Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Peanut Butter

I love peanut butter, in fact there are even times that I actually crave the stuff.  I'll eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon.  I especially like the extra crunchy kind.  What I like even better is chocolate with my peanut butter.  Reese's is my very favorite candy.

But I digress.  My liking peanut butter is not really the subject of this blog.  What I dislike, really hate, is when a 'peanut butter' approach is taken in a business situation.  For instance, you belong to a group or organization and some infraction has taken place.  A mass email goes out to everyone, not to do this, that, or the other every again.  If something wrong was done, then why not address it with the person(s) in question, rather than use the 'peanut butter' approach of spreading the blame around.  I didn't do it and I don't appreciate getting these types of emails filling up my inbox.  And usually the person(s) that actually did the infraction, either doesn't get or read the email or thinks that it doesn't apply to them.  

Working in the corporate world for almost 20 years, I found this to be quite the norm.  I was a call center manager for many years and often received emails from other departments with instructions to tell my team not to do thus and so.  I always asked for the particulars, because I felt if you addressed the issue directly with the person(s) in question, the issue could be resolved a whole lot quicker and more effectively, rather than using the 'peanut butter' approach and reprimanding everyone.  My approach was spread the praise and not the negative.

So I guess the moral to this story is; eat your peanut butter and enjoy it and think twice before using the 'peanut butter' approach to get an issue resolved.

In appreciation,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good'
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to get the most out an expo

You spent your money on a booth.  You invested your time.  You gathered lots of leads and prospects.  Now what?  As the old saying goes...The Fortune is in the Follow up!  Did you know only 20% of vendors follow up after a trade show or expo?!

I often participate in local expos and I make it a point to make my rounds to the other vendors typically before the expo starts.  The reason I do this is that the other vendors are typically my best prospects, so I want to meet them before all the activity starts.  I try and introduce myself.  I also register for or put my business card in the fish bowls for the drawings in hopes I'll be a winner. :)   I know that by doing so. my contact information will probably end up on the company's email distribution list.  However, I'm amazed at the ones that never follow up.  The statistic above of only 20% of vendors following up is about spot on and the other 80% complain they didn't get any business or wonder why they didn't get business.

Expos and Trade Shows aren't always about the sales.  It's sometimes more about exposure and connecting with people.  Even if the traffic is light, take the time to really engage with your potential clients.  Some of my my best clients came from the smallest and least attended events.  Always go with a positive attitude.  Good comes from everything.  Sometimes it may be six months later before you reap the benefits.

Here are some tips on things to do after the event to get the most out of your trade show investment:
  1.  - Follow up at least 24 to 48 hours after the event.  Those that were 'hot' prospects, call and find out their needs.  Schedule an appointment to meet with them ASAP and/or send them additional information.
  2. - An email blast is great to say thankyou to everyone who stopped by your booth.  Contstant Contact is a great service to use to follow up.  It gives the ability to send a professional email with photos and special offers to all prospects and it usually makes it through most spam folders. 
  3. - If you offered a door prize, be sure and announce in your email blast, on your website and/or Facebook Fan Page who the winner was.  This adds to your credibility.
  4. - Perhaps offer a special 'Expo discount' if they purchase within a certain time frame.  Or if the event was for a fund raiser, offer to donate a portion of your sales to the organization.
  5. - Sending out 'thank you for stopping by' via traditional mail is also a good effective follow up.  Send a greeting card or postcard within 2 to 3 days after the event. Again perhaps with a special post expo offer.
  6. - Keep in touch.  People buy when they are ready to buy and now may not be the time.  Add your prospects to your distribution list/CRM and follow up with them periodically.  It usually takes someone hearing from you 7 to 8 times and then they to have a need before they are ready to buy.  If you stay 'top of mind,' you'll be the one they call or refer.
  7. - When they do buy or provide a referral - say Thank You!  Send a thank you note perhaps with a gift card.
Think beyond the immediate sale.  Work on building the relationship.  To keep relationships strong, companies need to regularly remind clients that they are important to them.  They also need to remind them who they are, what they do, what services they offer, and why they are their best choice for their product or service.  Busy people tend to choose the fastest solution to a problem.  By keeping in touch, a company makes themselves stand apart from the rest of the crowd and their clients and prospects are more apt to call them the next time they need their product or service.

