Do It! Marketing Blog: Marketing for Smart People™

Business Book Review: The Think Big Manifesto

doit marketing business book reviewsHere's another in my series of marketing and business book reviews - but not just any old business books.

Fire starters...

Game changers...

Show stoppers...

Books that will transform the way you think about your work, about your business, and - yes - about your life.

Ready? Take a look...

What do you think? Please leave a COMMENT below to share your experiences with this book, with this author, or with other game changing books that YOU recommend...

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, thought leadership marketing, marketing book, marketing professional services, trusted advisor marketing, marketing coach, marketing for authors, business book review

Marketing Coach: The 4 Levels of Marketing

marketing speaker, marketing coach, 4 levels of marketingWhen it comes to marketing, there are four things that you need to focus on, four levels if you will.

The four levels of marketing are:

  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Initiatives
  • Action steps

When you go to a conference, when you ask your mastermind group for help, even when you start searching the web for answers and resources to grow your business, the number one source of overwhelm is when you've heard a whole bunch of strategies, a whole bunch of tactics, a whole bunch of initiatives, a whole bunch of actions steps and you don’t know the difference.

There are three reasons why this short-circuits your brain:

  1. You can't do them all
  2. You can't even prioritize or figure out how to start to think about them
  3. You can't distinguish which is which and why or how it might work for your particular business

A strategy is a big picture area of your business. It could be a marketing-focused strategy. It could be a sales-focused strategy. It could be a financial strategy.

Let’s say you come across someone who tells you Twitter is an amazing marketing platform and you’re really missing out if your business is not on Twitter. He's using it and it fits his business beautifully, and you respect this person and you admire their successful business.

And now you’re thinking, "Oh man, it's all about Twitter, Twitter, Twitter."

"If this guy built his business on Twitter, I can probably build my business on Twitter."

Well, let's back up and analyze that as far as the four levels of marketing.

Internet marketing is the strategy. In other words, Internet marketing is the big giant umbrella over Twitter.

The tactic under that would be social media. There's a lot going on via the internet, folks, that's not social media.

For example, Search engine optimization, your website, the structure of your web presence, blogging, email marketing, dozens of internet marketing strategies. Social media happens to be one bucket under that, so social media is the tactic.

An initiative would be "I'm going to start using Twitter."

This is level three now. I'm going to start using Twitter. I'm going to start understanding it. I might read a book. I might go to some websites, I’m going to grab a copy of Twitter 101 or Using Twitter for Business, all those fabulous resources that are out there for free.

Now, the action step - here's level four, the action step always takes the form of verb, noun, date.

  • Set up my Twitter account by Wednesday
  • Load my first 30 tweets in Hootsuite by Friday
  • Find 100 influential people to follow in my industry by next Monday

Those are action steps.

And the action step can also go on your calendar.

So it really takes it down to "What are you doing today?" What's on your priority to-do list today?

Your to-do list could be 50 things, but what are your top three most important things that you need to do based on the strategies you've selected, based on the tactics that you’ve chosen, based on the initiatives that you've designed, what are the action steps to put on your calendar and get it done?

So let’s follow this through with a complete example -- let's say you're in the insurance business.

You're selling into the insurance marketplace, insurance companies and insurance agents, general agents, insurance associations, insurance publications, and you’re looking to become a dominant resource in that world.

Your action step would be "I want to follow 300 insurance industry folks on Twitter by March 1."

Does that fit into an initiative? Yes. The initiative is aggressively grow my Twitter following targeted to the insurance industry.

Does that fit into a tactic? Yes, it does. It fits into the social media set of tactics.

Does that fall under a strategy that you decided to use? Yes, it falls under your internet marketing strategy.

So right there, just unpacking those four levels, you've gotten some insights through which you can start to filter and sort all of your old ideas, old notes, all of those conference sessions that you may have gone to, all of those tactics and tools and light bulb moments, all those nuggets and sound bites that you may have swirling around in your head or on your “someday, maybe list.”

If you start to sort them in to these four levels; strategy, tactic, initiative and action step – you’ll get a much clearer blueprint for ALL your marketing going forward this month, next month and next year.

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, thought leadership marketing, social media, marketing professional services, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, marketing strategist, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, social media marketing, marketing tips, internet marketing

Marketing 1.0 vs Marketing 2.0

Marketing 1.0

Cajole convince persuade chase sell beat up interrupt intrude close close again stalk give up

No wonder you're exhausted...

Marketing 2.0

Solve answer enlighten equip fix listen nurture connect engage attract entice invite buy

So much better... 

