Townsville Yellow Pages Closing Date is ….. Soon!

Closing date for Townsville Yellow Pages is Friday 4th December, and these are delivered in Townsville in March 2010.

If you would like a second opinion on the advert/s that you are going to hopefully make bundles of money from for a whole 12 months – then contact me about our YP Review Package.

This includes:

  • Full review of the Yellow Pages Advert – including Headline checks, bullet value, call to action, positioning, and so on.
  • Review of lead source determination script.
  • Rough drafting of changes that increase the probability of profitable success for your Yellow Pages Advert

Investment is $295.  How much difference would an increase in just 10% from your Townsville Yellow Pages advert make to your bottom line?

Call me on 0410 326 525 or email me.

Regards

James Hooper

Attention Townsville Taxi Drivers – How to get more tips?

As a business owners know that it is attitude that determines the real value of employees in the long term. If we can get our attitude right – everything gets better. Customers are happy, sales go up, and if you are the employee – both the internal reward and the remuneration can improve.

Compare the antics and enthusiasm of this Turkish cab driver to the tedium of our more ‘normal’ Aussie cabbies!

Business is a game, and the best games have some fun built in

Cheers

James

Ps – do you think this cabbie gets lots of repeat work? And referrals? What in your business needs a touch of this?  (obviously be safe!)

Pps – click on the RSS feed and sign up – even if you dont know what RSS is.  I didn’t.  Now it is groovy!  Sites that I RSS to show up on my Google Home Page – eg when then is a new article from a site I am following – it is right there!  And it sends me an email.

If you are in Australia – This is better than Amazon for books!

One of the key disciplines for success in business is reading books and listening to audio on a wide range of topics.

My local bookshops are ok – but usually the books that I want are not available locally and have to be ordered in.  And usually I can get the books as fast as they can – by going online and buying them.

It us usually Amazon that has benefited from this.  Now there is a new contender for my fairly substantial book purchases.  They are Australian, so it is way faster for delivery.  Their range seems enormous, and best of all – purchases over $49 are delivered FREE.  I usually spend in hundreds at Amazon.

Here is their banner – click to visit now and check it out:

Fishpond 604x90

If the book you want is likely to be available your local bookstore – then support your local bookstore! If your business IS a local bookstore and this feels threatening to you – then it might be time to invite me over for a chat about your marketing strategies.

Cheers

James

Something amazing – a session with a coach with clairvoyant ability!

Testing and Measuring in a Different Realm

Ok – most who know me already know that I like the ‘scientific’ side of life, business and health.  The core tenet of science is experiment properly.  Properly just means to design the tests as well as possible, be non-judgmental of the results, be open in interpretation, and learning in the conclusions of the tests – and design better ones to follow.

Or – just give things a go – and pay attention to the outcomes.  There are other levels where we can benefit from others’ tests – but for now lets go with Napoleon Hills angle that ‘Understanding resides in the experience.”

A Birthday Gift – A session with a “psychic”

Hmm.  OK.  Test and measure, might learn something here.

My previous experience with this area has been Tarot card readings – which I enjoyed but did not really value as much more than entertainment.  I have tested and used in the past techniques like Silva Method, Alpha Dynamics [sort of similar to Silva], Image streaming [from Win Wenger], Sedona Method and a ton of other ‘sort of fringe’ tools.

Each of these tools DID work.  When I used them I received great value.  However in the last decade or so I had allowed them to be scraped out of my arsenal by more ‘rational’ analytical tools.    I now see that the reduction in my tools list of the more ‘intuitive’  techniques has taken one edge off my coaching/business building ability.

You know a powerful insight when you go ‘how did I not see that before?’

Insights from Susan

Well – after the session with Susan – I have a lot of lightning bolts of insight – or Homer Simpson moments.  For me this is a most important methodology in my coaching and training.  [In fact this site is named from the latin of ‘seed bed’ relating to the planting of an idea ‘seed’ that sprouts in your mind – to give YOU the realization, ownership and power of the idea – not just a ‘lecturer’ reading data.]

Back to the session!

Imagine you found someone who firstly was totally on your side.  Then secondly had powerful abilities to see or sense information that was not available to you – about you.  And thirdly, has the verbal communication and innate coaching skills that allows them to ‘guide’ you to your best benefit.

I wont imagine how you felt – but my feeling was SURPRISE!

Our discussion was riveting.  The insights were powerful.  This was a coaching session, not a fair ground psychic scam.

Susan says she has always had clairvoyant ability, and dislikes the term ‘psychic’.  I see her as a powerful coach with the astounding edge of having in her toolbox a super-sized container of intuition.

