The Best Offense is Breaking Down the Defense

by Dominick Giambona 

2/27/13

Assuming your product or service is on par with your competition, how do you tip the playing field in your favor?  Fact is, people do business with people they like, know and trust.

So let’s say you are at a meeting or mixer in hopes to cultivate lots of prospects.  When you look around the room, you see people do their sales pitches, and you usually head in the opposite direction.

What makes you different than anyone else?  If you go in there with both guns blazing there is a good chance that most people will be heading for the hors d’oeuvres or the restroom so fast you will want to check your deodorant.

You need to do the oppositeIt is quite simple, start with a couple of feel good questions and then follow it with a key question.

What are feel good questions?  They are questions about their favorite subject.   What is their favorite subject, you may ask?  Well, human nature being what it is, it is ‘They’.

Though I am sure we would like to deny it.  “How shallow! Not Me!”

Think about it.  If I am a person in a new environment, such as a new workplace, new club or party, even a new school, and someone approached me and asked feel good questions about me! All pressure is off!  A subject I thoroughly know and someone who is genuinely interested, I am feeling comfortable already.

A person that comes in with their defenses up can be disarmed with just a few sincere questions.

Try something along this line of questioning:

How did you start your “______ “ business?

What do find most rewarding about what you do?

Where would you like to be in 5 years?

All of the above questions are on the subject of their business, without focusing on the negatives such as the economy and intrusive questions about finances and taxes.

Then the one key question would be, “Tell me how to identify a good prospect for you?”

This is building trust and credibility, and even though you haven’t mentioned your business, you have you have laid a foundation for a new relationship and exchanging referrals in the future.

You have also gotten their card and next time you call, they will be receptive when it is your turn to explain your business.

Resources:

Endless Referrals: Network Your Everyday Contacts Into Salesby Bob Burg

Take Advantage of Your Strengths

by Dominick Giambona

12/04/12

Sometimes it seems like you can’t compete.  The big guys want to take over, squash the little guys.  The thing is, they haven’t and they won’t.    Like any Goliath, there is a weakness.   Find the weakness and exploit it.

A small or medium sized business can have certain advantages that a lot of your big competitors don’t have.    You have to play to your strengths and conversely   play to your competitions weaknesses.

So what are these strengths that the corporate behemoths are lacking?   

A small or medium business is usually closer to its customers than some east coast nationwide corporation.  You can react quicker to customer’s needs.  You are more flexible than they are in most instances.   You have a closer personal relationship with your clients and that translates into trust.

What happens is, as these corporations get larger they risk losing that personal relationship with their clients for those very same reasons mentioned above.

Face to face trumps phone calls every time.   It is the facial expressions, the hand gestures, the posturing that make up to 55% of this dance we call, “communication.”  That’s 55% lost over the phone!   There is your advantage.

But don’t underestimate the big guys.  Their advantage is their resources.

They can afford travel budgets and implement new programs and costly systems to help close the gap.

Keep that relationship fresh, meet with your clients regularly.   Call them often.   There is one other thing you can do.

Look into CRMs (customer relationship management software)    CRM Software is essential for companies who want to keep in touch with their clientele.  There are several out there to choose from.  They range from the Free to very expensive. They are great at keeping customers information and service records, as well as a way to keep your name in front of them.  You can send out promotions or company updates, and much more.

Check out the link below to investigate which best suits your needs.

Next:  Have you ever tried to get something done in a corporate atmosphere?  It is near impossible. That is where your flexibility and speed come into play.  Your client should know that:

a)    You are available to them.

b)    It should not take an act of congress to get something done if something out of the norm comes up.

These are your strengths that are going to keep you in the game.  They are the foundation that your clients can build trust and a good business relationship upon.

You can go toe to toe with the Goliaths of your industry.  It is not impossible.  You just have to work smarter, understand your strengths and your competitions weaknesses. Have a game plan and execute.   

 

Resources: 

CRM Buyer.com:

http://www.crmbuyer.com/story/75946.html

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_relationship_management

PC World:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/193463/put_cloud_crm_to_work.html

Weathering the Storm

by Dominick Giambona

11/6/12

You don’t need me to remind you, “These are tough economic times!”   It is easy to get caught up in all the rhetoric, the economy this or Obama that, problems with Banks on Main Street and greed on Wall Street.

Everywhere you see finger pointing, what you don’t see is solutions. Most people are conditioned to feel helpless and insignificant.  “What can I do? I am just one person.”  “You can’t fight city hall.”

I am here to tell you there are solutions, and it starts with you.  It starts with your mindset, when you realize that you are not insignificant, that you do matter.

