Consistency Counts!

When my sons played hockey we parents had a favorite saying about one of the kids that played on the team, "I wonder 'which Justin' will show up today." You see Justin was a superb "A" player capable of scoring goals, blocking shots and taking hits with the best of them but the issue was simple: Justin wasn't consistent. Sometimes he showed up at the rink and he was playing his "A" game but at other times the Justin that showed up put out "B" effort or even worse. Being able to count on him was impossible. Now please don't get me wrong. I know that all of us have good and bad days. There are times when we excel and other times when we can't seem to get it right but before you nod your head v

Customer Relationships: Three Lessons, Two Words and One Silver Bullet

I’m a student of customer relationships and I’ve learned three important things. First, I’ve learned that the foundation of any long-lasting customer relationship comes down to two words: trust and respect. I’ve got to feel the love, that you’ve got my back. There’s plenty of other stuff, but at the core, there’s trust and respect, which I’d like to have throughout all my business relationships, thank you. It encourages me to assume the long-term. Otherwise, it’s short-term and transactional. Mr. Money never left the room, but his voice gets a lot louder when the discussion is about a transaction. Many times I’ve used a doctor / patient relationship as a metaphor for the manifestation of tru

Will You Love Me in the Morning?

We’ve all had those sales presentations where everything went right. You captivated the audience with your words, and they nodded in agreement. You left the room feeling like a rock star, confident that you’d soon have a sale. Then, the romance quickly ended when you tried to close the deal. They fell off your grid, wouldn’t take your calls, and basically disappeared without even an explanation. Hmmmm! And, you thought they loved you? Yes, it sounds more like a one-night stand than a sales presentation, but too often seemingly productive sales presentations end up going nowhere fast. Why? Well, there are four primary reasons why your once captive audience is not really into you anymore. Here

The Core Reason B2B Prospecting Underperforms

The overwhelming majority of people working on any given b2b marketing campaign have never seen, met or spoken to a customer, and certainly not a prospect. They work from reports and results. They are separated, a gap to a chasm, from the often-conflicted humanity of the people that make the decisions. This separates your campaign from its potential. We are not fishing on the shores of Lake Abundant – it’s harder than ever to differentiate ourselves, to find, nurture and motivate the prospect as the world become increasing atomized. The b2b prospect is the most elusive, with a long consideration journey that takes place, for the most part, prior to any direct engagement. So, who are those gu

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors (Even If They Happen To Be Sales and Marketing!)

The river between sales and marketing runs cold and deep. We can see each other’s camp on the opposite bank, just out of range. That we all work for the same corporation is often the irritant, yet I have seen how much success is generated when there is cooperation. Let me tell you how. “Good fences make good neighbors,” Robert Frost concedes in his poem Mending Wall. He’s not entirely happy with the concept, but the sucker works, and it will work here. Building a strong fence will define the playing field (formerly, battlefield). I like good fences because they have to be built, and both sides must participate for it to be strong. I encourage you to build a fence that is well-planned and of

A Tribute: Business & My Mom

My mom wasn't exactly a business woman. Sure, she worked as a bookkeeper for a number of years. Yet, I'm not certain that she ever considered it a career. And, I can't say that I thought of her a role model as I carved out the beginnings of my company. Still, as I reflect upon her now, I realize that there were several characteristics that she embodied that I see in myself. And, these very same characteristics are those that I include in much of my consulting and training. Here's what I learned from Mom: Sweat the Small Stuff My mom was always a stickler for details, and she was sometimes a real pain in the butt as she nagged to get things done correctly. Now, I preach to folks that sometime

The Single Biggest Obstacle to Improving Your Prospecting. (Why Marketing Automation Systems Underpe

When both my girls lived at home I had a wonderful idea – let’s have a family calendar. We’re all bumping knees – I didn’t know you had a swim meet; your aunt’s birthday is next week; yes, Mom’s working Saturday. This would be a window into the week and a sketch of the month to keep us on track and off each others’ nerves. And if we put it on the computer, everyone has instant access. Didn’t work. So I tried printing a blank calendar and putting it on the refrigerator door. Everyone could just write stuff. Didn’t work. For a very basic reason – you don’t get the picture unless everyone contributes. Same with marketing automation. Without the participation of each individual, you’re not going

What You Don’t Know About Your Prospects Can Kill You: a Case History

Commonly, when building a b2b campaign, companies identify the executives involved (or whom they would like to be involved) in the decision making process and build messaging from there, focusing on the challenges facing the vertical and versioning that to the responsibilities of each executive, e.g. the CFO gets the financial spin on how our product or service is best. Uncommonly, a company takes the time to understand the prospects as people, and that can make all the difference in the world It’s really people who make the decisions, and people can have intertwining, contradictory, personal and professional needs and preferences. That same financial executive may evaluate your product or s

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