investigating.

16. Interviews in the future. Although interviews usually entail a relatively short phone call, you still need to take your time and prepare for it beforehand. You don't have to shower and shave, but you do need to have energy and excitement in your voice. During the call, you want to put your best foot forward with clear, honest and accurate responses. And when you're finished, don't forget to thank the reporter and offer to help onother stories. When you use these fifteen tips for giving great interviews, you'll communicate a professional, expert image to the reporter and the audience for you and your speaking career.

For additional publicity tips and articles now, visit: Pam Lontos is the president of PR/PR, a public relations firm thatspecializes in professional speakers, authors and experts. An author, speaker and former VP of Disney's Shamrock Broadcasting, Pam knows the ropes of getting you good publicity and how to use it to boost your bookings or book sales. She is also author of the forthcoming book, "I See Your Name Everywhere!" Call for a free consultation: 407-299-6128 or

Reprinted from 'PR/PR Pulse,' a free e-zine featuring tips and techniques for gaining publicity. To subscribe, send an email to with 'Add Me' in the subject line.


George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Author - Secrets of Power Marketing

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Obvious Expert

How to Position Yourself as the Obivious Expert

Here's a marketing book, The Oblivious Expert, that is packed with the best wisdom from over 150 the world's best marketing and sales experts, gurus and wizards.

One obvious way that you become an expert is to collect, read and summarize the best advice from the established experts in the field. An interesing strategy used by the author/editor of this book.

I'm one of the experts included in this book. Naturally that makes me an obvious expert. (No blushing here.) Obvious experts don't blush. They politely smile and accept the accolades.

Here is a list of contributors to The Oblivious Expert:

You will recgonize some giants of marketing and sales here.

Tony Alessandra, Jeremy Allen, Debbie Allen, Alan Alpert, Kare Anderson, Elva Anson, George Ansong, Michael Anthony, Tom Antion, Stephanie Bacak, Rochelle Balch, Corbin Ball, Robert Bayliss, Sue Becker, Peter Bender, Rick Beneteau, Debbie Bermont, Lillian Bjorseth, Orlando Blake, Ken Blanchard, Michele Blood, Wally Bock, Carol Boczarski, Diane Booher, Deniece Bossler, Linne Bourget, Al Bredenberg, Robert Britton, Marjorie Brody, Edward S. Brown, Frank Candy, Chris Carey, Michelle Casto, Ira Chaleff, Susan Chambers, Eric Chester, Bobbie Christensen, Bobbie Christmas, David Clarke, William Cohen, Joyce Coleman, Saralyn Collins, Jo Condrill, Mary Cook, Robert Corallino, Marisa D`Vari, Janet Delph, Jean Desmond, Jennifer Dicks, Laura Doyle, Burt Dubin, R. Wayne Eisenhart, Elsom Eldridge Jr., Mark. L. Eldridge, Joe Esposito, Linda Fayerweather, Joshua Feinberg, Erin Flynn, Michel Fortin, Paul Franklin, Patricia Fripp, Patricia Fry, Gary Gagliardi, David Garfinkel, Dawn Gay, Eric Gelb, Richard Gerson, Malcolm Gladwell, Connie Glaser, Fred Gleeck, Sheronde Glover, Bill Goss, Ida Greene, Alan Guinn, Daniel Gutierrez, Steven Haas, John Edmund Haggai, Deb Haggerty, Gail Hahn, Doug Hall, Janet Hall, Lisa Halpin, Mark Victor Hansen, Susan Harrow, C.J. Hayden, John Hedtke, Robyn Henderson, Edward Hendricks, Les Hewitt, Kathie Hightower, Judy Hoffman, Kevin Hogan, Darryl Hold, William Horton, Ross Huguet, Richard Johnson, Robert Jolles, Paul Karasik, Colin Keogh, Ed King, Carl Kline, Christie Knight, Rochelle Kopp, Cliff Kurtzman, Tom Lambert, Martha Lanier, R. Dale Leighv, Debra Leopold, Susan Levin, Jay Conrad Levinson, Irene Levitt, Mike Litman, Gary Lockwood, Peter Lowe, George Lucke, Linda Mackenzie, Jacqueline Marcell, Sherry Maysonave, Kevin McCarthy, Chris McClean, Lynne McClure, Leslie McClure, Robert Menard, IIPaul J. Meyer, Robert Middleton, Barry Minkin, Ivan Misner, Donald Moine, Peter Montoya, Bonnie Moret, CB Motsett, Nick Nichols, B.L. Ochman, Glenn Parker, Roger Parker, William Parkhurst, Raleigh Pinskey, Linda Pinson, Nancy Poffenberger, Dan Poynter, George Price, Linda Radke, T.J. Reid, Fern Reiss, Susan RoAnne, Denine Rogers, Jim Rohn, Marilyn & Tom Ross, Jeff Rubin, Mark Sanborn, Sandra Schrift, Jerry Schwartz, Gini Graham Scott, Dan Seidman, Roberta Shaler, Jerry Shea, Julie Signore, Russ Sinkler, Leslie Slawson Smith, Tim Spielman, John Stanley, Eric Steele, Lynn Stewart, Joan Stewart, Eric P. Strauss, Millie Szerman, Joe Teal, Natalie Thomas, Bob Topor, George Torok, Brian Tracy, Jason Tremblay, Bruce Turkel, Joe Vitale, Renee Walkup, Dottie Walters, Patrick Walters, Christina Wellman, David Wells, Mary Westheimer, Chris Widener, Claudyne Wilder, Mike Williams, Orvel Ray Wilson, Barb Wingfield, Barbara Winter, Angi Ma Wong, Patti Wood, Jeff Zbar, Jennifer Zick, Susan Zimmerman

