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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

12 Ways to Get Customers to Open Your Email FIRST

Want to know the secret to email follow up?

TWO WORDS: Subject line.

Because that’s the only thing customers see.
Because that’s the only thing customers have the time to read.
Because that’s the only thing customers will use to decide whether or not to open it.
Because that’s the only way you can immediately differentiate yourself in their inbox.

So, it has to be engaging, interesting, curious and funny.

It has to appeal to their ego and emotions. Capture the interest. Make their head tilt to the side like a curious dog.

And you only have about 50 characters to do that.

The good news is, most of your competitors are titling their email with unremarkable, unengaging and uncreative titles like:

o Hi! (This sounds like spam.)
o Hey there… (This sounds like pornography.)
o What’s up? (Come on, you can do better than that!)
o Check this out… (Yep, more spam.)
o (No subject) (This is lazy and annoying.)

So, here’s your chance! Check out this list of 12 enticing subject lines for unforgettable follow up, along with a reason for why each of them work:

YOU WRITE: Have you seen this article about your company yet?
THEY THINK: Wait … there was an article about my company? Sweet! I hope it was positive!

YOU WRITE: I saw something that made me think of you…
THEY THINK: Really? Hmm … I wonder what makes other people think of ME?

YOU WRITE: Man, I sure hope you’ve already seen this…
THEY THINK: Eep! Did I miss something important?

YOU WRITE: I thought of you when I read this…
THEY THINK: I wonder if I’ve already seen it…?

YOU WRITE: I thought of you when I saw this…
THEY THINK: I wonder what this is…?

YOU WRITE: I was thinking about you the other day.
THEY THINK: Really? Cool! Tell me more. I like being thought about…

YOU WRITE: I was thinking about your business the other day.
THEY THINK: Ooh! This could be good…

YOU WRITE: Someone paid you a compliment yesterday.
THEY THINK: Hooray! Let’s see who loves me…

YOU WRITE: I blogged about you the other day…
THEY THINK: Link love? Awesome! Let’s have a look-see…

YOU WRITE: When I saw this, I immediately thought of you!
THEY THINK: Gotta love mindshare…

YOU WRITE: Your ears should be ringing…
THEY THINK: Yes! My evil plan for market domination is totally working!

YOU WRITE: Your name came up in a conversation recently…
THEY THINK: Sweet! I’d like to hear more about this…

- - -

OK. One final note about email follow up…

Don’t bait and switch people.

Give customers a valid reason for your persistence. Make sure your subject line ACTUALLY has something to do with your message, and isn’t just some trick to get them to open your email. People hate being duped like that.

Ultimately, it’s all about engagement, curiosity and emotion.

It’s about making the subject lines of your email fun, creative, memorable and attractive.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
If your customers receive hundreds of emails a day, what’s going to make them want to open YOURS first?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
What are your Top Five Best Email Subject Lines? Share them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NametagTV: Behind the Scenes



Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

Join the online discussion in The Nametag Forum about this video here!


LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you taking your customers behind the scenes?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "10 Ways to Help Your Customers to Know YOU," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll show you the way!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Golden Rule, Schmolden Rule

You know The Golden Rule.

THE QUESTION IS: How, specifically, do you practice it every day?

The bad news is, most people don't.

The good news is, if you’re stuck, here are a few suggestions:




ACT like the kind of friend YOU’D want to turn to at 2 AM.
ANSWER the kinds of questions YOU’D want to ask.
BE the kind of salesperson YOU’D want to buy from.
BEGIN the kind of movement YOU’D want to be a part of.
CREATE the kind of group YOU’D want to join.
DELIVER the kind of value and service YOU’D want to receive.
DESIGN the kind of website YOU’D want to keep going back to.
GIVE the kind of speech YOU’D want to listen to.
PUBLISH the kind of blog YOU’D want to subscribe to.
SELL the kind of product YOU’D want to buy.
SPEAK to the kind of people YOU’D want to listen to.
START the kind of company YOU’D want to work for.
TEACH the kind of ideas YOU’D want to learn.
WRITE the kind of book YOU’D want to read.

- - -

You know, sometimes I wish it wasn’t called The Golden Rule.

