Some stories of how we’ve helped clients succeed …

Order from chaos …

A recent client called because they wanted to do a mailing to their contact list, but they needed help creating the letter and the list was in shambles. We wrote a letter they loved and turned their mailing list into an organized, easily-reusable Excel spreadsheet. They were delighted with the response ... many phone calls, emails and even an eventual merger offer from a former colleague who got back in touch because of the mailing.
2015-06-10T09:56:57+00:00
A recent client called because they wanted to do a mailing to their contact list, but they needed help creating the letter and the list was in shambles. We wrote a letter they loved and turned their mailing list into an organized, easily-reusable Excel spreadsheet. They were delighted with the response ... many phone calls, emails and even an eventual merger offer from a former colleague who got back in touch because of the mailing.

When *life* happens …

Clients often work with me for 10 to 15 years and more. So they benefit from having the consistent message, keep-in-touch marketing that helps “Trusted Advisor”/professional service firms connect with good prospects. Having an established marketing relationship also helps when “life happens.” One winter, a long-term client fell, shattering her leg. She was out for weeks. But because we had worked together so long, her projects moved forward seamlessly. Not one ball was dropped!
2015-06-10T09:58:25+00:00
Clients often work with me for 10 to 15 years and more. So they benefit from having the consistent message, keep-in-touch marketing that helps “Trusted Advisor”/professional service firms connect with good prospects. Having an established marketing relationship also helps when “life happens.” One winter, a long-term client fell, shattering her leg. She was out for weeks. But because we had worked together so long, her projects moved forward seamlessly. Not one ball was dropped!

Helping a client succeed with a new idea

A client wanted to put on a seminar for an important target market. They’d never done seminars before so they had a lot of questions … including “Can it possibly be worth it?” I talked to them about starting very small and building on what we learned. Ten prospects came to their first event. Two became customers. My client emailed: “I just heard the fabulous news. That is amazing. It was worth all our efforts!”
2016-10-25T17:21:44+00:00
A client wanted to put on a seminar for an important target market. They’d never done seminars before so they had a lot of questions … including “Can it possibly be worth it?” I talked to them about starting very small and building on what we learned. Ten prospects came to their first event. Two became customers. My client emailed: “I just heard the fabulous news. That is amazing. It was worth all our efforts!”

There are so many good ways to get the word out …

A “Top 25” metrowest insurance agency heard I helped a client use local newspaper to find employees. They wanted to try that too. They also mentioned a popular insurance industry web site where they could post help wanted positions free. “Let’s run our listings there first,” I told them. “We may not even need to run an ad!” The industry listings worked like a charm - they never did run a newspaper ad after all!
2015-06-10T10:01:31+00:00
A “Top 25” metrowest insurance agency heard I helped a client use local newspaper to find employees. They wanted to try that too. They also mentioned a popular insurance industry web site where they could post help wanted positions free. “Let’s run our listings there first,” I told them. “We may not even need to run an ad!” The industry listings worked like a charm - they never did run a newspaper ad after all!

No wonder they weren’t seeing much *bang* for their advertising buck!

A local bank called, concerned that they were spending $300,000 a year on advertising and “not getting anything from it.” We started looking at what that number was made up of and it turned out to be everything but the kitchen sink - coffee in the branches, seminars for staff, rebuilding an ATM, a flat-screen TV. All kinds of branch operation expenses. The bottom line? They were barely spending anything on actual advertising at all!
2015-06-10T10:01:06+00:00
A local bank called, concerned that they were spending $300,000 a year on advertising and “not getting anything from it.” We started looking at what that number was made up of and it turned out to be everything but the kitchen sink - coffee in the branches, seminars for staff, rebuilding an ATM, a flat-screen TV. All kinds of branch operation expenses. The bottom line? They were barely spending anything on actual advertising at all!

“Don’t let the cranks run your marketing …!”

