James Pratt's blog

Are there any new ideas?

In my last blog I wrote about creating a fundamental checklist of success by using Napoleon Hill's book 'Think and Grow Rich' as a template.

A second type of checklist to construct and use is what I call a 'Practical Creativity Checklist.' 

Learning from other peoples mistakes

In my previous blog, I illustrated some specific examples about some truly exceptional companies and how you can prosper from them.

But I'd like to tell you about one other approach. It's really a rather simple concept and won't take me too long to explain, but I caution you not to miss the important strategy that I'm about to reveal.

Think and Grow Rich

"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve".  Napoleon Hill

I am studying this book again at the moment.

I am hunting for a soft copy so I can make it available to members. If anyone else has one, please send to me and I will place it on the server and provide a link for download.

For those of you who don't know of this book, here is an introduction:

Do you value your customers?

In keeping with the all important concept of the value of customers that I talked about in my previous blog.

I want to talk just a little about the few truly excellent American companies I carefully observe and respect, and why they are so successful.

First, let's talk a about the lack of excellence.

One place to find that is the hospitality industry.

What is the true value of your business?

Consider not only your immediate short term needs but also your long term hopes; and in that process very carefully consider the value of the customer / client.

Every business, every product line, every service organisation even if it is distanced from the ultimate consumer by a chain distribution, is still dependent on an actual consumer for its lasting success.

Successful marketing strategies

Whenever we talk about effective marketing we have to also talk about goals.

Most marketers, like most people, foolishly play blind archery. Archery is tough enough. Why make it more difficult?

The first step in the marketing process is to clarify what you want to accomplish.

Sam Walton and Donald Trump

One of the most important characteristics of the truly successful entrepreneur is the ability to handle crisis.

In order to really understand this, you need to study people who not only handle crisis, but are able to handle crisis where the recovery can take place in the blink of an eye.

Why you should just give it away

In the last Successful Marketing Strategy Blog I talked about the importance of courage in marketing.

I used as an example a story that Murray Raphel wrote about in his book 'Would Saks Do It,' where he tells of creating a restaurant business by giving away no strings attached free lunch.

My recent revelation

In the last Successful Marketing Strategy Blog I mentioned that I recently had a revelation. I noticed a commonality in the backgrounds of most of the most successful doctors.

This commonality is quite interesting and instructive.

That commonality in their background started me thinking.

The one idea that will double your business

You'll remember that I've defined marketing as delivering the right message to the right people with the right presentation and there is no better way to do that than direct marketing.

There's no doubt in my mind that any conventional business - restaurant, retail store, service station, etc. can easily and inexpensively double it's business within thirty days with direct marketing.

The two paths of successful sales letters

We have been talking about copy in direct mail and the job of the copy which is to SELL!  

In the previous Successful Marketing Strategy blog I mentioned that there is a little trick used to improve readability of copy and to keep the reader moving through the copy as well as to sell the person who skims and does not read the copy no matter how short it is.

Secrets to a great opening

In my last blog I introduced you to the three things that must be accomplished in the opening of your direct mail piece.  

By way of review you must:

1.   Telegraph the offer.

2.   Emphasize the best aspect of the offer.

3.   Target the reader

Now let me explain in more detail exactly what I mean.

Secrets to structuring your mailing

I want to start talking about Success Marketing Email mailing formats. Specifically one of my favorites which is the 'sneak up' approach and one of my least favorites, which is the billboard envelope.

Now, let's switch gears a bit as I would like to talk about what is probably the most difficult aspect of direct mail marketing to teach.

Dig the well before you thirst

In my last blog, we finished up our discussion about the seven strategies that can help you stimulate new business, increase business from existent customers and build repeat business.

Just to review our list, they are: A frequent buyer program; discounting; premiums; packaging; prepay; acceptance of major credit cards; regulars mailings to customers / clients.

How to stimulate more business part 3

Let's pick up with going down our list of seven strategies that can help you stimulate new business, increase business from existent customers and build repeat business.

Let me remind you that you may not be able to use all of them in your business, but you can certainly use some of them.

In your last two Successful Marketing Strategy blogs, I spoke about the first five

Yes you can call list

In my previous blog we talked about how you can use the telephone as a marketing tool.

I also mentioned that many businesses don't like using this tool or because of the DO NOT CALL LIST, they think they can no longer use it. And in many applications that is correct.

The key to telemarketing success

In my last blog we were talking about the effective use of the telephone as a marketing tool for just about any business.

Now I would like to give you some basic guidelines and tips you'll want to keep in mind when using the telephone to grow your business. 

First - the real key to effective telephone marketing is structure and organisation. Winging it is a real bad idea. 

What to do when your customers complain

In my previous blog I identified the fact that every business, no matter how well managed, will have to deal with dissatisfied even angry customers from time to time.

Sometimes the customer is justified in his/her complaints other times he/she is not, but the handling of the dissatisfied customer can have far reaching impact on a business. 

Looks DO matter

In my last blog I wrote about the importance of environmental appearance as it relates to first impressions. A related matter is the personal appearance of the people your customers will deal with.