More time at home = more leads, which ultimately means higher sales and profits

RSVP clients have experienced 120%+ increase in their return in 2020, and anticipate more of the same in 2021!
This can be attributed to the power of direct mail, especially during current times where our upscale audience is spending more time at home!
More time at home = more leads, which ultimately means higher sales and profits

Need a little pick-me-up?

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle

 

There comes times when I have some self-doubt creeping in or sales may not be landing in my favor. Other times, it feels like relationships just don’t seem to be clicking. When I start to get a little anxious, I always get that hunger for learning. I wander around the aisles of the bookstore. I get on Amazon and read the reviews you know those “if you like this book you might also love ____”. Lately, everything I’ve read is just meh. Just repetition of the same material and content I’ve heard years before. It had been quite a while since I found a gem of a read. Definitely, quite a long time since I’ve picked up a book that is life-changing.

While waiting on a cell-phone repair, I wandered into a bookstore and this one called out to me, “READ ME!” High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. It’s off to an inspiring start. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to rush home and devour some more.

I’d love to share a few of my all-time faves. This is my go-to list of books I’ve read most more than one time. Some are dog-eared. All have highlighted passages. Some I’ve read 10 times. Not only does the content never get old, I often discover something new messages within the pages. Life situations change and that old text now speaks to me in a different way delivering a new and timely lesson.

Whether you’re looking for a little positive thinking or ready to grow your business to the next level, I hope you enjoy these classics (followed by my two cents).

E-myth by Michael Gerber (Critical for every entrepreneur)
The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
How to Win Friends and Influence people by Dale Carnegie
Good to Great by Jim Collins
Duct tape Marketing by John Jantsch (Practical advice for small businesses marketing that doesn’t cost a fortune)
Positive Personality Profiles by Dr. Richard Rohm (Forever changed my perspective on interactions with others)
10 X by Grant Cardone
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (I had this one on cassette tape in my first car)
Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
The Bible
Drive by Daniel pink
One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard (Principles are timeless)
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (Give yourself permission to do great things!)
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (Fascinating research into top achievers)
Just Listen by Mark Goulston

I’d love to hear your all time faves. I’ll add them to my “MUST READ” list.

 

Contributed by Heather Kuth.

All images are Heather’s own & may not be republished without express written permission.

Just Stop.

I’m always trying to bring unusual content to a different audience – a non-art-world audience.Jenny Holzer.

I decided to write this blogpost on another one of my favorite female artists, Jenny Holzer.  Advertising is about making the viewer stop. Stop at that one postcard, or stop at that one page in the magazine. I believe that Jenny’s work makes people stop.

I first learned about Holzer’s work in an Art History class I took at UD. What I found fascinating about Jenny’s work was her meaningful phrases and the way that she displays them. Holzer is mostly known for her large-scale public displays that include billboard advertisements, projections on buildings and other architectural structures, as well as illuminated electronic displays. From big to small, Holzer’s work has also been shown on monuments, small posters and T-Shirts. Wikipedia says, “Her main concern is to enlighten, bringing into light something thought in silence and meant to remain hidden.”

Holzer was born in Gallipolis, Ohio and attended Duke University, the University of Chicago and Ohio University where she completed a Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. She moved to New York City in 1976. In Manhattan, Holzer participated in an independent study at the Whitney Museum and that is where she first started working with language, installation and public art. Some of her contemporaries include Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Sarah Charlesworth, and Louise Lawler.

holzercollage

Holzer has done many series, but two in particular made me stop. She has a series called“For the Capitol” that she completed in 2007. Projected on the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C, this piece was made specifically for nighttime projection using quotes from John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt.

I also appreciated her project from 2006 titled “For 7 World Trade” which is one of her permanent LED light installations. It hangs in the lobby of the 7 World Trade Center in New York City. The WTC’s website mentions Holzer’s piece saying, “Holzer, a conceptual artist, created an animated-text installation of prose and poetry that scrolls across a glowing 65-foot-wide, 14-foot-high glass wall behind the reception desk. The work features pieces written by numerous authors – from Elizabeth Bishop and Allen Ginsberg to Langston Hughes and Walt Whitman – whose work evokes the history and spirit of New York City.”

That’s the test of street art – to see if anybody stops. People would cross out ones they didn’t like and would star others. I liked that people would engage with them.Jenny Holzer

Jenny Holzer is currently living upstate New York with her husband and daughter. Her art has been shown all over the world and has won many awards. Her work is controversial but I also think it has a way of pulling people in and enticing them. Her displays are in your face and make you think. I find that is needed in good advertising whether it is advertising for businesses or advertising your own thoughts and ideas. If you enjoy Jenny Holzer’s work I also recommend checking out the other artists I mentioned earlier.

Contributed by Crista Kling.

Crista

 

 

 

 

 

 

For all the pictures and information in this blog, please utilize the sources below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jenny_Holzer

http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/jenny-holzer

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/12/AR2007091202441.html

http://www.streetscenesdc.com/Projections.html

http://www.wtc.com/about/office-tower-7/office-tower-7-design

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/jenny_holzer_2.html

http://projects.jennyholzer.com/projections/san-diego-2007/gallery#4

http://www.aiany.org/eOCULUS/2006/2006-04-18.html

http://ny.curbed.com/places/7-wtc

http://www.pbs.org/art21/images/jenny-holzer/for-7-world-trade-2006

http://www.omatic.com/public_art/holzer.htmlhttp://projects.jennyholzer.com/http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/mar/14/jenny-holzer-baltic-review-cumming

 

Quick History of the Cell Phone

You know, if you think about it, cell phones haven’t really been around that long. The first cell phone approved for commercial use was developed by Mr. Martin Cooper in 1983 – a mere 31 years ago.

The phone cost $9,000 in today’s dollars (Interestingly this is not even the most expensive cell phone ever – Vertu sells luxury phones today from ($6,000-$12,000). Even more interesting, the first call was made to the son of Alexander Graham Bell. I wish I could have been there for that!

The cell phone has completely changed the entire world. It’s changed how we talk, how we log and track our lives, and also how we do business. No longer are we tied to emailing each other (which was invented in 1971 by the way) or making calls from the office. Now we are accessible to anyone 24/7.

Our phones have evolved from the two pound Motorola DynaTAC down to the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini which is a whopping 107g, or roughly the same weight as a fork or a teaspoon.

 

I would argue it’s one of the most diverse business tools available to us, with a plethora of apps and features to remind us we have a meeting, tell us how to get there, and then remind you to make that follow up call. If you have a need, there is an app for that.

For a list of the top ten business apps, go here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/amitchowdhry/2013/09/16/best-business-apps-to-download/

My personal favorite from this list include Square, where you can turn your cell phone into a credit card swiping machine, and Evernote, which is like a notebook for your cell phone. You can make multiple notebooks with various tabs to keep notes, clip sections from website, and much more.

The Square and it's app. Turns your cell phone into a credit card processor (for a small fee of course).

The Square and its app. Turns your cell phone into a credit card processor (for a small fee of course).

Your options are truly limitless with the technology that is rapidly developing. I am excited to see what the future holds for cell phones and other business technologies!

Contributed by Ashley Hudson.

Ashley

 

 

 

 

 

Would like to thank these sources for the information found in this blog!

http://www.mobilephones.com/top-5-lightest-smartphones/

http://www.vertu.com/en/signature-touch/design

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_mobile_phones

http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1636836,00.html

 

What Gardening Teaches Us About Success

LisaGardener

1. Pulling weeds.  A weed has a stronger and more tenacious root than any plant I intended on being there. If ignored they take over.  Be careful not to let negative thoughts enter your fertile mind. Sometimes those weeds are negative people in your life.  Be careful. They will squelch ideas. Create self-doubt. Strangle your optimism.

2. Reap what you sow. Before the fruits of your labor can be enjoyed, much hard work must precede it.  Last spring I skipped the annoying and backbreaking step of tilling the soil to plant my vegetable garden.  My shovel could barely break the surface to plant my seeds.  Because I didn’t take that extra time and put in the work, my plants lacked room to grow and nutrients necessary for delicious fruit.  In much the same way, many calls must be made to enjoy the reward of a face-to-face meeting with the client.  That meeting may not lead to a sale, just as, despite my best efforts, many seedlings wither and die. But sure enough if I do enough of the hard work I’ll have a bounty to enjoy.