Here are two visual reminders for you.

doitmarketing marketing coach marketing speaker david newman

doitmarketing marketing speaker marketing coach david newman

Please share them, post them, pin them - and most of all, remember to USE them as daily reminders for how YOU engage your own prospects, customers and clients.

Tags: Marketing for speakers, marketing for authors, marketing coach, Marketing 1.0, Marketing 2.0

Thoughts? Ideas? Recommendations? Please use the COMMENTS area below and let's hear from YOU...  

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, marketing for coaches, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing strategist, motivational speaker marketing, speaker marketing, marketing consultant, small business marketing, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, marketing tip

Marketing Coach: 29 Gurus Worth Following

29 business gurus doit marketingIf you're interested in marketing success, business success, and life success - well, there are a lot of so-called experts out there.

Many are called. Few are chosen.

I've made the choosing easy for you...

Here are 29 super-smart, generous, prolific, sometimes contrarian, and always fascinating people worth following...

p.s. The best thing about them - none of them would CALL themselves a "guru" - they simply consider themselves lucky to be sharing their insights with others who can benefit.

Here they are in no particular order (although each of them is truly #1)

  1. Jay Baer -
  2. Stephanie Chandler -
  3. Corey Perlman -
  4. Melinda Emerson -
  5. Barry Moltz -
  6. Henry DeVries -
  7. Scott Ginsberg -
  8. Dan Janal -
  9. Mark LeBlanc -
  10. Mary Foley -
  11. Gene Marks -
  12. Viveka Von Rosen -
  13. Brian Tracy -
  14. Tom Searcy -
  15. John Jantsch -
  16. Joe Calloway -
  17. Jay Conrad Levinson -
  18. Joe Vitale -
  19. Mark Sanborn -
  20. Marshall Goldsmith -
  21. David A. Fields -
  22. Pamela Slim -
  23. Mark Hunter -
  24. Bob Bly -
  25. David Siteman Garland -
  26. Bob Burg -
  27. Jeffrey Hayzlett -
  28. Jim Kukral -
  29. David Rohlander -

And here are eight more for good luck... (Yep, you get more than 29. See? Underpromise and overdeliver!)

  1. Michael Goldberg -
  2. Randy Gage -
  3. Jose Palomino -
  4. Dharmesh Shah -
  5. Sally Hogshead -
  6. Michael Dalton Johnson -
  7. Larry Winget -
  8. Gary Vaynerchuk -

Bookmark this blog post - stay connected with these people - implement their big ideas - and you WILL profit, prosper, and succeed.

What do YOU think? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your advice, insights and recommendations on the people who have made the biggest impact on YOUR professional success...

29 gurus worth following doit marketing


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 for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, thought leadership marketing, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing expert, entrepreneurship, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing strategist, motivational speaker marketing, success tips, speaker marketing, marketing consultant, marketing mix, marketing for authors, marketing for consultants, doit marketing, do it marketing, doitmarketing, sales and marketing, marketing tips, success

Blogging 101: 3 Reasons Your Blog Isn't Better

doit marketing blogging 101As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I've noticed that my clients and audiences are always fascinated by the topic of business blogging - specifically blog writing

Questions include: 

  • How can you write so much?
  • Where do you find the time to write?
  • Do you REALLY post a new blog every day? 
  • Where do your blog ideas come from? 
  • Do you do your own writing or do you have people that blog for you? 
  • How do you know what to put on your blog and what to put in your email newsletter? 

This week, we'll dig into Business Blogging 101 and you'll master the basics of business blogging. So stay tuned and please DO use the COMMENTS area of the blog to share your own blogging advice, insights and recommendations. 

Let's dig in... 

Business Blogging 101: 3 Reasons Your Blog Isn't Better

Simple, really:

1. You are unable to write QUICKLY.

2. You are unwilling to write BRIEFLY.

3. You are inefficient at IDEA CAPTURE.

Notice I didn't include the two biggies that YOU probably think are YOUR problem - 'cuz they're not. These are... 

1. Inability to write. (That's a convenient BS lie/excuse)

2. Not having ideas. (That's another convenient - and bigger - BS lie/excuse!)

We'll address all of these business blogging challenges and more in this week's posts. So stay tuned for more Business Blogging 101...


Grab your FREE copy of the Platform Promotion Checklist!

Please use the COMMENTS area below to share YOUR biggest questions, stumbling blocks, or burning issues when it comes to blogging for your business...

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 for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, thought leadership marketing, social media, marketing professional services, trusted advisor marketing, blogging for business, marketing ideas, marketing strategist, motivational speaker marketing, marketing for authors, blogging 101, marketing tip, social media marketing, business blogging

Marketing Coach: Top 10 Nifty Excuses for Marketing Failure

doit marketing excuses marketing sucks1As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, it makes me mad - like really REALLY mad - when business owners, entrepreneurs and executives responsible for sales and marketing results start to whine about how hard it is to generate leads, cashflow, customers, clients and revenue.

Guess who is NEVER to blame for failing in these scenarios?

Yup - you guessed it: THEM.

I recently read an article in the New York Times about a management consultant whose business - and I quote - "was drying up." In another part of the same article, the writer said that this consultant was "running out of work as a management trainer."

Really? There's no more work to be done? Corporate America is all fixed now? Hmmm... someone should send a press release. That's pretty big news.

"Work drying up" and "running out of work" are both terrific euphemisms for... YOU suck at marketing.

And/or you are unwilling to make changes, get help, partner, delegate, outsource, or innovate.

And ALL of these shortcomings are 100% your own damn fault.

So without further ado, here are the Top 10 Nifty Excuses for Marketing Failure. If you promise to ERASE these from your vocabulary starting immediately, you will be on a much better track to MAKE your numbers, IMPROVE your cashflow, and firmly PLACE responsibility for your failure OR success exactly where it belongs - 100% on YOU. 

1. Business is drying up.

2. We're running out of work.

3. The industry has changed.

4. All my old clients have retired or moved on.

5. Our prospects and customers no longer have a budget for what we do.

6. Competition is tougher than ever these days.

7. The economy has had a major impact on our revenues.

8. We're selling sugar - it's a total commodity and our customers know it. 

9. All prospects care about is price.

10. It's impossible to get through to anyone anymore - everyone hides behind voicemail and email and we can't even get a first conversation.

Do you know what all 10 of these are?

1. Excuses

2. That rare Japanese mushroom that Guy Kawasaki calls "Bull-Shitake"

Here's what they really mean - if you're interested in decoding them:

1. Business is drying up = Because you suck at marketing and can no longer rely on business that just falls in your lap.

2. We're running out of work = Because you haven't landed a piece of new business in over three years and because of that, your pipeline is as empty as a bead bucket on Mardi Gras.

3. The industry has changed = Because you haven't and it's so unfair that your outdated products, services, and programs are no longer relevant or valuable to today's buyers.

4. All my old clients have retired or moved on = See #2 above.

5. Our prospects and customers no longer have a budget for what we do = See #3 above.

6. Competition is tougher than ever these days = Because your competition has shifted, improved, streamlined, repositioned, repackaged, and innovated their way into your customers' hearts (and wallets) -- while you've been sitting on the sidelines watching the show with popcorn and a megaphone to amplify your whining.

7. The economy has had a major impact on our revenues = Because your successful competitors are saying the same thing -- only in a POSITIVE way -- as they've reinvented their value proposition to be MORE relevant, MORE valuable, and MORE necessary under the current economic climate than ever before. Hmmm... there's a good idea!

8. We're selling sugar - it's a total commodity and our customers know it = Because everything you DO and everything you SAY reinforces that impression. If YOU can't articulate the specific, tangible value of what you do vs. your competition, don't blame your customers. This goes way beyond what you SAY and how you say it - it impacts the very nature of your business, including what you DO and how you do it. 

9. All prospects care about is price = Because you've failed to articulate and distinguish your product or service to the point where they know any better. Experts win on value. Generalists die on price. If you look the same, sound the same, and act the same as the competition, then you have only yourself to blame for the endless stream of tire-kickers, price shoppers and broke-ass losers who are wasting your valuable selling time. 

10. It's impossible to get through to anyone anymore - everyone hides behind voicemail and email and we can't even get a first conversation = Because you're using old school interruption-style marketing and stupid sales tricks like cold calling and email spam. You need to integrate FOUR WORDS (embedded in the following two rules) into every marketing and sales strategy you deploy: 1. OFFER VALUE. 2. INVITE ENGAGEMENT. Do that -- and you'll get through.

Final word of advice - all of the excuses above can be summarized in one of two ways (both very fixable) - Your business is in trouble because of:

a. Failure to market and sell in new ways that are high-value, immediately relevant and sharply prospect-focused.

b. Failure to adapt, evolve and innovate your own mix of products, services, programs, and solutions.

Zen saying: A bend in the road is never a dead end. Unless you fail to turn.

