I am Changing My Soap Brand

I am going to share a very personal secret. Not very many people know this intimate detail about me, but today is the day. I am going to be vulnerable and share it. Are you ready? Okay, here it goes. Oh, man…I am not sure if I can do this. I am so nervous. Okay, here it goes. Ready?

I use Ivory soap when I shower.

Hahaha! Are you disappointed? Sorry, I hyped it up so much. I’ve been using the ivory soap for years. I think over 20 years…maybe even more. But I wanted to tell you this because I made a decision this morning to change brands. And I am going to tell you why, and it’s all going to make sense. Especially because this is the finale of our series, “The Relationship Factor.” Here’s a quick review of what we’ve talked about so far:

  • How important is fostering good relationships in business? Read More
  • How important is fostering good relationships in life? Read More
  • What makes a successful business relationship? Read More
  • What is a relationship return on investment (ROI)? Read More

Everything we have discussed so far is relationship marketing. The world has transformed how we communicate. Brands now especially do a better job engaging with the public, and through millions and millions of data points, they have figured out how to get their products to the people. They have figured out that in order to do that well, they have to do these three things even better.

  • They have to know their customers better than anyone. Not as consumers and data points but as people.
  • They must understand how to connect with each of them individually and deeply.
  • They have to know how to earn their trust.

And here’s the bottom line of how this can be achieved: Once you find your target market…once you figure out who they are and know them better than anyone else, it’s time to connect with them emotionally, to speak to each one individually and deeply. Once they are moved and experience how a brand made them feel, trust will be earned.

And here’s a perfect example of how this can be achieved. Please watch this 2-minute video:

Dove is redefining beauty. And their message is that beauty is for everyone. They’ve studied their market…meaning they studied the people they want to serve, and they figured out that this specific market and the future generation of this market need desperately to build a positive self-image and reduce the anxiety that comes from the toxic ideas of beauty. So, they created a “Real Beauty” campaign, ensuring the world that real beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages, and this became the central message of their campaign.


Because they realized something, they realized something fundamentally important that most marketing books failed to tell you about. We were taught that the successful market mix incorporates the four Ps. Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. But, they forgot to teach us the most important P of all. People. And Dove doubled down and decided to focus all of their efforts on the missing P. It’s brilliant, and it worked.

So, why am I changing to Dove? Because it moved me deeply. It triggered something within me that resonated with the message. Dove made me see beauty differently, and it caused me to feel something. The heartstring they pulled in me earned my trust in this very brand, even to the point where I am willing to give up my 20+ years of loyalty to my dear Ivory.

What’s marketing? It’s all about relationships. It’s about the missing P, making a connection, and helping us see beauty in a new, creative, and profound way… from human to human. That’s life, too, isn’t it?

Thanks for journeying with me through this series. I really enjoyed researching and sharing about it. Stay tuned for the introduction to the new series coming up. I can’t wait to share it with you. Until then, have a great week.


How to get Court-Side Tickets

I can count on my hands how many times I’ve been to a professional basketball game. So…less than ten if you were wondering how many fingers I have. And out of those, most of the seats were not great…in fact, some of the seats caused my nose to bleed. I have always wondered what it took to get a court-side ticket, so I can actually see the expression on Steph Curry’s face when he swishes a three-pointer and runs back for zone defense. According to my research, it costs about $1500-$2000 per ticket. Also, it varies depending on seasonality, which teams are playing, and the city you are in. So for me, I stopped dreaming about it. It’s never going to happen.


My friend called and asked, “Hey, do you want a court-side ticket for a basketball game coming up?” I didn’t care when, what time, or who was playing; my answer was a resounding YES! To make a long story short, I sat right behind the Kardashians and had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the game like every celebrity would. It was epic!

So, this scenario begs the question, why did my friend call ME out of anyone else he could call? Because of our “Relationship ROI” – Relationship Return on Investment. It’s a metaphorical term and concept that if you pour time, effort, and care into a relationship, it will gain some benefits. In fact, our friendship goes beyond the norm…and it’s not just us; both of our entire families have created so many unforgettable memories together over the last 20 years of casual and celebratory meals together, graduations, kids performances, sunsets, engaging in deep and meaningful conversation about life, belly laughs, tears…lots and lots of tears, and we even got to vacation together. They are one of our closest friends.

So then, would you say relationships are important? I am glad you said yes to that because that’s precisely what we are talking about in our series called “The Relationship Factor.” Here’s a quick review of what we’ve talked about so far:

  • How important is fostering good relationships in business? Read More
  • How important is fostering good relationships in life? Read More
  • Successful Business Partnerships Read More Read More

How does this translate to business? It’s a well-studied, researched, and analyzed knowledge that a typical customer spends 67% more after their third year of business with you. Did you get that? 67% more! Did you also know it takes five times more effort and resources to gain a new customer than to keep your current customer?

Kristina Spillane is a regional executive for global key accounts at Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. She manages key strategic accounts representing over 100 Billion dollars of assets. Her priority and goal for her and her team is cultivating long-term relationships without missing long-term benefits. It’s called loyalty, and she defines it as such:

(Authenticity + Consistency + Value) / Time = Loyalty

TIME is the critical data element because, with time, we can perfect our authenticity. With time, we become more consistent. And with time, we create better value for our customers.

