By Jerry | November 5, 2012
The ongoing cleanup effort resulting from Hurricane Sandy on the east coast, is the perfect example of why small businesses and professional offices need to be prepared with disaster recovery sites.
I’m not talking about a just a backup recovery plan, you know, the call tree list, or work from home contingency plans. I’m talking a full-fledged backup disaster recovery site. A place where your essential employees can work and stay (yes a place to eat sleep and shower) while cleanup back in your home area progresses.
I was first introduced to the need for disaster recovery back in the late 1980’s. I worked for a software company that was in the suburbs of Chicago. The office complex was nicely nestled in a grove of trees about a block from a meandering little creek.
One spring the rains came and that creek flooded and surrounded the office building for days. Power was out and we were not allowed to enter the building. Luckily the software company was using leased data lines from a company in downtown Chicago. They had several open areas with tables and terminals available for our company to use for two weeks while our office building area was brought back online. Daily, we traveled downtown for two weeks.
It would have been a disaster for us and our clients if we were shutdown for that time. Today, many professional offices have a similar issue. Many have no disaster recovery at all, not even a backup of their network data on a daily or weekly basis. Other companies have a backup and maybe even tested work from home capabilities.
But what about the bigger disasters? What about a two week or longer office incapacitation? One where even your workers can’t access from home because they’re without power and utilities? Can your business survive being out of commission for that long?
A couple of years ago, I was having lunch with a business friend of mine, Dan. We are kindred entrepreneurial spirits. Too many ideas, not enough time to execute them all.
Dan talked about his latest idea then and it really struck a chord with me. He had been looking for a weekend getaway for his family. He was looking at places that were within a 2 hour drive from his Chicago area home and he had seen some huge almost “compound” like properties.
Although he could not afford to create his own personal “Kennedy Compound” it did spark his idea for a shared, small business disaster recovery site.
Larger businesses contract with large disaster recovery sites so that should some near catastrophic event occur, the business could have their essential employees travel to the site, usually within 2 hours away from the main office, and there they would have a desk, computer, phones, internet and their systems are backed up daily to that site. They could pick up business without skipping a beat.
A small business has slightly different needs and constraints. The expense of the site is too great for many small firms to keep running on standby. It’s hard to justify the expense.
Dan’s idea was to turn that expense into an asset for the business. Why not have disaster recovery sites for small businesses that are in more of a recreational area, but still within 2 hours of a major metropolitan area?
There would be one or two main buildings that would house a few other small business sites as well. You would have all the network and backup generators needed for a first class disaster recovery site – but on a smaller scale.
There would be cottages and maybe a small inn on site as well to house the workers. You could sell the cottages as condos to the small business. The inn or main building would have meeting rooms.
The idea is that the small business would use the facility for company meetings, events and also the annual test of the backup services. The cottages and facilities are owned by the businesses.
One of the key benefits is that this makes it an asset on the business balance sheet. The business obtains a disaster recovery site to keep the business running; it also gains a business retreat for when not in disaster mode, and adds an element to the asset side of the business.
Recent events like the hurricane on the east coast make a strong case for the need of disaster recovery sites for small businesses. Dan’s idea for combining that type of site for small businesses in recreational compound type environment makes for an intriguing idea.
By Jerry | July 15, 2012
You’re a small company or local business owner. For the last three years you’ve been hearing about everything you HAVE to do or your business won’t survive. First it was you HAVE to be on the internet, so you had a website made.
Then it wasn’t enough to have a website, you had to HAVE good search engine optimization (SEO) or people wouldn’t find you on the internet.
Then you had to HAVE good content. Online videos, blogs, comments on other blogs, links back to your website.
And don’t forget email and opt-in lists. If you didn’t HAVE email campaigns or an Opt-in list, then your business would not survive 2011.
Was all that necessary? The website, the SEO, the content, the links, the email?
The simple answer is YES.
Can a business survive without all that? The simple answer is “Yes”. Thousands of businesses survive each day without a website and all the other marketing.
But do want to survive or THRIVE this year?
ComScore Inc. which measures digital usage and sales found that over $35.3 billion in online retail sales for the 2011 Holiday season alone. See the Press release here. That was a 15% increase from 2010. I want my businesses to be a part of that kind of growth.