What do you think? Have I pissed you off? Made you think? Made you money? Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your thoughts...

marketing coach 10 reasons your marketing sucks

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, consulting firm marketing, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, marketing professional services firms, marketing coaching, competitive analysis, professional speaker marketing, marketing coach, marketing strategist, motivational speaker marketing, speaker marketing, marketing consultant, sales and marketing, marketing tips, inbound marketing

Marketing Coach: 3 Ways to Get Corporate Sponsors NOW

get corporate sponsors sponsorship strategy blueprintYou're invited to join me December 19th for the Sponsorship Strategy Blueprint. This is a FREE teleseminar training call.
Register here

Corporate Sponsors: 3 Ways to Get Corporate Sponsors NOW

You've heard of sponsorship - they're everywhere. From professional sports stadiums to your local chamber of commerce golf event to most everything you see on TV. Awards shows have sponsors. NASCAR has sponsors. Non-profit organizations have sponsors. Conferences, tradeshows and conventions have sponsors. 

Seems like that sponsorship gravy train is chugging mightily along throughout our economy. The only place you might not think of sponsorship is... 

For you. 

And your business. 

And perhaps this post (and the free call on 12/19) will change that. 

If you are a speaker, author, expert, entrepreneur, or sales and marketing executive, obtaining a corporate sponsorship may be easier and more lucrative than you imagine...

Three examples and three quick ideas for YOU: 

Example 1. A few years ago, I partnered with a company called HRWebXpress - they were a software company targeting the same small and medium businesses that I was serving with marketing consulting and speaking/seminar services. We put our heads together and produced a sponsored seminar series for small business owners that focused on growing both the people side of their business (HR software) and the revenue side of their business (strategic marketing and smarter selling - aka me). We did a series of three of them. They got quality face time with their clients and new prospects and I got leads for additional speaking, private onsite seminars and consulting. 

Question 1: What companies are potential partners for you in completely different and unrelated industries who are going after (or who already HAVE) the EXACT same clients and prospects YOU are dying to meet? Find them. Connect with them. Discuss. 

Example 2. Seven years ago, I was a member of a suburban Philadelphia chamber of commerce whose programming VP befriended me. She was frustrated by the quality of their small business education program. And, frankly, she was sick of all the work required to put on mediocre programs with low attendance. Short story: we entered an agreement where the Chamber sponsored us to produce their small business seminar series. Brought in professional speakers. Raised registration fees by 500% (from $25 to $125 per program). Rebranded it as "Chamber Learning." Did a series of 20 seminars over the next 2 years for them, and won a national award from the ACCE (Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives). Since then, I can DIRECTLY trace over $40,000 of business to that series of "low fee" events.

Question 2: Which partners or organizations have urgent, pervasive, expensive problems (or gaps or unmet needs/aspirations) where you can solve those problems in creative ways by connecting them with your people, your products, your services, your programs, your expertise? What's their "missing piece" and how can you position yourself to help them complete their puzzle? THAT is a sponsorship opportunity!

Example 3: Last year, I partnered with Steelcase to sponsor a seminar for their small and medium sized AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) firms. These smaller firms were an underserved distribution channel who frequently recommended or purchased Steelcase furniture and office systems in their clients' buildings and renovation projects. Steelcase was already doing great with their larger, national partners. They were saturated. The next opportunity? Get smaller AEC firms to recommend and install Steelcase products much more vigorously The best way to influence them? Educate them and help them grow THEIR small businesses! The answer? We did a win/win/win program where Steelcase made a positive and much appreciated impact on 24 AEC firm owners and salespeople, Steelcase relationship managers got a great reason to reach out before the event and to follow up after the event, the AEC firms got instant-action marketing advice, strategies and tools, and I got in front of 24 new prospects with whom I would otherwise have no reason to cross paths. 

Question 3: Which potential sponsors come to mind where you can help THEM help THEIR clients, prospects, customers, partners, suppliers, vendors, dealers, distributors of franchisees? Put yourself in the sponsor's shoes and ask the question, "Who do we need to impact so that we get more leads, more opportunities, or more sales in OUR world?" If you can partner with them to make THAT happen, that's a profit-rich sponsorship deal in the making!

REMINDER: You're invited to join me December 19th for the Sponsorship Strategy Blueprint. This is a FREE teleseminar training call. Register here

Tags: Small business marketing coach, professional services marketing, marketing strategy, corporate sponsorship

Please use the COMMENTS area below to share your advice, experiences or questions on this topic:

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, marketing professional services firms, corporate sponsors, professional speaker marketing, small business marketing coach

Marketing Coach: Your PR, Interviews & 15 Questions

marketing coach marketing speaker interviewOnce or twice a month, I get interviewed, featured or quoted by other experts, the news media, or my mom. (Hi Mom!) 

How can you do the same?

You won't get coverage from my mom but you WILL get major media from like I do. Try it - it's your best deal for public relations bar none.

But that's not the point of this post.

The point of this post is... Balls.



Stepping up and asking for what you want. 

Just like my new friend Damian Niolet did when he asked me for an interview.

Damian could easily have succumbed to negative self-talk like "Oh, this David Newman character is a big deal and he'll never agree to an interview. I'm just a guy studying marketing who has a meager 50 Twitter followers. He's not going to waste his time talking to me..." and so on. 

Good news for Damian - he did not sabotage himself with any such nonsense. 

He asked. I said yes. We did an interview that totally kicked ass and - frankly - was a hell of a lot better than anything I've given to The New York Times, Philadelphia Business Journal (Hi Craig!) or

Here's the interview.

Listen online or grab a copy to download. 

Why is this interview valuable to you?

First, because Damian prepared thoughtful questions I've never been asked before. (Like the ethical code of marketing? Or how marketing affects our society? Wow... nice!) So the content will help you market smarter and generate more leads, better prospects and bigger sales. 

Secondly, this interview shows you how YOU may want to use interviewing as a marketing strategy yourself. Either purely for research OR to build relationships with your prospects and colleagues OR as a content development strategy to enrich your blog and establish yourself as an authority in your field. 

For your reference - and to make it easier to follow along if you listen in - here is the list of 15 questions Damian prepared for our conversation...

See if YOU can develop a list of smart, detailed and occasionally surprising questions like these for YOUR next interview: 

  1. Can you provide a brief overview of your experience, to include education?  (Leading up to your marketing experience, unless you knew from the start you wanted to work in marketing, in which case you can speak to your experience working for other marketing firms)
  2. What drove you to enter the world of marketing? (Your passion for marketing; Leading up to starting Do It! Marketing)
  3. What drove you to start up Do It! Marketing? (Why and when)
  4. What was the most difficult part of the start-up process? (How)
  5. Did you have a marketing strategy from the start?  How did it evolve?
  6. What is your view/opinion of how marketing has changed in the last 15-20 years?
  7. Has social networking always been a big part of your strategy? (Dependent on when Do It! Marketing was founded)
  8. What is the very first bit of advice you’d give to a client to get them started?
  9. What is the very most important bit of advice you’d give to a client for whom you are building a marketing strategy?
  10. What would you say to those who suggest that using social networks in a passive mode (as a conversation tool only) is time wasted because it does not necessarily focus on leads?
  11. Is there a medium, other than social networks, you believe to be invaluable?
  12. What company do you believe exemplifies marketing at its best?
  13. Is there an ethical code within marketing?  Is this code debatable? 
  14. The manner in which marketing is practice undoubtedly influences society at large.  Do you believe the marketing practices in America over the last 50+ years have had a positive or negative impact on society?
  15. What will marketing look like in the future?  Are there near-term changes we can expect?  Is there another revolution on the distant horizon?

Catch up with the rest of Damian's blog and keep your eye on this guy. He's gonna do BIG things. 

business coach business coaching

p.s. We still have a few open spaces for the Simple Marketing Success 10-Week Virtual Bootcamp experience. The program is open by application only. Let me know you're interested (email or call me 610.716.5984) and I'll forward you the application materials and program guidelines right away. We start the program September 26, 2012.

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing success, media relations, marketing professional services, marketing coaching, public relations, small business coach, marketing ideas, marketing coach, marketing strategist, speaker marketing, small business marketing, questions, small business marketing coach

Marketing Speaker: 7 Reasons You're Wasting Your Time "Following Up"

marketing speaker marketing coach sales followup

As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I read roughly 100 marketing, sales and business development books per year. My company is 10 years old, so that makes about 1,000 books so far, give or take a few dozen. 

And in almost every one - you'll hear something similar to these bits of advice about sales follow-up:

  • "The fortune is in the follow-up"
  • "If you don't follow up 5-7 times, you'll lose the sale"
  • "Nobody ever EVER buys on the first, second, or third appointment"
  • "Most sales are made after the 8th contact, but most salespeople stop after the 3rd contact"

I have good news: This advice is horse doo-doo. (And it's probably making you needlessly tired, frustrated and depressed.

I also have bad news: This advice is STINKY horse doo-doo that is costing you face time with REAL decision-makers.