What other advice would you offer to maximize the investment of participating in a trade show or expo?

In gratitude,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good" 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 3, 2010

All Work and No Play

Labor Day serves as a day of rest and as a reminder that the summer is drawing to a close, but that doesn't mean you should relax your marketing efforts. This is a prime time for snagging holiday shoppers eager to get the last bit out of summer and/or prepare for fall and winter.
Consider using the theme of 'All Work and No Play' as a Labor Day theme for marketing ideas when planning your early September promotional materials.

Labor Day was originally set aside as "the working man's day," and you can still draw on these themes in postcards, brochures, and flyers. This is the day when your hard-working customers can enjoy a sizzling barbecue in the company of family and friends, so your marketing designs could include images that conjure the same feel good and break-from-the-workday emotions associated with family cookouts. Consider targeting your prospects' emotions: "You work hard to secure your family. Isn't it time to relax?" would be a great pitch for a life insurance or investment firm.
Labor Day itself isn't always enough to drive traffic to your footstep, but there are plenty of things associated with this time of year that bring in a lot of sales. Children are going back to school, for instance, and they need new supplies, clothes, computers, credit cards, cell phones and many more items. Try using  a postcard designed as a backpack brimming with whatever your company is offering or a screen shot of your website.
This is also the time of year when high school, college, and professional football teams head back to the field; opening plenty of opportunities to demonstrate how your company is the "winning team."  Even better, send a calendar that includes your local favorite local football team's schedule to help keep your information ‘Top of Mind.’  There are many other sport’s related promotional items that could be used for a ‘Winning Team’ theme.
Labor Day marketing doesn't have to be bland, and it doesn't even have to be labor related. When designing your next marketing postcards, brochures and flyers, be creative and combine some of these ideas with a great offer and persuasive call to action, and you'll be well on your way to whistling while you work this year.
 Happy Maketing,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"
Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Do you typically close business the first time you talk with someone?   Not usually?  Me either.  It happened to me this past week and I was thrilled, but typically it doesn’t happen on the first call.  
When do people buy? 
Answer – When they have a perceived need and when THEY are ready to buy!
People usually don’t buy the first time they hear about your product or service, unless they just happen to be looking for what you are selling. They buy when they have a need and are ready to buy.
So, if people buy when they have a need, how do we as business owners make sure we are ‘Top of Mind’ when they need our product or service?
Answer – by keeping in touch and following up.  In the marketing world we call this ‘dripping on people.’ 
What are some ways to keep in touch and/or keep your business “Top of Mind’?
Answers – Phone calls, Face to face visits, network meetings, Email Marketing, newsletters, blogs, promotional products, direct mail, greeting cards, etc.  It is a good idea to use a good mixture of these to deliver your message to your prospects.  Different people like to receive information in different ways so when delivering information it is a good idea to cover all the bases.
 Let's review how greeting cards can be used as a  tool to ‘drip’ on prospects and suspects so you will be the first person they think about when they need your product or service or they hear of someone else who needs your product or service.
Wouldn’t you just love it if people just passed you referrals?  We all would.  I’m not going to say that’s always possible, but if we keep the pipeline full of prospects by keeping in touch with them we can certainly improve the number of calls and referrals we receive.
So the Three Step process to keeping in touch to stay 'Top of Mind' is:
1.    Follow up
2.    Keep in Touch
3.    Educate
Step one – When you meet someone new that you think would be a good potential client or may know someone who would be a potential client – you want to follow up with that person.  Send a ‘Nice to meet You’ card.  Perhaps asking them to meet with you to discuss how you could help each other and be referral partners.
Step two – .Keep in Touch -  Other possible follow up cards could be an informational card listing some of the services you provide with a message of 'How can I be of further service?'   
Or perhaps sending a congratulations card if you hear they have received a new job, got married, new baby, promotion, etc.
Birthday cards are always well received.
Step three – Educate - Offer industry information in newsletters and blogs so that your clients are informed enough to refer you to others when they hear of a need. 
Think about when does someone typically need your product or service?   Greeting Card 'drip' campaigns can be tailored to just about any industry.
Example:  Financial Advisor, Insurance, Attorney - Typically people need these services when they are going through a 'Life Transition' like the ones listed below:
1.    Marriage - Who do they know who is getting married - Good card to send in May and June when most couples are getting married.
2.    New Baby - Who do you know who is having a baby?  Did you know more babies are born in August than any other month of the year?
3.    Buying a house - Who do you know who is buying/selling a home?  Good card to send out in early spring.  People usually start thinking about buying or selling a home in early spring.
4.    Job Transition, i.e. new job, change of company, or loss of job.  This typically happens the first of the year.
5.    Retirement - Everyone needs to be thinking about this one.
Educate your prospects how to listen for possible referrals instead of trying to sell directly.  Ask who do they know.  Most are more receptive to helping you find prospects
Here is a possible Drip card campaign -
-       Follow up card – Nice to meet you.  Ask for a face to face one on one meeting.  Perhaps follow up that meeting with a card with a gift card, thanking them for their time.
-       Other products and services offered
-       Who do you know? 
-       Birthday
-       Anniversary – (Could be a marriage anniversary or the business anniversary). 
-       Weird holiday (Ex. - Halloween – Insurance and Financial planning for your future can be a scary thing).
-        Tooth Fairy Card – Educate with humor - 'Some gaps aren't covered by the tooth fairy.'  (Card for the Insurance Industry) - Ask to review their insurance coverage.
-       Congratulations – Perhaps you hear someone got a promotion, got married, had a baby, bought a new home, etc.
Keep in Touch – Educate, but sandwich in Appreciation with Education, i.e. Let your prospect know you would appreciate their referral, but don’t ask for a referral every time you communicate with them. Offer something of value.  Send out to give not to get.  
Happy prospecting,
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Hope your summer is going well.  I am pleased to announce that the greeting card system has had some recent upgrades.  We have just announced Picture Plus 2.0.  This is a wonderful upgrade if you want to create very custom cards.  It is like having PhotoShop in the card editor or like doing electronic scrapbooking.  I have really enjoyed creating some really cool cards.  Here is a link to my website to try out the new features,

