Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

These Thanks Can't Wait...

doit marketing bookOne of the many pleasures of writing a book is writing the Acknowledgements section where you get to thank all the folks who have helped you at every point in your journey, whether it was last week, last year or all the way back to your childhood.

As you may know, I'm finishing up the final edits on my new book being published by AMACOM next summer. The Acknowledgements section has been top of mind for me this Thanksgiving week. 

Personally, I can't understand authors who write a slim paragraph and then end with "I have too many people to thank and their names could fill this book." REALLY? If that's the case, why don't you at least TRY?

I sure did...  and to celebrate this Thanksgiving week, here it is in its entirety - LARGE, LOUD, and PUBLIC!


The first acknowledgement has to go to YOU—for buying this book, for reading this book, and for applying its strategies, tactics and tools to grow your business.

After you, it gets harder to count all the individuals, friends, clients, collaborators, mentors, trusted advisors, and supporters who have made this book—and all the rest of my work—so easy, effortless and enjoyable. Unlike some authors who don’t even try… here goes.

First I’d like to thank my parents for not having a stroke when I announced I was leaving the pre-med program at Franklin & Marshall College to pursue a career in theater. Thank you to Dr. Gordon Wickstrom who modeled the highest gift of catalyzing the best in others while making them feel personally important and professionally capable. What do you get when you cross healing with drama? Of course, you get marketing.

My amazing partner, Vanessa Christman, gets a ton of credit for sticking with her lunatic husband through thick (my waistline) and thin (my hairline). Without you, none of this would be any fun at all. Truly.

My two awesome kids, Becca and Charlie, Woofie the Wonder Dog, and Mimi the cat also went to heroic lengths to put up with me long before, during and after the writing of this book. I love you guys like bananas.

Professionally, the list is even longer. Big thanks to my book agent, Michael Snell. He does business the old-fashioned way and it works amazingly well for all concerned. I’m grateful to my pal Gene Marks for sharing Mike’s genius with me. At AMACOM, Ellen Kadin is a rock star. She knows what works and she makes sure I DO IT. Her steady dedication to our shared vision of a “business book with attitude” shows up on every page. Big thanks and kudos to the AMACOM design team for realizing that vision with the bold design of this book.

And for you aspiring or experienced authors – especially those of you who, like me, HATE to be edited – meet my editor extraordinaire, Christopher Murray. Chris “got” this book right from the start and was an amazing collaborator, organizer and advocate for the business-building ideas you are about to profit from. Find Chris online at and put your project in the hands of a supremely insightful editor and the best friend your writing ever had.

I deeply thank Dr. Michael Ray of Stanford Business School for introducing me to the Creativity in Business MBA course that changed my life. The very best advice he gave me was, “Stop starting things and get more into DOING.” The DNA of Michael’s wisdom runs throughout my work, my life, and by extension, this book!

Thank you to my pals from my corporate days: Sandy Frick, Trish Koons, Neal Duffy, Kim Nuzzaci and Benjamin Laden who were crazy enough to hire me, work with me, and recruit me away from one job into the next for a great 10-year run. I don’t know what you were thinking, but I’m grateful for all the fun we had “working for the man.”

Thank you to four very special people who helped me at every point in my entrepreneurial journey including the good, the bad and the ugly – in mind (Terry Fisher), body (Nick Odorisio), spirit (Scott Simons) and career (Ford R. Myers).

My involvement in the National Speakers Association (NSA) and Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) has been an invaluable source of inspiration, insights and friendships. Thank you to my mentors, role models and friends Laurie Brown, Gideon Grunfeld, Michael Roby, Kirstin Carey, Steve Coscia, Avish Parashar, Michael Goldberg, Todd Cohen, Brian Walter, John Reddish, Marvin LeBlanc, Carol Fredrickson, Tom Stoyan, Toni Newman, Brian Lee, Scott McKain, Alan Zimmerman, Frank Bucaro, LeAnn Thieman, Thom Winninger, Patricia Fripp, Alan Weiss, Bob Burg, John Jantsch, David Meerman Scott, Brian Tracy, Randy Gage and Jeffrey Gitomer.

Thank you to my speaker bureau partners and friends – Andrea Gold, Shawn Ellis, Katrina Mitchell, and Nancy Vogl. You are the sharpest, most dedicated folks in the business and you model excellence and integrity in everything you do.