Here are 7 reasons you're wasting your time with follow-up: 

1. If you're exclusively focused on prospects who are actively SEEKING to solve the problem you're positioned to solve, you'll get their attention on the first or second attempt. If you don't - then you need more targeted and relevant prospects.

2. We're marketing in an era where everyone - including (and especially) your prospects - are lazy, busy, and befuddled. Life moves too fast for follow-up. You're either an immediate priority or you're invisible.

3. Leave non-prospects the hell alone. Continuing to "check in" for no good reason when you're in the invisible column gets real annoying real fast. You may even damage your chances at future sales when you're a current pest.

4. Decision makers make decisions. If you're stuck in follow-up hell, you weren't dealing with a real decision maker in the first place. Following up with someone with no check-writing authority is like trying to teach a Labrador Retriever to drive. It may be fun for a short time, but then someone is going to get bitten.

5. "Short attention span theater" rules the day. If you follow up with today's "hot prospect" next month, chances are excellent that your prospect will say, "Who are you again? We talked about what? When? I'm sorry - I'm just running to a meeting... Bye!"

6. Alpha dogs BUY - Sheep dogs BARK. Chances are that no matter what your product or service, if you're selling to a decision maker, that person has an "alpha dog" personality. They are a Driver (D on the DISC profile) and they make fast decisions with a very low threshold of patience for dickering, bureaucracy or delay. If you want to make a fast sale, the REAL buyer is your best ally to make that happen. Or not. But "following up" to drag out the process will simply turn them off. 

7. If you relentlessly focus on the right prospects at the right time for the right reasons, you'll spend a whole lot less time "convincing" and "persuading" fence-sitters and a whole lot more time focusing like a laser beam on the buyers who are ready, willing, and eager to do business with you. No followup needed. 

Two quick examples for you: 

Dave - The No-Followup Sales Champ

When I was working for a large enterprise software firm, I sat across from one of our top inside salespeople on the days that he and I were both in the office. Those days were a rare treat because I could overhear Dave's sales calls in between my own work and meetings. Talk about free sales training - Dave was masterful. 

Dave would call hand-selected leads who were, more often than not, Fortune 1000 Chief Information Officers (CIOs). His opening question after a 7-second introduction of his name and company went something like this: 

"I don't know if you're currently evaluating options for enterprise software but if you are, I can offer you some insights and recommendations in less than 15 minutes to help you make a better decision, whether that's with us or not. Is ERP software on your agenda for this year?"

Yes. No. Boom. He opened conversations with about 70% of these prospects. The other 30% politely disqualified themselves and he never called them again. If you're not looking to invest in this category of software BEFORE Dave called you, nothing he said by way of "follow up" would make you dig into the corporate budget and come up with an extra 1-2 million dollars, which was our average sale.

Dave made a note in his CRM database to call them next year. Sometimes he would get the same CIO. And sometimes he would connect with the new CIO because the previous guy botched the ERP installation they bought from someone else. In any case, each annual call was a qualification call - a yes/no filter and NOT a "follow up."

Colleen - The Superachiever Coach with the No-Follow-Up Sales Letter

My pal Colleen Bracken and I started our speaking and coaching businesses within a few months of each other back in 2001. In her early days, Colleen specialized in what she called "Superachiever" coaching - working with CEOs, government leaders, and other top dogs in the corporate and non-profit world. 

We worked together on crafting a "no-follow-up" sales letter. Why? Because Colleen had ZERO interest in chasing prospects and she wanted to make this clear in her sales process because she also knew that the alpha dogs she was selling to felt the same way. (See points 1-7 above!)

Here is a portion of the letter we put together: 


If you know someone [perhaps someone sitting in your chair?] who is ready to embark on the short, fast, exhilarating ride to the next level of success, STRAP IN and call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email We’ll set up your no-risk no-obligation 15-minute SuperAchiever coaching call. You’ll be amazed at what we can do in a quarter of an hour.

Finally, I need to answer your unasked question: Why should you work with me? After all, we’ve both been doing just fine without each other so far, right?

1. I’ve handpicked you as someone I specifically want to work with.  

2. I’m a REAL professional coach. I’ve received my PCC certification which means that I’ve studied 250 hrs, coached for 1000 hrs and have been designated by the International Coach Federation (the world governing body of the coaching profession). Only 275 other coaches (out of 35,000 coaches worldwide) in the world have met this standard.  

3. Clients I’ve worked with have had this to say about our professional relationship:  

[Three of Colleen's most powerful 2-3 line testimonials from other Alpha Dogs the recipient would respect.]