It's an impressive list. That looks like fine company for a marketing expert to keep. And we judge you by the company you keep.

Who are you keeping company with - and how are you leveraging that company?

Learn more about The Obvious Expert here.

George Torok
Bestselling Marketing Author
Marketing Speaker
Canadian Business Speaker

Monday, August 11, 2008

Go Jump off a tall building

Go jump off a tall building

Have you heard that expression? Has anyone ever said it to you? Have you ever expressed to someone else?

Be careful what you say to people. Bob Hooey took it literally. Yep, he jumped off a tall building - 27 stories tall. Bob has probably been called a lot of names - crazy, pushy, bold, showman, brave, determined, creative, (did I mention crazy?)... Yep that's Bob Hooey - all those things and more.

That's Bob - jumping off a 27 story building. He claims to have a fear of heights but I don't believe it because I have a fear of heights and I would never do what he did. I get nervous just looking at the photos and viewing the videos.

You could also call Bob Hooey a marketing master. He knows how to get attention and that's what every marketer must do. Stand out from the crowd. Yep, Bob does that - head and shoulders.

So why is Bob Hooey performing this crazy stunt again? It's a fund raising event for Easter Seals. Almost everybody is climbing mountains these days so you got to be different.

However I think that Bob Hooey is just starving for attention again - and he gets it again. Good on you Bob! Watch that first step - it's a Hooey.

View the videos of Bob Hooey rappelling down the outside of the building.

Sponsor Bob Hooey and donate to Alberta Easter Seals.

PS: Good thing that I live in Ontario where the expression is, "Go jump in the lake."

PPS: And watch what you dare people to do.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker

Friday, August 08, 2008

Atmosphere - imagine that

Atmosphere – imagine that

Mix the following and what have you got?
Personal invitations, special event, horse drawn carriage, balloons, jazz quartet, a wild fiddler, several food and drink stations never running out, atmosphere, over 800 guests, local dignitaries and Mercedes luxury buses to shuttle the overflow from parking down the street.

Give up?

Surprise – it’s a new funeral home.

This was the VIP open house for Bay Gardens Funeral Home in Hamilton, Ontario.

You are forgiven if you are thinking, “Yeah right, - a funeral home? No way!”

From a marketer’s point of view – this grand opening was a fabulous example of how to launch a new product or business.

From an entrepreneur’s point of view – this bold new funeral home is an example of how to compete in a competitive and saturated market.

It’s important to note that a product launch does not make a successful product. Success starts with a smart business strategy. That’s difficult and soul searching. Once you’ve got that figured out the launch and operational issues are easy decisions. Just follow your strategy.

If you think it’s hard to get people to attend your open house or product launch just imagine how difficult it is to get people to go willingly to a funeral home. Considering that most funeral homes are pleased to get 100 guests at a grand opening – 800 guests is amazing. What’s more amazing and significant is that these 800 guests were potential clients and not suppliers or sycophants that often attend these events.

So why did so many people attend this event?

I suspect that it was because of the community work and powerful relationships built by Bay Gardens President, Jan Nichols over the past couple decades in the local funeral business and especially over the last three years since the launch of the first Bay Gardens Funeral Home in Burlington, Ontario.

Yes – the event was first class. All the fine details were exquisite.

However, nothing beats the power of strong relationships. I believe that the core strategy of Bay Gardens is relationships – relationships with the community and relationships with people.
That’s why Bay Gardens starts by building relationships with their staff. They already have over 600 applications for part time work and they haven’t advertised yet. That’s why they encourage community participation. That’s why they invested $500,000 in first class meeting rooms that are designated for use by local non-profit organizations. And it’s free – but only to non-profit organizations. This non-profit area is bold and unique.

That’s why Bay Gardens named the rooms after the local waterfalls and partnered with the local conservation authority. How many funeral homes name the rooms, Salon A and Salon B? A video of local waterfalls played in the screens during the VIP event and this video will continue to run. All 800 guests received a coupon courtesy of Bay Gardens for admittance and a tour at any one of several local conservation parks.

Why was this launch so successful?

Because there was a clear strategy, they were bold and they paid attention to lots of little details.

Why do I believe that they will not only succeed but overwhelm the competition?

Because there appears to be a clear strategy that is built on building strong relationships. If your business is suffering I suggest that you review the state of your relationships. Strong relationships beat branding, pricing and slow economies.

Bonus: This is a funeral home with atmosphere - imagine that. Walk in the front door and you face a two story indoor waterfall.

Below is a short video clip of the Wild Fiddler. The first thing you see is the two story waterfall. This hardly looks like a funeral home.

George Torok
Marketing Expert
Marketing Speaker
Canadian Business Speaker

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Power Marketing Tip 07: Feed me, feed me

Power Marketing Tip 07: Feed me, feed me

The power of food

Food and drink are two of our most primal needs. They are at the bottom of Maslov's Hierarchy of human needs. And they are daily needs. Even someone who is independently wealthy needs to eat and drink every day.

Perhaps that is why meeting clients and associates for breakfast, lunch or coffee are such effective relationship builders.

If we enjoy the food and setting then we are more likely to enjoy the company. This sort of meeting allows for social as well as business discussion.

Want to attract more people to your open house? Offer free coffee and donuts or BBQ wieners and hamburgers.

Want to reward an associate for their referrals? Send them a gift certificate for a nice restaurant so they can enjoy the meal with their spouse.

Want to be welcomed whenever you visit an important client? Arrive with fresh baked cookies.

Want to get better service from the accounts payables of your big clients? Send them free pizza.

Want to impress the families of your partners? Send them coupons for their children to get ice cream.

Want to recruit the gate keeper to help you connect with the CEO? Send Swiss or Belgian chocolate.

Having trouble getting that corporate buyer to see you? Send a fruit platter.

Want to fit into the tight schedule of that busy executive? Meet for lunch or breakfast.

The above is an excerpt from the free Power Marketing Tips published by email every two weeks.

To register for your free Power Marketing Tips click here.

To read the archive of published Power Marketing Tips click here.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Business Speaker
Canadian Motivational Speaker

Friday, August 01, 2008

Website Marketing: One way links

Website marketing: One way links

Links to your website help people find your site from the site that linked to you and more importantly improve your status in the search engines.

The thinking is that if other websites link to your website, the other websites must think that you are an authority on your topic.

However, the reality is far more selective. All links are not equal. Some links are more valuable than others.

These things make the link to your site more valuable:
The site that links to your site is on a related topic.
The site that links to your site is a higher Google page rank.
The site that links to your site only links to other sites of related topics.
The page that links to your site has a reasonable number of links. Somewhere less than 100.
That site is linking to you without you linking back to them - called one way links.

That last factor - one way links - is tough to get. Yet it is valuable because the search engines thinking is - if you have inbound links without outbound links to that other site it must be because they really love you. It's preceived to be more that a dirty trade of favors.

Too many "web marketers" email you asking to trade links with you. There's little value if the topics are unrelated, their link page has hundreds of links, those other links are unrelated and their link page can't be found from their home page.

I tend to ignore those requests.

One Way Links
Here is a website that specializes in helping you get one way links. Haven't tried it yet - but it looks interesting. I will check it out.

One Way Link Building

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Expert & Author