“Don’t I know you from somewhere?” he asked me. “No, I don’t think so.” I was shopping for clothes at the mall. I’d recently gotten a new job, I was 22 years old and I knew few people in town. “Where do you work?” He asked. I answered and asked him where he worked. He told me he owned his own business, and we struck up a conversation. We’d never met, but within a minute or two, Steve and I had a good conversation going. About the time I was ready to return to my shopping, Steve told me that he often looks to work with sharp people in his business and asked if I would be open to new opportunities to make money. Flattered as I was, I said, “Sure,” and we set a date and time to get together. At our meeting, about an hour into his presentation, … Continued
If there is a serious weakness within most continuity programs I’m asked to evaluate it’s that the marketer stops selling after a customer buys and joins his continuity program. Look, I understand, it’s a lot of work to ship out the product purchased together with delivering on all of our commitments within the monthly continuity programs. It’s easy to forget about selling in addition to everything else you have to get done. Am I suggesting that you have to do more? No, not more. Just different. Associations recognize that they are always selling. This can make them frustrating to deal with because they are so risk adverse. They don’t want to do anything to anger even a single member.
It was so frustrating. It was like everyone else was from a different planet. There wasn’t a single person who “got it.” My first info-marketing business targeted the association industry. I promoted a product teaching associations how they could recruit and retain more members. For 10 years I attended events where association executives got together. I spoke at many events, and I became known within the community. While some of them wanted to understand, few of them had any idea what direct marketing was all about. I started to get frustrated easily. After what seemed to be the thousandth time explaining long copy versus short copy or writing with a conversational tone versus a corporate institutional voice, I got fed up. I made the ultimate mistake. I didn’t make this mistake once. No, I repeated it over and over again for years. The first time was innocent enough. The association … Continued
While a lot of continuity marketers struggle with growing their lower priced, large number of member programs, I also hear frustration with retention within high-priced continuity programs. Coaching members get a big head, think they know everything, and drop out. Often, the coaching member is even resentful even though everything was delivered exactly as promised. The key to long-term retention is recognizing that your members’ needs change as they grow within your program. One of the key leadership strategies is to have a common mission together with values. For years within the association world I knew it was important to create a set of shared values among the members. When members embraced the mission of the organization and the values, they put that way above the money to renew their memberships. In fact, it never occurred to them that they would ever not be a member of an organization that … Continued
McDonald’s is the leading franchise in the world because of its consistency and predictability. You can be on the other side of the country or around the world and when you see the Golden Arches, you know exactly what the food will taste like. There might be an independent restaurant with better food next door, but most people will never know because they’ll choose McDonald’s. McDonald’s is the safe choice. It became that way through consistency, delivering a similar experience every time. McDonald’s spends millions of dollars a year taste testing individual restaurants to ensure the food tastes the same way in California as it does in New York as it does in England. All new suppliers are put through a rigorous process to ensure the products they produce conform to McDonald’s exacting specifications. That food is going to be consistent, something Burger King has never figured out. How do … Continued
I was completely pinned against the back wall of the swimming pool, water gushing at my face, in my mouth, nose and eyes. I was never so happy to be out of a pool. This was my first time learning how to swim in one of those stationary pools. It’s a similar concept to walking on a treadmill except it’s a pool. There’s a flow of current coming from a large jet. Your goal is to swim against the current so you are able to get your “laps” in and never move. You can swim like it’s an Olympic size swimming pool in an 8’ X 10’ area. Only problem, this was my first time using one of these things. At first the current was too slow. Every time I tried to swim I’d swim faster than the current and start slapping the side of the pool right above … Continued
During a Jump Start Coaching Call coaching call, a relatively new info-marketer wanted to know why he wasn’t generating any sales from his website. He asked me to review his site for him. While the opt-in page looked ordinary enough, he had five different training videos on his sales page. He wanted to prove he would over deliver, so he over delivered on the sales page. He gave his customers two hours of training for free before he asked them to buy anything. Trouble is, the old saying is true: Absence does make the heart grow fonder. Too much of something reduces its value. You must have water to survive. But too much water isn’t any better than too little. In fact, it can kill you! Same in relationships. When you are dating someone new, you want to spend time together to form an emotional bond. You must balance that, … Continued
I first noticed it in my dad’s tire store. I worked there during summer vacations from high school, changing tires and doing oil changes. There were some guys in the shop who worked hard and got a lot done, and then there were others who smoked cigarettes more than they worked on cars. Because the hard workers were almost always prompt in the mornings and worked hard throughout the day, my dad gave them the most slack on the days they were late or the times they wanted to take their kids to the doctor’s office. The guys who didn’t work as hard got sent home or were trouble if they were just a couple minutes late one morning. I took this lesson to heart and applied it to all of my work. In my first professional job, I quickly decided I’d do the work of three or four people. … Continued