Well-managed relationships are still the best currency, and relationships are like compounded interest: the greater the relationship, the longer the time, and the longer the time can equal higher value. How much more value? How about 67% more?

Do you have a relationship investment strategy? We all should, and this is a great place to start. Let’s break down some key points about what our focus should be from here on out.

  • Listen: Actively listening to your customers is crucial for understanding their needs, concerns, and preferences. It involves paying attention to their feedback, whether it’s through direct communication, surveys, or social media interactions. By listening attentively, businesses can gain valuable insights that inform product development, service improvements, and overall customer satisfaction.
  • Respond Quickly: In today’s fast-paced world, customers expect prompt responses to inquiries, concerns, or feedback. Responding promptly demonstrates that you value their time and are committed to addressing their needs efficiently. It helps build trust and fosters a positive impression of your brand.
  • Show them appreciation: Expressing gratitude to your customers goes a long way in building solid relationships. Simple gestures like thank-you notes, exclusive discounts, or personalized messages can make customers feel valued and appreciated. Showing appreciation reinforces their loyalty and encourages repeat business.
  • Provide consistent value: Consistency is critical to maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty. Delivering high-quality products, services, and experiences consistently reinforces trust and reliability. Businesses should strive to meet or exceed customer expectations consistently to ensure long-term success.
  • Admit your mistakes and correct them: Nobody is perfect, and mistakes are inevitable in business. When errors occur, taking ownership, apologizing sincerely, and taking appropriate steps to rectify the situation are essential. Addressing mistakes promptly and making things right demonstrates integrity and a commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Focus on responsive support: Offering responsive customer support is essential for resolving issues and addressing customer concerns effectively. Whether through phone support, live chat, email, or social media, businesses should provide timely assistance and solutions to ensure a positive customer experience.
  • Include them in your success: Celebrating successes with your customers fosters a sense of camaraderie and strengthens the bond between the business and its clientele. Whether acknowledging milestones, sharing success stories, or offering exclusive perks, involving customers in your successes makes them feel like valued partners in your journey.
  • Create community: Building a sense of community around your brand can deepen customer engagement and loyalty. Encourage interaction among customers, facilitate discussions, and create opportunities for them to connect with each other. A strong community fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens customer and brand relationships.
  • Resist the urge for instant results: Building meaningful relationships takes time and effort. Businesses should prioritize long-term relationship-building strategies over quick fixes or short-term gains. Patience and consistency are essential for cultivating customer trust and loyalty over time.
  • Believe in the value of relationships over time: Recognize that investing in customer relationships is not just about immediate returns but also long-term benefits. Building strong, enduring connections with customers can lead to increased loyalty, positive word-of-mouth referrals, and sustained business growth.
  • Reinvest energy into making customers happy: Continuously investing in customer satisfaction and happiness is essential for maintaining strong relationships. Whether through ongoing improvements, personalized experiences, or innovative solutions, businesses should consistently strive to exceed customer expectations and create positive interactions at every touchpoint.

By incorporating these key points into their relationship investment strategy, businesses can cultivate meaningful connections with their customers, foster loyalty, and drive long-term success. Most importantly, who knows, maybe they’ll call you one day with available court-side tickets. I am rooting for you.


I Need a Dancing Partner

I heard someone say, “The only time I ever need a partner is when I am dancing.” Just to put it into context, this was quoted by an entrepreneur who got burned on several business partnerships that cost him a lot of grief, stress, and most of his money. He swore that he would never go into business with someone else EVER again.

On the flip side, how about this quote? “Individually, we are one drop, but together, we are an ocean.” Or this? “In partnership lies the power to achieve what we cannot accomplish alone.”

So, from these quotes alone, a partnership’s success or failure depends on who you partner with. If you partner with the wrong person, it can turn into an absolute nightmare, but if you partner with the right person, it can lead to the most productive collaboration by leveraging the power of two or more to achieve success.

So then, would you say it’s all about relationships? I am glad you said yes to that, because that’s exactly what we are talking about through our series called “The Relationship Factor,” where I’ve been diving into the importance of relationships in our business. Here’s a quick review of what we’ve talked about so far:

  • How important is fostering good relationships in business? Read More
  • How important is fostering good relationships in life? Read More

If you are thinking about starting a new business, it’s essential that you find the right person to partner with. Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with solopreneurs. I know brilliant and capable individuals who did it all on their own…but for me, I would rather not do it alone, and here’s why…we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and don’t you think if we can recognize each other’s unique abilities and talents, we can leverage our combined skills to achieve greater success? Also, isn’t it just better and funner to do it together? Isn’t it better to celebrate our victories together? Isn’t it just better to share the burdens together? Isn’t it just better to divert the workload together? Isn’t it just better to dream together?

But at the same time, we need practical guidance to find the right person. Here are some that I think are essential:

  • Identifying Shared Values: When looking for a partner, it’s crucial to identify shared values. For instance, in a business partnership, if one person values integrity and the other prioritizes profit above all else, conflicts may arise. Conversely, if both partners prioritize honesty and ethical conduct, they are more likely to build a strong, trusting relationship.
  • Assessing Complementary Skills: Finding a partner with complementary skills can enhance the overall effectiveness of the partnership. For example, in a startup venture, one partner might excel at product development and innovation while the other is skilled in marketing and sales. Together, they can cover more ground and address a broader range of challenges than either could alone.
  • Testing Compatibility through Small Projects: Before committing to a long-term partnership, it can be beneficial to test compatibility through smaller projects or collaborations. This allows partners to gauge each other’s work ethic, communication style, and problem-solving approach in a low-risk environment. It may be worth exploring further if the partnership proves successful on a smaller scale.
  • Seeking Mutual Respect and Support: A good partner is someone who respects and supports you, both professionally and personally. For example, in a business partnership, if one partner consistently undermines the other’s ideas or fails to offer support during difficult times, it can erode trust and damage the relationship. Conversely, partners who celebrate each other’s successes and provide encouragement during setbacks are more likely to thrive together.
  • Open and Honest Communication: Effective communication is essential for any partnership to succeed. Partners should feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, concerns, and ideas openly and honestly. This transparency fosters trust and allows partners to address conflicts or misunderstandings before they escalate.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is crucial in any partnership. Partners should be willing to compromise, pivot when necessary, and adjust their strategies as circumstances evolve. This flexibility enables partners to navigate challenges and seize opportunities as they arise.

By considering these practical examples and principles, individuals can increase their chances of finding the right partner and building successful partnerships. How cool is that? To prove my point, numerous successful business partnerships have significantly impacted various industries.

  • Susan Wojcicki and Anne Wojcicki (23andMe): Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, and her sister Anne Wojcicki co-founded 23andMe, a personal genomics and biotechnology company. Susan provided her expertise in technology and business, while Anne, a biologist, contributed her knowledge of genetics. Together, they built 23andMe into a leading company in the field of genetic testing and personalized medicine.
  • Jen Rubio and Steph Korey (Away): Jen Rubio and Steph Korey co-founded Away, a direct-to-consumer luggage company, in 2015. Rubio, with her background in branding and marketing, teamed up with Korey, who had experience in operations and supply chain management. Their partnership led to the creation of stylish, high-quality luggage designed for modern travelers, and Away quickly became a disruptor in the travel industry.
  • Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer (The Huffington Post): Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer co-founded The Huffington Post in 2005, revolutionizing the landscape of online news and media. Huffington’s editorial vision and Lerer’s background in venture capital and media investment were instrumental in the success of the publication, which eventually became one of the most influential news websites in the world.
  • Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger (Berkshire Hathaway): Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger have been business partners for decades at Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company. Buffett is known for his value investing strategy and capital allocation decisions, while Munger provides insightful perspectives on business and investing. Together, they have built Berkshire Hathaway into one of history’s most successful investment vehicles.
  • Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s): Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream in 1978, starting with a small scoop shop in Vermont. Cohen focused on business, while Greenfield oversaw product development and marketing. Their socially conscious approach to business and innovative flavors helped Ben & Jerry’s become a beloved global brand.

These examples demonstrate how successful partnerships combine complementary skills, shared values, and mutual respect to achieve amazing success in business. So, let me say it again… it’s all about relationships. I am more convinced than ever. Relationships are a testament to the endless potential that awaits when we dare to join hands and journey together. It’s a reminder that behind every monumental achievement, there’s a partnership—a duo whose unwavering commitment and unwavering belief in each other defy the odds and redefine what’s possible.

Let’s gooooooo!!!


You Have 3 Wishes

What if I were a genie who just came out of the lamp to grant you three wishes? What would you wish for? From what I gather from my own research, there are three main things that most people will want.

  • Happiness
  • Health
  • Money

Well, I might not be able to help you with the third option, but I have some insights on improving your happiness and health.

Believe it or not, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has studied this very subject—it’s the longest study of adult life that has ever been done. For 75 years, they tracked the lives of 724 people from all different social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Year after year, they surveyed and asked each person a list of questions in their living rooms, interviewed their children, observed their marriages, studied their medical records, and even scanned their brains.

So, what have they learned? What are the lessons that came from thousands and thousands of pages of data they’ve generated on these people’s lives? Well, surprisingly, the lessons weren’t about wealth, fame, who worked harder, or who became most successful; the clearest message they got from the 75-year study is this…

Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.

From this research, they found that there are three relationships that are good for us:

  • Social connections are really good for us, and loneliness kills—those engaged with family, friends, and community are happier, they are physically healthier, and they live longer.
  • It’s not the number of connections and people you have but the quality. People who were most satisfied with their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at the age of 80
  • Good relationships not only protect our bodies, but they also protect our brains – their memories stay sharper for longer.

Great lessons, right? Well, don’t just take my word for it. Here’s the 12-minute presentation from Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, the current director of the 75-year-old study on adult development, in which he shares the important lessons learned from the study.

