Tag Archives: time

Business Cards: Are They Just a Waste of Time and Money?

by Stephen Labuda

It’s a funny thing about business cards…they always seem to find their way into the trash! Now, some of you may be thinking, “WHAT?” but follow me for a second…

Let’s start with what happens at a networking event. People are milling about, shaking hands, handing out business cards, etc. You meet new people, establish possible referral relationships, tell others about what you do and above all, you collect business cards…sometimes LOTS of business cards. Now, let’s fast forward to the next day…

There you sit at your desk…a stack of business cards looms before you. You flip through the stack, then put it in your desk. “I’ll get to these later” you say, and you go about your day. A few days later, you open up your desk drawer and BAM…there are those cards again. “I have to make time to get back to these people…” you say, and again shut the drawer. After a few weeks, you don’t even care, and chances are, that stack of cards will make its way into your trash. Well, if this is what YOU are doing, you can imagine that the cards you give out will eventually have the same fate in the offices of folks you have given your cards to. It starts to seem like business cards are just a waste of time and money, but is there a way to change this outcome and make them incredibly valuable tools for business? Absolutely…

First of all, think of your business cards as merely a barter tool to get business cards from others. It is THEIR card that is really valuable to you. When you are at an event and you get a business card, it is what YOU do with THEIRS that matters…follow me on this…

When someone gives me their card, I hold it up at eye level to the side and look at it as I ask them questions. “So, tell me more about ABC company.” Looking at their card while I speak with them helps me to imprint their face along with their information at the same time. This will become extremely valuable as I am looking through the cards I received after the event.

Once our conversation is over, I thank them and tell them I will be following up. Then, I turn over their card and write a few key points of our conversation on the back. This will help me to refer to these points when we speak again.

Finally, after the event (aim for WITHIN 48 hours) I follow up. This could be a phone call, an email, a letter, whatever you decide. Because I have taken the time to imprint the person’s face with their business, and write key points about the conversation on the back of the card, AND follow up, I will make myself stand out from just about anyone else that will contact them after the event. The fact is, most won’t even bother so not only will my competition be light, my technique will ensure that I am the one that makes the most memorable impression on them.

There you have it. The information above can greatly increase the value of business cards and how they can positively impact your business. Remember, business cards are NOT a waste of time and money…you need yours to get theirs and getting theirs and following the tips above is what will set you apart from most of the other business people they come in contact with.

About the Author

Stephen Labuda is an entrepreneur who built his business by networking with other professionals. You can connect with him through his Boston web design website or Boston Professional Networking.

How to Find and Acquire the Ideal Customer – The Customer That Brings Dozens of Ideal Customers

By Alan Boyer

I was just reading through some other articles on EzineArticles about “attracting” the ideal customer.

I’m going to deal with two aspects of that.

Our job in marketing should be more about “finding and acquiring” customers instead of “attracting” customers. The difference is passive versus active. “Attracting” sort of implies that if we do all of the right things we’ll attract them to us while we set here. Marketing, done right, however, means that we identify who our ideal customer is then we “go get ’em.” That’s an active step. And THEN if we say the right things to the right people they will literally JUMP into our shopping cart.
The second part of that is about THE IDEAL customer. And most small business owners either have no ideal who their ideal customer is, or they may have identified a much less than ideal customer.I guess we could define ideal, and the really ideal.

There is a lot of ways we could define an ideal customer, and not all of these are this AND this, they are more like this OR this..

Easy to get
The individual customer buys a LOT (they are the super customers. When some clients buy $10, these are the ones that buy $1,000, or even $10,000 each time they come along).
Or, as a group, they buy more. In other words, I had a client who was selling a $5,000 program and having trouble selling them. When asked what an Ideal client would look like she started talking about larger companies who would buy $10,000 to $15,000 of the same program from her. But when we looked at options she was hesitant to even look at we lowered her price to $250 and sold hundreds a month, in other words, $25,000 a month and for only 4 hours of her time, about $6,000/hour. The $5,000 program was taking 8-15 hours a month to produce, and many more hours than that to sell it, and she wasn’t selling them.
Or even a company that could refer LOTS of companies.So, there could be several different ways to define ideal. All of the way from easy to sell, to making the most money, to making the most money with the less time, or a customer or a prospect who’d refer tons of new customers while reducing your time doing it, the last being one of the best, but still, your definition may be different.

Now, let’s take that even further, as I said above “THE REALLY IDEAL.”

The Ideal Customer… The Golden Egg

Let’s call the ideal customer we defined above as “the golden egg.” But now we want to find “the golden goose.” The golden goose is the one that lays dozens of “golden eggs.”

So, once you define a golden egg, who they are, and where we’d find them, then we start looking for “the golden goose” that lays those particular golden eggs.

The Golden Goose… The Customer That Lays Dozens of the Golden Eggs

Creston, one of my clients, who owns a sign company, was talking with me about how to find his golden eggs. At first we were defining the golden eggs as companies in malls. They are frequently moving in and out and needing his signs. He had been doing a lot of really small yard signs such as realtor signs. They were $24 each and were taking up a lot of his time to sell individual signs.

So, as we talked about the potential Golden Geese each of those turned into a different form of Golden Goose.

