Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 Ways to Make Money in 2010

The new year is always a good time to review your marketing and business. Improve your business and you will make more money. Don't fool yourself by looking for big things. Improving little details can make you alot of money.

Author and lead generation marketing specialist Craig Garber from has just released his annual "Top 10 Ways Entrepreneurs Will (And Won't) Be Making Money In2010" list. Garber is the author of "How To Make MaximumMoney With Minimum Customers: 21 Proven Direct-MarketingStrategies Anyone Can Use" and he has some compelling picksthis year.

These tips are so powerful that I will be posting them one at a time over the next two weeks.

1. Tighten up your marketing message - "The way to be different and get noticed," Garber says, "Is by addressing the most specific and passionate needs of your customers. The more you match your marketing messages to your customers, the more money you will make, simple as that. Create goods and services that cater to individuals, not to the generic 'everyman.' So for instance, if you're selling services, create programs that address the needs of busy executives, women, people who want to get in shape, and the elderly. When you cater to your customer's specific needs, you will sell much more, and you'll be able to charge top-dollar as well. This works for everything from healthcare to cupcakes."

George Torok
Marketing Expert & Author
Business Speaker


Monday, December 28, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 29: Be Seen in Print Media

Power Marketing Tip 29

Get more exposure in the print media

Imagine how you would feel when you talk with a client or prospect and they say, "I read about you in the news". As good as that might feel the more important benefit is the boost it lends to your credibility and perceived value. Now you don't need to say how good you are - the media has done that for you.

There is no question that radio and TV coverage is good. Let's focus this time on the print media - newspapers and magazine. Even though readership seems to be declining, it still has tremendous power with specific markets. And there appears to be more weight to something in print versus the other forms of old and new media.

Three proven techniques to get into the print media

Write a letter to the editor
This is the simplest and easiest way. All you need to do is express your opinion. But be warned. Don't complain or disparage. Instead offer a different viewpoint on an issue, add a new perspective on the season ahead or explain your support for a cause.

Write an article
Even if you think you aren't a writer you can learn to write an article. The easiest article to write is a tips list. Just list the points, tips or ideas that you want to get across. Another simple yet productive technique is to interview yourself. Ask a question and answer it.

Send a news release
Research suggests that between 60% and 80% of the news comes from news releases. Large corporations and publicists still use this method because it works.
Email works for all three. None of these techniques work all the time - but they work enough of the time if you grab the attention of the right reporter or editor at the right time.
See you in the news.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PPS: Forward this tip to your associates.

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Read How to Write Your News Release


Monday, December 21, 2009

Hilter gets into the act of dissing United Airlines

Watch where social media can go.


United Breaks Guitars: Song 2

Song 2 in the saga of Dave Carroll versus United Airlines.

The message for business is that social media can help you or hurt you. United Airlines could have prevented this damage by quickly apologizing and paying for the guitar.

Of course Unitied Airlines could also train their staff about customer service. That suggests that there is a bigger problem at United Airlines.

Remember that on YouTube everyone is a producer.

George Torok


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Marketing Speakers in Iran: Karaj

Every marketer dreams of themself as the marketing hero. This was one of those moments. My face on a billboard. I was one of a few marketing experts that were speaking at a conference in Karaj city in Iran. While driving to the city of Karaj we were excited to see our photos on a highway billboard.
When we arrived at the conference centre in Karaj, we were greeted with the super star treatment - red carpet, photographers and videographers.
And after our presentations we were mobbed for autographs and photographs.
George Torok

Friday, December 11, 2009

Reward small favors

"I owe you a drink"

That's what Richard Peterson said to me at the president's banquet at the association convention in Calgary. I was pleasantly surprised by his statement.

He reminded me that I had bought him a drink at this same event two years before in Halifax.

I had forgotten but clearly he had not.

The lesson for you is that small favors are remembered more than you might think.

At the same time - small slights are also remembered.

If it's going to be small - make it positive.

George Torok
Networking Tips


Don't send Christmas cards unless

My advice to business owners is “Don’t send Christmas cards unless your Christmas card is Sham Wow different.”


Sending Christmas cards to clients and associates is a marketing activity. Thus it should pass the marketing activity test.

All marketing activities should do at least one of the following things well. And it should do it better than the competition. Your competition is more than just your competitors. Your competition is anyone or anything that competes for the attention, time and money of your prospects and clients. At Christmas time you have a lot of competition.

Your marketing criteria:

Grab Attention
Demonstrate value
Build relationships

That’s what your marketing should do – at least one of those things better than your competition.

If you are thinking of sending Christmas cards then what will you do to out Sham Wow the competition?

The other important criterion is return on investment – ROI. If you spend $1 then you should expect to receive at least $2 in return.

I just received a Christmas card from Tom Beakbane, president of Beakbane Retail Connections, a marketing firm that specializes in helping retail firms sell more.

Why am I excited by this Christmas card?

Because it’s different, creative and playful – all words that fit with the style and service of Beakbane.

This Christmas card was delivered by email (which I’m not a fan of). However it’s different because the webpage is a Christmas tree with several links that lead to seasonal interests. For example: Roast a perfect turkey, Sinful chocolate recipes, Show shoveling tips to save your back, Top ten cocktails to put you in the festive mood, and several more.

Look at the Beakbane Christmas card.

And best of all, the ROI is strong because the cost of creating the webpage and distributing the link by email is minimal.

I’m impressed and not surprised by Tom Beakbane and Beakbane Retail Connections.

Don't send Christmas cards unless...

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Expert & Author

PS: Tom Beakbane was a recent guest on my radio show, Business in Motion.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 28: Be seen as the expert

Power Marketing Tip 28:

Be recognized as the expert

Experts are perceived to be more valuable than generalists. A heart surgeon makes more money than a GP. When you are recognized as an expert - clients will brag about you, prospects will buy more readily and your business will be more profitable.

