JC MARKET!NG

Full service digital marketing agency

How important do you think fierce video is to get prospects engaging with your products or services?

Here’s how:

4 TIMES AS MANY CONSUMERS WOULD RATHER WATCH A VIDEO RATHER THAN READ ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT.

CUSTOMERS ARE NEARLY 50% MORE LIKELY TO READ EMAIL NEWSLETTERS IF THEY INCLUDE LINKS TO AN ENTERTAINING + INFORMATIVE VIDEO.

1 IN 4 CONSUMERS ACTUALLY LOSE INTEREST IN A COMPANY IF IT DOESN’T HAVE VIDEO.

and

4 IN 5 CONSUMERS SAY A VIDEO SHOWING HOW A PRODUCT OR SERVICE WORKS IS IMPORTANT.

Now that you know the numbers say that video is a must. How should you proceed?

Video shared with the masses—particularly your target audience—is much more than pointing a camera at an actor … or assembling a bunch of static pictures that painfully flip or dissolve from one to the other.

Video takes creativity, experience + a love for the art form. In the case of advertising + marketing a product or service, it requires an enormous amount of other skillsets if you want to draw potential prospects to your brand.

It’s having a experienced director with a precise “marketing” vision who expresses your brand story via cinematography. One who peripherally understands precisely how lighting, the sound, the placement, lenses + settings of a camera will be used in creative, complex ways to tell your amazing story visually.

Effective video combines the technological aspect … with actors being truthful under imaginary circumstances. A video director then partners with an editor whose expertise is arranging individual clips into sequences—with an outstanding soundtrack and/or special FX—that ultimately create your brand story. The result is it’s engaging, educational + you’ll agree … the best ones are insanely entertaining!

All of that … and so much more is what makes an incredibly great video far more effective + engaging because it’s both meaningful + purposeful.

If you rush through your video creation, the results are an unimaginative story with poor execution … and that’s a recipe for “lame.” You’ll run the risk that your videos will always be perceived as a “waste of time.” And when that happens, you might never ever get your audience to re-engage. So, if you ever hope of getting your next video viewed, you’ll take the time to make sure your “launch” video + any subsequent ones will be extraordinarily unique … rather than amateurish.

After all, the goal of a great video is to gain influence. That in turn, puts your business + organization in the best possible position to be “success-filled.”

Demand more from your video marketing strategy so that your customer can have an enjoyable experience.

Nothing quite matches the combination of sight, sound, and motion for brand recall. What’s more, we prefer video, as evidenced by the nearly 7 billion videos watched on social media each day. We’ll show you precisely why video is the perfect vehicle for engaging with consumers at any time they’re actively seeking more information about your brand.

At jc market!ng, we listen to your goals. We re-imaginate with video because there’s marketing firepower behind it that will move the sales needle in your favor.

We disrupt the status quo by designing your customer journey around your video … and best of all … we handle everything—yes everything … in-house!

Call us at 860.621.8866 today!

Requests for Proposal (RFQ) + Speculative (SPEC) work

Architects don’t give away their blueprints.

Restaurants don’t fork out FREE meals hoping you’ll pay for it only if you think it is good.

Painters don’t paint your house for FREE hoping you’ll “like” the color—then pay for it.

A landscaper won’t mow your lawn for an entire year for FREE—hoping you’ll like the work + actually “hire” them.

Professional personal trainers don’t sign over their intellectual property on “SPEC.”

 

SPEC means “speculative work.” What really does SPEC encapsulate?

It basically means working for “FREE.”

If you are trying to earn a living, why would you risk giving away physical property, human capital or intellectual property?

Would you be happy if you learned a loved one risked working for nothing?

Of course not.

So why would you expect someone else to surrender intellectual property to your business or municipality?

That’s the ethical question + it says a lot about the requesting party’s (asker’s) character if they request that you to submit an RFQ … or perform SPEC work.

There’s nothing but red flags all around. Not a great way to begin any relationship.

 

SPEC work or Request For Proposals (RFQs) usually comes in two forms in our marketing + advertising industry:

1) A client asks several “commercial artists” i.e. marketing people, photographers or graphic designers to complete parts of a project (basically they’re asking for FREE work).

The client picks one winner—gives them the job—and all others go home with nothing for their hard work. (In our marketing business, every RFQ is unique + must be customized, therefore we invest up to 40 hours creating the document for submission. We’re risking 40 hours of billable time for a “hope.” That’s basically working for FREE for an entire week.)

Or

2) A client starts a contest and gathers submissions from dozens, if not hundreds of marketing people, photographers or graphic designers. They pick one winner and pay a modest—often way under “industry standard” fee—and the rest go home empty handed with nothing to show for their time + hard work. Many “askers” have a “smug” attitude—they feel you should be honored to help them achieve their goals.

SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PRACTICE?

If you are the client, the best work you can expect will come out from a healthy relationship with an experienced, award-winning marketing company, a seasoned professional photographer/videographer or an accomplished graphic designer. Basically it’s WIN-WIN when your needs, wants + desires are understood … and a proper plan is developed, then expertly executed by a “commercial artist” who is compensated fairly. As a client you will WIN BIG when together—you + the person/company you hired develop exciting ideas from the ground up.

FREE is good isn’t it?

Just because you get FREE designs, doesn’t mean any of them are effective and will achieve the goals you want to achieve. In fact, in the case of working with an unproven graphic designer, you may learn they blatantly ripped off another design.

How exactly?

Design contests have created an underground process where some unscrupulous graphic designers, photographers or marketing people will quickly enter contests with as many solutions (designs) as possible. They swiftly copy work from the web and present it as their own. So that new logo of yours—it might actually be somebody else’s. Is that what you, the client expect? I didn’t think so.

One more thing:

Some RFQs (Request for proposals) are so bold that within the documentation, it clearly spells out that your submissions become the recipient’s intellectual property. This means that any ideas you submitted are no longer yours and they can do whatever they want with them without having to compensate the creator. Basically they can profit off your ideas and you get nothing. Don’t believe me? I’ll show you several examples from businesses and municipalities alike.

If you are in the “commercial arts,” i.e. a marketing person, videographer, photographer or graphic designer, you should NEVER, EVER work for established companies for FREE.

And yet … if your goal is to build up your portfolio, there are other ways to protect yourself + accomplish your goals.

A) Design for a local charity.

B) Create something for a personal friend’s business.

C) Better yet, invest time creating your own customized projects.

That’s exactly what I did over 40 years ago and when I went in with my portfolio—it was my own original work that I produced.

The result:

Rival advertising agencies fought over my skillset. They could clearly see my “out of the box thinking” was ridiculously unique. The best part was that none of it was obscured by a client’s need to “make changes for the sake of making changes” or worse … “put their thumbprint” on the work.

TAKEAWAYS:

Spec work would seem absurd in most other professional industries …

Would you ask several chefs to prepare your next meal for FREE?

And then only pay for the best one?

Could you hold a contest and get hundreds of lawyers to write your will …

And then only pick and reward one?

I didn’t think so.

This is why you shouldn’t treat marketing pros, photographers/videographers or graphic designers any different.

If you own a business and are considering a SPEC approach … do the right thing … do the decent thing.

Find a competent professional, negotiate an amicable fee + compensate them fairly.

And for all my creative brethren, which include, but are not limited to marketing professionals, videographers/photographers + graphic designers:

SAY “NO” TO SPEC + RFQs!

… hope you enjoyed our take on this ancient practice. Have a blessed day.

