How to Deal with an Angry Customer

April 8th, 2014

We’ve all been there. (And you haven’t yet, you will at some point.) Whether because of our mistake, or through no fault of our own, a customer is angry. Beyond angry—furious!

And whether you’re a salesperson, a customer service representative, or the business owner, you get the pleasure of dealing with it.

How do you calm someone who is yelling, screaming, even threatening a lawsuit? How can you repair a relationship that seems hopelessly damaged?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this seven-minute segment, I share exactly what to do when confronted with such a nightmarish situation. You’ll discover how to calm a person down, how to prevent angering them further, and how to salvage—and even strengthen—the relationship.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

How to Deal with an Angry Customer: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I definitely recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

53 Things Buyers Want Less Of

March 31st, 2014

In a recent post, I listed 54 Things Buyers Want More Of. But buyers also want less.

Sometimes buyers want less of some things in addition to more of other things. Other times buyers are only interested in less. (This is especially true of people who tend to be negatively-focused rather than positively-focused.)

So what does your company, product or service offer your customer less of? (Or “fewer of” as the case may be.) Here are 53 ideas:

1. Uncertainty
2. Hassle
3. Pain
4. Loss
5. Effort
6. Downtime
7. Paperwork
8. Criticism
9. Fear
10. Worry
11. Frustration
12. Rejection
13. Expense
14. Risk
15. Additives
16. Embarrassment
17. Maintenance
18. Side effects
19. Disappointment
20. Stress
21. Waiting
22. Shrinkage
23. Errors
24. Unwanted attention
25. Waste
26. Calories
27. Fat
28. Trans Fat
29. Sugar
30. Caffeine
31. Artificial ingredients
32. Guilt
33. Confusion
34. Loneliness
35. Theft
36. Wasted time
37. Pollution
38. Insecurity
39. Work
40. Delays
41. Failure
42. Boredom
43. Chaos
44. Headaches
45. Emissions
46. Interruptions
47. Trouble
48. Punishment
49. Distractions
50. Wrinkles
51. Bullying
52. Toxins
53. Discomfort

Use this list (as well as the list of what buyers want more of) as you create or revise your marketing materials or sales presentations. Determine which specific items your prospective customer wants less of in their life or business and how your product or service diminishes or eliminates them.

Do that and you’ll make more sales with less effort, frustration and rejection.
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What else do buyers want less of? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Two Diabolically Opposite Sales Strategies

March 20th, 2014

Is there a right way and a wrong way to sell? An old way and a new way? A slow way and a fast way? Or perhaps a risky way and a safe way?

Listen in as Dino Dogan (co-founder of Triberr) and I debate and discuss two radically different approaches to sales on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. Toward the end of the show, Geoff Livingston (founder of Tenacity 5 Media) joins us to add to the conversation. It’s like a two-hour graduate course in sales and marketing!

Be Advised: The complete show is two hours long, so you’ll probably want to download it to your favorite mobile device. To do so, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Two Diabolically Opposite Sales Strategies: Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about my fellow business experts featured in this program, click their names above to follow them on Twitter or click their company names above to visit their web sites.

Do You Discriminate Enough?

March 13th, 2014

I recently read about a restaurant in Alexandria, Virginia called The Sushi Bar. Even before it opened, it received a lot of publicity for an unusual reason: The restaurant bans all children 18 and under.

Owner Mike Anderson wanted to create a dining experience that would enable adults to eat without children around. He envisioned a place that would give parents a break from their kids and would be a perfect “date night” destination for couples.

Naturally the policy has generated a storm of controversy, with many parents decrying the “discriminating” approach and vowing never to eat there.

Others, however, have heartily supported Anderson, both vocally and by packing the restaurant nightly.

Because not only are the food and service terrific, but because the restaurant discriminates.

Discrimination isn’t always illegal. And it isn’t always wrong. Curves is a women-only gym. Retirement communities only allow residents above a certain age. Hooters doesn’t hire men to work as wait staff. Numerous vacation resorts around the world are “adults-only.”

What do all these businesses have in common?

They each create a distinctive experience, one that is different from their competitors.