What is the first step?

Decide on your area of expertise. The more specific you are, the easier it is to establish and leverage your expertise. Who looks more like an expert to you - the small business accountant or the accountant who specializes in working with fast food franchise owners?

How do you project the image of an expert?

Use these techniques to build and enhance your image as an expert.

Provide information
Be the source of relevant and valuable information on the topic. The information could be tips, emerging trends, product reviews, industry news or commentary. You could deliver this information in one or more of several ways - write and publish articles, write a blog, conduct seminars, answer questions, publish surveys.

Appear in the media
Folks believe that you are the expert when the media calls you one. If you are providing the above information to the market be sure to also send it to the media. Topical and controversial blog posts are particularly good at grabbing media attention. Do everything you can to get the media to interview you. When they call - talk to them. (More on this in a future tip.)

Flaunt your awards
Let the world know about your designations, certifications and honorable mentions. The courses you completed, plaques you received and trophies collecting dust could be symbols of your expertise. This is not the time to be shy. Be humble but not shy.

Associate with other experts
When you are seen to associate with other experts folks will assume that you are of the same ilk - even if those experts are from other fields.

Be an eager student of your craft
If you want to be seen as an expert be sure to keep learning. Never fool yourself and try to pretend that you know everything. Real experts are continuous learners and they are proud of that. Question your own beliefs, update your knowledge, and hone your skills.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Customers fight back

United Breaks Guitars

Customer service is often a warzone - mainly because of the lack of customer service. The battle has often titled unfairly in favor of the gigantic and uncaring corporations.

What can one individual do to fight back in a customer service dispute with an airline?

Answer: Write a song and post it on YouTube.

That's what singer Dave Carroll did when United Airlines damaged his guitar. The damage wasn't event an acident. It was a wanton act of disregard for the customer. And it was "not my job" attitude that made it worse.

Read Dave Darroll's story about how United Airlines Breaks guitars.

Enjoy the Unitied Breaks Guitars video below: (This is song one in a series of three.)


Monday, November 30, 2009

You complete me

The Joker taunted Batman with that phrase in the movie The Dark Knight. The public image of both Batman and the Joker were stronger because of their conflict. The legend of Robin Hood was enhanced by the cruelty of the Sheriff of Nottingham.

A champion needs a formidable villain and vice versa.

The marketing lesson from that is that the public defines you by your competition.

The boxer, Mohammad Ali understood this marketing principle and demonstrated it well. He built up the credibility and threat of each of his opponents before every fight. That made his victories more exciting.

Avis could not defeat the market leader in the car rental business Hertz, so they defined themselves by the phrase, “We try harder.”

Pepsi positioned itself as the alternative to the market leader Coke. Lex Luthor was legitimized by his role as the greatest enemy of Superman. Doctor Doom is feared because he is the greatest threat to the Fantastic Four. Sir Edmund Hillary is nothing without Mount Everest. Winston Churchill would be unknown without Hitler. Wyatt Earp is defined by the Clantons. The 300 Spartans are known because of their stand against the Persian Empire. David is only remembered because of his contest with Goliath. And Delilah is only known because of her betrayal of Samson.

With its clever TV ads, Apple has positioned itself as the alternative to the market leader, Microsoft.

Who or what is the Darth Vader to your Luke Skywalker?

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Executive Briefing


Saturday, November 28, 2009

25 Ideas to Write Your Article

If you write articles to promote your business, (I think that you should), here are 25 ideas to help kickstart your brain.

Top 25 Article Topic Ideas
by Steve Shaw

Are you stumped for what to write about?

Don’t fret–We all are at some time or another.

No matter how long you’ve been writing there are always times when the creative well is just bone dry, and you need a little jump start.

Well, here it comes:

I’ve assembled 25 of my favourite and most effective article topic ideas and article topic idea stimulators. I hope these are helpful to you!

Let’s get started…

1) Use one of our free article writing templates (that’s actually several article topic ideas right there!)

2) Adapt content from your blog to create articles.

3) Write for newbies and more advanced readers–you can cover the same topic in two different articles geared towards groups with different knowledge levels.

4) Use customer frequently asked questions as the basis for an article.

Read the rest of this article at Creative Article Marketing blog

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Articles by George Torok


Thursday, November 05, 2009

What Boomer Women Want

What Boomer Women Want
by Jeff Mowat

Recently, Gifts and Tablewares Magazine asked me, as one of their retailing expert panelists, to comment on whether retailers should be targeting Baby Boomers, or shifting to Gen Xers and Gen Ys. My response includes several tips you might find helpful for selling to your customers.

Here's what I wrote...

Forget which group is the largest or has the most money... the question gift and tableware retailers need to ask is which group is the most appropriate target for the types of products you sell. Typically, younger people are not 'all that into you' if you retail tableware or kitchenware.

For most gift and tableware retailers, baby-boomers are their largest target market. That's a good thing since not only is this a massive portion of the North American population, but it's one that will inherit more wealth over the next decade. Plus, as the Gen-Xers and Ys mature, they'll want more of your products later. Meanwhile, the challenge for retailers targeting boomers is this group is becoming fed-up with the hassle-factor of typical retail shopping.