So, why are we talking about relationships? First of all, we are currently in the series “The Relationship Factor,” where I’ve been diving into the importance of relationships in our business. And since our personal relationships have been studied and analyzed through many studies out there, what about our business relationships? The benefits of strong social connections and relationships extend beyond personal well-being. They can positively impact work and business life in several ways:

  • Team Cohesion and Collaboration: In a work environment, having positive relationships with colleagues fosters a sense of teamwork and collaboration. Employees who feel connected to their coworkers are more likely to communicate effectively, share ideas, and work together toward common goals. This can lead to increased productivity, creativity, and innovation within the organization.
  • Employee Engagement and Satisfaction: Supportive relationships at work increase employee engagement and job satisfaction. When employees feel valued, respected, and supported by their peers and supervisors, they are more likely to be motivated, committed, and invested in their work. This can result in lower turnover rates and higher talent retention within the organization.
  • Effective Leadership: Strong interpersonal relationships are essential for effective leadership. Leaders who develop positive relationships with their team members earn trust, credibility, and loyalty, which enhances their ability to influence and inspire others. A leader fostering respect, open communication, and collaboration can create a more cohesive and high-performing team.
  • Networking and Professional Development: Building and maintaining a professional network is crucial for career growth and advancement. Positive relationships with mentors, peers, and industry contacts provide learning, mentorship, and professional development opportunities. Networking allows individuals to exchange ideas, gain new insights, and access career opportunities that may not be available through formal channels.
  • Customer Relationships and Loyalty: Strong relationships with customers are essential for building trust, loyalty, and long-term success in business. When businesses prioritize customer satisfaction and develop positive relationships with their clients, they are more likely to retain customers, generate repeat business, and benefit from positive word-of-mouth referrals. Customer relationships also provide valuable feedback and insights that can inform product development and service improvements.
  • Resilience and Adaptability: Strong social connections can provide support and resilience during times of change or adversity. Businesses that foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and teamwork are better equipped to navigate challenges, adapt to market shifts, and innovate in response to changing circumstances.
  • Work-Life Balance: Positive relationships outside work contribute to employee well-being and work-life balance. Employees who feel supported in their personal lives are more likely to be productive and engaged at work. Employers that prioritize work-life balance and support employees’ personal relationships create a more positive and sustainable work environment.

Overall, cultivating solid social connections and relationships in the workplace promotes collaboration, engagement, and satisfaction among employees, enhances leadership effectiveness, fosters customer loyalty, and contributes to businesses’ overall success and resilience. Investing in relationship-building efforts can yield significant benefits for individuals, teams, and organizations alike.

So, what do you think? Want to live happy and long? Let’s focus and pour our efforts into people and value our relationships over deals. Who knows, maybe that’s also the right formula to fulfill our wish #3…making lots of money!!


The Relationship Factor

“It’s all about relationships.” How many times have you heard this saying in reference to doing business? Well, I have heard it all of my working career, and honestly, I haven’t heard a lot of opposition to this interesting concept. But it does make me wonder: Is it really all about relationships? What does that even mean? And if so, how much of it? Is it the most important factor in business? Or is it just something nice to have, just in case?

In my past life, I worked for a large corporation for 14 years. My first ten years were as an engineer with no management roles, and the last four were as upper management with nothing but management roles. I’ve noticed that during my first ten years at the company, there was a lot of grumbling amongst the non-managers about all the money the company spends on extravagant 10-day, all-expense paid trips hosting the top 250 customers that earned the trip with their purchases. These trips weren’t just to local hotel resorts with golf, food, and shopping; we are talking about international flights to a remote destination guided by a team of travel specialists, fine dining, cocktail hours, concerts, and dressed-up events. Our company saw this as a high value and always set aside a budget to make this happen every other year. But why?

I was about to find out.

When I got promoted to management in year 11, I got to go on this very trip I used to grumble about. The first day at my new position was held at this glamorous, rooftop, outdoor restaurant overlooking the city of Rome. The sun was setting, and I was delivering a speech welcoming everyone and introducing myself to my new role. I still remember the thrill of this new adventure and being overwhelmed by the room full of decision-makers I never met. One of my mentors whispered in my ear, “you’ll need to get to know every one of these people; the relationships you build will determine the success of your career here”. Oh wow. Really?

It turns out that the time we spend together in the next ten days will create a bond that will last a lifetime. It turns out that the hilarious events we got to experience together during that trip will be talked about and laughed about together during our business calls and strategy meetings. It turns out that the relationship that was built actually affected our bottom line regarding who purchased our product vs. our competitors. It turns out that relationships did matter. Almost too much.

Don’t believe me? How about some factual insights into numerous studies that have highlighted the importance of relationships in various aspects of business?