Because that doesn’t really cover it.

See, I think we can only influence people in four ways:

1. Influence through … what we BELIEVE.
This has (minimal) influence. You could call it The Golden Rule.

2. Influence through … what we SAY.
This has (some) influence. You could call it The Golden Word.

3. Influence through … what we DO.
This has (significant) influence. You could call it The Golden Action.

4. Influence through … who we ARE.
This has (maximum) influence. You could call it The Golden Existence.

- - -

They all work.

So, whichever way you choose to influence people, just remember to keep some gold at the heart of it.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your version of The Golden Rule?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share a specific example of how you practice The Golden Rule here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What's YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Adventures in Nametagging: On Being Yourself



Hey, today is my 800th post! Sweet.

Thanks to Andy for the video.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When did someone challenge YOUR identity?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your experience here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Need help figuring out how you roll?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Thursday, April 24, 2008

What do YOU differentiate through?

Maybe you differentiate through … your service.

By making it quick.
By making it unexpectedly responsive.
By making the mundane into memorable.


Like Nashville’s Hotel Preston, which, instead of just a bible, offers a choice of 10+ religious books to ANY guest who asks.

Wow!

Maybe you differentiate through … your diagnosis.

By noticing new patterns.
By challenging people to reexamine their assumptions.
By seeing what others can’t see because they’re too close to it.


Like my friend Dr. Thomas, who believes ALL illnesses are stress-related.

True that.

Maybe you differentiate through … your questions.

By asking them at the right time.
By peppering them with the right words.
By asking the questions nobody’s ever been asked before.


Like my mentor Richard, who asks provocative questions like, “Now, was that what she SAID; or was that your INTERPRETATION of what she said?”

Ouch.

Maybe you differentiate through your answers.

By surprising people.
By always having more than one.
By offering counterintuitive responses that come out of left field.


Like Henry, the bellman I used to work with, who always answered the question, “How are you?” with “Everything is beautiful!”

Sweet.

Maybe you differentiate through … your philosophy.

By knowing it cold.
By writing on a little card and giving it everybody you meet.
By believing, saying, doing, and of course, BEING that philosophy daily.


Like my kindred spirits @ Brains on Fire, who refuses to label itself as a “Marketing,” “Branding” or “PR” company; but rather as an “Identity” company.

Hell yes.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What do you differentiate through?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "20 Types of Value You MUST Deliver," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll help you differentiate!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

17 Behaviors to Avoid for Effective Listening

Growing bigger ears isn't just about what you DO.

It's also about what you DON'T DO.

1. Don’t react.
Respond coolly, objectively and non-judgmentally.

2. Don’t think.
Just perceive without interpreting or labeling.

3. Don’t perform.
Because some people view listening as a performance.

4. Don’t tell someone not to feel a certain way.
This cheats her out of having her feelings.

5. Don’t get bored.
Because that means you’re focusing on the wrong person ☺

6. Don’t take over.
Instead, take IN the other person.

7. Don’t tell.
Instead, ask. (But not too many questions!)

8. Don’t give advice.
Unless someone asks for it.

9. Don’t usurp ownership.
Let the other person give birth to their ideas and realizations.

10. Don’t inflict your agenda.
Because listening isn’t about you.

11. Don’t one-up.
It’s a form of conversational narcissism.

12. Don’t use the other person’s comments as prompts for your clever little jokes.
It’s annoying and clearly motivated by self-interested.

13. Don’t speak.
Just stop talking for a while. Seriously. Let the silence make space for the other person to just BE.

14. Don’t impose your own structure.
Let the speaker pace the conversation.

15. Don’t fix.
That isn’t your job, and people don’t like to be “fixed.”

16. Don’t take too many notes.
Or else it will look like you’re too busy to listen.

17. Don’t ask, “Why?”
That word creates defensiveness.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What others behaviors should effective listeners avoid?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "27 Affirmations to Prepare Yourself to Listen," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll help you grow bigger ears today!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NametagTV: Killer Sales Questions

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!
Watch the original video on The Sales Channel here!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your favorite question to ask customers?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

What's YOUR approach?

Join The Nametag Forums! Share stories, best practices and connect with a like-minded community of business professionals who stick themselves out there!

