I had the very good fortune to work with Adrienne when she consulted for our medical practice. She is razor-sharp, on top of her field, connected and pulls no punches. I learned a lot in a short amount of time and Adrienne was always willing to share knowledge in whatever level of detail necessary. 

Tom Murphy, IBMC



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Marketing Courage

by in Business Marketing
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Marketing Courage

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.”

I verbally pounced.  “Oh no, you don’t.  No letters or emails.  They’ll do nothing.  Have the courage to go to the company and state your case.”

“Just drop in?” he asked.  I explained, “Call first and ask if the owner is in, or when he’ll be in.  Then plan to drop in when it’s to your advantage, apologize for not having an appointment and ask for a mere five minutes of his time.”

He was willing to do this, so I gave him another prompt.  “There are two words in our language, which a very savvy management consultant taught me decades ago.  They’re probably the two most powerful words in marketing and selling:  “confused” and “disappointed.”

I gave him a couple of examples.  “I’m confused, after you stated you would probably go with us; what changed your mind?”  Or, “I’m disappointed that you’re planning to go with firm X, after you seemed so impressed by our presentation.”

You certainly can compose your own sentences around these two powerhouse words, “confused” and “disappointed.”  Here’s the key, however: once you utilize these words, shut up!  Do not, under any circumstances, keep talking.  What you’ve done is backed that person into a corner.  Now let him get himself out!

While technology has myriad advantages, there’s a downside: it’s given huge numbers of people the ability to avoid face-to-face and voice-to-voice communication.  Don’t ever let snail mail or email speak for you, when you should be speaking for yourself!

If you’re dealing with a client or prospect long-distance, then the telephone will do.  Voice-to-voice is far more effective than the written words which can all too often sound defensive or whiny, no matter how much you edit what you’re trying to convey.

A little courage here, please.  Stop relying on technology, when there’s a need for a one-on-one, face-to-face or verbal exchange.

It’s time to remember the words of our late President, Harry S. Truman:  “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."


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Adrienne was a New Jersey public speaker and business expert for over THIRTY years. Now she’s a marketing and referral consultant. Denver and Northern Colorado have depended on her since her arrival here over 12 years ago.

Consulting and speaking to business owners and executives of growing businesses throughout the United States since 1977, Adrienne Zoble has guided companies toward marketing strategies that help them work smart, not hard.