Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Building Your Personal Brand

Businesses talk about brand all of the time. But do you think about branding when it comes to the business of "YOU?" You should!

If you are looking to land a job, start a business, sell a product or get a date, the brand of "YOU" is what you are selling.

The bad news is most of us are not thinking this way. The good news, with social media and technology, it's easier than ever to begin building your brand.

I heard about a guy who's business card was just the google logo with his name typed in the search area. Cool huh? What would happen if you handed out this business card? Would anyone be able to find you? If you want to build a business...the answer better be yes!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Are You Actually DOING it?

An email I sent to my sales team the other day.

So I read an ebook the other day that I decided to check out. It was a free download, so I took that into consideration. It was short and an easy read about how to sell $100,000 per month in promotional products. I think we would all be good with that goal!

Quite frankly I didn't think there was a lot of new ground being broken. I found myself saying, “yeah I know that.” But then I asked myself an important question…

“Am I actually DO-ing it?” And in many cases the answer is no. So this is my wake up call to myself. And here are my thoughts to you:

1) Prospecting Every Day: We need to continually be looking for new customers. I am going to implement a new prospecting program that starts next week. I am going to be looking for large clients and doing a mailer. I will share it with anyone, but you should do whatever it is you want. The key (as with anything) is just to do it…and do it regularly.

2) Specs and Virtuals: Each of us should be spending AT LEAST an hour a week working on ideas for current clients or prospects. We have some suppliers who will do them for FREE. When you can’t do a real spec, a virtual is better than nothing. By doing this you are adding real value to your clients. Set a time and day each week for this activity…and put it on your calendar!

3) Samples Sell: When you can’t have a Spec Sample, take a sample! Samples sell!

4) See the People: Have I mentioned that the best way to grow your business is to be in front of clients?

Now let’s get out there and do it!

Yes this was written to my sales group and the specifics might not be for you. But the question of pro-active action remains for just about any project. You know what you should be doing...are you doing it?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Doing What You Have To Do

We have a disease in parts of our society. It's a disease that is eating away at our customer service, relationships and quality of life. It makes individual encounters (and mass ones) hard to deal with...and exhausting.

It's called "Doing What You Have To Do."

In so many sectors of our society, we see people that are doing ONLY what they have to do for each other...and nothing more. You can't call a customer service line, go to a retail store, or even read about our elected officials without seeing this creep in. Is there ANYONE that wants to call and deal with "customer service?" Why did this become a dirty word? It's because people are doing what they HAVE to do...and nothing more. In's a disease of laziness.

The problem is, when we look in a mirror it's easy to justify doing "what we have to" in our own life. You don't HAVE to go that extra mile for a customer, family member or friend. It's not required (unfortunately). You don't HAVE to wait that extra second to hold the door for a stranger. You don't HAVE to send a card. You don't HAVE to give a friend a surprise call just to say you miss them.

But isn't it nice when people do it for us?

The good news is, we each have the antidote for this dreaded disease. It's called "COULD DO." You see the answer to this problem really isn't making huge sweeping changes. It's usually taking just a moment to put yourself in the other person's shoes...and doing something to help them. We hear all the time that just that little extra can make a BIG difference. And of course it's true. But what are we doing today for that other person? That person you don't HAVE to help...but could.

Look in the mirror. Are you doing what you HAVE to do? Or are you doing what you COULD DO?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I Don't Have Time

One of my pet peeves when I talk to people who are considering taking on a new project, is when they say, "I don't have time." Yes you do.

The question is not (generally) whether or not you have time. It's what you have decided to prioritize.

The fact is, most of us actually have plenty of time to take on a new project. We just decide not to do it because it will cut into our TV time. But even for those that are the super-achievers that are really super's still about priorities. In every case, we can choose to drop another project to a lower priority so we can focus on this new challenge. The challenge with this is to do so with purpose. One of my big problems is that I sometimes take on a lot of projects only to flit from one to another when that project "demands" my attention.

I am working to focus more specifically on each project without interuption so I can give that project it's due until it's time to move on. The human brain is not designed to multi-task (despite what some might tell you). You will be most effective when you work on one thing at a time.

But we all have time to take on new projects. We just have to decide whether this new project should take priority. It's totally okay to say "no" if the project is not important enough. But let's just be brave enough to say that...rather than the easy excuse of "I don't have time."