If they want you, they’ll find you

Anonymity is your greatest barrier to business success.

Thank God for the Internet, right?

After all, if there’s one thing the Internet proves, it’s this: if they want you, they’ll find you.

The media.

Everyone. If they want you, they’ll find you.

FIRST EXAMPLE: My friend Ken once wrote an article for a trade publication. Sadly, the editor failed to include his bio at the end of the piece. All it said was his name.

He was stressed out. “What if my perfect customer reads the article, wants to learn more, then can’t get in touch with me?”

ANSWER FROM 1987: “Ken, you’re screwed. No new customers for you!”

ANSWER FROM 2007: “Ken, no worries. If they want you, they’ll find you.”

And find him, they did.

A few weeks after the article ran, Ken got several calls from readers who wanted to hire him.

THE BEST PART: he ended up working with several of those new clients for the next five years!

“I guess all they needed was my name and Google!” Ken reported.


Because if they want you, they’ll find you.

SECOND EXAMPLE: Many speakers ask audience members to fill out evaluations at the end of their programs. These feedback forms serve multiple purposes, namely, filtering in leads.

Common verbiage for such forms might be, “If you’d like to learn more about hiring Dave to speak at your company, leave your contact information here.”

Cool. Not a bad way to solicit new business.


After nearly five years of speaking professionally, I don’t think I’ve EVER booked an additional speech because I followed up with someone who filled out my evaluation.

This likely happened for two reasons:

1. She wasn’t really a buyer.
2. She called ME before I even had the chance to follow up.

WHICH MEANS: if you’re good, if you’ve delivered value, if your service fills a need, and if they WANT you, relax. Don’t sweat the bylines and evaluations.

So, three things to remember:

1. Have faith in your product. Follow the advice of my friend Carol who says, “Be amazing and let the phone ring.”

2. Understand the way marketing works. Follow the advice of Talker Magazine editor Mike Harrison who says, “If you build it and they don’t come it’s because they DON’T want it.”

3. Be findable.

Are you easy to find?

Share your best “if they want you, they’ll find you” story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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Gentle Reminder Selling: 5 Value-Added Follow-Up Approaches

As a salesperson, you don’t want to be a pest.

But you DO want to follow up effectively.

So, what’s your approach?

THREE WORDS: Gentle Reminder Selling.

It’s non-threatening.
It’s not overly salesy.
It’s a great method for delivering value.

FOE EXAMPLE: let’s say a certain prospect hasn’t returned your calls or emails.

Maybe she’s busy.
Maybe she forgot to reply.
Maybe she has more important stuff to do that week.

No problem!

You duty as an approachable salesperson is to gently remind them who you are AND how you unqiely give value … without being too pushy.

Here’s a list of five Gentle Reminder Selling techniques to help you follow up like a pro:

1. Send an article. Displays your expertise, delivers lots of value. If possible, send a link to your article that’s already been published. The mere fact that it WAS published is a third-party testament to your skills.

2. Send a blog post. Similar to sending an article. Also a good opportunity to keep your branding in front of key prospects. NOTE: if you get comments on your post, awesome! It’s an instant testimonial.

3. Send a media link. Been in news lately? Cool! Send a link to your story with a note saying, “Thought you’d like this article!” An example like this shows that you’re not only credible, but current too.

4. Send a testimonial. If you just finished working with a similar client, drop a note that reads, “Here’s what the CEO of Dynatech just said about my software…” Then write, “And I’d love to do the same for your company.”

5. Send a picture. Preferably, a picture that shows you doing what you do. Maybe even you and one of your other clients. NOTE: be sure you’re smiling, laughing and having fun. Make it look like you’re cool to work with.

In one word: friendly.
In two words: delivers value.
In three words: persistent, not pushy.

That’s Gentle Reminder Selling.

After all, it sure beats saying, “Hey Mark, did you get a chance to look at my proposal?”

Are you following up with value?

Share your best follow-up method here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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How absurdities become antidotes

Every day when I slap a new nametag on my shirt, I remind myself of what Einstein once said:

“If at first your idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.”

FACT: Einstein’s greatest scientific discovery sparked from a mental picture he had when he was 16 years old.

One day, while taking a walk, Albert envisioned himself riding atop of beam of light into outer space, traveling at 299,792,458 meters per second.

That ridiculous image helped him better understand accelerated motion.

Which helped him create the Theory of Relativity.
Which changed the world of science forever.
Which earned him the Noble Prize.
Which made him pretty much the smartest dude of all time.