I will be talking more about Susan and how to use intuition effectively in business and life in the near future.  I am certain that intuition has a tap that most of us have turned down to a dribble – much to our disadvantage.

To contact Susan – go to www.susanrotman.com.  Please post your experiences here.

Cheers

James

Ps the sessions are not cheap – but I am advising her to at least double them.  That is my rational business side speaking!

Why Does the CEO of Google Have a Business Coach?

Business coach,
life coach,

executive coach, coach, accountability coach,

whatever!

If you have not watched the short video on the right from CEO of Google – have a quick look now.

One of the most successful executives in our world has an opinion on coaching.  He mentions the top sporting people.  He mentions the benefits.  He is not a fool – if you are in business and want more – watch the video.

If you want to talk about coaching – give me a call and we will talk.  I am not right for everyone as a coach.  And you may not be right for me as a client – but – I can help you find someone right for you.  Or in some cases just tell you to read a specific book/dvd or two to help you move your thinking.

I am a fan of the coaching process, I know it works.

Cheers

James

ps   yes – Business and Executive coaching are like life coaching – you just get to make it tax deductible.  Business coaching focuses on using your business as a growth tool – as you grow so does your business.  Executive coaching can make you more effective, more balanced, more likely to stay in your position, and more likely to get the right things done right.  The success of all ‘types’ of coaching rely on the coach being willing and able to be ready to look you in the eye and give you a view of yourself that you would not otherwise get.   How much is worth to have someone on your team, willing to say exactly what they see?  Someone willing to call you out when you hide from a commitment?

Pps – and that value is over and above any improvements in your organization or business.

Condensed TV Advert – But does it sell?

Well – it makes me smile.  It has a nice catchy tune.  It has high energy, happy, dancing people.

I already have some Visa cards.  And some Mastercards.  And an Amex.  I travel a fair bit.

Perhaps I am not in the target for this advert?  I like it – in the same way that I like some of ridiculous beer ads.

Course I don’t know which beer each of the over-the-top ads are for.  But I like ’em.  If I was paying for them – my enjoyment would be determined by how much money they were making for me, either directly or indirectly.

If you live in Townsville area – please make a comment below on your favourite ads that show in Townsville – and include any ads that have actually caused you to respond, and if you bought from them.  This might include a Yellow Pages advert, or TV or radio.  Anything you suggest I will go the business and ask if I can put their advert here [TV, radio or print] for all to see and consider.

Because it is Yellow Pages season – if you are a business owner in Townsville – feel free to put your advert in to test what people think of it.  I will also appraise the ad to check for the most important components – and give some suggestions.  [I normally charge $297 for this – so go for it!]

I am pretty sure you can attach files below – if you can’t then email them to me and I will get it on this web page for you.   It is ok to tell us if you are the business owner, in fact the only thing better than this would be if you asked your own current customers about your marketing pieces.  This comes from the simple but blindingly potent strategy of asking your customers or clients “how come you do business with me?”

If you have the balls to do this – you get a mountain of insight of what to put into your actions to get more clients [like the ones who answered the question.]  This is light years ahead of  ‘guessing’.   Most Townsville businesses appear to not even be guessing – but just do what the guys selling them media suggest.  ie “Marketing Victims”.

One of my favourite sayings is “You either have a plan or you are part of someone else’s.”    With advertising, the other persons plan is usually to ‘make sales budget’.  You can see why it is vital to find out what has actually worked in bring NEW business to your business, and why the OLD business is coming back.  And you need to do this BEFORE you spend one more red cent on more ads.

And then – before going after NEW customers – have simple strategies to get MORE from the customers you already have – to get them to buy MORE, come back MORE often, give you MORE referrals.  Getting NEW leads the the MOST EXPENSIVE way to increase most businesses [unless you are just beginning and dont have anything else to work with.]

If you already have a flow of leads – the most value usually comes from converting more of those leads to customers – ie the ‘conversion rate’.  Here is an example – you ‘invest’ $25k in the Townsville Yellow Pages.  Even with a 3 out 10 advert – you will get SOME calls from NEW leads.  (Not just people who are already customers who use YP to find your number.)  Lets just pretend it is 2 per day or 10 per week.    How many out of  the 10 become new customers for you?

Most of the business owners I work with believe it is really high – like 7 or 8 out of 10 become customers.  “HMMM – really?”  And I say – “So you wont mind if we measure them for a few weeks?”  It can be tricky because some purchase cycles are quite long.  But invariably the conversion rate is about 50% of what they thought.

Now here is the YAHOO YOU BEAUTY part.  If we can increase the conversion rate from 3 of 10 to 4 of 10 – we have increased our sales from NEW customers by 1 in 3, which is 33%.  This a real ball-tearer result!  AND – guess what?  It costs almost nothing to raise your conversion rate – AND you have taken the first step to stop being a “marketing victim”.  If all you sales are from NEW customers – this is a 33% increase in total sales.  If 30% of your sales are from NEW customers – then it is a 10% increase in sales.

Ok – I have ranted on a bit here – because I love the power of this stuff.  Be sure to subscribe to the feed from this site [just press the button in the top right] and join the Townsville Business Builders Letter as well – so you know when more gems appear.

Please post below with your favourite adverts.

Cheers

James

The Single Biggest Mistake in Townsville Businesses?

There are tons of things that can be easily and cheaply done to increase the value of your business.

What is probably the single biggest thing you aren’t doing that is leaving a huge pile of cash on the table?

Well,  just lately I have been in a variety of businesses who I have given good piles of cash to.  Some of these businesses are smart enough to collect my name and address.

When they do that – I ask hopefully – are you going to write to me?  Generally they say no – we just collect the data and do nothing at all with it.  ‘Oh’ I say.  And I look down to check out the paperwork that has been given to me.

Perhaps there is an invitation to join ‘the herd’ of that business online?  Or a special offer for the next time I come back?  Or something to give to a friend to invite them into that business?  Or perhaps the service person is not done yet – and they are about to ‘bump’ me to an upgrade of some kind?  (Because I ALWAYS take the bump – just because it happens so rarely in Townsville that I want to reward them! Even if it is a SUCKY version.)

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  None of the above.

Each of the activities listed above are tactics.  They are almost free to implement, and can multiply profits – PRONTO.

There is no business in existence that does not have SOMETHING that can be done to either increase the value of the sale just completed, or to enroll me longer term into the “community” of that business.

Here is an example.

I recently purchased a top of the line dishwasher with the longest warrant I could get from a Townsville White Goods Retailer.  It was a SMEG, stainless steel, shiny thing with more knobs and doodads than I will ever use.  The salesperson did a great job of installing criteria for me [as I had no idea what to look for in  a dishwasher except that I wanted a great warranty].

To play the game I asked her for a better price after giving the usual grimace as I held out my credit card.  Yep – she took about 5% off, and then I stalled and got delivery for half price and they would take the old one away for me.  Great!

Then she added my details to their computer system.  I asked my hopeful questions – her answer?  Nope.  We wont do anything with your details.  We used to – about 5 years ago.  But we stopped for no reason.

By now we had fairly strong rapport – so I dug a little deeper.  “You guys are paid on a commission aren’t you”  I asked. “Is it hard to hit your targets?”   Well it can be difficult she said.  We have to get a lot of boxes ticked for several weeks in a row – but it is pretty fair.

So this business has a clear measuring system to optimize their salespeople – to keep the upsells and bumps working – but has completely missed the possibly more important point.

More soon.

The 5 Biggest (and often fatal) Mistakes in Townsville Yellow Pages Adverts

Yellow Pages Season Hits Townsville

Five Biggest Fatal Mistakes in Townsville Yellow Pages Ads

September is the start of the selling season for Townsville Yellow Pages .

In the lead up to the closing date your ‘Yellow’ rep will be buzzing you.

Pressure will start to build and decisions made about size, design and categories.

Townsville business owners know they must act, but most wait until the last 10 minutes.

Same as last year..

This means that many ads are left the ‘same as last year’ or changes are made without any guidance or clear thinking.

“97% of Yellow Pages are ‘duds’”.

Adults use the YP on average twice per week, and 88% of them intend to purchase.

20% of YP users want more information, which is why a website is so important.

Biggest YP Mistakes for Business Owners to Avoid

To help rushed business owners here are the James Hooper’s Five Biggest YP Mistakes to Avoid in Townsville Yellow Pages.

  1. Biggest error by far is not recording the number of calls and sales from your YP investment.  Unless you measure we can’t know if a change in the ad improved sales or not.
  2. Not having a headline or putting your business name as headline.   The single best way to increase sales is to have a headline that benefits your target.  This true even for small ads.
  3. Failing to plan the ad and letting the YP create your advert for you.   This leads to imitation of your competition..  YP is a major investment and can pay off massively.  Either learn the basics or pay a copywriter to do it for you.
  4. 42% of people will contact two or more businesses.  Mistake 4 is not having your receptionist trained for the incoming call.  Some simple scripts can double your YP returns.
  5. Final mistake is not increasing the size of ads that work and failing to place ads in multiple categories.

Yellow pages can and should be a gold mine if simple rules are followed.  Business owners can learn them easily or outsource the task.

Cheers

James Hooper

Ps I have Yellow Pages Health Audit Package  designed to help business owners get full value from their YP investment.  From $295 per advert.

Call me on 07 4721 0525 or email me on james@seminar.com.au

Townsville Yellow Pages Close Soon… Are you ready or are you an advertising “VICTIM”?

Yellow Pages Headings

How much do you know about Yellow Pages adverts?

* What is a successful advertisement?

* What makes a successful ad?

* The Steps to Yellow Pages success

  1. Who [is your target market]?
  2. What [do you want to say]?
  3. How [to write your advert]

The components of the advert:

–  headline &  sub-headlines

–  body copy

–  keywords

–  pictures

–  call to action/offers

–  typefaces

–  text highlighting/bullets

–  location guides

  1. How big [should your ad be]?
  2. What else [do you need to think about]?

–  production

–  phone scripts – do you waste your advert when you answer the phone like a dork?

–  stock levels – can you cope?

–  team levels

*   Examples

More articles on Yellow Pages coming soon.

James Hooper

Townsville Copy Writer

07 4721 0525

Ps I have a “YP  Review” Product where I will analyse and give clean advice on your current or proposed Townsville Yellow Pages advert.  $295.

Even though it is only September – get ready to get your year in gear!

GYYIG – Get Your Year In Gear!

2009 is rapidly ending and 2010 is rapping at our doors.  Are you ready?  Did this year give you what you planned for?

For many this is a trick question as you may have done more planning for what they will wear on a long weekend away than you did for your business during the entire year?

I have a saying that I release to clients regularly that says “Choose what you want or get what you are given.”

If you don’t choose – the universe will – and it will probably not match what you would have chosen.

Planning Zombie

Planning Zombie

Mention of the word “PLANNING” makes the eyes of many people seem to glaze over, their speech slur and music from a zombie movie roll through the room.

We all know that planning is claimed to be the highest value activity for a business owner.  It is the force that allows activity to be directed strategically – to achieve goals [remember them – what you want to happen by a certain time?]

Who Does Planning?

Everyone does planning at some level and skill.  Some plan only the next hour or day.  Others plan a week ahead, a month, a quarter, a year, 3 or 5 or 10 years.  In Japan there are 100 year mortgages so that families can plan to buy real estate over several generations.

What percentage of your time do you invest in planning your life and business?  To answer that you need to define planning.

Let’s look at a general overview of a planning model that I like.

7 Steps To Get Your Year In Gear

Step 1.  Decide on your intentions for your life. Sounds tough – but it usually comes back things like – Be happy, healthy, and rich.  Ie relationships, wealth and being healthy enough to enjoy life.

Step 2.  Now look ahead 1 year and vision [see!] where you want to be, and make a clear statement of your intentions.  Use the format “My intention is to…..be/do/have…. ”

Step 3. Define your goals – simply turn your vision into a set of practical and measurable goals.

Step 4. Create the measures – develop a set of measurement systems that will keep you on track as the year unfolds and allow course corrections when you drift off track;

Then – if you want to go for “sophisticated” – add the following steps:

Step 5.  Review your plan weekly on Monday morning or Sunday night.  Allow it to guide you as to your priorities for the week.  Review your vison and goals daily before you start each day.  This will boost your time management skills

Step 6. Create a calendar that will allow you adequate rest days, business development days and profit-generating days.  Ie Plan to plan

Step 7.  Plan your financescreate your “Mother of all Spreadsheets” that will allow you to determine your personal and business income for the year.

That wasn’t so bad was it?  It was too hard?  OK.  Try this:

6 Sheets of Paper = Success

Get 6 sheets of blank paper.  Name each page as follows:

1.  Personal goals – next 12 months

2.  Business goals – next 12 months

3.  Personal goals – next 90 days

4.  Business goals – next 90 days

5 and 6.  Actions for next 90 days

Now – complete the 12 month goals for personal and business.  From the 12 months goals work out the goals for the next 90 days for personal and business.  Then from the 90 day goals make lists of all the actions that need to be done to achieve the 90 day goals.  Schedule each of these actions into a diary or calender – that lists what happens each week.  Read it carefully.

If you are ready – SIGN  IT and commit to it.  You now have a 90 day plan.  Get someone to hold you accountable to the plan on a weekly basis.

As Napoleon Hill said “Power is organized knowledge used intelligently.”  And without having goals there can be no plan – and will no plan – we cannot use anything ‘intelligently’.

Choose what you want or get what you are given!

James Hooper

Townsville Business Coach

07 4721 0525