Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Grant W Davis, President of GDI Insurance Agency, Inc, in Turlock, CA announced today that GDI was named as the insurance broker for Steve Perry’s new motion picture studio Masque Entertainment, being built in the heart of Donald Trump’s new golf resort in New Mexico.
GDI has developed a national reputation as the go-to broker for difficult insurance projects. Grant Davis has published articles for nearly two decades on ways to control premium costs and manage risk, among other related topics.
GDI was contacted early in 2009 by consultants working on the Masque Entertainment studio project, after doing a web search for an insurance broker for their project.
According to Grant Davis, “Most insurance brokers spend a lot of time focusing on controlling the buying decisions a client has by running to the insurance market place and locking up the lowest priced insurance companies so only they can offer those prices. Then they disappear until the following year’s renewal. In the insurance world this practice is referred to as ‘blocking the markets.’
“GDI, as part of one of the largest insurance brokerages in the country, has worked to develop contracts with the nation’s largest insurance companies, taking price off the table as a buying concern for our clients. Instead of rushing to stake a claim on the lowest initial premium available, GDI spends time developing ‘risk management’ programs designed to lower the number of expected losses, as well as the size of losses a client might have. This triggers large premium discounts for our clients, which, ultimately, lowers the price.
“For Masque Entertainment’s new studio, GDI worked to get the risk management right. Once that was done, getting competitive coverage and pricing just fell into place, as it always does for our clients.”
(GDI Insurance Inc is located at 801 Geer Rd in Turlock, CA 95380. GDI can be reached by phone at (209) 634-2929 or at www.gdiinsurance.com. For information on Masque Entertainment, visit wwwmasquestudios.com.
Also, for more of Grant Davis’ insights on salesmanship, visit his blog at www.thehabitualsalesman.com.)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We see it all the time, “Eric my product is amazing, my office design is perfect, my books are run well…….why am I going broke” and the answer is always the same—YOU ARE NOT SELLING. The purpose of any business is to sell products or services, period. Most businesses fail, not because it is the law of averages, because the person running them had one of the following problems:
- They couldn’t break the paradigm of going from a W-2 salary employee to a 1099 Self –Employed machine. This is a problem. This is why most businesses fail. Most people are taught to do “a job”, not “run a business”, which are far different things. “Doing a job” is nothing more than filing your role within the system, and most of the time getting paid a fraction of the value of the job. “Running a business”, has no function, YOU MUST KNOW AND DO EVERYTHING, from the smallest to most important task—EVERY DAY.
- They couldn’t get out of their comfort zone. People are funny; they love to do what is easy and want to be paid like they did the things that are hard. Being successful is all about doing things that everyone else hates to do or doesn’t want to do. We have to teach these candidates to get out of their comfort zone and break through the barriers that hold back their peers.
- They never learned to sell. What a problem this can be for an entrepreneur, not knowing HOW to sell. Think about it, once you have a product or service, what good is it if nobody buys it? Sometimes the best product or service in the market is never heard of because the owners didn’t know how to sell, really know HOW to sell. We teach them TO sell and HOW to sell during this phase, while they sell their business that they have been working on.
- “I am a business person not a salesman”. WOW, this is a killer. No one says that you have to sell used cars out of the back of a flea market like a bad movie. Think of some of the best salespeople out there, they are the names you know. The entire panel of multi-millionaires on Shark Tank, some of the best salespeople to ever live. Sean (P-Diddy) Combs, Tony Robbins, Donald Trump, Suzie Orman, David Letterman, the list goes on and on. These people have made it in their industry because they are always on the sale. When people realize that a salesman is the same thing as a businessman, they sky is not even close to the limit. The common misconception that salesmen are bad is controlled by the way that a sale is done. Learn to embrace it and use it right.
- I need money to make this work! Big problem for most businesses. Entrepreneurs seem to follow the trend of the popular failures and successes of those that have been where they are. Make sure you have a product and or service that is good enough to not need money from anyone else.
- One revenue stream. This is 2009 and the world of specialization has hit, but the specialty is in knowing how to pay your bills. Companies that limit themselves to their business alone as a revenue stream will be left behind. We will teach our candidates to learn about other businesses and partner with the right ones to ensure that SOMEONE is always selling and revenue is always coming in. Make no mistake about it, the consolidation era is here and those that embrace it will come out on top.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Have you ever thought “if only I could read my prospects mind I could make the sale”?
No really! I haven’t lost my mind, but I can read yours. And I am about to teach you how you can read your prospects mind. Here’s how!
One big decision saves us from making a lot of smaller ones. So if you can figure out just a few of the big decisions your prospect has made you can with some certainty know how they will respond to other smaller questions. Once you are in sync with your prospects thinking you can reframe your proposals, by asking questions you already know the answer to.
A few examples will help illustrate this for you.
Here is an easy one to start with: As you look around your client’s office you notice a lot of pictures of family doing various activities. You ask about a few of the photos, and spend a half hour talking about how important building good memories for children is, and how those memories will last a life time, and influence generations to come. As these children have children they build great memories, and so on.
What have we learned? This prospect has made a few big decisions. 1. Planning is important. Why? Because this prospect talked a lot about planning activities and building positive memories on purpose. This prospect doesn’t leave the things that are important to chance. 2. The future is important. Why? Because this prospect spent a lot of time talking about the effects of planning to build positive memories for grandchildren, and great grand children and beyond. 3. Family is important, particularly the “future family”
From that brief encounter you could write several pages about what is important to your prospect and why it is important.
So let me ask you this. If you asked your prospect if providing for education was important? What do you think the answer would be? If you showed your prospect a way to guarantee the cost of education would be provided for the current children, grandchildren and so on, would that prospect be interested?
What if you had a great plan for this prospects business? I think you get the idea. Mind reading is easy if you can elicit the core beliefs and major decisions your prospect has made.
A few more examples:
- A born again Christian.
- Someone that runs 20 miles a week.
- I lost 40 pounds and my good cholesterol is now right in line.
- I built own home.
- I decided long ago to do what was right. (this one is tricky as to us it you need to know what set of standards your prospect is using as “right”)
- What I do for a living.
- What I do on the weekends
- What I do with my free time.
- I believe in the death penalty, or I don’t believe.
Every little thing gives us clues as to the fundamental basis by which our prospect filters information, and how and why they will answer a particular question we ask.
Once we think we “have the core beliefs and values” we need to ask lots of questions to dial in on exactly what the cultural basis the core values and beliefs are applied against.
Once we have this final piece of the puzzle, we in fact can read our prospects minds. We almost don’t need to ask the question as we will already know how our prospect will answer it!
From; Grant W Davis
|Many people talk about goal setting workshops. Which is great fun, and very motivational. As for me I'm into goal attainment.|
That all said, I have kept journals since the mid 1980’s when I first read think and grow rich. And I seem to arrive at my goal, with a new one already in place. So the journey is important. Part of my journey today is setting up this website, not knowing if anyone will ever care to take a look at it.
|The basis of what we will be doing in the members section.|
That is if I had to choose!
Un-planning for failure! The theme of the day seems to be lack of a clear business plan. Beyond today, or next year or the year after where is your business heading and why?
The question is very similar to questions I ask when I review financial plans for my clients and prospects. These past few years it seems I have run across a lot of people that lost 30-60% of their money and have an almost cavalier attitude towards it. I have heard comments like; That happens, Stocks go up and down, You just have to hang on to your stocks and they will come back, this is normal, everyone lost money.
The list goes on. There are even groups of people that get together to tell them selves it is ok that they just lost 60% of their money.
I always ask, why? Why is a 70 year old widow’s nest egg exposed to market risk of any kind? Does she need the money? Is there a financial plan that requires a 12% minimum return or she will lose her home, etc… The answer I find more often than not is there is no plan at all, and no reason for the exposure to market risk.. By the way I have never had a client lose one cent on a plan I put together in 30 years. Why? Because there is no need to take risk if the plan is sound. Systematic savings is the most important part of a person’s financial plan, not the rate of return.
So what does lack of planning and or pursuing the wrong plan with out a reason have to do with your business plan, or lack thereof…? Hum… A good business plan provides for growth and profit growth without risk.
For most people risk is a result of desperation, or failure to plan, or flat out bad advice.
If we are to plan for success, then lets pay attention to the key word “Plan”.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The vast majority of ads don’t register with consumers. Here are seven straight-up reasons why your message probably isn’t getting through
Recently, an AdweekMedia poll of LinkedIn members posed this question: “Of the ads you see in a typical day, how many engage your attention?” A remarkable two-thirds of respondents said “a small minority of them.” Another quarter answered “none of them.” Together, that’s 91%. Only one in 100 respondents said “most of them.”
Ouch. While polls like these have their limitations (we often can’t—or won’t—tell the truth about our own purchase behavior), I suspect few us would doubt the overall conclusion that a lot of advertising doesn’t work very well. Your own advertising may even fall into that category.
If you find yourself nodding your head and wringing your hands right now, keep in mind this simple business axiom: Companies get the advertising they deserve. If your advertising isn’t working, it may be you that’s the problem.
The good news is that you can take steps to fix it. Certainly the economic environment is playing a significant role in how well (and how quickly) prospects are responding to your advertising, but blaming the recession is ultimately unproductive. After all, you may not like the hand you’ve been dealt, but your competitors are holding the same cards. It’s how you play your hand that counts.
With that in mind, I’d like to suggest seven reasons why your advertising may not be pulling its weight. Use them to evaluate your efforts, but don’t rely on your judgment alone. Ask a trusted and objective colleague to give you his or her honest opinion as well.
1. It’s boring. Yep, boring. Why do we watch TV, listen to the radio, read the newspaper, or go online? Three reasons: information, entertainment, and engagement. Ads that fail to offer at least two of these three benefits flop. Just as nobody reads every story in the newspaper, nobody pays attention to every ad. You have to engage your prospects with something that is interesting or entertaining before they’ll give you their valuable time and attention. Creativity has always been the coin of the realm, but in our time-starved culture it’s truer than ever.
2. It’s boorish. You shouldn’t think of your advertising as being about your brand, you should think of it as an extension of your brand (see “A Practical Guide to Branding”). If it’s loud, annoying, insulting, offensive, or self-centered, people will think the same of your products or services (see “The Cocktail Party Test for Advertising”). Remember the first sentence in the best-selling hardback book in U.S. history, The Purpose Driven Life: “It’s not about you.” What’s true in life is true in advertising; if you focus only on what you can get, you’re not going to get much. Instead, focus on giving, and good things will begin to happen.
3. It’s safe. The first time I saw a Ford Taurus (F), I took note, and I suspect you did as well. So did a lot of other people, and the Taurus went on to become the best-selling car in America. If the Taurus had been another in a long line of boxy sedans, it probably would have been just another car. Instead, it turned automotive design conventions upside down and made history. While being different isn’t in and of itself a guarantee of success, what you do is a lot more likely to get noticed if it hasn’t been done before. And keep in mind that when you do something different, people may not like it—at least initially. Most of us were shocked at our first sight of the Taurus’ curved lines, but it went on to have significant influence on automotive design. If you worry too much about offending someone, you’re likely to not attract anyone.
4. It’s trying to do too much. As the poll results above demonstrated, most people don’t engage with most ads. And even when they do, for how long do they pay attention? Thirty seconds? Ten? Five? The best an ad can do is communicate one single, compelling idea, and in the age of the Internet—when people know they can go online to get all the additional information they need—it’s crazy to ask an ad to do more than that. Just because you have a lot to say doesn’t mean your audience will sit still and pay attention. Do your best to make a simple, singular point. Do it with flair, and given enough exposure (see next point) it might just get through.
5. It hasn’t been given time. You can’t rush bread out of the oven. You can’t hurry a seedling out of the ground. All you can do is prepare the ingredients properly, tend the garden with care, and wait for the loaf to rise and sprouts to appear. The same is true of advertising. If you expect too much too soon (especially on a limited budget) you’re sure to be disappointed. Think about your own consumer behavior—how many times do you need to be exposed to a marketing message before you take action? Depending on your prospects’ level of interest in the category and frequency of purchase, it could take weeks, months, or even years for your message to sink in.
6. You like it. O.K., this one may sting a bit, but you are not the best judge of your own advertising. You can’t be, because you simply know too much about your brand and have too much affection for it to remain objective. Look at Burger King (BKC). Its advertising over the past few years has been quite successful in appealing to the company’s core target audience of young men, but many Burger King franchisees could personally do without it. The smart ones recognize that they’re not the target and leave it alone. Your advertising is not only not about you, it’s not for you. Both points seem counterintuitive, but that’s why this stuff isn’t for amateurs.
7. It’s not an advertising problem. A common mistake many companies make is trying to use advertising to fix another problem. It may be faulty or outdated product design, an uncompetitive cost structure, customer service letdowns, or any number of other things. It’s not as if they do so intentionally; it’s just that it’s a whole lot easier to put on a new coat of paint than it is to fix the foundation that’s causing the drywall to crack. No company executes flawlessly, but until you can maintain a solid track record of excellence, spend your money on internal improvements rather than advertising. Paint may mask the problem for a short time, but soon new cracks will begin to appear.
There are, of course, many more reasons why advertising underperforms, from poor media placement to bad strategy to competitive countermoves. But the above missteps are so common—and so commonly misunderstood—that simply putting them out to the curb would go a long way in making advertising better. Not to mention making television much more bearable to watch.
Mistake No. 2:
Content Continues Below
Mistake No. 3:
Are you ready to change your tagline or logo? Companies get tired of their own marketing way before the market does. (You live with it day in and day out. They see it only once in a while.) Remember when Jack in the Box killed its ping-pong-ball-headed CEO? Customer sentiment brought him back, but the company was smart enough to do so in a new, updated way. Whatever you do, don’t let your visual brand identity and messaging force changes in your brand promise (see Mistake No. 1).
Mistake No. 4:
Alongside this advice, I recommend that you focus your brand message–don’t try to be all things to all people. Figure out the most compelling part of your promise and build that up, rather than try to communicate 10 different elements of your brand promise.
Mistake No. 5:
Steer clear of these mistakes, and you’ll be well on your way to branding nirvana–being known for your compelling and differentiated value.
Lynn Parker is co-founder ofParker LePla, a brand strategy consulting firm in Seattle. She’s also the author ofThe Reluctant Entrepreneur, and co-author ofIntegrated BrandingandBrand Driven.
An idea man by nature, Eric’s success is defined by his relentless work ethic and ability to share his vision with his partners, employees, and the public. Never satisfied, no matter the level of his success, Eric drives and motivates his team to constantly improve, and spawns countless ideas and strategies on a daily basis, which he filters through his partners before implementation.
Eric is not only BFC Ventures driving force behind the scenes; he is also the face of the company in the eyes of the public. He has been wildly effective in branding
himself through numerous media avenues including radio (has hosted two shows, weekly guest on two others), television (has hosted one show, weekly guest on channel 6 news, numerous guest appearances on other shows), and the web (huge presence on a variety of social , and internet video platforms). As the visionary and public presence for the firm, Eric has taken BFC Ventures to impressive levels, but everyone who has met Eric knows that he will never be satisfied.
Eric thirsts for success and is driven by the ability to either succeed or help someone succeed. With this in mind, after closing his last company he started to focus on what he is really good at and where he belongs in life. So, he is now training and investing with young and businessmen all around the globe. “The thoughts that come out of his head are mind blowing sometimes, not because of their content, but because he knows he will work hard enough to make the thought a reality.” says his partner Adam Blejski, “I have never seen anything like it, he has a gift to find revenue streams for businesses that no one would have ever known were there”. With that being said, Mr. Rice is now playing the free agent market and not settling done to one company. He is a highly sought after consultant that will not take the work if it is long in nature. He is focused on his own projects and the 10-15 new ones he sees every week from investors and inventors.
For the last 4 months Eric Rice has been working with Brian Tomkins and David turner to develop e a new company called Boom Media. Boom was created out of a rising need in the media markets, social networking. “I really didn’t want to even like this until about 2 months ago. I have been very successful using social media for my own brand and businesses and people have been asking me to do it for them, so now we have Boom.” states Rice. Rice has been a client of Brian Tomkins, well know social media figure, and has had major success promoting his businesses through this median. Tomkins, considered a revolutionary in the field, had been courting Rice to make a move into the media space for quite some time and now they have teamed up. David Turner is a pillar of the business and has gone public two times with different companies he started. “I would only do this deal if we had David involved, period. Brian can handle the online campaigns and I can do the growth and expansion but we needed a professional on the operations side and that is where David came in. We need to be a well oiled machine to handle the kind of clientele we have and it is vital to have the right team. ” Rice goes on to say.