All because of a totally ridiculous, totally humorous image.

Now, I’m not trying to compare myself to Einstein.


LESSON LEARNED: absurdities become antidotes.

In the book How to Think Like Einstein, author Scott Thorpe explains how this principle of melon motivating works:

“A brain has a mechanism that is the mental equivalent of an immune system – it rejects ideas that are foreign to it. But humor suppresses your mental immune system. So, if you treat a new idea humorously, you will be able to explore it more thoroughly because you wont immediately reject it. And your mind will be free to make other absurd connections with the seed idea, generating more concepts for solutions.”

How many crazy ideas have YOU had this week?

The answer is probably “not enough.”

ANOTHER FACT: as an entrepreneur, ideas are your major source of income.

So, a HUGE component of your professional success will be a function of three things:

1. How many of ideas you have.
2. How many ideas you write down.
3. How many ideas you put into action.

Wanna start thinking like Einstein and turn absurdities into antidotes?

Consider these three recommendations:

1. Observe. Grow bigger ears AND eyes any time someone says, “That’s funny,” “That’s weird,” “No way!” “Cool!” “You’re out of your mind!” or “Get the hell outta here!” This is your first indication that an absurdity might become an antidote.

2. Write it down. My three principles of idea capturing are always the same: 1) If you don’t write it down, it never happened; 2) That which goes unrecorded goes unmemorable; and 3) Writing is the basis of all wealth. So, just remember: every time you choose NOT to write your absurd idea down, you’re losing money.

3. Stick with it. Einstein once said, “I’m not smarter than anybody else, I just stick with it longer.” So, understand that your absurd ideas WILL be met with resistance – from coworkers, bosses, colleagues and competitors, even friends! And odds are, that resistance stems from jealousy, ignorance, fear, or some combination thereof. Which basically means, don’t sweat it. Instead, stick with it!

If you can remember those three keys, you’ll be certain to turn absurdities into antidotes!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash the adhesive gunk out of the upper left side of all my shirts.

Are you turning absurdities into antidotes?

Think about your three craziest ideas, and what each of them led to. What commonalities do you observe?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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Approachable Service: 18 Ways to be UNFORGETTABLE!

1. Answer in advance. Make a list of the 101 most frequently asked questions your customers. Write a short answer for each one (no more than one paragraph). Then give away that little booklet FOR FREE to every single person who walks in your door. (You could also make this into a CD, audiocassette or podcast.)
2. Use magic. Write letters, thank you notes and proposals to your clients on paper that changes color when you touch it. Everyone in their entire office will see it and talk about it.

3. Send it back. Take a prospect’s business card, scan it, blow it up, make it into a small pack of postcards, luggage tags or notepads, and then send it to him. This appeals to someone’s ego AND helps him build HIS business as well.

4. Gift Certificates. Mock up gift cards, gift certificates or “Dave Dollars,” for example, that you could us as giveaways to get new customers into your funnel. Offer 15-minute consultations, a free oil change, a free appetizer, etc. Then, when they come in once, WOW them. They’ll come back forever.

5. Added value. What if you included a little 10 tips laminated card with every purchase? For example, dry cleaners could include ideas for fall fashion and emergency stain removal. Just staple it to the receipt. Or better yet, MAKE IT the receipt!

6. Encourage repeat business. What other days of the year will customers probably need your product or service? What if, every time someone bought something from you, you included a calendar with your logo on all of the potential dates on which they would need you? Father’s Day? Valentines Day? Secretary’s Day?

7. “Celebritize” your customers. Have a featured “customer of the week” on your website. Interview him, plug HIS business and show a picture of him USING your product or service. He’ll take ownership and tell everybody he knows.

8. Banners. If you only see a few clients a day, what if you hung up a new banner, welcome sign or dry erase board for each person? Talk about a first impression! Or, what if all your employees wore nametags reading, “Welcome, Dave!”

9. Customer Advisory Board. What if, once a quarter, you invited an elite group of your biggest customers out to lunch? Form an official Customer Advisory Board. Get feedback on trends in their industries, along with tips on how to serve them better.
10. Tours. Airplane pilots often invite children into the cockpit for a tour. Then they give them official wings to pin onto their shirt. What if you held a tour of your warehouse or control room? And what if, after each tour, you had a little pin or sticker to give to each customer? Crown Candy, the greatest restaurant in St. Louis, has been doing this for decades. (Except instead of pilot’s wings, you get licorice. Sweet.)

11. As long as I’m here. What else could you do as a free add-on to your service? For example, if you provided on-site tech support, maybe you could also clean people’s computer screens or towers! No extra charge = mo’ extra value.
12. Now that you’re here. When your customers walk IN the door, what welcome gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? I once stayed at a hotel in Hawaii. When I approached the desk, a stunning woman wearing a native Hawaiian dress and a flower in her hair offered me free glass of freshly squeezed pineapple juice. Aloha, indeed!
13. Wait, before you go! When your customers walk OUT the door, what “until next time” gift could you offer that’s consistent with your brand? A few years ago I ate lunch at a grill in Chicago. Beside the door was a tub of cold bottles of ice water (with their logo on the labels) along with a homemade oatmeal cookie for my walk back across town. Unbelievable!

14. Signing bonuses. Once the contract is signed, what congratulatory gift could you offer that compliments your service? My realtor gave me a $100 gift certificate to Pottery Barn after I closed on my condo. I told everybody about it! Other examples: car salesmen could offer car wash coupons, clothing stores could offer free lint brushes, kennels could offer free milk bones or shoe salesmen could offer free lotion. The possibilities are endless!
15. Solve problems you didn’t create. What problems do your customers have (before they see you) that you didn’t cause? For example, if you work at a hotel, you probably encounter many guests who lose their luggage. What if the front desk had a book of gift certificates to a nearby clothing store that they could give to desperate guests? You could say, “Just tell the guys at Men’s Warehouse that Gary from the Fairmount sent ya. They’ll fix you right up!” Imagine the impression! Imagine the loyalty! And the increase in return visits will massively outweigh the cost of the gift certificates. Not to mention, it builds a mutually valuable relationship between you and the other company.
16. Make personalization easy. What can you include in your service to make the customer feel more at home? A hotel I once stayed at had iPod alarm clocks in every room so guests could wake up to their favorite songs. Rock on!

17. Donate en masse. At what gathering, event or conference could you donate your services to get in front of hundreds of buyers at once? At a recent book expo, I noticed three massage chairs positioned by the escalators for attendees with aching feet and backs. Think they “booked” any future business?
18. Remember your non-customers. What types of “poor suckers” do your customers drag around that don’t want to be there? Kids? Men? Women? What could you make available to keep them busy while the other person shops? Years ago while my girlfriend was shopping at EXPRESS, I noticed a stack of MAXIM magazines by the dressing room, right next to The Boyfriend Chair. Reading them sure made the time go by quickly!

What company offered you approachable service that was UNFORGETTABLE?

Share your best story here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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21 alternatives for the word “but”

“But” is a very dangerous word.

It puts people on the defensive.
It makes them think there’s a catch.
It negates everything you said before.
It reduces the positivity of your argument.

Now, in most articles addressing this topic, experts will suggest:

“Don’t say Yes, BUT; say Yes, AND.”

That’s a good idea.

THE CHALLENGE IS: sometimes saying “Yes, AND” isn’t enough.

Here’s a list of 21 Phrases that Payses to be used in place of the word “but.”

Whether you’re dealing with customers, employees, friends or family members, these alternatives statements will boost your approachability as soon as you open your mouth.

(NOTE: in each of these examples, you will be choosing an alternative for the response, “That’s a good idea. But…”)

1. “That’s a good idea. Now, that’s likely to cause (x), so what do you think we should do about…”

2. “That’s a good idea. And that’s probably going to result in (x), so what’s the best way to handle…”

3. “That’s a good idea. I think the biggest challenge is going to be…”

4. “That’s a good idea. Do you really think it will work?”

5. “That’s a good idea. Do you think anything negative could result?”

6. “That’s a good idea. Have you ever thought about…?”

7. “That’s a good idea. Here’s what you need to be careful of:”

8. “That’s a good idea. However…”

9. “That’s a good idea. I wonder if it will get done on time…”

10. “That’s a good idea. Just be sure to remember that…”

11. “That’s a good idea. My concern is that…”

12. “That’s a good idea. The challenge is figure out whether or not it’s feasible.”

13. “That’s a good idea. So, if you did that, what will you do about…?”

14. “That’s a good idea. So, what’s it going to take to avoid…?”

15. “That’s a good idea. The challenge is: how can we make it work?” (Did you notice I used this example earlier in the post?”)

16. “That’s a good idea. The big question is: is it in our budget?”

17. “That’s a good idea. The reason I’m hesitant to move forward is because…”

18. “That’s a good idea. The reason I’m unable to help is because…”

19. “That’s a good idea. Unfortunately…”

20. “That’s a good idea. What I wonder about is…”

21. “That’s a good idea. So, let’s say we did that. Do you think there’s anything we need to be concerned about?”

Ultimately, phrases like these WIN because:

They focus on solutions.
They maintain positivity.
They ASK instead of TELL.
They foster creative thinking.
They encourage open dialogue.

So, study them today. Refer to them periodically. And use them forever!

And your words will become instantly approachable.

Because sometimes “Yes, AND” isn’t enough.

What do you say instead of “but”?

Share your best Phrases that Payses here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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What if you only sold ONE thing?

Coolest Restaurant Ever: Mama’s Ladas: Downtown Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Here’s why…

When you walk in the door, you see fewer than ten tables.

When you look at the walls, you see traditional Mexican decorations.

And the owner (also the waitress) offers a friendly greeting and tells you to sit anywhere you want.

There are no menus.
There are no options.
There are no specials.

There are only enchiladas.

And when she comes over to take your order, she doesn’t ask, “What can I get for ya?”

She simply says, “Beef or Chicken?”

Because there are only enchiladas.

That’s the ONLY thing they serve.

A business that only sells ONE thing! Brilliant!

AND, IT’S NO SURPRISE: their enchiladas are freaking AMAZING.

AND, IT’S (ALSO) NO SURPRISE: everyone in Sioux Falls has either eaten there or heard someone talk about eating there.

Hell, I’m lactose intolerant and I still ate there!

THE POINT IS: Mama’s Ladas gets it.

Everything I preach about approachability, they do right. For example:

1. THEE, not A: not just a Mexican restaurant, THEE Mexican restaurant for enchiladas in Sioux Falls.

2. Own a word. Every time I hear the word enchilada, I think back to my experience at Mama’s. And I bet I’m not the only customer who does that.

3. Be That Guy. When I told my client where I ate dinner the night before, she said, “The Enchilada People? Nice!” Great example of MINDshare, not MARKETshare.

4. Make the mundane memorable. 99% of the places you eat dinner have some sort of organized ordering system. These guys don’t even have menus!

5. Cool and remarkable. When was the last time YOU blogged about an enchilada?

6. Specific. They specialize and have expertise in a narrow, yet marketable product.

7. FUN! When the meal was over, the owner came over with a big basket full of Halloween candy and said, “Would you like dessert?” Awesome! (I had a Snickers Mini.)

8. About, not from. Every dining guide and restaurant reviewer for Sioux Falls mentions this place. It’s also been written up in several publications.

9. Be (somewhat) predictable. Their consistency and familiarity puts customers at ease.

10. No competition. It’s not like you could go to the “other” enchilada place in Sioux Falls. Mama’s is it!

11. People respond to policies. You get beef or chicken. That’s the deal. Enchiladas or bust. You gotta love that!

Mama’s Ladas, you win the Approachability Award. Congrats!

And if you’re hungry after reading this post, and happen to be in the Sioux Falls area, check ‘em out:

Mama’s Ladas
116 W 11th St
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 332-2772

What if YOU only sold one thing?

Share your best “one thing” company here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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What’s the potential value of a great idea?

Joey Reiman is the CEO of BrightHouse, an Atlanta-based “ideation corporation.”

According to this article in FastCompany, he likes to boast that his firm conducts “business at the speed of molasses.”

“You can’t hurry great ideas. I tell our clients that we’re the slowest company they’ll ever meet – AND the most expensive,” Reiman says.

“But you only have to see us once.”

And plenty of big-name companies (including Coca-Cola, the Home Depot, and Georgia-Pacific) like what they’ve seen.

HERE’S THE BEST PART: BrightHouse works with only one client at a time.

HERE’S THE SECOND BEST PART: BrightHouse charges $1,000,000 per project.

That’s a million dollars.

For one idea.

And if you think about it, that’s really not that much.

Take the new iPhone, for example.

According to this article in Reuters, Apple moved 700,000 units in the first weekend.

Multiply that by a $600 sale price.

Then factor in six more months left in 2007.

That’s a whole lot of revenue.

THE QUESTION IS: Do you think Steve jobs would have paid a million dollars for that idea?


Because he’s the kind of guy who understands the potential value of a great idea.

Do you?

Are you charging enough for your ideas?

Think about the last expensive idea you paid for. Maybe you attended a seminar or bought a training kit. Consider the upfront cost vs. the amount of money you made over time as a result.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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Bonjour from Leysin!

People always used to tell me that I “had my head in the clouds.”

Guess I finally proved them right!

(Check out a few more pics from Leysin here.)


Celebrate Nametag Day at Fenway Park!

Earlier this year I posted about my friend Joseph Porcelli from The Nametag Project. He and his volunteers have been wearing his nametags everyday.

Well, great news! This Sunday, June 15, The Boston Police Department will be distributing 40,000 nametags at Fenway Park for “Nametag Day” when the Red Sox play the Blue Jays!

Joseph has taken a philanthropic approach to nametags. So far, he’s encouraged 6,000 people to wear a nametag for a day in the name of community building and gotten 30 people to join him/us for the rest of the year.

The goal of Nametag Day at Fenway Park is simple: to encourage people to get to know their neighbors.

BPD would also like for people to participate in National Night Out. They see nametags as a great crime prevention and community building tool.

According to Porcelli, “When neighbors know each others name, their more likely to watch out for each other, which in turn reduces crime.”

Would you wear a nametag for social or community building purpose?

Invite your neighbors over for a Neighborhood Social. Give nametags to everybody. Share your experiences here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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What’s your Noticeable Number?

I’ve been wearing a nametag 24-7 for the past 2,444 days.

That’s my Noticeable Number.

It’s noticeable in a conversation.
It’s noticeable in an interview.
It’s noticeable during a speech.
It’s noticeable in a book.
It’s noticeable in an article.
It’s noticeable in a blog post.
It’s noticeable on a website.
It’s noticeable in marketing materials.

First, let’s talk about the WHY.

In my experience, I’ve found seven benefits of having a Noticeable Number:

1. Remarkability. People tell their friends about it. Because it’s cool. Because it’s intriguing. Because it’s easy. And because it’s worth making a remark about.

2. Memorability. It stands out. During a conversation, for example, a Noticeable Number tends to be the most memorable item.

3. Credibility. Which comes from specificity. For example, which sounds more convincing: “I’ve read a whole lot of books on stress management,” or “I’ve read over 1800 books on stress management”?

4. Commitment. Your Noticeable Number is an observable way to reinforce your dedication. And in a business culture where trust and integrity are at an all-time low, actions that validate your commitment are priceless.

5. Differentiation. It distinguishes you in an otherwise crowded marketplace.

6. Expertise. It’s the answer to the question, “So, what makes YOU the expert?” This is especially valuable when working with (and attracting) the media.

7. Revisitability. Noticeable Numbers make customers want to check in with you (or your website) every once in a while (or, hopefully every day!) just to see where your number is at now. REMEMBER: websites are like newspapers – customers don’t want to read it if it’s two years old. How often is YOUR website updated?

OK! Now, let’s talk about the WHAT.

This is a list of several Noticeable Number examples (some are real, some I just made up):

o Dave has 4,000 hours of practice!
o Aqua Fin is being used in 137 countries!
o Lambert’s Café has thrown over 13,457,991 rolls!
o Over 3,000,000 copies in print!
o Reprinted in 17 languages!
o McDonald’s has sold over 205 billion hamburgers!
o Dr. Jameson has spoken to over 300,000 students!
o Dane Cook has 1,982,811 MySpace friends!

Wow! Pretty noticeable, huh?

OK. Lastly, let’s talk about the HOW.

The last step is to get the maximum mileage out of your Noticeable Number.

Remember these four keys:

1. ASK yourself two questions: “What’s the most remarkable/unique thing about my business?” and then, “How could I quantify that in an easily updatable way?

2. RECORD your number in a journal or online counter. Be meticulous. After all, if you don’t write it down, it never happened!

3. PUBLISH your number on your websites, blogs, marketing materials and the like. Be sure to update it regularly. This makes the media happy.

4. LEVERAGE your number by peppering it into conversations, interviews, blog posts, articles, or any other form of communication. NOTE: no need to make a big deal about it. You don’t want to come off as conceited, but rather, convinced.

THE BEST PART: once you discover and leverage your Noticeable Number, you WILL get them to come to you.

“Them” meaning old customers.
“Them” meaning new customers.
“Them” meaning the media.

AND DON’T FORGET: people who get noticed get remembered; and people who get remembered get business.

What’s your Noticeable Number?

Share it with us!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott’s interview on 20/20!

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