Feb 202010
 

The topic of my this post is the result of two different e-mails I received this past week from people wanting me to have a look at their product or opportunity.

The header of the first e-mail read,  From:  Zachary; Subject:  I am ready to join.  Since I haven’t been in contact with anyone named Zachary, I was suspicious but opened it anyway.   Upon reading the email, I find this person has lied to me at least twice.

Fist lie:  The content of the e-mail has nothing to do with joining anything I am involved with.  The writer is pitching a program for finding contacts on the Internet (which he no doubt used to find me).  The subject line was crafted to get my attention an prompt me to open the e-mail.  It had nothing to do with the content of the e-mail.

Second lie:  I look at the bottom of the message and notice the name in the signature is not Zachary.  Now I am wondering if either name is correct.

In the second e-mail, the writer tells me she found a slip of paper with my name on it from a convention she attended.  She claims to be with the same company as me, is rapidly expanding her business, and wants to share with me how she is generating leads.  I find this interesting as the company we supposedly share a connection through is fairly new and has not yet had their first major convention.  I know who most of the serious business builders are and her name doesn’t ring any bells with anyone on my team.

She found my contact information from a company replicated web site.  As did the first person.  I have no problems with this but why lie to me?

Business is built on relationships.  Relationships are based on trust and integrity.  Both of these writers have blatantly lied to me right out of the gate.  Why would I do business with either of these two people?

 Posted by at 15:25  Tagged with:
Sep 292009
 

My wife and I are regular vendors at a local Farmers’ Market.  We also enjoy working trade shows and similar events.  Since we sell food products, we often have samples available.  A recent guest interaction has prompted me to change my plan regarding sampling.

Recently at the local Farmers’ Market I am approached by a young lady who seemed interested in Verve, a healthy energy drink, that is on my table.  She is unsure and asks if she may have a sample of the sugar-free version.  I wasn’t set up for sampling that day but since I had the sample containers with me I obliged.  She had a sip of what I had to offer and that was it.  No purchase.

I felt ripped off as I realized this lady had no intentions of actually buying anything.  She was curious as to what the product tasted like and that was it.  Now I was left with an open can of product that eventually got tossed and out the cost of a can of Verve.

Later on I was discussing this with a buddy who I have partnered with to promote functional gourmet coffee.  Beau sends out samples all the time but not necessarily to anyone who asks.  He tells me that it is his gut feeling that decides.  Beau knows a fellow who never sends out samples and, if asked, will tell you that if you want to try his product you can buy a box.

While contemplating this blog post I decided to consult my favorite book on working trade shows, Guerrilla Trade Show Selling (by Jay Conrad Levinson, Mark S. A. Smith, and Orvel Ray Wilson).  On Page 120 is a blurb that describes sampling and exactly what happened at the Market.

If your product is edible, you obviously want people to sample your wares.  But keep in mind that classic trade show sales story:

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair.

Said Simple Simon to the pimean, “Let me taste your wares.”

Said the pieman to Simple Simon, “Let me see your penny.”

Said Simple Simon to the pieman, “I fear I haven’t any.”

Before offering a sample, the pieman qualified his prospect, checking for economic buying power.  Applying this idea to your samples, always ask for something in exchange for giving your sample.  Get information.

Bottom line is I had not qualified the lady at the market who wanted a sample.  Going forward, some options I am considering are:

  • Shoot videos of people sampling my product.  Those less interested may back away.  Those that are interested are helping me with promotional material.  (Yes, I will post a video even if the person is not pleased with the taste.  The occasional grimace on video lends more credibility and is funny too!)
  • When asked for a sample, respond, “If you want to try the product, it is $4.95 per can.”
  • Money back guarantee.  Tell the person asking for the sample that if they buy a can, drink it, and are not completely satisfied that I will refund their money.

I look forward to your comments.

Sep 012009
 

Some Internet marketers get it.  Some do not.  Today I wish to tell you about two tactics that, if used on me, will absolutely guarantee I will never visit your site again.

Tactic #1: Let me start reading what looks like quality information then display a pop-up that demands my contact information or displays an ad.  This is extremely annoying.  If you want a capture page, put the opt-in box beside or below the information I am reading.  If what I see is quality and I like it, chances are I will opt in.  Be in my face and chances are I will click the X, close the window or tab and never be back.