Keep in mind that the word “discriminate” also means “to distinguish” or “differentiate.”

So how are you distinguishing yourself, your company or your product? How do you differentiate from your competition? And how are you discriminating among your potential customers?

Because you can’t be all things to all people. To be successful, you need to be the ideal solution for your ideal customer. Which means you need to have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is:

• What are they like?
• Where are they?
• What do they want?
• How are they motivated?
• What are their problems?
• How much will they spend?
• What are their values?

Being the ideal choice for your ideal customer means being an unappealing choice for those who aren’t. If you want your ideal prospects to say “yes” to you, you need to say “no” to others.

So who are you willing to say “no” to?

Five Ways to Increase Your Sales

March 4th, 2014

Every salesperson, business owner and CEO wants to increase their sales. The question is how to do it?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this eight-minute segment, I share five simple strategies that anyone, in any business, can implement quickly and easily. Whatever your position, whatever your industry, I guarantee you’ll be able to use at least a couple—if not all five—of these strategies to give your sales a boost!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Five Ways to Increase Your Sales: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I highly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

54 Things Buyers Want More Of

February 20th, 2014

Human beings are never satisfied. Which is a good thing, because it’s that trait that causes us to continually progress. We want bigger, better, faster.

We want more.

Whenever we buy something, it’s because we’re looking to attain more of something in our life or business.

So what does your company, product or service offer your customer more of? Here are 54 ideas:

1. Taste
2. Information
3. Entertainment
4. Capacity
5. Energy
6. Flexibility
7. Attention
8. Security
9. Time
10. Money
11. Features
12. Accuracy
13. Power
14. In-depth analysis
15. Options
16. Excitement
17. Support
18. Uses
19. Coverage
20. Seating
21. Freedom
22. Certainty
23. Opportunities
24. Consistency
25. Productivity
26. Storage
27. Praise
28. Choices
29. Attendees
30. Reach
31. Battery life
32. Growth
33. Protection
34. Influence
35. Love
36. Sex
37. Confidence
38. Ability
39. Results
40. Fun
41. Space
42. Insight
43. Control
44. Advantages
45. Reliability
46. Connection
47. Mobility
48. Convenience
49. Energy efficiency
50. Comfort
51. Health
52. Capabilities
53. Perks
54. Success

Use this list as you create or revise your marketing materials or sales presentations. Identify which specific items your prospective customer wants more of and determine how your product or service provides them with those things.

Do that and you’ll achieve more sales.

What else do buyers want more of? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

Prospects Aren’t Always Prospects

February 14th, 2014

By guest blogger
Sharon Drew Morgen

As sellers, we’ve been taught that someone with a need that our solution fulfills is a prospect. But that’s not true or we’d be closing a lot more business and wasting a lot less time following the wrong prospects. Just because we see a need does not mean they:

A. want it resolved
B. want it resolved now
C. have the buy-in to bring in an external solution rather than using their own internal fix or beloved vendor
D. are ready to give up the work-around they have in place that resolves the problem well enough.

So Rule #1: Need does not a prospect make.

Unfortunately, the sales model has no capability to go behind-the-scenes to facilitate buy-in from the internal system—the other people who don’t see a need or don’t want to share budget, the tech group that wants to do it all themselves, or the president who has her own agenda and hasn’t informed everyone yet.

Rule #2: Until everyone and everything that will touch the new solution buys in to bringing it on board, there will be no purchase, regardless of a need.

THE SYSTEM IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE NEED

Buyers have systems problems; a solution purchase (or any sort of change) is merely the last element in a chain of events that must fit together so everything internally keeps ticking along comfortably.

Rule #3: The system is sacrosanct, regardless of the efficacy of your solution.

Here are two situations in which I failed miserably (and lost quite a bit of money), prior to understanding that buyers (in companies and individuals) must manage internal stability before they can buy.

I did a pilot for an iconic multinational. Using Buying Facilitation® the group had a 400% increase in sales over the control group (we shortened the sales cycle from 7 months to 4 weeks). They got rid of me because the problems caused by increased revenue and cash flow issues, shifts of the manufacturing schedules, etc., would cost many millions to fix. They eschewed the increased profit to maintain the system.

