Friday, August 30, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #57: Take advantage of the summer slowdown to get...

How to Get Your Story into the Media

Take advantage of the summer slowdown to get your story into the mainstream media.
With all the hype around the social media it's easy to forget about the mainstream media, i.e. newspapers, radio and TV. These outlets still provide enhanced credibility, respect and trust to the people they feature as experts.

How to get your story into the mainstream media

Timing is important. August tends to be a slow news month. Submit your story because there is less competition. Between vacations and reduced business activity there's less news. The media is usually short-staffed because of vacations. If you can make their job easier, you can get preferential treatment.

What does that mean? Instead of sending a News Release,write the story for them.
The easiest way to do that is to write a list. The list should offer readers, viewers or listeners information about the industry or product (or service). Don't write about your company and DO NOT send a blatant advertisement. Your goal is to have your name and company name appear as the expert quoted by the media.

A list could contain between three and ten items. Each point could vary from one sentence to a short paragraph.

Here are seven types of lists and ideas to help you write:

How To
Maintain the product
Test the reliability of a product
Get best value from the product
The Frequently Asked Questions should be easy for you. Just think about the questions that clients have asked you.

Important Questions
This is a variation of the FAQ list. In this case the questions you answer might be your list of important, embarrassing or overlooked questions. You can include questions you've been asked or, more importantly questions that you believe people should ask.
What are the most common myths or misunderstandings about the industry or product? You state the myth and then reveal the corresponding truth. This is a good way to present yourself as a trusted crusader of the industry.

What are the recent events that have shaped the industry? What are the trends that are happening or that you foresee? How can consumers prepare for these changes?

This list could include warnings about the misuse of the product, common mistakes, unethical practices, important changes, possible dangers...

Airline pilots run through their pre-flight checklist before every flight. The checklist could be things to do before using the product, when shopping for the product or when putting into or removing from storage.

I look forward to seeing your name in the news.


George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Power Marketing Tip #56: Stop marketing to people who need...

The Myth about Needs

Have you heard this damaging myth about how to build a business? "Find a need and fill it".

Don't buy that fairy tale.

The cold reality is that people don't buy what they need. They buy what they want.

You might disagree with that. You might even argue that people need food so they buy food. That's true. But, they don't necessarily buy the food they need with the proper healthy balance of nutrients.

If you've taken your children on a shopping trip I bet that you bought something that you didn't need but your child wanted. Fruit Loops isn't on any need list.

I've noticed that many dog owners need to take their pet to obedience training but that business looks pale compared to pet foods, pet health and pet cemeteries.

This distinction between need and want is important to you because many sellers believe that their market is everyone who needs their product. They make the mistake of targeting their marketing at those ignorant masses that need but don't want their product.

There are usually more people who need your product than want it. That larger pool of needy people often seduces marketers to chase those ignorant masses. If you do this, your marketing must first convince the uneducated and unwilling that they have a need for your type of product. You have to insult them by suggesting that they don't recognize that they have a problem. Then you also need to convince them to buy from you.

This can be a frustrating waste of time, effort and money.

Instead you will experience less stress and enjoy more profits when you target those informed individuals who already want what you sell.

You only need to convince them to buy from you.

As a marketing consultant I've been surprised at the successful business owners who hire me. I often learn much from them. On the other hand I've been dumbfounded by the individuals who really need my help but are too blind to realize that.

Perhaps you've heard sellers introducing themselves at a networking meeting by telling you that their market is "anybody who needs...."

Don't make that mistake. Instead proudly announce that your market is "smart people who want..."

When you market to people who want your product you simply need to position your business as the smart choice for smart buyers.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Why I will Never Buy a General Motors Product Again

Why I will Never Buy a General Motors Product Again

What does the GM brand mean to me?

My first car was a General Motors product – a red 1966 Biscayne. The two next cars were also GM, a 1969 Pontiac and a 1974 Cutlass Oldsmobile.

A first car is like a first love – always cherished and never forgotten. The Pontiac was especially dependable – a good starter on cold winter days. The Cutlass had swivel bucket seats. It had a cool feel and look.

But I’m not going back to General Motors.

Why? Because GM has infected me with an unforgettable and disgusting image of their brand.

Branding is not what the advertising department thinks they are saying. It’s about the customer experience. And the customer experience is created by every person in your company that connects with your customers and prospects. Every person!

How do you get every person in your company to treat your customers better?

It’s not about paying people more. The highly paid union workers for GM demonstrated that fallacy. They showed their disdain for the company and the customer when disgruntled workers placed pop bottles inside car doors or sabotaged production in other ways. Yes, that was decades ago, but I haven’t forgotten. Those grossly overpaid thugs didn’t understand that the customer was paying their wages and pension.

I experienced this disdain personally while visiting a GM plant in Saginaw, Michigan in the eighties. As a manager of a GM supplier I was exploring the use of a reusable plastic carton for the parts that my company produced for GM.

I felt proud to represent my company in discussions with General Motors.

While exploring possibilities with a GM engineer, I asked him to show me examples that GM was using. The GM engineer led me out to the production line that was assembling engines. We approached a production line worker. The engineer in his naiveté asked the union member for a sample of the plastic trays they used to hold the fuel injection nozzles. The trays were similar in size to a cookie tray. The parts on this line were finely machined nozzles that would become a critical component in the fuel injection system of GM engines.

The line worker looked at the engineer with a sneer. Both the engineer and I assumed that the line worker would hand us an empty plastic tray. Instead, the production line worker grabbed a tray full of finished parts, dumped the parts on the concrete floor and handed the now empty tray to the engineer. Those precision machined parts were now scrap.

The engineer glanced at me, shook his head in exasperation, took the plastic tray and led me away - without saying a word. He didn’t say anything about it to me. This suggests that this destructive behavior was normal or not worth fighting. I followed in complete disbelief having witnessed this overt sabotage.

That day I discovered that our client was operating in a war zone between staff and management. Their customers (and suppliers) were clearly subject to collateral damage from this internal conflict.

Why would you buy a car from a company like that? The people who produce the vehicles were sabotaging the products. The myth about quality was busted. How would GM survive with this internal conflict?

Decades later GM was in the news when they begged for a government bailout.

I wondered:
Who was surprised by this financial failure?
Why did the government bail out this dysfunctional company?

I still love my first Chevy. I don’t plan to buy another, ever.

The Branding Lesson
Branding has very little to do with your marketing and advertising.
Branding is the experience that you create for your customers and prospects.
Create a strong enough brand and it sticks – sometimes to your regret.

Add your comments below

What good or bad expereiences have you had that BRANDED you?

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Thursday, August 15, 2013

How to Promote Your Programs, Events, and Product Launches on LinkedIn

How to Promote Your Programs, Events, and Product Launches on LinkedIn

Promote Events on Linkedin

If you sell to business or individuals who work (or want to work) in business then you should promote your business on LinkedIn.
How do you do that?

Here are five legitimate ways to promote on LinkedIn:

Status Update

The easiest way to promote on LinkedIn is to post a notice in your status update. That automatically displays on your portfolio page and goes out to everyone that is connected to you. You can include a link to a webpage in that update.

Direct message

Whether you are connected to 100 or 1,000 people on LinkedIn you can always send direct messages to them. Don’t send a mass blast. It’s best to send to them one-at-a-time so it appears more personal. This is time consuming (cut and paste) but it can be worthwhile.

LinkedIn Groups

Post your promotion in the groups to which you belong. Depending on the group rules you might be able to post in the Discussion area. Worst case – you can always post in the Promotions area of the Group.

Your Own LinkedIn Group

If you have established your own group – you made the rules. You most likely wrote those rules to include your own announcements – so go ahead and post. If you haven’t created your own group then you might consider doing that because it’s free.


LinkedIn has its own banner advertisement program. You can target the audience by several factors including geography, industry and job title. You only pay per click and it can be cost effective. Of the five options this is the only one that might cost you.

PS: This is my Linkedin Profile George Torok Power Marketing

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing  
Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Three P’s of Establishing Yourself as an Authority

Dominate a small pond

The Three P’s of Establishing Yourself as an Authority

Why be perceived as an authority?

When you are perceived as an authority in your field you’ll gain an unfair advantage over the competition. You will naturally attract more leads, opportunities and business. The leads you attract will tend to be better qualified leads who expect to pay more for your expertise. Doors will open easier for you. Your reputation will serve as an introduction for you. You can be more selective about the clients you work with. Your brand story will grow stronger and spread easier. The media will help to tell your story.


Pick the pond that you want to dominate. The point to becoming an authority is to dominate your market. A small fish in a big pond is seen as a commodity. Strive to be the big fish in a small pond.

Start with a small pond. This means that you need to clearly define your pond (market). The size of the pond might change over time as you adjust your focus or increase your authority.

The pond describes your target market. It shows who and where your key customers are. You might describe your pond in terms of industry, geography, economics, demographics, priorities, connection and/or timing. A good description would include at least a few of those parameters.

