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Working with businesses has its ups and downs, but the biggest down of all is when you’ve started a marketing program with a new client and you ask for their contact/client list and they can’t get it to you.

Here’s the rub – I’ve taken on a client, which means that I believe that what they’re doing is worth promoting, which means I’m excited. Then they don’t take the time to give me the cornerstone of their program.

What I’ve come to realize is that they are busy running their business, but I also know that if they can’t give me what I need to help them, they can’t grow – and this is just one facet of their marketing. This is a bad sign that later, when I need more info from them, I’ll have to chase them down and drag the info out of them for other parts of the program. Their priorities are not in the right order.

What are your priorities? Can you honestly say you keep your database up to date? And do you realize how much it’s costing you if you don’t?

Here are the reasons (excuses) I’ve seen – which one(s) have you used?

1) My dog ate my list.
Well, no, not that one really, but I have had them say their computer ate it from a virus or a disk crash. That’s why I teach people how to do a disk copy – then when that happens they just pop it open and switch out the disk – 5 minutes and yes, they still need to back up daily to cloud storage, but this keeps them from having to reinstall all their software. Saves me two days down time.

2) All I have is a mile high stack of business cards (or drawer full , etc.)
to which I can say “We can fix that for you”. We now have the ability to convert those into a loadable list or update your database for you for a very affordable fee.

As an example, my partner put 100+ business cards out at the booths of a conference to see how many calls he would get back. He knew that if the exhibitors didn’t have a plan for the data entry and a CRM, there would be no follow-ups. He got one call back.ONE. (Sad!) Why would people come back next year and rent booths when they got no, or hardly any, business from it – even if it was their own fault?

3) I have multiple files and need them integrated. We (or any professional) can get that process started for you – get it down to a more manageable process for you.

4) It’s too overwhelming – I just can’t deal with it.
That’s why you hire someone – do it as you can afford it. It’s a start and a jump in the right direction. At least you’re doing something. It will take that nagging feeling away, knowing that you are taking action. But the next two questions are the hardest.

5) I don’t know what to do with it once I get it into a database.
Maybe you don’t understand where sales come from. Maybe you don’t understand social metrics or basic business concepts (below). Maybe it’s that you want to keep your business as a hobby and don’t want it to grow.

Except for the last one, all these reasons are good reasons to hire someone to help you. Even if you think you can’t afford anything extra, this is a foundation that you cannot afford to leave off your budget – especially since it’s so affordable.
(Don’t miss #6 below – it’s a big one!).

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Basic Business Concepts:

  • Business is personal. People want to hear from you personally – you need to contact every single person you receive a card or digital invitation from, within a week. The vast majority of business is conducted with people you know, even if it’s just one or two conversations before you decide to work together.
  • Drip Campaigns. If you ask permission and promise them it won’t be a constant sales pitch, most will agree to let you put them into a follow-up campaign. It is more common that I get signed contracts from people after I’ve contacted them 4 to 7 times than getting it right away. According to the statistics I’m seeing, that’s typical.
  • Videos increase conversions by 50%, depending on your target market and metrics. You need to work with a professional if you don’t know your target market and the venues they most commonly use for communication. Videos don’t have to be expensive, just personal.
  • Referral Program. Make it known that you have a referral program. Be specific – let them know what to expect. Money is not always the driving factor you’d think it would be. Sometimes a contest, a prize or your own services are bigger drivers.
  • Refer to potential clients. The best way to get someone’s attention is to tell someone else about them. You have to take the time to understand what they are doing. When that person calls them and tells them you referred them, you’ve received more than a prize – you’ve earned good will. It takes a lot of networking to be able to do this, but it’s worth it in this respect.

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6) One more excuse – “I don’t know which program to use to put my data in and I don’t have time to learn a whole new system.” What an overwhelming topic – and I cannot get any more into this in one article than to tell you about the program that we developed just to handle this question because we got it so often and because our background is in large business, now smaller business, consulting.

Our software solution is designed to look and feel like Excel, but gives you a lot more functionality.

It’s called 1-Box (http://1-Box.com) because, well, it’s pretty much everything you need in 1 Box. Just this month, we are replacing an Infusionsoft and a VTiger, then Insightly installation (they tried both and failed).