3. Don’t procrastinate.  I peer out my window on a sunny morning and think I really ought to get out there and feed those chickens now…ah, I’ll do it after work.  After work, an unexpected thunderstorm hits and I’m running to the chicken coop drenched in chilly rain trudging through mud and muck.

4. Victory is sweet.  Pluck a tomato straight from the vine. Take a juicy bite. Savor a crisp cucumber the day it’s harvested.  Crack a farm fresh egg for breakfast. Share a slice of fresh baked zucchini bread straight from the oven.  Snip a few fresh mint leaves for an icy cool refreshing Mojito. Somehow my harvest tastes better than anything store bought.  Those easy wins in my professional life aren’t nearly as fulfilling as the ones that required blood sweat and tears before victory was finally realized.  Failures and setbacks are merely temporary states.  Remember, into every garden a little rain must fall.

This little backyard garden somehow brings me great joy. It doesn’t feel like work. It’s relaxing, dare I say, even therapeutic. I know the payoff is worth it.  I haven’t gone so far as to talking to my plants.  But, hey, a little positive self-talk in life can’t hurt anyone.

 “The mind is what the mind is fed.” –David J. Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big.

Contributed by Heather Craaybeek.

Heather

Being Responsible When It’s Not Your Responsibility

Responsibility

 

Recently a client shared a story with me. They had ran an ad with another company and the other company accidentally inverted some digits in their phone number. The client signed off on the proof without realizing it. They didn’t think it was something they needed to worry about because they had ran the ad before. When the mistake was discovered later the company told my client they weren’t liable because the client approved the ad.

While that is technically right, it is also so wrong.

Clients should feel that their vendors are looking out for them, proactively working to not make mistakes and fixing any if they do. They need to feel their vendors have their backs.

Before we run an ad for a client we check every single phone number and website, every single time we run the ad for them, even if it is the same ad we have always run for them. Some might ask “why would you waste your time doing that when your clients have already approved their ads?” We don’t view it as a waste of time. We are in business to help our clients grow. We help do that by looking out for them, even though we don’t technically need to. We’re responsible when we don’t need to be because it’s the best thing to do for our client and because it’s right thing to do.

 

Contributed by Jodie Hook.

Jodie

Sales People: Learn More About Your Product Than Your Company Taught You

WD-40

When you were being educated about the value and benefits of the product that you would be selling, did you learn everything there is to know about the product?  Most likely, no.  It’s not that your company withheld information about your product, it’s just that even they probably don’t know all of the uses, benefits, or value of their own product.  So how do you find out this information?  Ask your customers.

Your customers can tell you things about your product (good and bad) that will help you in the sales process and make you more prepared to overcome the challenges of selling your product.  But you have to ask them.  They’re not likely to volunteer this information just because you sell the product, but they would be happy to share their experiences with you.  It gives them a feeling of authority with your brand.

Here’s an example:  WD-40 was developed as a lubricant (water displacement) for machinery parts.  It solved a common problem for many industries.  It was later revealed  in Reader’s Digest that there are many additional uses for WD-40 beyond lubrication.   Their customers were the ones that figured out these uses, most likely out of necessity to solve unforeseen problems, and applied WD-40 to solve the issue.  One of those uses was for roach extermination.  I highly doubt that the inventors of WD-40 knew, or invented WD-40 with roach extermination in mind.  But, they never would have known this without the feedback from their customers.

What can your product do that you’re not aware of?  You don’t have to brainstorm new solutions for your product to solve, just ask your customers.  Use the feedback provided by your customers in your discussions with new prospects.  You’ll find that it will make those prospects more engaged and receptive to your product helping solve their issues too.  It’s worked for me.

Actively ask your customers how they use your product and you might be surprised what they tell you.   The other thing that might surprise you is that you might get invited to lunch with the CEO more often, too.

Contributed by Jeff Vice.

Jeff