calehawley

Posts Tagged ‘Image’

The Competition

In Image, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, Sales on June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

You know them well. It’s that company that offers the same products and services that you do. The athlete wearing the other team’s colors. Yourself. 

Whoever you have identified as the competition, flip the script. Think of yourself as your competitor’s competition.

Are you the type of company, athlete, or person that the competitor looks at and says, “they’re easy they do ‘xyz’ we can overcome that”. Or are you the type of competitor that they do not mind losing to. 

Over the years, I have had several competitors in business and in athletic arenas. A few stick out in my mind. You knew when you were up against them that you had to bring your “A-Game”. But the ones that truly stand out are just good people to their core. When you lose to them, you say, “I get it, people like them”. It reminds me of that scene in Firgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Segal’s character is surfing and bumps into Aldos Snow, his ex-girlfriend’s current lover and says, “…you’re so cool. I can see why Sarah likes you”. 

I long to be that competitor to my competition. I like when I run into a competitor and they have “heard of me”. I like when my competition is “job searching” on my behalf because they know the impact and the relationships I have and the ones that I foster. It means I’m doing something right. I’m competing without malice. Doing my job serving others. Not going down the path so commonly traveled by others which is to trash the competition. 

My challenge to you is be that competitor that takes the high road. Be the competition that your competition wants to introduce themselves to. Be that competitor that others talk about in a positive light. Be that competitor that the competition does not mind losing to. 

Me, Myself, and I

In Personal Development, Sales on July 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

It is easy to try to be what society wants you to be. To talk the way they want you to. To act the way they want you to act. Sometimes it can be difficult to just be yourself. Truthfully though, most people can see right through this facade. I have read book after book, blog after blog, and watched countless videos to show me and teach me how I should look, act, write, etc. to be a “good salesman”. Want to know what works best for me? Being myself.

The next time you send a cold email, or a cold call, or try to connect with a prospect on social media. Be yourself!!!

Failure Casts A Long Shadow

In Image on December 13, 2011 at 10:39 am

I heard the title of this post on a podcast the other day. It was so profound. Before I give up the source of the quote, hear me out. The quote in full reads: “Failure casts a long shadow, but the minute you begin to fear that failure you’re done.”

We are trained to fear failure from an early age. Failures are foolish. Failures are different. Failures don’t get it. Failures don’t fit in. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Fitting in? If you really consider your fear of failing I’m willing to bet that it is not a fear of failure at all. It’s a fear of failing to fit in.

A Hall of Fame baseball player will fail at batting seventy percent of the time. Advertising fails at converting prospects into customers ninety-six percent of the time if not more. We tend to magnify our own failures more so than others do. And that magnification is what makes us freeze up and do nothing.

A bit of honesty from me: I still have a bit of the fear too. But I’m working on it. My challenge to you is the same one that I am involved in. Question your fears. What is your fear? Failing at what? What are the consequences of that failure? Instead of saying “failure is not an option” start saying “fear of failure is not an option”. Take that first step. They say (I love quotes from they, their credibility is impeccable) the first step is the hardest.

As for the source of the quote: my favorite comedian Jay Mohr; taken from his podcast Mohr Stories. Comedians are a different breed. I’m guessing they know a thing or two about the fear of failure. After all, they walk the last ten feet. That ten feet from backstage to the microphone and then bear their souls for the audience every night. What if they get heckled? What if they are not funny? They still walk the last ten feet and make it happen.

What are you afraid of? Failure? Or Failure to fit in?

Google+…Really, One More, Why?

In Interactive on November 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Well, I did it. I finally signed up for Google+. I’m told there are 40 million Google+ users. Where are they? No matter.

Why did I do it? Vanity is probably the best answer to that. Really it’s because I am in the middle of starting a new business and since Google controls the majority of search traffic in this world, I figured I could not afford to be there. So I signed up and created a personal page and a business page. If you are wondering whether you should join or not, here are some questions to ask yourself:

Do I have a business or a cause to promote?

Will I log in and use it?

Can I grow personally from being on there?

Really that is what it comes down to. I find it has the format of Facebook, seems to have a news feed layout and the ability to add photos, but is a lot like Twitter in the sense that the recommended people to follow are for the most part people you don’t know.

I’m sure that once I have downloaded the app and played around on it for a while that I will come around. As for now, the jury is still out.

What do you think? Are you on Google+?

IMAGINE Marketing Part 7 of 7–Events

In Events on February 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

IT’S PARTY TIME!!! Events are one of the most enjoyable elements of the marketing mix. It is usually the most work too. And depending on the event, a great number of times it is the hardest to measure.

Plan. Loosen up and have some fun. Remain professional and follow-up.

Plan. Give yourself plenty of time to plan for your event. Bring in some outside perspective. Use what you like from other events. Make sure you think about every possible scenario and have a back-up plan if things don’t go as planned.

Loosen up and have fun. You are not going to please everyone, so loosen up a little and have a good time. If you do not allow yourself time to enjoy it, you will not want to do it again. Be yourself. Leet your guard down a little and get to know those attending your event as well as letting them get to know you. It is great for your image, it is interactive, and it is very generous (are you seeing a theme yet?). While you should have fun, remember professionalism trumps all. Have a problem with a vendor, customer, or co-worker? Now is not the time to address it. Do not do anything that you will regret either. If you have alcohol at your event, be smart. you do not want your event in the news for the wrong reasons.

Follow up. No question you will make contacts at your event. You will make these contacts on a personal level. Be sure to make a follow-up call and a thank you afterwards. Do not forget to thank those that came through in the clutch to help you out either. You could not have done it without them.

Got an event coming up? A ribbon cutting, open house, diner party, etc? Plan. Have fun. Follow up. Let me know about your successful events.

IMAGINE Marketing Part 5 of 7–Interactive

In Interactive on February 4, 2011 at 10:51 pm

I know, I know…blah blah blah social media blah blah blah. Another schmo telling you about the importance of social media.

Yes and no. While social media plays a part in interactive, it is not the sole platform for interaction. Just because you have a Facebook page or a Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. does not mean revenue will fall out of the sky. If used properly though, it can improve your chances.

What do I mean when I say interactive? A simple exchange of ideas between customers and corporations. Social media can aid that conversation. But there are several other ways to interact with your customers. And by interact, it has to be a two-way communication. If it is only one-sided then you are just another “spammy commercial” interrupting my updates of what my friends are cooking for dinner, who needs help on Farmville, and photos of my friend’s friend’s cousin’s kids birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

What makes interaction work? Again, simply interacting without necessarily doing commerce. If you have a questions/ comments page on your website, respond in a timely manner. And not with corporate/ PR/ HR approved gobbledygook gibberish. Respond as a human being. Engage with others ar networking events (and by networking events, I mean anywhere you might see other people–and for crying out loud, please quit acting like you are networking and be yourself). Make yourself available to speak with customers when they ask for you by name or email you.

Now. If you are not sold on social media, feel free to skip ahead to the next paragraph. OK. They are gone. Since you are still here it is clear that you get it. Facebook, blogs, Twitter can all be effective when used the right way. So what is the right way? remember my post on image? It is going to vary from person to person. Update people on your industry or how you are helping the community. It can be as simple as posting your flavors of the day (FrazzleBerry Frozen Yogurt), updated designs and openings (http://www.facebook.com/nailsforgirlygirlz) events (http://www.facebook.com/lmfao) the options are endless. Some people follow only for exclusive offers. Again, it’s going to vary based on your product and your market.

Think about your interactions with the companies you shop with. You more than likely continue doing business with them based on these interactions, unless you are a bottom line lowest price only shopper. Learn from these interaction.

How are you interacting with your customers?

IMAGINE Marketing Part 1 of 7–Image

In Image, Marketing on January 25, 2011 at 6:04 am

In the late 80s, a brash young tennis sensation burst onto the scene with his aggressive play, and striking looks. Clad in Neon Green and Grey shorts with the shirt and shoes to match; this mulleted (is that a word) tennis sensation became the “rebel” of tennis. Up until that point, tennis players wore solid white from head to toe. Canon immediately signed Andre Agassi as their spokesman for the Rebel EOS 35mm camera with the tag line: “Image is Everything.” Fast forward 20 years: Andre Agassi informs the world that the hair, the image, and other things about him were a facade. Shocking the world with his story about his battles with addiction, baldness, and his hatred of the game of tennis.

A true image is a hard thing to portray in this day and age. And to top it off, that image is no longer solely controlled by us. Maybe it never was.

So what is image? For companies, it is the perception the general public has of your company. In a time when social media is so prevalent, that image is created by companies, but it is often verified or refuted by the public.

So how does a company create its image? This may come as a surprise (although it really shouldn’t considering it is true of individuals as well) but here goes: BE YOURSELF. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. With respect. That’s a good starting point anyways. Image is the belief that someone has about you/your company based on their experiences. These beliefs lead to actions (or inactions) that produce results (I’m not sure who to credit for that. I learned about this while working with Pfizer–The BEAR Model). You can go on TV and tell people you deliver pizzas in 30 minutes all you want, but if you are consistently arriving in 35 minutes, that is your true image.

Your image will also vary from person-to-person. You can ensure a more consistent image by providing quality products and services that you stand behind 100%. Having a positive attitude towards your customers and employees. Providing excellent customer service. The list goes on. From value to values, so many things can make or break your image. Still you must remember that your image is be perceived differently by individuals based on their experiences with you, your company, or even your industry (think about politicians, attorneys, salespeople, etc.).

You can lend a helping hand to your image by connecting with your customers. Today more than ever, your image campaign should be a collaborative effort between your company and your customers. Some examples are working with charities (not just cutting a check) related to your industry, attending trade shows, attending networking events, and interacting on social media sites. Handle conflict promptly. Go out of your way to help a customer/prospect/stranger. If you are not sure what your image is, ask. Your loyal customers will tell you. Guess what? The customers who have fired you will tell you also.

What are you doing to boost your corporate image?

IMAGINE Marketing As Something More….

In Marketing on January 13, 2011 at 7:24 am

Acronyms. Do we really need another one? They are very cliché and “so” last decade. I know! That’s why it has taken me so long to post this. I’ve had these ideas in my head now for almost a year, but I keep coming back to them because it makes sense.

If your interpretation of marketing is throwing some ad dollars at it, and printing some fancy brochures, then you may not want to read any further. If your idea of marketing is showing up to a client or prospect with a few pieces of candy (by the way, I like Dove chocolates) and a trinket from the dollar store, you may want to stop reading.

On the other hand, if you want to see your marketing as a “big picture”, then please follow along for the next several posts. I think you will see your marketing differently and you will be able to feel confident that your marketing is working for you and you are spending your marketing dollars wisely.

IMAGINE

That is my acronym.

IMAGINE

I–Image

M–Mapping

A–Advertising

G–Generosity

I–Interactive

N–News

E–Events

Over the next few weeks i will delve deeper into these seven principles. I will describe what they mean and share examples and some trends that I have spotted and observed. Later, I will share with you how these principles tie into my two favorite marketing books (Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin and Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead by David Meerman Scott).

But first, let’s clarify something. Marketing does not merely mean throwing around advertising dollars or simply delivering candy (although you can work that into your mix, just don’t make those actions your sole plan).

Marketing is any action in which you hope to generate future revenue. It’s why we are in business, right? Notice I did not say “profit”. There are several non-profits, charities, and service professionals that can benefit from these principles as well. And their mission is far greater than money. But let’s face it; without generating revenue, these organizations are unable to help others effectively.

I hope you find the journey useful. I’m sure there will be an expert or two that disagree or have something to add. Please feel free to comment. I look forward to hearing from you.

Regret

In Image on August 29, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Living with regret is a choice. Chances are, there is a large number of you living with regret. If not, you know someone who is. I was once asked by a high school football coch after a playoff run that left us one game shy of state if I had any regrets. I immediately answered “no.” Judging by the look on his face that that moment, I’m quite sure my answer shocked him. I simply chose to not have regret.

Dictionary.com gives this definition of “regret theory”: a theory that says people anticipate regret if they make a wrong choice, and take this anticipation into consideration when making decisions. Fear of regret can play a large role in dissuading or motivating someone to do something.

How do we get to the point of regret? A starting point is asking “what if”. Asking “what if” is fine as oong as you look at the positive and negative side of the equation. Too many people focus on the negative side of “what if” and decide to “not.” Fine if you are considering committing a crime, not so good if you are trying to make the world a better place. If they “not” they are not vulnerable, don’t fail, and as a result, cannot be ridiculed. Pretty easy, huh? Until regret sets in and you have to live with that feeling.

Then the “if onlys” start. You hear this all the time: if only I invented ‘xyz’. If only I finished school. If only I was thinner or made more money. If only I waited to have kids, get married, waited to buy a home, etc. etc. etc. You get the point.

Too often the “what ifs” turn into “if onlys” and then you have regret. Some regrets can be avoided by exploring the “what ifs” (see example of committing crime above), but the “if onlys” are the poison that turn into regret and a loss of confidence.

Instead of wasting time with regret, choose to live a life without regret. Sure you will stand out. People may think you’re crazy. People may not like you. People my ridicule you, and you will definitley fail at some point. But you will be happier for it, and your blessings will follow…if you choose to recognize them as such.

Guess what? you might even do something remarkable.

Everyone is a Marketer

In Image on July 30, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Does your company have a marketing department? Have you ever said, “if I was the marketer, I would do it differently?” I have long said that marketing is not just up to the marketing department. If you have any person-to-person contact with customers via telephone, email, in-person conversation, etc., then guess what?…you are marketing. Sure there is a department making decisions on the message that the company wants people to hear, but when it comes down to it, consumers hear the message that is given by the people they come into contact with. The cashier that smiles and thanks you for shopping with them. The janitor that keeps the bathroom clean. The person that greats you and ask if there is something that they can help you with. Maybe you work in a professional office. The person that answers the telephone is marketing. Believe it or not, when you are smiling on the phone, the person on the other end can hear it. That is marketing.

How is your marketing department doing? Are they welcoming the customer? Are they portraying the image that you envisioned for your company?