So if you want to build on your revenue and you have a website and all the online marketing tools, then what is this year’s must HAVE? Ok, you already know. It’s been touted by most of your online marketing firms. It’s a mobile website.
Mobile Version Websites
So why is a mobile website important? Let’s look at two sources. First, Google itself has changed their search engine algorithm. One of the major changes was that Google recognizes that mobile (smartphones, Ipads, other tablets) are growing double digit in the past two years. If you waited to jump on the band wagon to get your own mobile device, then you are in the majority.
But Google tracks EVERYTHING and they have seen the explosive growth of searches and how consumers USE search on mobile devices. If you have a website, get a hold of the statistics from your ISP or website developer. Tell them you want to see the sources of the searches that lead to clicks to your website.
You’re going to see that many searches are now showing the word “mobile” in the source. People are using mobile devices to find your products and services. Google recognized this and now serves up different results when somebody searches from a mobile device.
That’s right. Go ahead and test it yourself. Take a generic keyword for your business and do a search on a desk computer in Google. Now do the same exact search in Google from a mobile device. Odds are, you’re going to see different results.
Why? We’ll look at that in a minute. Now let’s look at the second source for proving why mobile websites are important.
ComScore Inc. again provides some great data on mobile growth. This release states “For the three-month average period ending in November, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices.” 234 MILLION people in the USA used a mobile device. That only leaves 70 million people who did NOT use a mobile device. My business needs to capture my share of the 234 million and growing.
There are many other reasons to prove that mobile websites are important and should be your current business goal if you don’t have a mobile website already.
Google has separated out different results for mobile users using Google. But they also state that the regular results are influenced by whether or not a company has a mobile version of their website.
Google is so sure of the growth of mobile overtaking desk bound computer searches in the coming years, that they now are looking for a company to have both and those who have separate mobile and regular websites are being pushed higher in both Google search results.
So regardless of how much SEO you complete for your regular website, if you don’t have a mobile version, you’re going to be penalized in search.
Should I just convert website to mobile?
No. You need both a regular website and a mobile website. Google wants to see two separate websites. The regular website can provide a richer data and content experience. The mobile website needs to be nimble and mobile friendly.
You can’t have the same website appear on mobile. Google reviews the results and is looking for simplicity and fast loading websites.
Here are the basic rules of creating a Google friendly mobile website:
- Website that is easy to read on a small size smartphone screen.
- Website that loads fast. (images & other content)
- Website that adjusts to the various sizes of mobile devices.
- Icons and buttons that allow for large fingers to “tap” to drill for data or make phone calls.
- Videos that play full screen for mobile devices.
- Coding on your regular website that determines if your visitor is coming from a mobile device and AUTOMATICALLY switches them to the mobile site.
- Flash does not play well with many mobile devices. This is improving, but Google does not like it at present.
- I-phones currently do not play auto-start videos. So you need to avoid those.
You don’t need to buy a separate domain for mobile. Google is only looking for a redirect script on your website to send visitors to mobile. You don’t have to pay for a new domain name. You can have your ISP create a “Sub-domain” on your current site that holds the mobile website pages.
You can take advantage of creating a mobile website and use a Keyword rich domain name if you want, but it’s not necessary.
So in summary, yes a mobile version of your website is necessary if you don’t have one already. It needs to be a simpler version of your regular website and needs to load fast. You need a simple code snippet so that mobile visitors to your regular website are directed to your mobile website.
You can then feel the “Google love” with higher search engine rankings and ultimately more revenue for your business.
Call us at 312-650-9724 and we can show you how a mobile website should look, and how we can create a simple mobile website for your business.
By Jerry | January 4, 2011
1 Simple Secret to Quickly get a Large Number of Targeted Prospects to “Like” your Facebook Business Page
Facebook page “Blue & White Striped Rugs” an extremely narrow niche – How we helped them go from Zero to 294 “Likes” in 12 days
You understand the importance of having a large group of people “Like”ing your Facebook business page. You can interact with prospects that have expressed an interest in your business by “Like”ing the page. It’s the equivalent of having an ongoing conversation with your prospects every time they log on to Facebook.