Thank you to my expert contributors: Jay Baer, Scott Ginsberg, Corey Perlman, Dan Janal, Mark LeBlanc, Barry Moltz, Mark Hunter, Henry DeVries, Tom Searcy, Melinda Emerson, Stephanie Chandler, Mary Foley, Gene Marks and Viveka Von Rosen. You are each superheroes in your own realm and I hugely appreciate your generosity of expertise.

Thank you to my colleagues in Vistage International, the world’s largest CEO peer group organization: Jose Palomino, Gerry Lantz, Chris Farias, Scott Messer, Brian Carney, Skip Lange, Carl Francis, Marcia O’Connor, Michael Gidlewski, Steve Van Valin and Jim Lucas. You’ve shared your insights and advice with me even when I didn’t want to hear it, didn’t follow it, and didn’t want to believe it. However, you were right four times out of five. I’m learning.

Thank you to my Do It! Marketing team members, past and present. Especially the uber-awesome Catherine Bernard, the ultra-amazing Katie Hanna, the super-productive Rachel Rodden, and Liz Crider aka “the one that got away.” I love working with you and appreciate you more than you know.

Thank you to my amazing clients. Man, when YOU work, this program works! I’m continually humbled and grateful for your confidence, your business, your friendship, and the credit that you bring to our work by DOING IT consistently, smartly, bravely, and quickly. You are the embodiment of my mantra that “Only action creates results.” Thank you for the privilege of working alongside you as you create your next level of success. 

Sooo... even if you're not writing a book at the moment, you will experience BIG gratitude if YOU write the Acknowledgements section of your (future) book. 

Let me know what you think in the COMMENTS area below. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing success, marketing for coaches, marketing concept, business coaching, marketing professional services, marketing professional services firms, marketing coaching, marketing ideas, marketing coach, motivational speaker marketing, marketing consultant, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, business coach

Great Business Book Review: Rules of the Hunt

rules of the hunt book lgI love business books.

It's a bit of an addiction really.

Some are good, some are so-so, and once in a while a great one comes along.

This is about a great one - Rules of the Hunt by Michael Dalton Johnson. Michael is the founder, publisher and editor of which is THE go-to resource online for salespeople, sales management and sales success.

Let's cut to the chase and get you fully up to speed - first a video book review, then an in-depth 35-minute audio interview with Michael. (The audio also contains "The Magic Email" that was a featured story a few weeks ago in the newsletter. It has a 100% success rate to get you back in touch with prospects who have gone dark on you. You'll love it!)

Here's my video book review:

And then I invited Michael to chat with me about some of the key ideas in the book.

Listen in here.

NOTE: The audio will take a minute or two to load in your browser. If you prefer, you can download the digital audio file: RIGHT-click on this link and choose "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As..." or "Save File As..." and save the file to your desktop.

Here's to closing out your week with MORE Leads, BETTER Prospects and BIGGER Sales.


Tags: business coaching, word of mouth marketing, marketing book, marketing coaching, small business coach, marketing coach, success tips, small business marketing, doit marketing, small business marketing speaker, doitmarketing, sales and marketing, business book review, business strategy, business coach

Marketing Speaker: Why Your Inbound Leads Are a 911 Call

marketing speaker marketing coach doit marketing911 means emergency response.

The sooner, the better.

You get there quick or the patient dies. 

As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I encourage my clients and seminar participants to UP the urgency of their marketing and sales response times. 


Well... Do you know the lead follow-up time that maximizes your sales for online leads that come through your website or email? Or your leads/prospect inquiries that come in by phone?

Do you think it's: 

a. 48 hours

b. 24 hours

c. 8 hours

d. 1 hour

e. 15 minutes

f. Whenever we get around to it - they can wait

Research from MarketingProfs and Hubspot proves that the lead follow-up time that maximizes sales is e. within 15 minutes!

What does that mean to you, your marketing efforts, your sales team, and your own personal schedule as a business owner or entrepreneur?

Simple - when it comes to responding to leads, the mantra is "Now or never."

Bad news: Your leads won't wait - they're SEEKING a solution NOW. You are not the only service provider they are calling. Not by a long shot.

Good news: A lead converted to a prospect FAST (meaning you had a conversation within 15 minutes of first contact) is much more likely to stop looking. Once they connect with a real live human being who conveys the fact that they understand the situation AND they are in a position to help... the frenzied dialing and emailing stops. All the previous unanswered calls, emails, and web forms go by the wayside and YOU HAVE YOUR SHOT. 

So don't blow it. Don't be tempted to start waxing poetic about how great your product, your service, your program and your people are. STOP.

A conversation that is mostly listening on your end is much more likely to build trust and rapport on their end. 

