Becoming attractive to customers

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“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

A Rarely Considered Member Churn Factor That’s Easily Managed

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“Let me get this straight. You spent $45,000.00, and now you’re going to make three trips to Baltimore to spend a week in some training class? You’ve been repairing cars for years. What are people in Baltimore going to teach you, you’ve been in the business for years?” This was the beginning of the conversation I imagined between an excited new auto repair shop member of Auto Training Institute’s Re-engineering Program and his spouse. Likely, this $45,000.00 program would be one of the three largest purchases this family had made. It may even be more than this auto shop owner takes home in a year. Even if your sales aren’t as large, or the stakes as high, it’s critical that you prepare your new member for the conversations they’re going to be having with family and friends after joining. I first learned this secret as an Amway distributor. It was … Continued

What Gets Ignored Dies

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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

Identify the Best Member Forum Platform for the Most Member Engagement

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A member forum that empowers its participants to communicate with each other provides a benefit that improves member retention without creating something else you’ve got to fulfill. When done correctly, there will still need to be some oversight and engagement by members of your team. However, you’ll be able to rely on your members to set the agenda and provide the bulk of the content. Here are my observations, based on my own experience and what I see working for my clients. Private Facebook Group If most of your members are already on Facebook, the benefit of a “members only” private Facebook group is that popular member posts will show up in each member’s newsfeed. This is the epitome of showing up where your member is already spending their time. As a member organization, you have unprecedented access to your members’ attention. There’s never been a platform that puts your … Continued

Dependably Unpredictable

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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

Simplify the Complex to Increase Member Engagement and Long-Term Retention

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How do you customize your marketing message to fit the variety of customers joining your program, all coming in at different skill levels? What should your offer be when some of your prospective members are head of one-person businesses while others run businesses of 20, 50, or more employees? How do you structure a new member welcome, when new members are starting at different places? Attorneys join the Personal Injury Lawyers Marketing & Management Association (PILMMA) at different stages in their law practice. One might have a solo practice, while another could have associates; still another might have a large practice with dozens of attorneys in offices around their state. Developing a member proposition was a challenge for such a diverse market. That’s when Ken Hardison, together with members of his team, Frankie Fihn and Billy Fansler, developed the Stages of Law Firm Growth chart you see here. This chart … Continued

Give Less to Increase Sales

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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

When You Let Up Before the Finish Line, You Lose the Race of Member Retention

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They drove 2,634 miles within 24 hours, non-stop. This is more than the distance between Daytona Beach Florida and Los Angeles California. Each team had three to four drivers taking shifts completing 740 laps around the Daytona International Speedway road course. Meanwhile, my son, Robert William, and I enjoyed watching the race from brand-new suites at the speedway. We even took part in the buffet, which included a prime rib brunch and my favorite dessert: pecan pie with ice cream and caramel sauce. While we were eating and relaxing, the drivers were pushing their cars through each turn as fast as they could go. Each car has a team of drivers taking turns to push the car to its limits through each turn for 24 straight hours. In the end, after racing for a full day, only 1.33 seconds separated the winner from the first runner-up. Any slip-up on any … Continued

The Best Type of Value to Provide

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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