21 Essential Things to Consider BEFORE Developing Your Website

This first point can almost be number one, but it isn’t “technically speaking” …

We obviously recommend that you choose a web development team that is hands down, the best solution for your organization. Do your due diligence by learning if they are reliable, accessible, trustworthy + technically competent. Most importantly, do they have the “skills + marketing chops?” Being technical is one thing, understanding how to “convert visitors to buyers” is where the “rubber meets the road.” Don’t underestimate how valuable this ability/expertise is.

And preferably …

Consider the negatives if you decide to do business with a “one man and/or one woman” operation. You may think you’re “helping them out” or “getting them started,” but, dare I say it—what if that guy/gal unexpectedly gets out of the business? Moves away? Gets another job that pays better? Or perhaps worse … gets injured? Do you honestly think they’ll make you a priority? In theory anything is possible.

And what happens when you need to change something on your website, chances are you need it done quickly—no waiting. You’ll be left hanging. For the sake of price and convenience, do you want to put your livelihood at risk? So keep all these above scenarios in mind.

If you decide to work with an ad agency, make sure their web team + web services are in-house. Why exactly?

A) You don’t want to be paying higher prices because the agency is marking up an outside freelancers work. Yes, that’s how it’s done when an agency hires a “mercenary.”

And

B) You don’t want to risk your business with someone who could be “here today, gone tomorrow” should the agency + freelancer have a change of heart relationship or worse … a falling out—where might that leave you? It ain’t cool to be on the losing end of a website castoff!

Instead, you want the peace-of-mind knowing that you will be able to sit down with a reliable web team face-to-face. Preferably the brightest minds in the business that can go from concept to completion right before your eyes. A team that will make you part of the process.

With all that said + done, it’s human nature to want to dive in to all the esthetics, but before you get to all the fun creativity, you gotta put in the effort and give great attention to the “not so fun” stuff.

 

Here goes:

1) Choose a domain name or URL (web address) that resonates with your brand. One that is memorable and/or easy to remember for your audience.

2) Assess your website storage needs + select a reliable and accountable web-hosting provider for hosting your website. Some web companies offer their own hosting in-house. You want to know from them what is their “up time” and get a thorough understanding exactly what are the ramifications should your website be off line for any amount of time? Do they offer “mirrored servers” or “redundant servers” that provide for backups of your website to minimize downtime in the event of a failure? After all, you could lose dollars due to lost sales.

3) Know precisely who your target audience is + tailor every element of your website to suit THEIR needs, wants + desires. Many organizations are so inner-focused, they wind up putting more emphasis on what they want, rather than considering the buyer. This is a critical point if you want to bond with your potential buyer/client. For psychology geeks like us who love to understand “why a client buys,” this is considered the most “fun” when creating a website. Being a true “marketing disruptor or influencer” separates the sales/marketing geek from the technical geek/techy. It’s not about being “technically” connected … as much as it’s about leveraging “customer” connectivity.

4) Understand the pros + cons of different program languages + web technologies BEFORE opting to choose one. For example, should you build your site in HTML, WordPress, Drupal, etc.? Well, this will depend on what functions your site requires, as well as how involved your team needs to be (access) with your site on a hourly/daily basis. It depends on how much control you really need to have.

5) Browser compatibility. Customization is big these days, therefore every browser (Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Explorer, etc.) renders a website differently. Therefore, your website must load properly on every browser.

 

Now the fun stuff … why create memorable, when you can deliver unforgettable?

6) Choose a clean + clutter-free website layout to give your visitor an insanely effective online journey.

7) Typography skills/knowledge is key to giving your visitor enjoying an amazing online experience. Selecting the ideal font ensures your website is easily readable.

8) Every color conveys a different meaning. Use colors that not only align with your brand’s personality, but choose those that resonate with your buyer’s desires. This is the hardest aspect for most decision makers because they wind up choosing colors they like, versus colors their buyer would desire.

9) Make your website easy-to-navigate so users can get the information they’re looking for quickly + easily.

10) CONTENT: Don’t underestimate the power that relevant, purposeful content has to influence your buyer. Content comes in a plethora of forms and a creative web marketing team will offer you a multitude of options. So make sure your content consistently delivers “value” to your target audience. You want to engage, entertain + educate them about your products + services … but more importantly, give them something to “takeaway” in order to create “top-of-mind” branding with your products + services. Don’t be stingy with insight + innovations. Meaningful, purposeful content is an ideal method to prove to your visitor that you are an “expert,” hence, you are more likely to convert visitors to customers—versus your competitor who doesn’t offer “value” to their prospects. An web agency with talent + wisdom can help you with this, particularly if they are both “in touch” with your audience … and are experts in your business/industry.

11) Everyone knows the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Make an amazing impression by choosing the highest quality images available for your website. Shoot visually arresting + inspiring professional photography and video, rather than purchasing stock images. Rest assured, the use of “stock images” will dilute your branding initiative, because buyers are sophisticated today and they can easily tell if it’s your product/people/work in the photos, or not. Now that you know this, why would your organization take the chance that your competitor is using the same stock photo(s) on their site? In the beginning, the investment is more, but I assure you that your company will quickly get a return on investment (ROI).

An experienced web development agency can help you with this, particularly if they have an arsenal of equipment to provide professional still photography capabilities, as well as video execution which includes, but is not limited to creativity in script writing, storyboarding (illustration), audio/recording, music, voiceover, shooting, lighting, editing, special effects/green screening, licensed drone capabilities, etc.

When done creatively, video is the most effective way to differentiate your organization from any competitor.

12) “Ask for the sale” by creating a unique + memorable call-to-action. You must be crystal clear what you want your website visitors to do at the point of sale. A compelling, meaningful call-to-action will convert them from visitors to paying customers.

13) Encourage your website visitors to share content by integrating your website with the popular social media sites where your target market frequently hangs out. For example, if your buyers aren’t on twitter, then being on twitter may not be the best use of your marketing efforts.

14) Your website should be user-friendly and doing so will encourage users to spend more time on your website. The more they dig deep and learn that you are an ideal match, the better chance you have to make them your buyer.

 

The critical technical components:

15) Reduce your page load times to take the user experience of your website to the next level. You might not have known this, Google grades your site based on how quickly it loads. Please place a premium on “authority” and don’t sacrifice load for quality.

16) Your website should look esthetically pleasing + load properly on a vast array of devices—including desktop + mobile. This is where your screen resolution is critical.

17) Take the necessary steps to make sure your website is secure, so that

A) Your website doesn’t get “hacked” + used by a third party for unscrupulous reasons

and

B) So that users are not afraid to share their information.

18) Tracking + analysis means monitoring your website progress in order to identify flaws that are hindering your website success. You should always be aware how your website is performing. A proven web developer will provide you with a huge advantage by delivering strategies, methodologies + systems that will measure performance.

19) Making provision by employing a sitemap helps both search engines + users in navigating your website.

20) Blogs, Vlogs, Facebook LIVE and/or webinars! If you want to engage + give your prospect a chance to really connect with you, these are terrific opportunities to fulfill all of your buyer’s desirables.

 

The most important component of all:

21) Digital marketing initiative – You can have the greatest website there is, but if nobody knows it’s there, it’s essentially floating in cyberspace. You MUST boost your website visibility + get more buyers by optimizing your website through the search engines + engaging potential buyers through various touch points. Align yourself with a web development team who places a huge emphasis here. And a team who is “certified” in a vast array of search engine initiatives to position you “at or near” the top.

If you want a profitable website, you’ll not ignore our advice. It’s the difference between a successful launch and failure to “lift off.”

It appears we have a solution to your marketing needs, call 860.621.8866 while the thought is fresh in your mind

SEO vs SEM … Which is considered more effective?

