My notes on “Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths For Winning At Business Without Losing Your Self” – by Alan M. Webber.
What business are you in?
If you’re a journalist and you think you’re in the news business, chances are good you’re going to go out of business. News today is a commodity. But there’s a good market for the opinion business or event he funny business (eg Jon Stewart whom recently finished forth in the voting for America’s most trusted source of… news). None of them are in the news business; they’re successful because they are in the ideas-behind-the-news business.
Learn to see with fresh eyes so you can differentiate your business from the competition.
Change the way your business sees the market and the way your customers see your business.
How? Start by asking a different question. Not “what is our product or service?” but “What does our product or service stand for?”
Eg a supermarket chain could stand for healthier life for customers who are willing to pay more for organic food.
Eg2 a coffee shop could stand for neighbourliness for the people in its surrounding community who use it as an informal gathering place
If you’ve looking into buying mailing lists you’ll know that those lists are all about demographics.
Typical demographic are:
Do you like being put in these boxes and having assumptions made about you regarding your buying preferences?
Neither do I.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you and I are exactly the same on the 6 attributes listed above. (33 years old, men, live in Tauranga New Zealand, work in Marketing, earn $200k/year, have a Bachelor Degree, a Post Grad Cert, and will both finish our MBA in May 2011).
Does that mean we are likely to choose the same toothpaste? Same car? Same restaurants? Same insurance policy?
Because there are more choices in the market place you and I are more different than each other than ever before.
For this reason, demographics are out.
Behaviour is in.
This year it’s about segmenting based on the action that people take.
As an example let’s use a web hosting company. For all the people that sign up for your free trial you can put these people in your “only-want-free-trial” segment.
For all those who upgrade to your basic paid plan because your welcome email was particularly persuasive, you can call this segment the “responded-to-upsell-in-welcome-email-within-a-week” segment.
Do you see how demographics mean nothing in this context? But you can definately make sound business decisions when you have action-segments like the 2 examples I’ve just provided.
Decisions like “what changes can we make to our offer to convert more people from group #1 to group #2?”
My notes on “1001 Ways To Make More Money As A Speaker, Consultant or Trainer” by Lilly Walters:
Have business cards sized versions of flyers. They are easier for prospects to keep (flyers get binned)
Goals are dreams with a deadline. Set goals with deadlines today.
Freebies: Add to the bottom of articles, a freebie that people will get if they contact you Eg “To obtain a free copy of “How to xyz”, just [state action here]”
Presentations: Don’t include everything in your presentation handouts. Refer to an item eg “the 10 rules of…”, and ask audience members to pass their business cards up to get a copy, and invite them to write a big “S” on the back if they speaker for a future date
Feedback surveys: Don’t provide a ratings scale, ask questions like:
What basic message did you hear that you could use tomorrow? (Purpose)
How will you use what you heard today increase your profits and/or productivity? (Practical application)
Is there something else about my subject that you would like to know that I did not have time to touch on in this presentation? (New topics)
Do you know of others (businesses, associations, etc) that would benefit from the material presented today? Who are they? (Referrals)
What is your opinion of my presentation? (Testimonials – make sure there is a permission check box so you can use the comments)
Discounting: When a client tells you “cut your fee on this talk, and when we might use you in a series”, reply “this programme will cost full price, but I will be glad to add a clause stating ‘If a series contract is signed within one year of this date $xyz will be deducted from the series price’”
Press Releases: Ask “would your viewers like to learn how to…?” or “would your listeners like to know the answer to…?”. Or ask these questions in the follow up phone call
Self Publishing: “The self-publishing manual” by Dan Poynter
Let the market lead: “Find a problem, then look for a solution. Don’t develop a solution, then spend your life searching for a problem for it. Pull through an idea from the market place, don’t push it through from inception towards some intangible market” – Jack Ryan