Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Business Relationship Tip: It's the Little Things

From the July 23rd issue of "I Can Relate: Business Relationship Tips from Jacki Semerau." Enjoy!

It's the Little Things

We often get so wrapped up in the big things, that we forget what we consider to be "little things." But this week, I want to remind you that it's the little things that are infinitely more important.

Not too long ago, I had a client call me unexpectedly. I had done some extra work on their marketing campaign and put in some extra hours for to help the company meet an important deadline they were facing. This client called simply to say "Thank You" for putting in the extra effort. That was it...the entire purpose of the call. It took less than 3 minutes, and yet it had a tremendous impact on me.

It's cooking a meal even though you've had a tough day at work. It's giving your kids your undivided attention for just 5 minutes, even though you've got a million things on your plate. It's smiling at that complete stranger you just made eye contact with, instead of quickly looking away. It's sending flowers to someone who's ill. It's remembering what your client's favorite candy is, and then bringing some with as a gift the next time you'll see them.

Throughout the years, I've witnessed time and again the amazing power that the Little Things have had. If you stop and think, I bet you can come up with at least a dozen in the next 60 seconds. Go ahead....try it!
We're all after the big results, the big clients, the big score! But remember, the Big Things are just a lot of Little things all put together. So this week's tip is to take the extra few minutes to do something nice for someone...something little that could have a big impact.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

One of those days...

So we all have them. Those bad days that make us wonder what we're doing with our lives. The days that make you want to crawl back into bed and not resurface for a week. The days that leave you yearning to be independently wealthy so you can spend the rest of your days lounging on the sandy shores of an exotic island. Yeah, even me.

Brad Pitt...I'd bet he has those days. John McCain, sure. I'm sure I could name a million famous people that we look at and think "Wow, they're on top of the world." And I would be willing to guarantee that if I were to interview them, that even THEY have those bad days.

So having the bad days isn't an option. But what will you do with them? You have a choice: give in or push through. Me, I choose Push Through.

Every moment in life, whether good or bad, is an opportunity to learn and become a better person. So when those bad days strike, take a deep breath. Step back and ask yourself if any of the things making the day a bad one will matter a year from now. If the answer is no, then rise above it. Keep it in it's proper perspective.

And if the answer is yes, that a year from now whatever is going wrong is going to matter greatly, then you need to really dig into the lesson. Think outside of the box as to how to turn that negative into a positive.

For me, some of my biggest opportunities have formed due to events that could've been catastrophic. The chance to start my marketing company happened due to a bad couple of weeks. I can look at those couple of weeks now and recognize them as the best thing to ever happen to my career. The opportunity to be a motivational speaker on professional relationships came to me because I've hit the bottom, and was able to rise back up again.

So you never know where each turn might take you. Make the choice to live each moment seeing the positive potential. It can change your life!
Until Next Time,

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Business Relationship Tip of the Week: Appreciation above Self-Promotion

From my weekly newsletter dated 7/16/08....enjoy!
When we are trying to increase our profits, it's easy to think of getting in touch with clients and prospects to remind them why you are so great. We think of it as promoting. We think of it as advertising. We think of it incorrectly!

That's not to say that there is anything wrong with promotion or advertising. Quite the opposite. Remember, one aspect of my consulting is in helping business people create and execute marketing plans! But everything must be kept in it's proper perspective.

And there's a big difference between Marketing Opportunities and Relationship Building Opportunities. Many people confuse the two. And if you are thinking that you need to reach out to the people in your Sphere of Influence, then try thinking "Appreciation" over "Self-Promotion . Why? Because when you promote yourself to 100 people, maybe 10 of them will contact you, and maybe 1 or 2 of those people will actually close business with you.

However, when you reach out in appreciation to people who have either done business with you, or have somehow helped you in your career path, do you know what happens? They turn into evangelists about your services. Now they are busy spreading the word about your services. They are creating Buzz, and Buzz leads to increased business. They are actively looking to refer you, because they know if you treat them well, you'll treat their friends, family, and associates the same.

So this week's tip is to show your appreciation. Reach out the people in your business that you haven't thanked lately and let them know how grateful you are to them.

Jacki Semerau © Copyright 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Business Relationship Tip of the week: Show You Care

Every week, I'll post the relationship tip from the newsletter that went out the previous week. In other words, this post is the tip from the July 9th edition.

If you aren't yet receiving my weekly newsletter "I Can Relate: Business Relationship Tips from Jacki Semerau," Simply fill out your email address in the box to your right that says "Sign up for my weekly newsletter."

Show you care while being sincere!

There's a popular phrase when talking about business relationships: "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I'm not sure who the first person to come up with this phrase is, but I can tell you that they couldn't be more accurate!

But the challenge for many is learning how to do this. How do I show someone I am just beginning a business relationship with that I care about them? I've only just met them, and so how can I possibly care about them already? And even if I DO care, how do I show them in such a way that they believe me, and don't just think I'm a big phony?

Here's the secret: when you care about people in general, you will naturally care about ANY individual you've just met. And if you care about people in general, you will earn yourself a reputation as being a truly caring and sincere person.

For some of us, that may come easy. But for others, maybe you really DON'T care. And I'm not saying that makes you Bad. But that comes through to people, which makes it harder for you to build that valuable relationship, which in turn makes it harder for you to earn referrals. You may make SALES, but if you feel that you have to work exceedingly hard for every deal, then maybe you need to evaluate your Care-Factor.

Caring for other people is a discipline, just like any other business practice. Next week, we'll take a look at some tips for creating that discipline within yourself. But you can start right now simply by making the conscious decision to Care.

When people know that you care about them, they naturally want to give back to you in whatever way that they can. In business, this usually takes form by way of a sale or a referral. So show you care...the more you do, the greater your chances of success!

Until Next Time,


Jacki Semerau © Copyright 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Apple iPhone and the Holy Grail of Marketing

On Friday, I was meeting Jon Portillo over at Paradise Bakery at the Biltmore. When I got there, I saw a line wrapping around the shopping center. 'Auditions?' my performer's mind automatically wondered? American Idol, perhaps? Maybe a game show, like Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. Or maybe they're launching a whole new show! Or maybe there's a gimmick...some radio station giving away something amazing. My mind ran wild.

I ignored the line, and headed into meet Jon. When we found each other, he asked about the line, and admitted he thought the same thing I did. But then said he heard it was a line for the new iPhone. Seriously? Ohhhh yeah. Today was the "Big Day." We decided to hold off on the coffee just a few more minutes to go check out the line. This first picture is what we saw as we walked up to the back of the line.

Jon asked one guy toward the back of the line if he was waiting in line for the iPhone. I asked, "Well, are they giving them away for free or something?" (only half kidding...I've been listening as everyone on Twitter has gone on and on about the iPhone for who knows how long now!) The guy laughed and said, "Uh, no. You have to pay for it," as if I had MY head screwed on wrong. Sorry Buddy, but I'm not the one standing in line for hours to buy something I can just as well go pick up tomorrow. But I digress.
So Jon and I continue on, and here's the next site we see...

Now I am thinking...wow. I can't believe all these people who are waiting in line to give their hard earned money to Apple. I'm amazed.

Then we turn the corner, and my amazement turns into outright admiration. Admiration for the Marketing Gurus who orchestrated this amazing accomplishment. Admiration for the CEO's at Apple for having the wisdom to listen to these Marketing Gurus. After all, there are plenty of people in business who don't recognize the true value and importance of marketing. With an "If we build it, they will come" attitude, many would scoff at the elaborate roll out and elaborate budget.

Finally, we find the mecca that all these people are waiting for...the entrance to the Apple store, and their chance to slap down a credit card, sign a 2 year contract with AT&T, and own the latest craze in Technology Nirvana.
And I'll tell ya, these Cutting-Edge techies must be an unruly crowd. Maybe they are expecting some Beatle-Mania type outbreaks, because here in all his glory is one of the security guards charged with keeping the peace. Amazing.

So with my marketing mind fully inspired, Jon and I headed back to Paradise Bakery for that coffee...which ended up being a whole new story. (Turns out, if you order a latte that never makes it to your table, and then you inquire about it 20 minutes later, they'll throw in free cookies for your troubles!)
But the point is, while we may not all have cool products like the iPhone, and maybe we don't have budgets bigger than the GNP of small countries, there's no reason why each of us can't have a line of raving fans waiting to buy from us. And if you want to learn how, then let's talk. I'll meet you over a cup of coffee. I know this great place in the Biltmore area...
Until Next Time,
PS...I figured the Biltmore in Phoenix Arizona wasn't the only place where people were willing to stand in line for hours on end. Turns out I'm right! Check out this great blog done in real time by a guy in New York City who waited in line with countless others!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Winners of the "Name That Newsletter" Contest!

I am amazed by the creative thoughts and suggestions that have come through regarding the Name That Newsletter contest. I can assure you, making the decision on which name to choose was no easy task. In fact, it was so difficult, that I actually chose TWO winners and combined their entries!

Congratulations to the two winners:

Karen Kanefsky, who recommended Winners Relate.
Andy Kolton, who recommended Better Business Relationship Tips from Jacki

These entries inspired the official name of this newsletter:

I Can Relate: Business Relationship Tips from Jacki Semerau

This was a tough decision! I'd like to thank everyone who entered the contest...you had such wonderful and creative suggestions!

Allen Blaker
Andy Kolton
Anita Bell
Chef John
Jill Hall
Jim Kelder
Joanne Lipuma
Josephine Saineghi
Karen Kanefsky
Laurie Dickman
Mark Tait
Nicole Muench
Paul Hershenberg
Paul O'Brien
Robi Barkoff
Sherry Cornillie
Tammy Abernethy
Vicky Semerau

If I missed your name, please contact me immediately! I want to give you recognition as well!

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Entrepreneurs Networking for Change Event: Bowling for Angels!

Join us on Saturday, July 26th, from 2-4pm for Bowling for Angels, a fun-filled Charity Bowl-A-Thon! You can win great prizes, and you don't even have to be a good bowler (Lord knows I'm not!!!) I've posted all the details below. Contact me direct at 602-904-3454 or cardeveryone@gmail.com to register or for more information!!

See you there!!!

Entrepreneurs Networking for Change (ENC) is a proud sponsor of Gabriel’s Angels, a non profit organization that delivers healing pet therapy to abused, neglected and at-risk youth. Gabriel’s Angels Pet Therapy Teams offer unconditional love, teach respect, empathy and trust to children who have been victims of abuse. Gabriel’s Angels currently has nearly 100 teams volunteering at 98 facilities and agencies in the Valley and Tucson.

We need your help to reach our goal of serving 10,000 crisis children here in the Valley.

AMF Squaw Peak Lanes
3049 E. Indian School Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85016


1st place prize: $400
2nd place prize: $200


Entry Fee: $200 per team
(5 bowlers per team)
$50 per individual
Includes shoes & soda

Call Jacki at 602-904-3454 for more information or to get you and your team registered!!