Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bloggers, what if you are sued?

Bloggers, ask the right question: "What if I'm sued tomorrow?"
By Joan Stewart aka The Publicity Hound

If you blog, the worst of your worries shouldn’t be how many times to post, or what to write about, or whether to use Wordpress or Typepad.

Your Number One concern—the question bloggers never think to ask—should be: “What if somebody sues me tomorrow for copyright infringement, defamation or invasion of privacy—what does that mean?”

Here’s what it means. It could cost you your house, your car and your future income stream...

Read the rest of this article at Joan Stewart's Blog.

Learn more about the Media Bloggers Association.

If you blog you are subject to the same laws as the mainstream media. Only you don't have their access to corporate lawyers.

That might be a good reason to check out the Media Bloggers Association.

George Torok

Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing

Marketing Coach


Monday, April 27, 2009

Who took my breakfast?

Who stole my breakfast?

Why don’t hotels understand the impact that breakfast service has on their clients’ experience? More importantly – why don’t they train their staff to understand this?

Watch how this simple service goes wrong – and the staff didn’t get it.

As a professional speaker, my breakfast is important to me. When delivering a morning presentation out of town I want to arrive the night before.

There are three reasons for this:
Planes can be delayed and I never want to bank on the last plane.
I want to check in and check out the venue the night before when there is lots of time to make adjustments to the room or my presentation.
I want to get up early and enjoy a hearty and peaceful breakfast.

I was speaking out of town this week. I arrived at the hotel restaurant at 7:05 am. I was told that they opened at 7:00 so I allowed a few minutes for them to get into gear. When I arrived there was one other party of about four which grew to at least 15 while I was there.

I placed my order immediately with the server. And it was simple – my usual – scrambled eggs, sausage and brown toast.

Then I read the morning paper while I drank my coffee and waited.

Fortunately there were some interesting articles that day in the paper because the breakfast seemed to take longer than it should.

At one point I looked up expectantly to see my server enter the dinning room with two plates. She walked over to the other table across the room and put one plate down. Then she said to the group, “Who had the sausage and scrambled eggs?” One of the men who had just sat down at that table said, “I’ll take that.” The server gave him that plate.

She gave him my breakfast.

Although I was tempted, I didn’t yell across the room, “That was my breakfast.” But, naturally I was annoyed. And of course I didn’t want it after it had been set done in front of someone else. Would you?

Then I watched the server as she moved to stand with one of her follow servers. I could see that the other said something to her and motioned my way. There was a quick exchange of words between them. Both glanced at me and laughed. Then my server darted into the kitchen.

How would you feel at this point?

I continued to wait less patiently now – even wondering if I was still on the agenda. I was wondering if I would need to leave without breakfast to get to my meeting. I tried to bury my angst in the morning paper. So much for my peaceful breakfast.

In about six minutes my breakfast arrived. It was now 7:30 am. The server said, “There you go.” No apology, no explanation – nothing. Just pretending that nothing was wrong.

Twenty five minutes waiting for breakfast is unacceptable by my standards.

I gobbled down my breakfast because I was behind schedule. The server did not come by to present the bill so I walked to the counter and asked for my bill. I signed it with my room number.

My server was close by so I spoke to her. “I did not give you a tip.” I said softly, so I wouldn’t embarrass her. Her response was, “That’s okay.” I continued, “The reason is that you made two mistakes. You gave away my breakfast and you did not apologize to me. If you had told me what you had done I might have laughed.”

She recoiled. “I made it right.” She insisted.

“No you didn’t. You made a mistake and tried to hide it from me. How do you think I felt?” I responded. Then she started to whine, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

I don’t know what she was sorry about: That she made a mistake; that I called her on it. or that I didn’t give her a tip.

I could have ignored the whole thing and said nothing. And as server she might have thought, “No tip – what a jerk.” I wish that she could have seen the incredible service I received recently from the server to which I gladly gave a $15 tip.

Yet I invested my time to offer her my perspective as a customer hoping that she might learn from her mistake. At no time did I chastise her. I simple pointed out what happened and how I felt.

I wonder if she thought about it later and realized that she could have:
Immediately pointed our her error when it happened
Apologized for the delay
Promised to expedite my order
Give me a break on my bill

She could have done any one or more of the above. Instead she did none of the above. When I spoke to her I gave her a second chance. Instead of taking advantage of that – she chose to defend and whine.

Scrambled eggs, sausage with brown toast and a little courtesy. How difficult can it be?