Monday, April 21, 2008

26 Secrets to Publishing a List Everybody Wants to Read, Download and Link To

1. Start off by giving yourself an idea quotient. The bigger the better.

2. Don’t think. Just write.

3. Find a really important item on your list and repeat it a few times. At first, people will think you made a mistake; but eventually they’ll get the point.

4. Make your title absurdly LOOOOOOOOOOOONG.

5. Make your title ridiculously generic.

6. Make your title totally hilarious.

7. Make your title completely unarguable (see the title of this list as an example)

8. REMEMBER: The more items you have on your list, the more often you can throw one random item in just for the hell of it. (Kind of like this!)

9. Make your list long, but make your sentences short.

10. Double-space your list if the sentences are long.

11. Single-space your list if the sentences are short.

12. In the title of your list, use unexpected numbers like 31, 87 and 62. It sounds cooler, more credible and more human. (As if all lists magically ended up with 50 items every time.) Bah!

13. Find a really important item on your list and repeat it a few times. At first, people will think you made a mistake; but eventually they’ll get the point.

14. Do a Consecutive Repeated Item with more emphasis on the second example.

15. Do a Consecutive Repeated Item with more emphasis on the second example. SERIOUSLY. I’m not going to say it again. Gosh!

16. Dance with language. Screw grammar, punctuation, “rules of writing” and all of that other 11th grade literary bullshit. It’s just a list, man. It ain’t gonna win a Pulitzer. Let it go.http://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif

17. Make yourself – as the writer – disappear. Write conversationally so readers forget that they’re reading.

18. Read lists written by some of the great list makers: Seth Godin, Tom Peters, Jeffrey Gitomer.

19. Don’t force it. No need to get the entire list done in one sitting. Add a few items here, a few items there. Save your unfinished lists in a folder and publish them when they feel ready.

20. Alphabetizing your lists has several advantages. First, it’s easy for readers to pace. Second, it leaves the distribution of list items up to chance, which, often times, comes out better. Thirdly, it makes those anal, OCD folks (like yours truly) quite happy.

21. Shorter sentences win. They get read. They get remembered. That’s it.

22. Links are a good idea, just not too many. A confused mind never buys.

23. Make your list an open loop. Encourage readers to add their thoughts, thereby expanding and enhancing your list. REMEMBER: Just because you post it on your blog, doesn’t mean it’s done. In fact, a good list is never done.

24. Find a really important item on your list and repeat it a few times. At first, people will think you made a mistake; but eventually they’ll get the point.

25. Although the number of items on your list is (usually) irrelevant, numbers like 99, 100 and 101 seem to work really well.

26. Spice it up. If your list item is rather long, use a bold, italicized, underlined or ALL CAPS subheading to make the architecture more digestible. See, your writing needs to B-R-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-A-T-H-E more. Like a Norah Jones vocal melody or a Tom Morello guitar solo.

Got it?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are the characteristics of a killer list?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
If you'd like (yet another) list called "43 Reasons to Organize Your Content with Lists," you know the drill. Send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll deliver the goodies.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Friday, April 18, 2008

Nametag Guy LIVE: Unquestionable Commitment



LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are you unquestionably committed to?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share an example of how you visually demonstrate that to people here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?


Buy Scott's new book and learn how to sell enable people to buy!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stop calling it "marketing"

Marketing is evil.

Or at least, that’s the perception.

That marketing is dishonest.
That marketing is contrived.
That marketing is manipulative.
That marketing is interruptive.
That marketing is disrespectful.

Which, in many cases, it CAN be.

And which, in many cases, it IS.

But that’s only if you continue to call it “marketing.”

SO, HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE: Eliminate the word “marketing” from your vocabulary.

Reframe it in a way that allows you to identify with it on a personal level.

A few examples:

It’s not marketing.
It’s STRATEGIC SHARING.

It’s not marketing.
It’s TRANSFERRING EMOTION.

It’s not marketing.
It’s TELLING A STORY.

It's not marketing.
It's BEING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF

It’s not marketing.
It’s STICKING YOURSELF OUT THERE.

After all, the best marketers in the world are the ones you don’t even realize are marketing.