But the point is speed. Why? Because responsiveness in the sales process equates to responsiveness in the business relationship.

The bottom line is that your leads CANNOT wait.

Your prospects won't wait.

Think of your own buying behavior. You leave a message - you keep dialing. Someone answers, and you're problem is 80% solved and it's THAT salesperson who gets the chance to win your business. 

The only exception to the 911 rule is a publicity lead. When a reporter calls, it's NOT a 911...

It's a FIVE ALARM fire in your pants.

So if 911 is emergency response, putting the fire out in your pants would be a critical right-now drop-what-you're doing this second response. Reporters' deadlines are expressed in hours, sometimes minutes. They have sources coming at them all day, every day. If a reporter wants to feature or include you in their story - RUN, don't walk to the nearest phone or internet connection and get them what they need. Otherwise, you're toast.

And you looked so good in those pants, too. A real shame.  

Remember - whether it's prospects calling you to do business or journalists responding to a press release or interview request, speed KILLS (the competition!)

Grab your FREE copy of the Strategic Marketing eBook.

And then leave a comment below with your questions, thoughts, and advice on the ideas above.

Are you a DO IT freak? Welcome to the club!! Please use the social media buttons at the top of this post to share it with your network. YOU are a rock star!

Tags: marketing speaker, business coaching, public relations, marketing coach, small business marketing, small business marketing speaker, small business marketing coach, pr, business coach, lead generation

Business Coach: 50 Reasons People Should Buy from YOU

business coach business coaching marketing coachAs a business coach, I love tools, strategies, templates and exercises that help small business owners sell more, more easily and more often. 


After reading this post, YOU will be able to build yourself one of the most powerful sales tools I've ever seen. (And I've seen a LOT of marketing/sales tools in my 20+ years in business.) 

Because of my involvement in the National Speakers Association (NSA) and the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS), I've been fortunate to develop personal friendships with some of the smartest and most successful business speakers, sales experts and marketing gurus in my field.

One of these folks is known as Canada's Sales Coach - his name is Tom Stoyan and he is also a member of the Speaker's Hall of Fame (HoF). When Tom and I were co-presenting at a convention almost three years ago, he kindly participated in a small part of my program and I participated in his. We thought we'd compare notes and both learn a thing or two.

Tom picked up some ideas around social media and inbound marketing and I picked up a Million Dollar Idea called the "Why People Buy from Me" worksheet.

It is a structured process that walks you through 5 key questions - which require 10 (ten!) answers to each, giving you an arsenal of 50 selling points. You can use these in your marketing materials, sales conversations, website copy, phone calls, emails, and anyplace else you need to PROVE to your buyers that buying from anyone else would be a HUGE mistake.

At the risk of being self-serving (get over it - it's an example, OK?) here is mine for the marketing coaching part of my business.

Note I cheated on Question #3 because I did this exercise from a personal perspective, not an overall company perspective. If you work for an organization larger than yourself, DO NOT SKIP Question #3. Seek help from your boss and co-workers to answer it - or call Tom Stoyan and he'll help you answer it as part of his program!

1. Why should I buy your product/service?

  1. Because you're terrible at marketing
  2. You don't make time for marketing
  3. You've read too many books yet implemented too few ideas
  4. Because without proactive marketing, you're the best kept secret at what you do
  5. Because you don't need marketing information - you need marketing implementation
  6. You don't know what you don't know about marketing your services
  7. You're tired of throwing money in a marketing black hole
  8. You want to regain control of your marketing and sales results
  9. You're tired of spinning your wheels and you're ready to commit to marketing success
  10. You realize that for every marketing dollar you spend, you should get at least $3 in return

2. Why should I buy from YOU?

  1. Because of my brilliant testimonials from some of the top entrepreneurs and consultants in the US
  2. Because I've been the talent, bought the talent, and sold the talent so I've sat on all three sides of the table!
  3. Because I give you the strategies, tactics, and guided implementation you need to generate results
  4. Because my materials, advice, articles, and presentations are splattered all over the web! (You've already heard of me so I must be doing something right - what if YOU could do the same in your prospect base?)
  5. Because I've been quoted or featured in the New York Times, Investors Business Daily, Fast Company, Selling Power, Sales & Marketing Management, Business 2.0 and Entrepreneur Magazine (with a picture!)
  6. Because I'm the author of 3 books on marketing and professional services, including The Manager's Pocket Guide to Using Consultants (HRD Press, 2007) Do It! Marketing (AMACOM, 2013) and 21 Secrets of Simple Marketing Success
  7. Because I've delivered over 600 presentations since 1992 and I've worked with 44 of the Fortune 500
  8. Because I have an application process that you must go through before we work together - I don't work with any warm body with a checkbook
  9. Because my programs are consistently among the highest rated at national conventions and association chapters nationwide
  10. Because I have over 40 video testimonials on YouTube so you can see I'm the "real deal"

3. Why should I buy from your company?

My company and me are one and the same. See reasons above.

