Saturday, February 19, 2011

Secrets of Power Marketing - video

Follow systems in your marketing - and advice from Muhammud Ali

George Torok talking about Secrets of Power Marketing


Friday, February 18, 2011

Those darned customers!

Guest post from Jeff Mowatt

"It infuriates me." A manger, frustrated about boorish behavior of some employees, explained to me, "After a customer leaves the room or hangs up the phone, some employees ridicule how the customer looked or that they asked 'stupid' questions." He asked if I knew of a statement that he could post that would remind employees of the vital importance of customers. I sent him a version of a timeless manifesto by L.L.Bean that I condensed and edited slightly. Feel free to pass it to your team.

Who are Customers?
Customers are the most important people ever on these premises.
Customers are not dependent on us. We are dependent on them.
Customers are not interruptions to our work. They are the purpose of it.
Customers are not people to argue with, match wits with, or insult behind their backs. Nobody ever won an argument with a customer.
Customers bring us their needs. It is our job to handle them profitably for them and for ourselves.

Click here for a printer friendly version of this to post for your team

About award-winning speaker, Jeff Mowatt, BComm., CSPJeff Mowatt is the best selling author of the books, Becoming a Service Icon in 90 Minutes a Month (for mangers), 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 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 Professionals (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


Saturday, February 12, 2011

CYA is Not Marketing

The letter from the association membership director stated “after all our efforts” it looks you are leaving us.

That phrase jumped out at me and the immediate question in my mind was “What efforts?”

I had been a member of this association for at least seven years and during at least the first four years quite active. I attended monthly events, contributed to the publication and completed surveys. Curious that no one noticed my diminshed participation.

And like every association membership at some point one measures the investment against the return and decides to leave. When the annual renewal invoice arrived I ignored it. I didn’t renew. As a marketer I was curious about their member retention program.

I expected to hear from someone about my renewal. I did, but not in the way I expected. The following month I received another invoice – and every month after that.

Finally after month six I received a phone call from the membership staff person. I immediately returned her call and advised her that I was not renewing because I was no longer seeing a return on my investment. She thanked me for my call.

Shortly after that call I received the “after all our efforts” letter. There was no acknowledgement of our phone conversation. There was no promise of a phone call or request to complete an exit survey. No invitation to meet for coffee or lunch.

So I wondered why this letter was so cold.

Then I saw the answer. This letter was copied to the Executive Director (chief of staff) of the association. This was a CYA letter. The purpose of this letter was not to retain me as a member. It was to suggest to her boss that she had exerted “all her efforts” to retain me as a member.

A month later I received another invoice.

No phone calls from satisfied members or board members. No reminder of benefits.

I guess they aren’t bleeding members fast enough.

What are you doing to retain members for your association?

CYA = Cover Your Ass.

George Torok

Former member of ....


Thursday, February 03, 2011

How much do you charge?

Do you get that question often? It can seen like a silly question. Imagine walking into a restaurant and asking the doorman, “How much do you charge?”

The most likely response is,
“Do you want hamburger or steak?”

Would a person walk into a store and start the conversation with:

How much to buy a computer?
What does a TV cost?
How much for a vacation?

When a person is going in for open heart surgery they don’t ask, “How much is this going to cost?”

So, why would that question be part of an opening conversation?

Perhaps they don’t really want what you sell.

Perhaps they see your product as a commodity.

Perhaps they are simply collecting prices.

How can you respond?

You could ask, “What’s more important, fixing the problem or staying in budget?”

The answer is, “Both”.

You follow up with, “Okay, then tell me about both of them.”