It is realizing that, not only you can fight city hall, but you should fight city hall.

There is a saying and it is so true, “Misery loves company.”  Next time you feel like whining about how bad everything is, check yourself.  Because if you don’t, be prepared to hear more of the same.  It will just depress you and those around you.

Next, draw on those values that we have been taught ever since we were little kids.  You have heard them a thousand times, “At least you have your health, or no matter how bad it is, it can always be worse and eat your food, because there are kids starving in other countries, and count your blessings because there is someone out there who has it worse that you.”

We were told these sayings for a reason, so what happened.  Well, for starters, when you’re young, you’re bullet proof.  So, you probably never listened to begin with.  The only thing worse than staring at a soggy bowl of cereal, is trying to figure out how am I going to ship it to some kid in China so I can leave the table and go out to play.

More likely, “life happens”, we grow-up, and along the way we lose sight of those values, when we should be living them every day.

I have had people ask me, “How I can you be so calm with all the turmoil around you?”

Living those values everyday is what keeps my sanity.  It pains me, to see that others don’t.  Getting upset, whining, crying, stomping around like a madman does not solve anything, and I get that!  If it did, I would be the loudest guy in the room.

I have also asked the man upstairs, that he does not have to prove it to me either, as I said, I get it!  But do I, really?  Then he sends Hurricane Sandy and it starts all over again.

We can all empathize with families whose lives are torn apart, the daunting task of even the most basic of needs food, water, diapers and clothes.  It  is a struggle even for the responders.  Military and medical personnel who have to work with limited power and resources.

We are builders in this room.  We look at the shear enormity of the devastation, and looking at it from a construction standpoint; we say there is just no way this thing will ever get back to normal.

But, what I really learn is the resiliency of the human spirit.  Amidst a backdrop of devastation, when panic, confusion and despair are running rampant, it is the tales of the Human spirit that amaze me.

History has been shaped by average people placed in extraordinary circumstances.   Like the officer that saved 7 people only to die looking for the 8th..    A person leaving the safety of his home to help a cab driver trapped in rising waters and howling wind.

When they canceled the New York Marathon, 1,300 people decided to run anyway, carrying water , blankets and supplies to people in need.

So what does all of this have to do with BTN?  We are weathering our own storm.  We are friends, neighbors, businessmen, whose metal is being tested.

I think we know that we are not insignificant.  I think we have those core values.  I think we are average people doing what does matter.

We can build our business one referral at a time or one coffee break at a time.  Being there when it is needed most, being the one that says “yes I can!” when everyone says “No, I can’t”

Creating one happy customer at a time is the way to build each other’s business.

I will still ask God to not bring on the disasters.  But I am thankful to BTN as compass for its resiliency and resolve to hold a course through this economic storm.  I thank each and every one of you for being simply extraordinary and that is why I am proud to say I am a BTN member.

What Makes a Good Tagline?

By Dominick Giambona

10/23/12

 First, what is a Tagline and what is its importance?

A Tagline, also known as a slogan, is a tool that is effective in communicating a brand to a market.  

It communicates a brand’s ideology, attitude and links, emotionally, the target customers with the company.

However, due to competition, Taglines are not guarantee of success. As witnessed by such industry leaders as Google and Microsoft, giants who truly dominate their market.  They are an effective way to distinguish you from you competitors.

Taglines create first impression of a company so they should be unique, effective and tell the customers about your products/ offer, why should a user buy your product from the market, how is it different from others and how do you avoid the downside?

A good tagline can cause impact if they are powerful, expressive and exceptional, now how can you write them? The following are components that make a good Tagline:

Think out of the box
Creativity leads to success because it captures the attention of people and makes them to learn more. A good tagline creates curiosity among people and raises questions in mind about the product/ offer.

Be Precise
Less is more, so keep your taglines short, concise and significant.  They will be easier to remember.

Make a promise
Brand promise is extremely important, a great tagline should reflect brand values, personality and position to make Target market understand you and support you.

Add benefits
Use single words that show the benefits of your brand, a group of three words are ideal for a good tagline.

Take care of the hitch
Marketing people use as Domino’s as an example all the time, “Fresh hot pizza in 30 minutes or its free” It is not always done in a tagline, but it makes it really strong.

Connect tagline to company’s name and logo
Taglines deliver the essence of brand so it should have a reflection of your brand signature or logo

Some Powerful taglines:

Because the earth needs a good lawyer, Earth Justice
Nokia Connecting people
Diamond is Forever, DeBeers
In service to great ideas, Community Initiatives
Just Do it, Nike
Read more: http://www.marketingtechblog.com/hitch/#ixzz2A7wArc19