  • Customer Relationships:
    • According to a study by Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%.
    • A Salesforce survey found that 73% of customers say that one extraordinary experience with a company raises their expectations of other companies.
    • Harvard Business Review reports that acquiring a new customer can be five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.
  • Employee Relationships:
    • Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report found that close work friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%, and people with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to engage fully in their work.
    • A study by O.C. Tanner found that 79% of employees who quit their jobs cite a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving.
  • Networking and Partnerships:
    • A HubSpot survey found that 85% of people say they build stronger, more meaningful relationships during in-person business meetings and conferences.
    • According to LinkedIn, 80% of professionals consider networking essential for career success, and 61% say they’ve found jobs through their professional network.
  • Supplier and Vendor Relationships:
    • A study by AT Kearney found that companies with strong supplier relationships typically outperform their competitors in key financial metrics, such as revenue growth and operating margins.
    • The Harvard Business Review reports that companies collaborating closely with suppliers can reduce costs by an average of 20%.
  • Entrepreneurial Relationships:
    • The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that entrepreneurs with strong networks are more likely to start businesses that succeed and grow.
    • A study published in the Journal of Business Venturing found that entrepreneurs with solid relationships with mentors are more likely to survive and thrive in the early stages of their ventures.

While these statistics may not directly measure the importance of relationships in business, they provide valuable insights into how relationships impact business performance, including customer satisfaction, employee engagement, networking, and collaboration. Building and nurturing relationships is essential for long-term success and growth in any business context.

Do you believe me now? Well, you don’t have to yet. I am starting a new series called “The Relationship Factor.” In it, I will dig deeper into this mysterious world of business and relationships. I have a feeling it’s not going to be all sunshine and rainbows. We’ll tackle some negative impacts of relational business as well. But before I go, here’s a quote to consider this week.

“Business is all about relationships…how well you build them determines how well they make your business”. – Brad Sugars

You might be right, Mr. Brad Sugars, so let’s investigate further, shall we?


These are Great Sales Hacks, but Know This First

Posted bySalesNo Comments
Have you ever searched for “sales tips and hacks” on Google or TikTok? If not, you should—it’s a treasure trove of valuable insights into what’s working, what’s trending, and what’s not working in the world of sales. For example:

  • A powerful tip to guide people in choosing the right product is using these four magical words: “Most people chose this…” People naturally desire what others want.
  • Another effective strategy is to focus on helping rather than selling. Stop pushing products and start building trust; sales will follow.
  • Another sales hack is before revealing the price, prepare your potential customer by saying, “It’s really expensive.” This approach either aligns their expectations with the cost or makes the actual price seem more reasonable.
  • Or how about this one? Bake cookies resembling feet, leave them with your business card, and say, “I don’t want to bug you; I just want to get my foot in the door.” It’s a memorable touch that ensures they won’t forget you.
While these examples offer creative and sometimes corny approaches to sales, they may only be effective during specific phases of the selling process.

Knowing which product is popular won’t matter if customers haven’t heard of your company, and discussing pricing is irrelevant if they don’t understand how your product solves their problem.

So, let’s define the 3 different phases of the customer’s purchasing process.

Phase 1 – Awareness: This is the initial stage where the customer becomes aware of your product or service. At this stage, your goal is to attract attention and generate interest.

Phase 2 – Consideration: In this phase, the potential customer has shown interest and is considering your product or service. Your goal is to nurture leads and provide more detailed information to help them make an informed decision.

Phase 3 – Decision: This is the stage where the potential customer is ready to make a decision and convert into a customer. Your focus here is to provide the final push.

These three phases represent a general framework, and the specifics may vary depending on the nature of the business and the industry. This is a helpful concept for businesses to understand the customer journey and tailor their sales efforts accordingly.

So, here are some more specific tips and hacks depending on which phase your potential customer is in. In fact, let’s even get more specific. Let’s set an example of what you can do if you are running a dental practice:

Phase 1 – Awareness:

  • Content Creation: The dental practice creates blog posts, social media content, and videos on general oral health, common dental issues, and tips for maintaining a healthy smile. This content is designed to reach a broad audience and attract people who may not be actively seeking dental services but are interested in oral health.
  • Social Media Presence: The dental practice maintains an active presence on platforms like Instagram and Facebook, sharing engaging content such as infographics on oral hygiene, fun facts about dental care, and encouraging followers to ask questions about their oral health.
Phase 2 – Consideration:

  • Email Campaigns: The dental practice collects email addresses through a newsletter signup on their website. They send out newsletters with more in-depth content, such as articles on the benefits of preventive dental care, the importance of regular check-ups, and information about different dental treatments.
  • Webinars: The practice hosts webinars on specific dental topics, like “Understanding the Importance of Dental Cleanings” or “Options for Teeth Whitening.” These webinars provide valuable information to those considering various dental procedures.
  • Lead Scoring: The practice uses online forms or surveys to gauge the level of interest of potential patients. For example, someone who downloads an in-depth guide on dental implants might score higher as they are likely in the consideration stage for a specific procedure.
Phase 3 – Decision:

  • Personalized Consultations: Once a potential patient has expressed interest, the dental practice offers free consultations. During these consultations, the dentist addresses the individual’s specific dental concerns, discusses treatment options, and provides personalized recommendations.
  • Patient Testimonials: The practice showcases video testimonials or written reviews from satisfied patients who have undergone successful treatments. This helps build trust and confidence in the decision-making process for potential patients.
  • Limited-Time Offers: To encourage decision-making, the dental practice might offer limited-time promotions, such as discounts on certain procedures or special packages for comprehensive dental care.
By strategically addressing each stage of the sales funnel, the dental practice can attract new patients, nurture their interest, and ultimately guide them toward making informed decisions about their oral health.

