Wednesday, May 25

Custom signature files that sell 

As Alan Weiss likes to say, "I'm amazed at how dumb I was 2 weeks ago."

I've been ranting on and on that your email signature file should not only have a 'hot' (clickable) link to your website, but that you also NEED to give people a REASON to click. Nobody is going to click on a link because they're thinking, "Wow, David has a website... wonder what it looks like."

So my email signature file looks like this:

David Newman | UNCONSULTING | 610.527.5325

Visit http://www.unconsulting.com/subscribe.php
to receive the Unconsulting Update jammed with
resources, articles, and tips on innovative sales &
smarter marketing. Issued every 6 weeks or so.

Can't wait? Then visit my marketing and sales blog

Now, what if you kick that up a notch and add a CUSTOM line or two based on who you're writing to?

For example, when writing to a hotel industry client, I simply added this:

Ask about "Inn Service" our latest offering for the hospitality industry

When writing to speakers, trainers, and consultants, I now add this:

Learn more about the Professional Speaking Bootcamp July 19-21, 2005
to build your speaking muscle, marketing, and momentum!

So the idea is... use every email as a marketing vehicle, mini-teaser, or venue for generating further inquiries into your services! Elementary, my dear Watson.

Tuesday, May 24

The New School 

Tagline of the day: The New School in NYC

Their ad campaign asks, "Can your 'next life' begin during this one?" And then caps it off with the tag:

The New School prepares you for a life already in progress.

Yes, YES, YES!!! Seize your Life, your Work, and your Self by the horns and just $#%^&* DO IT!!!!

Man, I'm all sweaty now. Meanwhile, I'm starting working with a new client - this guy is READY. I suggested a web domain name for a new part of his business he wants to develop, and within [literally] minutes, he bought the site, forwarded it with domain masking, and it points to his current site (for now). I love this guy!!! His new venture is ALREADY IN PROGRESS.

Gotta drink less Starbucks... Sheesh!!

Saturday, May 21

Too damn lazy 

People often ask me how I get quoted in the media - do I use a PR firm, do I have a virtual assistant blasting packets to every reporter in the country, am I faxing and emailing press releases daily? The answer is NO. I use a great service called PRLEADS run by Dan Janal.

You should look into it - www.prleads.com. Review the website, and if it seems right for you, JOIN for $99 a month. You can try it, keep it if you like it, and drop out at any time and pay nothing further. If you give it a shot, please tell Dan you heard about it from me, right here on the old blog!!

Now, this came across my desk... a freelancer is writing a book, and here is what she put out to the PRLEADS list:

**1. BUSINESS: American Small Businesses -- Freelancer (US)
For a book proposal, I'm looking for information on small businesses in
America: demographics, statistics, especially information relating to marketing.

To me, this is incredibly stupid. If I give her all this beautiful research (which any one of us could find in 20 minutes on Google or by calling the local SCORE or SBDC offices)... well, then, heck, I guess I could write the book, couldn't I? And I suppose that's why I have written my six books - because I'm willing to do the WORK.

As I say in my UNCONSULTING seminars on sales and marketing, YOU GOTTA DO THE WORK!!!. There are no shortcuts. [Oy.]

Wednesday, May 18

Why Target wins over Wal-Mart 

Target wins over Wal-Mart in the media NOT because:
* Target is a better corporate citizen
* Wal-Mart sells more items imported from China
* Target treats its employees or suppliers better
* Target pays its employees more or has better benefits

Target wins over Wal-Mart in the media for the same reason that Apple beats
Microsoft in the media. In one word:


Target is all about high design at low prices. Want a Michael Graves
designer toilet brush? Great! Target has one. Wal-Mart doesn't.

Target has snappy print and TV ads. Wal-Mart doesn't.

Target is about a lifestyle (pronounced Tar-JAY if you please). Wal-Mart is
about cheap and quick transactions.

Wal-Mart shoppers NEED to shop there to economize; Target shoppers WANT to
shop there to splurge!

Wal-Mart vs. Target is a perfect example of brand positioning at work. They
are both big-box retailers. They both probably treat and pay their employees
similarly. They probably both exploit low priced foreign manufacturing. But
Target's registered tagline is "Design for all. Every day for everyone" and
Wal-Mart's is "Always low prices. Always." Which one captures your
imagination? Which one is "the good guy"? Easy choice, right?

There's nothing sexy or smart about low prices. There is something
definitely both sexy and smart about style and design. The media loves sexy
and smart. Who doesn't?

Does Teambuilding Work? 

The effectiveness of various corporate team-building programs ranges from
extremely impactful... to a complete waste of time and money. In the worst
cases, hastily thrown together or poorly thought-through programs can cause
WORSE team performance than before!

Success always has to be measured against the goals of the event. Is the
goal simply to have fun? Blow off steam? Bond? Or is there a more structured
purpose, such as to reduce conflict, enhance collaboration, improve
performance, lead more effectively, or increase sales?

In my experience, companies go for one of three types of team-building

Type 1. Experiential programs, challenge courses, outdoor adventures
(kayaking, orienteering, 'Survivor' themed events).

These are great for a fun outing, to blow off some steam, or as a reward or
celebration for a job well done. These are completely wrong for long-term
development because there is NO transfer of skills or business tools to use
back on the job. Transfer of learning is almost nil, and so is long-term

Type 2. Communications-oriented, behavior style or assessment-based seminars,
such as Myers-Briggs training, DISC, and Platinum Rule.

These are great for what I call "one-shot enlightenment," and the main
benefit is that the outcomes of these events are directly relevant to
day-to-day work in the office, so the transfer of learning is high. People
leave with some very basic "Aha!" moments and a new vocabulary with which to
deal with conflict, communications, and collaborative issues as they come up
in the context of doing real work. The downside: one-time training has no
reinforcement and long-term, people may remember their own type ("I'm an
ISTJ, what are you?") without remembering the key points of how to USE this
information in practical ways to get things done.

Type 3. Long-term development programs that span anywhere from 8 weeks to a full year. These can be in-house programs, branded programs from companies like Dale Carnegie, or custom programs from leading business schools or executive education firms.

These are great for both quick hits in performance along the way AND
long-term development and growth. The main benefit is that this kind of
teambuilding is a process and not an event. Spaced learning ensures
retention, and in-context application of learning happens throughout the

There are some truly wonderful programs of this type, including the 10-week
Stanford Creativity in Business program that I teach. Programs of this type usually have 3-5 days of live seminar time combined with pre-work, reading assignments,
self-paced software or web modules, telephone conference calls, group
coaching, and peer collaboration on "live" projects during the course of the
program. Transfer of learning is seamless, because participants are working
on real issues from Day 1.

Monday, May 16

True Colors - what are your company colors saying? 

From Ricksticks, a visual design firm in Toronto:

How would you select colors for your logo, web site, or brochure? Many who are faced with these decisions simply choose colors on instinct -- colors that are favorites.

Doesn't sound like too big a deal. The result, however, could be a significant loss of opportunity, or worse, a costly mistake. For any company or organization, shaping public/consumer perception is essential.

A key aspect of how this perception manifests, is in how you present your collateral identity -- your logo, business card, stationery, and the rest of your marketing materials. Color can set an indelible first impression. Color affects us all in a psychological level and an emotional level. These are effects which should be incorporated into your design.

The following is a list of colors along with symbolism associated with each color. Keep in mind that these symbolic meanings may not translate to other cultures. When considering color implications from the perspective of an unfamiliar culture, it is always a good idea to do a little preliminary research. Trends and market demographics will also play a part in the color selection process.

Blue is the color of the corporate world. It connotes stability and confidence -- the darker the shade, the greater the trust. POSITIVE: power, dignity, water, relaxation, loyalty, authority, respect, confidence, order, security, sky, cold. NEGATIVE: depression.

Red is aggressive and commands attention. It is an intense color that is exciting and passionate. POSITIVE: energy, desire, speed, strength, power, love. NEGATIVE: danger, fire, blood, stop, violence.

Orange is a friendly, vibrant color. A color that is demanding of the viewers attention. It is playful and energetic and conveys an informality. POSITIVE: accessible, affordable, social, warmth, balance, flamboyant.

Brown is stable, and also a friendly color. Earthy browns convey simplicity and comfort. POSITIVE: home, hearth, outdoors, wooden, reliability, endurance, credibility. NEGATIVE: boring, stale, inaction.

Purple is the color of royalty -- connotes good taste and ceremony. POSITIVE: richness, spirituality, elite, independence, superior, nobility, mystery, transformation, sophistication, power, enlightenment, vision. NEGATIVE: cruelty, arrogance, mourning.

