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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

 

Trelitha Bryant: The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance - Blog Business Success Radio

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Behavioral scientist and VP, Field Testing and Research, at Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas (BSRP), Trelitha Bryant describes how to diagnose the fear of self-promotion in yourself and others, and how to use a sophisticated training device that costs less than a penny and stops your fear of self-promotion dead in its tracks. She also discusses the landmark book The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth.

Trelitha Bryant are my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, October 2, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Behavioral scientist and VP, Field Testing and Research, at Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas (BSRP), Trelitha Bryant describes how to diagnose the fear of self-promotion in yourself and others. You will learn:

* Why people fear self-promotion and the true cost of that fear

* How to recognize sales call reluctance in yourself and your staff

* How to overcome sales call reluctance once it's recognized

* How to self-promote ethically and honestly to achieve your goals



Trelitha R. Bryant (photo left) is VP, Field Testing and Research, at the corporate office of Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas (BSRP). For ten years, she served as a research analyst at BSRP, completing hundreds of research projects and constructing statistical models studying the influence of sales call reluctance on the effectiveness of clientele-building. At present, Bryant directs the world's largest database on sales call reluctance.

She has generated a considerable body of research in another area of specialization, socially desirable responding, which explores the issues, challenges and peculiarities specific to using psychological tests in the sales profession. Her work has been presented at the Southwestern Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. A talented and engaging speaker, she has presented her research to groups of sales management executives, consultants and psychologists in the US and Sweden.

Before joining BSRP. Bryant served as a survey researcher for the Under Secretary of the Navy, Total Quality Leadership (TQL) Office. While there, she helped organize and direct the largest Navy-wide study of quality leadership practices ever conducted, managed the TQL training evaluation program for the Navy-Marine Corps and co-authored a Navy handbook on Total Quality Leadership.

Prior to her tenure with the Navy,Bryant served as civilian personnel liaison officer for the 54th Area Support Group, Department of the Army located in The Netherlands. While there, she wrote a handbook on quality management principles and was invited to speak at Army commands in Germany and The Netherlands.

Mrs. Bryant has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Creighton University, in Nebraska and has completed post-graduate coursework at Southern Methodist University. She is currently an instructor in the Advanced Management Training Workshops on sales assessment, recruitment and research.

My book review of The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth by George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with behavioral scientist and VP, Field Testing and Research, at Behavioral Sciences Research Press in Dallas, Texas (BSRP), Trelitha Bryant as she describes how to diagnose the fear of self-promotion in yourself and others, and how to use a sophisticated training device that costs less than a penny and stops your fear of self-promotion dead in its tracks. She also discusses the landmark book The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth on Blog Business Success Radio.

BlogTalkRadio.com

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Monday, September 29, 2008

 

The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance by Shannon Goodson & Deorge Dudley - Book review



The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance

Earning What You're Worth


By: George W. Dudley, Shannon L. Goodson

Published: Dec 30, 2007
ISBN: 9780935907124
Format: Paperback, 433pp
Publisher: Behavioral Science Research Pr



The fear of self-promotion is the general condition which makes sales call reluctance possible in salespeople, write behavioral scientists George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson in their landmark book The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth. the authors conclude that sales call reluctance is a condition that causes sales people to limit their achievement levels by limiting their number of sales calls.



George W. Dudley (photo left) and Shannon L. Goodson understand the importance of ethical self promotion as crucial to a salesperson's overall success. The failure of many sales representatives to promote themselves leads to inevitable failure and disappointment. The resulting sales call reluctance may stem from a not using the telephone to prospect for customers. Call reluctance can often result from failing to ask for a personal sales presentation. In more extreme call reluctance cases, the cause may be an inability to act on both counts.

George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson recognize that self-promotion skills vary from person to person. While many people are natural self-promoters, other people are very reluctant to promote themselves and their accomplishments. Instead of letting others know about their achievements, the reluctant self-promoters trust their work to speak for itself. Instead of being rewarded for their efforts, others less skilled at the job, but more talented at self-promotion, receive the accolades, promotions, and the money.



Shannon L. Goodson (photo left) and George W. Dudley divide the book into two important sections that are mutually dependent. The first half of the book diagnoses the root emotional causes of sales call reluctance and how to identify their symptoms. In the second half of the book, the authors provide the solutions to the various call reluctance problems. Backed by solid research in the behavioral sciences and real world testing with sales representatives, the book is the definitive text book for recognizing and treating sales call reluctance successfully. Free from homilies, anecdotes, and stereotypical cults of personality, the book rests on scientific field research, to reach the ultimate conclusions.

For me, the power of the book is its practical approach to a widespread problem among salespeople. Everyone who has sold products or services, either as an employee or an entrepreneur has suffered from sales call reluctance at one time or another. The failure to self-promote in an honest and ethical manner has limited the achievement and success levels of everyone infected with the problem. The authors provide the diagnostic tools to uncover the root causes of each of the dozen listed forms of sales call reluctance. The solutions to each of the causes are presented in a usable and understandable way, designed to change the limiting traits into positive action.

I highly recommend The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth by George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson, to anyone who is serious about overcoming their own sales call reluctance; or that of their sales staff. The book will change the way you and your employees will look at self-promotion, and will boost your productivity.

Read The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance: Earning What You're Worth by George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson, and overcome the fear of making those important prospecting telephone calls, and of asking for face to face meetings with potential clients. Instead of sales call reluctance, you will experience the empowerment of sales call success.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

 

Winton Churchill: Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles - Author interview



Your book is titled Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles. What do you mean by that?

Winton Churchill: I divide email marketing into 2 categories. The first is a simple “retail” sale...this is the one we all get that essentially says, “Here is my product or service, please buy.”

The second is the complex sale. This is one that occurs over time and requires that you form a relationship with your prospect or educate them to a certain level about an issue before they buy.

Many years ago it made sense to send salespeople out into the field and have them knock on the doors of their complex sale prospects. The other alternative was to have an exotic and expensive “retail” location. Today that's too expensive.

But the biggest challenge that we face today with a complex sales cycle is getting the attention of our best prospects and then developing a relationship with them that builds the trust and respect required to close a complex sale.

Email marketing is often confused with spam. How is your definition of email marketing different from that received in the spam folder?


Winton Churchill: You’re right.

The big difference between email marketing and spam is that with ethical email marketing you have permission to send the email and it is relevant to your recipient’s interests.

The spam you get is unwelcome, from somebody you don’t trust and usually about something that you are not interested in.

Is there still a profit to be made using email as a marketing tool?

Winton Churchill: Yes, email is very profitable if used correctly. In fact, usually it is your lowest cost marketing tool once you have built your list.

Finding the right people to target is always a challenge for marketers. How can the ideal email marketing customers be found?

You have to go where your prospects are and entice them with content they would want. For some this means online, but for many businesses it means using offline messages as well. For example a direct mail campaign that offers your very highly targeted prospects an incentive for registering online at your website can be a very effective way to build a quality list quickly.

Today content is king. If you have an educational and/or an informative message that your prospects want to hear, see or read you have more options than ever before for getting that information in front of your audience.

Once there, if you effectively offer additional content (keyword is “effectively”) you are able to exchange your content for their email address.



Author Winton Churchill (photo left)

What are some of the common mistakes that email marketers make?

Winton Churchill: There are 3 that I see most often.

Mistake #1--Not targeting your message to your audience -- -- we are all happy to read advertisements and promotional messages related to our fields of interest...the less related, the lower our interest level. The most common mistake I see with companies today is sending messages to people because they can. They don't care if the message is relevant or welcome. This is the old-style push selling and always unwelcome.

Mistake #2--Thinking that writing an e-mail designed to elicit a response and eventually a sale, is like writing an e-mail about a company vacation policy. It's not. Writing copy is both a science and an art. There is a very significant amount of science and if you don't understand that you probably are going to waste all the money you spend on your list or irritate your prospects so severely that they ask you to stop sending them information.

Mistake #3 -- -- Not thinking about the specific small step you want your prospect to take when they finish reading your e-mail. If you sell a $10,000 product (or even a $20 product or service) it is very unlikely that your prospect will buy right away on the strength of a single in e-mail. But they could begin an investigation process that could lead them to that conclusion. Your job with each e-mail is to get them one notch closer to that decision to buy.

Too many e-mail solicitations today end with “...and visit our website for more information.” The research is very clear on this...this kind of call to action is extremely ineffective. You must be very specific about the next step you want your prospect to take. And that one step can’t make them feel like they’ve just been sucked into a sales process that unleashes a machine gun of emails on them.

Have you got a few tips to help an email marketing campaign manager to get started?

Winton Churchill: I do, but first I want to caution the business owner...

Email marketing is relatively easy to do but just one simple mistake can doom your campaign...

The same leverage that works in your favor, one marketing message to many people, means you can embarrass yourself and fry your relationship with your prospects if you make a mistake.

In fact, this is really why I wrote my book. Every week I am speaking live in front of an audience or on a radio show somewhere and I’m deluged with questions that go something like, “I tried email marketing and it didn’t work! Do you think it just won’t work in my situation?”

Usually the business owner made one or two of the simple mistakes I talk about in the book. Their campaign was fine except for a measly tactical error...wrong subject line, lack of personalization, bad list, etc.

Correcting the simple mistakes can often turn their campaign into a winner. Unfortunately most business owners make the unfounded leap to, “Email won’t work!”

So...first of all I would say read the book...most people can do it in 2 hours or less and then use some of the checklists and reminders in the book to clean up your campaign. I’ve talked with or had emails from so many readers who say they learned what their fatal mistake was in their last campaign by reading the book.

I feel so passionately about this that we offer a review of any email campaign a business owner is getting ready to launch (or has launched)...we look at 25 different factors and make at least 6 recommendations on how to improve the campaign. We charge $347 for that and if they don’t feel they get at least that much value out of it, we cheerfully refund their money. It is very cheap insurance...and the upside is so good.

If you can get an email campaign working successfully, it will usually work (with minor adaptations) for at least a year or 2 so it is very worthwhile to invest a little to get it right.

That being said, here are 3 things that I see as important “starters:”

Recommendation #1—Focus on building trust with your first email campaign. The basis for all sales activity is trust. The biggest mistake I see both new and “experienced” marketers make is trying to ram a sales pitch down the throat of a prospect before they have built trust.