George Torok


Friday, April 24, 2009

The Nerve of Some People

My dad has an expression that he says when ever he learns of some bold and obnoxious action by someone.

"The nerve of some people"

That was what I was thinking when I read this email from someone asking for my help.

What would you have said?

I cut and pasted it so the spelling errors are those of the writer. I also reduced the name to initials only.

Dear Mr, George Torok,

Nice meeting you. Am a new subscriber to your resourceful site, and I have gotten so much helpful information from it.

Am a student , and i need your help. Please help me with a write up on this question; " Is Marketing an art or a science? Explain."Please help me with 10 - 12 pages of this, or as much as you can.

I will be waiting to hear from you soon.Once again, thanks for the helpful information in your wonderful site. I have lean a lot on marketing from it.

yours sincerely


Here is my reply

You must be kidding.

If you are a student then you know that for me to write an article for you would be cheating.

If you are a student then I am not happy about you reading my material with the approach you have taken. I wonder if you will properly credit your sources.

I would prefer if you "unsubscribe" from my site.

If you are a student then you would know that the role of a student is to learn how to learn and how to think.

If you are not a student then I am happy to quote you my fee for an article of this nature would cost around $10,000.
Payable in full in advance.

If this was a joke - ha ha.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Spring's Here - time for simple marketing

Spring's Here

What are you thinking about? Marketing. Right.
I found this flyer in my mail box. Simple and crude photocopied on white paper. But it does the job. It gets the message across clearly and with a little character.

You can't help but be amused by the cartoon and typos. You have be impressed by the ambition of the youth that is offering this service - especially if you have kids.

And you might be thinking about - or dreading the regular chore of cutting the lawn.

My congrats to Brandon on his good start to entrepreneurship and marketing. As a good marketer his next step is to followup with a personal visit door to door and another flyer in about three weeks.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Power Marekting 20: Reduce the Risk

Power Marketing Tip 20:

How to Reduce the Risk

You need to reassure folks during these troubled times. The daily news fans the fears of failure. Water cooler gossip spreads the manure of doom. Every purchase decision can look risky. Therefore clients will tend to hold back on buying. Your chief competition is not some other supplier - it is your clients' fears.

To effectively market and sell in this environment you need to reduce the perceived risk, to diminish their doubts and to demonstrate great value.

How can you do that?

Use testimonials.

This is one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate your value. You can promise the world but, folks will be more convinced by what they read or hear that others said about you.
You bragging about you is never as convincing as others bragging about you.

How can you get more from your testimonials?

Include a testimonial in every client and prospect contact.

Post testimonials on your website. Avoid this mistake that many businesses make. They only list all their testimonials on one page of their website. What if your prospects never visit that page? In addtion sprinkle testimonials throughout your website - ideally on every page.

Include a short testimonial in your email signature and in your newsletters.

Revise your marketing materials to prominently feature your testimonials.

Include testimonials with your written proposals and with your invoices.

Display testimonials on the wall in your shop or in an album in the lobby. Create copies of this album for every one of your sales staff and remind them to show it often.

Make sure that your staff appreciates the importance of getting and using testimonials by sharing every one with your staff as they are received.

Dig out every testimonial that you ever received and put them to work for you.

In the next tip you'll learn simple techniques to ensure a study stream of glowing testimonials.

George Torok

Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.

Register for your free Power Marketing Tips


Thursday, April 09, 2009

Secrets of Power Marketing Revealed


As reported in The Sudbury Star by HAROLD CARMICHAEL

If the concept of power marketing is something you want to learn more about, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce has a seminar coming up April 21 that will be of great interest.
George Torok, co-author of The Secrets of Power Marketing and a motivational speaker, will host a workshop and also give the keynote speech at a six-hour session set for April 21 at the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel.

The workshop will deal with subjects such as building media relations, influencing perceptions, and building, enhancing and marketing your credibility. The keynote speech will deal with things such as how to motivate and persuade others, generate more sales, and earn more money.
Tickets for the full seminar (8 a. m.-2 p. m.) are $120 for members and $170 for non-members. The cost to attend just the workshop is $90 for chamber members and $125 for nonmembers. To attend just the keynote speech, the cost will be $60 for chamber members and $90 for non-members.

Torok, who is based in Burlington, said the messages he will bring to Greater Sudbury have had some refining due to the current recession.

"The fundamentals don't change: there is a refining," he said. "There are more potholes in these times. These times are less forgiving."

On the Torok website (,"Torokisms" that can be found include "Success comes from doing little things consistently well over time," "You can do anything you want in life. You just can't do everything," and "Do something at least once a year that scares you."