I trained a large insurance group that got a 600% increase in sales over the control group (they went from 110 visits and 18 closed sales to 27 visits and 25 closed sales). After the results were in, the trained team handed in their resignations because they said they were “field sales” reps and would rather quit then come inside, regardless of how much money they made. They liked handing out donuts and schmoozing.

From my point of view this is nuts. But from theirs it made sense. Systems maintain their status quo at all costs, regardless of the benefits of our solutions. Indeed, if the system had wanted to change and knew how to change without disrupting the status quo, it would have already. Systems prefer excellence so long as there is stability.

THE SALES MODEL IS SOLUTION-BASED; BUYING IS SYSTEMS-BASED

Philosophically, the sales model is accurate: we can see needs that our solutions will resolve. But it’s not a prospect until or unless the Buying Decision Team—everyone who will touch the final solution—is ready, willing, and able to bring our solution in and knows how to shift rules or job descriptions, bring in new technology without downtime, and ensure there are no historic blind spots.

I developed Buying Facilitation® in 1983 to manage the sales issues my team was having in my new tech company. After 5 prior years in sales, I couldn’t make sense of why “prospects” weren’t buying as often as was logical. But as an entrepreneur who needed to purchase solutions myself, I faced the problem all buyers face: how, when, if to make a change and avoid disruption. So I developed Buying Facilitation® and trained my team.

We began doubling our sales. I even taught my techies how to facilitate their users to make sure they got the buy-in for their programs and projects and got the right data at the right time.

Facilitate systemic change in your area of expertise first—enter each sales call as a facilitator rather than as a detective seeking a need/solution match. Help prospective buyers determine how to change, how to get buy-in, how to bring in your solution. Along the way, you both will determine next steps, who needs to be included, and how to get everyone on board—with you!—to move toward the remedy your solution will provide. And then you can sell.

Buying Facilitation® first, then sales. You need both.

Sharon Drew Morgen has been helping sellers influence and facilitate the buyer’s behind-the-scenes buying journey since the mid 80s, coining the terms Buying Patterns, Buying Path, Buying Decision, Buy Cycle, Buying Decision Team, and Buying Facilitation®. Her unique capability to recognize where buyers are stuck in the buy cycle, and designing strategies to teach buyers how to traverse their buy-in activities, have made her a sought-out coach and consultant. To learn more or to contact Sharon Drew, visit SharonDrewMorgen.com.

Four Fears That Are Preventing Your Sales Success

February 5th, 2014

Are you not experiencing the sales success you’d like? Odds are, one or more fears are holding you back. And the challenge is, we’re typically not even aware we have these fears!

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this eight-minute segment, I reveal what these fears are, where they come from, and what to do about them. Understanding these fears is the first step to conquering them, so you can experience the success you deserve!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Four Fears That Are Preventing Your Sales Success: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I strongly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

Selling In the Age of the Customer

January 27th, 2014

Human history has been marked by technological innovations so significant, they ushered in an entirely new era. Think Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age. Or more recently, the Age of Discovery, the Age of Enlightenment, the Machine Age, the Information Age.

In his new book, The Age of the Customer, Jim Blasingame argues that we are undergoing such a shift right now. And its implications are huge for anyone in business.

Blasingame divides human economic activity into two Ages: the Age of the Seller and the Age of the Customer. The former began when early people first started trading with each other. The latter, Blasingame pinpoints to April 30, 1993—the date the Mosaic web browser was introduced, opening up the Internet to the average person.

The web has fundamentally altered how people buy, according to Blasingame. He identifies three specific elements that have changed:

Product

• “Virtually everything a business can sell has become a commodity.
• It’s much less frequent for a seller to introduce an innovation that is so unique that it provides any level of control over customers.
• For millennia, customer purchase options were from a limited number of merchants. In the new Age, customer have multiple shopping and purchasing options.”

Information

• “The entire universe of human knowledge—including information formerly controlled by sellers—is now generally available to the entire universe of humans.
• Humans now have the ability to discover, learn, comment on, and share their experiences, opinions, and appraisals.”