Recommendation #2—Use a professional copy writer to prepare your first email campaign. Writing for persuasion is very different than business writing. You have to do many things right and only 1 or 2 things wrong will doom your campaign to failure. If you haven’t studied copywriting in depth you will probably make one of those campaign killing mistakes.

Recommendations #3—Test, Test, Test: Start small with your campaign and test variations of your copy, subject line and call to action. Let your prospect base tell you what they like, you’ll be rewarded for your attention. Be sure you keep an accurate count of your client preferences.

What is the future of email marketing?

Winton Churchill: The future of email marketing is very bright. As things like spam filters improve, authentication of senders gets better and laws and enforcement improve the overall menace of spam will be diminished.

When you have permission and communicate effectively email is extremely powerful and reliable. Getting that email address means you have a level of trust.

Learning to gain and keep that trust will give business owners a continuous flow of new opportunity and eliminate the anxiety and wasted motion associated with trying to “drive” sales.

What is next for Winton Churchill?

Winton Churchill: In the immediate future (through the middle of next month) I will continue on my book promotional tour. The tour has gone very well and just last week (first week of the tour) my book broke onto the Amazon.com Bestseller List in Web Marketing...so I am very gratified that this message is resonating with business owners. ..because most of them have not effectively used email.

Beyond that, we continue to serve our clients to help them develop cutting edge content that educates, informs and entertains...and help them find new and effective ways to deploy their content so it attracts new prospects...and maybe most importantly...help them steer clear of the expensive and unproductive marketing opportunities that rob so many businesses of their resources.

Thanks for your time and for your answers.

Winton Churchill: Thank you Wayne and I appreciate your blog for all the good work you do with it!

My book review of Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles: Proven Ways to Produce a Continuous Flow of Prospects and Profits with Effective Spam-Free Email System by Winton Churchill.



Winton Churchill (photo left)

For more information, visit Churchill Method. Visit Virtual Blog Tour for the most up to date information. His full tour schedule is posted at Winton Churchill Email Marketing Blog Tour. Winton Churchill is offering free gifts for every person that purchases his book Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles. Visit Winton Churchill - Book Bonus for full details about how to download these free gifts.

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Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles by Winton Churchill - Book review


Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles

Proven Ways to Produce a Continuous Flow of Prospects and Profits with Effective Spam-Free Email System


By: Winton Churchill

Published: July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback 160 pp
ISBN-10: 1600374212
ISBN-13: 978-1600374210
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing



It's essential to understand how email marketing works and embrace the truth that it's different from time honored and commonly accepted marketing techniques, writes Winton Churchill in his very practical book Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles: Proven Ways to Produce a Continuous Flow of Prospects and Profits with Effective Spam-Free Email System. The author puts a powerful twist on email marketing, by developing a system for building qualified sales leads, for long cycle and very high value products and services.

Winton Churchill moves email marketing beyond the standard practices and products, and turns email into a profitable tool for much more complicated sales processes. The book describes a system for an email application for the entire complicated sales cycle, from initial prospect discovery to establishing highly motivated leads for the field sales representatives. The techniques recommended in the book are suitable for industries with under a hundred potential customers to sectors with thousands of possible buyers. Through the use of systems, the email marketer is able to sweep the market on a constant basis and locate buyers who are in the right phase of their own buying cycle.



Winton Churchill (photo left) doesn't like email spam, and devotes an entire useful section to the avoidance of that internet plague. He understands that many business people, especially those with complex and high priced products and services, are often reluctant to use email. The book dispels various myths about email, including the mistaken idea that some industries are not suited to email marketing programs. Instead, the author provides powerful evidence that email marketing systems can boost sales in any industry and market sector.

For me, the power of the book is its practical, step by step approach to setting up a self perpetuating email marketing system. Once the email process is in place, it can operate on a continual cycle, timed to maximize the sales potential of the market. The system features a combination of information and sales prospecting that causes buyers to self identify, saving the sales force both time and money. There is also an important section in the book that identifies mistakes that can derail an email marketing campaign.

I highly recommend Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles: Proven Ways to Produce a Continuous Flow of Prospects and Profits with Effective Spam-Free Email System by Winton Churchill to any company, regardless of product or service complexity, that is searching for a powerful tool to boost their sales efficiency. Companies seeking to lower their sales costs, while increasing sales volume, will benefit greatly through Winton Churchill's email marketing techniques.

Read Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles: Proven Ways to Produce a Continuous Flow of Prospects and Profits with Effective Spam-Free Email System by Winton Churchill, and let an email marketing system develop your prospects into customers, ready and willing to purchase your long or complex cycle products or services.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

 

Jimmy Vee & Travis Miller: Gravitational Marketing - Blog Business Success Radio

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Entrepreneurs, and co-authors of the powerful customer building book Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers, Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller share secrets of attracting customers through gravitational marketing. They describe how you can build a plan of attraction, on a shoestring budget, to create more customers to help your business grow more than you ever imagined possible.

Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, September 25, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Entrepreneurs, and co-authors of the powerful customer building book Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers, Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller share secrets of attracting customers through gravitational marketing. You will learn:

* The myths that hold business people back from achieving success

* The four powerful steps to gravitational marketing

* How to discover how attractive your business is today

* How to build a plan of attraction to draw customers like a magnet



Jimmy Vee (photo left) is the co-creator of Gravitational Marketing—a powerful concept that shows business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals how to naturally attract a steady stream of qualified prospects who pay, stay and refer.

Dubbed the “Five Foot High Marketing Guy” because of his short stature and big results, Vee is a serial entrepreneur and has used his own strategies to build a multi-million dollar business from scratch in six months.

Although traditionally educated (B.A. in advertising and public relations and M.A. in organizational management) Vee believes it's his real world education that gives him the ability to re-invent people's businesses through effective marketing and fresh, fun ideas.



Travis Miller (photo left) is the co-creator of Gravitational Marketing—a powerful concept that shows business owners, entrepreneurs and sales professionals how to naturally attract a steady stream of qualified prospects who pay, stay and refer.

Called the "The Big Idea Guy" (partly due to the juxtaposition of contrasting size with his 5-foot high cohort, but primarily because of his rare strategic vision and critical development ability) Miller is a serial entrepreneur and has used his own strategies to build a multi-million dollar business from scratch in six months.

Although traditionally educated (B.A. in radio/television and M.A. in corporate communication and technology) Miller believes it's his on-the-street experience as an advertising sales rep turned agency executive combined with his entrepreneurial spirit that gives him the ability to conjure ideas and solutions that turn failing businesses around and super-charge already successful endeavors.

My book review of Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller, and Joel Bauer.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with entrepreneurs, and co-authors of the powerful customer building book Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers, Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller as they share secrets of attracting customers through gravitational marketing. They describe how you can build a plan of attraction, on a shoestring budget, to create more customers to help your business grow more than you ever imagined possible Blog Business Success Radio.

BlogTalkRadio.com

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Monday, September 22, 2008

 

Gravitational Marketing by Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller & Joel Bauer - Book review



Gravitational Marketing

The Science of Attracting Customers


By: Joel Bauer, Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller

Published: March 3, 2008
ISBN: 9780470226476
Format: Hardcover, 236pp
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc





You must be the master of your own marketing, write Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller, and Joel Bauer in their powerful customer building book Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers. The authors describe how to create a low cost, powerhouse marketing system that attracts customers like a magnet.

Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller, and Joel Bauer understand that building a profitable business often requires a complete change in the thinking of the people involved in the company. As a result, they begin their book by dispelling the pervasive myths that hold many otherwise astute business people back from achieving their full potential. To the authors, these myths simply justify failure, and become self fulfilling prophecies. Once these false premises are removed, say the authors, the business person is free to build a marketing plan that attracts customers like gravity acts in nature.



Travis Miller and Jimmy Vee (photo left)

Travis Miller, Jimmy Vee, and Joel Bauer provide the tools, to devise an irresistible marketing program, that backs up their theoretical framework. The business person is guided through a series of proven marketing techniques that attract the company's ideal customer. The methods taught in the book include becoming an expert in your field, leveraging the power of the internet, and using free publicity to spread your message through the media. The goal for the business person is to become the master of their own marketing to attract customers like a magnet.

For me, the power of the book was the effective union of the attraction theory with the practical tools to make marketing success a reality. After building a theoretical framework for a gravitational marketing plan, the authors guide the reader through a step by step program for creating the pathways for to welcome the new found customers. Instead of wasting time on following the herd mentality of random marketing, the techniques illustrated in the book are designed to draw the ideal customers into your attraction field.

I highly recommend Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers by Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller, and Joel Bauer to any entrepreneurs, marketing executives, or sales professionals who have the desire and drive to excel in marketing. The book is ideal for someone who wants to be the master of their own marketing, and not be forced to rely on inefficient methods employed or decided by others.

Read Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers by Jimmy Vee, Travis Miller, and Joel Bauer, and you will never look at traditional sales and marketing myths in the same way again. Instead, those ideas will be replaced by the powerful and liberating techniques of gravitational marketing. Instead of pounding the pavement searching desperately for clients, you can attract the ideal customers to your business, just like gravity.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

 

Lucas Conley; Obsessive Branding Disorder - Blog Business Success Radio

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Journalist, and author of the important and thought provoking book OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion, Lucas Conley examines branding from a contrarian and skeptical point of view. He asks if obsession with brands may be doing a company and its customers more harm than good and if there may be better ways to interact with customers.

Lucas Conley is my internet radio show guest on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Tuesday, September 23, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Journalist, and author of the important and thought provoking book OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion, Lucas Conley examines branding from a contrarian and skeptical point of view. You will learn:

* What Obsessive Branding Disorder really means

* The limitations of branding as a business strategy

* How the use of branding is often a panacea for other business problems

* The future of branding as a marketing tactic



Lucas Conley (photo left) is an experienced journalist, and writer with Fast Company magazine, with an eye for stories that change how we see the world. Widely published in a number of fields, his work has appeared in The Boston Globe, SPIN, and ESPN: The Magazine, among other publications.

At the Atlantic Monthly, where Conley began his career, he spent a year-and-a-half working alongside award-winning investigative journalist William Langewiesche, reporting on stories like the recovery operation at the World Trade Center. Conley's reporting took him from the collapsed subway tunnels beneath Manhattan to the eerie dust-entombed offices high in the neighboring towers, abandoned and frozen in time for months after the collapse. Nominated for a national magazine award, the resulting three-part series, "American Ground Unbuilding the World Trade Center," was published as a book in late 2002.

As a staff writer and correspondent for Fast Company, Lucas Conley has searched for stories that go beyond trends, revealing the passions and challenges of our lives at work. Since 2002, he has followed two Manhattan CEOs as they relaunched their investment firms after losing half their employees in the World Trade Center.

He has traveled out into the wooded hills of New Hampshire to understand how composers, poets, and artists living in a secluded century-old art colony cultivated creativity; and he has profiled the world's leading management consultant on the eve of his return to the business world, after spending three years away from the corporate life, running a mission for his church.

My book review of OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion by Lucas Conley.

Listen live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

BlogTalkRadio Listen Live

If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

Add to iTunes

To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with journalist, and author of the important and thought provoking book OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion, Lucas Conley as he examines branding from a contrarian and skeptical point of view. He asks if obsession with brands may be doing a company and its customers more harm than good and if there may be better ways to interact with customers on Blog Business Success Radio.

BlogTalkRadio.com

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

 

Billion-Dollar Lessons by Paul B. Carroll & Chunka Mui - Book review


Billion-Dollar Lessons

What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years


By: Paul B. Carroll, Chunka Mui

Published: Sept 11, 2008
ISBN: 9781591842194
Format: Hardcover, 320pp
Publisher: Portfolio



Business books routinely look at successes and suggest how to emulate them. But no one looks at failures and lays out methods for how not to emulate them, write Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui in their ground breaking book Billion-Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years. The authors turn the theory of good to great upside down. By focusing on how to avoid going from good to disaster, the book is the definitive textbook, for avoiding misguided strategies that lead to business failure.



Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui (photo left) recognize that business failure is caused as much by human behavior as by overall economic conditions. In fact, the authors highlight how flawed human nature, including hubris, failing to listen to advice, or herd instinct, lead to serious strategic errors. The book demonstrates, through detailed case studies, how otherwise strong companies embarked on disastrous courses of action. The mistakes are many, and the authors have examples of the most common strategic failures. At the same time, the authors offer a series of alternative approaches to developing business strategy, designed to prevent the fatal decision in the first place.



Paul B. Carroll (photo left) and Chunka Mui provide a nine point list of potential strategic mistakes, and document them in their company studies section. Each of the case studies is an object lesson in what mistakes led to the corporate failures. The flawed decision making process, that resulted in each failed action, is well analyzed as a teaching tool for executives of all levels. Not only are failures described, but the authors offer many powerful tools for improving decision making in other organizations. The techniques are devised to prevent human nature from leading to the same failed actions in the future.

For me, the power of the book is two fold. The authors provide well written, and incisive analysis, of seven categories of failed strategic actions. The mistakes made by the companies are powerful examples of how bad decisions can take on a life of their own, and effectively derail a corporation. The second power of the book is its practical solutions to the human nature and corporate culture problems that led to the failures in the first place. Through various methods shared by the authors, flawed systemic thinking can be replaced by stronger decision making at all levels. This book is destined to become a classic in the field of corporate strategy and decision making.

I highly recommend Billion-Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years by Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui to any business executives who are serious about avoiding the mistakes that have led other companies to ruin. Along with the case studies in failure, the astute business person will learn powerful techniques for making the right strategic choices in the future.

Read Billion-Dollar Lessons: What You Can Learn from the Most Inexcusable Business Failures of the Last 25 Years by Paul B. Carroll and Chunka Mui, and learn from the disastrous experiences of others, about how bad strategies and flawed decision making can lead a company to downfall. Avoiding mistakes will help any company take advantage of the right opportunities when they arise.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

 

OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder by Lucas Conley - Book review



OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder

The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion


By: Lucas Conley

Published: Jun 2, 2008
ISBN: 9781586484682
Format: Hardcover, 288pp
Publisher: Public Affairs


Branding offers a unique example of a business philosophy that has jumped the tracks, barreling through popular culture unchecked, writes Lucas Conley in his important and thought provoking book OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion. In a society where everything and everyone is being branded, writes the author, the concept has been diluted at best or turned into a quick fix panacea at worst.

Lucas Conley demonstrates how branding as part of a marketing strategy has usurped center stage in many organizations, and has very often replaced innovative thinking itself. In the short term thinking, and fast executive turnover that permeates many public and private organizations today, branding has become a substitute for innovative research and development, customer service, and process development. Instead of real improvements to a product or service, money is spent on the cosmetic coating applied in the form of a brand name. The results, according to Lucas Conley, have been disappointing for many organizations.



Lucas Conley (photo left) makes a compelling case about the limitations of branding as a business strategy. He sees branding used by many organizations as an easy to apply substitute for traditional long term business development practices. The author says that instead of addressing the real issues facing a product or service, branding is used to sweep the problem under a rug. While the branding solution may be even intended overtly as an illusion for the customer, it very often becomes a mirage for the organization as well. A brand is a promise, and is too often over promising and under delivering, causing even more demands on brands to make good on their word.

For me, the power of the book is its open and honest assessment of the over reliance on branding as a solution to organizational problems. Instead of examining the real issues facing the organization or company, the hasty application of a brand campaign is the default solution. Very often, that expenditure in time and money is wasted and is counterproductive, resulting in loss of brand image. The modern trend toward personal branding also comes under scrutiny, and it too very often backfires as a tactic, with disastrous results. Presented with wit and an eye for telling details, the book is an eye opener for managers everywhere.

I highly recommend OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion by Lucas Conley to anyone who takes the concepts of marketing and the brand promise seriously. The potential success and failure of a brand focused campaign could be examined and reevaluated as a result.

Read OBD - Obsessive Branding Disorder: The Illusion of Business and the Business of Illusion by Lucas Conley, and change the way you think about personal, business, product, and organizational branding. The brand you save may be your own.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

 

Jacques Poitras: Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy - Author interview



Your book Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy spans the life of Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook as it relates to the dispute over two famous paintings in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in New Brunswick, Canada. What was your interest in writing this incredible story?

Jacques Poitras: There were two main elements. One was Beaverbrook himself, a larger-than-life character in the world of business and politics. The general outline of his life and his achievements are fairly well known in New Brunswick. The roguish side was less well known. And then in the midst of this dispute, yet another side emerged -- someone who, despite his great successes, seems to have somehow bungled the job of leaving his gallery and his foundation in good working order for succeeding generations. It took more than 40 years, but the mistakes Beaverbrook made became very apparent in this dispute. So that was one thing, the new take on this mythic figure.

And the second was the overarching theme. When Goose Lane first asked me to take on the book, I sensed that this story would say something about New Brunswick society in general. Beaverbrook occupies a big place in the province's imagination, but he also represents how we see ourselves. The deference to him in the 1950s was a reflection of our colonial thinking, whereas the willingness to defy his heirs in 2004 showed, in my mind, a greater independence of thought.

Put those two together, add all the other colourful characters and some incredibly valuable paintings, and you have a pretty good story.



Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook (photo left)

There was a time when the mere presence of Lord Beaverbrook in New Brunswick would have the Provincial Government, the Premier, and local business leaders at Max Aitken's beck and call. Are those days not only gone, but even largely forgotten?

Jacques Poitras: I'm not sure they're forgotten, and one could argue that that deference has shifted now to other people and institutions. But even Beaverbrook still has his loyalists. One man in one of my audiences told me he should be forgiven for all his foibles because of his role in helping win the Second World War. I disagree; I think we need to know the full portrait of the man. But it is a credible argument that his achievements outweigh his mistakes.

Lord Beaverbrook casts a long shadow in the book, and his influence lasted long after his death, resulting in the ownership issues of the paintings in question. How has the case reflected on the Beaverbrook family name in New Brunswick and elsewhere?

The name was already the object of some derision in England, where Beaverbrook's two grandsons and his great-nephew have all had their turns showing up in the London papers, not under favourable circumstances. Over there, this story seems to have been treated as yet another episode in the declining fortunes of the family. It was much more of a shock in New Brunswick, where people didn't focus so much on the heirs but still held the man himself in high regard. The grandsons made what might be called some public-relations blunders in the dispute, which didn't really help their case in the court of public opinion. People who followed the case closely, and who read the book, have realized, however, that it wasn't the grandsons "on trial" here, it was Beaverbrook himself.



The Fountain of Indolence by J.M.W. Turner 1834 - One of the disputed paintings (shown left)

An obsession with control and micromanagement may have led to Beaverbrook's success as a press baron in England. Was that same obsession one of the root causes of the ownership dispute?

Jacques Poitras: Not so much the obsession with control, but the manipulation of people and motives, I would say. Beaverbrook liked to orchestrate these Byzantine webs of power and influence, so he could play people off each other -- with the resulting instability allowing him to maintain his powerful position. He tried to do the same in Fredericton: he didn't have one lieutenant on the ground, he had three or four, depending on who was counting. They came together to do his will (such as seeing the gallery to fruition) but they often feuded, and once he was gone things really fell apart. At that point, the lack of clear authority and structure became not just a problem but a real curse.

In the end, when the verdict was rendered by the arbitrator, who were the real winners and losers in the case?

Jacques Poitras: The case is still under appeal so we can't say for sure. If the gallery's victory is upheld, then it will have survived a very tough, difficult period. And as a result, a lot more people will know about the great works in its collection than would have otherwise been the case. The charitable foundation run by the grandsons, on the other hand, might not recover: it is short on cash, and it has borrowed money to pay its legal bills, with Cherkley Court, Beaverbrook's former country estate, as partial collateral. The estate is owned by the foundation but if it loses the appeal and is forced to pay the bulk of the legal costs, it may be on the table. That would be an astounding end to this story.

If the gallery loses the appeal, then obviously it loses the core of its collection, some truly irreplaceable works. The foundation would survive financially, but of course its reputation in New Brunswick would be destroyed.

Either way, the relationship between the gallery and the family is over -- much sooner than Beaverbrook would ever have wanted.



Hotel Bedroom by Lucian Freud 1954 - One of the disputed paintings (shown left)

Is there a lesson to be learned from this case for would be lenders of fine art and other valuable items to galleries and museums?

Jacques Poitras: Yes: make your wishes absolutely clear, in writing. I think that is quite common now, given the higher standards of professionalism, accountability and so on that we see in institutions today.

Is there potential for other ownership dispute cases to arise in other galleries and museums as a result of murky or even lost ownership and lending information and records?

Jacques Poitras: I'm sure there are, but the issues here aren't limited to who owns the works, but on the intentions of the donor. The McMichael Gallery in Ontario, for example, was involved in a dispute over whether the Ontario government was living up to the wishes of the couple that had endowed the collection the first place.

What advice would you give to both fine art lenders and gallery personnel regarding the precise ownership for cataloging and recording of works on display?

Jacques Poitras: I'm not an expert, but clearly the importance of explicit records of donor intent and of ownership is paramount.




Beaverbrook Art Gallery - Fredericton, New Brunswick (photo left)

Is the Beaverbrook Gallery fine art ownership case over entirely, or are there still more chapters in this story to be written?

Jacques Poitras: There is the appeal, and then there is a second case still to come. It's between the gallery and the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation over a second group of 77 works that that foundation says it owns. This case is being heard in the courts, not by an arbitrator, and it has more or less stalled pending the outcome of the first case. The issues are different; the Canadian case is less about what Beaverbrook intended (although that plays a party) and more about a curious transaction between the gallery and his widow in 1969-70. In some ways it's a simpler case, but elements of it are equally tawdry and soap-opera like. I was able to draw on some preliminary court filings and archival material to explain the background of that case in this book. It's a pretty rich story as well.

What is next for Jacques Poitras?

Jacques Poitras: I'm in the midst of various other stories in my day job at CBC Radio. I'll continue to report on the dispute as it unfolds, and I'm on the lookout for another story that might make a good book.

Thanks Jacques for taking the time for this interview.

My book review of Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy by Jacques Poitras.



Author Jacques Poitras (photo left)

Jacques Poitras has been CBC Radio's provincial affairs reporter in New Brunswick since 2000. He has written numerous award-winning feature documentaries and has appeared on Radio-Canada, National Public Radio, and the BBC. Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy was a finalist for the BC Award for Canadian Non-fiction, a prestigous national prize, and won the 2008 Best Atlantic Published Book Award.

Poitras' first book was the critically acclaimed The Right Fight: Bernard Lord and the Conservative Dilemma. Jacques Poitras lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

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Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy by Jacques Poitras - Book review



Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy

By: Jacques Poitras

Published: October 19, 2007
ISBN 9780864924971
Format: Hardcover 317pp
Publisher: Goose Lane Editions










Take a manipulative and wealthy press baron, add a dysfunctional family, stir in some priceless art work, and blend with a stunning court case, and you have the recipe for the powerful book Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy by Jacques Poitras. In the author's capable hands, the life of the powerful Max Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook and his bungled attempt to create an art gallery in New Brunswick, Canada, becomes a drama that reads like a novel.

Jacques Poitras has researched the ongoing Beaverbrook family history, and its decline, in detail. The establishment of Max Aitken, better known as Lord Beaverbrook, as a builder of fortunes both in wealth and in political influence, is an important saga in its own right. The author goes well beyond the building of the Beaverbrook empire to encompass its decline and eventual fall from grace. The book's central theme, of Beaverbrook's mishandled project of building an art gallery to house his personal selections of fine art, is described in terms that rival a theatrical tragedy.



Author Jacques Poitras (photo left)

Lord Beaverbrook is described as a powerful man, receiving deference and awe from everyone in the Province of New Brunswick. From politicians and the Premier to the leading business people of the Province, Beaverbrook was held a heroic figure with his own select group of courtiers. That influence has almost disappeared, as the people of New Brunswick shed their colonial deference, at least as far as it concerned the Beaverbrook family. The court case over the ownership of valuable paintings, especially concerning J.M.W. Turner's The Fountain of Indolence and Lucian Freud's Hotel Bedroom, saw the general public siding with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery against the remaining Aitken family members.

For me, the power of the book is its masterful storytelling, that blends together larger than life characters, an ownership court dispute over fine art, and the disastrous manipulation and control displayed by Beaverbrook himself. The author's ability to uncover the tragic consequences of Beaverbrook's fatal personality flaws, that led to the disputes ownership of the paintings, makes history and current events come to life. The people involved are real, with both good and bad qualities, that makes the drama human, with the Beaverbrook Art Gallery a microcosm of life.

I highly recommend Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy by Jacques Poitras to anyone interested in history, or in the importance of proper documentation for charitable donations and loans. The story is a cautionary tale for non-profit organizations and charities, as well as for their patrons, about the crucial importance of good records.

