Sunday, July 24, 2005
Attract More by Giving a Little

Here’s a company that has taken Rule # 4 of the Rules of Attraction (Giving away information without selling) to the max. What’s our most valuable commodity? That’s right, TIME! Now an organization has figured out how to automatically download the programs that you like directly onto your portable MP3 player without you doing a thing! Hey, that's a time saver. Here's what is best about it… It's FREE! iPodder has teamed with companies like Warner Bros, Microsoft, Oracle, ABC, NBC, Business Week, NASA, and even Paris Hilton to produce Podcasts. For a small fee, you can even brand the broadcast as your own. Check out iPodder at: http://www.ipodder.com/ and think about what you can give away to make yourself more attractive. You can also sign-up for the Podcast of our radio show, Small Business Radio at: http://www.sbanetwork.org/radio/

Sunday, July 17, 2005
Making Advertising Work

One of the biggest complaints I hear from business owners today is that advertising just doesn’t work the way it used to. Why? Primarily because everyone is saying the same thing. Both print and broadcast media are filled with the same old promises. Most ads, even those developed by agencies, focus on selling benefits or pushing solutions. Few ads focus on the problems that customers are having.

Do you think that customers are more interested in YOUR solutions or THEIR problems? Check out the award wining ad above that shows a smashed frog with the headline, “For those with an eye for assembly.” The ad is for the company Tamiya Assembly Toys. Tamiya specializes toys that are easy to assemble without breaking. These toys really are simple. Even I was able to assemble their solar powered car for my nephew. Get the idea? Check out our Attract More Business program for dozens of examples of how to apply a “problem-oriented” ad campaign to your business.

Thursday, July 14, 2005
Don't Fall Prey to Mediocrity!

So what is accountability, anyway? It's a buzzword you hear all the time in business. People tend to say things like, "I'm holding you accountable for getting that report done." What they really mean is, "Complete this to-do list and let me know you did it." But according to Morrie Shechtman, this all-too-common approach--handing out assignments, standing over employees like a school marm, and giving metaphorical pats on the head--is really the opposite of accountability. True accountability is not about tasks and to-do lists; it's about establishing productive relationships . . . and it's the secret to success in the 21st century.

It's about confrontation and conflict, not agreement and harmony. Make no mistake: holding people accountable is not easy. It means taking risks. It means instigating uncomfortable conversations. It means expecting--and accepting--the occasional emotional outburst. That's okay. Growth is usually painful. "If you have a company full of conflict avoiders, you're in trouble," asserts Shechtman. "The foundation of an accountable culture is honest, real-time feedback.

You have to be willing to tell people how you experience them, and you have to be able to hear from them how they experience you. It's the only route to growth relationships."
"Start taking risks right now," Shechtman urges. "Give people honest, critical feedback about how they impact the relationships they're in. Tell them what the new accountability means and why it's so critical to their future. The blunt truth is that if you don't create an accountable culture, your company may not be around in ten, or five, or even two years. None of us can be transaction artists anymore. You have to find the courage to make the change. And you have to make it right now. Then you will not have to bend to mediocrity."

Morrie Shechtman is the author of Fifth Wave Leadership: The Internal Frontier (Facts on Demand Press, ISBN: 1-889150-38-X, $19.95) is available at bookstores nationwide, major online booksellers, or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 929-3811.

Saturday, July 09, 2005
Rule # 4: Give Information Away Without Selling

Death Row Records is recognized as one of the most successful record companies in history, known strictly for their hardcore "gangsta" rap artists. They have also implemented one of the most brilliant marketing campaigns in the record industry.

Their strategy was devastatingly simple and incredibly effective. In short Death Row has helped launch the careers of completely unknown artists that have since sold hundreds of millions of records. How did they do it? By giving away information without selling! Included in every established artist release, they included a few songs which featured a new and different performer. Some of these bonus features highlight just a few seconds of the new artist but in a way that is compelling and evident of their unique style!

Without spending a dime on additional marketing, they have given the fans of one performer a free taste of another which they are likely to enjoy as well. As a result Death Rows sales have skyrocketed. In fact they have sold more rap CDs than any single label while at the same time significantly reducing the time and investment required to launch a new artist.

Think of how you can give clients a taste of your products or services. I'm not talking about a discount or some kind of promotional giveaway pen or paperweight but rather something that is recognized as valuable and complimentary with the core products which they are already purchasing. Most important however is to do this in a way that is not salesy but informative and centered on their best interests. This is the essence of the rules of attraction.

For more information on how to implement an "Attraction Strategy" for your business come to my "Attract More Business Workshop" in Pasadena, CA on August 6, 2005 and Long Beach, CA September 3, 2005.

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