Archive for April 2011

By Jim Connolly

Do you want more client inquiries from your marketing? Would you like to make your marketing more compelling, so it encourages more people to take action when they read it? If you would, then read on!

Most marketing content is written to capture the attention of, and then inform, a targeted group of people. Great marketers add a 3rd element. They capture. They inform. They compel!

Compelling marketing

Average marketing leaves people thinking, “so what?”

Compelling marketing encourages people to take action.

Compelling marketing is focused on “them” not you. It’s about their needs and solving their problems and making their experience of you and your business as good as possible. Them, them, them.

Compelling marketing messages

One of the reasons small business owners find their written marketing far less effective than they want, is that it fails to inspire the reader enough, to motivate them to take the desired action. Here’s an example of compelling copy, which I wrote for a marketing company that had been really struggling to get enough people to subscribe to their newsletter.

“Boost your sales and profits starting today, with a free subscription to our marketing newsletter. Subscribe now and I’ll send you a FREE…..”

Previously, they were doing what 99.9% of newsletter providers do; simply asking people to:

“Subscribe to our marketing newsletter and receive a copy of our marketing check-list”

The new message, which out-performed the old one by over 850%, was all about the reader and giving value. It starts with a promise, to help them make more sales and increase their profits. It then gives them a direct request to take action now. If you want people to take action at all, ask them to take action NOW! It then finishes with the promise that if they take action now, as well as all that valuable newsletter information, they will also receive more great value, in the form of a marketing check-list.

Compelling marketing: 6 quick tips to motivate your prospective clients to take action

Here are some ideas to make your written marketing more compelling:

1 Scarcity: Whenever possible, give people a reason to take action now rather than later. This comes from the principle of scarcity. The fear of losing out on something is an extremely compelling reason for people to get moving!

2. Study your target market: The more you know about what’s important to them, the easier it is for you to understand what’s most likely to motivate them.

3. Avoid the use of generic terms: Generic terms simply wash over people. The most overused word in this category is the word “solutions.” It’s OK to use the word in context within a longer message (such as a blog post.) However, using it on your “about” page, social media bio or profile will hurt your response rates.

Telling people something like; “we provide solutions to the XYZ industry” means nothing and is not compelling in any way. If you build websites, which make companies look fantastic online and helps them attract throngs of eager clients – TELL THEM! Don’t say you “offer integrated website solutions.”

4. Headlines matter most: This one is simple. No matter how amazing your marketing message is, if no one reads it, it can’t convert. The headline or title of your marketing is what compels people to read it.

Why do you click certain links on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin etc? It’s because the title makes the link sound compelling enough to check out. The title sells the link. Why do you open certain emails and not others? Again, the title or subject line compels you to open it. I recently blogged about how to attract more traffic from Twitter using attractive headlines. That post has some useful headline writing tips.

Tip: Keep a list of the next 50 links you click via social networks and study them to see what compelled you to take action.

5. Add to your marketing vocabulary: Having a limited vocabulary and trying to inspire people with your messages, is like having half the ingredients missing from a recipe and trying to make the meal taste right. Business owners always seem to assume that they have a great vocabulary. The reality, as you see every day for yourself, is the exact opposite. Most small business content and general marketing is written using an extremely limited palette of uninspiring words.

6. Embrace brevity: The fewer words in your marketing message, the more impact you can create. Most of the marketing copy I see is at least 50% too long; often 75% or more. A targeted, information rich message that is packed with value, will out-perform a long winded, meandering message that drags on, which few people even finish reading! In today’s marketplace, where people have more to do than ever before, short marketing messages have more impact than ever.

The bottom line

If you want people to call you, email you, buy from you, subscribe to your blog or newsletter etc – YOU need to motivate them to do so. If you get it right, the potential to attract more inquiries, clients and sales is enormous!

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Using Artful Questioning

by Tom Hopkins.

Many salespeople who haven’t yet reached the professional stage think professional selling is exactly the opposite of what it really is. When you entered the selling field, you may have thought, “Now my job is to talk and talk and talk.” So off you go. “Here it is folks. Won’t ravel, rust, or rip. Can’t blister, break, or drip. Oh, you’re going to love it. You’d better buy now!”

The professional salesperson, the true Champion, realizes that people have two ears and one mouth, and each should be used equally. This means that after talking ten seconds, you switch your mouth off, switch your ears on, and listen for 20 seconds. This also means that instead of overwhelming your future client with words, you encourage them to talk. Let’s compare the two methods.

The average salesperson speaking: “This is the best there is. Nothing on the market can touch it. We’ve got the best products because we’re miles ahead of the competition. You’d better get it.”

“This insurance will do more for you than anything else you can find. You really should hurry and get it.”

“These items are on sale. Why waste your time shopping around? You can’t get them for less.”

When salespeople use such methods, what are they doing?

They’re pushing, aren’t they?

They’re arguing. They’re telling people things they don’t want to hear. They’re trying to ram obvious self-serving statements down the future clients’ throats. In effect, they are saying, “I’m out to make you buy something. The only reason I’m doing that is to put money in my pocket, and I don’t care whether what you buy helps you or not.”

Such tactics quickly drive off everyone except the few who love to argue. Champion salespeople on the other hand, never give anyone the impression that they’re pushing them – for the simple reason that they never push. But they do lead.

The Champion leads his or her prospects from the initial contact to happy involvement in owning the product or service by not talking all of the time, by listening most of the time, and by asking artful questions. In all this alert and pointed questioning, the true professional maintains a friendly attitude of interest and understanding that encourages the prospect to open up and give the desired information freely.

Have you ever been surprised at how freely you’ve talked to certain salespeople before buying from them? They were alert and interested. You felt comfortable with them. Recalling those conversations, you may think you were leading and the salesperson was following.

Superficially, that was true – at first. In a deeper sense, however, that professional salesperson was leading all the way and you were following all the way.

How did that happen? The Champion encourages you to start off. Once you set your direction, he or she gets smoothly in front and begins to lead you toward any of several open paths to purchase. When artful questioning reveals which of the several paths is best, the Champion guides you smoothly and warmly to it. The halter goes over your head so softly that you never think about bucking. Instead you buy!

DNN Recent Comment by DNN

Good job on your blog Nick! =)

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Today’s Article was written by Cathie Heath. She explains an analogy on your business and gardening.  She reminds us that You Must Tend To Your Marketing Garden.

It’s Spring, and it seems that everyone is talking about it being planting season.

They’re reminding us that if we don’t plant, we won’t have a harvest.

And while that’s true, I rarely, if ever, hear anyone talk about what comes
between seed time and harvest.

I’m a gardener.  I have lovely flowers and yummy vegetables growing in
my yard every year.  And I know there’s a LOT that comes between putting
seeds and seedlings in the ground in May and canning my tomatoes in September.

Preparing and nourishing the soil, using quality seeds and appropriate planting
techniques all matter, of course, but it’s those days after planting while we’re
waiting for our harvest to come in that can be the most important.

Excitement might carry us through the first few weeks.  We keep the soil
moist, thin the seedlings as they begin to grow, take care to remove weeds, etc.

Then we enter that long period of waiting.

Waiting through the summer.

Waiting for the harvest.

That’s when many stop working.

They don’t tend their garden, convinced that all they have to do is sit back
and wait for the harvest.

After all, they have faith.  They BELIEVE they’re going to have a harvest.

That’s all that matters, right?

Weeding and cultivating and fertilizing and spraying rabbit repellent are a
lot of work, you know.

And the neighbors complain about the smell of the stuff you’re using.

Besides, it’s hot…REALLY HOT out there in the summer. And who likes to work in
the hot sun?

So what happens?

Weeds accumulate and take the nutrients from the soil…or worse…
choke out the plants altogether.

A hard crust forms on the surface, making it impossible for life-giving
water to get to the plants’ roots.  Many wither and die of thirst.

Without fertilizer (yes, I use organic matter), the cucumbers aren’t much
bigger than a baby dill and the tomatoes aren’t producing enough to put up
for the winter.

Then the rabbits see the garden as a salad bar, and in a few hours…it’s gone!

To receive any kind of harvest, hard work, diligence and persistence are critical.

The only way to succeed…I mean have a bountiful harvest…is by cultivating the
discipline needed to get the job done even when we don’t “feel” like it.

Take time to ensure your seeds and seedlings are getting what they need to thrive

Despite fatigue and criticism…

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Achieving Your Goals

The article today is based on information from billionaire Bill Bartmann on How To Achieve Any Goal.

