Help Is Available
By Zig Ziglar
Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz tells the story of the fellow who was driving on a slippery country road when he slid into a ditch. He walked to a farm house a short distance away and approached the old farmer who received him warmly. When the motorist described his problem, the farmer stated that he did not know if he could help him or not, but he would do what he could. He explained that his old mule, Dusty, was blind and somewhat hard of hearing. The farmer hitched up the old mule and hooked him to the frame of the car. Next, he got behind old Dusty and in a loud voice said, “Pull, Charlie, pull!” No response. Once again, in a loud voice he said, “Pull, Billy, pull!” Nothing. Then, in a still louder voice, “Pull, Sally, pull!” Not a move. Finally he said, “Pull, Dusty, pull!” and Dusty proceeded to pull the car out of the ditch.
The grateful motorist, somewhat puzzled, asked the farmer, “You had only one mule and yet you called on ‘Charlie,’ ‘Billy,’ and ‘Sally,’ with no response. But the minute you called on Dusty he pulled the car out of the ditch. Why did you do it that way?” The old farmer smiled and said, “Well, Dusty’s getting a little old and doesn’t believe he’s as strong as he used to be. As a matter of fact, he’s gotten downright negative and if he’d thought he had to do it by himself, he probably couldn’t have. But, when he thought he had three other mules helping, he gave it his best shot and did it all himself.”
The message is two-fold. Number one, you probably can do a great deal more than you realize you can and, number two, in most cases in our world today there are people who are willing to help if we’ll just ask. Think about it and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
Want them to read it all? Make everything else disappear
And forget the bullet points!
By Chuck Sink
What do you write that you want people to fully absorb? Is it emails, letters, grants? Is it newsletters, web copy, brochure copy, blogs? Is it ads, coupons, direct mail pieces, PowerPoint presentations? Perhaps it’s white papers or technical briefs. Maybe you’re finally writing that book.
“Keep it brief and use bullets or you’ll lose their attention.” Not true! Ever read a good bulleted story?
Consider this point from top UK marketing consultant Robert Clay: “Most adverts and sales letters fail dismally because they are little better than communication by bullet point. …People don’t buy bullet points. They buy well reasoned explanations that take them step by step through a process that attracts their attention, increases their awareness, builds their desire and motivates them to take action.”
I’ll offer the best way to capture readers’ attention so that whatever your message is, it will be thoroughly understood, persuasive and motivating.
Still with me?
Consider this recent tweet from Scott Ginsberg, a brilliant entrepreneur that I follow: “The hunger to know is a basic human appetite. How does your business feed it?” Right there, folks, is the million dollar question. People are starved for easily digestible education on what will help them succeed in their businesses and careers.
First you must walk in your audience’s shoes (clichéd but true) and empathize with them and their issues, problems, pain and on the positive side, values and profits. Write from their viewpoint, not yours! Please don’t gush about your capabilities, your offerings, your strengths, your experience, your clients, your products, especially in the opening messages. There’s a time for all that—when the prospective client asks for it.
I’m solicited by email quite often and I want to reach through the computer and shake the salesperson by the lapels when they write nothing but a barrage of product information with no clear message to grab my attention; why I want or need what they have.
Ever read something that first asks a question you’ve been pondering? You stop everything and read more. Everything else disappears! You’re absorbed in reading the answer to your burning question. Need I say more? Think! Whom are you talking to? What are they concerned with right now for which you have the genuine answer or solution? Craft your message accordingly and it will be read top to bottom, cover to cover.
Another tip is to write as if speaking intimately with one person, not giving a speech. Would you want your trusted friend to speak to you from a podium? Not likely.
Why do I ask so many questions? Because questions engage the mind. Statements and proclamations are usually perceived as self-serving and are largely ignored. Ask great questions up front and inquisitive minds will want to know the answers—your answers!
Wow! A one-pager and no bullets!
The Importance of a Coach
By John Di Lemme
As you go through life, you will meet people that have done what you want to do in life. They’ve made it! You know deep in your heart that if they can do it then you can too. So, how do you get to that level of success? Get a coach! That’s right…invest in someone who has done what you want to do in life. If you want to become successful in business, then find a coach that has made millions of dollars by building a business. DO NOT hire a coach that has never achieved success in their field! Let me give you some examples of what you should look for in a coach.
Confident – A coach must be confident. He can teach you to become successful in your field because he has already done it. Confidence comes through struggles and failures that ultimately lead to success.
Open – A coach must be willing to tell you the truth even when the truth hurts. Sometimes it’s very difficult to see that you are standing in your own way of success. A true coach will bring this to your attention.
Admirable – If you don’t respect the coach for what he has done in his career or personal life, then you most likely don’t want to hire him. A coach should be full of integrity and well respected among his peers. It’s hard to be coached by someone that you don’t look up to or even consider being a professional in the field.
Consistent – A coach must be consistent with the strategies that he is teaching. You will see many coaches that jump from idea to idea because what they are doing hasn’t worked for their clients. Ask your coach for references so that you can see if he has helped others implement strategies that have led to success.
Healthy – Yes, that’s right. A coach should lead a healthy, happy life. You shouldn’t have to hear about how bad his day was or how much he doesn’t get along with his wife. You want a coach that has a balanced lifestyle that enables him to help you with your obstacles and not concentrate on his own issues.
These are just a few things to consider when looking for that right coach that will assist you in achieving your “Why” in life. I challenge you to set a goal of hiring a personal coach, but be sure to find the right one for you!
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