Word-of-Mouth

“In the Age of the Seller, word-of-mouth was incidental and had a marginal impact on how a seller conducted business. In the new Age, word-of-mouth has expanded and morphed into User Generated Content (UGC): the posting on digital platforms of experiences, attitudes, questions, praise, or condemnation. UGC is word-of-mouth on steroids.”

Blasingame comes to a scary conclusion: “Prospects have access to virtually all the information they need before the Seller even knows they’re interested.”

Let that sink in a moment.

The rules of the game have changed. Dramatically. Irrevocably. Which leads Blasingame to a powerful insight: “In the new Age, the greatest danger for every business is not being uncompetitive, but becoming irrelevant.”

So how does a business become and stay relevant? That’s what Blasingame devotes most of the book to, addressing marketing, sales and customer service. He discusses:

• How to build trust with prospects and customers
• The critical difference between demographics and communities
• Why you must become a publisher
• Three Laws of Small Business Social Media
• How your brand has been co-opted by people you don’t even know
• The evolution of expectations
• Why quality process trumps quality service
• And much more.

The Age of the Customer is well written, with plenty of stories to illustrate Blasingame’s points. The book is peppered with graphs, quotes and “Blasingame’s Laws”—pithy nuggets that are worth the price of the book themselves.

Every new age has presented challenges and opportunities. Those that fail to adapt suffer, while those who take advantage of the new opportunities thrive. Think of The Age of the Customer as your guidebook to higher sales in this new—and exciting—age.

Get it at Amazon:

The Age of the Customer: Prepare for the Moment of Relevance

Are You Thanking Your Customers or Insulting Them?

January 16th, 2014

I recently celebrated a birthday, which I tend to do about every year or so. In addition to the cards, phone calls, texts and Facebook messages from friends and family, I also received numerous e-mails from businesses I frequent.

Each e-mail bore warm wishes for wonderful day and presented me with a special “gift”—a coupon for a free desert with the purchase of an entrée, a buy-one-get-one free offer, or a discount off a regular purchase.

Gee, thanks.

The subtext of their message is “We’d like to celebrate your birthday by having you come by and give us some of your money!”

How generous of you.

I get similar e-mails from time to time with subject lines like “Thank you for your loyalty” or “A Special Gift for You.” The message inside always expresses the company’s gratitude for my business, and as a token of that gratitude, they’d like to extend me a special offer. Which again is always some type of discount.

Understand this:

A discount is not a gift!

A discount offer is a sales pitch.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with offering an existing customer a discount on a future purchase, per se. But saying you want to “thank” or “celebrate” a customer by getting them to buy more is insulting as hell.

I would rather you just ignore my birthday and my loyalty than send me sales come-ons disguised as gifts, because the self-servingness offends me.

And guess what? It offends your customers as well.

If you really want to thank your customers for their business, send them a real gift. Something absolutely free, that requires no purchase or obligation. It can be your product or service. It can be a gift card. It can be something unrelated to your business. It can even be a donation to a charity in their name.

That conveys your gratitude.

And when your customers feel that you truly appreciate them, they return more often, spend more money, and tell more people about you.

So stop insulting your customers. Start thanking them instead.

Five Resources for a Breakthrough Sales Year

January 7th, 2014

Would you like to create a record sales year? You can!

Although you can’t do it alone. You need people to provide you with information, advice and feedback. Which begs the question, where can you find them?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this nine-minute segment, I share five resources where you can get all three of these critical elements. Tap into one or more of them, and you’ll be able to seriously boost your sales!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Five Resources for a Breakthrough Sales Year: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I highly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

Seven Business Mistakes and What You Can Learn From Them

December 26th, 2013

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. ” —Eleanor Roosevelt

What happens when seven business experts come together and share their biggest mistakes from the past year? An incredible outpouring of raw honesty, riotous laughter, keen insights and valuable advice.

Listen in as Dino Dogan (founder of Triberr), Andrea Waltz (author Go For No), Geoff Livingston (founder of Tenacity 5 Media), Stephanie Calahan (The Business Catalyst™), Daniel Cohen (founder of RedShift Writers) and I join Michele Price on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio. As the seven of us discuss our biggest failures and offer each other ideas about how to do better next year, you’re guaranteed to glean some useful wisdom you can apply to your own business or sales career.