Invest 15 minutes with me – no-risk, no obligation -- then decide for yourself. What’s the worst that could happen? You spend 15 minutes getting my best ideas, questions, and tools around what you’re working on right now, and we part ways.  

Or... throw this letter straight into the recycling. Only you know if you’re ready for this personal, powerful, unique stuff and the breakthrough successes that come with it.  

-- Colleen

[Signature block]

p.s. You're working at 100mph and so am I. For this reason, I won't bother to follow up with you. In my experience, SuperAchievers make fast decisions. So I figure I’ll be hearing from you in the next 3-5 days. Or not at all.

p.p.s. It's your move. 


Between this approach in her letters, emails, and personal networking, Colleen built her extremely successful leadership coaching, training and speaking business. 

The moral of the story? Screw follow-up. You hate doing it. They hate receiving it. 

Instead, do everything in your power to market, sell, and profit from people who are eager to open the door for you when you knock!

p.s. If you'd like some personalized help - and your very own customized marketing and sales toolkit PLUS an easy-to-implement small business marketing game plan with 1-on-1 guidance for 90 days, get all the details here.

Tags: marketing speaker, marketing strategy, marketing concept, marketing book, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, marketing coach, small business marketing

Trusted Advisor Marketing: Why You're Asking the WRONG Question

Marketing expert marketing speaker og adThe ad above first appeared in Business Week in 1958 – yes that’s right over 50 years ago! The moral of the ad’s story was relevant then and it is even more relevant today: build relationships before you sell.

The bad news is that we live in far more cynical times than the sellers of the 1950’s; the good news is that YOU have so many more tools available to help you address the problem.

If you're investing in "Trusted Advisor Marketing" (it goes by several other names like inbound marketing, thought leadership marketing, and content marketing)... then you've probably asked yourself: 

How (and when) will this generate a sale?

And that is the completely WRONG question to ask.

By the time you're done reading this article/ rant/ manifesto, you'll see exactly why - AND you'll be able to ask (and answer) much better questions for your business right away. 

We interrupt with a brief metaphor... Asking when trusted advisor marketing will lead to a sale is like filling up your car's gas tank and asking, "Why aren't we there yet?" 

Answer: Because filling your car with gas is a NECESSARY but NOT SUFFICIENT step to getting you to your destination (a new customer or client).

Do you have a chance of arriving now that your gas tank is full? You bet.

Did you have a chance of getting there with your tank on empty? No way. 

Let's move on... 

Insight #1 You need to sell the same way that YOU buy.

Look at your email spam or bulk email folder. Yes, you. Yes, right now. I'll wait... 

tap... tap... tap... tap... You're back. Excellent.

Did you see that spam email from the toner cartridge company? Did you catch the pitch from the SEO firm that filled out your website's "contact us" form? Did you respond to that great deal on vacation cruises? NO? 

OK now pop over to your paper mail pile on your desk. Did you check out the latest "triple play" offer from Comcast (or whatever hellacious Cable Satan runs in your neck of the woods)? How about that compelling cell phone offer from Verizon? The Wall Street Journal subscription offer under that postcard? Or how about that postcard - you know, the one from the home heating oil company? NO? 

When's the last time you gave your credit card number over to a cold caller who interrupted your family dinner? NEVER??

I'm shocked...

Because you seem pretty excited about YOUR cold calls - and sending out YOUR spam - YOUR offers - YOUR postcards - YOUR sales messages.

The problem with doing it this way? In four words...

Zero. Value. For. Prospects.

And hello? YOU don't BUY this way. What in the world makes you think your prospects DO?

Look once more at the ad above - and answer one simple question: 

Question #1: What VALUE have I ADDED to my prospect's world in order to EARN the RIGHT to INVITE them to a conversation and OFFER my solutions to their urgent, pervasive, expensive problems?

Insight #2 Referrals are great - but they are neither deaf, dumb, nor blind

The next thing you're going to tell me is that you don't NEED "trusted advisor marketing" because 99% of your business is repeat and referral business and it's always been that way and you don't see how this "newfangled marketing" is going to move the needle in closing more sales.

Do you seriously think that referrals don't check you out online before picking up the phone?

What messages are you sending to your valued referrals with...

a. Your outdated website (articles from 2008 are outdated, friends. And from 2003 even more so. And design aesthetic from 1997 most of all.)

b. Your sporadically updated blog that you leave dormant for 2 (or 4 or 6) months at a clip.

c. Your abandoned Twitter account you set up because someone said "you had to" and that now has 17 followers while your competitors have 3,000 (or a whole lot more.) 

d. Your sketchy, bare bones LinkedIn profile that has 300 connections but only 2 recommendations (From 2005. From people with the same last name as you.)

e. Your "glory days" articles and TV clips and PR placements from 20 (yes I'm serious), 10, or even 5 years ago. Nothing screams "has-been" like old media.  