We just worked with a client to create a “fan” club for just one type of product they offer. Fans are great customers. They buy and buy and buy. How many fans do you think there would be for a narrow niche product like “Blue and White Striped Rugs”?
We helped the business go from zero to 294 “fans” in 12 days. That’s right 12 days to gather 294 prospects who are interested in Blue & White striped rugs. How many days would a store in your area need to draw in 294 people interested in only Blue & White Striped rugs?
That one product or service you want to focus on for this year? Imagine how many fans you can grab for your offering that probably appeals to a broader market.
That fan base can, and will, grow as you interact with your new fan club. You need to take care of them, talk to them, give them information and content that will build on the relationship.
The fan club is run on Facebook – through a Facebook business page. You can post content, videos, photos, share links, and the best part is the fans interact with you and each other. Your brand is built for you. They stay engaged with your business, until they are ready to buy.
The secret revealed:
What we did for the Rug client, was to run an online contest – sweepstakes actually. The main marketing goal was to gain as many new Facebook Fans to the new page for Blue and White Striped rugs.
A sweepstakes is defined as a contest where the winner is chosen at random.
The client business gave away two rugs as prizes. It was a simple random drawing, but it had a twist. The contestants were given extra entries for doing Social Media activities – like Facebook posts, Twitter posts, comments on blogs, YouTube videos and comments. All these activities expose your business to their friends on the social sites and help you in your search engine rankings with all the links to your site.
We set up a blog for the business on their website and installed and configured the contest software. We laid out a marketing plan of twitter posts, Facebook posts and $10 a day for Facebook ads targeted to people who had “decorating” as a profile interest.
For such a narrow niche – Blue and White Stripe Rugs – the client was hoping to get 100 fans during the length of the contest. That level was reached in less than 5 days. At the end 294 new Facebook “Likes” (fans) were created and many of the fans had posted numerous times about the contest for the rugs.
These fans are a laser targeted prospect group who have an interest in decorating with blue and white striped rugs. A bonus, was that an Interior Designer found the contest, saw the rugs, followed through to the company website and bought a rug for a client. That sale covered the cost of the prizes and the Facebook ads. Plus our client tells us an Interior Designer as his client will produce between $2k and $20k in revenue over the next few years.
The client is going to run more contests in 2011 and put a few more dollars behind ads for the contest to target other keywords that attract MORE fans to “Like” the Facebook business page.
Let us help you build your own “Fan” club that will bring business to you. We’d love to discuss a marketing plan on building a Facebook business page and using Contest Marketing to drive prospects for you to build your business in 2011.
Contact us at info@AristoAssociates.com or call 312-650-9724. Our consulting calendar is filling up for the year and the faster we start, the faster you build your prospect list.
By Jerry | November 18, 2010
I recently read a great article by Hannah Glover on Ignites.com, an investment industry website. The subject was how Social Media savvy was in demand for investment firms, but the supply of investment experienced candidates was in short supply.
That article, and many similar ones, have themes of how the Financial & Investment industry is slow to adopt the use of Social Media.
The number one concern is compliance. Valid – there are nebulous rules on storing all messages on social media sites for financial firms. These can be worked through.
Closely followed after compliance concerns, is the general lack of resources – which I interpret as both lack of strategies for using Social Media and experienced people to execute a strategy.
One of the consulting firms quoted in the article suggested investment firms hire Social Media Directors and let them “fail forward” – in effect learning on the job. Their reasoning was that waiting for how Social Media will work for the industry, would put the firm behind those that do take action now.
Social Media builds a following. By choosing to NOT establish Social Media groups and destinations now, it will be difficult for your financial firm to catch up in the future.
While I agree that waiting is not the best option, a Marketing Executive of an investment firm does not have to stumble through introducing Social Media strategies.
Social Media is made up of Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube channels, and other content sharing websites.
When I talk with my clients, I like to remove the “mystery” surrounding Social Media. It’s not some brand new, language or machine that nobody understands. Social Media is exactly what you already know as a Marketing Executive –
Social Media is a tool.
Pure and simple.
