Sunday, March 29, 2009

Some People Like To Complain

It's true. Some people like to complain. Some like it so much, they do it quite often about every little thing. It's all just unhappiness and it is not the least bit inspiring. The old saying that "misery loves company" is very true. You can walk past two people talking and hear it going back and forth like a tennis match. "Well do you know what happened when she. . ." "Jane at work is just impossible to get along with, she is constantly looking down her nose at me. . ." Back and forth, back and forth. It is interesting that there can never be any resolution, because that would break the cycle. You can't play the game if you resolve the issue. It can only be played while the issue is in play. The issue is the ball. There is no game without the issue.

I know the game like the back of my hand. I used to play it like a pro. Somehow, one day I realized what I was doing and realized that I didn't really want it resolved because then the game would be over. There was always something great about the match in the heat of it going back and forth, but it always ended with me feeling really crappy. So, I stopped over time, but made a conscious decision to not play anymore. This meant that when others lobbed the ball to me, I had to turn to the side and let it pass me by without a swing. It started feeling good. The other seemed upset, but I was feeling better.

Now I call it "swimming upstream" with people. I rarely swim very far with them, a stroke or two and that is it. Someone will complain, and I will suggest a solution, they will reject it, I will offer another, they have a reason not to and I'm done. See ya! Have a nice life. Don't need that anymore. Outa here. You have to get ruthless about letting the ball go past you if you want to get out of the game.

The alternative is less frivolous communication, and more meaningful communication and probably less communication overall. The trade off is well worth it. You can tell which is better by the way you feel--especially when the conversation is over.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Only A Depression For The Depressed

It's only a depression for the depressed. To those who aren't, it's an opportunity. Think about it. The housing bubble bursting is a huge, and very sweet opportunity to those who are prepared for it. It is an unprecedented time to buy up properties to turn into rentals. A home that sold for $400,000 two years ago, can be had for between $120,000 and $175,000 right now. Renting the $400,000 property would make no sense, but now at $120 or $175, it makes total sense.

You've heard it said, "for every up, there is a down." There are always two sides to an issue. Instead of focusing on what's wrong, all you need to do to change things is to focus on what's right, or what could be right. So, maybe you didn't prepare and you cannot take advantage of the opportunities, but you can still see them as opportunities and that change in thinking will have to have a positive effect overall on you and your results.

I have a little eBay and business online. Sales are currently off over 60% from two years ago. The good news is that prices have fallen dramatically and I can find some really exceptional buys on inventory to get ready for the return of the market. I just bought something for less than $20 that I sell for over $300. Another buy I just made was on some audio's that I would sell for about $800 give or take and I paid $89. That will work! I don't mind sitting on them for a while. I'm finding more buys like that than I have money to buy! That allows me to be selective and buy just the ones that are going to give me such a great return. In one product line, I have now bought up virtually everything on the market and now have the world's largest collection. It took three years, but it is now a huge collection worth thousands. Awesome opportunities are all around us all the time and not only now, but especially now!

Do the best you can with what you have to work with, but always looking for the opportunities instead of the problems will serve you so well, you will wonder how you lived the other way for so long!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Go Ahead! Talk To Yourself Out Loud!

It's a technological breakthrough! It's finally okay to talk to yourself--out loud. Some have been doing it for years and they probably feel a bit self-conscious about it if others see or hear them. I've caught a few by surprise myself. But, hey, now it is just plain okay to do it. Matter of fact, I see people doing it everywhere I go--in the supermarket, airport, the mall, the cleaners, you name it. They are doing it everywhere.

Well. . . not quite. They are talking into their barely visible bluetooth unit and it looks just like they are talking to themselves out loud. You've probably even said, "what did you say?" to someone, just then seeing they are really not talking to you.

But, here's the good news about this technology: now you can talk to yourself out loud and no one will be the wiser. You can even get animated and make it a real talk instead of just chit-chat. Go for it. Now it's legal. Even I'm doing it now. It's fun too.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why Should People Buy From You?