4. Why should I buy your price?

  1. Because I have a 1000% guarantee as follows: "I'm better than anyone who's cheaper; and I'm cheaper than anyone who's better."
  2. Pay one price for unlimited coaching - I'm more concerned in getting you to your destination than running the meter.
  3. The fee is the fee - and if you're not making back 3-10x my fee after our work, one of us is not doing his job... and it's not usually me.
  4. Everything is too expensive until you want it* (*T. Stoyan, 2012)
  5. People won't spend $50 to fix a $5 problem. But they will spend $1 million to solve a $10 million problem
  6. If you're not comfortable spending big money with me, why would you expect your prospects to spend big money with you?
  7. If you ask anyone I've worked with, 90% of them will tell you that working with me was some of the smartest money they ever spent. The other 10% didn't do the work. 
  8. You shouldn't work with me if marketing and growing your business is not a serious priority for you
  9. You shouldn't work with me if your business is struggling - get sales coaching first (I'm serious!)
  10. You can spend less and you'll get less - and you can also spend more and you'll still get less. I over-deliver like crazy (see testimonials) because once you're "in" with me, I have nothing more to sell you and we can get to work!

5. Why should I buy NOW? ("Now is a relative term" -- T. Stoyan, 2012)

  1. Because it's rare that I have openings in my client roster - you can get in now or typically wait 3-6 months.
  2. Because the longer you delay getting your marketing house in order, the longer you'll be in a state of confusion, inaction, and overwhelm
  3. Because "waiting til my business picks up" to invest in marketing is like saying "I'm sick as a dog but I'll wait til I feel better to go to the doctor." It's never going to happen
  4. I've never seen a marketing plan that starts with "Generate enough sales to afford marketing plan"
  5. Maybe you should never buy - and you might not qualify to work with me.
  6. What would it be like if your next year's revenues were much like your last year's? If you're OK with that, there's probably no reason for us to work together.
  7. Are you sure you have a marketing problem and not a sales problem? Maybe Stoyan is a better fit for you. Would you like his number?
  8. Because the money you're NOT making week after week, month after month, is a larger number than the money you'd be investing to restore your revenues to where you'd like them to be
  9. Because you want to stop the "feast or famine" revenue cycle and get a proactive handle on your marketing process before you hit your next dip
  10. Because someone you know and respect recommended we chat and I'm the answer to your prayers. (In addition to... I'm one of the most humble people you know!)

See? I told you it was self-serving.

Until now.

Because NOW - it is YOUR turn. Here is your assignment:

1. Why should I buy your product/service?   
2. Why should I buy from YOU?
3. Why should I buy from your company? 
4. Why should I buy your price?
5. Why should I buy NOW? ("Now is a relative term" -- T. Stoyan, 2012)
Grab your FREE copy of the Strategic Marketing eBook.

And then leave a comment below with your questions, thoughts, and advice on the ideas above.

Are you a DO IT freak? Welcome to the club!! Please use the social media buttons at the top of this post to share it with your network. YOU are a rock star!

Tags: business coaching, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing professional services firms, marketing coaching, marketing coach, small business marketing speaker, sales and marketing, small business marketing coach, business coach

Business Coach: Why You DON'T Want to Be in the Book

In my role as a business coach, my clients often ask me if they should spend the time and money to be listed in this directory or that trade show book or some magazine's "Marketplace" section. 

Here's the answer for YOU and YOUR business if you've ever wondered the same thing. 

But first, remember the Yellow Pages?

Their old tagline was "Let Your Fingers Do the Walking."

It was more convenient - in the 1960's and 1970's - to use the Yellow Pages and your rotary phone to find out what you needed to know about local businesses than to literally walk from store to store or office to office.

Check out this sign and you'll see where this tale starts to unravel: 

business coach business coaching

Photo credit: Rolando Pujol

Yes, you can find Tony's One Hour Cleaners in the Yellow Pages. 

Along with Sam's One Hour Cleaners, Jiffy Dry Cleaning, and dozens of other competitors all over town. This was great for consumers up until about 1992 when the web took over much of this same functionality (and multiplied its marketing power by about 1000-fold.)