Just like print media, broadcast media, billboards, etc. Social Media is no more than a new tool to use for marketing.
Ok, you can breathe easier now. The other media does not go away. Social Media is not going to make all other marketing disappear.
It is different from other marketing tools in that it’s very interactive. You’ll be much closer to your clients and their advisors. Your message will need to be subtle.
Would you really say some of your other media marketing verbatim if you were at social event?
In Social Media you will be more the best friend, the trusted advisor, the personality with the simple language investment information and options.
You can plan a strategy for Social Media that can build a following and build relationships. Your clients and prospects will interact and build your brand for you.
Yes there are unknowns on what works best in Social Media. But you already have that in the other marketing you do as well. Social Media is no different. You wouldn’t use a hammer to drive a screw. Yes, you can try and fail forward, but there are already uses that you can adopt for your firm.
For my clients, I like to map out the strategy and it’s components to reach the goal. You do have goals for your other marketing, so you should have goals for Social Media too.
A high level example – a strategy could be to use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to start to build a Social Media asset for a targeted campaign. We want to build and gather a group of people who are ready now or in the very near future, to rollover their 401k account.
Again, a high level look is to use Facebook as the page that clients/prospects interact and discuss rollovers. Run a contest to attract people to start following the Facebook page. The prizes would include something that the target market would want. To tie in with 401k retirement theme, try offering a week vacation for two to Florida or Arizona or other retirement location and describe it as a “Trial Retirement” prize.
Tout it as a way to try-out the retirement lifestyle before you retire. You can make the contest easy by just entering their name and contact information, or you can make it interesting by having the contestants send a short video describing their ultimate retirement. Making this interactive, will keep people engaged with the Facebook page.
Now to really supercharge the number of people who are exposed to the Facebook page, offer an identical prize for the person who recommended the winner. Contest software can keep track of this. A contestant “invites” their friends to join the contest, and now they have an incentive to invite many people too.
If they don’t win it themselves, they win if their invited friend wins. You win because now the people are reaching into to their own network and building your Facebook page virally.
Don’t like a trip as a prize, how about offering a luxury car and call it a “Test Drive Retirement” prize.
You drive traffic to the Facebook page using Twitter. 140 character posts that include keywords like “401k rollover”, “pension”, and other keywords that the target market uses in search related to 401k and retirement topics.
A YouTube channel set up for the Facebook page or even just for the contest can have short videos about the contest and other content related to the social media sites. 84 percent of the people using the internet in the USA watch online videos each month. comScore Inc. estimates 5 billion videos are watched each month. You need to have video as part of your branded Social Media offerings. Video can bring traffic to your pages.
Now to add more fuel to drive traffic, incorporate your old standbys – print and broadcast media. Public Relations and all the old school methods will help build the traffic to the page.
As a refresher, the goal was to build the Facebook page followers quickly, so that you can start and build that relationship with this group of prospects.
What I just described is a simple, high level strategy using Social Media to gather, reach, and retain prospects.
You can use the Facebook page to interact and engage with the prospects. They will interact and engage each other, building your brand by using the site. You can use those Social Media sites to link and send the participants to your main website and even local offices.
Call (312) 650-9724 or email us to discuss this and other ideas for establishing Social Media marketing campaigns for your firm.
By Jerry | November 17, 2010
Not all our blog posts will be about business. Sometimes a topic resonates with a person and results in an article.
And of course I bring it back to business…
I was complimented by an associate today at a speaking engagement we both participated in. Since I don’t remember the exact words, I’ll paraphrase her remarks,
“Jerry, you always seem to look for the best in a person.”
“I’ve seen you speak highly of some of the most miserable personalities in this industry. You can work with anybody can’t you?”
“You’re so positive in your outlook, and your business is growing when others are closing up. How can that be?”
First off, I’m fighting for a spot in Heaven, and have marks against me that at the gate, St. Peter will surely look above his glasses with that ‘you did that?’ look.
But I think the most powerful gift we have been given is – Choice.
We choose how we react to situations, people, etc. We choose to be devastated by negative comments or let them roll off. We choose who we associate with. We choose how we react to nature and acts of God.
We choose how we interact with people.