For those who only have an occasionally need to send a card, we now have that capability.  You can now access my Retail Store Front at and send only one card at a time without signing up for any type of membership.  You can also send gifts from this site.  I invite you the next time you have the need to send a card to give this site a try.  

The Greeting Card business is booming. Due to economic conditions and challenges that many face throughout the world, people are looking for alternative ways to create additional sources of income. People are also looking for hope and a way to turn hope into actual possibility.  July 17 marks my 4th anniversary with and I am still loving it.  I love helping others become Senders of Cards at all levels, retail, wholesale, and Entrepreneur.

I am looking for those who are interested in learning how to create income with with this system. If you know of anyone who might be interested please forward this information to them.  From now until the end of July, I am offering a $50 AMX gift card* for any referrals that sign up at the Entrepreneurial level.  To learn more about the company and the opportunity log onto and watch the video.

If you need an ID number to access information, my ID# is 12466.  Please let me know how I may be of help.

Happy Card Sending,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

*One gift card per person.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Highest Form of Flattery.....

Advertising for McDonald's on the Via di Propa...Image via Wikipedia
They say that the highest form of flattery one can receive is for someone to copy or emulate something you are doing. Is it? In the marketing and advertising business it's done all the time. You take an idea and try and use it yourself.  Hopefully changing it up so that it appears to be an original idea of your own.  If it's an idea of a big corporation, hopefully you don't set yourself up for trademark or copyright infringements.  However, there are some companies that are just down right blatant about it.

Do some feel threaten by what others do or are they trying to ride their coat tails?  Or do they just have a total lack of imagination or original ideas for their own marketing and promotion?

When you're a solepreneur, you do it all.  You are everything from the 'CEO, admin person, marketing department, sales, etc. while trying to look like and compete with those in the larger arenas.  So what do you do when you birth an idea and implement it, only to see it copied verbatim by someone else in a bigger arena?  Do you consider it flattery?  Or stealing your idea?   I guess the answer is, if you didn't copyright it or trademark it in some way, it's all fair game. 

