Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Really Cares About Who You Say Are and What You Say You Can Do?

What matters is that you can actually make a difference and you are willing to work your ass off for it.

Do you think that all of your passion to make a living in your area of expertise matters at all to someone out there trying to keep their own world in order? There are a thousand times ten professionals just like you hoping to make an impression and secure their practice.

What matters is that "that person" on the other end of all of your marketing efforts is totally scared themselves, is hanging on for dear life and wants to believe YOU might actually care what happens for them. They definitely do not think they are in control and will do anything to keep their life in order.

So, what can you do to help them manage the fear they feel? Can you really help them or are you simply offering a different path to a similar result? Do you really care about their future or are you just looking out for your own?

It is so easy to know what "I" have to do to succeed. It is a far more difficult thing to find a way for the success of our clients to be the future we choose.

Are you equal to this challenge? Can you really understand that your success is in the hands of your clients?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saying "No" Can be a Profitable Marketing Tool

A banker friend of mine is VERY busy right now, but he did observe that most of the deals he is working are smaller with tighter margins. He also observed that some of the deals in his in-basket keep getting shuffled to the bottom of the pile. These are the deals that are higher maintenance, lowest margin for effort, and just not any fun to work on... deals that several months ago he would not have accepted.

"How many of those bottom-dwelling deals will really have any impact on your immediate income?" I asked. "Well...", he paused before stating, "None actually." So I continued, "How much will it impact your income if there are a growing number of clients out there not getting your best effort?" He could only nod as the light went off in his head.

His next words clearly showed he understood what might happen if he did not learn to say, "No." "Taking on clients I cannot service well means that I am creating my own negative referral network." "And," he continued with renewed inspiration, "If my reputation depends on excellence than I should be hand-picking every new client as if my career depended on it!"

"Exactly!" I replied. "Saying "No" can be your strongest marketing tool in any economy."

I know he is going to continue to do great things but his lesson is also ours -- Even when we feel the desire to panic our best action is to focus even harder on what we do best and turn down anything and everything outside that envelope. That is where profit lives and our success is ensured.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How Many Calls Did You Make Today?

Our network of relationships is just one call away -- did I make at least one call today?

No matter how we feel about our ability to be a rainmaker we can at least do one simple thing; Pick up the phone and call someone. In the same way you are waiting to be contacted you have an entire Rolodex of people waiting to be needed.... Just make the call. You will be amazed!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Southern California Business Growth Conference

HBSAOC & LAVA present
The Southern California Business Growth Conference
April 20th, 2009 at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel

The Conference will combine the resources, energy, and connections of two of Southern California's premier business entrepreneurship conferences; the HBSAOC’s (Harvard Business School Association of Orange County) Entrepreneur's Conference, (25 years), and the LAVA’s Investment Capital Conference (18 years). The two organizations are teaming up to provide valuable real-world content, access to capital, and a chance to connect with the "golden rolodexes" of HBSAOC and LAVA. Admission includes breakfast, lunch, cocktails and admission to two keynote speeches.
  • Panel discussion s will feature industry-leading experts and successful entrepreneurs speaking on the most urgent issues facing growing businesses.
  • Facilitated networking sessions will allow attendees to make connections with others with similar or complementary interests.
  • All attendees will have the opportunity to "meet the money" at the Capital Zone, a session in which leading venture capitalists, private equity investors, and lenders, representing billions of dollars in available capital, will be looking for their next high-potential investment.
This is the "must-attend" event for 2009 for everyone involved in Southern California business. Please visit our website at www.scbgc.org for more information and to register.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Rituals, Ceremonies, and Internal Marketing

The most important marketing tool for any firm or marketer is, the people of the firm. From the copy room to the executive committee the morale and unity of the people within is the single greatest marketing weapon ever conceived.

And it should be the highest priority on any checklist of a marketers "things to pay attention to today". One of the ways to accomplish that is to pay attention to firm ritual and ceremonies.

In times past, when the world seemed smaller and people lived in tighter communities, it was a practice to celebrate EVERYTHING and ANYTHING and build rituals around any moment marking a new step in life. Rites of passage, harvest festivals, the seasons, celebrating the hunt, barn-raising, etc. At one time any moment of hope or happiness was reason enough to celebrate as a community.

Over time I think we have forgotten how good it feels to celebrate not only our own moments of joy, but also how wonderful it feels to share in the moments that arrive for others.

In most firms there are a spattering of birthday offerings, restricted receptions for new partners or professionals as they pass the BAR or gain a certificate, and even a sprinkling of holiday and anniversary dinners... but oh boy! Are we missing out on a lot of internal marketing opportunities or WHAT!

If you are looking for a way to create unity among the people of your firm I would encourage you to seek out every moment of celebration. Here are some of the accomplishments I think might be marked with ceremony or ritual that SHOULD involve every person in your firm:
  • New partner (of course)
  • Passed the BAR or professional certification
  • Joined the firm
  • Birth in the family
  • Birthdays
  • Achieved a goal outside the firm
  • Bought a new car
  • Marriage (and maybe divorce)
  • Were published
  • Landed a client, closed a deal, won in court
  • Bought a new home
  • Learned a new skill
  • Returned from vacation
  • Survived a work-a-thon
  • Received a thank you letter/note from client
  • Add your own ideas here....
Just think of every moment in which you feel pride and you have a starters-list of what to celebrate.

It is amazing how quickly the morale of many rise to any occasion when each person knows their own moments are important. Try this one thing and I know you will not be disappointed!

Graphic Artists are Crazy

I might know. I am one. But, not like, "Wooo Hooooo, la la la la la, put me in a rubber room!!" Go online and look at any portfo...