Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Most networking lectures are about building your business revolves around attending events or online social networking. But I've always found that one-on-one networking is where the real magic happens. Meeting with people individually, in person or by phone, builds the "know, like, and trust" factor and creates long lasting relationships that generates referrals.

To people who are natural networkers find this type of effortless. But many business owners tell me they find networking is discouraging or they haven’t found it to be effective. That’s probably because they don’t know how to do it or they may have unrealistic expectations about the timing of results. Below are some helpful points to help any businessman become a successful networker.

Who to network with.
Not every group of people will be right for you. Choose groups where people congregate who share your interests and/or are potential clients. Chambers of Commerce, men’s and women’s organizations, networking groups, special interest groups, and associations are all potential choices.

Develop relationships.
Networking is not about selling, but rather developing relationships that can lead to sales or referrals. While you might network with people who could become clients, your purpose is not to close a sale. The benefits most important to you should drive your choice of who to network with.

Be prepared.
Bring plenty of business cards, but only give them to people who show a real interest in what you do. Brochures or printed postcards can also be effective. Also, craft a short description of what you do — no more than 10 or 15 seconds.
If you are seeking referrals, your best choice for networking will be people who are in regular contact with your target market. Read More On Target Marketing. This usually means they are either in your target market themselves, or they serve it.

Plan your approach.
Dress appropriately and professionally. Establish yourself as a successful person, which you can do by dressing the part. This does not mean that you need to wear expensive clothes, but do wear something a bit on the dressy side and leave the comfortable baggy pants at home. If necessary, get advice from an image consultant.
Before reaching out, determine the primary purpose for your contact. Perhaps you want to enlighten the other person with your business services so they could refer to you in the future. Or you might like to learn what they knows about the industry.
Since networking is intended to benefit reciprocally, think about what you could offer the other person. Could you refer there business occasionally? Or can you provide useful information or ideas? If you're not sure what you could provide, be prepared to ask, "How could I be helpful to you?" Make the offer of how can I help you grow your business.

Setting a One-On-One Date
Place a phone call or send an email, stating the reason for your contact. Suggest that the two of you set up a convenient time to meet in person or by phone.

Follow up if they don't respond.Don't make one attempt and then give up, thinking the other person isn't interested. You may have contacted them at a busy time, they may be having a bad week. Wait a week or two, then try again. Consider calling if you emailed before, or vice versa. If you still don't hear back, wait a month and reach out again. Never make the other person wrong for not replying before.

Meet in person or by phone.
Begin by asking for more details about there business, even if you think you know everything.Listen carefully to their answers, Find points of commonality that you can bring into the conversation. Expressing interest in others will increase their comfort level in talking to you. Then tell them a bit about your own work to provide a context for your request. Next, ask for what you want from the meeting, and at the same time, make a reciprocal offer.
Focus on what you can do for others, not what they can do for you. Perhaps you know someone who could use your prospects services. If you do, make the referral.

Follow up after you meet.
Follow up. If you make a good connection with someone, after the event, send a note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. If appropriate, send an article or some kind of information that they might find helpful. Do not add them to your mailing list without their permission.

Follow up over time.
If you felt your meeting was productive, stay in touch to keep the relationship alive. Suggest that your new acquaintance subscribe to your newsletter or blog, or connect with you on Facebook or LinkedIn. Reach out personally every three to four months with a note, phone call, forwarded article, or invitation to an event you're attending or hosting. Try to get together in person or by phone at least once per year.
Networking is a process, not a one-off event. Take the time to develop relationships with people who interest you. Be proactive and invite someone to a one-to-one meeting so you can get to know them.

We look forward to seeing your business be successful.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

D&B Customer Complaint! Is this spam?

 D&B Customer Complaint!  Is this spam?