Read Beaverbrook: A Shattered Legacy by Jacques Poitras, and discover how even the wealthy and powerful are subject to mistakes that have far reaching consequences, far beyond their original intentions.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

 

Paul Damazo: 80 Proven Ways To Become A Millionaire - Blog Business Success Radio

BlogTalkRadio.com



Entrepreneur and author of the powerful, yet easy to understand book 80 Proven Ways to Become a Millionaire: All you need is two or three! Paul Damazo shares proven insider secrets for you to become a real life millionaire, and how all you need to achieve your goal is to focus on two or three.

Paul Damazo is my internet radio show guests on Blog Business Success; hosted live on Blog Talk Radio.

The show airs live on Thursday, September 18, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time; 5:00 pm Pacific Time.

Entrepreneur and author of the very practical personal finance book 80 Proven Ways to Become a Millionaire: All you need is two or three! Paul Damazo shares proven insider secrets for you to become a real life millionaire. You will learn:

* How and why to pay yourself first

* The importance of time and compound interest

* How family decisions can affect a person's financial status

* Many simple ways to boost your cash available for investment



Paul Damazo (photo left) started his first business at age 11 and has extensive experience in building many profitable, successful businesses. His latest, begun with one person, quickly grew to more than 2,500 employees within five years.

In less than 14 months following college graduation, he completed a full-time dietetic internship and obtained a master’s degree in administrative dietetics with a 3.9 from Florida State University. Later he became a registered industrial engineer, a skill that he used extensively in his businesses.

For 21 years, he taught part-time in the graduate schools of Loma Linda University and UCLA, both in Southern California.

And his passion for finance and investing became his hallmark. Paul started investing at the age of 15. For 50 years his proven investment strategies have earned him an annual average return of 15% or more.

He says his biggest financial mistake was to give $11 million to various charities by age 45. Due to the “miracle” of compounding interest, had he kept that money invested instead of giving it away, he would have been able to contribute $11 million to 273 charitable organizations today.

Mr. Damazo is more than an accomplished businessman and generous philanthropist. He is a proven inspiration to others. He wrote 80 Proven Ways to Become a Millionaire to show how almost anyone can become a millionaire, and even a multimillionaire, if he or she chooses to.

For the past 20 years, he has helped untold numbers of people all across the country with his seminars on Wealth Creation and Wealth Preservation. He has a passion for helping people, especially young people, to have a more peaceful, happy life by making better financial decisions.

My book review of 80 Proven Ways to Become a Millionaire: All you need is two or three! by Paul Damazo.

Listen live on Thursday at 8:00 pm Eastern, 5:00 pm Pacific time.

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If you miss this very informative show, it will be available for free download as a podcast for iPod, iTunes, and MP3 players; or play it right on your computer. To download this, or any other of my guest interviews, go to the Blog Business Success host page and click on Archived Segments. Once there, click on the podcast icon at the end of the episode description, to download the show free of charge for your listening enjoyment. You can also subscribe to the show feed.

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To call in questions for my guest, the number is: (347) 996-5832

Let's talk with entrepreneur and author of the powerful, yet very accessible 80 Proven Ways to Become a Millionaire: All you need is two or three! Paul Damazo shares proven insider secrets for you to become a real life millionaire, and how all you need to achieve your goal is to focus on two or three on Blog Business Success Radio.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

 

Guerrilla Publicity by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Jill Lublin - Book review



Guerrilla Publicity

Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars


By: Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Jill Lublin,

Published: Sept 17, 2008
ISBN: 9781598698459
Format: Paperback, 352pp
Publisher: Adams Media Corp





Guerrilla publicity lets you tell your story in greater depth than advertising, which is crucial for new and unique enterprises, write well known marketing experts Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin, in their indispensable new book Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars. Packed with practical ideas for getting free publicity, the book is a must read guide for any entrepreneurs serious about increasing their sales and market share.



Co-authors Jay Conrad Levinson (photo left), Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin (photo below left) recognize that the least expensive publicity tactics are often the most effective and contain the least risk for the business person. Fully updated from the first edition, the book shares tips on blogs and media training in the digital age. The authors understand that using the internet and modern communications technology are crucial for gaining free publicity on a local, national, and even a global scale. The book provides the techniques for getting noticed in a wired world, and for leveraging it to build a business, at little or no cash expenditure.



The authors provide what amounts to an entire guerrilla publicity campaign for the business person. The overall approach uses both traditional mainstream print and broadcast media, as well as cutting edge internet based media. For the novice publicity seeker, the many underground promotional techniques described, are enough to gain widespread exposure for any business. The key to the guerrilla approach is its low cost, and most of the high impact methods described in the book are free.

For me, the power of the book is its thorough approach to an entire guerrilla publicity campaign embracing all forms of media. Not only are traditional and leading edge media discussed, but also person to person publicity techniques, that utilize either the individual or various sizes of groups. The key to the system is the diversity of channels for delivery of the publicity message. The business person is not left with only one avenue for spreading the word, but is provided with a myriad of ways for the potential customer to hear about the business.

I highly recommend Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin, to anyone seeking to gain free or low cost media exposure for their business. The rich variety of concepts presented in the book means there will be numerous options for literally any organization.

Read Guerrilla Publicity: Hundreds of Sure-Fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars by Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, and Jill Lublin, and get started on your free publicity campaign today. With the added media bonanza, your business message will be heard above the crowd.

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