Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Don’t Accept the Big Bad Economy by Mark Tewart

Don’t Accept the Big Bad Economy

By Mark Tewart

I couldn’t help but notice all the doom and gloom in several blog posts, especially in regards to Starbucks closing 600 stores. Yes, the economy is tough, but the most important economy is between your ears. If you keep reading about the bad economy and you keep telling everyone how bad it is, you’re allowing yourself to have a bad economy and to perpetuate that it is okay to struggle. The media will do enough of that — don’t help them. Bad economies come faster and stay longer because of media reports that are spread virally by people.

No matter the conditions, you are always in charge and there are always opportunities. I would invite everyone, when someone tells you about how bad it is, to simply reply that you heard about the bad economy but you refused to participate. All the governments, presidents and economic policies in the world cannot make you a prisoner or a victim if you refuse to allow it.

I invite everyone to look at the economy as an opportunity. This is a perfect opportunity to look for additional revenue streams and niches. Replace your daily regimen of TV news, radio news and newspapers with self-improvement material. Learn new skills, read motivational and educational material. Become more valuable to others and money will come to you no matter the economy. The world is an abundant universe. Money is abundant. Money simply shifts and moves towards value. Money is nothing more than a physical form of exchange. Value given, value received. It’s the duty for all of us to perpetually increase our value. The money

you make tomorrow will be because of what you did today.

You can read the story of Starbucks and see that 600 stores are closing and see doom

and gloom, or you can look at the total Starbucks story and see one of the largest and fastest expansions of any company in history. If Starbucks is smart, they will use this as an opportunity to grow for the future — or, like most big dumb companies, they will think scarcity. The root of the word “scarcity” is “scared.” I would invite Starbucks - and any person - to stop accepting the worst-case scenario. Your mortgage company, grocer or oil company does not care if there is a bad economy. If you are looking for sympathy, it will only come from others who have decided to become prisoners to the bad economy. My wish for you is to not allow that. My wish for you is prosperity and abundance. The choice is ours. We can choose to win or choose to lose, but the choice is ours.

Mark Tewart is a professional speaker, consultant, entrepreneur and author of “How To Be A Sales Superstar – Break All the Rules and Succeed While Doing It available in book stores and Amazon. You can contact Mark Tewart at info@tewart.com or www.marktewart.com

Mark Tewart’s websites include: www.marktewartlive.com, www.marktewart.com and www.howtobeasalessuperstar.info

To read the first chapter of How to be a Sales Superstar and to receive several FREE bonuses from Mark Tewart, visit www.marktewartlive.com.

Full tour details are posted at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-be-sales-superstar-by-mark.html

Sunday, November 2, 2008

10 Tips to Winning in a Bad Economy

During the months of November and December, Mark Tewart is touring the blog-o-sphere with Promo 101 Virtual Blog Tours and we will feature a couple of his articles which address the current economy and sound advice about what we can do to survive and excel in these tough economic times. Many businesses are flourishing - how can you flourish? Read on for details and the link to Mark Tewart's full tour schedule and a link to free gifts are posted at the bottom of this message.

10 Tips to Winning in a Bad Economy

Unless you have been hiding in a cave somewhere, you have heard that the U.S. economy is doing poorly. Housing starts are down, the value of the dollar is down, car sales are down, real estate is down, retail is down, gas prices are up, food prices are up, bankruptcies are up and the sky is falling. What is a person to do?

1. Don't Drink the Cool Aid
The news is sensationalized and fear sells. Things are rarely as good as they seem and things are rarely as bad as they seem. If you allow yourself to give in to the news, you will determine your destiny. When people tell me about the bad economy, I tell them I have chosen not to participate.

2. You Can't Cut Your Way to a Profit
Expense management is done at all times, not just in bad markets. Cutting expenses in bad times is a misnomer. It's like taking Tylenol for a heroin addiction. You set your good and bad habits in good markets, not bad. Be selectively extravagant and prudently frugal. I have never seen a business survive and thrive a down market by trying to cut expenses as their long-term strategy.

3. Don't Cut Your Life Line
Some of the easiest variable expenses to cut out are advertising and marketing. That also takes a bad situation and makes it worse. When your business drops and you take action to stop the flow even more, you are doomed. Be smarter with your marketing and adopt direct response methods that can be tracked and measured, but don't cut marketing because it's the easiest cut.

4. Dance With Who Bought You
The past and present customers are the lifeblood of any business. These customers are also the most overlooked and underutilized asset in ALL businesses. Everyone gives lip service to their glorious love of their customers, but what are you really doing to create and nurture the relationship? Do you have a relationship building program that creates over 50 positive customer contacts per year? You can have all the BDCs and CRMs you want, and that does not mean you are creating personalized-based marketing that creates relationships. The people who have done business with you already like and trust you and will most likely do business again - and bring others - if they are appreciated, rewarded and, yes, asked. NOBODY does a good enough job with their customers. There's gold in them thar hills.

5. Make the Bad News Good
Use all the bad news and the fear and negative emotions associated with it to your advantage. Use the headlines in your marketing and advertising and become the solution provider, i.e., 10 Tips for Winning in a Bad Economy.

6. Stop Boring Me to Death
If I get another "one size fits all, looks the same" mailer for an event sale, I think I will puke. Be creative and use trash can mailers, wallet mailers and other dimensional mail. Stop trying to get the lowest cost per piece and concentrate on the highest ROI for your mailings and other marketing. Boring does not sell in any media format.

7. Go Back to the Basics
Everything is basics. Instead of cutting your education, double your education efforts. If the market is really that bad, then you should have tons of time to educate yourself and your team. If your opportunities are fewer, then you must maximize each customer contact. TLC - Think like a customer. Examine your process from a customer's point of view and ask yourself what creates heartburn for those customers.

8. Super-Size It
You can impact your bottom line immediately by increasing either transaction size or the gross margin. In my entire career, I have never found a business that cannot increase their transaction size and margins. Stop accepting fate as a commodity and differentiate yourself, your product and business and ask for more money. You can do this through add-ons, bundling, value added presentations and better process for asking for and negotiating money. "Do you want fries with that?" and "Do you want the large popcorn for 25 cents more?" are not accidental questions.

9. Create Multiple Experiences
If your customers buy one product or service from you, then they will buy more. The average automobile dealership only retains 19 percent of their customers from sales to service. That number is business suicide. Sending a one-time mailing for a discount oil change does not constitute a continuity program. With a continuity program, any business can move from that 19 percent figure to 50 percent and more. When you create a continuity program, you will insulate your business from bad economies in the future because you will be less dependent on conquest customers.

10. Speed of the Boss, Speed of the Crew
As the leader thinks and acts, the team shall too. If the leaders of your business talk "bad economies" and "bad markets," the team will believe it. What are your leaders doing right now? Don't major in the minor. Spend every minute of the day in the pursuit of things that will create customers and incomes now and in the future. Just last week I had a dealer tell me that he was waiting for this bad market to turn around before he did anything with his business. My reply was, "How is that working for you?" If the leader does not believe, don't expect the troops to believe.

Mark Tewart’s websites include: www.marktewartlive.com, www.marktewart.com and www.howtobeasalessuperstar.info

To read the first chapter of How to be a Sales Superstar and to receive several FREE bonuses from Mark Tewart, visit www.marktewartlive.com.

Full tour details are posted at http://virtualblogtour.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-to-be-sales-superstar-by-mark.html