And I don’t count those super-slick, manipulative advertisers who sneakily pump marketing messages into every available public crevasse that leverage people’s unconscious minds against themselves.

Those people really ARE evil.

I’m talking about the people who are starting movements.
I’m talking about the people who are spreading valuable ideas.
I’m talking about the people who actually creating REAL change.
I’m talking about the people who are having fun, making the mundane memorable.

The ones you don’t think of as “marketers.”

People like Spike.
People like Jim.
People like Bob.

Yep. Those are my peeps.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
If you could call "marketing" something else, what word would you use?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "123 Questions Every Marketer Should Ask," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll overload you with thought provokers!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Sharing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

8 Ways to Move Quickly on New Opportunities

"Ideas are free; execution is priceless."

That’s one of my mantras.

And it all starts with that first step.

Go! Now! Start! Let’s move! Giddy up!

LESSON LEARNED: Move quickly on new opportunities.

Here are seven ways to do so:



1. WRITING things down as soon as you hear them.
Because if you don’t write it down, it never happened.

2. ASKING yourself, “What’s the next action?”
Because ultimately, that’s the only question that really matters.

3. LISTING all the steps you need to take to leverage an opportunity.
Because listing is the quickest, most efficient way to organize all of your thoughts. (Ahem...)

4. GOOGLING various elements of your idea as soon you get it.
Because you need to find out if someone else is already doing it.

5. ASKING for feedback from smart people right away.
Because they can ask questions and see things you can’t.

6. REGISTERING domains as soon as you get the name of the idea.
Because he owns the domain owns the idea.

7. EMAILING someone right away with a action-oriented question.
Because initiative is attractive.

8. SCANNING your opportunity radar constantly.
Because now that your mind is fixated, related ideas will be attracted to you.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's the first thing YOU do when you get a new idea?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "49 Ways to become an Idea Powerhouse," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll gladly motivate your melon!


* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Having trouble moving quickly on new opportunities?

No worries! Perhaps my melon can be of some assistance.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NametagTV: Watch Your But's!

Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!
Watch the original video on The Frontline Channel here!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
When someone says "but," how does it make you feel?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Check out the latest addition to NametagTV, The Nametag Forums. Join for free and keep the conversation going about how to GET noticed, GET remembered and GET business!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The ONE WORD that makes you sound like a good listener

“Honey, I got fired this afternoon.”
“Wow.”

“Boss, I lost the Gregory Account today…”
“Wow.”

“Dude, I’m thinking about moving to Pamplona!”
“Wow.”

“Yes, um, your airline recently lost both of my bags!”
“Wow.”





“Wow.”

It’s a great word. A beautiful word.
It’s a complete sentence. A wonderful sentence.

And, it’s an effective way to show someone you’re listening.

For LOTS of reasons…

First, here’s what WOW is:

WOW … is a neutral term.
Because it doesn’t agree or disagree.

WOW … is a versatile term.
Because your inflection and body language shift its meaning.

WOW … is an empathetic term.
Because it exudes concern.

WOW … is a non-judgmental term.
Because it doesn’t accuse or condescend.

WOW … is an emotionally nonreactive term.
Because it’s more of a statement of observation.

That’s what WOW is.

Secondly, here’s what WOW does:

WOW … avoids over actively listening to someone.
Instead, it simply acknowledges someone’s statement and then shuts up.
And this passes the ball back into the their court.

WOW … offers an immediate answer, thus laying a foundation of affirmation.
Which makes people feel valued, validated and important.
And this is the objective of growing bigger ears.

WOW … buys you some time, until you can define your official response.
Which will come later, after you’ve heard the whole story.
And this prevents Foot In Mouth Disease.

WOW … helps you maintain composure when presented with unexpected, difficult or crucial information.
Which reduces your emotional reactivity.
And this grounds you in a non-defensive posture.

WOW … creates space in the conversation, which grants the speaker permission to continue.
Which enables healthy and honest communication to openly flow.
And this moves you both closer to a connection and a solution.

That’s what WOW does.

And it’s only one word.

It’s only one sentence.

And yet, it’s still a powerful practice for growing bigger ears!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What words make someone sound like a good listener?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your Phrases That Payses here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Enjoy this post?

If so, perhaps I could help on a more personal, one-on-one basis.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Friday, April 11, 2008

52 Random Insights for Growing Your Business

We had a blast at the annual "Fire Sessions" @ Brains on Fire this week. I got to share the stage with Richard Tait, creator of Cranium. Coolest CEO ever!

Spike "Wrong Way" Jones has a nice wrap-up of the conference here.

Then, I flew across the country to Seattle to work with my friends from The American Gem Society. Also awesome! And last night Vogue put on their annual fashion/jewelry show.

Eep! Those models were taller than ME!

Anyhoo, I had lots of travel time this week. Sure enough, I was able to pump out (yet another) ridiculously long list.

Enjoy!

52 Random Insights for Growing Your Business

1. Be careful of being too anxious to prove your value.

2. Be willing to walk away from every sale.

3. Be worth the price of admission.

4. Become like the companies and people you admire.

5. Brand your honesty.

6. Build an asset so attractive that buyers will come looking for it.

7. Build things worth noticing.

8. Clearly define what you are a steward of.

9. Create a product people can easily become obsessed with.

10. Develop a system for dealing with customer complaints.

11. Discover whether or not this is your own thinking.

12. Do something you would do for NOTHING.

13. Don’t do stuff that doesn’t need to be done by anyone.

14. Don’t tune out the moment you realize it doesn’t apply to you.

15. Enable customers to purchase your experience.

16. Figure out what is SO YOU, then do that. (Thank you, Greg Cordell!)

17. Figure out who has your money in their pockets; then find a way to get it into your pockets.

18. Find a job that people couldn’t pay you NOT to do.

19. First, increase your character. THEN your talent.

20. Hang with people whose thinking sparks your own.

21. Help people recall their high performance patterns.

22. Help your customers build their businesses.

23. Help your customers do your marketing for you.

24. Identify the types of situations that bring out the best in you. Revisit them regularly.

25. If you want to be a great writer, just leave out the parts people skip.

26. Keep histories of your creative initiatives.

27. Learn marketing from musicians. Those dudes are smart.

28. Learn what people treasure.

29. Let experiences change you.

30. Listen for your own ego in your words.

31. Make adding value part of your daily lifestyle.

32. Make it easy for customers to complain.

33. Make your customers smarter.

34. Multitasking is usually disrespectful.

35. Muster the courage to turn away business.

36. Never let ‘em see you coming.

37. On a daily basis, empty yourself of yourself.

38. Please the people who are attracted to your vision.

39. Profit from every experience.

40. Put lots of free samples of your work out there.

41. Put more decisions in the hand of your customers.

42. Quietly start things.

43. Reading books isn’t enough. You have to study them and live them.

44. Recognize threats to your ownership.

45. Reduce the possibility of being proved wrong.

46. Reduce your customer’s perception of risk.

47. Refuse to associate with people who sap your enthusiasm.

48. Return your calls faster than your competitors.

49. Send yourself to your room.

50. Show people that their feelings are legitimate.

51. Take note of whom and what consistently makes you happy.

52. Test your organization for its responsiveness.

- - -

That's it.

Have a perfect weekend!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What are your three BEST pieces of "Business Growth" advice?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share 'em here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

6 Service Secrets Learned from a Whole Foods Bulletin Board

While pounding some spicy tuna hand rolls @ Whole Foods recently, I noticed this comment board.

VERY cool. Six service lessons to be learned...

1. It’s handwritten. So, it’s personal. It’s human. It’s approachable. It shows that someone (actually) took the time to read the comment and write out an answer.

What’s more, this proves that Whole Foods respectfully treats their customers as PEOPLE. As HUMANS. Not numbers, statistics or a means to an end. Just people.

So, consider these three questions:

o What, specifically, are you doing to earn your customers’ trust?
o What, specifically, are you doing to earn your customers’ loyalty?
o How are you using handwritten materials to reinforce the human touch?


2. It demonstrates listening. Which gives the perception that there is a respectful collecting of opinions.

So, it demonstrates that, unlike a lot of companies, Whole Foods actually listens to their customers AND takes their ideas serious as potential suggestions to improve their company.

So, consider these three questions:

o How are you publicly demonstrating your willingness to listen?
o How are you allowing customers to participate in your brand?
o What innovations do your customers initiate?

3. It’s transparent. I like that the store is willing to (publicly!) admit to their mistakes. That they don’t know everything. That they screw up from time to time.

This is MUCH better than some anonymous comment box, one of those annoying web forms or a private 1-800 number where customers leave messages that never get heard. No. It’s actually public for the entire world to see!

So, consider these three questions:

o Are you willing to admit to your ignorance?
o How often do you publicly admit to your mistakes?
o How are you VISUALLY reinforcing your authenticity?


4. It builds employee accountability. If you look closely on the cards, team members actually sign their names under each comment! This keeps them accountable AND allows them to take ownership of their problems.

So, by sticking themselves out there, employees are making themselves open to criticism as well as positive feedback. This enhances their courage, which helps them grow thicker skin.

So, consider these three questions:

o How often do your employees put themselves on the line?
o How do your employees take ownership of customer problems?
o Is what you’re doing today going to bring this customer back tomorrow?


5. It demonstrates a question-friendly environment. So, here’s what happens: A complaint goes up on the board. An employee answers.

But then, OTHER customers start to notice the comment board. And as a result, they are granted permission to voice their own concerns. This leads to more feedback. Which leads to more employee/customer communication. Which leads to improved service.

So, consider these three questions:

o How are you making your customers smarter?
o Do you have a Comment Box or a Question Box?
o How are you creating an environment that enables, supports and rewards authentic dialogue?


6. It helps the store find out where they suck. Complaints are gifts. Opportunities to get better in areas you can’t recognize when you’re on the inside because you’re too close to the problem.

And, not only does this make it easier to complain, but creates a system for handling complaints.

So, consider these three questions:

o How do you find out where you suck?
o What’s your system for handling complaints?
o How are you making it easy for customer to complain?


LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What other companies do stuff like this?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your examples here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's telling their friends about YOU?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

8 Ways to Make Your Telephone Personality More Attractive

1. May I ask who’s calling?
a. Is it unique?
b. Is it unexpected?
c. Does it build pre-call excitement and curiosity?
d. Does it make the entire office laugh when they hear it over the PA system?


2. Greeting/Answer
a. Is it short?
b. Is it simple?
c. Is it engaging?
d. Is it memorable?

3. Note Taking
a. Are letting callers know you’re taking notes?
b. Are you reading back from your notes to demonstrate listening?
c. Are you emailing the other person a summary of your notes after the conversation is over?

4. Questions
a. Are they unexpected?
b. Are they open-ended?
c. Are they thought provoking?
d. Are they the same questions every other person asks?
e. Do you have a running list of your best questions for each situation?

5. Growing Bigger Ears
a. Are you listening twice as much as you talk?
b. Are you only interrupting for clarification or elaboration?
c. Are you pausing after questions and answers to make space?
d. Are you being emotional objective, non-judgmental and calm?

6. Before We Go
a. Did you cover everything?
b. Did you set the next appointment?
c. Did you ask if there were any other questions?
d. Did you give the other person a Call to Action?
e. Did you make sure you accomplished the objective of your call?

7. Exit Line
a. Is it memorable?
b. Is it brand consistent?
c. Is it boring and expected?
d. Does it reinforce your value?
e. Does it leave a lasting impression?

8. Voicemail
a. Is it fun.
b.Is it short?
c. Is it engaging?
d. Does it deliver value?
e. Does it encourage callers to share?
f. Is it just like every other voicemail you’ve ever heard?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What makes your telephone personality attractive?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "20 Ways to Make Customers Feel Comfortable," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll share the secrets!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Satisfaction not enough?
Customers not telling their friends about you?
Want to learn how to deliver unforgettable service?

Buy Scott's new book and learn how to get your frontline IN line!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Nametag Guy LIVE: Word Ownership




LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What word do you own?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "24 Questions to Discover Which Word You Own," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll hook you up!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Coaches? Consultants? Bah!

How about a professional listener and creative midwife?

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Monday, April 07, 2008

62 Types of Questions and Why They Work

So, I have this running list of about 4000 questions.

Questions to ask yourself.
Questions to ask your team.
Questions to ask your customers.

And I update it whenever I'm asked, hear, read or think of a good question. Probably about twenty new ones a week.

Fortunately, they're sorted by category, i.e., "Creativity," "Sales," "Leadership," and the like.

Otherwise, going through that list would (as my girlfriend says) make my eyes bleed.

Anyway, a few months back I heard a question that has become one of my new faves:

"What words govern your questions?"

A question about questions. Imagine that ;)

Interestingly, when I first read that question, I thought it might be cool to go back through my list of 4000 to look for some language patterns.

Pretty neat exercise. Teaches you a lot about yourself.

So, here's what I came up with:

62 Types of Questions and Why They Work

1. Are you saying…?
Identifies someone’s language patterns.

2. Are you willing to…?
Tests someone’s limits.

3. Can you give me…?
Encourages examples and specifics.

4. Can you remember…?
Taps into someone’s memory.

5. Did you ask…?
Questions someone’s questions.

6. Have you considered…?
Non-threatening proposal of options.

7. Have you given any thought to…?
Suggestive, yet doesn’t sound like advice.

8. Have you thought about…?
Forces someone to think!

9. How are you constantly…?
Promotes consistency of action.

10. How are you creating…?
Proves that someone has a choice.

11. How can you become…?
Future oriented, motivational.

12. How can you make…?
Enlists someone’s creativity.

13. How could you have…?
Focused on past performance improvement.

14. How do you feel…?
Feelings are good.

15. How do you measure…?
Clarifies and specifies someone’s statement.

16. How do you plan to…?
Future oriented, process oriented, action oriented.

17. How do you want…?
Visualizes ideal conditions.

18. How does this relate to…?
Keeps someone on point, uncovers connections between things.

19. How else could this be…?
Encourages open, option-oriented and leverage-based thinking.

20. How long will it take to…?
Clarifies time specifics.

21. How many different ways…?
Enlists someone’s creativity, explores various options.

22. How many people…?
Clarifies and specifies.

23. How might you…?
All about potential and possibility.

24. How much energy…?
Identifies patterns of energy investment.

25. How much money…?
Identifies patterns of financial investment.

26. How much time each day…?
Identifies patterns of (daily) time investment.

27. How much time…?
Identifies patterns of energy investment.

28. How often do you…?
Gets an idea of someone’s frequency.

29. How well do you…?
Uncovers abilities.

30. How will you know when/if…?
Predicts outcomes of ideal situations.

31. If you could change…?
Visualizes improvement.

32. If you had to…?
Possibility thinking.

33. If you showed your…?
Imagining what others would say.

34. If you stopped…?
Cause-effect question.

35. If you were…?
Ideal situation.

36. In what areas…?
Searching for multiple answers.

37. Is anybody going to…?
Deciding if something even matters.

38. Is there any other…?
Challenges someone to find ONE more answer.

39. Is there anything else…?
Yep, there probably is. Answers are rarely absolute.

40. Is your idea…?
Forces someone to think objectively.

41. On a scale from 1 to 10…?
Putting a number to an emotion clarifies it.

42. What are some of the…?
Encourages list making.

43. What are the biggest mistakes…?
Negative based for preventative measures.

44. What are the keys to…?
Searching for best practices.

45. What are the patterns of…?
Uncovering commonalities.

46. What are the things that…?
Because there’s probably more than one answer.

47. What are the ways…?
Freedom (not) to resign to one solution.

48. What are you currently...?
Assesses present situations.

49. What are you doing that…?
Assesses present actions.

50. What are you willing to…?
Explores limits.

51. What can I do to…?
Demonstrates a desire to serve.

52. What can WE do to…?
Partnership-oriented.

53. What can you do right now…?
Focuses on immediate action being taken.

54. What can you do today…?
Focuses on daily action being taken.

55. What causes your…?
Uncovering true motives without the dreaded, "Why?"

56. What challenges are…?
Identifies barriers.

57. What did you learn…?
Because people don’t care what you know; only what you learned.

58. What do you need to…?
Needs assessment.

59. What does that tell you about…?
Encourages someone to figure out the answer individually.

60. What else can you…?
Because there’s always options.

61. What evidence…?
Because specificity is persuasion.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What words govern your questions?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your list of question prefixes (and why they work) here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

If they can't come UP to you; how will they ever get BEHIND you?