Over the weekend, a spammer sent out a large number of emails purporting to come from D&B (alert@dnb.com) that were illegitimate and alleged that a complaint requiring prompt action had been made against the recipient. These emails contained the Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. logo and contact information. Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. has no relation to these emails and our name and logo were being used illegitimately.  See full D&B has released an important notice regarding this matter as well. at Blog.DnB Website

Also See info from Cisco "Threat Outbreak Alert: Fake Customer Complaint E-mail Messages on February 18, 2013"


Cisco Security Intelligence Operations has detected significant activity related to spam e-mail messages that claim to contain a complaint report from Dun & Bradstreet for the recipient. The text in the message body attempts to persuade the recipient to open an attachment to view further details. However, the .zip attachment contains a malicious .exe file that, when executed, attempts to infect the system with malicious code.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Getting The Most From Your Advertising Dollars

Getting The Most From Your Advertising dollars

In today's economy getting the most bang for your buck is necessary for your business succeed and be profitable. That  requires that marketers have a high ROI ( Return Of  Investment ) get a lot of value for their advertising dollars.

That old saying that it "takes money to make money" has never been more true, when it comes to promoting your business. And when it comes to spending money on advertising, how do you make sure that your advertising is working hard enough, without spending a fortune that consumes all your profits?

Always make sure you focus your advertising dollars on your correct public. Research your public (your ideal customer) who they are, what they do,  how they found you, the more you know the better you can communicate with there needs. Does marketing create needs or does it just satisfy needs?

No, marketing does not create needs. Your clients have needs. It’s your job to find out  what needs are currently not being satisfied and find a solution that will meet those needs. Now Lets figure out who your ideal customer is, and then create an advertising campaign that fills that need. The tighter your niche, the better your chances of finding the customers who are looking for exactly what you've got to sell!

See Article On Niche Marketing

Now  you know who you're selling to, look for media that targets that public.

There are so many ways to advertise. How do you pick one? One way is to consider the advertising return on investment or Return Of Investment (ROI). ROI is a measure of the effectiveness of your advertising. How much you made compared to how much you spent or invested. 

Your ROI can be calculated by dividing your sales by your advertising costs. Sales can be in dollars or, if you have a single product, in number of units sold. If the purpose of advertising is to generate leads then your advertising ROI would be calculated by dividing the number of leads by the cost of advertising.

If you are using multiple advertising methods, you will need to track sales or income as a result of each type of advertising. Ask prospects that contact you how they heard about your business. You can also include a code with your advertising and ask prospects to include the code with their order or inquiry. 

The most effective advertising gives you a high ROI. You get a high ROI if you spend very little to advertise and still get sales. You also get high ROI if you have high sales from your advertising efforts.

Depending on your services or product, Stay local one of the major down falls of a major home improvement company was that they decided to save money and remove the local community form there advertising dollars and use blanket advertising that failed drastically and are now spending millions to correct it. Take use of  neighborhood newspapers, chamber of commerce directories, high school sponsor advertising, etc. 

See Articles on Free Advertising 

Good Marketing Action
  • Lead Generate: Promoting your brand and generate new leads through advertising, internet marketing, public relations, networking groups and direct response campaigns.
  • Measurement: Measuring campaign effectiveness by tracking statistics, integrating analytics, and calculating the returns that evaluate the success of the marketing investment.
  • Optimization: Optimizing the marketing dollars to achieve the highest performance and ROI on your  marketing investment.

Now lets get out there and produce marketing programs that capture prospects needs and convert them to sales, and measure ROI and the effectiveness of your marketing success.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Niche Marketing

Niche Marketing

The tighter your niche, the better your chances of finding the customers who are looking for exactly what you've got to sell!
Target Customer Success
Niche Marketing means targeting a  select group of  your businesses public, whether it's  your local business to business or , business  to customers, Select a industry or some other group of people with same interests. Find out your niche market is the first step to attracting them to your business.

Your Public Niche
Is your public a special niche? If it's a special niche, how is it defined: by gender, by age,  by geographical demographics? Are your customers primarily women or men?
Do your homework!! Take a look at your competition and see if they niche market and who they market to.

After identified who your target public is, you've got to ask yourself a few things: Is this market large enough to generate sales goals? Are you able to reach this market through high ROI marketing and advertising? Can you meet the customers needs with your services?

Competition is good, especially from larger market players with substantial resources and large over head. So in the face of competition, how should you respond? Successful niche businesses will respond with what makes you better, give higher-quality service , rather than cost-cutting measures.