Boomers are busier than ever - especially the women who do most of this type of shopping. They spend most of their waking hours working/commuting and dealing with their 'Millennials' (20 something children who will never leave the concierge service they receive at home). At the same time boomer women are caring for aging parents. They're run ragged. In today's soft economy they may not be buying luxury; but they're still buying quality. The implications for gift and tableware retailers are several fold:

  • Reduce the hassle-factor for your boomer women customers. Offer easy on-line ordering. Offer to gift-wrap. Offer that you'll put together custom baskets of your goods and ship anywhere for them. Don't wait to be asked to do this; pro-actively announce it (pick up the phone and start dialing during your slow periods).Your customers' money is plentiful.Their time and energy is scarce.
  • Don't offer cheap junk that will end up in garage sales. Sell unique products that provide real quality and lasting value.
  • Hire mature employees who can relate to your target market... not students who have no interest in the products they're trying to sell.
Bottom line - your business can't be all things to all people. Targeting Gen-Xers and Ys and boomers is attracting none. Pick a lane. Forget trying to go cheap to be affordable to young people... price-wise you won't beat Wal-Mart or China. Be a specialist providing quality and remark-able customer service that your target market actually appreciates and is willing to pay for.
About award-winning speaker, Jeff Mowatt, BComm., CSP
Jeff Mowatt is the bestselling author of the books,
Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month (for managers), and Influence with Ease (for professionals who interact with customers). As a customer service strategist, Jeff's Influence with Ease® column has been syndicated and featured in over 200 business publications. To help professionals put ideas into action, Jeff heads his own training company and has produced 4 multimedia training kits. An award winning international speaker, Jeff is among the top 7% of professional speakers in the International Federation for Professional Speakers to achieve their highest designation - Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). For more Influence with Ease® tips, training resources, and information about engaging Jeff for your team, call 1-800-JMowatt (566-9288), or visit
Very good advice from Jeff for all retailers - especially the part of hiring mature staff who can relate to the values of your best customers.

Your best marketing is customer service training for your staff.

George Torok
Marketing Expert and Speaker


Friday, October 16, 2009

Bad Customer Service: Grant Rant

Carriage House Inn Fails

Customer service is always news. Sometimes it's good news and too often it's bad news.

People talk about both extremes. When it's good news that's good marketing for you. When it's bad news that's good marketing for your competition.

You decide who you want your customers marketing for.

Enjoy this bad news customer service story from my colleague Kit Grant about the Carriage House Inn in Calgary. Apparently they wanted to create marketing for their competition.

by Kit Grant

It's been awhile but many have asked for one so here we go ...

**WHO KNEW THINGS WERE THIS BAD? Apparently the whole recession thing has had a much bigger impact on the hospitality business than anyone realized. We recently held our Boot Camp for speakers at a local hotel here in Calgary. On the second day we had ordered granola bars for the afternoon snack (minimum order is a dozen).

That day we had two meeting rooms and the group decided to leave the granola bars for a late evening snack since we were having pizza for dinner around 5pm. We ate in the room apart from where the break had been set up and discovered upon returning there around 7pm that the hotel had cleared out all remnants of the afternoon break including the coffee and the granola bars.

These were not home-made ones but just the kind you buy at Costco (or for more money at 7-Eleven. They're wrapped up and can last for some time ... apparently to be re-sold over and over by the hotel until consumed or discarded.

A couple of days later when the Catering Manager was back at work I went in to see her and explained the situation asking if we could have the $24 + GST charge removed from the bill.

NOPE! I had ordered them and whether or not I used them was not her concern - I should have eaten them when delivered.

She said their contract says they can remove buffet food after two hours (really, she used the term buffet food to describe granola bars ... that was such a defensive response it was actually funny) although she was unable to show me the those terms anywhere on the agreement I had signed.

I went to see the General Manager and quickly discovered where she got her training. This "service wizard" was less than sympathetic but said he would look after it. What has he done so far? - Nada, nothing.

I'm sure in his busy world there can be nothing more annoying than an unhappy customer. Now we've used this facility before on more than one occasion. What do you think the odds are of my using it again?

It's amazing that a small hotel with arguably some of the best food in town could have it so right in some departments and so wrong in others. Who knew they were this desperate for $24?

The $240 + service fee charge ($80/day)for the screen we ordered consisted of moving a switch on the wall to lower the screen. Not once over the course of the weekend did an AV technician do this. I checked. This screen has to have been paid for many times over but it now represents a major profit centre - who would've known?

I'm no novice here - I've been conducting meetings in hotels since 1976 and I know when I'm getting the shaft.

Most people wouldn't even recognize what's happening here.


It's just the principle here - somehow it just seems wrong and could have been handled so much better in light of the total bill of over $1700 plus what we spent in the dining room for three meals for 8 people.

It's so amazing it's worth telling the story to as many people as I can. Now all 13,000+ of you know about it just to illustrate how "lazy service" stories can spread so easily and rapidly because you'll hopefully tell many more.So if you've been missing that "We're going to really stick it to you" feeling you should probably consider scheduling your next meeting, conference or wedding at the Carriage House Inn on Macleod Trail.

There's nothing quite like it AND apparently they really need the money so please go and help them out. Just watch your granola bars carefully!

So endith the rant.
(Kit Grant)
And look what the Carriage House Inn says about themselves on the home page of their website.
"A Calgary tradition for more than 40 years, the Carriage House Inn offers excellent customer service,impressive function space, remarkable accommodations and fantastic food and beverage. Our experienced and friendly staff will ensure that every detail or request is met with the utmost attention."

More customer service stories


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Mac vs PC Videos

Enjoy these videos of the TV ads that feature the "I'm a Mac. I'm a PC." guys.

Terrific examples of marketing by being different from the competition with your promotion and highlighting your product differences. It's creative, bold and memorable. And have you noticed that Mac is gaining marketing share?

George Torok


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barketing warning signs

Warning Signs of Barketing

As good as brand x
Clients speak of you in terms of being “as good as brand x”. That suggests that they see no noticeable difference between you. It’s a danger sign when your staff confides this to clients. Of course the death knoll is when you say it.