I’m curious about your strategies—what’s working for you, and what have you tried that isn’t working? Let’s learn together in our “Sales” series. I hope you find this information valuable in your entrepreneurial journey.

Why You Should Care About the Difference Between Sales and Marketing…

Posted bySalesNo Comments
If you are like me, you lived most of your life NOT thinking about correcting someone who lumps marketing and sales into the same sentence. Mostly because you are not 100% sure what the differences are. I mean…ultimately, they seem to serve the same purpose, right? Sales and marketing both aim to increase revenue and customer acquisition for your business. Sure. So then, it would make total sense for a small business to combine it all together into one job, right? I understand that big corporations can afford to have it separated, with one manager overseeing sales and another managing marketing. But for us little guys, we can just combine it all. Right?

Nope! Well, why not? Great question, I think the best way to answer is to first clearly define each role and purpose. So, here we go.

  • Role: Marketing is responsible for creating awareness and demand for a company’s products or services. It involves generating interest and inquiries from potential customers.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of marketing is to build and maintain the brand, attract and nurture leads, and provide the sales team with a pool of potential customers. Marketing focuses on creating a positive image of the company and its offerings in the marketplace.
  • Role: Sales is responsible for directly engaging with potential customers to convert them into paying customers. Salespeople work on closing deals and managing the transactional aspects of the sale.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of sales is to turn interested prospects into actual customers. Sales focuses on understanding the specific needs and preferences of individual customers and guiding them through the purchase process. It involves building relationships, addressing objections, and finalizing the sale.
In summary, marketing is about creating awareness, generating interest, and attracting potential customers to the business, while sales are about direct interaction with customers to close deals and facilitate the purchase process. Marketing lays the groundwork by creating opportunities and leads, and sales capitalizes on those opportunities to convert prospects into customers. Both functions are essential and, when properly aligned and coordinated, contribute to the overall success of a business.

So, to summarize the summary, Marketing is about creating awareness and interest in a product or service, while sales are about turning that interest into actual purchases through direct customer interactions.
So, to summarize the summary of the summary. Marketing creates leads, and Sales turns leads into customers.

So, why can’t we still just combine the two departments together? Usually, it’s because it takes two completely different skill sets.

Marketing Skill Sets:
  • Creativity: Marketers often need to come up with creative and engaging campaigns, designs, and content to capture the audience’s attention.
  • Content Creation: Writing, design, and multimedia skills are essential for creating compelling content, such as blog posts, videos, social media posts, and advertisements.
  • Data Analysis: Analytical skills are crucial for understanding customer behavior, tracking the performance of marketing campaigns, and making data-driven decisions.
  • Market Research: Conducting research to understand the target audience, market trends, and competitors is essential for effective marketing.
  • Digital Marketing: Proficiency in various digital marketing channels, including SEO, social media, email marketing, and pay-per-click advertising, is often required.
  • Branding: Developing and maintaining a consistent and appealing brand image is a fundamental marketing skill.
  • Communication: Effective communication, both written and verbal, is necessary for conveying marketing messages and collaborating with the team.
Sales Skill Sets:
  • Interpersonal Skills: Salespeople need to build rapport, establish trust, and effectively communicate with potential customers.
  • Negotiation: Negotiation skills are vital for reaching mutually beneficial agreements and closing deals.
  • Product Knowledge: A deep understanding of the product or service being sold is necessary to answer questions and address customer concerns.
  • Objection Handling: The ability to handle customer objections and concerns in a persuasive and reassuring manner is critical.
  • Closing Skills: Sales professionals must know how to ask for the sale and guide customers through the purchasing process.
  • Time Management: Effective time management is crucial to prioritize leads and focus on high-value opportunities.
  • Resilience: Sales can be challenging, so resilience and the ability to handle rejection are important qualities.
  • Relationship Building: Building and maintaining long-term relationships with customers is key to repeat business and referrals.
While there is some overlap in skills, these skill sets reflect the distinct demands of marketing and sales roles. 

Marketing relies more on creativity, content creation, and data analysis, while sales emphasizes interpersonal skills, negotiation, and the ability to guide customers through the buying process. Successful marketing and sales teams often complement each other, working together to achieve a common goal.

So…what do we do now? I think knowledge is key. Once you know the important aspects of each role, the skillsets required for success for each role, and the main purpose of each role, you are way ahead of the rest. Just knowing will help you make the right decisions on how your department is run and who gets to run it.

Also, if you are a solopreneur and you are doing it all yourself, I believe it can still help guide you to compartmentalize your efforts and processes into 2 separate entities that operate independently but also can work together to grow your business.

I hope you can find this distinction helpful and next time someone tries to lump the two together, you can tell them…”nope, not today”, and share these thoughts with them. If they seemed shocked and confused and ask where you found out all this information, tell them you got it from Hanju at BOS Media Group. Hahaha!! Have a great week everyone!

