Is your marketing enough?

Lately, I have experienced a paradoxical combination of both joy and sorrow, while preparing to move an elderly family member into a personal care home. This is a process rife with stories for virtually everyone in the community who has gone through it–both seniors and their families.

Just the other day, a colleague recommended a particular mover to help us move a very heavy chair, customized for use by seniors—a computerized recliner that we’ve often joked can nearly launch its inhabitant to the moon!

The colleague who made the referral consulted her contacts to share the name of a good mover and I am extremely grateful to her for that sharing. (A gift of chocolate will ensue!)

The only trouble was that in the process of the referral, my colleague brewed up much anxiety over how I should call the potential mover and what I should say, when I did. With the best of intentions, she sent me a telephone script and offered to coach me through it. When I tested out the idea, I quickly became a Nervous Nelly.

This exchange reminds me of what marketers Michael Katz and Terry O’Reilly have written, about how nervous marketing can become a self-fulfilling prophecy: Marketing that exaggerates the risk inherent in an exchange of service for pay undermines decisive, well-reasoned and confident action; such marketing subverts healthy entrepreneurial exchange. This is true whether one gets a haircut or hires a landscaper to mow (regularly) a 10-acre plot of land.

When I actually called the mover, a few minutes later, I spoke with a man who was nonchalant, happy to oblige and who even offered flexibility in terms of dates and times—something my  colleague had not expected. Giving a bit less than one month’s notice to hire for this small contract was, the mover assured me, “more than enough.”

I’m confident that he will do an excellent job. And of course, I will have purchased insurance to cover any damage, if he doesn’t. My exchange with the mover reminds me that the best kind of marketing is based on a fair entrepreneurial exchange, one that keeps moving (pardon the bad pun!) the trade of payment for services professionally rendered.

It seems to me that this story is really about uncertainty. Arresting a sales process by over-thinking and trying to control the conversation (beforehand) only breeds anxiety and potential mistrust. Nervous Nellyism makes this exchange feel more risky than it needs to.

The valued colleague who offered the referral (and whom I have profusely thanked; bless her) messaged me later to express worry that the chair may not be moved, damage-free. I responded by saying, “Friend, our marketing here is enough. There is sufficient ground for trust and that we must carry that forward.”

And now it’s your turn. Have you participated in nervous marketing? How did the situation play out? When did you realize your marketing was enough?
Please share your experience; I’d be delighted to hear from you.

“It takes courage not to know”: How do you lead entrepreneurially or in business?

Some years ago, I rented office space in a large building, where there was an unusual building manager, an individual unlike any other in that role whom I’d ever met. We’ll say her name was “Maud” (not her real name) and although she had moved here from sunnier climes, she was (in honest characterization) of European descent, middle age and spoke with what most would call a middle-class accent.

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Do you fear creative rejection? What one Canadian “Reality TV” show can teach us

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” (19th century idiom)

I find television very educational. Every time someone switches it on, I go into the other room and read a book” (Groucho Marx)

As a freelancer, I find weekday mornings start with me reading or listening to email and voicemail messages and cueing up projects for the day. Since I’m also committed to keeping healthy, most mornings I fit in a workout at my nearby gym (where rigorous cleaning practices reduce the risk of the pandemic).

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An elevator and its discontents

A few nights ago, I was leaving a friend’s apartment on the third floor of my building. My arms were filled with the leftovers of a pan of lasagna that I had contributed to a small, “socially distant,” dinner gathering.

I had four floors to go to return to my unit: ordinarily, I’d take the stairs. But the messy, tomato-drenched sauce that was swirling in the lasagna pan made me think: “No, this would be a good time to use the elevator.”

So I did. Or rather, I tried to.

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Are e-newsletters still worth your investment?

Updating a blog posting from May 15, 2014

Since I started my copywriting business nearly 10 years ago, I have been interested in the format of electronic newsletters. Why? They’ve “hooked” me with their capacity to share knowledge and insight from my clients with their prospects–to sell indirectly, based on a relationship filled with valuable knowledge and skill.

And, at the end of the day, who doesn’t love reading a short, informative e-newsletter?

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