Tactic #2: Have some JavaScript set up so that when I click the X to close the window or tab I get a pop-up that asks if I REALLY REALLY want to close.  This is the equivalent of a car salesperson running after me after I have already told him I am not interested.  Chances are if I have clicked the X, I want to leave the site.  Hound me like a desperate car salesperson and I will never return.  This one is even more of a nuisance when used with Tactic #1.

Aug 182009
 

Introduction

Recently I added a widget to my blog for Amazon that displays a Top Twelve list of health and business resources that have been most useful to me.  Most of the items on the list are in my personal collection.  This blog post is the result of my good friend, Liz Kilpatrick, asking me how I did this.  Here’s how to join Amazon as an affiliate and have a widget or link in your blog.

Create an Associate Account

  1. Go http://www.amazon.ca/ if you are in Canada or http://www.amazon.com/ if you are not in Canada.  Amazon dot com is mainly geared to the United States.  If you are not in the USA, you will have an option to pick your country.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Amazon page.  Click the Join Associates link.  Create an account.  Follow the prompts.
  3. Approval may take a day or three.  You can still add links and widgets to your blog while your approval is pending.

Add a Widget to your Blog

  1. Go to https://associates.amazon.ca/ (Canada) or https://associates.amazon.com/ (USA) and log in using the account you created above.
  2. Click the Widgets tab.
  3. The widget you see to the right of this post is My Favorites.  This is the one I will use for demonstrating in this article; go ahead and click on it.
  4. Next we do a search for items of interest for our Favorites.  For this demo I did a search for Scrabble, my favorite word game.

    Amazon Widget Search Screen

    Amazon Widget Search Screen

  5. Click the add product button for as many products as you desire.  When you are finished adding, click Next step.
  6. We now may customize the appearance of our widget.  Don’t worry about getting it right the first time.  One of the coolest features is once the widget is installed on our blog, we can change it by logging into our Amazon Associates account.  When you have something you like, click Add to my Web page.

    Add to my Web page

    Add to my Web page

  7. There are links for various blog platforms.  For my self-hosted WordPress blog, I simply clicked the Copy button.  This puts a copy the code on the clipboard.
  8. Open a new tab or window and log into your blog.  The following instructions are for self-hosted WordPress.  Other platforms are similar.
  9. From your WordPress Dashbord, go to the Appearance section along the left side and click Widgets.  Click the Text widget.  This is a generic widget that lets you enter a title and either HTML or text.
  10. For my own blog, I left the title blank and pasted the code from Step #7 into the bottom area.

Here is the Scrabble demo widget I created above.  My regular Amazon recommendations appear on the right.

<A HREF=”http://ws.amazon.ca/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=CA&ID=V20070822%2FCA%2Fgarcamheahomb-20%2F8001%2F24b9ab5a-9692-4359-bb17-cc929cd21f6d&Operation=NoScript” mce_HREF=”http://ws.amazon.ca/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=CA&ID=V20070822%2FCA%2Fgarcamheahomb-20%2F8001%2F24b9ab5a-9692-4359-bb17-cc929cd21f6d&Operation=NoScript”>Amazon.ca Widgets</A>

Modify Existing Widgets

  1. Navigate to https://widgets.amazon.ca/ or https://widgets.amazon.com/ and log in.
  2. Under the Widgets heading, click My Widgets.
  3. Changes made here will automatically be reflected on your blog.

Conclusion

As usual, I trust you found this helpful and look forward to your feedback.

Aug 112009
 

Recently I gained some insight about Twitter and added about 150 followers without intending to.

As of Friday, July 31, 2009, the number of followers for my main twitter account (@insanelyhealthy) was at approximately 550. By the following Monday I had over 700 followers. I had not had a lot of time that week to dedicate to Twitter, EXCEPT…

The next evening we had a major (20 year) storm in Alberta. When I realized that the local Country station which normally plays mostly music had canceled all programming and switched to all chatter, I knew something was up.

Extreme winds had demolished the stage for a major outdoor Country music concert (Big Valley Jamboree). For the next two to three hours I sent tweets to #bvj to update what was coming in on the radio, trying not to duplicate others.  My goal was purely to keep others informed who may not have access to the same information as me.

The lesson for me here underscores that Twitter is like a big party.  People want to interact with others who provide value.

 Posted by at 14:33  Tagged with: