I am the author of a popular book titled "Testosterone-Free Marketing" that`s about helping women business owners have more fun, feel more confident and make a lot more money with your business.
As women (especially over 40) we were taught- "don`t toot your own horn," "be a nice girl," "let everyone else go first" and "don`t call the boy." But when we start businesses we`re told exactly the opposite: "Toot your own horn," "Don`t take no for an answer," "Be the expert," "Ask, ask, ask" and "Call, call, call."
That means there`s a disconnect and it results in many women who start businesses but avoid marketing and selling like the plague. Many women feel like a barracuda, a brazen hussy or a b*tch doing what all the testosterone-heavy marketing books tell you to do. My approach is different, more aligned with our energy as women and VERY effective for us. So if the thought of marketing drives you to chocolate connect with me or get my book.
I`m fascinated with the Mars-Venus differences between men and women and what makes us tick. Always have been. Btw, it`s not about "better" or "worse" it`s about DIFFERENT. I love both male and female energy. Speaking of male energy - I just married the love of my life Ernie, in June of 2006 after 8.5 years together.
I am also a marketing mentor and a trainer with a mega-bestselling author in his seminar program.
If so, you`re not alone. I can`t tell you how many times I`ve walked into a room thinking, "What the heck am I doing here?" and wanted to turn around and drive home. Then I walked out later saying, "That was really fun - and I got a couple good leads, too."If you think networking could be a valuable part of your marketing strategy it helps to get comfortable with the process and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved in an hour or two. Be ready. Dress well, shine your shoes, look good. Hair - check. Ladies - makeup? Good. Duck in the bathroom just before you go into the room and check for spinach between your teeth, stains, lintballs or anythng else that might be distracting or off-putting about your appearance.Have an elevator speech ready before you arrive. Here`s a simple formula. Say, "I help (target market) to (your ultimate benefit). This will help others understand your worth and value far beyond a job title like "software sales," "CPA" or "web designer."Make sure you have business cards with you ready to hand out should the need arise. Walk in with the attitude that it`s not the job of others to come to you - it`s your job to go to them. Remember Denise`s Marketing Rule #3: Stop spending your time and energy trying so hard to impress others - and instead spend your time and energy BEING IMPRESSED with others.Take a genuine interest in others. Ask them questions. Nod. Smile. Make affirmative, positive comments in reply to what they say. They`ll think your a fabulous conversationalist.Don`t try to see how many people you can meet and give your card to. That`s a waste of this precious time. Remember you`ll probably forget about them just as quickly as they forget you. Networking isn`t about quantity - its about quality. Seek instead to make maybe 2-3 good contacts with people who might be:Interested in the possibility doing business with youAble to refer you to others who might want to do business with youAble to refer you to other resources like a vendor you need to solve a problem. Interested in a possible joint venture that helps both of your promote your businessOne of many other possibilities...Get their business card. When you have someone else`s card you know you`re in the driver`s seat and can call or email them. If you give them your card (and don`t get one in reply) your taking the chance (and it`s a BIG chance) that they`ll forget you and not call you back. This is what often makes networking meetings a colossal waste of time. No follow up. Decide to be different.Call them the next day. Be willing to call several times to get through. Don`t just give up on one dial. Geez, anymore it takes me three times just to talk with my mom let alone a brand new contact. Be politely persistent.Give them a context for how you met. Say something like, "Hi Jim, this is Mary Smith. We met briefly at the __________ meeting last Thursday night and we talked about ____________. The purpose of my call today is that I wanted to follow up with you and..."If you go in with realistic expectations and make up your mind to go out of your way to meet and greet graciously - networking will become more fun and more fruitful for you.All the best,Denise MichaelsAuthor, "Testosterone-Free Marketing""Mentoring enterprising women to real business success"PS: Visit me online at http://www.MentoringwithDenise.com
What you`ve written about in your post is exactly the reason why I wrote my book, "Testosterone-Free Marketing." You see, part of this is the fact that yes, indeed you need a strategy to get past the gatekeeper - but the other part of the equation in this whole scenario is how you`re feeling about the whole thing and the fact that you don`t see yourself as a sales person. I mentor women five days a week who are in their own businesses and suddenly find themselves in the situation where they have to sell and they have come across as more strong than they`re naturally comfortable with. And quite honestly it makes them really uncomfortable - just like it`s making you feel.
Millions of women out there in the US were raised being told that to try to sell or persuade is not nice or ladylike. And that message may even be on a subconscious level. But it means that we`re more likely to back down and it also means that we`re less likely to get what we want in our businesses.
It may appear to some people that we`re not as dedicated or serious about our businesses - but it`s not true. It just means that we were raised with a certain code of behavior that makes selling and getting past the gatekeeper very uncomfortable - so much so that sometimes it even creates stress for us.
We have awesome relationship building skills and wonderful abilities to "read" people and situations but some women lack when it comes to leading and directing a conversation - and that`s the first thing you really have to be willing to do to sell anything - including getting past the gatekeeper.