Yes, I choose to find the good in most people. I’d rather build up the good about a person, instead of concentrating on the bad.
Talk about the good in a person and it perpetuates the good in them and about them. Talk about the bad and it perpetuates the bad.
I choose the good.
Now that doesn’t mean I ignore the bad. Heck, I have turned down working with potential miserable personalities because I want to be able to still speak of their good qualities.
But sometimes what makes a person miserable to be around, is also what makes that person an excellent team member to have. I worked for a company that had a programmer nobody wanted to deal with. He was so nitpicky and had no tolerance for people discussing alternatives. He felt there was one best solution, and by gosh, let’s just do it the one way.
Nobody wanted this guy on their project.
That nitpicky person could complete a rock solid project when you let him have at it. You just had to keep him out of the meetings where possible solutions were discussed. Bring the one solution to him and he would bang it out, with few errors because of his attention to detail.
I learned early in grade school, that group projects were easiest when you chose people who could excel in different aspects. Most kids chose their friends, which meant they generally all thought alike. They all loved to do the same tasks and hated to do other tasks. So if no one liked to write the report, it barely was completed and it had all kinds of errors.
I tried to choose different kids. One who liked to build – he would make the model. One who liked to draw, she would make the posters. One who liked to research – I would do that. One who liked to write – and they would write our notes up into the report.
To choose that type of team meant you had to recognize what people were good at. Then you built them up for that talent, and they would run with it in the group.
Once you had a good team, the project went well and usually had good results. The same happens in life and business. Find and promote the good in people, and you can work with most anyone. Your projects and goals will have a much higher success rate.
And your business will increase.
People like to work with pleasant successful people. Helping, promoting, building people up will make you succeed in most any project or business.
It doesn’t mean every person you meet will be pleasant to work with. It also doesn’t mean you’ll hate everybody and have to find the good. But if you can find the good, you can – choose – to associate with them and have a successful project/business relationship. Or you can choose to avoid them and that may be the best solution too.
So thank-you for the compliment today. It’s nothing special I do, but it made me think about why it works.
By Jerry | November 11, 2010
by Jerry Krull
You’re at another business event and the marketing talk is about Social Media. Jack’s company just ran a killer contest on their Facebook page. They received input from their core demographic and found with the page’s interactions that the 30-45 age demographic they targeted likes the product but wants a more intuitive design. Not only do they say they want a new design, several give feedback on exactly what would be a better design. The company is working on the improvement and letting the Facebook crowd know it.
Janice’s publishing company just launched another successful author. They ran with a website for the book, a blog for the book topic, a Facebook page for the book, a Twitter account that drove traffic to the website and Facebook page. They also did a lot of social bookmarking and even created a YouTube Channel with video interviews snippets with the author and the author in interviews. The Facebook page and blog had excerpts from the book that used keywords that attracted the target audience through search.
Finally Alan talked about how they built a new branding campaign using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Foursquare, Gowalla and a slew of other nonsense sounding names that make up the social media sphere.
So, here you are, the Marketing Director for your firm. You’ve been resisting this Social Media area because you can’t see how it can work for you. Yet the competition has started using it, the CEO, COO and Board of Directors are mentioning it as something “to get on board”. But how do you enter it? What will make it work for you?
It’s not that difficult. You don’t have to be a hip, 20-something whiz kid to make use of social media. Here it is in a nutshell;
Social Media is a marketing tool – pure and simple.
That’s it. Print advertising is a tool; you know how to use that. Radio or TV advertising is a tool, you have that down pat. Social Media is another tool. It has advantages and disadvantages, just like the other tools. The idea is to use the tools for what they are designed to do.
You wouldn’t expect to buy a hammer and then use it on a screw would you? Would you purchase 30 seconds of TV commercial on the Super Bowl to promote your Post graduate textbook line to universities? No, of course not.
Use the right tools for the job. Take Twitter as an example. You get 140 character messages. What on earth would that tool be good for? Well, let’s examine the tool. Twitter has short messages that can be seen by “Followers” and another source – more on that in a minute. “Followers” hmm, that sounds like a target market. Ok, so we can generate messages targeted toward that target market. What is the other source that sees the messages?