Make no mistake: Getting repeat and referral business is great. But don't kid yourself that this absolves you from having a top-notch web presence, social media platform, and body of knowledge that is ultra-current, super-relevant, and obviously abundant.

In fact, you are leaving yourself open for EMBARRASSMENT if your advocates hear back from their referrals and find themselves in the awkward position of having to DEFEND you to them because your web presence has fallen behind and now casts your professional expertise into doubt.

Question #2: Does my overall web presence REASSURE and REINFORCE the referrals I earn with the most current, credible and relevant marketing messages, positioning, content, resources, and value that will make my advocates LOOK BETTER - not worse - for referring me? 

Insight #3 Trusted Advisor Marketing is a 4-layer enchilada (aka You don't get to eat the delicious golden-brown cheese without first layering on the meat!!)

trusted advisor marketing DOIT

The first layer - at the core of the matter - is your Reputation. Your work. Your track record. If you stop there, you'll have a VERY hard time attracting NEW leads and prospects to your doorstep. "My work should speak for itself" is what a lot of very smart people say - smart people who have a hard time making their mortgage payments.  

The second layer is Amplification. Ways to make your "signal" stronger. Enter social media marketing, niche PR, article marketing, blogging, keyword research and search engine optimization. This is the key to spreading your ideas and broadcasting your expertise.

The third layer is Leverage. This is where you begin to capitalize on your "trusted advisor" assets such as articles, blogs, videos, podcasts, interviews, white papers, special reports, book excerpts, and other value-first marketing tools. You can now reach out to high-probability prospects both individually (on LinkedIn for example) and collectively (on your blog for example). This is where your job becomes putting the right bait on the right hooks in the right lakes to catch the right fish.  

The fourth layer is Gravity. Just like Jim Collins talks about the "flywheel" concept in Good to Great (it takes a long time to get it spinning but then is very hard to stop because of the power of momentum) - this is where you start to see payoffs. More leads, better prospects, bigger opportunities, more conversations, higher profile alliances, more invitations to speak, publish, guest post, contribute, teach, and (drum roll please...) more invitations to do great work at premium fees for great clients who NOW know you, like you, and trust you enough to hand over 5- and 6-figure checks because their level of confidence in your expertise is pretty damn close to 100%.

Question #3: Do you want to make more sales to strangers? (Good luck with that). Or do you really want more people to recognize, respect, and request YOU by name when they have a need, project, or problem that they instantly see has "your name written all over it"? If that's your goal, then trusted advisor marketing is for you. 

Re-read the McGraw-Hill ad above and let's do a 21st century spin on it together...

  • I don't know who you are.
  • I don't read your blog. 
  • I don't subscribe to your newsletter.
  • I don't see your name in my industry's publications.
  • I don't hear my peers spreading your ideas.
  • I don't come across your content in Google searches.
  • I don't connect your solutions to my problems. 
  • I don't feel the gravity of your credibility or credentials.
  • I don't have any tangible way to gauge your expertise or experience.
  • Now -- what was it you wanted to sell me? 

So here's the ultimate (and most important) question for YOU: 

How can you realistically expect to SELL anything by NOT setting the necessary pre-conditions for ANY sale with Trusted Advisor Marketing?

The answer is as simple as it is obvious: you can't. Just like you can't drive your car from Denver to Sheboygan just by filling up your gas tank. You need to get behind the wheel, plan your route, use your GPS, add more fuel along the way (and probably some beef jerky and Sno-Balls and root beer) AND put in the hours and the miles to get you to your destination.  

Nobody -- and I mean N-O-B-O-D-Y -- hires speakers, consultants or professional services firms sight unseen. You wouldn't. I wouldn't either.

And the facts prove out that today's buyers are just like YOU and ME. 

Trusted Advisor marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. And as any marathoner will tell you - the best (and only) way to run a marathon is one mile at a time. 

What do you think? Please post YOUR COMMENTS below and... 

trusted advisor marketing for speakers, consultants, experts

Tags: marketing for speakers, marketing speaker, marketing strategy, thought leadership marketing, marketing professional services, professional services marketing, trusted advisor marketing, small business marketing expert, public relations, professional speaker marketing, marketing ideas, marketing strategist, marketing consultant, small business marketing, thought leadership, small business marketing speaker, content marketing, inbound marketing