And it's pretty dumb for business owners today. 

Why? Because the moment you're "in the book" - you're a commodity. 

You are ACTIVELY inviting your prospects, customers, clients and influencers to comparison-shop your ad vs. their ad. Your listing vs. their listing. Your trade show booth vs. their trade show booth. 

And don't even get me started on trade show exhibiting. Unless you're in the top 5% of folks who TRULY know what they're doing, exhibiting at a trade show is nothing more than endless days of exhaustion, massive expense and being proactively ignored by people walking rapidly to the back of the exhibit center to get their bagel while working insanely hard to avoid eye contact with you and your staff at all costs. 

As I share in my small business marketing seminars, we're living in an ATTENTION economy. Meaning, first you must earn your prospect's attention. And only then do you get the chance to earn their money.

And these days, it's damn difficult to earn anyone's attention with a BIGGER ad, a BOLDER directory listing, or a SPLASHIER banner. 

Nobody cares. Truly. So give it up.

The expiration date on that strategy has come and gone like a bucket of old yogurt.

Today, you can save all that money and put it toward creating resources, tools and content that your target market will VALUE, will KEEP and will SHARE. 

Am I nuts? Is directory advertising still working for YOU? 

Grab your FREE copy of the Ultimate Resource List!

And then leave a comment below with your questions, thoughts, and advice on the ideas above.

Are you a DO IT freak? Welcome to the club!! Please use the social media buttons at the top of this post to share it with your network. YOU are a rock star!

Tags: marketing speaker, business coaching, small business advertising, marketing professional services, marketing coach, small business marketing, small business marketing speaker, small business marketing coach, business coach

Business Coach: 7 Keys to Help You Focus on Strategy Not Tactics

business coach business coaching strategy beats tacticsAs a business coach, I've observed time and time again the tendency that strategic business owners are focused. And tactical business owners are scattered. 

If you want lasting and profitable business success, the key is to marry a small number of highly focused strategies with a variety of tightly aligned marketing and sales and operational tactics. Here are 7 keys to help you get started. 

Please use the COMMENTS area below to answer some of these questions or to share your own advice, insights and recommendations. 

1. Tactics are easy - and it's tempting to confuse executing tactics with moving your business forward. Ain't always the case though, is it?

2. Strategy is the WHY TO and tactics are the HOW TO. If you stop focusing on your "WHY" even for a short time, you'll fall into the trap of getting really good at creating and selling projects/services that you don't want to be doing. How are you trapping yourself with off-strategy successes?

3. It feels good to execute tactics - and it feels hard to create strategies. This is because you have to come face to face with the time-space continuum. You can't execute everything you want to do all at once. And you probably shouldn't try. How have you subconsciously let yourself be overwhelmed with not enough strategy but too many tactics?

4. Tactics pile up - there is always more to do. Strategy is a limiting factor. Strategy shows you what you should NOT be building, selling, and offering. Strategy serves your business as a filter. With no strategy, every tactic looks reasonable. How have you buried yourself in tactics while starving yourself of strategy?

5. Business owners and entrepreneurs LOVE talking to each other about tactics. What's worked? What hasn't? What's next? They rarely talk strategy. They rarely talk about things they want to stop doing. What questions could you ask your colleagues to find out what they have pared down and eliminated to help them increase their strategic focus?  

6. We're too busy for strategy. Really? How about escaping to a coffee shop for a morning with a notebook and a set of colored Sharpies to have a strategic meeting with yourself? In less than two hours, you can do a data dump, a project review, a client review, an "ideal business model" exercise and create several lists such as "Low-payoff activities that take too much of my time" and "High payoff activities that I need to create more time for." Take your notes back to the office, summarize and categorize them, and begin to put them into action. When's the last time you had a strategic meeting with yourself?

7. Email is not a strategy. Email is not a tactic. And email is not a high-payoff activity. Yes, you might get a few client emails a day. Or customer service emails. Or a handful of leads. Other than that, email is a deadly distraction. So stop. Make a sign over your desk where you can see it from your computer that says, "EMAIL IS NOT MY JOB." How has email stolen your strategic focus lately?

Grab your FREE copy of the Strategic Marketing eBook

And then leave a comment below with your questions, thoughts, and advice on the ideas above.

Are you a DO IT freak? Welcome to the club!! Please use the social media buttons at the top of this post to share it with your network. YOU are a rock star!



Tags: marketing speaker, business coaching, marketing professional services, marketing professional services firms, business coach