Be Advised: The complete show is about an hour and twenty minutes, so you’ll probably want to download it to your favorite mobile device. To do so, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Seven Business Mistakes and What You Can Learn From Them: Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about my fellow business experts featured in this program, click their names above to follow them on Twitter or click their company names above to visit their web sites.

What was your biggest mistake this past year? And what are you planning to do differently next year? Share in the comments section below!

Can You Charge More?

December 18th, 2013

What would happen if you charged more for your product or service? Would sales drop? Would you experience backlash from your customers?

The makers of the party game Cards Against Humanity decided to find out. So on Black Friday—one of the biggest shopping days of the year—instead of discounting the price of the game, they raised it.

For one day only.

That’s right. On Black Friday—and only on Black Friday—you could buy the game for $5 more than the regular price.

What happened?

Sales went up.

Compared to the days leading up to Friday as well as to Black Friday the previous year, sales actually increased slightly. They increased again on Saturday. Dramatically. (Likely due to the press coverage and social media sharing of their stunt.)

There are two valuable lessons to take away from this experiment:

1. Do the opposite of what everyone else is doing.
Don’t follow the herd. Figure out how you can be different. Take risks that separate you from your competitors. Failure is possible, but so is enormous success.

2. Price is not the biggest buying factor.
While price is always a factor, it’s never the only one. And rarely the biggest one. There are so many other things that matter to your buyers. Determine what those items are and focus on them.

Don’t let fear keep you from charging what you should. If your product or service rocks, people will pay more for it. Even when they don’t have to.

Four Things to Do Now to Set Up Next Year’s Sales Success

December 4th, 2013

As 2013 is winding down, it’s time to give serious thought to 2014. Namely, what can you do now to create more sales next year?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this nine-minute segment, I share four specific actions you can take this month to set the stage for a tremendous 2014!

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

Four Things to Do Now to Set Up Next Year’s Sales Success: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I strongly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

Why Generosity is Good for Your Sales

November 21st, 2013

As a professional speaker, I travel a lot. Which means I stay in a lot of hotels. As a result, I have a lot of appreciation for how hard housekeepers work and how important tips are to them.

At the conclusion of a recent stay, I had just left the room with my luggage when I realized I had forgotten to leave a tip for the housekeeper. Seeing as how I was already at the elevator, I could easily have just shrugged it off and headed out. But instead, I went back to the room.

After dropping a few dollars on the bed, I looked up and noticed my cell phone charger still plugged into the wall outlet. With a feeling of gratitude, I grabbed it and threw it in my briefcase. As I left the room for the second time, I reflected on the fact that if I hadn’t returned to the room, I would never have remembered the charger.

I thought about this incident upon reading a news story about Coca-Cola suspending all of the their advertising in the Philippines indefinitely. Coca-Cola Philippines is redirecting all of its advertising budget to relief efforts in the wake of the destruction caused by typhoon “Yolanda.” That money is in addition to the millions of dollars Coca-Cola worldwide has already pledged to the relief efforts.

Naturally, this story has been picked up by news outlets around the world and is circulating like crazy on social media. Which means that Coca-Cola is potentially getting millions of dollars in free publicity.

But I don’t believe Filipino Coke executives gathered together and said, “Hey you know what would be a great PR stunt?” I suspect instead the decision was made because executives sincerely wanted to help as much as possible.

Here’s the thing: Generosity isn’t a strategy. It’s a value. And when you demonstrate that value, it’s more powerful than any marketing you can buy. When you take care of your employees, your customers and your community, people want to do business with you. (Witness the incredible success of TOMS Shoes.)

Is your company generous? If not, why not? And how can you change that?

If your company is generous, how can you demonstrate it beyond what you’re already doing?

I’m not saying you should be more generous in order to make more sales and more money. I’m saying you should be more generous because the world needs your generosity. It just so happens that the world tends to reward generosity. (Sometimes with free publicity and sometimes with a nearly-forgotten cell phone charger.)

