Category Archives: Lead Generation

Why All Businesses Need a Mobile Website or: “I Don’t Think My Customers Use Smartphones”

There has always been a certain resistance to new technology – especially with small businesses. It’s a legitimate point of view that if you invest in every new thing that comes along you’ll be disappointed more often than not. The challenge is to be able to analyze what’s new and make an educated guess about how best to stay current.

Today, it’s more important than ever. Due to the technological revolution of the last 15 years or so, competition is deeper and wider than ever before. A locally run business can easily be challenged by an enterprise that primarily exists in the ether.

When competition for customers becomes fierce, the strong will survive. The strong competitor is defined as the one that provides the best value for the client. Value and service are everything. There is one caveat to that statement:

If your customers can find your competitors easier than they can find you – value becomes secondary.

Direct Your QR Traffic With A Gateway Page

When small businesses board the QR train the first stop is typically a link to their homepage or a vCard. Once they realize that it can go further, the challenge becomes deciding which URL to send their Q-Audience to.

There are so many choices of how best to use QR for your business. Where you want to send people may change from time to time – in fact it is very likely that it will change as you business grows.

I have some tightly targeted QR codes but I also have one that I call my QR Gateway. I actually have this code on a car magnet. Read the rest of this entry

I Don’t Have Time To Get Organized

I made this sign a while back and I have it hanging on the wall right above my monitor.  It is front of me – eye level – whenever I am working in my office.  I stare it while I am working.  I’m staring at it right now.  Since I am aware that in my business model, these are the core things I have to do in order to keep growing my business, how come this is the first post I’ve written on this blog in a little over two weeks?

How come I’ve  only had one cup of Starbucks’ Green tea in the last 10 days?  How come that other than a flurry of Tweets over the last few days, have I pretty much been invisible on Twitter for some time?

Oh I have a good answer – one that allows me not to feel guilty.  I have too much to do!  Between working on actual paying projects, working intensely on some long-term marketing stuff and a plethora of family things to get done, I simply haven’t had time to work on my sphere of influence communication.

If a coaching client told me those were his reasons for ignoring these basic yet vital activities, I suspect he’d see my dark side. I’d tell him that there are only two solutions, based on the truth of his excuses. The first is acknowledging that Read the rest of this entry

Coffee Shop Commerce: 5 Ways To Use Hot Beverages To Grow Your Biz

It’s not uncommon to meet colleagues, customers or prospects in public venues such as coffee shops.  My observation is most people are using them strictly for scheduled short meetings with specific people – you talk, have a cup then leave.  There’s more to it if you look deeper.

HOLD COURT

Schedule at least 2 mornings or afternoons (not lunch hours) per week – when you have “computer work” to do –  and set yourself at a table.  Announce to your SOI in advance when and where you’ll be.  “I’ll be hanging out at Janie and Jackies’s Jumpin Java Joint Tuesday morning.  If you’re out and about, stop by and say Hi.” Read the rest of this entry

QR – Not a Drive-By Technology

There have been many new technologies come up over the last decade and a half. People tend to jump on the bandwagon often without knowing why and what they hope to gain. After allowing the new technology to fester on its own for a while, it is declared a failure. This is usually followed by a smug “I knew this stuff wouldn’t work.”

There are also those folks who don’t even try to use the new technology because they are afraid they’ll be in over their heads, or they don’t have the long-term vision to realize the potential

Sometime later (often years) eyes begin to open wide. People are dancing. Poets are writing sonnets. Hosts of angels begin to sing. The masses begin to realize what the early adopters grasped at the outset: Read the rest of this entry

STEEEEERRIKE! Is a Blinding Fastball Enough?

NOTE:   Here in the thick of World Series season, it reminded me of this post from last spring.


So I was listening to a Grapefruit League game on the radio yesterday and I feel the first stages of  full blown BaseballFever.  I guess it’s time for a baseball/business analogy.

Two pitchers: One consistently throws 97-98 MPH 4-seamers. He has other pitches but nothing spectacular.  The other has a fast ball that doesn’t go much above 86-87. His specialty is alternating the fast ball with a 65MPH change-up.  He also throws a great curve that drops straight down at just the right moment.

They are both about the same age and their ERAs are similar.  Which one is the more valuable pitcher.  The answer according to Schwartz’ Guide To Baseball is the second pitcher.   His variety and control can make him unbeatable.

He has BALANCE

Balance is important in your sales an marketing efforts as well.  You may be bringing in 5 new accounts per month.  That’s all fine and good, but what are you doing to retain and grow your existing clients?

Keep a close eye, not only on revenue but also on how long clients actually stay with you.  A successful business will do it all.

OK – enough of this,  back to the game!  Here’s one of my favorite Yankees combining two of his talents – baseball and music.

Who’s Afraid Of The QR Code? Tra La La La La!

Although the  2D Quick Response code technology has been around for about 15 years,  it seems that with advent of smart phones, QR is starting to hit its stride.

One of the coolest things about QR codes is that they really provide businesses of all sizes equal opportunity.  This very powerful marketing tool has virtually no cost.  I know – the same thing can be said about Facebook, Twitter and a host of other Social Media applications.  The difference is Read the rest of this entry

My Ship Came In While I Was At The Airport

This is a subject that I talk and write about a lot, because it’s one of the most important ways to maintain and grow your sales revenue.

I was recently cleaning out some old clothes (at the behest of my lovely wife) and a came across a T-Shirt that I bought about 20 years ago. I got it in a gift shop at LAX. The phrase was “My ship finally came in but unfortunately I was at the airport.” (I shortened it a little for the title of this article.)

I was on my way to speak at a convention of Photo Retailers.  My topic was how small retail Read the rest of this entry

5 Things Not To Do at Networking Meetings

There are a lot of different types of Networking meetings.  There are many formats. There are large groups, small groups, free groups, breakfast groups, evening “cocktail party” groups, event groups and others.

The thing that they all have in common is the vast majority of the folks who attend are doing so in order to grow their own network of prospective clients and referral sources. Everyone is there to meet others and increase the size of their community.  We do this by learning about the other folks at the meeting and helping them get to know us as well.

The one exception, is the paid, industry limited groups – you know, where there is a limit of one person per industry. These groups primarily exist not to help people grow their network but to exchange leads.  The following list does not necessarily apply to those groups.

The thing that I am fascinated by is the number of attendees whose behaviors are counterproductive to their own best interests.

Here is a list of 5 of them.  Read the rest of this entry