You choose to advertise where you competition is
The ad rep taunts you with the words, “Your competition will be there”. Your blood boils - you immediately take the bait and sign up.

Your marketing appears to be an echo of the competition
Do you design your ads while looking at the competition? Change a colour and the contact information? Might a prospect look or listen to your promotions and not distinguish between you – if not for the name?

Twins - people get you confused
Clients call you by the name of your competition. A colleague introduces you incorrectly by citing your competition’s product line. You receive prospect calls for the competition and find yourself saying “No, that’s not our program.”

Your brand is indistinguishable from the competition
Is your differentiation summarized in terms of colour? You’re the blue. They’re the gray. Do your slogans and tag lines sound similar to the competition?

You get locked in one-upmanship with your competition
They announce a 15% price reduction and you respond with an 18% reduction (and hold your breath). You hold a donut and coffee day and they volley back with a pancake breakfast. They give away an Ipod and you consider giving an Iphone.

The market is growing but not for you
New competitors are growing but in a different space of the market. They are avoiding your overcrowded customer space and harvesting more profitable specialized niches. You are so focused on your established but perhaps fuzzy target market that you ignore the newer opportunities and miss the rising threats. If you don’t watch out you might be blindsided.

The above is an excerpt from the next marketing article for Enterprise Magazine. Read the full article by subscribing to Enterprise magazine. George Torok has been contributing a marketing column to this magazine for over a decade.

George Torok
Marketing Myths
Marketing Speaker


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thank you for shopping

"Thank you for shopping"

Imagine how nice it feels to hear that phrase of appreciation while you are paying for your purchase. (Giving up your money.)

Do you remember the last time you heard that phrase?

I heard it just the other day. Isn't that nice? Maybe, because I heard it not from a person but from a machine. The self-check out machine thanked me for shopping at the store. Although the person who came over to help me when I ran into a problem only gave me a look of "How stupid can you be?"

I don't like using the self-check out machine for several reasons all related to how annoying I find them. I only use them because the lines are shorter. But at least it says thank you. And that is something few people are saying as I give them my money.

Isn't that interesting? Stores are programing their machines to say "Thank you" while neglecting to train their staff to say the same thing or to show appreciation for the customer period.

Didn't they hear about the recession?

It costs nothing to remind staff to treat customers like guests (the Disney model).

Repeat after me, "Thank you". How difficult is that. By the way when you give me my change back - that was already my money - I might thank you but I don't need to.

When I give you my money to buy from your store I am supporting your job.

A warm thank you would be appreciated.

Handling me back my change while saying "There you go" is a long way from "Thank you for shopping."

George Torok
Marketing Expert
Marketing Speaker
Canadian Business Speaker


Friday, September 11, 2009

Grand Parents Day

Sunday September 13 is Grand Parents day. Do something nice for your grandparents.

Here is a good example of filling the valleys in your business cycles.

In the flower business you probably have four main sources of income:
  • Mother's Day
  • Valentines Day
  • Weddings
  • Funnerals

What can you do to fill in the valleys between?

Find other days or events to leverage your business. Ken Bolt of Brant Florist in Burlington, ON is a savy online marketer. Check out his website at

He promoted Grand Parents Day on his website and sent colorful reminders by email to his list. Most likely Grand Parents Day won't come close to Mother's Day for flower sales but I bet that it will be better for Ken Bolt than most others.

What creative promotions can you do to fill in your valleys?

George Torok
Marketing Expert and Author
Marketing Speaker


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 27: Be Unfair

Power Marketing Tip 27:
Be Unfair

Dominate your market by being unfair to your competition.

Make it tough for them to compete against you. Don't be unkind or mean. Just offer your clients so much value that your competition screams, "That's not fair!"

Your strongest competition these days might be the economy. My guess is that it's not treating you fairly. In my opinion the bailout of GM and Chrysler and the executive payouts are not fair. Don't believe that you need to play fair with your competition.

How can you be more unfair to your competition?
Offer more value than your competition. Add some extra piece of value that costs you little but might be perceived as offering incredible value to your clients. That might be including service that everyone else charges for. It might mean offering an unheardof guarantee.

Break some "unwritten" industry rule. Every industry has unwritten rules that have evolved over time that annoy clients. That might mean online ordering, around the clock access or a simplified process. Look to technology to help you with these enhancements.

Educate the clients about the industry. This could be a variation of the previous point. By educating clients about the industry secrets you help to develop a better educated and thus more discerning buyer. You could make a list of tough questions for buyers to ask when they shop around. Those questions might catch your competition off-balance. Naturally you and your team are well prepared to handle those questions.

Form alliances with sellers of related services. Partner with other suppliers to your clients. Together you can offer a more comprehensive service and get your foot in the door with your clients ahead of your competition.
You might even criticize your competition. Pepsi did this with their blind taste tests against Coke. That campaign was so successful that it firmly established Pepsi as the taste leader. The program even unnerved Coke to blunder into the mistake of launching New Coke.

Are you ready to dominate your market? Go ahead - be unfair!

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PPS: Forward this tip to your associates.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Expert and Author


Thursday, September 03, 2009

Offensive Roofers

Roofers: Why are they so obnoxious?
It’s happened more that once. A neighbor is getting their roof re-shingled. It’s normal to hear the sound of hammers or staple guns. I understand that.

Why do we need to hear the blaring sound of a radio station? The guys doing the shingle work seem to be twenty-something so their taste in music is very different from mine. They open the doors of the truck and blast the radio so they can listen while they are hammering on the roof.


Don’t they realize that they are marketing?

I make a mental note of the company name and resolved not to hire them.

If you and your staff don’t care about offending me and my neighbors – I don’t want to hire you.

When I meet with my clients I don’t walk in with a boom box and play my music while we discuss whether they will hire me.

If you are my neighbor you have the right to enjoy the music that you like. You don’t have the right to inflect your music on me.

If you are a contractor you have the right to do your job. You don’t have the right to assault me with unnecessary noise that I might find offensive.

If you are a contractor, you pay your workers to work – not to be entertained.

If you want to find any more business in this neighborhood you better be nice to the neighborhood.

George Torok


Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Running Shoes

New Running shoes

I bought new running shoes today. If you examined my old running shoes you might wonder why I needed new shoes. The old shoes looked in near perfect condition – just a little scuffed. If you are not a runner that would be a perfectly normal response.

When I was a child my dad bought me new running shoes whenever my toes were sticking out of my existing running shoes. It didn’t matter that the tread on the bottom was worn down or that pieces of the rubber were torn off – either from natural wear or on purpose. Both shoes had to be exposing my toes to justify replacement. A new pair of running shoes cost $12.

Today my new running shoes plus three pairs of socks (on sale) cost me almost $200.00. I didn’t blink at the price. In fact I never asked the price of the shoes until I got to the cash with my credit card out and ready to pay.

So what are the lessons here?

I bought new shoes because my knees were starting to hurt when I ran.

Pay attention to the signals that things are going wrong. It’s easy to ignore the little changes. Very seldom will you see a Tsunami until it is way too late. Don’t wait for the Tsunami.

When someone really wants something they don’t care about the price. I want to run every week. I do not want to wait until I find shoes on sale.

Pain is a motivator to buy aspirin. Be very clear on the aspirin that you offer to your clients.

Change is uncomfortable. I want not to change. I want to run every week like I have for years. I want to get the same shoes from the same store when I need them. Running once started is a habit. It’s a drug. Feed my drug habit and I will continue to buy from you. No crack user shops around for a better deal.

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Secrets of Power Marketing


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 26: More Channels for more hooks

Power Marketing Tip 26:

More Channels Equals More Hooks

In the five million channel universe how many channels are you broadcasting on? It's a long way from the days of less than a dozen TVchannels broadcasting in black and white to audiences without remote controls. People had to get up from the couch and turn the dial to change channels. It was easy to hold their attention.

To get noticed and reach your market today you need to be sending your message on more than one channel. Not every channel but at least a few.
Some channels of marketing that you might use: direct mail, sponsorship, networking, telemarketing, special events, trade shows, client meetings, info-seminars, award programs, newsletters...

You might promote through the media on TV, Radio or in print. You could advertise or leverage public relations.

You have many choices online. You can choose from websites,blogs, ezines, YouTube, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and more.

You don't need to be everywhere. But your clients and prospects need to believe you are everywhere.

Strong relationships
To maintain strong relationships with your clients you need to connect with them on several channels. Why? Because having a multiple channel relationship makes the relationship stronger.

For example: If you talk to people only by email - that is pretty cold and one dimensional. It's very easy to dismiss such a relationship.

Count the hooks
Imagine how difficult it would be to stop doing business with you if you call your client regularly, send him informative newsletters about the industry, sponsor his daughter's soccer team, promote on the local radio station, mail post cards from across the country, contribute to the industry magazine, attend the association convention and are godmother to his youngest son.

Those are a lot of strong hooks.

How many hooks do you need? One strong hook might be okay but why risk it? I suggest that you have at least three strong hooks to hold your clients to you. And have some secondary hooks to sweeten the connection for them. Then they will see you everywhere and keep doing business with you.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PS: Forward this tip to your associates.
PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.

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Senior Chairman of McDonalds Canada and McDonalds Russia
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Video: Bransen on PR

In this video interview with Seth Godin, Virgin CEO Richard Branson talks about the importance of a good PR person to make sure people know about your business.

George Torok

Read Get Your Name in the Media

Read How to Write Your News Release


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Power Marketing Tips 25: Be Bolder

Power Presentations Tips 25

Be Bolder

Now is the time to be bolder in your marketing.


Because many businesses are doing just the opposite. They are cutting back on their marketing and taking a wait and see approach. Some of them are even hiding and dropping out of sight.

By being bold in your marketing you can leapfrog ahead of those cautious folks. This is the lap where you push while they hold back and you will leave them in your dust.

According to Global Trends Expert, Warren Evans, "Most markets will look very different when this recession ends." The lineup of players might look like the whole team got traded.

The last thing you should be doing right now is snoozing.

Be bold. Be daring and take the offense.
Offer more value to your best clients.
Differentiate yourself more clearly.
Take a strong position on a nagging issue in your industry.
Be more vocal and visible in the marketplace.
Be willing to offend your competition and undesirable clients.
Talk about the big elephant in your industry that everyone else is ignoring.
Do the thing that your competition is unwilling to do.

Consider this - the reason we have a recession is to remind people that the way we were doing things wasn't working.

Those who want to survive must change. Those who will win big are those who make drastic changes. There are plenty of naysayers, whiners and profits of doom. Here's your opportunity to be a market leader.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Weight Watchers marketing mistake - the momentum plan

Weight Watchers: The Momentum Plan

What a dumb name.

Weight Watchers has a program called “The Momentum Plan”.

Why is that a dumb name?
Because as any high school physics student knows, momentum is equal to mass times velocity. That means you can increase momentum by increasing your mass (weight) or velocity (speed) or both.

In layman’s thinking momentum is usually associated with continuously moving forward. Ships come to mind. A super tanker has much more momentum than a tug boat even if they are both moving at the same speed – because the super tanker has more bulk. More bulk (even if that bulk is dead weight) means more momentum. For that reason the super tanker takes more time and distance to steer. Inflexible companies are often compared to the super tanker. Momentum is not necessarily desirable.

Picture Fat Albert, of The Bill Cosby Kids Cartoon show, striding slowly down the street. Now imagine Jughead, of Archie Comics, walking beside him at the same speed. If Fat Albert weighs in at 300 lbs and Jughead tips the scales at 100 lbs – Fat Albert has three times the momentum of Jughead.

Fat Albert has more momentum because he weights more than Jughead. Now imagine them both sitting in a chair. Velocity is zero. Fat Albert has more momentum than Jughead because it is more difficult to push him out of the chair than it is to move Fat Albert. Is that the picture that Weight Watchers is trying to paint?

One of the rules of modern marketing is to put the benefits in the headline. For example, SlimFast is a better headline that Weight Watchers. People want to be slim. They don’t want to watch their weight.

You might ask, “Why has Weight Watchers been so successful as a business?” Because they were one of, if not the first in the “weight loss” business. And when you are the first in your market you tend to be the market leader until you mess up a lot. The first in any field enjoys a head start on the competition. But that might not be enough.

Make enough mistakes and you get bypassed by smarter runners. Look at how Toyota bypassed General Motors and Hyundai is sprinting through the pack. General Motors still has more momentum because it has more bulk – more assets, more employees and more debt than the leaner car companies. And when GM crashes the momentum it has will leave a huge crater of destruction. Is that the image that Weight Watchers is trying to create in the minds of its prospects?

What is Weight Watchers suggesting with their “The Momentum Plan”? Are they saying that you will have more momentum with this plan? You just keep moving at the same pace and keep adding mass so that you have more momentum just like Fat Albert (Hey, hey hey!).

Do the customers of Weight Watchers really want more momentum?

George Torok
Marketing Speaker
Marketing Expert


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Power Marketing


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Power Marketing Tips 24: Pick your crowd carefully

Power Marketing Tips 24

Pick your crowd carefully

What do you think your associates are saying about you?
The people, companies and groups that you are connected with say a lot about you. And it's not necessarily what they say in words. It's more about what being associated with them says about you.

"When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends."
Japanese Proverb

If we don't know you then our first impressions will likely be determined by the company you keep.

If we don't know you well our opinion of you is influenced by who you associate with.

Even when we think we know you our opinion can be swayed by our opinion of the people around you.

This works both ways. Some connections lift you up and some put you down.

Your clients speak to your credibility.Are you bragging about your impressive clients? If your clients are well known then drop their names into conversations. If the company names are not well known then mention the industry. Of course be sure to get and publish testimonials from them - whether they are known or not.

If you are a reseller, then your product lines and suppliers can lend you credibility. This is one reason for the power behind franchises.This is why IT consultants are proud to boast that they are certified by Microsoft, SAP or Cisco. Meanwhile no one admits that they were audited by Anderson.

Your certifications, awards and memberships send messages about you. It talks about the things you value and the institutions that respect you. Being a member of a group that is known for high ethical standards or leading edge education can help your own image. The events you attend showcase the type of people with whom you want to be associated.

Your community work and support for charities reflect your character and community values. Sponsoring these groups suggests that you care and therefore might be a decent person to do business with.
Everybody is watching and judging you and your crowd. Pick your crowd carefully.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PS: Forward this tip to your associates.
PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.


"George - we were all very impressed with your talk - both the substance and the form!"

Peter Churchill-Smith
Managing Director
Newport Partners

George Torok
Register for your free Marketing tips here


Friday, July 17, 2009

Are you safe?

Are you safe? Do you make your clients feel safe? Are you buidling enough trust? Enjoy this video of George Torok dicusssing the issue of safe.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Secrets of Power Marketing - Book Review

Secrets of Power Marketing

Reviewed by Kirsten Cowan

Another installment from public speaking whiz Peter Urs Bender, this time with the adept co-operation of speaker and educator George Torok. Expanding on the themes of Secrets of Power Presentations and Leadership From Within, this new release focuses on marketing your business. Secrets of Power Marketing seeks to apply the techniques and methods of the first two books in a practical way to the project of marketing ones business. The result is a lively book, with a streak of practicality that reveals itself in an impatience with hoity-toity notions of marketing that have little impact on the bottom line.

Of particular interest to HotLink readers is the comprehensive "Strategy Three" dealing with media relations. Included in this category is self-published media such as newsletters, and timely insights on getting the most out of the "New Media". Torok and Bender have a clear understanding of the effect a media spot, especially a media interview or article, can have on your marketing plan. As with all their strategies, advice is clear, no-nonsense and effective.
A great feature of Secrets of Power Marketing, which it shares with Bender's previous works, is the plethora of ideas it provides, lists of them, which can be tailored to your specific needs. Appendix A; "101 Power Marketing Ideas," is an army of catch-phrases, concepts, tags, lead-ins and inspirations, ready to leap into action at the reader's behest.

The characteristic charm and accessibility readers expect from Peter Urs Bender is here in droves, with pithy quotes, anecdotes illustrating key ideas and charts and tables depicting multi- layered concepts.
Secrets of Power Marketing is not for everyone. Its brashness may not suit the more cultivated type of business, and the forthrightness of its marketing style is definitely tailored to small or individually owned businesses. The graphics, always somewhat enigmatic in Bender's books, are truly mysterious in this attempt. Nonetheless, the boundless enthusiasm and obviously field-tested wisdom of Bender and Torok make Secrets of Power Marketing a worthwhile investment for any organization.

Reprinted from The Sources HotLink


Monday, June 22, 2009

Power Marketing tip 23: What's Your Gurantee?

Power Marketing Tip 23:

What's your guarantee?

Buyers want guarantees. If you want to pry the money from the reluctant hands of your clients you must make them feel good about their purchase. You must help them overcome their fear of buying. You need to reduce the risk.
How can you reduce the risk for your clients?

One of the best ways to demonstrate your good faith and understanding of your clients' needs is to offer a guarantee.

Buyers expect guarantees.
But a standard guarantee might not be enough to convince a prospect to buy from you. If your guarantee is only as good as the competition - it's not giving you the edge. It's just saying that you are as bad as the competition.
You need to offer a guarantee that catches attention and scares your competition.

For example:
Domino's Pizza built its success on this guarantee, "Fresh hot pizza in 30 minutes or it's free."

Hyundai offers a powerful guarantee. If you loose your job within one year of your purchase or lease of a new Hyundai you can break the deal and return the car at no extra cost to you. That's smart because it addresses the biggest concern on workers' minds.

A travel company offered this guarantee. If it rains on your vacation we will offer you another vacation at no extra charge.

Don't offer an empty guarantee. The newspaper has a guaranteed delivery time of 8:00 am. I asked the representative, "What happens if the paper is not delivered by that time?" Guess what she said? "Nothing." In other words there is no guarantee.

A guarantee must have two parts. There must be a measurable parameter and there must be a reward or restitution to the client when you don't measure up.
For the guarantee to differentiate you it must be bolder than the competition and it must address a principle fear of your clients.

Tell me about your bold guarantee and I might post it on my marketing blog along with a link to your website.

George Torok
Power Marketing

Register here for free Marketing Tips.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 22: Magic Words Shape Relationships

Power Marketing Tips 22:

Magic Words Shape Relationships

It costs nothing except your attention to the words that you and your team use with clients and prospects - and with each other.

Three relationship enhancing phrases

Please, thank you and you're welcome. These words seem to be missing in action.

Have you noticed that many business owners and managers are not paying attention to the words that their staff uses? Powerful leaders have fostered revolutions with their choice of words. You can shape warmer relationships by using the magic words.

How would you feel as the client in these examples?


The bank teller stated, "Swipe your card and enter your PIN." It sounded like a command - not a request. The word, "Please", was sadly missing. I dutifully complied.

Thank you

You made your purchase and paid your bill. The seller neglects to say "ThankYou". You wait for your change and without thinking you respond with "Thank you" after the seller gives you your change while saying, "There you go." If you thought about it - you would realize that you just thanked someone for giving you back your own money. Yet the seller never thanked you for buying from them. Who should be thanking who?

You're Welcome

You thanked someone. What do you expect to hear? How about, "You're welcome."What do you hear? "No problem."What's the difference? The first is a positive, cheery and encouraging comment.The second is negative, diminutive and dismissive. Imagine the difference between a doormat that says "Welcome" and one that says "No Problem".

If you want to build warmer relationships use these three simple phrases.Please - thank you - you're welcome.

You might not start a revolution but you'll stand out as extraordinary!

George Torok

Power Marketing

Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PS: Forward this tip to your associates.
PPS: Thanks for your comments and feedback.


"The overall convention evaluations were all glowing and members left on an emotional and educational high! Based on a 10 point scale with 10 being the highest score the overall rating for all sessions was 8.44. The score for your session was 9.35. We appreciate all the time and energy put in your presentation. Thank you!"

Susan Fenner PhD, Manager of Education & Professional Development, IAAP

George Torok

Marketing Speaker

Motivational Business Speaker


Monday, June 01, 2009


Exceptional resort - The Rosseau - a JW Marriot

Most of us have had horrible experiences at hotels - especially hotels that claim to be first class and then treat customers like dumb sheep. Ask me about the Marriot in Halifax if you want to hear a horror story.

Sometimes it is the poor design of the hotel, more often the arrogant policies of management toward customers and most often poorly trained staff.

Recently I had an exceptional experience at The Rosseau - a JW Marriot in Muskoka, Ontario.

The wilderness setting in Muskoka was gorgeous. The new building was incredible. The room was

But what really impressed was the attitude, behaviour and personality of the staff. You can tell when staff has been well recruited and well trained.

When we arrived the doorman introduced himself and asked our names. By the time we reached the second person - he called us by name and introduced himself. While at dinner the servers checked in with us several times. At breakfast the server noticed that my omelet was under cooked. She eagerly offered to get me a replacement and apologized for the inconvenience.

When I checked with others at the same conference they also confirmed the amazing attention to detail. We agreed that it was the little things that made the difference.

The Rosseau - A JW Marriot - top of the line experience.

George Torok


Friday, May 22, 2009

Starwood Sheraton Hotel Survey Sucks

This Starwood Sheraton Hotel Survey Sucks

Customer surveys are a good idea - but good ideas can be messed up by poor implementation. Here is an example of a customer survey that only served to annoy me as the customer of Sheraton Starwood Hotels.

The first rule of surveys is to be clear on your purpose. For example: are you conducting your customer survey to fix problems, discover opportunities, gather performance stats for marketing - or justify a manager's bonus?

The second rule of surveys is to see it from the customer's point of view.

After my stay at a Sheraton Hotel in Montreal I received the following request by email to complete a customer survey.

When you ask your customers to complete a survey - remember that they are doing it for you. So it would help your cause if you were warm, friendly, respectful and offered a reward for their time and perspective.

When I received the survey request from Sheraton Starwood Hotels - I deleted the first email because it seemed cold, demanding and all about them. And they offered me nothing as a reward for my time and opinion.

Then I received the second email as below. It was no warmer nor convincing to me. But this time I clicked and completed the survey - not because they did a better job of inviting me - but because I wanted to discover if it got any better. It did not. In my opinion, the Starwood Sheraton Hotel customer survey sucks.