Before we answer the question, we need to define for you exactly what SEO + SEM is.

In it’s simplest form, search engine optimization or SEO, encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve website rankings, drive + increase visitors to your site … and increase awareness for your website within the search engines.

SEO is the marketing discipline that gives your organization the ability to precisely affect the visibility of your website or your webpage in a web search engine’s “unpaid” or “non-paid” results. SEO’s initial mission is to position your website optimally within “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.

Conversely, search engine marketing or SEM, is a form of internet marketing or #digitalmarketing that involves the promotion of your website by increasing it’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) primarily through “paid advertising.”

Getting back to the original question:

In short … both are equally important. So if you want to achieve optimal results, you’ll include both in your #marketing strategy. And in order to get it right, each approach requires unique skillsets.

Number one, it’s absolutely essential to possess a thorough understanding the intricacies of SEM and more importantly, how to do it effectively. You will need to allocate a marketing budget for this initiative. And importantly, your initiative will need the skills of marketing experts who understands your target audience + “how to influence” these buyers.

SEM includes, but is not limited to PPC (pay per click). And it turn is the catalyst that bonds SEO and the SMM (social media marketing) together. Our experts believe that if you are looking to achieve faster results, SEM is a MUST-HAVE in your arsenal.

Number two, if you have patience and easy access to your website, definitely don’t skip on SEO. SEO is most cost-effective (free). It’s only mission is to optimize your website by carefully crafting components within your site in a primary position—so that the search engines understand that you + your organization are authorities in your discipline.

And lastly, you must understand that like social media … SEO is an essential daily commitment.

Blessings to you always!

Every wonder why C-level executives really don’t care about you or what you have to offer?

You’ve been desperately trying to get to the big Kahuna. Chasing your great white whale. You think you’ve tried everything that’s ethical. You’re getting impatient.

NEWSFLASH: C-level executives care about other things within their organization that others do not. So if you want to work with this upper echelon client, YOU MUST elevate your sales game by understanding these four levels of value.

The four levels of value are defined as:

Level 1 Value

Anytime you come in talking about your product … your service … your solution … your company … your board members … or what you do … That’s level one and it’s as basic as “sales” gets. You must not be surprised that you are certainly NOT interesting to C-level decision makers. Why? They could care less about any of those things because it ain’t on their radar. It’s not how their performance is measured.

Level 2 Value

Anytime you come in talking about the use of what you sell, C-level execs could care less about any of those things. C-level execs are NEVER going to look at what you do because it’s just not interesting to them. They will not be a user of your solution, so they won’t look forward to meeting you. Got it? Don’t expect a face-to-face meeting.

But wait! You think you offer the highest level of SUPPORT! As far as “support,” the C-level executive expects you to take care of those things. They are a “gimmie” and certainly not interesting to them. An intermediary management stakeholder might care about these incidentals—but definitely not a C-level exec. It’s not how a C-level executive’s performance is measured.

Level 3 Value

A lot of people sell in this arena:
We, you, us … almost all of us speak about ROI (Return on Investment). Yeah, that’s it! ROI! Who doesn’t love ROI?

Many of us are waaaaaaay comfortable here because we can show how we can produce tangible results. It’s familiar territory because we can prove an ROI with measurable, trackable results. It’s not how a C-level execs performance is measured. However, this position is very interesting to the management stakeholder who reports to the C-level executive you are wishing to work with. Most notably because the management stakeholder is trying to execute and make a difference by bringing initiatives to their company.

In order to get to the C-level executive, you gotta get to the highest value level! The one that matters most to them. That’s …

Level 4 Value— THE LEADERSHIP LEVEL

To attain this level and capture the attention of the CEO … YOU have got to talk about STRATEGY because leaders care about STRATEGY.
YOU have got to talk about GROWTH because leaders care about GROWTH.
Leaders care tremendously about EXECUTION and how you can make sure they EXECUTE.

C-level leaders care about CAPTURING MARKETSHARE. They care about SERVING THEIR CLIENTS AND DISRUPTING THEIR INDUSTRY. They’re looking for MASSIVE CHANGE rather than incremental change—the kind that’s down at the bottom at their product level. They could care less about any other solution that doesn’t align with their value system.

So if you want to secure yourself as a “TRUSTED Advisor” that’s aligned with their value system, while positioning you & your company as a “consultative sales person/organization,” you have to move all the way to LEVEL 4!

You will be interesting to the C-level executive when:
You can share strategy because you understand what the C-level exec experiences and needs. You must possess business acumen, employ situational knowledge and offer leadership solutions that will elevate their game. C-level execs are looking for people who deliver those strategies. You MUST have a set of experiences with which you can talk about with or above the C-level executive. And if you don’t …

ALL IS NOT LOST.

What you really need to do is connect with is the “CEO of the problem you can solve.” The “CEO of the problem” is likely the one who reports to the C-level executive. This “CEO of the problem” is most likely someone who cares deeply about ROI, the experience … and giving their people something they can execute with. Tools that their people will want to embrace and use. So you might wish to stay at level 3 … unless you need to move up to level 4. And I’ve just shared with you how to get to your C-level executive.

Have a blessed day!

How to respond when a potential client asks “Can I pick your brain?” (And they mean they want FREE advice)

A client of mine recently asked:

“Hey JC, how should I handle a potential prospect who comes right out and says,
‘Sure, we are willing to meet with you and talk to you. My company thinks it would be a great opportunity for my team to pick your brain.’”

My client added:

“Does this sound crazy or what? Unfortunately, not for us.
In fact, that’s how most companies who want to meet with us express themselves right from the onset.

It’s amazing that many prospects today—nearly all of whom are strangers—could be so bold. They put it out there.
This response puts members of my sales team in an uncomfortable position. So much so that they wish they could say …
Hey pal, I have to earn a living here. Can you please remind me exactly what’s in it for me if I give you FREE advice?’
WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST WE DO? Please help us JC.”

Here is a simple, yet effective way to elevate your game when you’re asked “Can I pick your brain?”

When a scenario like the one you’ve outlined above occurs, I would INSTANTLY start asking the prospect questions. Your goal is to determine the prospect’s need and to figure out—inside your area of expertise—if you can be a valuable resource to them or not.

While I’m asking them questions, I listen to their answers intently. I am looking for clues, patterns and behaviors in what’s being saidwhat’s not being said … and importantly, their body language. You’re also looking to learn if this prospect is a cultural fit for your company and is one who shares your value system. It is my opinion that you can never underestimate the importance of a shared “value system” and how that ultimately translates to a multi-decade relationship. My goal is—and always will be—to be recognized as their “trusted advisor.”

What are some of those questions I ask? Here is just a small sample (and not necessarily in order):

• Can you tell me what’s the gap that needs to be filled in order for you to reach your goals?

• Will you get to where you want to be by following the path your currently on?

• May I see your business plan … or your marketing plan?

• What are you currently doing that’s working? … And how do you know it’s working?

• What have you done that hasn’t worked? … And why do you think it didn’t work?

• With the goals you have shared with me that you are hoping to attain … Are you dreaming big enough?

Eventually I come to a point where I know I can help … and if I sense the prospect is still probing deeper … looking for specific free stuff … I reiterate what I’ve learned from our discussion—then simply say, “Our next steps are …” It’s at this point I confidently share exactly how my company works.

And during my questioning I have exchanged enough in our conversation and in the quality of the questions I ask to communicate and convince them that I know what I’m talking about and that my company has got the goods—but at NO TIME do I give away the secret sauce. After all, if I did that, what would be the point of them hiring me?