The most useful descriptor that you need to know is the mindset of your target market. Why might people buy from you? What are their main concerns? What are their emotional needs? What pain or fear motivates them to buy?


Position is about HOW you do business. While the Pond was about the mindset of your best prospects, Position is about your mindset.

Your mindset determines what you say and how you act and how the members of your staff speak and act on your behalf.

In establishing your authority this is perhaps the most important of the three. How do you want to be perceived? What position do you want to claim? What vacant position in the market space can you claim?

Claim a position that is vacant and memorable. You must be comfortable with that position because it can stick for a long time.

You could position your product or service in an unoccupied space. Offer options that the others don’t. Package or unbundle your service that blindsides the competition.

A powerful way to stake a position is to disagree with the crowd. Be controversial. Reveal industry dirty secrets. Pose disturbing questions about the status quo. Change the entrenched pricing structure. Offer something for free that everyone else charges a fee. Embarrass your competition.  Speak and act noticeably different from the rest of the industry.


Authority isn’t what you claim. It’s what others grant to you. Therefore they must know and respect you and your Position.

Clients and colleagues might spread the word but you can’t count on that alone. You need to actively publish your message.

How do you publish?

You consistently put your message and name into the online and traditional media. The best types of messages that work with the media are opinion, advice and information.

Online media offers you blog posts, videos, and other social media outlets. The traditional media includes newspapers, magazines, radio and TV. You might send them news releases, articles and checklists. You can offer them your expert opinion for interviews. You can orchestrate community events that attract the media.

Establish and nurture your image as an authority by following the three P’s – identify your Pond, claim your Position and Publish your message.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Crude Phrases that destroy trust in a sales pitch

Crude Phrases that destroy trust

Crude Phrases that destroy trust in a sales pitch

Imagine these two scenarios:

You answer your home phone. A voice you don’t recognize says, “How are you today?”

You open the front door of your house in response to the door bell. A stranger smiles at you and states, “We were just in the neighbourhood.”

What’s coming next?

That’s right, a sales pitch. There’s nothing wrong with selling. That’s key to any market and critical to the survival and growth of business.

But, I find these opening lines crude, deceptive, and wasteful.

Let’s examine each of these charges.


By crude I mean that these are unpolished methods used by novices. The phrases are the first things that the person thought of without considering how they might be perceived by the prospect. As you can guess a person could be doing something for decades and still be a novice. Time and experience don’t improve your skills. Self examination, perspective-shift, study and training (or coaching) improve your skills.


This is the big crime. If you’re the seller it would be prudent to establish trust with your prospect to enable the sale. But, you’re not building trust when you start the conversation (sales pitch) with deception.

Would you trust someone who lies to you every time they talk to you?

How are these phrases deceptive? Glad you asked.

“How are you today?”

That is a greeting you might pose to a friend. The complete phrase that is normally implied is “How are you feeling today?” That’s an expression of interest in the emotional, mental, or physical health. The person might respond with, “Feeling good. I think the cold is gone.” Or “My back still hurts from that work in the garden.”

The conversation will depend on the depth of the relationship and recent exchanges. The key inference with this opening question is that the two of you have a relationship and some mutual concern about the other’s well being.

When a stranger asks you that question the inference is a lie.

My response to this opening is “Who wants to know and why?”
We were just in the neighbourhood

Perhaps you’ve told friends or family, “If you’re ever in the neighbourhood please drop by.” Perhaps you’ve received a similar invitation. It probably was a sincere invitation – to family or friends.

This invitation didn’t apply to door-to-door sales people. When they open the conversation with this line they are implying that they are friends or family.

The other implication is that because they are in the neigbourhood you are obliged to listen to them - because to do otherwise would be un-neighbourly.

My response to this opening line is “So what?”


These opening phrases waste time, opportunities and goodwill.

By opening the sales conversation with dumb phrases time is wasted because the prospect still doesn’t know what you are offering.

Opportunities can be lost because of the misdirection of these openings. The door is slammed in frustration.

Using deceptive phrases will destroy trust along with goodwill.

The closing comment on the use of these crude openings comes from the character that Marlon Brando played in the movie Apocalypse Now:

“The horror, the horror.”

What other phrases have you noticed that destroy goodwill?

Add your comments below.

George Torok Keynote Marketing Speaker Co-author of Secrets of Power Marketing Get your free copy of "50 Power Marketing Ideas" Power Marketing on FaceBook Marketing Zoo on Twitter Share/Save/Bookmark