Look for a business consultant that has that type of background – that has seen both sides of the equation (big and small business). I’ve found that factor to be the most important for being able to communicate the differences – which are in tracking and attitude, not so much in experience and money (although that doesn’t hurt).

Businesses that succeed find a way to the people with the experience – and they listen to them.

We can teach those Big Business Practices to small and mid-sized businesses that are committed to seeing the large picture and in learning patterns of behavior that promote growth.

However, we have learned to only take clients that put our services at the top of their priorities. That means we’ll find a way to work with smaller, more dedicated clients if they realize that they need us to succeed.

Find this months special at http://1-Box.com/1-Box_Special.asp . It’s affordable, it’s inclusive, and it’s for you if you’re reading this article!

STOP STRUGGLING BY YOURSELF AND FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU!
If you have someone you trust and yet you’re still holding back because you don’t have the time or the money right now, that’s an excuse because you don’t really see yourself as a success!

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Here’s a subject I’ve wanted to address for some time – MLM Products. Your home office provides you with a web site and gives you a few videos and maybe even a CRM that you haven’t had time to figure out how to use. You’ve invested your money – you thought it was a good idea, but you don’t know what to do next!

You’re overwhelmed with your life and you have no time and you know that no matter how much time you put into something like that, it may never pay off – you may not be able to understand or use it and you just don’t see the point.

I get this! I’ve been there, done that. There is an answer – and it’s not rocket science! Ask us about our Training Program:
How top sellers get there and stay there!

This program was originally developed for Real Estate Professionals, but you’ll benefit from the same training.

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1-Box Business Solutions (http://1-box.com) includes several modules (buy as you need).
a) A simple, inexpensive CRM (Contact Relationship Management) system which can be used for campaigns, tracking referrals, commissions, and leads through sales so you can see which of your marketing plans (including networking groups) are working and which are not.
b) Web Site Integration – your Registration (Request) forms or eCommerce goes right into your database. This option includes Item and Order Tracking, Quotes, Invoicing – more.
c) QuickBooks Interface – you only have to enter any contact information once for all your business processes. What would that save you? You’ve heard Time is Money, but do you get it?
d) Google Interfaces – Dynamic Map Generation (plan your day the most efficient way), Calendars and email. Soon Microsoft 365 as well.
e) Document Repository (Cloud Storage) – actually one of the most important features. Upload/Download your documents, communications and images in folders that you control.
f) Calendars and Scheduling – multiple calendars, multiple formats and venues – private or available to upper management, or to clients to set their own appointments.
g) Customizations – Why see options and fields you don’t need or want?
Can’t find a system that does exactly what you need? The standard systems just don’t handle a lot of different types of business processes.
h) Internet Marketing – We do the research (we have our Google consultant help) to find your target market and keywords, then integrate your choice of programs into both your web site and into 1-Box and track them for you so that you get exactly what you need to put your company on the fast track to growth.

We provide the ultimate in Social Media Marketing which we coordinate with internet marketing and other campaigns – email, video, text or ads with landing (conversion) pages, forms (auto updated to database), each of which increase your search engine ranking and your visibility, all adding up to that 4 to 7 “touches” to make yourself known and be linked to your product or services.

COMPARE 1-BOX to Microsoft Dynamics – the only thing missing is the price! You will find more personal service and product integrations offered through 1-Box.

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Have you ever wondered what the difference between a successful business and a failure is? Or between a hobby and a business?

Obviously, it can be a lot of things, but tracking your contacts is a huge factor and cannot be ignored. That nagging feeling you have is there for a reason – you know this is true, so take steps today!

Give yourself the best Holiday present of all – statistics show you can double your business and work less on it!

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Dawn Cassara
What Dawn is passionate about and speaks on:

– How to Run Your SMB like a Large Corporation
– TIP – the Time Invested Principal
– Why Your Website is Not Working!
(Is it just a poster or is it a big, bright LED sign on the highway?)

FEATURED POSTS:
Tracking and Analysis – the Difference Between SUCCESS and FAILURE
– You Need a TECHNOLOGY PARTNER you can TRUST!
– 99% of ALL Websites Make These 3 MISTAKES
Are YOU One of the 80% That Will Fail?
Afraid to Jump?  Entrepreneurship Takes a Team!

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