In addition, I can be bold, particularly when or if they push the subject. And I can almost tell you with 99% certainty—the human nature of your prospect is to push and probe.

For example, the prospect will subtly ask you: “Well, what would you recommend?” or “What do you think we should do?”

I take a breath and pause … respectfully stand my ground and share this with my prospect:

“I believe Mr./Mrs. Smith, that during the course of our conversation today, I’ve established adequate credibility and that you definitely understand that I know what I’m talking about. If not, you wouldn’t be asking for my advice.

Having said that, solving your specific problems is how I earn my living. I have over 40 years of knowledge and experience in the (manufacturing) arena, and I get paid for that knowledge.

I guarantee that, as we work together, you will get far more value than you bargained for. Here are the next steps we need to take.” And then share with the prospect exactly how you work (your terms).

If they do not wish to work with you under the guidelines or boundaries that you have drawn, it might be time to cut your losses and move on. Take it from me—it may not be worth it pursuing a prospect who is difficult to work with. Ultimately that decision is up to you.

ONE MORE THING:

This post was put together with the aid of my great friend, colleague & client Gary L. Smith. Author of insanely amazing books like:

The Customer Conundrum,

Achieving Unusual Greatness: Timeless Lessons From the Trail Already Blazed and

The Shepherd & the Princess: 7 Keys Ways to Conquering Goliaths in Your Life.

Get these “must haves” today at http://www.optechs.com/buy/

TIP: If at first you don’t succeed using these tools     ……..     practice, practice, practice and  
                           TRY … TRY … TRY AGAIN … and again until you find what works best with your prospects!

                                                                                        Be blessed always …

5 Things You MUST Be Doing on Your Website That WILL Increase Sales

Amateur digital marketing “experts” will suggest that when you aren’t getting enough sales from your website, you definitely need more “traffic” (visitors). In reality, the TRUTH IS … you do NOT need more traffic. More traffic traditionally equals window shoppers. What you need is to do is improve your websites “conversation rates.”
Suffice it to say—your web metrics may show that your site may be experiencing traffic—but THE FACT IS … those visitors are definitely NOT converting to “paying” customers like you hope.

Here is an insanely amazing fact.
For every hundred dollars spent to bring customers to their website, businesses / companies will spend an anemic one dollar to convert them. And with already low conversion rates of one to three percent, the amount being spent to try to convert the vast majority of the traffic remains ridiculously low.

Let’s examine five ways that you can employ immediately that will have an incredible impact on your site’s “conversion rates.”

1. Speed up your website

It may be common sense to you that a faster site would provide a better user-experience, and yet, the vast majority of websites have yet to fully understand why faster loading times translate into more dollars.

A recent study showed that a goldfish has an attention span of nine (9) seconds. Conversely, the attention span of the average human being has plummeted from 12 seconds a decade ago … to just eight (8) seconds today. Translation: every second counts while trying to attract people on to your site. You now know why every second counts once a prospective customer is on your site. According to recent data from Kissmetrics, a delay of only a single second can decrease your conversions by seven percent.
The reality: get over unnecessary functions by realizing that you MUST cater to your attention-deficit visitor by accelerating your site’s load times. And we suggest you make your site load quicker by disabling all gratuitous plug-ins, functionalities and features. At first, it will be difficult for you to sacrifice a little bit of your “cool” aesthetics … but take it from this 40-year marketing pro—in the end your business will be rewarded instantly.

2. Educating your customers provides “top of mind branding” and makes your brand “invaluable” & “irresistible”

Delivering “value” puts your brand in a whole new class. Not even the biggest “shopaholic” customer likes to be bombarded with constant sales messages and gratuitously sold to 24/7. Successful brands that educate their customers with meaningful content do NOT lose them to their competition. In fact, they gain their customers’ loyalty and TRUST. Genuine customer education is not self-serving promotion that ONLY provides information on your products and services. Instead, it’s relevant content that provides a prospect or customer with multiple options to choose from. One option is truthful comparisons with a competitor’s product or service. The fact is, customers will choose the brand that goes above and beyond to educate and inform them on a consistent basis.

Need an example? On one organic food website, the company asks its patrons/visitors if they want to “learn … or do … or both.” They also maintain a state-of-the-art “community” blog where recipes and tips for healthier eating solutions are routinely shared. Beyond text, they also provide visually stunning recipe imagery with entertaining & engaging videos.

3. Display your “trust” signals

People do business with those that they “know, like & trust.” Of the three, TRUST is the single largest reason that people will buy from you. In the case where people have to make online transactions, patrons want to be assured that their privileged data is safe and secure. They need to be 100 percent sure that their computers won’t be susceptible to getting hacked, or infected from malware or ransomware. If your site doesn’t boast security seals, it is likely that 50 percent of buyers visiting your site won’t buy from you.

Today the majority of the customers aren’t the trusting kind. According to Forrester research, nearly 85 percent of customers who were surveyed did not feel that websites protected their privileged data. And nearly 80 percent of respondents told one market research company that they abandon online shopping sites when they suspect security concerns.

Using a legitimate, trusted security seal from prominent brands and featuring them prominently goes a long way in building trust for your site. In addition, enable the SSL security protocol. Allow your customers be able to click on the “security seal” and verify for themselves so that they can see this is a genuine seal … and not just an image that has been copied and pasted onto your site.

4. Leverage “testimonials”

Testimony is when your earlier customers verify to future customers just how much they love/loved your products and services and exactly why your company is insanely great. Customers gravitate toward brands that have earlier blown away people. Some experts call this “social proof.”

There are different types of testimonials. From the larger brands, these often come from celebrities and prominent experts. Moreover, users and wisdom of the crowd and that of family and friends is a much more affordable option. Specific product endorsement is included in testimonials, rating and reviews, endorsements, social shares, and the like. From a behavioral psychological point of view, when prospects or customers see proof of your product through the use of testimonials, their decision making ability is clearly influenced and they are more likely to become “brand advocates,” thus, following YOUR product regularly.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, you should prominently display your clients, which is a testament of your great services. If you are that good, you will have built a “fence around your customers” and you will not worry that they will stray from you. Also, make your site interactive to encourage your customers to display their ratings and reviews.

5. Use “white noise” to an advantage

Psychologists and behavioral scientists site the phrase “sensory adaptation.” This means that over time, the responsiveness of our sensory system to a particular stimulus decreases. “Sensory adaptation” refers to an irritating noise that over time seems less irritating. Essentially it becomes “white noise” and is ignored after continuously hearing it.

This can be leveraged and used to create a site design that provides constant stimulus to our senses (eyes & ears). Consider making your “call to action” buttons with uniquely distinctive colors—as compared to other design elements—so they stand apart from one another. Resist the temptation to be “matchy matchy” in your design by introducing something disruptive that attracts attention. After all, you’re not decorating a room or choosing an outfit. A radical element will provide an unique sensory stimulus, in addition to breaking an overtly monotonous design.

Blessings to you always!

What is the Most Underrated Attribute When it Comes to Success in Sales?

Today we will talk about positive persistence—and the patient pursuit of your “dream client.”

Sometimes you’ll need to pursue a client for many years before you have the opportunity to bring them on into your fold.

There I said it … many years.

For example, I pursued my “dream client” for six years before my competitor got out of the business. It was then that I was able to be there and immediately fill the void. Suffice it to say, our team elevated my “dream client’s” business almost immediately—mostly because we were very familiar. This client has resulted in millions of dollars in revenue because at present, they have been with our company for many years now. So believe me now and hear me later …

No one should ever say “that you are sharing too much value … you’re providing too much help … or that you care too much.”

Positive persistence is what I call “the longest of long games.” It requires patience where you never give up. Never give in. never go home. You must be positively persistent over the long haul. And like the fictitious “Roadhouse cooler James Dalton” said sincerely … “Just be nice.”

It’s that positive persistence that ultimately pays off. Specifically when there’s a compelling reason for your “dream client” to make a change. You then are the person who has been nurturing the relationship. You are the person that’s been a part of their “mind share” and by giving them ideas, you own “top of mind branding.”

That’s the key to ultimately getting “wallet share.”

Mind share = wallet share.

So be there when something happens and your “dream client” finally needs you … and don’t just rely on chance.

While you patiently wait, you have to have done the work by being known to your “dream client” by positioning yourself as a “value creator.”

So nurture your “dream client” and patiently pursue until you eventually have the opportunity to be their greatest asset.

It’s not easy and it takes a lot of effort on your part. You will probably hear “NO!” more times than you want to.

However, this is what it truly takes to succeed in sales.

I’m Joseph Cekauskas—have a blessed day!

For a Surefire Way to Increase Sales—So What’s Better: Social Selling or Cold Calling?

There’s a war raging right now amongst sales professionals and you may not be aware of it … particularly if you haven’t spent any time on LinkedIn.

There’s two schools of thought when it comes to prospecting:

  • GROUP 1: You should only use social tools for prospecting and
  • GROUP 2: Cold calling

GROUP 1:

Social selling advocates believe you should never, ever pick up the phone and cold call anyone … They are adamant that you should never call them at work and interrupt them, etc.

And you should never ask anyone to buy anything because “you should never be closing.” Instead they use the mantra “always be connecting.”

Social selling advocates explain you should connect and try to “create value.” They tell you to just connect and share information with the prospect/buyer. Their point is “when the buyer has a need, they’ll raise their hand and give you permission to approach—letting you know they are ready to take the next step—even purchase.” Sounds logical, eh?

GROUP 2:

Cold calling advocates say the phone is still an important tool to proactively call targeted clients. You call a prospect and get an appointment so you can get face-to-face to develop an opportunity. Cold callers will also tell you to use the social tools. Moreover, they will also tell you that you should also get referrals. They advocate networking events. They will also endorse conferences and tradeshows. Basically they are telling you to utilize every single method that’s available to you for prospecting. They believe you should have a comprehensive, yet balanced strategy that is customized to specifically fit your business.

The other group on the social selling side will tell you that you could do a lot of things, but cold calling isn’t one of them.

This is the major difference between these two groups.

So who do you think is right?

It has to be the group that says you should cold call because cold calling is faster and is more effective, yes? If you are going to fill your calendar with appointments, you’re going to do it far more effectively employing cold calling rather than social selling. Right?

For you golfers out there, social selling is more of a “long game,” and you should also employ social selling at the same time you are cold calling.

Under no circumstances should you give up the phone, or forfeit the “speed results” that you desire, that your company needs and that your client needs.

Realistically, there is no debate from any serious sales person in the business. Any serious person who is industrious will tell you that you need to use every club in the golfbag to achieve your goal. (Sorry for the golf analogy again).

It’s the best methodology to ensure you will get the results you need and move the sales needle.

Make no mistake, there is power in content marketing, but it’s tough for many sales reps because they can’t possibly generate 400-500 new pieces of content per year and still get paid … much less keep their job. And as i always pontificate … great marketing happens when the execution is flawless.

Your best approach is to do what you need to build your pipeline …

ONE MORE THING:

If you are a younger individual and you don’t ever want to cold call … then you need to get past that fear and get comfortable with the phone. It’s faster and speedier and best of all—over time your confidence will get stronger each and every time.

And if you’re a more seasoned veteran sales person … you need to get over it and put together an insanely great LinkedIn profile that explains how you create “value.” I’m telling you to spend some time doing the research to understand the best tools available and add it to your arsenal. Or better yet, just call 860.621.8866 and make it easier on yourself.

It doesn’t make any sense to only do social selling above the “sales funnel” … Combine social selling and cold calling. It’s a fact that both of them together are significantly more powerful than doing only one of them alone.

I’m Joseph Cekauskas … I want you all to have a very blessed day!

7 Tips to Help You Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

So much of what I am asked to do in the field of marketing and advertising requires me to be a “behavioral scientist.” And over my 40-year career, understanding “exactly what makes my prospect tick” is not only exciting to me, but paramount to everything regarding the knowledge and solutions I’m seeking. Today I’d like to share with you …

Seven quick and easy tips that will help you step out of your comfort zone

1.    Get passionate.
Get so excited about what you’re selling that you are compelled to share it with the world! When you are passionate about your product, idea or service—you pay less attention to how you are perceived. Instead you pay more attention to showing that excitement for what you have to offer and how it will benefit your customer!

2.    Get out of your comfort zone once per day.
It is very important to do things that make you uncomfortable. You need to be courageous and make it a point to face your fears, no matter how big or small. The single scariest thing for most people is visiting their customers or prospects in person. So this is the first thing I suggest you do every day to get over your fear. Over time, I guarantee this will instill you with courage, belief in yourself and BEST OF ALL— it changes your focus from limitations … to possibilities.

3.    Say hello to everyone you pass.
When possible, I refuse to walk past any person without acknowledging them. I force myself to look everyone in the eyes and say “hello.” I do it on the rails-to-trails when I’m out with my family. In addition, “thank a veteran” for his/her service by approaching them and extending your hand—adding a gratuitous smile. This is like exercising, it builds a muscle that enables any of us to decide at will when we want to be extroverted. You can do this whether you’re on an interview or any other situation.

4.    Go outside.
Literally step out of your comfort zone by leaving your home or office often so you can socialize with people. When I go to a new town I will go to the same place over and over until I am comfortable and know everyone there. For example: I have done this same exercise with my children, bringing them to the same grocery store until they are so familiar they can talk with the people working there as if they were our family.

5.    Help others achieve their goals. If you’re struggling, helping someone can help you shake the “rust” off.  
If I go a few days without making progress for myself, I immediately offer my help to others. It’s a great way to get outside your own head, because with several failed interactions it’s easy to become introverted and anxious. But by working with someone else’s prospects and having nothing to lose yourself you open up, feel more relaxed and regain your confidence. Once you score for someone else, dive headfirst back into your own assignments again.

6.    Be so persistent that it “bothers” people.
In life and business you won’t become successful if you never get criticized—especially in sales situations. You need to follow up on customers so much that they actually complain about it, and once they do, you need to keep following up until they admire you for your persistence. I always ask permission from my customers: “Can you share with me the line between persistence & pest? Can you show me what that looks like for you?” Ultimately, when you believe in your product, company and yourself … you will be willing to insist—and risk being criticized for it.

7.    Keep busy.
When you are constantly on the go you don’t have time to be uncomfortable or doubt yourself. If you’re busy, you are always asking people for help, getting help, and talking to people because you are running from one meeting or event to the next …

So get out and get moving!     And blessings to you always!

7 Reasons to Never Feel Intimidated … in Life and Business

“Success is in your hands, not in the whims of others.”

In life and in business, other people often make us uncomfortable … or nervous to the point of anxiety. It covers the spectrum of interactions: from our supervisors at work to people we don’t know at parties … popular people from school or the office, love interests, and even celebrities.

Understand, it is natural to feel intimidated sometimes. Often people we look up to—or those who we just don’t know who seem “calm, cool & collected”—can bring up feelings we harbor about ourselves that we are not good enough, smart enough, interesting enough. The good news is, you are. We are all made from the same source and the truth is—and this is repeated in many spiritual scriptures “we are all special and we are all not special.” We are all equal, my friends. BETTER YET: we are also beautifully different from one another, too—which means all of us have some unique value and flavor to add to a conversation or social setting. If only we really knew and believed this!

I’m asked to speak at high schools and colleges two or three times a month … and in some way, shape or form, young adults want to talk about how I approach “face-to-face” meetings. Many admittedly are deficient in this arena because technology has over ridden their lives and they’d rather “text” than talk. Understandably,  they look for tips and want to know how I have overcome any “fear of intimidation.”

I share with these young adults:

Here are some reasons why other people should NOT intimidate you:

1.       It’s YOU, not them.

The fear of others is generated within us, not by the person in question. And realizing this helps us release it.

2.       We all have faults, fears and insecurities.

The infamous Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort said in his memoir, “I’m insecure and humble, and I embarrass easily… But I refuse to show it. If I had to choose between embarrassment and death, I’d choose death. So, yeah, I’m a weak, imperfect person.”

HOW ABOUT THAT? Even Wall Street wolves get scared!

3.       People are just people.

I really found this to be true on three particular, separate occasions. One was in New York City. I met Jeff Gordon. As a fan of any sport, something came over me and I introduced myself to him with little more than a smile, and a “Hey, aren’t you Jeff Gordon?” He was such a southern gentleman! He even answered my silly question—I asked “After a 500 mile race at 200 miles per hour, is it hard to drive the speed limit when you leave the track and drive home?” I was sincere, but it hindsight, it’s a dumb question. He said with a smile … “It sure is!” It was a dumb questions because he has a driver who drives his bus to the next race once the race he was in is over. Duh!

The other was at ESPN where I met Kenny Chesney. Similarly, I introduced myself and he was very warm and humble. It was quick, but very natural, and yet, his stage persona was the opposite of his off stage one. Most people—including famous people—are cool!

The third occasion was when I volunteered my time and phone number to a beautiful stranger in a mall. She is now my wife!

4.       Other people are nervous, too.

You might be the one that comes off intimidating. Ever thought of that? Shyness is misunderstood as aloofness all the time. A friend of a friend of mine who appears standoffish confided that he is introverted and loves it when people take the initiative and interact with him. When I shared that he does come across as a little aloof, he was surprised as it is the opposite of his intention. Sometimes, if you make the first social move and say “hello,” you might be eradicating two people’s nerves.

5.       You are giving power over to your ego when you worry or overthink the situation.

Intimidation/nerves/anxiety is your lower self talking. Or as one woman remarked, “tell the obnoxious roommate in your head that they have been evicted!”

6.       What is the worst that can happen?

Someone might have given you the brush-off. So what? ‘So what’ is one of the greatest things you can ask yourself in this world. As a business professional that goes to a lot of networking events, I have been given the brush-off more times than I can count. It neighbors in the hundreds. As far as I am aware, I am still alive and well (and certainly more successful as a result of still ‘grinding’ every day).

7.       What is the best that can happen?

You might establish a new friendship, build a new career connection … even get a date! The opportunities are abundant when you stop allowing fear to get the better of you.

Nothing made the need for this document more clear than when an old friend recently told my wife he thought I was intimidating. “Wait, me? Super friendly, interesting guy from a small town … ME?”

Like our values, the qualities that intimidate each of us vary for everyone. Well here is one universal truth, amazingly expressed by Eleanor Roosevelt when she remarked, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

And I don’t need to meet you to know that there is nothing inferior about you, my friends.       Be blessed always …

5 Amazing traits of effective & engaging leaders/speakers

Here is a simple, yet effective way to elevate your game …

Scientific research has shown that there are over 150 different elements that determine whether a leader or speaker’s communication is effective. Let’s focus on the five that we believe can offer every leader or speaker an instant impact.

1. Speaker/leader must always convey passion and enthusiasm.

Whether it’s a speech … speaking engagement … a Powerpoint® presentation … business meeting … testimony … or a less formal meeting—speakers or leaders must clearly display “passion” and enthusiasm to their audience.

TIP: A speaker who clearly and concisely communicates an honest belief for the subject matter he/she is conveying is certainly going to “connect” with his/her audience. Conversely, a lack of passion and enthusiasm is one way to ensure your audience will “tune out.”

2. Leader/speaker must display energy.

I’m not talking about the Robin Williams, Jim Carrey whirlwind energy that’s chaotic, raw and untrained. I’m referencing the type of energy that comes from within the specific individual who’s speaking. Each individual is responsible for finding what suits him/her best. When crafted well, it’s an effective tool to consistently peak and retain the audience’s interest. After all, if the speaker’s energy is not as great as that of the audiences energy and expectations—NO speaker is going to take command of the room. And worst of all—a speaker could miss a golden opportunity to inspire someone in the audience … thus, adding to his/her legacy.

TIP: Make the most of every opportunity and BRING IT! Do not give a “talk” and “just go through the motions.” A lack of energy subliminally gives the audience permission to disengage. Compelling leaders are those who display a consistent, “controlled energy”—not just from their opening statement—but they maintain momentum to the very last moment.

3. Speaker/leader should employ the use of devices or techniques.

“Stories” are the most common, yet underutilized device or technique to convey a crucial point. It’s amazing how many leaders miss out on the power that an intriguing story can have on their audience. Delivering a truthful, compelling narrative ensures he/she will inspire, engage and educate his/her audience. Stories not only put things in perspective for attendees—importantly—humans are hard-wired to make associations through the use of stories. It’s imperative that any stories shared with an audience must be relevant to the audience’s interests. Tales that resonate with the attendees is a sure way to “connect” with each member of the audience. ONE MORE THING: A story that connects emotionally offers a dramatic impact!

TIP: Story telling is not the only technique that one can employ—there’s always “object lessons.” Object lessons are a dramatic physical demonstration that can be “acted out” in front of the audience. This may include roll play with volunteers from the audience. This strategy is a surefire way to put valuable points of emphasis in perspective … and when performed with tasteful humor, it will often result in the audience taking a speakers “most desired action.”

4. Leader/speaker must be empathetic to his/her audience.

Top notch speakers devise methods to show their audience that they “care.” They demonstrate this in unique ways—proving to their audience that they care. How? By showing authentic interest in their audience’s needs, wants & desires. Great speakers and leaders have a way of engaging and connecting with their audience emotionally.

TIP: A great speaker never, ever talks down to his/her audience, but rather, they demonstrate to them that they are “equals.”

5. Speaker/leader must convey confidence.

There’s no substitute for a tremendously confident speaker.

TIP: Audiences disengage when the audience suspects the speaker is shoveling B.S.—or isn’t confident in the message they’re conveying.

TIP: And if at first you don’t succeed     ……..     practice, practice, practice and
TRY … FAIL … TRY … FAIL … TRY AGAIN … and again until you find what resonates with your audience!

Be blessed always …

How do you handle your prospect when they say “I need to do more research before we’re able to make a buying decision?”

How many times has a prospective client stalled a sale by saying, “I need to do more research before we’re able to make a buying decision?”

Before you get violently ill from that flashback, take a breath and allow me to help you understand what triggers this need for prospective buyers to seek out more information.

So what exactly what triggers “I’ll Think About It!?!”

Keep in mind there are some legitimate reasons such as “I need to talk it over with my significant other.” Or perhaps your prospect communicates they need to reassess their priorities because they have other goals to consider. Both of those are legit so empathize with them and ask questions.

Our job with “sales” is to move our product or service onto the “top” of their priority list.

