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I am going to share a story with you, that led me to today’s article and its message.

Being a “non-auto mechanic,” I blamed it on the cold weather. Soon I caved in, and determined the screeching sound coming from the engine area of my Ford Explorer might be a little more pressing than just a cool breeze rushing across the “frigus diametris”. This is an auto term pronounced FREE-Guz Die-a-met-tris.

In addition to not having a regular Doctor, (something I am coming to terms with) I don’t have a regular auto mechanic since “my guy” closed shop at midnight and did not leave a forwarding address. Long story short: I did not know where to check out or replace my frigis diametris

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TOO MANY CHOICES!

That was the headline of the article I read on page 14 in a recent edition of the AARP Bulletin. (That is a weekly news rag for us fossils and those planning to be fossils.)

The subhead read, “From cookies to cell phones, dog food to discount drug cards. Are people confronted with too many choices?”

I have known this ever since I focused on the choices we have in hand soap today….or products we have to choose from to put an end to a simple headache. I could have written this article ten years ago.

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Out of the Mouths of Babes

I once spotted a headline that read, “Young entrepreneur has business bean for marketing coffee.”

The article was about a ten year old “yoot”*** named Stephen who was running a three person business from his front lawn while learning about the rudiments of turning a buck. Little does he know that what he was learning will serve him well for the next 50 + years.

**** (youth/youngster) – if you haven’t seen the movie My Cousin Vinny, do yourself a favor and rent it before it goes out of distribution.)

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No Excuses. Just Nothing To Say

This may be my best message of the year. Tune in.

“Last night I was editing this week’s Monday Morning Message when I decided I really had nothing to say. It was fluff and I was just filling in the gaps. Sorry. It was really awful, trust me. Brain freeze.

I will try again next week.

Mike”

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Follow Up Is The Key Ingredient

This message was originally written while I was preparing to escape New Jersey and head for the hills of upstate NY. (Calm down. I still love my Jersey peeps.)

When my wife Barbara and I began investigating building a log home, we did what any good investigators might do: purchase a log home magazine at the supermarket and send away for all the free stuff that is not nailed down. That is exactly what we did. We got stuff.

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Ideas Can Be Beautiful Things!

We all have ideas. Ideas are sometimes a dime a dozen. The truth is that most ideas die on the vine without being given the opportunity to prove themselves as ‘great ideas’ or otherwise. Ideas can disappear as fast as they appear.

I read this last week: “We all get great ideas while taking a shower. Too bad 99% of them stay in the shower.” How true it is.

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Five Leadership Points (Worth Repeating)

This week’s message comes via an article I read recently in some well-known magazine. Dick Nettell was running the transition between Bank of America and FleetBoston (his first job was as an 18-year-old ‘lot boy’ cleaning company vehicles). Dick’s personal leadership philosophy contains five bullet points.

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How To Write Headlines That Work

The right headline can draw in even the most disinterested reader, luring them in to read the rest of your article, email or sales letter. In the same way, a bad headline can totally turn off a reader who otherwise might be very interested in what you’re trying to sell.

While it would be nice to have, there are no specific rules that every headline needs to follow. That’s because it depends on what your topic is, what the goal of your writing is, and several other factors.  There are, however, some basic rules and guidelines that can help you get started.

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Let’s Talk “BLOGS”

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, this is not an article about lifting heavy logs.  A blogger is someone who blogs. Now, if you don’t know what a blog is, it’s an online journal of sorts where people can write about anything they desire.

Let’s begin at the beginning. A blog is an online journal. It is similar to a website, but different. Blogs have web addresses, but usually the address contains the name of the blog host in the extension.  www.mikemarchev.com/blog

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Goal Setting 101

If you want to be successful, one of the most important steps is setting goals. If you just work to get things done, you end up going through the motions with no real purpose or drive. Setting goals gives you something to strive for, and skyrockets your chances of actually being successful, no matter what you set out to do.

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The Dangers of Being Inconsistent

Starting your own travel business can be a great way to make income and have a more flexible career.  After all, there is ease in entry, and the products you can sell are both attractive and available. There is one big problem with being your own boss though: you are responsible for holding yourself accountable. This means that if you’re not the most disciplined and dependable person, you’re probably going to have problems running a consistent business. But, there is hope.

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Baseball’s Hall of Fame In Cooperstown, NY

I write about this every year since I feel the message is so relevant to travel professionals of all ages.

The evening before the annual Induction Ceremony, Main Street is cordoned off so a bevy of  Ford Pick-up Trucks can transport former Hall-of-Famers eastbound to the Hall of Fame building while waving to the crowd.

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Are You Hiding in Plain Site?

Enhance your presence with great niche-related features.

These days, any serious business owner with a brain in their head has a website or blog to help market their business. A website with your own domain name (URL) establishes a professional presence and offers a central hub for all of your online and offline marketing efforts. However, if you have not updated your website recently or posted fresh content to it, it’s time to enhance your online presence to improve your chances of succeeding in a competitive niche.

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Series Part Five: Servicing

It is now time to put your money where your mouth is. If you have been honest up to this point, you have nothing to fear. You simply deliver the service that was promised, and you do so in a timely fashion.

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Series Part Four: Presenting

You have scheduled face time. Now is not the time to tell anybody how smart you are. Based on the information you uncovered during the fact-finding session, all you are doing is outlining the services you are in position to provide your prospect. There is no need to be cute, or to try to be anything you are not. No need to sound “clever.” No up-selling, no overcoming objections, and no closing. Read the rest of this entry »

Series Part Three: Selling

I still like to consider selling as a contact sport. That means the sooner you physically get in front of people, the sooner the game begins. Your job is to get an appointment. All efforts should be designed toward scheduling an appointment. The best way to do this is to contact your prospect, and inform them that you have a service they will find to be very helpful when it comes to vacation planning and management.

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Series Part Two: Prospecting

This is where the action is. Finding new accounts…people to help…people to serve.

Do you have a list of travel account targets? Ten will do if you don’t have any. Twenty is better. You don’t want or need 500. Are you contacting these people on a regular scheduled basis? Read the rest of this entry »

Your Five Step Sales & Marketing Review

For the next five days, I’m going to discuss the five areas that make up your sales and marketing strategy. I am certain you will not find my reminders to be new or earthshaking fodder for the evening news.

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Tips for Selling and Marketing to Spendthrifts

Research has shown that spendthrifts make up about 15% of the consumer market. But just because they tend to spend more than the average person does not necessarily make it easy to sell to them. After all, there is a good deal of competition out there, so you need to be clear about the value you offer compared with other options on the market. Read the rest of this entry »

Tips for Selling and Marketing to Tightwads

My next three columns will be focusing on different buying types. I will refer to them as “shoppers,” but I want to get something clear right here and now. There is NOTHING wrong with shopping. You do it. I do it. He, she and they do it. Lose the term. The majority of shoppers eventually make a purchase. Shoppers are good things.  Let’s begin.

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Marketing research has divided consumers into three groups, with approximate percentages for each:

  1. Tightwads = 25%
  2. Spendthrifts = 15%
  3. The average consumer = 60%

The trouble is, how to determine which type of customers you have? Read the rest of this entry »