Buy Scott's new book and learn daily practices for becoming a more approachable manager!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

“So, how many copies have you sold?”

I get that question a lot.

And I’m not sure why.

I guess when (some) people meet an author, that’s the first piece of information they’d like to know.

Maybe it’s curiosity. Maybe it’s an accountability measure.

Or, maybe some people are just SO annoyingly attached to numbers that they simply REFUSE to stamp your creative passport until they’ve been given scientific evidence of your success.

Either way, I’ve never really liked that question.

Which is why I usually answer it the same way every time:

“I have no idea how many copies I’ve sold.”

Now, interestingly, some people are REALLY surprised when they hear that answer come from an author.

Like Marty, the guy I met in Starbucks yesterday. Apparently he’d read an article in our local paper about one of my books.

So, naturally, he just HAD to ask.

And when I offered my standard answer, here’s how he responded:

First, he furrowed his brow.
Next, he chuckled slightly.
Then, he asked:

“Well, Scott … I mean, shouldn’t YOU – as a small business owner – um, like, KNOW how many copies you’ve sold?”

“Well, that depends,” I replied.

“First of all, you’re operating on the assumption that ‘number of copies sold’ is how I measure my success as an writer … which it isn’t.

See, for me, success (as a writer) is a function of a few questions:

1. Am I having fun while writing?
2. Are people enjoying my writing?
3. Is my writing contributing to the world?
4. By writing, am I validating my existence as a human being?

If so, great! That means I’m successful. No matter how many copies I’ve sold. It's about detaching yourself from numbers and outcomes.”

Marty nodded in agreement.

But then (as I stood taller on my author’s soapbox!) I expanded on my answer.

“Also,” I continued, “‘number of copies sold’ is basically an irrelevant statistic IF you practice the philosophy that your book isn’t really a book.”

“Hmm,” he replied. “What do you mean?”

“Well, here are two examples:

First of all, sometimes a book is nothing more than a really expensive marketing tool for your business.

Because you KNOW that writing a book adds value for your existing clients, and also delivers value to attract new clients.”

Marty nodded.

“Now, that doesn’t mean ‘write a book with ZERO substance that does nothing more than cross-sell your other products and services for 130 pages,’” I clarified.

“Ha! Riiiiight…” Marty chuckled.

“Because a lot of authors do that,” I said.

“But that’s not what it’s about. It simply means reframing your definition of the word ‘book.’ I mean, I could certainly call my printer and a get a rough number; then again, I give away so many free books, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to know how many copies I’ve sold!”

“Got it,” he replied.

“Now, here’s my second example of ‘a book not being a book,” I said.

“See, other times, is book is nothing more than a tool for enhancing credibility, legitimacy and expertise. After all, when I started my company, I was 22 years old! Do you really think ANYBODY would have taken me seriously if I didn’t have a book?”

“Yeah, that’s a good point,” Marty replied.

“So, anyway, that’s my long-winded answer to your question. Sorry for the rant!” I laughed.

“Nah, that’s cool!” Marty said.

“Yeah,” I concluded, “I guess there’s just a common misconception when it comes to the topic of ‘number of copies sold.’”

“Well, thanks for explaining it to me. I guess I never thought of it that way,” Marty admitted.

“No problem. In fact, thank YOU for asking! I think I might go home and write a blog post about our conversation.”

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
As a writer, how do you measure your success?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called, "100 People (Not) To Listen To," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com, and I WILL listen to your request ;)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Not a consultant, coach or therapist.

I'm just someone who listens and challenges your thinking so you can grow your business.

Rent Scott's Brain today!



Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NametagTV: Outtakes, B-Rolls and PSA's



LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Who needs a real job?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Go play a joke on somebody today ;)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Sick of selling?
Tired of cold calling?
Bored with traditional prospecting approaches?


Buy Scott's new book and learn how to sell enable people to buy!

Pick up your copy (or a case!) right here.