Yellow is uplifting, energetic and welcoming. POSITIVE: joy, light, hope, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, philosophy. NEGATIVE: cowardice, dishonesty, betrayal, illness, hazard.

Green is associated with growth and nature. It is a relaxing color well utilized by the environmentally aware. POSITIVE: health, luck, renewal, freshness, cleanliness, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility. NEGATIVE: jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.

Gray is reliable and practical -- associated with modesty and dignity. POSITIVE: security, intelligence, wisdom, maturity, solid, practical, conservative. NEGATIVE: sadness, loneliness, aging, lifeless.

Black is a powerful neutral -- a good technical color with a wide range of modern meanings. POSITIVE: sophisticated, sexuality, formal, elegance, wealth, mystery, style. NEGATIVE: fear, evil, anonymity, depth, sadness, anger, death, mourning.

White is absolute purity and innocence. POSITIVE: reverence, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, youth, birth, winter, goodness, marriage. NEGATIVE: clinical, cold, sterile.

Hmmm... check out this handsome, black, white, and red website all about marketing and sales strategy...

Top 10 Sales Challenges for Sales Managers 

1. Salespeople spending too much time servicing existing clients at the expense of finding new clients.

2. Salespeople spending too much time with unqualified prospects, consequently spending too little time with qualified prospects.

3. Salespeople looking at their prospects through rose-colored glasses, often underestimating the number of prospects necessary to reach their goals.

4. Subjective opinions regarding sales opportunities resulting in inaccurate forecasts.

5. Sales cycles are too long.

6. Closing ratios are too low.

7. Sales managers having no objective method of determining who needs their help the most.

8. Sales managers having no way to determine which opportunities a sales person is having problems with and which they are not.

9. Sales managers not having a source of objective information to proactively uncover problems and therefore waiting for problems to be brought to them by their salespeople.

10. Sales managers having no way to determine if poor sales performance is due to ineffectiveness or lack of effort, or a combination of the two.

If some of these are problematic for your sales team, we should talk.

Or... you should look into some top-notch sales training for your team!

Wednesday, May 11

What professional speaking is NOT about 

In preparation for my upcoming Professional Speaking Bootcamp, I've been thinking a lot about what professional speaking success is... and what it isn't. Take a look at this bullet list:Sorry, folks... that's NOT what it's about!!! Here's the UNconventional UNCONSULTING approach to each of these:Get out of the mindset that speaking is for YOU. It's not. It's a gift you're sharing with your AUDIENCE. It's FOR them; it's ABOUT them. Period.

Tuesday, May 3

The easiest sales course 

This came across my desk today from Canadian marketing and networking expert, Michael Hughes:

The easiest sales course

Do you have a tough time with selling? Is asking for business one of your weaknesses? Want to learn how to sell successfully without it costing you anything? Try this hands-on sales course.

Call your favorite not-for profit organization and volunteer to go door-to-door soliciting donations. I've been doing this for nine years for the Canadian Cancer Society. What an education!

You'll learn to script an effective sales presentation, overcome the fear of asking for the sale and deal with rejection. You'll learn what emotional triggers open minds and wallets. And you'll get the satisfaction of helping others.

Monday, May 2

Reflections from the road 

This isn't directly about sales or marketing or business... or is it?!?

From my friend and Philadelphia "Company of Friends" coordinator Valeria Maltoni:

Yesterday I ran and survived the 10-mile Broad Street
Marathon. It was amazing for me to see how many people
participated enthusiastically after waiting for over
an hour in the cold rain.

During the two-hour journey, I had the opportunity to
observe people at their best. A few reflections I'd
like to offer:

- While we continued to run together, many of us chose
and maintained our own pace to reflect unique style
and strengths.

- As we passed neighborhoods we would not normally
drive or walk through, we found people cheering at the
sidelines with music, voices, or just their presence.

- Everyone who had already completed the race and had
at some point or another ran alongside greeted the
people who crossed the finish line with enthusiasm.

My goal was to complete the race. However, right from
the start, I felt I was part of something greater.
There was a connection, a spirit that transcended my
own and transmitted a sense of community.

Is our run through life a single-minded race? Do we
take the time to touch the people on the sidelines who
are there to encourage us? Do we allow them to
celebrate our success? Are we treasuring what we find
along the way, no matter how it shows up?

Connections do matter.

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