Reinvent Your Business!

Talk about re-inventing one's business! Starting in the 6th century A.D., the Benedictine monks originally created illuminated manuscripts from the Bible and classical texts. Now in 1996, they're on the Web, coding and designing Web pages to earn additional income to support their monasteries. The monks at Christ in the Desert monastery in New Mexico designed and placed a site on the Web about their monastery, hoping to attract visitors for religious retreats. Their beautifully illustrated Web site attracted many visitors and hundreds of requests for web page design from organizations such as the Georgia O'Keefe Foundation and the Bethlehem Corporation. This has increased the monastery's income from $48,000 to over $200,000 this year. It just goes to show that you can re-invent your business, no matter how old your product or service.Check out their site at

Send "Get Well" Cards For Increased Business

Some businesses are suffering from the economic sniffles these days.Let your customers and prospects know that the "doctor" (you) is "in".Have notes printed that look like "Get Well" cards. Inside tout the "remedies" that your business services and products provide that can help them "get better".

13 Can Be Your Lucky Number

If you are offering free information to promote a service, think 13! Everyone is used to seeing the number "10" in ads and classifieds, (i.e., 10 Ideas for Better Business, or 10 Ways to Increase Your Business.) You'll receive a better response if you use a different number, such as 13, which attracts attention and spurs curiosity. Attention + Curiosity = Better Response.

Memorable Marketing with "Product Birthdays"

We've all heard of the top salesperson who has the super database that reminds him or her of every client's birthday, wedding anniversary,etc. We know of one who's taken it one step further. A car salesman in Maine is always #1 in sales due to his "car birthday" database. Every year (to the day) after each customer has purchased a car, this savvy salesman sends "the car" a birthday card! "Happy Birthday Buick Skylark! Hope you're feeling good and running smoothly!" Don't you know his customers keep coming back for more...repairs, trade-ins and new car purchases!

Generation X Special

Imagine this! A hotel chain, ever watchful of the latest trends, created a special "Weekend Getaway" for parents of Generation Xers. Many folks in their early 20s still live at home, due to low-paying jobs or higher education commitments. What a unique way for parents to get a break and for a hotel to fill those empty rooms!

Teaming For Trade-Ins

At a local charity walk-a-thon, a clever shoe outlet owner paved the way for attracting new customers. Participants were urged to bring any old pair of walking or running shoes with them to the walk-a-thon to trade them in for $5.00 off a new pair. Each $5.00 was donated to the charity. The shoe outlet owner sold a lot of new sneakers, as well as benefitted from some great PR.

Smells Like Success

Every time she sponsors an Open House for one of her listings, a successful real estate agent we know always brings her automatic bread baking machine along. As the afternoon progresses, visitors are greeted by the smell of fresh baking bread, reviving childhood memories of a warm and cozy home. The results: the oven of the house stays clean and the agent writes a lot more contracts.

Smells Even More Like Success

It's not surprising that a smart entrepreneur we know who owns a storefront specialty perfume shop uses scent to attract attention. On warm summer days she purposely spills a bit of scent on the cement sidewalk outside her shop during the noon hour, attracting prospects who happen to be walking by doing other errands. This scent proves to be a cue that prompts prospects to visit her shop.

Don't Get Mad! Get Funny!

The owner of a packaging products company we know was furious! One of his young salesmen left the company, taking the price and customer list with him, and was selling materials at a lower cost to his former employer's customers. The owner didn't get mad...he got funny! He found a picture of a cute little girl sitting in a high chair talking on a toy phone. He printed the picture on a postcard with the caption: "Does your

packaging product rep have long-term experience?" On the other side of the postcard he stated the benefits of doing business with his company, and invited the customer to call him personally to get the best deal.His customers got a kick out of the postcard and and most began to place orders with him again.

Pay For the Appointment?

A financial services saleswoman we know had targeted physicians as her market, but had difficulty setting appointments with her busy prospects. What did she do? She set up an appointment as a patient with each physician, and actually paid for his or her time so they would hear her pitch. Using this method she was able to add several new customers to her client list.

Think Great Thoughts

An insurance salesman we know collects quotations as a hobby and uses them as a way to keep in touch with his clients. He has twelve sets of postcards made, each with a "Quote of the Month" which he mails to his customers every 30 days. He also uses quotes in his hand-written notes, personalizing the message with a great saying. When his customers think of "quotes" (famous sayings or insurance) they think of him.

At Your Service

A smart financial planner we know who specializes in estates uses an interesting technique to ensure that his prospects show up for initial consultations. He plans his prospect meetings for two full days a week, then hires a limo and driver to pick his prospects up and return them home. His prospects feel special, he has very few "no-shows" and this extra effort helps establish many long-term client relationships.