TCOBaG: Why don’t they ask?

Customers and Clients remain silent. Sometimes, you think, “surely there must be questions” but you can hear your hair grow in the void.

What do you think when there are no questions?

As a professional educator, conference presenter and speaker, I gotta tell you there are times when you are hoping for this, and there are times when you are sooooooo frustrated by a lack of feedback . . . aaaaaaahh

It’s not the questions after all. Why is that?

What we want as professionals, whether its internet marketing or knitting class, is feedback.

Questions are a form of feedback.

They tell us a lot about our market, target, customers or whatever:

Questions tell us first if there is sufficient understanding with which to formulate a question.

Hey, if you don’t get it at all, the best question you’re going to be able to muster is, “Huh?”

This is also useful feedback. It tells us either we’ve missed our market, the material is not clear, or the market for this product isn’t sharp enough to not need Velcro on there shoes instead of laces.

But it’s still feedback, and it’s still valuable.

What about silence?

That’s feedback, too. Problem is determining what caused the silence. Again, there are a few possibilities, and a few we’ve not already covered.

1. They got it. (Could happen.)
2. They didn’t get it, at all. (Also possible.)
3. The audience just doesn’t give a hoot. (More likely than we as marketers want to consider)
4. The group is just tired, wants to go home, get the ‘free’ product you offered in return for their attention or whatever.

Now, which is the best reason? Who knows? Who cares?

How do we get some response so that there is a starting point?

Ahha young Grasshopper, you can move ahead in the class for asking the proper question.

TCOBaG: When all you have is a hammer . . .

… everything looks like a nail.

A friend of mine when asked a question about solving a certain content management system problem came back with a very detailed, quite concise way that the problem might be solved using a customized script snip to reach a solution.

I’d not want to bore you too much with the technical details, but his follow-up to the question his response sparked started with this statement: “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

The question of course was “Doesn’t that seem like overkill?” 🙂

What does that have to do with marketing? Success? Getting what you want?

Well, as always, I’m so glad you asked . . .

First, my friend is a programmer, and pretty serious about it. What he does, he does like you and I breathe. Kind of like the folks who still hand code html in a text reader, like Textpad, or Notepad.

How many times have you asked a question, especially a solution based question, and their response revolved around what they knew best?

Of course, it happens all of the time.

What this means for us, is that if we’re looking for a programming solution for our problems, ask a programmer, sales copy solution, ask a writer.

If you ask a programmer about fixing a problem with visitors hitting your order page but not following through I can guarantee you that his (or her 🙂 solution is going to be something script based.

If you like surprises, then ask the sales copy guy how to solve your Linux server issues.

If not, and you’re really looking for a way to handle the nail, ask the guy with the hammer.

TCOBaG: What are you waiting for?

Want to know when the time is right to take action? When is it time to stop asking questions?

Sometimes I get a little bent, I admit it. I ask questions, of others, of myself, the Supreme Being. I also remind myself to ask another question.

“Why am I asking?”

The answer to this question is the real key.

So many people are looking for someone else to point them in the right direction, to validate their plans, their ideas, either negative or positive, while they sit.

They sit!

Then they can say, “well, I asked, and this is what so-and-so said, or thought, or was thinking, or hypothesized would happen, could happen, should happen, but I’ve never really tried it.”

Or even if they *did* try it, who cares?

You are you. Your situation is different from those around you. What you bring to the table is your uniqueness, but you try to give that up by following the herd.

Ask yourself, “Why am I asking?”

And answer truthfully.

You may already have the answer. In that case, you should stop reading now, and get to *doing*.

Analysis should be used the most as applied to results.

If you are asking so that someone else can tell you your idea stinks, or rocks, even, you are asking the wrong questions, and for the wrong reasons.

Doing brings the results you seek.

Asking may only bring you an invalid validation.

Are you still here? 🙂

Let’s move out!

TCOBaG: Too many irons in the fire!

Just trying to do too much? Don’t know what to do or when to do it?

Seems like this is something that bugs a lot of folks, me, too at times. But I also know that for me, sometimes, it’s just an

EXCUSE!

“Ouch!” you say?

Me, too 🙂

But often enough, it’s the truth.

We bury ourselves behind the ‘I’m just too busy to get it all done’ factor instead of taking charge of our day, our time, our lives, and getting on with the doing.

Here’s a couple of things that work for me, should/could work for you, too . . .

The “Success 6” system works for that, too. (For more on Success 6 see “TCOBaG: Not enough time in my day”)

Where to start:

List ’em.

Prioritize them.

Start at number one, work your way down.

Look at your list and see if there’s some stuff that’s just in there, in your way, that maybe just needs to get shelved for now, or even canned.

Also, it sometimes helps to just build a bigger fire!

Flammable fuel could include:

1. Listen to motivational/inspirational speakers and music, cds, mp3s while you work, while you exercise

2. Build up your “Why”. ie focus on the rewards the tasks bring, and not on the tasks

3. Outsource what others can do so you can focus on what you do best. This also improves productivity in even the laziest most unmotivated person, like I can be too often. You need it done, you know it should be done, you’re dragging your feet, checking email, stats, the forums, but if you’ve hired someone reliable to do it, it is still getting done and your business is still growing.

Be well, live well, die last.

Allen

TCOBaG: Time is Money, but Value is . . . ?

Time is not money. Money, I can make again 🙂 But I do see the logic of this. What bothers me is this tendency to place a greater value on something because it takes up, needed, or requires more time to do.

Sometimes this might be the case, fine wine, diamonds, and large works of art, as well as scientific discoveries, research and development, and even things like great relationships. More time = better value.

One part that is not in the equation though is our desire to latch onto, hold on to sometimes at even detrimental costs, things simply because of the time that has been invested.

So, what am I getting at?

It is a dangerous trap to fall into, believing that value is directly proportionate to time spent.

Often we are just as bound to trying to hang on to something because we’ve invested so much time into it as we are to think that something we have is not worth much because the time it took to create it was so short.

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague who had just written his first book. I expressed concern over the value of including a certain portion and that others would likely not find it useful as well. He replied that it was interesting I’d mentioned that, especially since it was specifically brought up as a possible problem by the publishing house he is working with to release the book.

Then, he says, “But I’ve spent so much time working on that particular section, I really hate to give it up.”

Besides this being a common fault among writers, from amateurs to professionals, it is also a common mistake made by many in various walks of life and a wide range of situations.

He attached greater value to the ‘time spent’ than the overall value of the book he was trying to create.

He has chosen to ignore my suggestions, and now the suggestions of the publisher, and is likely to find his whole project looking for a new home, hopefully not just on his hard drive. All of this is because of his misplaced ideal of “time spent equals value.”

The same is true in reverse. Sometimes we think things created in a short time are not of as great an importance, or value, as those created over longer periods.

I’m reminded of the story of the man who went to the dentist for a tooth extraction after suffering in great pain for weeks. He arrived at the dentist’s office, was ushered into the chair
shortly afterwards, spent about 15 minutes with the dentist, the tooth was removed, and he was on his way.

When he received the bill, some $200, he called the dentist to complain. “I was only in your office less than 30 minutes! $200?”

To which the dentist replied, “Next time, I could take longer?”

The key is?

Value is in the result.