All the best,
Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
Visit me online at http://www.MentoringwithDenise.com
I don`t know if this can be verified or not - but I once heard that emails with a couple typos actually test better than emails without `em. I can`t bear sending out something with a typo in it if I can help it. It just breaks my ol` journalist`s heart.
After I posted this here at SuN somebody told me that not all of them are correct according to snopes.com I KNOW the one about the Chevy Nova is correct because I studied that one in college. Way back when. I also know that the one about Perdue chicken is correct. And I remember that Electrolux ad and thought, "Did I just hear what I THOUGHT I heard?" I thought it was hilarious. It certainly got my attention if I still remember it.
Even if the person who compiled this list got a little "overly creative" the point is still a valid one - that our words and how they are perceived have power.
I recently put a thread on an online forum for Virtual Assistants about the frequent and what IMHO is a mistaken use of the word "partner." As in "we partner with you." Call me crazy - but to me a partner is someone who shares in both the financial risks and rewards of a business venture. And based on that definition - I`m not looking for a partner. So even though I use the services of VAs, I would probably avoid one who said that she`s my partner in a tagline or something.
Omigosh, you would`ve thought I`d just said that I was Hannibal Lechter and I like babies with fava beans and a nice Chianti or something - so virulent was their opposition to my suggestion that one particular word may not be working for them in their copy.
Sure enough I went back to my own network and said, "Am I crazy here or what?" and stated my thoughts about that word and copied and pasted a couple of taglines where they said something like "We`re your business partner" or something close. Every one of the respondents on my network said that it was a turn off to them. So I wasn`t nuts after all.
But the VAs are still avoiding me.
All the best,
Denise Michaels, Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
Tommy Hopkins (who I saw speak over 20 years ago) used to use something that he called "tie-downs." He asked questions in such a way that it made you feel like a jerk if you said "no" and like you were backed into a corner. I could never ask those "tie-down" questions because I don`t see customers in an adversarial, one-up, one-down way. That`s too "testosterone-heavy" for me. Now maybe Hopkins has lightened up a little bit over the years.
I know that David Cooper intended these questions to be like a softer way to do things than the "tie-downs." I know that because we talked about it at length over lunch once a few years ago in New York when we ran into each other there.
I like to ask questions that help the customer to positively see the benefits of how great their life will be once they have the benefits that product or service can provide them with.
Anything that you`re not accustomed to saying is going to feel unnatural and therefore stiff and fake - because it`s just not the way you`ve always used your words. And if you`re happy with the amount of business that you`re closing (in conversations on the phone or in person) then great - don`t change a thing. But if a business owner is getting leads, making great presentations and not getting sales, new recruits, whatever - it`s time to start looking at what may not be working and consider shfting some words around - even if it feels uncomfortable at first.
All the best,
Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"
You think you got problems? Imagine the egg on the face of these marketing and advertising directors when they discovered these mess-ups when transferring an adveritising headline or slogan in American English to another language?
1. Coors put its slogan, "Turn it loose," into Spanish where it was read as "Suffer from diarrhea."
2. Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: Nothing sucks like an Electrolux.
3. Clairol introduced the "Mist Stick", a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that "mist" is slang for manure. Not too many people had use for the "manure stick."
4. When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what`s inside, since most people can`t read.
5. Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called Cue, the name of a notorious porno magazine.
6. An American T-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the Spanish market which promoted the Pope`s visit. Instead of "I saw the Pope" (el papa), the shirts read "I saw the potato" (la papa).
7. Pepsi`s "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" translated into "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave", in Chinese.
8. Frank Perdue`s chicken slogan, "it takes a strong man to make a tender chicken" was translated into Spanish as "it takes an aroused man to make a chicken affectionate."
9. When Parker Pen marketed a ball-point pen in Mexico, its ads were supposed to have read, "it won`t leak in your pocket and embarrass you." Instead, the company thought that the word "embarazar" (to impregnate) meant to embarrass, so the ad read: "It won`t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant."
10. And, in Mexico, after a year of awful sales Chevrolet discovered back in the 1970s that "Nova" the name of a popular car in the USA in Spanish means "does not go."
(Most of these came from a post by Mike Fesler on a network at ryze.com.)
Now, it`s easy for us to laugh at these because obviously there was a difference in language - poor translation going on. But the lesson is true even within the US. Very often words or ideas defined one way by one group are defined in a significantly different way by our ideal customers. It`s critical that when we consider using a word that we consider how our ideal customer sees and interprets that word.
I have a first marketing mentoring meeting with a client in a couple hours. I skimmed over her "Get Ready Assignment." She`s a delightful woman and very well educated. One of the things I`ve noticed is that she really plays up her educational background and the fact that she`s taught at the university level. The disconnect is that her ideal customers are entrepreneurs and that particular group have a real disdain for anything "ivory tower" or "academic" or "theoretical." What she views as an asset is probably being viewed by ideal customers as a detriment. We`ll see.
All the best,
Denise MichaelsAuthor, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"Visit me at http://www.MentoringWithDenise.com