Recently I talked to a business who really wanted to send occasional emails to clients. But they’d sent one once and a single client complained. “Don’t send me stuff to think about,” he’d said. “That’s what I pay you to know.” Not wanting to “annoy people,” they never sent anything again! “That guy was a crank,” I told them. “You can’t let him keep you from reaching out!” They'd never looked at it that way.
2016-10-25T17:20:56+00:00
Recently I talked to a business who really wanted to send occasional emails to clients. But they’d sent one once and a single client complained. “Don’t send me stuff to think about,” he’d said. “That’s what I pay you to know.” Not wanting to “annoy people,” they never sent anything again! “That guy was a crank,” I told them. “You can’t let him keep you from reaching out!” They'd never looked at it that way.

Sometimes the easy way is the best way …

A prospect wanted help with an email newsletter. They’d spent months trying to develop a unique format that would make them stand out. But the custom design didn’t look right in test emails. Inconsistent formatting made then too nervous to send any emails out! We ended up using a MailChimp template. Not as 'creative' as they hoped, but the email looked good in all formats … and they got fantastic results from their first e-mailing!
2017-12-12T15:55:43+00:00
A prospect wanted help with an email newsletter. They’d spent months trying to develop a unique format that would make them stand out. But the custom design didn’t look right in test emails. Inconsistent formatting made then too nervous to send any emails out! We ended up using a MailChimp template. Not as 'creative' as they hoped, but the email looked good in all formats … and they got fantastic results from their first e-mailing!

A media rep puts my client’s best interest last …

A media rep called with an interesting opportunity for one of my clients. “How much?”, I asked. $50,000 for the year, he said. I was flabbergasted – that was 5 times what they were spending with him. I asked what made him think they’d go for that. “Can’t hurt to start at the top,” he said. But that was “the top” for him, not for my client. We passed without even asking about less expensive options.
2015-10-13T14:47:31+00:00
A media rep called with an interesting opportunity for one of my clients. “How much?”, I asked. $50,000 for the year, he said. I was flabbergasted – that was 5 times what they were spending with him. I asked what made him think they’d go for that. “Can’t hurt to start at the top,” he said. But that was “the top” for him, not for my client. We passed without even asking about less expensive options.

Getting the word out …

A metrowest Boston law firm with two specialties traditionally depended on referrals. But business was way down! No surprise - they did no active outreach and had a rudimentary web site. We put together a local newspaper advertising program that got them in front of potential clients at a reasonable cost, and created a simple, modern web site. Things turned around. They even started getting business from out-of-state attorneys who found them on the Web!
2015-06-10T09:59:35+00:00
A metrowest Boston law firm with two specialties traditionally depended on referrals. But business was way down! No surprise - they did no active outreach and had a rudimentary web site. We put together a local newspaper advertising program that got them in front of potential clients at a reasonable cost, and created a simple, modern web site. Things turned around. They even started getting business from out-of-state attorneys who found them on the Web!

Accomplishing a big project … step-by-step-by-step

Having an e-newsletter to send to customers & prospects had been a client’s dream for years. But it kept getting left on the back burner. Finally it was green-lighted. Putting the whole thing together was A Big Job. In weekly phone meetings, my client and I took it step-by-step-by-step. And we made it happen. From no e-newsletter to one she loves (and understands completely). She’s delighted! And they’re already getting new business calls from it!
2015-09-22T16:27:30+00:00
Having an e-newsletter to send to customers & prospects had been a client’s dream for years. But it kept getting left on the back burner. Finally it was green-lighted. Putting the whole thing together was A Big Job. In weekly phone meetings, my client and I took it step-by-step-by-step. And we made it happen. From no e-newsletter to one she loves (and understands completely). She’s delighted! And they’re already getting new business calls from it!

One of the reasons clients like working with me …

Clients often thank me for helping them finish the advertising and marketing they don’t have time to get to. “If you didn’t do what you do, we’d never get any of it done. You keep us organized. You keep us moving forward,” one of them recently told me. I always tell clients that if I had to do their jobs and the advertising, something would have to give! When everyone does their part, it works.
2016-01-07T10:54:00+00:00
Clients often thank me for helping them finish the advertising and marketing they don’t have time to get to. “If you didn’t do what you do, we’d never get any of it done. You keep us organized. You keep us moving forward,” one of them recently told me. I always tell clients that if I had to do their jobs and the advertising, something would have to give! When everyone does their part, it works.

Marching (reluctantly!) to the beat of a different drummer leads to success

When a client kept seeing color ads in their local paper, they wanted their ads in color too. But the paper charged a 25% premium for color. And their ads would have to be significantly redesigned to make good use of it. In the end, they decided to stick with black & white. The happy result? On a page packed with 4-color ads canceling each other out, their simple, clean ad totally dominated the page!
2015-06-10T10:02:29+00:00
When a client kept seeing color ads in their local paper, they wanted their ads in color too. But the paper charged a 25% premium for color. And their ads would have to be significantly redesigned to make good use of it. In the end, they decided to stick with black & white. The happy result? On a page packed with 4-color ads canceling each other out, their simple, clean ad totally dominated the page!

There are many ways …

A long-term client was retiring and his son was taking over the business. The father was a big fan of print advertising; his son had a strong preference for personal networking. “I’ll tell my son he has to work with you,” my client said. “No way!”, I instantly replied. “He gets to do what he thinks is right.” There are many good ways to get the word out. It’s okay to use ones you like!
2015-06-10T09:57:54+00:00
A long-term client was retiring and his son was taking over the business. The father was a big fan of print advertising; his son had a strong preference for personal networking. “I’ll tell my son he has to work with you,” my client said. “No way!”, I instantly replied. “He gets to do what he thinks is right.” There are many good ways to get the word out. It’s okay to use ones you like!

Second set of eyes on a contract saves client $$$

Recently a media rep called me suggesting my client go with their unrated “interactive” option. I politely said, “Not interested.” So I was shocked to see 25% of the client’s budget devoted to interactive in the next contract. “Oh, I thought you said they did want that,” the media rep told me. Nope! Being a 2nd set of eyes for my client reviewing that contract kept their money focused on where they wanted it spent!
2017-12-12T15:54:41+00:00
Recently a media rep called me suggesting my client go with their unrated “interactive” option. I politely said, “Not interested.” So I was shocked to see 25% of the client’s budget devoted to interactive in the next contract. “Oh, I thought you said they did want that,” the media rep told me. Nope! Being a 2nd set of eyes for my client reviewing that contract kept their money focused on where they wanted it spent!

Helping a client explore a new idea …

A local cable TV sales rep  approached a client to see if they’d be interested in advertising on TV. The cable company’s first proposal was way too expensive – my client was curious but not *that* curious. They brought me in to negotiate a “test the waters” schedule … at one-third the cost of the original proposal! Now they feel good about experimenting, and – if TV proves to be successful - there’s plenty of room to grow.
2015-09-24T11:16:08+00:00
A local cable TV sales rep  approached a client to see if they’d be interested in advertising on TV. The cable company’s first proposal was way too expensive – my client was curious but not *that* curious. They brought me in to negotiate a “test the waters” schedule … at one-third the cost of the original proposal! Now they feel good about experimenting, and – if TV proves to be successful - there’s plenty of room to grow.

It is always a pleasure to help a client NOT spend money

Here’s an easy way to judge whether a professional you’re working with truly has your best interests at heart: If there’s a way to accomplish something you want done without spending money, they’ll not only call it to your attention … they’ll urge you to consider it. I know it’s always a distinct professional pleasure for me when I can confidently assure a client that not spending on something is the right way to go.
2017-12-12T15:52:14+00:00
Here’s an easy way to judge whether a professional you’re working with truly has your best interests at heart: If there’s a way to accomplish something you want done without spending money, they’ll not only call it to your attention … they’ll urge you to consider it. I know it’s always a distinct professional pleasure for me when I can confidently assure a client that not spending on something is the right way to go.

