“Adrienne gave me wonderfully fresh ideas for marketing my business at a big conference last Fall. They worked! I got two big clients from it!”

Janell Osborn White Space Graphics,LLC


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Just today I was at a meeting, where I heard something interesting about a fellow member: she wasn’t going to renew.  She claimed she got nothing out of her membership.

Now this is a woman who I haven’t set eyes on in well over a year.  Does she attend any of our meetings or social events?  Of course you know the answer.

So here’s the big whopping secret to business success from organizations to which you pay dues:  

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Thanks to email and the Internet, a good deal of direct mail has fallen on hard times.  Just ask the U.S. Post Office.

That said, direct mail has been and still is a proven marketing strategy.  Trouble is, too many people don’t know how to utilize it.

Here is some conventional thinking about direct mail and how to turn it around.

1.  “Let’s do a mailing and see what happens.”

Huh-uh.  That’s as inefficient as “let’s run an ad and see what happens.”

Commit to four mailings and then evaluate.  Quarterly or bimonthly will do.

2. “We have to mail at least 5,000 pieces to get a decent return.”  No, you don’t.  

Even a mailing to 100,000 unknown people might deliver next to no results.  Concentrate on your own list, Known to Known; and don’t worry about the numbers.  Several years ago a client with a scientific company sent out a mailing to its 100 clients.  Within three months, he had heard from everyone.

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The other day I was on a phone consultation with a client who wasn’t very happy.  He was watching a potential piece of business go down the drain, because nepotism seemed to be determining who was going to be awarded the account.

“I thought I’d just keep sending them mailings about how good we are, to try to convince them that the brother-in-law’s firm doesn’t have the experience we have in this area.”

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What a minefield this is, exacerbated by people not knowing how to handle the situation.

You have a seasoned salesperson who’s been calling on a client for three years.  You bring in a new salesperson and turn this seasoned client over to him or her.  The new salesperson calls the client to introduce him or herself, perhaps even sets an appointment.

And, of course this new person blabs that he or she is new, because you didn’t warn, “don’t go there.”  (There’s absolutely no reason to burden people with information they don’t need to know.  The length of time an individual has been with a company is a very poor second to their experience and expertise.)

Within a few weeks you receive a call from this client, who says he’s gotten a better deal elsewhere.  What’s going on here?  Pure emotion (remember: marketing isn’t logical; it’s emotional); but he’s definitely not going to give you the real reason, which is he’s ticked off at being handed over to the newest kid on the block.

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No, the Hit List you’re thinking of is not what I have in mind.

I’m writing about a “Business Hit List.”  Do you have one?  You should.

A Hit List is a list of six – twelve people or companies with whom you wish to do business.

The people on your list may be Program Chairs of organizations where you would like to speak.  They may be key contacts within the firms you have your eye on.  They may be influential within your community.  They may be your professional advisors (lawyer, CPA, financial planner, marketing or management consultant, architect or engineer).  Those in the professions know lots of people.  What’s the chance they know someone to whom you’d like an introduction?

Creating this Hit List will help your schmoozing schedule (www.azobleassoc.com for our 2015 e-Schmoozing Calendar).  This list will give you focus: whom should you meet with, for what purpose and when?

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