At least Burger King gives McDonald's credit for their 'Egg McMuffin' idea, but I wonder if they asked first?  Do they or should they ask first?

Happy Marketing!
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 4, 2010

Acronyms Don't Work - Computer Associates Learns the Hard Way!

The following article is from my favorite marketing and branding expert, Liz Goodgold with Red Fire Branding.  She gives some great advice in picking a name for your company.  Alphabet soup doesn't always work. 

Acronyms Don't Work - Computer Associates Learns the Hard Way!
Five years ago, Computer Associates got tainted by a big accounting scandal and decided to vary its name to CA. Ooops! Try Googling CA and guess what you get? How about the State of California? Cocaine Anonymous?  Repeat after me: Acronyms Don't Work!

Now, CA has seen the light and is rebranding again as CA Technologies with a $200 million budget. Hard to imagine stakeholders are excited about this naming fiasco.

What's the lesson here:  Shortening your name to letters and creating alphabet soup is a recipe for disaster. Here are a few key reasons:

1.    Acronyms are less memorable than real words
2.    Sounds of letters are easily misheard ("did you say B or D?)
3.    Letters don't imbue any brand personality - they are as vanilla as, well, the alphabet!

Want a complete discussion of naming missteps and secrets to success? See Chapter 3 entitled Name Dropping: How to Build a Brand That Sizzles in Red Fire Branding

Duck Sizzling Example -

Aflac American Family Life Assurance Co. catapulted its domestic name recognition from approximately 2 percent in 1990 to approximately 80 percent now, thanks to the famous AFLAC duck. The duck is so famous that even Ben Affleck, during an appearance on David Letterman's show, starting making fun of his own name! Keep in mind, however, that this acronym sizzles because the company turned the acronym into both a word and an enduring mascot.
The above article "by Liz Goodgold, Branding Expert, Author, and Speaker. Sign up for her FREE Brand Finale  newsletter with valuable information at"
In appreciation,
Painted Lady Enterprises
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mamas Teach Your Children to Write Thank You Notes

I find that society has become more and more dependent on computers and that the art of saying thank you in the form of a real paper card or note is fading away.   But I think sending a real paper card is one of the nicest little tokens of appreciation you can give someone these days. I know when I open my mailbox, I'm excited when I find something personal, like a card.   I smile and I usually keep that card to remind me of that person especially if it was a genuine heartfelt personal card.

This is the time of year we usually receive a lot of thank you cards from such occasions and events like graduations, showers, weddings, etc.  I think one of best things we can teach our children is the importance of writing thank you cards and the proper way to write thank you cards.

The key is very simple – you really have to mean it when you say thank you!  People get it when you genuinely mean something and also when you are just going through the motions.

The most beautiful thing about truly thanking someone is that it creates a deeper and instant bond between people.
In 1922 Emily Post wrote, "In writing notes or letters, as in all other forms of social observance, the highest achievement is in giving the appearance of simplicity, naturalness and force."

Keep it Short - Only one or two sentences at the most. Anymore than that and you are running the risk that it will not be read at all.

Post It - Always use the traditional mailing method for your thank you notes. There is more of a chance that they will remember your note if it is delivered in an envelope, more so than they would if it is just another email on a long list of emails.

Time it Right – Write and mail your thank you notes immediately or as soon after the event or receipt of the gift as possible.   Sending notes weeks and months after the occasion or event loses sincerity.

Be specific about what you are thanking people for.  Sometimes it means even more when people know what they are being thanked for e.g. ‘Thanks so much John for the book on resume writing.  I will certainly put it to good use.’  Or 'Thank you so much for the coffee pot with the timer.  You know how we LOVE our coffee.'  It makes the whole exchange richer and more meaningful than just a casual generic “thanks."

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow” – Melody Beattie

Smile - Smile while you are writing the note because it will put a positive slant on your words and your happiness and enthusiasm will be conveyed to the reader.

Such a small gesture of appreciation and gratitude should be a habit in everyone's personal and business life.  

You may also reference the Seven Rules for Sending Greeting Cards  for more information on sending thank you notes and other greeting cards.

In Appreciation,
"Helping You and Your Business Look Good"


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online