Always remember that money is a by-product of serving others. So look for opportunities to serve. Because doing good is always good business.

The Worst Sales Advice Ever

November 11th, 2013

There’s a lot of sales advice out there. Some of it is fantastic. Some of it is pretty good. And some of it is downright awful. One of the most common pieces of advice is so bad, it will often cost you the sale.

What is it? And what should you do instead? Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this seven-minute segment, I reveal this counter-productive strategy and give you an alternate approach that will significantly improve your sales.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

The Worst Sales Advice Ever: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I highly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.

Ten Novel Ways to Increase Your Sales

October 31st, 2013

Could your sales use a boost right now? Looking for a new idea or two?

How about ten!

Listen to my appearance on the CONNECT! radio show with Deb Calvert. In this hour-long interview, I share ten strategies and tactics you can use to increase your sales. Whether you’re a salesperson, sales manager or business owner, you’ll get something of value from this program.

10 Novel Ways to Increase Your Sales: Don Cooper on the CONNECT! Radio Show

To learn more about Deb Calvert and listen to her interviews with other business experts, check out People First Productivity Solutions.

Why Klout Matters to Your Sales

October 24th, 2013

Whether you’re in sales, marketing or HR, you need to understand Klout. And if you’re a small business owner, professional or CEO, you need to fully embrace it.

Why, you ask?

Gina Carr and Terry Brock do an excellent job of answering that question in their new book, Klout Matters: How to Engage Customers, Boost Your Digital Influence and Raise Your Klout Score for Success.

What exactly is Klout? In simple terms, a Klout score is a measurement of a person’s—or a company’s—online influence. Carr and Brock liken it to a FICO credit score or a BMI (Body Mass Index) score—it doesn’t tell you everything, but it gives you a pretty good idea of where you stand in a simple, easy-to-grasp number.

Your Klout score is based on how, how much and how often people engage with you in the social media world. Klout’s algorithms use more than 12 billion pieces of data every day to determine how influential a given person or brand is.

The average Klout score is 40, on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher your score, the more influential you are. Carr and Brock both have Klout scores in the high 70’s, putting them in the top 1% of online influencers. (Wondering what mine is? See for yourself here.)

Is there value in raising your Klout score? Yes and no. For most companies, your prospective customers aren’t looking up your Klout score to decide whether or not to buy from you. But if you’re a professional (a speaker or consultant for example), or you work in sales or marketing, a high Klout score could mean the difference between the job going to you or to someone else.

However, as a measurement tool, Klout can tell you how effectively you’re engaging with prospects and customers via your social media efforts. As Carr and Brock point out:

“Your Klout Score is going to be a reflection of the marketing and interaction with customers that you do in the right way. We recommend that you do not focus on your Klout Score. Focus instead on doing those activities that are naturally right for connecting with customers and making them ‘giddy with glee.’ Engage with customers. If you focus on doing what your customers want and how you can solve their problems, you will inevitably build your business. As you build your business, the natural outcome will be a higher and stronger Klout Score.”

And that’s not all. Arguably the biggest value in Klout for a company is the emergence of a new sales strategy:

“Another example of using a Klout Score would be for a local business to seek out key influencers. A restaurant might want to target particular customers who have a high Klout Score. These individuals could be offered certain discounts or VIP treatment. These customers would then be able to talk about the service they received and the quality of food at the restaurant.

In the past, advertisers who wanted to reach a given market would pay a lot of money to  TV and radio stations, newspapers, outdoor advertising, and other promotional media to get attention. Imagine that if instead of spending all your limited advertising dollars on mass media, you could target those key people who are most influential in areas where your buyers congregate. Engaging your target market with highly influential people is often a much better use of your limited dollars and results in much more sales.”

Carr and Brock offer many more strategies for using Klout in your business, as well as for improving your social media effectiveness, which leads to a higher Klout score. The book covers how to set up your Klout profile, the difference between being influential and being noisy, and tactics for maximizing your impact on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Klout Matters is well-researched and well-written. It’s a valuable book for virtually anyone in business. Klout is a whole new type of business tool. And it’s a tool that, if used strategically, can boost your sales and your overall business success.