So keep in mind when you hear “I need to do more research before we’re able to make a buying decision” … essentially that’s another way of the prospect saying that “they have an ‘Information Disconnect’ that exists between what you’ve communicated about your product/service” and what they understand. A disconnect makes your prospect immediately assess how he/she sees you aligning with their priorities. This misalignment instantly leads them to skepticism and worse—confusion. And what would you do if you were in their shoes? I’ll bet you’d do nothing, nada, zero, zilch. Status-quo baby! You’d probably go elsewhere to see if there’s a vendor who makes it easier. Ummmm.

I humbly introduce the concept of “Information Disconnect” and we’ll discuss what causes clients to delay making a buying decision from YOU at the point-of-purchase.

All too often this “Information Disconnect” exists because you the seller knows a lot about your product/service. You know all the features, benefits, functionality, fit … but unfortunately—your buyer knows or understands very little.

I’ll bet your products are so detailed that the customer is having a hard time absorbing all the “data dumping” you’re sharing with them. So when the customer is overwhelmed, they will say “I’ll Think About It” because they’re trying to reconcile their “crazy-busy” schedules with the info you just laid on them. Your “pitch” seemed so complicated that now they’re bringing the word “change” into the equation. “Change” means work and that adds to their load.

It’s a natural response.

Think of it this way …

Imagine if you were twice the physical size of the client you were standing next to … the size difference between you represents just how how much knowledge & information each of you possesses on your specific product/service. Size represents what’s relative to what you know—twice as much—versus what your buyer doesn’t know—half as much. Can you now see the visual “Information Disconnect?” You, the seller has all this data, and they, the buyer, feels helpless.

What if during your presentation, you simplified the info so the prospect gets it and you are able to look them right in the eye? You’re on the same level … the same “sight line” … get it?

So you must move them away from “Information Disconnect” to “Information Connect.” Give your prospect just enough information to allow them to make a decision immediately.

When you can simplify your information to the point where your customer and you are at the same “sight line,” they will get it and you will be in total alignment. You’re no longer looking down upon them.

It’s all about simplify, simplify, simplify!

 

How exactly do you do that?

Two quick options.

1) Use everyday common language.

Jargon, technical terms and acronyms automatically trigger the human brain toward “buyer’s remorse.” It happens when the customer does not understand. They become uneasy. And quickly it’s “exit stage left!”

2) Use analogies or examples to help illustrate the information exchange.

Use visuals, a “how-to” demo or drawings to help layout your product/service. The more you know about your prospect, the better you can understand how they receive information best.

When the customer gets it, you’re moving closer to being in alignment with them.

 

At the end of the day, it always comes down to the “secret sauce.” And exactly what is the recipe?

It starts and ends with T-R-U-S-T!?!

TRUST is your defense against “Information Disconnect” and misalignment.

Help your prospect to understand enough … not all, but enough data to move them from “I’ll think about it” to “How soon can we get started?”

AGAIN! What’s the “gap filler?”

T-R-U-S-T!?!

Employ our sales advice and it will certainly help you overcome “Information Disconnect,” thus removing “I need to do more research before we’re able to make a buying decision” from the equation.

We’re JC Marketing Communications—
wishing you a very blessed week!
860.621.8866

 

 

 

7 Tactics to make sure you avoid discounting your product or service

Tired of prospects asking you to discount your product or service?

The next time any client asks you for a better price, here are seven surefire tactics to avoid discounting your product or service, thus maintaining your profit margin.

When a prospect or client asks “Can I get a better price?” … here are seven quick & easy options for you to share:

1) Find uniquely creative ways to take away or remove line items from your quote. First present your proposal to your prospect, then ask them to cross out what they don’t want—or don’t need—then recalculate their price on the spot—while you have their attention.

2) Present at least three options in your original proposal. i.e. packages such as Gold, Silver or Bronze. Or Good. Better. Best. Scaling each accordingly to your customer’s budget.

3) Offer your prospect a comparable substitute. Find an innovative way to offer them a totally different product. Specifically one that helps them achieve the results they’re looking for. Help your prospect understand you definitely have something that’s in their price range, and although it may not be custom—it certainly suits their budget.

4) Offer your client a free service with the purchase they’re making. Include something with your product absolutely free! For example: extra maintenance, training, support, etc. at NO cost!

5) Offer your prospect a gift … particularly something that complements what you’re selling. Something that doesn’t cost a lot, but adds value. For example: If you are selling a cellphone, offer an option of a free screen protector … or even a free case.

6) Offer financing options. Payment plans are always an attractive option to buyers. It allows your prospective client to get their financing in order, especially if it’s a “big ticket” item. You might offer first month use of your product or service free, followed by regularly scheduled monthly payments. Or better yet … offer your client no money up front, and provide a whopping 90 days net.

7) If you sell a product … see what your inventory is like. Often times you can share a refurbished” item with your client for a fraction of the cost. It’s not actually brand new—and yet you can offer the same warranties as a new product. And best of all—it will solve their pricepoint problem!

ONE MORE THING:
For every concession you make, ask for something from your client in return. GET CREATIVE!
In this case: when the client asks for a better price, explain that if they increase the size of their order, you can bring the price per piece down for them. Or … Instead of having them sign a contract for one year, extend the contract length to 18 months or 2 years … you then can be creative and bring any monthly fee lower.

 

We’re JC Marketing Communications—
wishing you a very blessed week!
860.621.8866

Here are 8 simple networking tips to meet new people—authentically & without being fake

Millions of people resist the idea of networking because it often feels forced … contrived … not genuine. Most networking events have us roaming around a room with a bunch of people we don’t know while we’re wearing our “Hello my name is awesome” sticker on our breast pocket.

I suggest you reframe “networking” in your mind …
View networking is NOT an event—it’s an ongoing, “organic” scene that allows you to form relationships with people you might actually enjoy the company of. You want to make “networking” a life practice of meeting new people … and developing new & exciting relationships that you can contribute to.

Here are 8 simple networking tips to be a networking rockstar.

1) Focus on “giving” NOT “getting”
Here’s one suggestion:

What if you have a great book recommendation? … or you learn through conversation that you know someone the person across from you would like to meet. What you have to contribute may have nothing to do with your business, but that’s okay. Make “give, give, give” a focus and I will assure you it’s a proven recipe for success.

2) Be present
When you are at a networking event, concentrate solely on the person you’re speaking with. Don’t be looking all around the room scanning the people for someone else. It’s rude! I guarantee you wouldn’t want someone to do that to you.

3) Listen more than you talk

We have 2 ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s been said by experts that “we should listen twice as much as we talk.” The most interesting people we want to meet “want to know about us.”

4) Think “long term” versus “short term”
Real relationships build gradually over time. For example: Who goes on a first date and proposes marriage? So don’t rush into a conversation or push your agenda when you first meet another person. Ask questions that genuinely open up or move along your dialogue.

5) Be honest
Don’t agree to do anything just to “be nice” … or do something because you’re trying to push your agenda. If someone suggests “Hey, let’s do lunch” … please don’t agree just to “be nice.” Instead, say something like “I really appreciate your offer, but my business life is so full that I don’t want to make a promise that I can’t keep. I’d feel just awful if our meeting never happens.”
Then either be quiet … or … you can creatively move the conversation forward.

6) Don’t over commit or feel guilty
It’s okay to NOT to stay in touch with everyone you meet at an event. Of course it’s fine to meet new people of all backgrounds, but don’t feel have to followup with everyone you came in contact with. You just don’t have time and energy, and it’s definitely not genuine if you have no intention of contacting them.

7) Take immediate action
If you agree to “do something” … take action and “get ’er done” right away. If you say “you’ll send an email” … whip out your smartphone and send it “right, then & there” … versus waiting until you return to your office. It’s a terrific habit to build—plus you have less on your “to do list” when you get back to headquarters.