  1. Make sure your goal is YOUR goal.  Be the person you were meant to be, don’t just follow in your parents footsteps. The wilder the goal the better. Just make sure it is what YOU want.
  2. Don’t call it a goal! Call it a promise! Bill went on to talk about how people miss goals 30% of the time, while they miss promises only 1% of the time. Just by replacing the work ‘goal’ with the work ‘promise’ you are already getting your brain and subconscious working with you.
  3. Clearly articulate your promise.  If you want to be filthy stinking rich that is very vague. Make your promise specific… instead say… I will be a member of Forbes 400 within 5 years as verified in the magazine. That is what Bill promised. Now did he go from nothing to one of the top 400 wealthiest people in the USA in 5 years, no…. it took him 6 months longer… he did it in 5.5 years!  So make sure your promise is very specific.
  4. Identify your personal motivator, your why. You can have a positive motivator such as doing it for a loved one or to help someone. You can have a negative motivator such as do it to show someone, you know when someone tells says you can’t do something you want to prove them wrong. You can have both positive and negative motivators. Bill told the story of how his sister-in-law Connie was his negative motivator over the past 40 years and still is today. She told her sister he’d never be a good husband or father and wouldn’t make anything of himself. Bill used this to build his fortune!
  5. Create a Promise Plan. Bill correlated this to a business plan, but make sure it is succinct, it can be one page. The Promise Plan must describe specifically:
    - What you want (what is your promise)
    -When you want it (specific date)
    -Where you will be when you accomplish it
    -Why do you really want it (list the positive and negative motivators)
    -Who will you need to help you (find people who have done it, who have what you want, who have influence to help make it happen by removing obstacles, etc)
    -How you will achieve it… luckily you don’t need to know this as it is unknowable today!…if you do the what, when, where, why, who…. then the how will show up!
  6. Review your Promise and your Promise Plan 20 minutes every day. As you learn things, update your Promise Plan. Commit to 20 minutes per day. . Find time no matter what you must do to carve out 20 minutes per day.
    -Leave a copy in the bathroom and read it there
    -have a picture of what you want and put it where you will see it during the day. If you work at a desk put it on the wall facing your desk so when you look up you will be reminded of your promise
    -Make a pocket promise. Write your promise on a business size card, laminate it, and keep it in your pocket. Every time you reach in your pocket you will be reminded of your promise.
  7. Tell yourself you will succeed! Self talk must shift from where you are to very positive.  The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Your belief in you, in your product, in your company, in your industry. Have positive affirmations of all the success you have already achieved. Build on your successes.
  8. Profess your promise to others. Success requires commitment. Burn the bridge, burn the boats… there is no retreat to the life from before, raise your level of commitment to moving forward! Telling others does one or more of the following:
    a) others can help you achieve your promise
    b) others will laugh at you (at which point you write their name down and they become your negative motivation!)
    c) forces you  to articulate your promise in one sentence and every time you say it you command your brain to pay attention and realize you are serious which gets the subconscious working on solutions so you can achieve your promise.
  9. Envision your results. Actually see where you are going to get to when you achieve your promise. To put this in perspective, if you or someone you knows worries they are actually seeing a result, albeit a negative result…. why not make it a positive… imagine a positive conclusion!
  10. Take ACTION.  This is critical. Nothing happens until you do something! A body at rest stays at rest, a body in motion stays in motion…. get off the couch and go do something! Make it happen… take action!

Carol Recent Comment by Carol

Nick you are such a Dynamic trainer.  I am so glad we were introduced.  Listening and following the 30-day challenge. Thanks for all you do for everybody to build skills and confidence in people, no matter what Company they represent.

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A Key To Motivation

by Brian Tracy.

Your goal is to become a transformational leader, the kind of person that motivates and inspires people to perform at levels far beyond anything that they had previously thought possible. Transformational leaders empower others by keeping them “in the know,” by keeping them fully informed on everything that affects their jobs. People want and need to feel that they are “insiders,” that they are aware of everything that is going on. There is nothing so demoralizing to a staff member than to be kept in the dark about their work and what is going on in the company.


One empowering behavior practiced by transformational leaders is regular feedback on performance and results. People need to know how they’re doing so they can improve if performance is below standards and so that they can be proud of their successes. The more feedback you give to people, the better it is, as long as the feedback is objective and not critical. My friend, Ken Blanchard, says that, “Positive feedback is the breakfast of champions.”


Be generous with your praise and encouragement. Remember, people are the only asset that can be made to appreciate in value by giving them warmth, respect, approval and by creating a climate of positive expectations.


What companies and countries and institutions need today are courageous visionary leaders who are committed to creating an exciting future for themselves and others. You have within yourself the ability to evolve and grow as a leader and to make a real difference in the world around you. And the one thing you can know for sure about yourself is that, no matter what you’ve accomplished up to now, there is far more that you can do.

As you practice the behaviors of effective leaders, you will grow more and more toward the realization of your full potential. It’s completely up to you.


Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action in your work.

First, hold regular meetings in person or by phone with your people and tell them everything that is going on. Invite their comments, questions and concerns. Make everybody feel as if he or she was an insider in the organization.

Second, continually look for opportunities to give positive feedback, praise and encouragement. People need praise and encouragement like roses need rain and sunshine. Take very opportunity to make people feel better about themselves and their work.

Lesa Recent Comment by Lesa

Just what I needed this morning Nick, as we are having a babyseal meeting this morning, 4/5  Thank's you always over deliver. I did have a blog started, will have to get back to it, now that I can maneuver a kittke faster around the sites. Make it a wonderful day. Say hello to Helen.

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