Search engines see the messages – Google in particular. Google looks at the words in the messages and adds them to the search listings. So if you have targeted messages that use the keywords for the market, they will get listed in the search engines for those keywords. When somebody in the target market is searching on their favorite subject, the Twitter posts will appear in the search listings and bring another prospect to your Twitter account. They will Follow and also follow the links on the Twitter account to your other sites. You can use hash tags in your Twitter messages and people will find those hash tag words in a Twitter search and bring them to your brand.
So how is Twitter best used as a tool in marketing? It drives traffic to your website, and other media sites using targeted words and messages used by your target market. Don’t try to use Twitter to make a sale; it’s not a tool to make a sale. That’s like our hammer example to drive in a screw. Wrong use of the tool. Twitter casts a net to bring in a crowd.
There, you now know how Twitter can be used in your efforts. Now look at Facebook, YouTube, and FourSquare. They have their uses and can be fantastic marketing tools. The best part is the low cost of entry to bring in very targeted prospects.
If you need to learn the best uses of the tools, look for case studies. There are many case studies on the web for different businesses. You can bring in consultants to talk about social media. Just be sure they ask about your business, your target market. Make sure they talk about things other than setting up social media accounts. I can hire the set up out for you for peanuts.
The payoff is not having the social media accounts. You can buy an awesome set of tools (social media accounts); the payoff is how you use them. A consultant should be able to articulate how using the tools will reach your goal. That goal can be brand awareness, driving traffic, or direct sales (just not through Twitter as the main sales method).
Examine your Marketing strategy, and an excellent consultant will be able to map out how Social Media can reach your audience. Or you can hire a Social Media Director. More on what to look for in the Social Media Director in another post.
By Jerry | November 11, 2010
There I was pitching my prospect. A great conversation. Lots of questions, I learned his business, his pain points.
I was able focus on the benefits of what I could do to alleviate those pain points. This was going very well.
Then the question came.
“Why should I choose you? I mean, what separates you from your competition?”
What a great question. Has a prospect asked you that question? Even if you’ve never been asked, ask it of yourself,
What separates me from my competition?
How would you answer? More importantly,
would your answer sway your prospect?
The question is a great question to be asked by a prospect. Examine the context.
They would only ask that question if they agreed your offering would solve their problem. They are ready to buy.
They ask that question only so they can justify going with you versus the competition.
Maybe they answer to a higher manager. If they walk in and say, “Ms. Manager, I recommend we go with A-Number 1 Company.” The first question Ms. Manager asks is “Why them?”
Or maybe you are dealing with an entrepreneur who has no boss. They still need the justification in their mind. If they talk with a spouse or other business associate, they may be asked, “Why did you choose them?”
See, the prospect needs the justification. The justification needs to be strong.
“What separates you from your competition?”
If ever there was a need for strong copy, verbal or written, this is it.
If you don’t know how to write a strong answer, then let’s start by seeing how others answer this question. By seeing many answers, you can teach yourself what is strong versus what is weak.
If the 80/20 rule works, then we should see 80 percent bad or weak answers to 20% strong answers.
And here’s how to do it. Google search.
Let’s search for the phrase “what separates me from my competition”. Use the quotes so you get the exact complete phrase. Also click on the “Cached” link at the end of the Google listing. It highlights the phrase so you can find it quickly on the page.
Going through the first few pages of Google results should help you find good answers versus weak answers. You can then model your answer after the good answers.
Our results from the search:
1. What I’ve found is that I have a passion for ideas. That’s what separates me from my competition. – Graphic designer.
2. I am a mortgage specialist, this is what separates me from my competition. – Loan officer
3. In my business what separates me from my competition is that you actually get my associates and me. – TV and Movie Production company
4. What separates me from my competition is that my agency is dedicated to serving the insurance needs of my customers by providing the complete lines of insurance products while focusing personal attention to individual family needs and developing long term relationships. – Insurance agent
5. What separates me from my competition? I have collected today’s most innovative marketing methods to help Agents produce more clients, spend fewer dollars and enjoy greater consistency of referrals. – Mortgage Broker
6. I will say my engines are priced more towards the racer and my tech service and phone conversations are second to none in the industry. I will not sell an engine to a customer if he does not purchase or have the proper equipment to make it work. That is what separates me from my competition. – Automotive engine builder
7. What separates me from my competition?: I want to build a standing relationship w/ my clients, to eventually become their one and only go-to person for their property improvement needs! – Home Improvement firm
8. What separates me from my competition? I have the experience, the music, the skills, and the preparation knowledge of all types of events! – Professional DJ services
9. Noticing the trends and being able to steer people in the direction they want to go is what separates me from my competition. – Real Estate Agent
10. My experience is what separates me from my competition. – Attorney
So of these 10 responses, which are the best, the strongest statement that will sway a prospect?
My personal opinion, is that #6 is the strongest. The Automotive Engine builder statement that “I will not sell an engine to a customer if he does not purchase or have the proper equipment to make it work” is strong and unique. The seller expects you be able to properly service and use his product, and he will not sell it to just anyone. There is no generic, boring, double talk. It is implied that you, the customer, are going to get a great engine that you will be able to service and use. The seller cares about his product and that the customer is smart enough to handle this product. Will another engine builder care enough to NOT sell an engine to someone who can’t service it?
The only other statement I like is number #5. It starts weak “I have collected today’s most innovative marketing methods …” (big word that anyone can use – “innovative”) but then it hits a home run with “to help Agents produce more clients, spend fewer dollars and enjoy greater consistency of referrals.” Ahh yes, results for my business.
Ok, so the 80/20 rule worked for me. Why didn’t I like the other 8? Is there a trend or common theme we can pick up on so that our statement is strong? Let’s examine the rest.
#1 – “I have a passion for ideas”. Well good for you graphic designer, but is that all that separates you from your competition? The others don’t have a passion for ideas? “Hey boss, I picked this person because they have a passion for ideas.” “Oh, you wanted a person who has a passion for working for our business and ideas?”
#2 – “I am a mortgage specialist”… I would hope a mortgage loan officer considered themselves a mortgage specialist. Again, if this is the biggest differentiator, then I’m not impressed, and neither would the prospect.
#3 – “…you actually get my associates and me.” Actually not too bad… for a start. Why does getting an associate or you matter as a TV production company? A little tweak and this becomes great.
#4 – “my agency is dedicated to serving the insurance needs of my customers by providing the complete lines of insurance products…zzzzzz.” Wow, that is straight from an academic textbook. You can’t get a more generic statement. This would separate this agency from all the other insurance agents only if the others have an incomplete line of products.
#7 – “I want to build a standing relationship w/ my clients, to eventually become their one and only go-to person for their property improvement needs!” I actually wanted to include this as good statement. It just misses the mark by being a little vague. All other agencies want the same. Again, with a little tweaking, this can be a winner.
#8 – “I have the experience, the music, the skills, and the preparation knowledge of all types of events!” I like the experience part. That is big with a prospect because they want someone who knows how to run the DJ part of the event. It just misses the personal part that will sell it to the prospect.
#9 – “Noticing the trends and being able to steer people in the direction they want to go…” No big differentiator here for a Real Estate Agent. Can you bring a little more to the table that makes you different from other real estate agents?
#10 – “My experience…” And now we know why attorneys are not in marketing. If your experience is what separates you from other attorneys, then I did not realize so many attorneys had no experience. To be fair, for an attorney, or doctor, or other professional, experience is a great differentiator. But you have to be specific. An attorney who represented 200 clients in divorces in the past 5 years separates themselves from the average ones who have represented 30 clients in the same 5 years.
Ok, so what trend do we see? It should be obvious after seeing these listed out this way.
The basic marketing taboo has afflicted the weaker 8 statements. They all talked about “I” more than what the prospect will benefit. It’s ok to use “I”, but how will that benefit the prospect? How is that different from the competition?
There is a strong benefit that the prospect can identify with in the good statements. They use few gibberish marketing words that put people to sleep. There is a statement that allows the prospect to say “This is why I chose this person.” And that statement is unique from what the competition is saying, and it tells the prospect how they will benefit.
By Jerry | August 17, 2010
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