To order tickets, call 673- 7133, ext. 224.


Sudbury Chamber of Commerce

The Sudbury Star

Marketing Speaker


Monday, April 06, 2009

Power Marketing Tip 19: Offer Hope

Power Marketing Tip 19:

Offer Hope

The new US president is clearly an icon of hope. He was elected on the hope that he offered and he is being accepted by the rest of the world for the hope they are counting on.
You are selling hope. Whatever product or service that you offer, the selling factor is hope.
What are your clients hoping for? How well are you addressing their hope? How will you deliver that hope?

Every person on this planet is motivated by hope. We can't get enough of it. We are ravenous for hope. We desire it, consume it and then want more. In that context hope is as much an essential as food, water and oxygen.

Hope is the antigen for fear
In this turbulent time of recession, unpredictability and rampant fears you must offer hope to your clients and prospects. What can you learn from President Obama?

Be more transparent
Tell people exactly what you can deliver and what they can expect from you. Don't be vague or misleading. Make your policies clear and evident. Don't hide behind "company rules".

Respect their fears
Recognize the fears of your clients and prospects. Respect them - weather you agree with their point of view or not. Point out what you are doing to mitigate those fears. That could be with testimonials, guarantees or extra options.

Be more visible
It's difficult to trust you when we can't see you. This is not the time to stop marketing. Be visible, be noticed and convey warmth and confidence. Call folks more often. Start a blog or get linked on the online social media. Hold a town hall meeting. Attend a tea party.

Offer solutions
A lot of things appear to be broken right now. Offer your clients solutions to fix things. Help them avoid problems that they haven't considered yet. Make those doable solutions. Appear as the fixer.

Challenge the status quo
The status quo isn't working so it's a good time to question "the way it's always been done". Just be sure to offer a viable alternative. In this turbulent time many folks are searching for a different approach. This is a good time to offer that unusual solution.

George Torok
Power Marketing

PS: Tell me how this marketing tip helps you.

Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas"


Friday, April 03, 2009

How to Market in a Downturn

How to Market in a Downturn
Harvard Business Review

by John A. Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz

In this intriuging article the authors examine the reaction of consumers by their mindset. What a welcome change from the many analysts who only look at demographics and income level. It is mindset that is more important in understanding and predicting the action of people.

In every recession marketers find themselves in poorly charted waters because no two downturns are exactly alike. However, in studying the marketing successes and failures of dozens of companies as they’ve navigated recessions from the 1970s onward, we’ve identified patterns in consumers’ behavior and firms’ strategies that either propel or undermine performance. Companies need to understand the evolving consumption patterns and fine-tune their strategies accordingly.

During recessions, of course, consumers set stricter priorities and reduce their spending. As sales start to drop, businesses typically cut costs, reduce prices, and postpone new investments. Marketing expenditures in areas from communications to research are often slashed across the board—but such indiscriminate cost cutting is a mistake.

Although it’s wise to contain costs, failing to support brands or examine core customers’ changing needs can jeopardize performance over the long term. Companies that put customer needs under the microscope, take a scalpel rather than a cleaver to the marketing budget, and nimbly adjust strategies, tactics, and product offerings in response to shifting demand are more likely than others to flourish both during and after a recession.

Understanding Recession Psychology
In frothy periods of national prosperity, marketers may forget that rising sales aren’t caused by clever advertising and appealing products alone. Purchases depend on consumers’ having disposable income, feeling confident about their future, trusting in business and the economy, and embracing lifestyles and values that encourage consumption.

But by all accounts, this recession is the severest since the Great Depression. The wave of bad economic news is eroding confidence and buying power, driving consumers to adjust their behavior in fundamental and perhaps permanent ways. They now realize that spending in much of Europe and the United States over the past two to three decades was built on a quicksand of debt and dwindling savings and home equity. Marketers abetted consumers in defining the good life in material terms and urging them to live beyond their means. In the ensuing meltdown, consumers face piles of bills, stagnant or falling incomes, and shrinking nest eggs. At the same time, a series of corporate scandals; failures in the financial, housing, and insurance sectors; and taxpayer bailouts of mismanaged businesses have fostered consumer distrust and skepticism of marketers’ messages. It’s no surprise that in January 2009 the Conference Board’s U.S. Consumer Confidence Index sank to the lowest level since tracking started in 1967.

Read the rest of this article at Harvard Business Review


George Torok

Marketing Expert & Author

Personal Marketing