How to Sell Outside of the Box

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My car-buying experience has never been a good one. Maybe it’s because I’ve experienced it with my dad most of my life. He loves to bargain and he’s a tough cookie. I mean, to an extreme… almost illegally tough. By the time we sign the contract to purchase, the salesperson is usually exhausted and borderline ready to quit his job altogether. My dad puts them through the wringer and spits them out. His secret of getting the best deals? Be okay to walk away. Never get emotionally attached to anything. He doesn’t care what color interior it has, or that it’s the last one in stock, or the new leather smells just so so good. It doesn’t phase him one bit.

Me? I am all heart when I purchase anything. If I find something I love, I am like…”here, please…take my money” Want more? Sure! How much more? That’s it? Here, take more!” I am my dad’s worst nightmare.

Do you know who else is a tough cookie negotiator? Yup, you guessed it. I am married to one. How do you think she got me to marry her? Hahahah! That’s why, when I need to go car shopping, I take my her along with me. And I mentally prepare myself for a long battle. I try not to emotionally fall in love with the perfectly and seamlessly designed and engineered 20″ wheels…or the smell of the new leather. I just try to disconnect myself emotionally and just watch my negotiator do all the work to get the best deal for the best value. So exhausting for me.

But why is car buying so stressful? Why are car salespeople not trustworthy? Why and who created this system the way it is and why can’t we do something better? The answer? Yes, we can do something better, and Yes we have something better.

The new normal of car purchase is becoming the way many dealers are embracing the shift to online and in-house showroom type of seamless buying experience. No more haggling, no more confusion, no more untrustworthy sales team but something that puts high value on customer service and unique one-on-one experience. Here’s a real-life example.

We walked into a beautifully designed showroom where they had 2 models being displayed. A young, cool, hip, and friendly team member came over with a smile and asked if we had an appointment. I said no. “No worries she said, I have a slot open for you in 5 minutes with one of our best sales staff, grab a seat and he’ll be with you in a minute”. Quickly, their dedicated sales staff came over and asks us a few questions and see if we wanted to test drive. We said yes and the car pulled up to the front, he sat with us to go over all the controls and features of the car. He gave us the key and asked us to bring the car back in about 20 minutes or so and he went back inside.

After a nice 20-minute, private test drive with just me and my negotiator, we got back to the dealership where he welcomed us back. We sat in front of the computer with him, clicked over different options, and printed out the specs and the cost. He told us how many they had in stock and when we could have it if we wanted it. We said we’ll think about it and he said thanks for coming in and to reach out if we have any questions. Wait, what? He didn’t beg us to stay or make us wait so he could talk to his manager or ask us “Would you make this purchase today if we can lower our price down to (fill in the blank)?

They have single-handedly revolutionized the new way of purchasing a car.

I wanted to share this experience with you as we are in our “Sales” series to prove that thinking out of the box can not only solve a problem but propel your business into a whole new atmosphere of greatness. How are you selling your products? How is the customer’s experience? What are some of the ways that can help you revolutionize your own industry in selling?

Whatever it is, big or small, I would love to hear from you what your current challenges are and what your ideas are to change it. This is how we can stand out. This is how we can refocus our energy back on our customers, this is how we can usher our customers into their amazing buying experience. Sales can be everything for your business, so let’s start thinking out of the box.

You are Just Not Interesting…

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If you are in sales, or if you ever tried to sell anything, have you ever had the prospect say…”I am not interested.”? So, how do you overcome this objection? Well, you don’t. Because “I am not interested” is not an objection. It’s the truth. You are just not interesting. Sorry.

Someone came up to me the other day and wanted me to sign a petition. I said, no thank you and he seemed very confused. He had this look like why wouldn’t you take 5 seconds to sign my obvious “this will change the world for good” petition? Well, I don’t know anything about this petition. I haven’t done the research yet. I haven’t studied the opposing side and even had any time to ponder and think about it. I don’t even know you. Maybe you have another agenda…how do I know? And therefore, why would I sign? So…no….I am NOT interested. And yes, you definitely are NOT interesting and you gave me no reason to sign.

So, how do you make yourself interesting to someone who could potentially buy from you?

You need to shine a light on a meaningfully different idea related to a problem your prospect might not know about. What does that mean? It means, first identifying their problem, then solving it in a way that they’ve never heard of. Surprise them. Educate them. They will become interested. Here’s a perfect, real-life example…

Okay, pretend that you own a small coffee shop chain. You have 5 stores in the area and you want every cup of coffee from each store to taste exactly the same since that’s your signature roast and brew. You also understand that 98% of coffee is water so you must have an amazing water filtration system. So, you’ve been shopping for one and you finally run into an expert filtration salesperson…me.

Let’s pretend that I am a Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration Salesperson. I would start the pitch by saying something like, “Did you know that the reverse osmosis water filtering system takes all the impurities out of the water?  Sounds great, right? Well, not really because when all the impurities are taken out of the water, the water is simply too pure to brew coffee with, all the flavors are in the minerals, and the RO system purified it, so…your coffee is going to taste terrible. This expensive RO system I am trying to sell you is basically useless.”

