Thursday, May 28, 2009
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Friday, May 15, 2009
Questions for Judith and Jim from Philip Harris – All Things That Matter Blog and Press
Q. ARE THERE ANY BUSINESSES TO WHICH YOUR SOFT SELL/ROE DOES NOT APPLY?
Yes, any business or business intention that seeks to dominate and control, because that leads to a need to control not just competition but the buying public as well.
We are all interdependent in this life. We co-create it together, consciously or not. So any business that operates from a top-down, only-number-one-wins mindset must be intolerant, at the least, to the idea of mutual need, and must find repulsive the idea that a successful business is a co-creation of seller and buyer.
Q. IS THIS MORE OF A SERVICE INDUSTRY APPROACH, OR DOES IT ALSO APPLY TO MANUFACTURING?
Understanding the ROI-ROE distinction illuminates the fact that even automotive manufacturers, as an example, engage, for the most part, in ROE transactions. Only a rarified few buy a car with a genuine, thought-through premise of turning that purchase into an ROI outcome.
The manufacturers operate, as a business, on an ROI premise, but the transactions they are ultimately engaged in (an individual’s or couple’s purchase of a new car) are almost exclusively ROE. There are very few transactions that any of us engage in that are strict dollar-for-dollar exchanges. That’s why our new book The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back (Morgan James Publishing) will appeal to most everyone who wants to grow their business with integrity and with joy.
Q. WHAT MOTTO WOULD YOU USE INSTEAD OF “LET THE BUYER BEWARE’?
Caveat Emptor (Buyer Beware) emerges out of a dog-eat-dog mindset which, de facto, shreds the fact and experience of our interdependence. Using the Lone Ranger as a metaphor, he didn’t reside in a community, except for his horse and his Indian companion, Tonto. When anyone internalizes that model of identity they are dangerous because they become pathologically narcissistic, with only self-centered awareness and rarely any conscience.
So instead of ‘Buyer Beware” to take our lead from the sub-title of our book – The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back – we propose the best new motto is “Buyer Be Loved or Take Your Business Someplace Else.”
Q. RELIGIOUS DOGMA WOULD LEAD PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THAT SERVICES OF A SPIRITUAL NATURE, E.G., HEALING, COACHING, SELF-HELP ASSISTANCE, SEMINARS, BOOKS ON SELF-IMPROVEMENT, ETC., SHOULD BE FREE. AND YET, ALL ARE ASKED TO PUT THE MONEY IN THE PLATE ON SUNDAY. WHY DO YOU THINK SERVICE PROVIDERS HAVE SUCH AN AVERSION TO ASKING FOR MONEY?
Basically, care-givers are we-oriented. When placed in a me-first environment they experience a discomfort that leads to, at the extreme, a renunciation of the self.
Also, their sense of achievement and well-being are tied to the results they inspire and foster in their clients, and asking for money creates discomfort because it returns the focus back to them. Whatever reason they give—filthy lucre, it’s beneath me, it breaks my connection with the person I’m helping, whatever—psychologically it creates an internal tension, a conflict of intentions, and a disturbing dissonance that often they do not understand. We address this in several sections of our book The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back (Morgan James Publising, May 2009).
Re: asking for money to be put in the Sunday plate—that’s just a down-to-earth need for funding spun into a spiritual principle of giving and therefore relegated to a hypocrisy.
Q. DO YOU FEEL PROFIT MARGINS SHOULD BE LESS FOR THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE IDEAS OF ROE/SOFT SELL?
Quite the contrary. While there is no need for gouging, the products and services soft sell marketers bring to the marketplace are sorely needed by the peoples of the world.
Devising and selling another series of mortgage-backed derivatives hardly creates real value, and whatever monetary value it conjures has no more purpose than to conjure more and more profit in an unending circle of purposelessness. Such concoctions are deeply incestuous, severely limited, and, unfortunately, have a wide and destructive reach when such merely cognitive, sleights-of-accounting go bad.
And yet, in the face of what we all know to be true, that many strictly ROI transactions generate no real value—except as a good poker hand “creates value” for the winner—what ROE providers provide in their life-enhancing, experience-changing roles are still characterized as “soft” (in the sense of weak) and therefore do not warrant substantial incomes based on substantial pricing and certainly not high margins.
We repudiate that notion unambiguously.
