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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Circle of Trust

In the movie Meet the Parents, Jack (Robert DeNiro) explains to Greg (Ben Stiller) his philosophy which he calls the "Circle of Trust." Greg is planning to marry Jack's daughter. He's an outsider who desperately wants to be included in Jack's Circle of Trust.

Greg tries to fit in, but every effort is met with failure and ridicule because he tries to be something he is not.

In an effort to impress our prospects, we sometimes make the same mistake of trying to be something outside of who we are. But if you really want to get inside a customer's Circle of Trust, you must have integrity, and you must show that you truly have their best interest in mind at all times.

Above all, be yourself.

With all the mishaps and disasters that happen during the movie, Jack is convinced that Greg is not a good fit for his daughter. But at the end of the movie, Jack realizes that Greg really loves his daughter and has her best interest in his heart.

To enter and stay in a customer's Circle of Trust, always have their best interest in mind and show them that you truly care about them and their business.

Now, here's a short and funny compilation of the Circle of Trust scenes from Meet the Parents. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"If people like you, they may listen to you; but if they trust you, they will do business with you."

We live in the age of speed.

From fast cars to fast food.

From text messaging to the microwave.

The number of hours in the day didn't increase, but what we think we need to accomplish did.

In this hurried environment, it has become more difficult than ever to get a marketing message heard. Even harder to sell a product or service.

Zig Ziglar may have said it best: "If people like you, they may listen to you; but if they trust you, they will do business with you."

That may seem quaint to hear, but it is just as valid in today's world as when Zig first mentioned it many years ago.

It is true that you have to do something unique to stand out in the marketplace. Something to get people to "like you."

But once you get that attention, slow down the process and build a relationship so that they "trust you," too.

Provide genuine help and value. Over time that will cement the trust. Do the right thing -- always. Make your client your friend. Friends take care of friends.

Today's world may seem to be made for the hare, but the tortoise who takes the time to build real relationships will ultimately win the race.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Don't Forget the Finishing Touches

Even if your marketing document is coming together perfectly -- with compelling copy, a stunning layout, and quality photos -- remember it's not complete until it's "finished." A document's finishing touches help portray its overall quality and importance and can take it to the next level.

Here are a few finishing touch options that will help you create a marketing piece you and your customers will love:
  • Spot varnish is available in gloss, matte, or satin finishes. Gloss varnish is often used to enhance the colors of printed photos and make ink colors throughout the piece appear more vivid. Matte varnish is used to reduce glare and improve the readability of small text. Satin varnish offers a blend of both. A contrasting spot treatment can really make a logo or other information pop (such as a glossy logo on a matte background).

  • Metallic inks are available in a variety of colors and are a great way to add interest with a shine and luster not available in standard inks.

  • Foil-stamping is an easy way to create focus on text or imagery, such as enhancing a classic, elegant logo.

  • Die-cutting is used to create a unique shape, outline, or edging.

  • Embossing involves creating a raised 3D impression using a custom die under high pressure.

  • Laminating can greatly increase durability and offer water protection. In addition to protecting a printed document, lamination can also enhance its appearance.

  • Other finishing options include (among other things) collating your pieces into sets, separating, folding, stapling, punching or drilling, padding, scoring, numbering, index-tabbing, packaging/shrink wrapping, and spiral, wire, comb, saddle-stitch, or perfect binding.
No matter your finishing need, from simple to spectacular, we can help you determine the perfect finishing touches to help your product really stand apart from the competition.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Foldover Business Cards -- for a better sales meeting

Everyone knows that business cards are an essential marketing tool for exchanging contact information, so why not double your marketing impact with a foldover business card?

You say your name, you recite the best elevator speech -- and the person doesn't remember you when they get back to the office because they are a visual learner and not an auditory learner. The foldover card allows you to reinforce your verbal presentation with a mini-brochure with your branding, your tag line, and interesting information that will move you to top of mind.

Folded business cards not only provide your standard contact information, but can also provide your audience with something useful to them, such as an events schedule, appointment card, coupon, map, menu, frequent customer discount, punch card, or response card.

The extra space can also be used as a mini-billboard, provide a list of your products or services, highlight helpful tips or industry resources, and much more.

Creative options are endless, including designs, paper and ink choices, diecut shapes, finishing touches, and even the placement of the fold. Folds can made along the top edge, short side, or even offset, where part of the card is shorter, revealing information on the panel below.

Check out your options for folded business cards next time you want to make a lasting impression and ensure your prospects and customers keep your business card on hand.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Making Your Case: 7 Keys to a Strong Case Study

Everybody loves a good story, and your prospects are no exception. That's why case studies are so effective. Unlike marketing pieces that focus solely on product features and benefits, case studies present true stories with relatable characters and real-world challenges. A well-produced case study reads like a feature story in a business magazine. It paints your company in a positive light, but it doesn̢۪t go overboard. Instead it tells a credible story (backed by facts) readers are compelled to hear. So how do you achieve this goal? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Introduce the customer. Start your case study with a few details about the customer you helped and their business. Who are they? What do they do? What markets do they serve? Who are their key players?

Explain what brought them to you. What was the challenge they were facing? What prompted their decision to seek help? And why did they choose you to help them, rather than your competitor?

Be specific when describing the challenges your customer faced. If numbers are available, use them. They'll not only make the study more interesting to read but will also provide an added level of credibility and urgency to the situation.

Discuss the process. What steps did you take to solve the customer's challenge? Who was involved? Why did you choose one option over another? Think like a reporter, and provide details, so readers get a sense of being there "behind the scenes" as decisions were made.

Show tangible, real-world results. As with your earlier explanation of the challenge being faced, the more numbers you can provide to support the results of your effort, the more effective your case study will be in persuading prospective customers that your products or services can produce similar success for them.

Use the customer's own words to tell the story. Ask your customer to provide you with quotes you can use in the case study. Better yet, have whoever's writing the piece interview key players at the client company as part of the process. Quotes add credibility and will give the case study more of an authentic, feature article feel.

Make it applicable. Readers will relate to your case studies better if they can see themselves in the companies you're profiling and the challenges you've helped them overcome. Choose customers with compelling stories, measurable results, and broad appeal. If you serve several niche markets, create separate case studies for each.