Making good use of *being stuck* at a trade show

A bank client wanted to support a local home show and they suspected that chatting with a banker might not be high-priority for the attendees. So we came up with an idea giving them a reason to go and talk with the other local business people there ... an “exhibitor only” drawing. It worked! They had good conversations. They had fun. And connections they made at that show led directly to several new commercial loans.
2015-06-10T10:03:51+00:00
A bank client wanted to support a local home show and they suspected that chatting with a banker might not be high-priority for the attendees. So we came up with an idea giving them a reason to go and talk with the other local business people there ... an “exhibitor only” drawing. It worked! They had good conversations. They had fun. And connections they made at that show led directly to several new commercial loans.

Sometimes the simpler answer really is the best one

A client was invited to be a regular guest blogger for an industry leader. A fantastic opportunity! When they wanted a brochure from him to hand out at an event, we realized that a color copy of his most recent blog would be even better – quick, inexpensive, easy to produce. And it worked. Attendees mostly ignored the brochure table. But many could be seen reading his blog reprint that had been left on their chairs!
2015-09-24T11:11:11+00:00
A client was invited to be a regular guest blogger for an industry leader. A fantastic opportunity! When they wanted a brochure from him to hand out at an event, we realized that a color copy of his most recent blog would be even better – quick, inexpensive, easy to produce. And it worked. Attendees mostly ignored the brochure table. But many could be seen reading his blog reprint that had been left on their chairs!

Local newspaper delivers better results than the Web

A bank client called. They’d been advertising on Monster.com for part-time tellers. But they were overwhelmed by the flood of responses from faraway applicants who were never going to move thousands of miles for these jobs. I suggested they forget about Monster and put a display ad - not classified! - in the local paper. The ad was created, it ran and within a week they had five terrific local candidates. They ultimately hired two.
2015-06-10T10:00:18+00:00
A bank client called. They’d been advertising on Monster.com for part-time tellers. But they were overwhelmed by the flood of responses from faraway applicants who were never going to move thousands of miles for these jobs. I suggested they forget about Monster and put a display ad - not classified! - in the local paper. The ad was created, it ran and within a week they had five terrific local candidates. They ultimately hired two.

Somebody’s reading that stuff … we have the numbers to prove it!

A client sends a monthly e-newsletter to customers. They’ve been getting a very positive direct response. And they’ve been encouraged to see the post-send reports of how many customers actually open the e-newsletter and presumably, at the least, scan through. Talking about their experience at a seminar, a panelist challenged them: “E-newsletters?! Nobody reads that stuff!” My client stood their ground. “Our customers do,” he said. “And we have our own numbers to prove it.”
2015-10-13T14:50:31+00:00
A client sends a monthly e-newsletter to customers. They’ve been getting a very positive direct response. And they’ve been encouraged to see the post-send reports of how many customers actually open the e-newsletter and presumably, at the least, scan through. Talking about their experience at a seminar, a panelist challenged them: “E-newsletters?! Nobody reads that stuff!” My client stood their ground. “Our customers do,” he said. “And we have our own numbers to prove it.”

“I wouldn’t change one word of this” – yes, that is possible!

I work with a client for whom I write letters to various target markets that are sent out over their signature. Between having listened closely to how this client actually talks for a few years now and interviewing them about specifics before writing each letter, the letters represent what they want to say so closely that many times there’s not even a single edit. They’re 100% comfortable with the letters. And they’re getting excellent feedback/results.
2017-12-12T15:57:55+00:00
I work with a client for whom I write letters to various target markets that are sent out over their signature. Between having listened closely to how this client actually talks for a few years now and interviewing them about specifics before writing each letter, the letters represent what they want to say so closely that many times there’s not even a single edit. They’re 100% comfortable with the letters. And they’re getting excellent feedback/results.

Helping a client take advantage of a great opportunity

A community newspaper had an informal schedule of columns written by local businesspeople. And my client was one of their contributors, writing six columns a year. The paper was pleased with the practical information he was providing their readers. So pleased that they asked him to write a column monthly. Which he absolutely wanted to do. But it was twice the work! So we came up with a plan that would make that happen. Win-win!
2016-01-07T10:55:32+00:00
A community newspaper had an informal schedule of columns written by local businesspeople. And my client was one of their contributors, writing six columns a year. The paper was pleased with the practical information he was providing their readers. So pleased that they asked him to write a column monthly. Which he absolutely wanted to do. But it was twice the work! So we came up with a plan that would make that happen. Win-win!