Lets Develop a niche that works
If your business offers a wide variety of services to a large portion of the population, you can still benefit from niche marketing. Some of your products or services may be targeted too a  specific public of your customer base. Find that customer base that give the highest ROI and wok that first.

Internet marketing: keyword and search engines
Finding out which keywords your potential niche customers are looking up can help you determine exactly what those customers want. And by using the best keywords, you can bring customers directly to your site when they use search engines, such as Google or Yahoo. Search engine optimization (SEO) software allows your site to be toward the top of the list when customers perform a keyword search and helps to bring traffic into your site.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC programs  like AdWord or adCenter offer a variety of advantages and disadvantages. The advantage PPC programs are generally easier to set up and maintain and are easily targeted by niche keyword, disadvantages is they pay commissions even if your visitors never make any purchases.
Please Note :Currently in the process of writing article on PPC. come back soon or sign up for mailing list of recent news.

Internet marketers sometimes sound as if they invented niche marketing, but print and visual media has been offering ad targeting for years. Special newspapers sections, such as those devoted exclusively to technology, business and women’s interest, as well as seasonal ads like summer sales and back to school. Even general interest newspapers could niche media for their geographic public.

Lets review

    Chose a niche that works best for your businesses.
    Identified who your public is.
    Research competition.
    Find The best targeting advertising media for your business.
    Keep up with what your customers are looking for.

Targeting, monitoring and measurement is essential to every successful marketing program. Pinpointing your target audiences up front can save time and money as you prepare your ad campaign. Monitoring and keeping accurate statistics can help you learn what worked and what didn’t with your last campaign so you can adjust your strategy.

In closing many small business who are focused on niche markets find it profitable and fulfilling. The keys to success are to stay in touch with your customers, understand their needs and keep serving those needs with continuous innovation.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Common Advertising Mistakes

Mistake #1 - Not knowing if your advertising is working

This is by far the biggest error most small business owners make. They just throw advertising in the local paper or
on the radio and hope and pray it works. In many cases they have no idea how to track results and adjust their
advertising efforts to be more productive.

Mistake #2 - When to advertise

On your first day of business did you advertise? Chances are you had a grand opening, balloons, radio, TV,
newspapers, contests and anything else to attract customers to your business. Can you keep this kind of
advertising up all year long? Chances are you can't. So when should you advertise? Know your public and
buying there cycles

Mistake #3 - Advertising 
in the wrong place
I listen to 620 WDAE The Sports Animal. Talk radio. So if I love it I'm sure my customers love it too, so
that's where I'll advertise. Sound familiar? That logic might be right but generally it isn't. If you are
spending your advertising dollars in the wrong place suddenly your advertising is an expense not an
investment. GET THE ROI YOU NEED

Mistake #4- Not staying unique

Niche Marketing .
The tighter your niche, the better your chances of finding the customers who are looking for exactly what you've
got to sell!

Mistake #5 - How you look to your customers

Small businesses seem to throw any kind of advertising out there for customers to find. I'm sure there are
several major companies I could show you that you could recognize with just the company colors. Could
you recognize a Campbell's Soup Can without the company name? Sure you could. Customers, over time,
begin to feel comfortable with the look and feel of your advertising. That's Branding - knowing what your
business image is and how you want it portrayed

Mistake #6 - Poorly planned promotions and events

Say you wanted to have a 4th of july community retirement investment meeting. That might be a mistake
here in Tampa Bay area do to 65% are snow birds

Mistake #7 - Forgetting the folks who got you there

Many business spend so much time trying to attract new customers that they forget the loyal customers who
made them successful. I'm sure you've all heard that it takes six times as much to attract a new customer
than it does to keep an existing one.

Mistake #8 - Listening to the wrong people

When it comes to advertising everybody is willing to give you advice. And, because you feel that you know
so little, you're willing to take everything at face value. Most media salespersons are honest hardworking
people. Some, however, are just out to sell you ads. If you think you want to be somewhere they are more
than happy to sell you the time or space.

Mistake #9 - Concentration on product features instead of benefits

So many ads I see just talk about what a product has not what it does. No one ever buys a product for the
features it has. Do people buy a 1" drill bit because they want the bit? No. They buy it for the 1" hole it will
give them. That's the benefit.