Ok so, about a week ago it was Black Friday. Followed by Small Business Saturday, and then of course there was Cyber Monday and I don’t know what’s next – Adopt a Pet Thursday? And oh, is today something? If so I’ve lost track. At any rate, my head is spinning with all these crazy themed days. What are they all about anyway? – They’re about selling us stuff of course! My inbox is overrun. My junk folder alone has over 2000 emails from sites alerting me to their latest

Know Your “Frenemy” Has this ever happened to you? You’ve pitched a prospective client on your services. The meeting ends and you walk out feeling great! You’re sure that you’ve nailed it! After all, you had great rapport with the prospect. They were engaged. They nodded in acknowledgement as you made your case for being the most experienced service provider in town. They were clearly impressed by your client list and references and, you’re proposed pricing is well within their budget. They are chomping at the bit! All that’s left

Beware of Being the “Affordable" Choice When pricing your product it can be really tempting to position yourself as the low-cost alternative in the market. After all the thinking goes, if your product’s price is more affordable this will drive traffic and even though you’re making less per item, you’ll be able to make up the difference on the volume sold. It’s a popular tact taken by many businesses mostly because it’s simple and straightforward and, you don’t need a lot of marketing “know how” to pull it off. However,

Buyers are like toddlers. Give them fewer options. If you’ve ever been around a toddler you know that asking them to pick between multiple options is a recipe for disaster. For instance, if you offer a toddler breakfast you shouldn’t say “Would you like cheerios, or pancakes, or maybe yogurt?”  Why, you ask? Because as any parent will tell you odds are the toddler will a) be confused by the options (which may all sound good) and b) become paralyzed by indecision. In all likelihood this will result in a

Marketing’s Law of Attraction Why do we do what we do?  Why do we choose to befriend one person over another? Why do we decide to wear certain clothes? Why do we buy this type of car and not that? No doubt there’s research out there that professes to answer each of these questions in ways that sound very scientific. But in truth the social sciences aren’t based firmly on scientific fact as much as they are a collection of well-supported observations about human behavior. If we were to just

Extroverts are “Natural” Salespeople, and Other Lies.  How many times have you been at a cocktail party or networking event and seen that guy, you know part Max Headroom, part Mr. Incredible, with the toothy grin and the bone crushing handshake who seems to be sucking all the oxygen out of the room as he makes a point of introducing himself to each and every person at the event? We’ve all seen this at one time or another and then no doubt thought to ourselves, this guy MUST be in

Reality v. The Lake Wobegon Effect I once saw a speaker at a conference ask participants to close their eyes and raise their hand if they thought they were among the top 50% of performers in the room. Then he asked them to keep their hand raised if they were in the top 25% of performers in the room, and then again he asked them to keep their hand raised if they believed they were in the top 10%. Finally, he asked them to open their eyes. What they saw

Fallacy: To Win You Must Be Superior Have you ever found yourself in this situation? You’ve pitched a prospective client that you were convinced would give you their business because you knew you were the superior choice.  After all, you know more about this client than any competitor and you’ve had more success in this industry than any of the competition. And yet in the end, and to your great surprise, the prospect chose someone else. I know this might sound crazy but, you might not have won because; you

“New and Improved” ≠ Exceptional. Differentiating yourself, or your product from the competition is marketing 101, right? Pick me. I’m better. I said so. Or, buy my product, it’s “new and improved!” See, it’s right here on the packaging! Using these kind of tactics to persuade others may sound ridiculous and obvious but I’m willing to bet you see examples of this type of promotion all around you whether it’s a product sold at the grocery store or the self-promoting co-worker in the next cubicle. The trouble with this thinking

Have you ever struggled to come up with an effective “elevator pitch”?  One that you thought really captured who you are and the value you provide without saying too much or being too confusing? As Steve Jobs famously said, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. But sometimes trying to keep it short and sweet can be impossibly difficult. Especially when it comes to describing who we are and why we matter in just a sentence or two. For many people this can be paralyzing. After all, what if we leave out