There’s no such thing as ‘Marketing Magic’ – not even on the Internet!

A very nice businessperson called looking for some advertising help. We scheduled a call and ended up speaking for 45 minutes about what they hoped to achieve. Unfortunately, this individual 100% believed the Internet could do *Marketing Magic* – that I could “go there” and “post something” and the Internet would send perfect new customers by tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest. If only it worked that way! But unfortunately they did not want to hear that.
2017-12-12T15:56:42+00:00
A very nice businessperson called looking for some advertising help. We scheduled a call and ended up speaking for 45 minutes about what they hoped to achieve. Unfortunately, this individual 100% believed the Internet could do *Marketing Magic* – that I could “go there” and “post something” and the Internet would send perfect new customers by tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest. If only it worked that way! But unfortunately they did not want to hear that.

What does Google know about advertising anyway?!

If someone did a poll asking which two ways to advertise were *Most Likely To Be Dead As A Doornail,” chances are phone calling and direct mail would come in right at the top. So how come Google – the company that 99.999% owns online advertising! – uses both of those so heavily? Because Google knows *the old ways* still deliver … and they aren’t one little bit shy about using whatever works to build their business.
2015-10-13T14:49:17+00:00
If someone did a poll asking which two ways to advertise were *Most Likely To Be Dead As A Doornail,” chances are phone calling and direct mail would come in right at the top. So how come Google – the company that 99.999% owns online advertising! – uses both of those so heavily? Because Google knows *the old ways* still deliver … and they aren’t one little bit shy about using whatever works to build their business.

A Charitable Giving Policy that makes sense for the giver …

A local insurance agency client was tired of being asked for charitable contributions. The individually-small amounts were really adding up but he felt the money he gave made no difference at all! Working together, we came up with a Charitable Giving Policy focusing on his passion for music. Especially jazz. Now he gives meaningful amounts to several non-profits that support jazz education. And he has an established, clear, objective basis for turning down other requests.
2015-06-10T10:00:43+00:00
A local insurance agency client was tired of being asked for charitable contributions. The individually-small amounts were really adding up but he felt the money he gave made no difference at all! Working together, we came up with a Charitable Giving Policy focusing on his passion for music. Especially jazz. Now he gives meaningful amounts to several non-profits that support jazz education. And he has an established, clear, objective basis for turning down other requests.

A bank marketing director calls to see if I can solve a mystery for her

Recently I received an RFP from a local bank. There were tons of hoops to jump through – too many! I sent a note declining. A few weeks later, their marketing director called. Apparently I was the only one who’d responded at all. She wondered what they did wrong. “Many agencies don’t participate in RFPs anymore,” I said. “Too much effort, too little chance of getting the work.” She wished their strategic consultant had mentioned that!
2016-01-07T10:57:03+00:00
Recently I received an RFP from a local bank. There were tons of hoops to jump through – too many! I sent a note declining. A few weeks later, their marketing director called. Apparently I was the only one who’d responded at all. She wondered what they did wrong. “Many agencies don’t participate in RFPs anymore,” I said. “Too much effort, too little chance of getting the work.” She wished their strategic consultant had mentioned that!

Sometimes it takes a while for advertising to work

Just before their first campaign started running, I told a new client they’d be tempted to pull it before they started seeing measurable results ... but I wouldn’t let them. That’s exactly what happened. They called about two months in and said they weren’t seeing anything. “Remember,” I replied, “We’re staying the course.” About a month later, serious prospects started responding. Amazed, the client asked how I knew that’d happen. Because it so often does!
2015-06-10T10:02:06+00:00
Just before their first campaign started running, I told a new client they’d be tempted to pull it before they started seeing measurable results ... but I wouldn’t let them. That’s exactly what happened. They called about two months in and said they weren’t seeing anything. “Remember,” I replied, “We’re staying the course.” About a month later, serious prospects started responding. Amazed, the client asked how I knew that’d happen. Because it so often does!

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