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Dear John Letter to Email

Email used to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Thanks to piss poor marketers, spammers and Nigerians, email isn’t living up to its potential. The honeymoon is over. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MgwMjGfCW0[/youtube]

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Buying and Selling Services

When it comes to buying or selling intangibles, the pain is on both sides of the table. For the buyer, that which is undefined and unknown is frightening. For the seller, demonstrating value and forming a clear picture of what is required is daunting.  Here’s a few tips that might help us all. Buyer tip: You’ll need a different process to buy. Buying consulting services, web development, marketing, accounting or any other intangible services is nothing like buying paper clips or office furniture. The very nature of the services precludes the standard approach. Most often, this approach is in the form of an RFP.  The very nature of your need for services is the problem with this approach – the only way to write an effective RFP is to know exactly what you want and in what form the solution will take. Unfortunately this is rarely the case. The danger[…]

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Omnipresence: The art of being everywhere

Previously printed in Austin Business District Magazine By Pete Monfre Physics dictates that you can’t be in two places at the same time. With all due respect to Mr. Einstein, I disagree. When it comes to marketing, omnipresence is a worthy and achievable goal. In fact, being everywhere is easier and less expensive than you think. I hope it seems obvious why you would want to be everywhere. Familiarity is a powerful force when it comes to marketing and sales. Sometimes this is referred to as “top of mind” – the first option someone thinks of when they have a need. When a company or brand is familiar, this often equates to credibility and the idea that “they must be good, I hear about them all the time.”

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What Music taught me about Business Part. One

As I look back almost two decades of helping companies grow, I amazed by how much I’ve learned from the experience. I was first exposed to marketing and sales in a very unorthodox way: my first job was as a professional musician. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about sales processes and marketing communication, I was simply looking for a way to meet girls and get paid. Performing music paid for my college tuition and helped my launch my first company – a marketing firm that grew from nothing to over three million dollars in revenue. Of course I’ve learned an equal amount from mentors and clients over the years but the music business unexpectedly gave me the tools to succeed. Leadership I discovered early on that if I was going to benefit from the joy of performing music, I singularly needed to make it happen. I had to take[…]

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Getting Naked at First Meeting. Is It Wrong?

I made a new business contact about three weeks ago. All of our interaction has been by phone thus far. I’m very impressed with her – she’s smart, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable in her field. We decide to set up a meeting so I can get a better idea of how I might be able to refer business and generally get acquainted. The next thing I know, I’m naked and laying on a table. At the time, it didn’t seem that strange to me but now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve ever stripped out of my clothes at a first meeting. Maybe the third or fourth meeting but this seemed like we were moving too fast. The strangest part was that our conversation was exactly the same as what you might overhear at a Starbucks on any given Tuesday morning. Soft music was playing and the[…]

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Hitler’s Moustache

I recently shaved off my goatee due to a terrible shaving accident. I was able to salvage a reasonable “jazz dot” from the remains of my facial manhood. (You may know this type of facial hair as an “imperial”, “royale”, “soul patch” or “nubbin”). So what does this somewhat personal information have to do with marketing? Hang in there while I spin another fascinating and insightful yarn. My “jazz dot” is my personal homage to my former life as a touring blues musician. It also is a nod to to some of my favorite musicians. What I didn’t know was that this style of facial hair was historically worn by French officers as a badge or adornment of military rank or status (thank you wikipedia). However, last week a 10 year old kid in my neighborhood looked at my fabulous soul patch and said, “You have Hitler’s moustache but it’s[…]

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Breathing seminar. What’s next?

I was sitting in a little cafe the other day and noticed a poster advertising a “Breathing Seminar”. Don’t get me wrong, seminars are excellent marketing tactics for people and companies that need to educate before a sale can be made. They are also great for establishing yourself as an expert in your field. But I’m not sure I really need to take a seminar to learn how to breathe. You see, I’ve been doing a lot of breathing over the last two and a half decades. I started pretty early – a few seconds after emerging into the world. And I’ve kept on practicing ever since with a few exceptions lasting a few moments when I was underwater or right before crashing my race car. In fact, as I get older, I think I’m breathing even more – I notice it when I run up stairs or right after[…]

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