Get it at Amazon:

Klout Matters: How to Engage Customers, Boost Your Digital Influence–and Raise Your Klout Score for Success

Six Lessons From the Original Guerrilla Marketer

October 16th, 2013

Jay and Jeannie Levinson

Jay Conrad Levinson passed away last week at the age of 80. Jay wrote the seminal book, Guerrilla Marketing, which fundamentally changed the way people thought about marketing. In all, he authored or co-authored 58 books, which have been published in 62 languages, selling more than 21 million copies.


Before he revolutionized small-business marketing, Jay spent more than two decades in the advertising industry, where he helped create some of the most iconic marketing memes in history, including the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Jolly Green Giant, the Marlboro Man, Mr. Clean, Morris the Cat, and Tony the Tiger.

He was also a colleague and a friend.

I learned a lot from Jay. Here are six valuable sales, business and life lessons.

1. Think for yourself
Jay was a consummate thinker. And whether as an ad executive, a speaker or a consultant, he challenged his clients with his original thinking. Guerrilla Marketing was born when Jay challenged his own thinking, realizing that the strategies that worked for big companies (with their big ad budgets) wouldn’t work for small companies. He rethought marketing from a new perspective and created an entirely new approach. What do you need to rethink?

2. Collaborate
Jay didn’t rely solely on his own thinking though. Jay was smart enough to realize that two—or even three—heads are better than one. During his advertising career, Jay surrounded himself with smart, talented people. And throughout his writing career, Jay partnered with more than two dozen co-authors, including Seth Godin, Orvel Ray Wilson, Mark S.A. Smith, Elly Valas, Shane Gibson, Michael Larsen, Jill Lublin, Rick Frishman, and Mitch Meyerson. Who could you collaborate with to achieve better results?

3. Say yes
One of the reasons Jay had so many co-authors is that whenever someone would approach him with an idea for a new book in the Guerrilla Marketing series, Jay would say yes. Jay said yes to nearly everything, seeing potential and possibilities, rather than risks and downsides. How could you say yes more often?

4. Have fun
Throughout his nearly 60-year career, Jay loved what he did. From creating ad campaigns to writing, speaking and consulting, Jay took enormous pleasure in his work. Further, he always made time for fun with friends and family. I firmly believe his dedication to having fun made his work that much more effective. How could you have more fun in your work and life?

5. Encourage others
Jay liked to see others succeed. He was a teacher at heart. Guerrilla Marketing came about as a result of a class Jay taught at the extension division of UC Berkeley for ten years. And he was constantly praising and encouraging those around him. Who could use some encouragement from you?

6. Be generous
Jay was incredibly giving—of his books, of his time, of his support. And always with a smile on his face. He never even trademarked the term “Guerrilla Marketing” because he wanted other people to be able to use it. That generosity created legions of fans and advocates. How could you be more generous in your business and your life?

The legacy Jay leaves behind is tremendous, not just in books sold, but in businesses helped and lives touched. While his voice has been silenced, his ideas live on in his books and via the coaches he trained.

Want to benefit from Jay’s wisdom? Visit the official Guerrilla Marketing website for free articles, tips and more. And whether you’re in sales or marketing, there are Guerrilla books that will help you be more successful. Hit Amazon for a complete listing.

Better yet, stop by your local book store and pick up a few titles. Jay would’ve liked that.

How did Jay impact your life or business? What lessons did you learn from him? Please share them in the comments below!

How to Sell an Imperfect Product

October 8th, 2013

Your product (or service) is great! Terrific! Fantastic!

But it’s not perfect. Not by a long shot. It has flaws. Drawbacks. Downsides.

And yet you have to sell it anyway. How?

Listen to my appearance on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio with Michele Price. In this eight-minute segment, I discuss the key to selling a product or service that isn’t quite perfect.

To listen, just click on the link below. Or to download the segment to listen later, right-click the link and select “Save Target As…”

How to Sell an Imperfect Product: Don Cooper on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (mp3)

To learn more about Michele Price and listen to her interview other business experts on Breakthrough Business Strategies Radio (which I strongly recommend), check out WhoIsMichelePrice.com.