Are you sold yet? Hahaha.

Then I would say, “But guess what? Our system analyses your raw water impurities at each store location and we are able to mix the ratio of the raw water vs the purified water to make a perfect cup of coffee. And because we are able to control the ratio, each store will have the exact same tasting water regardless of what city or what type of water the store is getting.”

Now, are you sold yet?

I just solved your problem by shining a light on a meaningfully different idea related to a problem you didn’t know about. Before you met me, RO filtration was out of the question, but I came up with a different idea to solve the inconsistent-tasting coffee you were having at each of your store locations. Did I identify your problem? Yes! Did I solve it in a way you’ve never heard of before? Yes! Did I surprise you? Yes! Did I educate you? Yes!

So, am I interesting? Oh my yes!

When people say “I am NOT a salesperson”, I think what they are really saying is “I am NOT comfortable selling.” The ability to sell is not something you’re born with. In fact, what selling really is: exposing a problem to a prospect and swapping it out with a new possibility. Selling is easy. Selling is fun. Selling is life. It’s helping bring a change to someone else’s life, and getting paid doing it. What’s not fun about that? What’s not interesting about that?

Omg, You are so Good at Sales!

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My friend looked down at my feet. I guess something caught her eye. My shoelace was loose. With a concerned look on her face and with her soft, caring voice she said, “Hey, your shoelace is untied.” To which I replied, “Yeah, I know, I understand your worry and I appreciate it but did you know that the whole tripping over your shoelace thing is a myth?” She looked confused, so I continued. “The chances of your loose shoelace getting caught underneath your moving feet and causing it to break your walking/running rhythm to force a fall is minuscule. Less than .000001%. It’s not even worth worrying about. Let me show you.” I began to run around crazy with my shoelace untied.

I finally came to a stop, and trying to catch my breath, I looked over at her and said, “see, I didn’t trip”. She laughed. And jokingly said to me, “Hmm, you should be in sales.” And I thought to myself…”Yeah, maybe I should”.

Isn’t it interesting that the most misunderstood idea of selling is that it’s primarily about convincing people to buy something they don’t want or need? The more convincing you are, and more pushy you are, the better you are at sales. Right? WRONG!

What, then, makes a good salesperson? In reality, an effective salesperson is someone who takes the time to understand the customer’s needs, exercises patience in building a trustworthy relationship, and possesses the intuition to provide solutions that genuinely benefit them. It’s more about helping than convincing.

But most of all, the most significant characteristic of a great salesperson is empathy. Empathy enables us to comprehend, relate to, and genuinely care about the customers’ needs and concerns.

So, is empathy something you can develop and learn? Yes, empathy can be learned and developed. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. It involves recognizing and being sensitive to the emotions, thoughts, and perspectives of others. How? One way is to actively listen, and pay close attention to what people are saying. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings. Avoid interrupting or immediately offering solutions.

In order to help guide the development phase of empathy, I came up with some questions you can ask your potential client that can help you better understand their needs and guide them toward a purchase.

  • What challenges or goals are you currently facing in your [industry/area]?
  • How do you envision our product/service helping you with these challenges/goals?
  • Have you used similar products/services before? What did you like or dislike about them?
  • Who will be involved in the decision-making process for this purchase?
  • What is your budget or price range for this solution?
  • Are there any specific features or benefits that are most important to you?
  • What is your timeline for implementing a solution like this?
  • Can you share any concerns or objections you might have about moving forward with this purchase?
  • How do you measure success in your [industry/area]?
  • Are there any other stakeholders or departments we should involve in this discussion?
  • What would be the ideal outcome or result for you after implementing our product/service?
And while they are answering some of these questions, keep these points in mind.

  • Active Listening: Pay close attention to what people are saying. Ask open-ended questions to encourage them to express their thoughts and feelings. Avoid interrupting or immediately offering solutions.
  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Try to imagine how the other person might be feeling and what they might be thinking in a given situation. This can help you better understand their perspective.
  • Practice Perspective-Taking: Actively work on understanding different viewpoints, even if you don’t agree with them. This can help you become more open-minded and empathetic.
  • Observe and Learn from Others: Pay attention to people who are naturally empathetic. What do they do differently? You can learn from their behaviors and attitudes.
  • Practice Compassion: Engage in acts of kindness and support for others. Volunteer or help friends and family when they are in need. This can enhance your ability to empathize.
  • Self-Reflection: Take time to reflect on your own emotions and experiences. The more you understand yourself, the better you can relate to the experiences of others.

It’s important to note that empathy is a skill that can be improved over time, but it may not come naturally to everyone. The key is to be open to learning and practicing empathy in your interactions with others.

I truly believe customizing your questions and approach to each client is key to successful sales…and I also believe that being a good salesperson means being a good human. We can all use more empathy…in business and in life.

Looking forward to digging deeper into our “Sales” series. Stay tuned for more next week.

Oh, one more thing, I started running around again without tying my shoe. And I tripped. True story.

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