The mall shops turned into him working with large scale property managers. Those that managed the malls. He made a deal with them. He’d cover the empty shops with signs and help them get that shop filled quicker. Then they’d recommend him to the new shop owners that came in. So, instead of selling a sign here and there to the shops, now he gets almost every shop as a customer both every time it goes empty and every time it has a new shop owner. And, on top of that, some of these shops are franchises, so he gets referrals to other shops around town that are in the same franchise. In fact, he offers a discount to the shop owner who gives him a referral that is sold to another shop owner.

He also built his marketing message to target mall managers instead of shop owners. Now he says that the average mall or property manager makes another $30,000 a year from partnering with him due to the fast turnaround and high occupancy rates. BINGO. Now he gets lots of Golden Goose mall managers. And, that’s at a time when malls are actually downsizing… they really need him. He’s their answer, and they are providing him a nice answer as well.

That was when his sales exploded.

We also looked at how to find the Golden Goose for the real estate signs. He did develop a program for real estate agencies that would recommend his signs to all of their real estate agents, another one for mortgage brokers, and another one for the city wide association of realtors. That certainly kicked his sales of $24 signs up several notches. But they just didn’t compare to the large thousand dollar signs in the malls. The difference was that the small real estate signs weren’t really golden eggs. So, he had developed a goose, but not a golden goose that was laying a lot of golden eggs. Yes, he was getting a lot of eggs, but just not golden ones from this program.

So, where are your golden eggs, and how could you find your big golden geese?

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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/

7 Ways to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Stick

by Maria Gracia

New Year’s resolutions have a tendency to be made with enthusiasm and determination. Unfortunately, very often they’re forgotten by the time February rolls around.

Here are 7 simple ways to make New Year’s resolutions that stick and help you accomplish your goals.

  • THINK SHORT TERM. For most people, making a resolution for the entire year is way too difficult. Instead, make your resolutions once per month; January resolutions, February resolutions, etc. They’re much easier to achieve and the accomplishments can be celebrated sooner. Plus, if you don’t quite reach what you want to accomplish in any given month, you can simply move that resolution into the next month–no more feeling so guilty that you have to wait an entire year to start over again!
  • FOCUS ON A FEW. It’s nearly impossible to do everything you’ve always wanted to do in a short period of time. To be sure you don’t forget about the goals you’d like to accomplish, write them all down on a Master Goals List. Then, each month throughout the year, focus on the one or two that are most important to you. You won’t get overwhelmed and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
    • SPECIFIC: Your resolutions must be specific. For instance, saying that you’d like to spend more time with your kids in the new year is too general. However, saying that you vow to spend 1 hour of quality time with your kids each Friday and Wednesday, immediately following dinner, is very concrete and specific.
    • MEASUREABLE: Resolutions that are worked on and achieved, are those that can be measured and tracked. When you think of making a resolution, think in terms of numbers. Perhaps you’d like to lose weight. Thinking in numbers, you might state that you’d like to lose 5 pounds–1 pound per month for the next 5 months. Or possibly you’d like to go on a short vacation. Thinking in numbers, you may state that you’d like to save $100 per month, so you can go on a bed and breakfast weekend in June.
    • ATTAINABLE: You can certainly make challenging resolutions, but don’t make them so difficult that they’re going to be almost impossible to achieve. You can always break your resolution down into smaller goals. For instance, if you’d like to put aside $50 per month, make a resolution to set aside $12.50 per week.
    • REALISTIC: You might want to be a pro golfer this year, but if you haven’t even started training yet, then this resolution is going to be unrealistic and unattainable. Instead, set more realistic goals, such as taking a few basic golf lessons or playing golf once per week on Tuesdays for practice.
    • TIMELY: The word ‘someday’ is indefinite. Yet, often people say they have so many things they’d like to accomplish … someday. Resolutions with no start or end date in mind never get accomplished. Be sure all of your resolutions have both a deadline, and a starting date. For example, you might say you’d like to change your job. Your deadline might be March, 2001, and your start date might be next week–determining what you’d like to do, seeking available positions, etc.
  • TELL THE WORLD. It’s so important to be motivated about the things you’d like to accomplish. When you make a resolution, tell your spouse or a friend. Post a message on a discussion forum. Tell a co-worker. You’ll be more determined to accomplish your goal, if other people are cheering you on.
  • GIVE YOURSELF SOME VISUALS. If you’re constantly staring your resolution in the face every day, you’re bound to keep it uppermost in your mind. If you’d like to lose weight, keep a photo of an actress or actor you want to use as a model, on your refrigerator. Want to go on a vacation? Post a photograph of your dream destination where you’re sure to see it throughout the day.
  • CONQUER MINOR SETBACKS. There are so many things going on in your daily life, and you may experience a day or two when you lose track of the resolutions you set. That’s ok. Get right back on track. No need to wait until next year, or the 1st of next month. Simply make any day of the week DAY ONE, and begin working on your resolution again. Winston Churchill once said, in the shortest speech ever made, ‘Never, never, never give up.’ Heed his words of wisdom.
  • CELEBRATE YOUR WINS. Celebrating your accomplishments along the way will give you the motivation to keep going! Set appropriate rewards for each mini-resolution you make, and have a small celebration for each one you achieve. Let’s say you’d like to put aside $10 per week in January. For every $10 you’re able to save at the end of each week, you might indulge yourself in an hour’s worth of free time to enjoy one of your hobbies. Reward yourself. You deserve it!
  • by Maria Gracia – Get Organized Now!™
    Want to get organized? Get your FREE Get Organized Now!™ Idea-Pak, filled with tips and ideas to help you organize your home, your office and your life, at the Get Organized Now!™ Web site