We recently sent you an e-mail inviting you to participate in an on-line survey about your stay at at Le Centre Sheraton ending on May 5, 2009. If you have not yet completed the survey, I want to let you know it is not too late to participate. We would like to again take this opportunity to personally thank you for your continued patronage. As you may already know, Sheraton Hotels And Resorts is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts family of brands (Sheraton, Westin, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, S t. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Le Meridien, Aloft and Element). As a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Preferred member, you are a highly valued guest and we appreciate your loyalty and feedback enormously.

Notice the tone of how this first paragraph starts, "We did something and you haven't completed your part." The thank you gets lost after they chastised me for "not yet completing". And then there are several lines about them - they list their hotel brands. Why? Would that convince me to complete their survey?

We would greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to complete a brief survey regarding your most recent stay. This is important to our company, hotels and our brands that use this information worldwide to continuously improve our guest's experience and, most importantly, how to meet and exceed your expectations in the future. TNS has been retained to conduct this survey on behalf of Starwood.

This paragraph is all about them. Why would I care? They still have placed no value on my time. They simply demand it.

At your convenience, please take some time to complete the survey. To complete the survey online, simply click on this link:xxxx or copy and paste the link into the address line of your browser. If you have any difficulty accessing the survey, please send an email message to

The survey itself will take only about 10 minutes of your time. If you are being prompted for a validation code after clicking on the link, please copy and paste the following into the field:

Ten minutes of my time - that's all they want. Don't they realize that if I can afford to stay at a Sheraton or Starwood Hotel that I place a high value on my time?

By providing this information you authorize Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and its affiliated and subsidiary companies, (the "Starwood Group"): to collect, process and use the data provided for any lawful, Starwood Group business related purpose; to store the data at and transmit the data to various location(s), either directly or through its third party vendor(s), as the Starwood Group deems appropriate, throughout the world, whether within your country of residence, the United States, or elsewhere. To learn about our data collection and usage practices, please see our Privacy Statement:

The lawyers got to have their say to earn their pay.

We appreciate your business and thank you for staying at a Starwood hotel. We hope that you will visit other Starwood hotels and resorts in the near future.

About time that they thanked me. Where's my prize? If they really appreciated me and my business they could demonstrate that with a gift.

Denise Coll
North America Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

So how do I get my 10 minutes of the president's time? She implied that ten minutes of my time was worth nothing.

It;s been at least a week since I "completed" the Starwood Hotel Survey and I have not received a thank you, acknowledgement or offer of a reward.

The service at the Sheraton was pretty good with a couple exceptions and the Starwood customer service survey sucks.


George Torok


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 21: Raving Testiomonials

Power Marekting Tip 21:

Get more raving testimoninals

The last Power Marketing Tip explained how to leverage your client testimonials. This tip will show you how to get more raving testimonials.

How do you get a raging stream of raving testimonials?

Ask and ask often.

If you want - you gotta ask. When should you ask? You can ask while you are closing the deal. Say, "Thank you for the order. You are going to be very happy with our service. I have a small but important favor to ask. When the job is done and assuming that you are satisfied with our service, would you write a glowing testimonial for us?"

Smile when you say this. Use the word "glowing" or "raving" because your client might laugh when they hear it and they will remember your request along with their agreement later.

Another time to ask is whenever your client complements you. This could be before during or after the delivery of your service. Thank them for their feedback and say, "It would help us if more people could hear your comments. Would you put that in writing for me?"

You can remind them when the job is done by saying or writing a note, "We enjoyed working with you. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to show our stuff. I look forward to receiving that raving testimonial from you."

Help them write the letter.

Most people need some help to write a good letter. How can you help them help you? Offer to draft a letter for them. Say, "I know it takes time and effort to write a glowing testimonial. Would it be okay for me to draft a letter for you? You can change anything you want or use as is." Most people will accept your offer because they want to please you and they will not sign anything that they don' t like.

Naturally, we're assuming that you deliver outstanding service.

Enjoy that raging stream of glowing testimonials.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.
PPS: Forward this tip to your associates.


"You presented marketing insights, principles and ideas to a group of CEO's from anorganization that I belong to. I was so impressed by your presentation thatI signed up to see you again and brought my entire sales and management teamwith me."
William N.Hotrum, President
HMT SalesTax Consultants Inc.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Prosper in this Recesion - don't miss out

Prosper in this Recession

Don't miss out on this opportunity to recharge yourself and your business.

Get more of the three things that your business needs in these troubled times - focused motivation, effective marketing and sharper selling skills.

Attend the Stimulate Your Business Summit on May 20 in Burlington, Ontario.
That's next Wednesday. It's coming up fast.

You have nothing to lose by registering because your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed!

Three recession busting experts will present their best tips on beating this recession.

Featuring three topic experts and bestselling authors:

Charles Marcus on motivation

George Torok on marketiing

Kelley Robertson on selling

(and Ringo on drums)

Register at

Wed May 20
Burlington Holiday Inn

$295 plus GST.

Check it out

See you there.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Free CRM Webinar this Friday

Free CRM Webinar this Friday May 15

If it's time to get up to speed on CRM then take advantage of this opportunity to attend this free non-technical webinar this week. It's offered by my friend Rick McCutcheon. He is an expert on CRM - that's all he does - CRM. He consults, trains and implements CRM for sales teams. From strategy to tactics Rick knows CRM - Customer Relationship Management.

Check out the video to get a flavor for his style and content. The video is a good free introduction to CRM.

Just a reminder that my next CRM Planning Webinar is taking place this Friday May 15th at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

Planning for CRM Success
This is a non-technical CRM Planning Workshop focused on User Adoption Success. It is based on the Full Contact Selling Methodology for integrating sales processes, people skills and CRM technology.For complete session details and to register for this free session please go to .


Rick McCutcheon


P.S. You can view my new Full Contact Selling Video at

George Torok

Power Marketing