Following along with yesterday's post, on why people buy from you, a great question to ask is why should people buy from you?

It could be your relationship with them, or your outstanding service. Maybe it's your services in general. Perhaps it is the uniqueness of your service or your products. It could also be your display and how it is so attractive and attention getting. I went to the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle and I was amazed at the attention to detail of dramatic displays in selling fresh fish! It was certainly nothing like any supermarket.

Is there something that sets you apart from others? Maybe a certain style or look. It could be a certain pleasing atmosphere or carefully selected background music.

So, why should people buy from you? Can you explain that in a paragraph and spoken in less than 30 seconds. If you don't already, I suggest getting that down pat. It is a great exercise. Do it often.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why Do People Buy From You?

Why do people buy from you? It's a good question that deserves an answer. Ask them.

Is it location? You just happen to be in their neighborhood? They were going somewhere else and saw you? You happen to be next door to their favorite store? Location is not a good enough answer, it must have more detail. What does location mean? Is it convenience? What does that mean?

Were they referred to you? Who referred them? You will want to thank the person who referred them. Referrals are very cool.

Is is product? Do they buy from you because you happen to have a product they want or need?

Was it media? Yellow pages, Google or other search engines? Newspaper, magazine, newsletter?

The more specific you can get in why they are buying from you, the more you learn how to get more people to buy from you. It will help you to know best where to put your advertising dollars so that you actually get a return on that investment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Your Website As A Tool On Phone Calls

One of the best uses of a website is having a central place for you to communicate with your prospect so each of you can view the same thing. It will help immensely in closing deals or clearing misunderstandings.

When talking about a product you sell, even if you don't actually sell online, having the information and photographs available so that you and your prospect can see them together and discuss things will payoff big. How many times have you received a phone call with a question on a product and you are trying to describe it over the phone. When the other person on the phone can see it with you without leaving their home or office, you both win.

We've built websites for some body companies and some of these sites have well over 500 photos. It then becomes easy for the salesperson at the body company to talk with a prospect while they are both online and have them follow along while you are able to show them photos of the product that you think is right for them. You can close the deal right then and there. It is amazing how well this works.

It doesn't matter what business you are in. If you have products, filling your website with photos and information will be extremely beneficial to your prospect and your bottom line.

Can you do this effectively with the website you currently have? I have seen hundreds of sites that have dinky little photos of representative product that are of little value. That is more like a business card or flyer than an effective website. Think of your website as helping you make deals! How pretty it looks is important but compared to effective useability, it is insignificant. Some are obsessed with how professional a site looks. I'm not real sure what that means exactly, but it usually means pretty (or clean) but ineffective. Concentrate on effective and the rest won't matter. All the more reason to have someone like us build a site because all of our background is in selling products and services rather than website design. When we design a site, we think of it in those terms.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

At What Point Is It Okay To Give Up?

Maybe you have a product that isn't selling. You say you've tried everything and it is still not selling. You're frustrated and maybe even a little angry about it, but it is still there. So, you say you've given it your all and it hasn't changed. At what point is it okay to give up?

The other day my partner and I were talking with an associate and he was stating that his product was not selling and hasn't sold for over 18 months. So, we in our marketing mentality asked, "what have you done to move them?" Logical question. So, he states a few things: Put it in an ad in the paper and a regional publication, have it on prominent display, tell people about it. That was it. THAT WAS IT!!! He gave up.

I don't think it is okay to give up with that little amount of creativity and effort. What do you think?

We could have given him a long list of things to do about this situation, but we also knew that he didn't want to hear them, so we didn't waste any energy sharing them. Instead, we just acknowledge his assessment of the situation and move on to another subject. We know better now.

You could probably give him a long list too, right? If not, start asking people and if you are willing to open your mind a bit, you'll get plenty of good ideas. One of those may be the one that gets the product moving. That will be a great day.