Lastly …
8) Only go to networking events that interest you!
Only say “yes” to the events you want to do. The best kind of connections are those where you meet a kindred spirit and make friends. Don’t go solely to an event just to get the word out about “what you do” … I suggest you go to “bond” and “connect” with “like-minded” people. it just might be the best blessing of the day for you! Your number one goal should be to connect and make friends … otherwise you WILL most certainly come off as “fake” and “insincere.”

Now get out there … make friends and find a means to loving the concept of networking!

BE BLESSED ALWAYS!

Here is the tenth of 10 insane, but curable mistakes that businesses make with their social media …

Here is the tenth of 10 tragic mistakes that businesses make with their social media …
and we’ll provide solutions to modify your process so you can CRUSH IT instantly.

10. THE DANGER THAT YOU WILL GIVE UP QUICKLY BECAUSE YOU ARE TOO RESULTS-DRIVEN!
Social Media is an incredible tool to build relationships. Get it? Relationships.

Social Media is an incredible tool to build relationships. Get it? Build relationships.
 
And having access to these tools are great, but ultimately, none of them can be effective without a skilled creator and of course … precise execution.
It’s important to note that the social media tools you use to connect and build relationships will take time. So, don’t jump onto a social media site expecting customers to come walking in your door immediately (although that can certainly happen).
 
Make a strategic commitment to learning how to provide “value” to your social community. If you have been watching our posts—that’s exactly what our posts do—THEY ADD VALUE! Commit to being present, at least for a period of time each day, and be willing to change things up as you learn more and become more in tune with your social community. You will have weeks when it seems like everyone is talking about your brand and sharing your great content, and there will be weeks when you will wonder if you broke the internet … all you hear is crickets. Stay committed and stay consistent. It will pay off. Just like that telephone. It will ring more often, when you use it to reach out to others and provide value.

 

Have you seen (or committed) other mistakes in your social media journey?  
If you are ready to pull your hair out or throw in the “social” towel, give us a call, we can help!

If you desire content that will educate, excite & engage, please call us at 860.621.8866. We can help you craft an affordable strategy that will exceed your expectations.

We’re JC Marketing Communications
www.jcmcom.com
and we’d like you to ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Your customer doesn’t need to understand your product, they just need to know you understand them.

It’s really simple, people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

There you have it … Go out and build new and exciting relationships!

Here is the ninth of 10 insane, but curable mistakes that businesses make with their social media …

Here is the ninth of 10 insane, but mistakes that businesses make with their social media …
and we’ll provide solutions to modify your process so you can CRUSH IT instantly.

9. IGNORING YOUR COMMUNITY.

You spend a lot of effort trying to get people to follow you on Twitter or gather “likes” your Facebook page—but what about following your fans back on Twitter … adding them to your circles on Google+ and accepting their invitations to connect on LinkedIn?

Quit ignoring the very people who are showing an interest in YOU. That doesn’t mean you should automatically follow or connect with everyone, but look at their profiles and see who shares a similar value-system. Decide whether it is someone who could either be a potential customer, add value to your network, or someone who could influence others to become a customer? Then what are you waiting for … and connect already!

Some businesses or people have 8,000 Twitter followers … and yet they are following 15 people. You know what that says to me? It says they are not interested in having conversations—but only in broadcasting their agenda to the world.

If you desire content that will educate, excite & engage, please call us at 860.621.8866. We can help you craft an affordable strategy that will exceed your expectations.

We’re JC Marketing Communications
www.jcmcom.com
and we’d like you to ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Your customer doesn’t need to understand your product, they just need to know you understand them.

It’s really simple—people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

Be on the lookout for the last of our tips in the coming days!

Here is the eighth of 10 insane, but curable mistakes that businesses make with their social media …

Here is the eighth of 10 insane, but curable mistakes that businesses make with their social media …
and we’ll provide solutions to modify your process so you can CRUSH IT instantly.

8. NOT ALLOWING COMMENTS OR CONNECTIONS AT ALL … and worse you’re DELETING NEGATIVE COMMENTS!

Why even have an account on SOCIAL media if you don’t want people to be SOCIAL? Ever come across a Twitter account that is “PRIVATE” and it’s for a business? That’s counterproductive. That’s like making your website private and your viewer actually needs your permission to view your products and resources.  Yikes! Who does that!?!

You all know Facebook has a setting that basically silences your community. Fans are not able to post a question or comment. If you are so worried that people will write something negative about you or your brand—then why bother creating an account in the first place? Fix the problem that has you so worried. People will talk with you and about you, you just have to decide whether or not you are going to join the conversation. If someone does post a negative comment, your initial reaction might be to quickly delete it before anyone else sees it. Beware, a consumer who is a bit upset and posts it on your page might simply want to see if you will respond and help fix their situation. (see post, “Someone’s talking about you on Social Media”). That same consumer will become enraged when they discover they are being silenced. See my last post on how to handle feedback on social review sites.

If you desire content that will educate, excite & engage, please call us at 860.621.8866. We can help you craft an affordable strategy that will exceed your expectations.

We’re JC Marketing Communications
www.jcmcom.com
and we’d like you to ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Your customer doesn’t need to understand your product, they just need to know you understand them.

It’s really simple—people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

Be on the lookout for the remaining two tips in the coming days!

Here is the seventh of 10 insane, but curable mistakes that businesses make with their social media …

Here is the seventh of 10 insane, but curable mistakes that businesses make with their social media …
and we’ll provide solutions to modify your process so you can get on track quickly.

7. ARE YOU ON THE WRONG SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?

With respect to everyone on social media—businesses and brands must approach social media like you’re going on a “fishing” trip. And exactly what do we mean by that?

Imagine getting out your best fisherman gear …
then baiting a hook and dropping it into your bathtub …
(knowing full well there are no fish present in your bathtub) …
and yet—you expect to catch something.

Sound crazy?
Of course it does! And yet, so many businesses are ill informed and go into the wrong spaces to connect with potential prospects.
An expert fisherman knows you have to go to a beautiful stream, river, lake or ocean that has the ideal type of fish that he/she’s looking to catch.

The same goes for social media.

Basically, you MUST “live and play” in the community where your customers are.

Just because everyone is on Google Plus, twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, doesn’t really mean it’s the best place for your company to invest time connecting with potential prospects.

So how do you learn what works ideally for you?
Your best bet is to spend some time interviewing your best—and current clients. Ask specific questions, and focus on understanding which social media sites they are most active on. Then, do some research on each social media site to see if any of your competitors are there. What you are trying to learn is … “Is there is an active community of buyers who desire your product or services in that space?”

Drilling down deep …
In the case of twitter: ratio of followers to the amount of who they follow. “Is the person/business you’re looking at have a lot of “followers,” or do they have 45? How many fans have liked their Facebook page and how many posts actually have “comments,” “likes” … even “shares?”

Certainly you can purchase fans and followers, but you can’t buy honest-to-goodness engagement. Look for clues to see if there is activity on that social site for you to pursue! You’ll soon learn if LinkedIn, Google Plus, or Pinterest are your best bet.

If you desire content that will educate, excite & engage, please call us at 860.621.8866. We can help you craft an affordable strategy that will exceed your expectations.

We’re JC Marketing Communications
www.jcmcom.com
and we’d like you to ALWAYS REMEMBER:

Your customer doesn’t need to understand your product, they just need to know you understand them.

It’s really simple—people don’t care what you know, until they know that you care.

Be on the lookout for the remaining three tips in the coming days!

« Older posts

© 2018 JC MARKET!NG

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