Q. THE LARGE CORPORATIONS THAT HAVE BEEN IN THE NEWS LATELY HAVE OBVIOUSLY BEEN HARD SELL/ROI ORIENTED. DESPITE ALL OF THE NEGATIVE PUBLICITY, THEY STILL SEEM UNWILLING TO CHANGE THEIR USUROUS WAYS. DO YOU FEEL THAT THE OLD ECONOMIC DINOSAURS ARE SOON TO BE CAUGHT IN THE TAR PITS AND BECOME EXTINCT?
Yes. We believe humanity is undergoing a significant shift in consciousness. This shift has been largely supported by instant worldwide communication which has pulled the shroud from what has, in the past, been the ability to manipulate in the dark. Light is now shown into the darkness and unconscious impulses, which have historically been buttressed by the brutality of the so-called ruling class, are being exposed and come up wanting.
Even without enlightenment as a goal, transparency and serious scrutiny are now not only possible, they have engendered in the public a respect and even gratitude such that there’s no going back. That’s not to say that a different kind of concealment is not possible. But that which has in the past been veiled is now revealed.
Q. CAN THE IDEAS YOU ADVOCATE EVEN WORK ON A CORPORATE/INTERNATIONAL LEVEL?
The notions of “corporate” and”international” represent structures. Soft Sell marketing is not yet a structure (although it can be turned into one). Instead, at this point, it is an attitude, an intention, a commitment grounded in the interconnectedness of all life on this planet. Is that intention applicable and efficacious in corporations? Certainly, but only in as much as those who are involved accept it as such and then practice it. Can this approach work internationally? Except for the limitation that consciousness and conscience are distributed across the globe in various degrees and qualities, the answer is the same—dependent only on how much we all want more human-to-human respectful exchanges and how deep our desire to make that happen.
BTW, we are already talking with several corporations about providing trainings based on our book The Heart of Marketing.
Q. IN A WAY, SMALL TOWN BANKS OPERATED MORE ON THE ROE MODEL. CAN BANKING MONOLITHS DO THE SAME? DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS COULD HAPPEN VOLUNTARILY OR WOULD IT HAVE TO BE FORCED?
ROE can’t be forced in the same way that we cannot compel your love. But we also believe that we must grow into a consciousness that advances past the idea of “enlightened self-interest” without abandoning the idea of the self. We must evolve into a sense of self that is deeply and palpably grounded in community—an I within the We. Then we take care of ourselves as well as one another and live from a purpose that extends beyond the rabid individuality that has been exalted in our culture. Our new book The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back is dedicated to create that change.
To live without a sense that self is only a true Self as it understand itself within a community and community is only community when it realizes itself as a mosaic of individuals is what leads to the social madness that we are experiencing today.
Q. FOR A PERSON TO OPERATE ON THE SOFT SELL LEVEL, IT SEEMS THAT A LOT OF TIME WOULD HAVE TO BE SPENT NURTURING POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS. THIS WOULD MEAN A LOT OF TIME ON THE COMPUTER. WILL THIS BE THE MODEL FOR THE NEW ENTREPRENEUR?
First, long-term customers are always nurtured. A proven marketing rule is—it takes between 3 to 9 contacts before a prospective customer becomes a paying customer. So time is and has always been an element the computer notwithstanding.
The computer and the commerce it has spawned will be the centerpiece for many many new entrepreneurs because an online business has the lowest start-up cost and the highest profit margins. It also works 24/7 unlike a brick and mortar store that usually closes for some part of the 24 hour cycle. That’s why several of the answers in our new book The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back (Morgan James Publishing, May 2009) are in response to questions that come from marketers on the Internet.
The key here is not the computer itself but the entrepreneurial mindset which thrives on extending oneself and also tolerating risk. Nurturing customers is a particular marketing mindset which is also a particular way of being in the world. The computer is just the medium through which these necessary personal traits have vast opportunity to be expressed.
Q. THIS ALL REMINDS ME OF THE SLOGAN, ‘SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL.’ DO YOU SEE A NEW ECONOMIC PARADIGM AS THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE AND WHAT WOULD THIS PARADIGM LOOK LIKE?
The notion of “small” is quantitative, and no fundamentally quantitative metaphor will serve as a paradigm sufficient to inject into the global commercial system the necessary and essential changes required for transformation. Instead there must be a paradigm shift that assists humanity in overcoming the dominant and dominating, value free, largely mathematical world view that underpins current understanding and beliefs about what commerce should be.
Our book, The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back, is composed of answers to 45 questions we received during a survey we took promoting our second Bridging Heart and Marketing conference, the only marketing conference for the online or offline soft sell marketer. What follows is the 45th answer in the book and it addresses your question.
#45 Do you see soft sell marketing as the future trend in developing customer relationships?
Soft sell marketing shows every indication that it is the future trend in developing good, long lasting customer relations.
In fact we recently received a promotional email sent out by internationally recognized copywriter, Bob Bly. He’s been writing for years and is very well known in the direct marketing as well as Internet marketing industries.
His many clients include: AARP, CBS Market Watch, Forbes, Harvard Business School, Kiplinger, McGraw-Hill, Nature, Nightingale-Conant, New York Times Syndicate, Prentice Hall, and Scientific American.
Here’s what he wrote:
“The teaching of how to make money marketing information on the Internet has gone from an honorable, honest profession to a hype-filled, slime-infested jungle. Each day, the claims get more and more outrageous.
‘I made $1 million in 17 seconds on the Internet!’ one promoter screams.
‘Join my Delta Mega Force Team today and get a Rolls Royce with your first affiliate commission check,’ another shouts even more loudly.
“Does brag-and-boast advertising like this - especially from so-called marketing gurus you never heard of before make you skeptical?
“To me, these outrageous promotions … sorely lacking in credibility … make me want to toss my cookies!”
It’s the kind of over-the-top hype Bly writes about that prompted us to start speaking out about soft sell marketing, because traditional hard sell Internet marketing has become, in many cases, ever more outrageous. Hype-filled. Not credible.
When genuine, heartfelt emotion is absent, copywriters are compelled to use hype which pushes their sales message over the top. They’re forced to try to generate a feeling response from their readers, but they only have their own brain-space to work with.
We welcome Bly’s acknowledgment of the problem for which soft sell marketing is the solution.
The Future of Marketing
And as for the future of marketing, Jim came across an article about a new book The Way We’ll Be, written by conservative pollster John Zogby. He’s a political right of center opinion taker and we point that out, not for political reasons, but to highlight the fact that what he writes about in his book would not automatically be expected from a man of his political leanings.
Zogby is a very credible and honest pollster and that’s what makes his findings so remarkable—and so relevant to the continued rise of soft sell marketing, online and off.
The generation now coming of age Zogby calls the “New Globals.” Quoting Zogby, he defines them as “that group of Americans, between ages 18 and 29, who:
● Focus on relationships;
● Are the first color-blind Americans;
● Possess a global perspective;
● Want honesty and fairness;
● Appeal to the best in humanity, not the worst;
● Consider themselves citizens of the planet;
● Demand authenticity and not spin. They yearn for authenticity like no generation before. They’ve had it up to here with marketing, whether political or commercial, that’s all hype and a payoff that falls far short.”
The Promise of Soft Sell Marketing
Soft sell marketing is all about authenticity. The seller has authentic care and passion for the product or service being sold. And the buyer sincerely values being cared for through the solution to their need. It is much like a beautiful dance.
When done well, soft sell marketing is the dance of life lived out on the stage of commercial exchange. The giving and the taking are equally fine expressions of all that it means to be human. And the needs on both sides of the exchange never end. They remain with us, each and every day. Year after year.
So as we continue to open our relationship with you, dear committed reader, we thank you for your authentic interest in what we’ve had to say. Because it is true that soft sell marketing is the future trend in marketing and sales, and in developing long lasting customer relations.
By reading this book, you are our customer. And we look forward to when we may meet again, and developing a very long lasting relationship with you.
As we say: Soft Sell Is Not a Revolution. It’s an Evolution.
Ah, what a lovely dance!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
SL - This Book Can Change the World...
PLEASE READ MY IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHORS ON MY BLOG TOMORROW!!
As you know I’m very careful about what I recommend to you.
But this book . . .
The Heart of Marketing Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back
(Morgan James Publishing)
. . . is a MUST read for the future of your marketing and the growth of your business.
And no surprise it’s already a best-seller at Amazon - so if you already know you want to get the book and maybe some extras to give to friends since there is a serious discount at Amazon - just go to:
The authors, husband and wife psychology team and Internet marketers Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski are respected friends of mine — and they are the voice for what is known as Soft Sell Marketing.
Now an international movement, Soft Sell Marketing is creating a heart-based change in commerce — to one of consciousness and conscience, caring and community.
And their latest book The Heart of Marketing is now the published voice for this change!
Answering 45 questions out of 772 that they received during an Ask Campaign for their “Bridging Heart and Marketing II” conference this book is a soul-inspiring, heart-warming turn-around in how you’ll approach your business from now on.
AND when you purchase the book today you receive Judith & Jim’s invitation to get thousands of dollars in Bonus Gifts from their Gift Sponsors — including David Riklan, Mark Joyner, Christine Kloser, Gregg Braden, Hay House, and of course Yours Truly!
You’ll even have the possibility to win 2 Tickets to Judith & Jim’s October 9-11 “Bridging Heart and Marketing III” conference (a $997 Value).
So get The Heart of Marketing today!
AND please pass this message on to all your friends inviting them to get The Most Important
Marketing Book of 2009.
Judith & Jim received 43 incredible endorsements including Mark Joyner and David Riklan
This title may sound a little ‘hoofy-poofy’ but don’t let it fool you. Even if you’re a hard-nosed skeptic who shudders at words like ‘love’ and ‘heart’ this book will radically boost your sales. Feeling good about yourself afterwards will just be a nice side effect.
Mark Joyner - #1 Bestselling Author of “Simpleology” www.SIMPLEology.com
I really like the message embodied in "The Heart of Marketing." Part marketing, part self growth, part spiritual expansion, this book opens the way for your much larger future while changing the way we've all thought about business and making money.
David Riklan - Founder, SelfGrowth.com
That’s how important this book is to the future of commerce!
So get your copy today - and copies for friends you care about -
By the way, a percentage of book sales will always be donated to Habitat for Humanity!
Because, as Judith & Jim say,
It’s ALL in the Connection,
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I am no stranger to death. I have lost a brother, father, aunts and uncles. Having done farmsteading, I have lost many wonderful animal friends: horses, goats, dogs, cows, chickens, cats, ducks and more. But, it is a little different when death comes home. This story is about Irene, my mother-in-law. She is not dead, yet.
Irene has lived with us for over two years. We moved back to Maine from upstate New York in 2005 and she moved in with us in 2006. She is 77 years old, had COPD and emphysema. In the spring of ’06 she was hospitalized for pneumonia. We discovered at that time that she was anemic, dehydrated, suffered weight loss and was not actively taking her medication. This, to our embarrassment was not at all obvious in our weekend visits. Basically, she could no longer care for herself. She had been living alone in a senior apartment, her husband having died many years earlier.
Irene is on oxygen 24/7 and she needed constant care and she could no longer self medicate. Being the only one in the family with someone home all day, my wife works as a legal transcriptionist over the internet, we decided that she would live with us. Since that time she has gone from being hospitalized several times a year for pneumonia to only once. About six months ago she had a bad cold and into the hospital she went. She almost never came out. It was very close. But, she did recover and back home she came. All has been well for some time.
A few weeks back she had a sudden problem with breathing. At 3:30am the ambulance came. Tests showed that one lung, which was operating at minimal capacity, had collapsed, for good. It was also discovered that she had two shadows on her lung, mesothelioma. Treatment for this would either kill her, or make her hospital bound for the rest of her life. There was no more that could really be done at the hospital. She qualified for hospice, meaning her life expectancy was less than six months. She is now back home with us. Hospice has given us an array of drugs to keep her pain free and they call and visit at least once a week. They are really great and very supportive. Irene will die here, at home.
But you know, this woman is tough. She does not know that she is under Hospice care; she does not want to know. She is comfortable, alert and still a joy to have around. Her day is spent mostly in bed, but she does sit at her table at meal time. The drugs we give her are minimal because she is not in constant pain. Occasionally, she gets real short of breath and will take medication that helps. However, we know that death is here, waiting. Irene has not given up. She is planning her 80th birthday party. Despite the prognosis, she may just make it. We can hope, eh? So, death may have to bide its time.
I will keep you posted on Irene. Not so much for you, but for me. After all, she is the mother of my wife, and that makes her special!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
On May 6th, Governor Baldacci of Maine signed into law a bill allowing same sex marriage. The Governor said, “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage.” He went on to say, “This new law does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs, it does not require the church to perform any ceremony with which it disagrees. Instead, it reaffirms the separation of church and state.”
Does this put the matter to rest in the State of Maine? Unfortunately, no. “We feel he kind of shortchanged us all,” said The Rev. Bob Emrich, pastor of Emmanuel Bible Baptist Church in Plymouth and a founder of the Maine Marriage Alliance, which opposes the law. “But that’s his prerogative. He’s the governor.” According to AP writer Glenn Adams, Marc Mutty of the Roman Catholic Diocese said challengers expect to get the go-ahead by May 21 to begin collecting signatures to get a referendum on the bill, which was signed Wednesday by Gov. John Baldacci. The Maine Jeremiah Project, a church based public policy group and The National Association of Marriage Enhancement are starting a petition drive to get the issue on the November ballot as a referendum question.
In my opinion, these church groups should really mind their own business! If church and state are to be separate, as provided by our Constitution, then they should stick to their own concerns rather than trying to foist their ‘worn out dogma’ on others. Nothing in this bill requires them to conduct same sex marriages. They can continue to do practice their faith as they so choose. The fact that they are trying to force their values on others is just another example of the evils of organized religion. Why must everyone live the way they want people to live? Why must they insist that they are right and everyone else is wrong? There are other religions belief systems and that is why separation is guaranteed. One could easily argue that the state should not accept religious marriage ceremonies as legal unless it is accompanied by a civil union as well. Why should marriage be only what these religious leaders claim it should be?
Yes, we are one nation under God, but we are not one nation under the Baptist or Catholic version of God. Christians need to get off this ‘everyone must believe as we do’ train. This attitude has caused the world way too much suffering and strife and division. Christianity is perhaps the only religion that purposely sets out to force others to act in its own image. Maybe if religions practiced the true meaning of their teachings and acted with tolerance, love and compassion towards others, the world just might be a safer place.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Is the swine flu another case of health officials ‘crying wolf,’ a test of their emergency system in preparation for something else, a cover-up or even a hoax? According to the World Health Organization, “Influenza is a highly infectious disease caused by a very unstable virus…annual epidemics are thought to result in 3-5 million cases of severe illness and from 250,000 to 500,000 deaths…The greatest public health concern lies in the tendency of Influenzavirus A to change suddenly and markedly, either through mutation or through the exchange of influenza virus genes or through the transfer of whole virus between host species into novel, genetically distinct subtypes…The result is the sudden appearance of a new virus strain to which populations may have no immunity and against which no existing vaccine may confer protection” (WHO 11/26/02, 111th Session, item 5.8).
The WHO notes that the 1918 pandemic killed some 40-50 million people and that a “likely” new pandemic would kill around a half-million people in industrial nations alone. Now, let’s take a look at the following numbers regarding the current swine flu, H1N1. Keep in mind, that by the time you read this, the numbers will surely have changed.
-- THE UNITED STATES: The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States rose to 111 spread across 13 states, health officials said (THE NUMBER OF STATES IS NOW 22).
-- CONFIRMED INFECTIONS: Thirteen countries have been affected in addition to Mexico. According to the World Health Organization: The United States 91, Mexico 26, Canada 13, Germany 3, Britain 5, Israel 2, New Zealand 3, Spain 4, Austria 1.
The following countries have also announced confirmed cases: Costa Rica 2, Netherlands 1, Peru 1, and Switzerland 1.
- NATIONS WITH SUSPECTED INFECTIONS: Argentina 3, Australia 114, Chile 24, Colombia 59, Denmark 5, Finland 1, France 41, Ireland 3, Italy 20, Japan 1, Poland 2, Portugal 1, South Africa 1, South Korea 4, Sweden 5. (c) 2009 AFP
Everyone knows that WHO alert level has been raised to a level 5, 6 being the highest. But in looking at the history and the numbers, is this justified? We are looking at only a few hundred cases on a worldwide basis. In the United States alone, the annual seasonal flu kills 36,000 according to the CDC. Why all the fuss over the politically incorrect ‘swine flu?’ Is it possible that the high alert is just a test of our emergency systems? If so, why now and why over a flu? Is it possible that we are not being told the entire story and if not, what is really going on? Is it possible that Vice president Joe Biden actually meant what he said but that he was not supposed to let the ‘pig out of the bag?’ What does he possibly know that we do not? Or, as some have suggested who are really into conspiracy theories, is this just a ploy to get more money for the pharmaceutical industry or a way of diverting attention away from issues like the economy and climate change?
The numbers do not match the response. Either we are being kept in the dark about what is really going on, or someone is playing a very expensive and dangerous game. I am not a big fan of wasting taxpayers’ money on often wasteful and usually fruitless Congressional investigations. But in this instance, someone needs to look into this and let the public know the truth about what is really going on. Cry wolf, a cover-up, a test, a diversion? You be the judge, but it is time to ask the questions.
BY THE WAY, THE SLAUGHTER OF PIGS SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED BY ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS!