Consultant Marketing List Building


You snooze, you lose.

Something got lost between the Rollodex, the CRM (Contact Relationship Management) software and the growth of the internet generations.

People seem to have become a lot more transactional. They have given up the power in the connectivity of relational networking.

Relational vs Transactional

I’ve been speaking and writing about networking as a business development tool since 1990. Early on, someone asked me what the best “style” of networking might be. Here’s how I replied in an Article called Pearl Diving:

“Network. Just don’t try to turn that contact into a contract on the spot. It won’t work. We’ve all met people that try that. They glide up to you like a shark, ask a question, talk through your response with a rapid fire commercial, tell you to call them and then they’re gone. In their view, they are networking. Those predatory types just don’t understand the difference between transactional and relational networking.

Transactional networkers want to score now. They are driven to pin down a prospect, get the job or close the deal. They have no time for anything else. They see networking as just one more form of manipulation. Leads groups that penalize members for failure to produce prospects fall into this category, as do the tactics employed by some multilevel marketing organizations.

There is a place for transactions, but it is never on a first meeting. And in most cases it will come much later in the sequence. Tit for Tat Transitional Networking does not scale. The best networkers understand that Networking is the establishment of a relationship.

Relational networkers aren’t interested in what you might be worth to them. They are always more curious about you as a person. They consistently ask how they can be of help to you rather than the other way around. They maintain the contact out of regard for you, not a need to cash in on the contact.”

The power of the list

I advise elite consultants on the marketing they need to build already successful businesses. All have a list of clients, prospects, referral sources, trusted advisors (for themselves and others) and other resources pending Trust evaluations.

The numbers on the lists vary and may be scattered across the world depending on the geographic scope of the consultant’s business. For instance, if you need to initiate a change in a government or multinational I can tell you who to call. That trusted resource is headquartered in Singapore. Need software to revolutionize the speed of managing your business? I can connect you with the president here in North America or the founder in Australia.

In most cases the extremely successful do not have huge lists. If you sell product on line you need to continually expand your list or you need to offer new products of value on a regular basis. But if your business is primarily one to one B2B your list may be relatively small. My current clients have combined lists of no more than 500. They continually add prospects and referral sources but the best apply one measure you should consider.

Meet them before classifying them.

You can add folks to your list in these ways:

  • Speaking—all those folks that want to talk after you step down from the platform and be added to your blog and/or newsletter list if they agree to that. Meet with them before you classify them as a prospect or referral source.
  • Networking—at industry events, again with their permission. Before you go past your blog and newsletter try to meet with them on a more personal basis.
  • Social Networking Connections—to include Linked In, FaceBook, BeBee and any other that provides a profile and allows you to connect with them. Before you start adding folks willy-nilly be sure you have a solid description of the demographics and psychographics of your target addition in mind. Again, get permission before you add them to your blog and/or newsletter list. I recommend that you limit your on-line list development primarily to prospects and that you count on it taking longer than you expected.
  • Introductions—either in person or on-line from referral sources or a relational networker. Always get their permission to put them on your blog and newsletter lists. If you think they are worth pursuing as a prospect, add them to that list. Could they be a referral source or a resource? You decide.
  • Face to Face—prospects introduced by referral sources should be added to the blog and newsletter list almost automatically. If you are meeting with them as a result of speaking or networking you will need to decide whether to put them in your prospect or referral source or resource list.

Keeping track of them

There is no question that the digital world has more efficiency than the old rollodex. The question is how much of that capability do you need?

Excel or other Spreadsheet programs are quite sufficient for some small or highly specialized organizations. That is good for maintaining the list. You’ll need to have calendar program as well to assure you can schedule follow up.

Manual CRM system sounds like an oxymoron but if you are really dealing with a small target number it can make sense. I designed a manual system for a client specializing in Gallium Arsenide chips that had a total of only 26 prospects. It worked. He sold his process and retired.

Digital CRM software can be added to your computer as a standalone or cloud based. Your practice or business size and the number of people that will require access to the data can significantly impact your choices. That, plus the capabilities of the software to deliver blogs or newsletters and other marketing materials, should be considered.

E-mail Programs like Constant Contact and Mail Chimp make it easy to build and e-mail your newsletter as well as keep track of your lists. One of my clients decided to forego a blog opting to send his guidance filled newsletter on weekends. Midweek he sends a mini-update including a new video. His opens average 25.3% on a list that is exclusively c-suite.

Automated Marketing? Yes, It can be done but do you need it? Do you need to trigger actions based on time elapsed or actions taken? Can you build out a funnel that will guide the prospect to a sale based on their situation? (That is a whole blog by itself)

Your list is the second most important part of your business.

The most important is you. If you are a solopreneur the knowledge you bring to the equation is why the business succeeds. If you are an entrepreneur working with a team, your ideas and processes are the intellectual property that makes the business possible. Whether you provide a product or service without your list you can’t make sales over time.

And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for on and off-line Trust-based Consultant Marketing and Brand development advice that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy.

DIY Training:

What’s Next for Brand?

A creative montage of a side profile silhouette of a man wearing glasses and colorful artistic accents inside of his mind and body.

It started out being a person to person in person thing.

Names and Symbols came to represent it. Behaviors, ways of doing business, were associated. It varied only slightly due to geography and political affiliations.  Capitalists reveled in it. Communists considered it propaganda and mastered a political version.

But even as it morphed as the size of some businesses increased and crossed borders at the heart it still represented a perception of being a person to person in person thing.

It continued to be seen as person to person but in person got lost somewhere along the way. Lost but not forgotten.

Brand is a shared perception.

The way people who are aware of your brand think, feel and believe about it is the way we approach it today. Masters of branding do everything they can to keep a singular vision of the product or service at the fore. They change only reluctantly to maintain share of mind and market.

What happens when perceptions are individual?

Big data could give sellers and advertisers a way to unlock the connections to a brand person by person. You could find yourself not only retargeted in your e-mail and on-line activities but in a way that gets at the heart of your relationship with the product or service.

You may see a brand as a world shift in how others see your body. But only you believe this shift is taking place. You could use a service because for you it is way to reflect your outgoing personality. But is it? Perhaps for others it is only a way to obfuscate.

Granted, those reactions are similar to what happens today. The thing to think about is how, as we are locked tighter and tighter in a digital embrace, our brand relationships now have a software filter.

What happens to individuals?

We are just beginning to see the impacts of digital culture. A family sits down for dinner at a restaurant. Mother, father and both children must interrupt their use of their smart phones to give their order. They immediately return to their phones. When dinner is served there is no conversation. They look at phones frequently as they eat. There is no person to person connection in person.

BUT there is a connection on line. Each of them is extending their relationship through a digital filter. One is texting an on-line friend. One is posting photos of the meal on Facebook. One elects to write a review of the meal. In simple terms, their relationships are not direct. They are filtered through the internet.

“Looking for love in all the wrong places.”

It is happening today. The internet has already become a surrogate. People vote with their wallets. A friend, exploring how people who buy on line see their relationships with sellers found that purchase behavior is frequently undertaken to win approval from the seller. It is a kind of “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

The receipt of a simple “thank you” e-mail after you give a brand your name and e-mail address is just the beginning. Whatever you were interested in, they are going to personalize messages to you about similar products. They will exploit your emotional connection without a second thought.

Bending the brand

The more the seller knows about you, the more the brand will be bent to be just for you. Yes, the appeal of most brands is pretty much the same for about 80% of their target audience but research I’ve conducted over the last 25 years shows that there are three reasons most folks buy. The secondary reason gets about 12 to 15% The third gets most of the rest.

Imagine if you were one of the second or third group. What if the digitally information served up to you was personalized to make that the primary way you were encouraged to see the brand? Would you want to get the approval of the brand that knew your heart’s desires? Would you go out of your way to keep that brand in the way you showed the world who you are?

The reality of brand automation

We are not there yet. We are well on the way. Human nature may yet find a way to sidestep the tsunami of surrogacy. This is just the latest revelation about brand. Research done 25 years ago verified the power of brand in the marketplace and predicted the growth of “tribes.”

What is old may yet be new again. And so it goes.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

DIY Training:

Peeling the Onion of CRM

Why I chimed in.

In the Q&A portion of a webinar I was attending the other night someone asked the folks assembled what CRM they used.

I could tell by the answers that there were several different understandings of Contact Relationship Management.

I’ve spoken on the subject on three continents and what I heard caused me to chime in.

Confusion is natural

Not long ago and not so far away business people kept track of their contacts with a rolodex. More sophisticated operations had card files on clients that could be accessed by the sales staff. A friend that was in the jewelry trade told me how they used color coding of the cards to visually differentiate the gentlemen’s purchases for wives and “lady friends.”

Direct marketing operations used master files to have data on purchases, recency and frequency.

Even back then the difficulty was in the multiplicity of processes in use. It is the same today. With the advent of the computer, accounting programs were drafted into use to keep files. Today, it is not uncommon for businesses to keep their customer records in Excel.

Software for salespeople

The granddaddy of software built specifically for the purpose of managing all the contact data a salesperson or a company could muster is ACT!. Initially it was a flat file rather than a relational database and offered limited capability for sending letters. (The internet and e-mail were in the future!)

Over time the product came to offer 15 special fields to enter data that was not “standard.” It became more and more robust and is still in use in a relational database form today.

The man that introduced ACT! is responsible for the top selling CRM product in the world today, Sales a cloud-based product.

Contacts vs Prospects vs Customers

Products originally built to track customers or clients started to get used to follow the actions of prospects who were people that had been contacted and established as a “sales lead.” Of course, none of this could work without input from each of the salespeople. Therein is a huge problem. Sales folks don’t like doing that detailed kind of data entry. So I developed a 3 step mantra that they could apply after each sales call:

  1. Note what happened in the prospect or client file
  2. Decide your next action
  3. Put a follow up date on that action and when it comes up just do it.

(Incidentally you can use this process in a paper-based CRM, any software CRM and it works in Outlook as well.)

It worked when sales managers encouraged it and let the rest of the sales force know about the results.

I start where the software stops

That’s when I honed my expertise in the CRM arena. It was difficult enough to get salespeople to use the systems let alone purchase lists of suspects, do the mailings and phone calls necessary to assure that it was really a lead worth pursuing and then maintain the contact over time. I showed companies how to go beyond CRM software to what I termed Automagic Marketing kluging automated e-mailings, data capture and timely automated sales follow-up as well as prospect qualification.

E-mail became a universal cure but if you didn’t automate it the costs were too much to bear. Solutions like Constant Contact appeared on the scene providing the ability to use graphic e-mail rather than text alone. Organizations started using these products for Newsletters and on-line magazines. Mail Chimp is a good option these days. These programs operate from lists loaded into them, require proof that the folks on the lists opted in and have no CRM capabilities. For that you need to connect them to your CRM system.

Autoresponders The first were part of e-mail transfer agents. They created bounce messages such as “your e-mail could not be delivered because…” Today’s autoresponders can handle if-then branching sequences as well as time delayed responses and even action-based triggering. Responses can be automatically entered into your CRM system with the right hookup. The best available at the moment in my view is Active Campaign. Visit their web site to see how this sophisticated kind of product works. (Note that Active Campaign is introducing a CRM linked to their Autoresponder capability.)

E-commerce solutions

The first “complete solution” software that became a market dominator was Infusionsoft. It included a store, upsells, downsells purchase tracking and the ability to accept payment (with a link). More importantly it was a fully functioning CRM with individual and bulk, text or graphic e-mail capability, autoresponder with linkage to telephone as well as snail mail. Today there are a host of systems available. Here are some to consider if you intend to sell from your website:

  • Infusionsoft
  • Click Funnels
  • Kartra
  • Ontraport
  • Builderall
  • Active Campaign (with a store integration)

Pricing for these ranges from under $20 to $300/month

Before you leap be sure of what your real objectives are.

Need help with that? E-mail me.

Jerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of 

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

DIY Training:

Brand Edge On

A friend once described the Platte river (near Denver, Colorado) as a mile wide and an inch deep.

Your brand might be like that.

You have a choice to make:

  • Maintain your broad coverage
  • Dive deep into a select audience segment.
  • Try a little of both

The broad brush

Your target may be portrayed in broad brush strokes at the beginning. Most entrepreneurs believe that broad appeal will get them the most customers.


More often the broad appeal helps those who will become their best customers/clients find the company, product or service. That gives the appearance of a brand that works. But if you don’t regularly probe the information your customers/clients are willing to give you the profiles of your best purchasers will not be revealed.

Edge on

How can you tell? The rule of thumb is that the more niched you are, the better off you’ll be. Generally, that is true. To evaluate your situation, look at the depth of what you know about your client base, the percentage of your sales that cluster in one group, initial and repeat purchases as well as the estimated life time value (LTV) of the individuals as well as where you want to take the business.

The more carefully you describe your avatars, verify them with market research and, over time, add details to their portraits the better you will understand the kind of people that can make you successful. If you’re well-funded, that research can be done by a specialist firm. If you’re little guy, under-funded, or a start-up you may have to do personal interviews to get a handle on that better picture.

What works? I’ve been successful with all three of the choices. More successful with a deep dive. Most successful with the combination and carefully watching the metrics.

Deep Art

The more detailed portrayal of your ideal customer/client the greater the probability of enhanced profits. True, there may be fewer. But each will be worth more in most cases. Repeat purchases are the primary reason as well as a tendency to accept higher prices. The fact that you have found them and are personalizing your approach establishes a large emotional difference from competitors. It makes your brand unique.

Detailed knowledge of two or three groups can not only add to your profits, it can extend the life of your business. A financial planner might open the doors and quickly find that her primary customers are Baby Boomers but that they are referring their children who are in the cohort known as Boomers II or Generation Jones born between 1955 and 1965. They, too, refer other youngsters, born between 1966 and 1976 (Generation X).

The planner may find that Generation X is significantly different from the older clients. But her only way to build the business long term is to understand the differences, speak their language and make the picture familiar to them.

The cohorts are often put into “Buckets.” You could easily identify the three noted above. But the Brand oriented planner will take it a step further using automation software that allows you to “tag” each contact with a full array of ways to sort them into segments within the groups. Here are just a few:

  • Demographics (Age, sex, income, education, housing etc.)
  • Psychographics (Observable personal behavior)
  • Engagement (The degree they respond to your offers)
  • Purchase Behavior (purchases, repeat purchases frequency, recency)
  • Satisfaction (Reviews and testimonials)

Wade in

Keep track of what you learn about your customers/clients. The depth of your knowledge will impact the value of your business every single day.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jerry Fletcher ThinkinigJerry Fletcher is a sought-after International Speaker, a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development for independent professionals on and off-line.

DIY Training:

The Registration Plus of the Personal Touch

Late today I got a call from a young man striving to get the same sort of business levels here in the Pacific Northwest that he and his wife had been enjoying in Texas. I agreed to meet with him and immediately turned to my files to see if there were tips I had passed along in articles that might help him.

This was first posted in 2013.

Bill got right to the point. He asked, “You’re the expert at on line marketing how can I put my half of the seminar attendees in their seats?”

“Back up,” I said. “Your half?”

Bill explained, “I’ve worked out a deal with a client to host a seminar and they will put 10 people in the room and I have to provide the other 10. I’ll present and they will host the room and the lunch. It’s a win-win if I can get those other seats filled without having to buy the room.”

“Buying the room is a theater expression for providing free tickets to an event to fill the room so it looks like it is a hit.”

“So,” I asked, “Why are you buying me coffee?”

He reviewed his plan to send out e-mails to his list of connections that had opted into his newsletter and even showed me the rough outline of his message.

Bill got a blank expression when I asked him, “What is the subject line?”

He was so wrapped up in the message that he forgot that you have to get the e-mail opened. There are two things people look at before opening an e-mail:

  1. Who it is from
  2. The subject line

The more personal the message appears, the more often it is opened and the easier it is to accomplish your objectives.

I told Bill, “If you have to put 10 people in the room the process they are going to go through is:

  • Open the e-mail (Open rates from a Newsletter list are good, up to 50% but don’t count on more than 20%)
  • Read the offer. Reject you, look for more information or register (Rejections—80% at least. The measure here is click-throughs)
  • If they look for more their options are to reject or register. (About 20%, with luck will register).”

Bill, who is a numbers guy said, “So if I hear you correctly, if I went out to 100 people only 20 would open the message. A best 4 would look for more information. Of those maybe 1 would register.”

“Right, “I said, “so the number you go out to is critical. With those analytics you need to go out to 1000 to get your ten. BUT I can increase our odds. Put their name in the subject line and you get a 15% to 25% increase in opens.

Do the math. That gets you 40 opens, 8 click-throughs and 2 registrations per 100 e-mails sent.”

Bill said, “Thanks, with the personal touch it now seems possible.”

How you handle the click through (CTA) to more information and the page which that delivers can also increase your odds but the single most important factor is getting them to open your message. Personalizing does that.

Jerry Fletcher Keynote in ColombiaJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Consulting: Speaking:



Deja-vu Testing for On-line Success

The Marketing lunch bunch“It’s not a new idea” Kate said, “So don’t try to take credit.”

Rick groaned, took another sip of wine and nodded. Then he rose to the bait saying, “I know I didn’t invent the idea but at least give me credit for figuring out how to apply it to the funnel hacking e-marketing world we live in.”

“So what brilliance did you come up with?” I asked.

“Daily déjà-vu of simultaneous synchronized multi-variant testing of multiple elements is my claim to fame,” he said.

Gail guffawed looked him in the eye and said, “What a mouthful! Rick, my boy you are brilliant at times but this is not one of them. You know as well as I do that direct marketing copy controls have been tested every which way you can imagine over the years and that something as simple as an A-B split test is so easy online that anyone that can afford the software or the service can get it done. So what are you claiming?”

Kate piled on noting, “And don’t try to pull that tale of having to dumb down your ideas of how to test that the programmers couldn’t figure out 10 or 15 years ago because Fletch was sitting beside you in that meeting you’ve told me and as I recall he’s the one that had to explain what an A-B split test was.”

Rick swished his wine in the glass, carefully set it down and replied, “You all would agree that we need to find out the relative importance of the offer, the list of people you are addressing and the approach. That principle is true of direct marketing, e-mail marketing, e-commerce stores/catalogs on-line or even a web site developed to begin a relationship for a professional service.

My approach takes the ability of the internet to produce quantifiable data quickly and the need to look a multiple components of the message to new levels. There are entrepreneurs out there right now that are pushing the envelope. They test everything. They find a control that works and then start testing to improve it. Sometimes as simple shift can increase ROI by hundreds of points.

What are you doing to make your web-based marketing activities more successful? Why not try tests of formatting, subject lines, subheads, arrangement of paragraphs, captions, descriptions, addition or deletion of photos and a host of other variables. There is hard data that shows that at least half of these have increased response levels.

The time to test what works for your business is right now. And tomorrow. And the day after.

Testing ought to be Deja-vu, over and over again.”

Jerry Fletcher weaves the tales of the Lunch Bunch based on his experiences in advertising, direct marketing, consulting and helping build entrepreneur businesses.

Jerry Fletcher KeynoteJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.

Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at

How to Build a Killer Brand

How to Build a Killer Brand

Heart in sightsIt has been one of those months this week.

Planning. Candid conversations. Decisions to hire and fire. Web site assumptions and dialogues. Quality constraints and requirements. Analytics that spiral positive and those that went down in flames.

Brands suffer the impact because brand building is really not for innocents. Either you really understand marketing or you don’t.

Taking careful aim is at the heart of killer brand development.

What not to do.
Here are some mistakes I witnessed this week:

  1. Put a group of strangers in a room, brief them and expect them to walk out as a functioning collaborative team.
  2. Drop the ball on a project because of bad digital filing habits.
  3. Give a web developer 6 chances to respond to basic direction before deciding to fire him.
  4. Consider video approaches without looking at cost as part of the equation.
  5. Become ecstatic over an increased click through rate that didn’t generate sales.

The Killer Solution

Experience over the last 50 years tells me that to build a brand that captures hearts and minds successfully you have to understand how marketing professionals work in teams and their expectations of management. Clarity is what will make you successful.

Be perfectly clear that :

  • The owner/founder/CEO/President—the leader of any small firm owns the brand. Her or his understanding of the Vision, Mission, Position and Value Proposition is what will be applied to all organization communications.
  • Direction on any major project should be in writing and agreed to in advance. The directional document should be the reference point for approvals. Staff can provide additional information but is encouraged to do it before any work is done. If there is concern over the materials delivered the reference point is the direction.
  • A digital “paper trail” needs to be kept and used as the reference when anything goes sideways (as well as a way to assure continuing process improvement). With small clients I had eliminated my Action Reports on all meetings. I’m reversing that decision.
  • Budget, Quality and Outcome are interrelated. There are significant differences in delivery of digital capabilities, video production, and all communication vehicles based on what a firm is willing to pay, the level of excellence of the work and what the expectations of the item are. Too often, even though we have much better visibility of analytics the end results are not the key factor in evaluating marketing efforts.
  • Business Development objectives are the real measurements. Everything done in marketing needs to acknowledge contribution to the target numbers. Be as concrete as possible. For instance:
  • Optimize web site to make it as easy as possible for visitors to self-select the action which will give you a way to connect with them over the time to build a relationship leading to a “sale.” Track all actions. Track actual “sales” to determine the apparent customer journey.
  • Direct Social Media activities to continually tested landing pages that capture data to build relationships over time. Track actions by landing page. Track “sales” as with web site. Review results and test all contact activities to find the ones that lead to “Sales.”
  • Build better ongoing relationships with customers by monitoring opens, comments and direct contacts due to blog and newsletter postings. Modify content to take advantage of proven highest interest. Keep tracking.
  • Test automated sequences in support of direct sales staff. Monitor results.

Trial to buy ScorecardPost status versus your corporate goals on a scoreboard visible to all members of the firm.

Weekly results usually work best. Keep it simple: New info sign ups, New trials, New customers/clients.

Those few items will keep everyone in the game.


Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.


Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at

Is Brand Relational or Transactional?

Funnel DiagramYes
All the Above

Yes. If you believe that Brand inevitably comes down to someone taking an action you desire it has components of both.

No. Only if you are not interested in connecting with someone or the connection would prove to be unprofitable or too complicated or won’t allow you to make more than one sale. (For the record, my definition of marketing is “Go where the money is. Sell what they want to buy. Do it again.”

Relational. This is what is commonly being preached in the on-line marketing world. First you build a relationship with a potential client or customer by providing significant information (Content) at no cost and using e-mail to affirm your connection before you ask them to buy from you. This is the Common knowledge approach whether you are engaged in B2C (Business to Consumer) or B2B (Business to Business) marketing.

Transactional. This is for those folks that believe in getting people to act now. And for some situations it is the right approach, particularly when use of your product or service or approach will lead to a relationship afterwards.

All the above. Last week, explaining a sales funnel to a young man I found myself illustrating the difference with this page out of a presentation. (The Capital Funding Alliance Brand story is on

His problem was that he was trying to get his client to sign up for some online/Digital marketing without a visual reference to what his plans would entail. Building a brand is, in every case something that can be charted in this way.

The Capital Funding Alliance situation was first transactional and then relational. You can see from the graphic exactly how it worked. The key, many times, to building an on-line marketing plan is understanding how the potential client does what it is you want to help them do.

In this case the company was partnering with an organization that provided services to credit unions to develop partnerships with individual credit unions across the country to provide loan services the credit union could not.

First the credit unions had to be contacted with a reason to begin the relationship and a way to get the materials that would simplify having their customers work with the new strategic partner. The diagram maps the process and the branding.

How are you connecting with your customers? Can you diagram it like this? Do you know the triggers for a transaction? What decisions can they make? How can you try again? What happens if you repeat your actions? Is it worth it?

A-B Split tests can help you answer these questions. More importantly you can find out if the common knowledge is correct. Here’s a tip: Test Transactional triggers with a personal touch first.

Jerry FletcherJerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of

His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.


Get all the Brand Success Stories. Sign up at


How to Quantify Your Brand

BRand can be QuantifiedYou can’t quantify brand!

Or can you?

We collect brand stories and outcomes at Brand Brain Trust that frequently defy the idea that you can’t hang an analytic on Brand.

The latest addition to the web site tells the story of TSA Pre-Check. You’ll learn how this service offered by a company you never heard of came to Anvil, Portland’s award-winning integrated marketing agency. Anvil rose to the challenge of generating a specific number of sign-ups for the year. They finished Q2 by obliterating the goal for the quarter and surpassing the entire goal for 2016.

What does it take to quantify a brand?

  1. Clear measurable objectives.
  2. Triggers that get actions you can count
  3. Practical and emotional value

Measurable Objectives:

For TSA Pre Check it was a specific sales goal to be delivered within one year. You should definitely have a sales goal. But you might also consider:

  • Having a gateway. Try incorporating a hard to get to way to get in touch with you or enter your establishment that requires social research on the part of the prospect. Keeping count of those that pass through the gate is your key analytic but you could also look at sales per visit or the number of services utilized.
  • Identifying and targeting meetings with ideal clients. Consultants and coaches continually need to develop relationships with prospects. Setting a number to identify and make contact with makes sense. Both numeric goals can prove to be predictors of business growth when your closing ratio and Lifetime value become known.
  • Stop counting intangibles. Take a tip from Montessori schools and use concrete terms. If you count actual items sold or given away you’ll be better off than merely counting customers that entered your store or your website. But, when you combine the two you’ll find yourself figuring out how to add value to everyone that enters.

Triggers that get actions:

TSA Pre Check took advantage of long wait time headlines and the fact that prospects were searching for TSA  Pre Check on Google. Beyond Key Word Research you might look at:

  • Borrow interest from the news. Mars research by NASA spiked requests for Mars Bars in supermarkets when a rover mission was reported. Year over Year data and anecdotal reports quantified he sales increase.
  • Become part of your prospects daily grind. Have you noticed how your local McDonalds is now the McCafe or how KitKat bars are tagging along with coffee?
  • If you offer services, adopt the good, better and best pricing and product presentation. Give ‘em the bare bones that solves their problem for x dollars and call it Basic. Build a Premium package that is priced at 2x, delivers everything in the basic and also provides a real value. Then put together a Platinum program. Price it at least 6x and make sure it includes way more than the prospect might want. (that way, you can let them add individual items from it to your Premium plan and make almost as much for the add-on as for the Premium plan alone.

Build in practical and emotional value:

The practical value of TSA Pre Check is that you don’t have to stand in those long lines at the airport. The emotional value is that you don’t feel like you’re on the Bataan Death March anymore. Other ways you can take advantage of human nature:

  • Make sure that if your product depends on a connection to a story that “everyone knows” that you provide a hang tag for the product that recaps the story. You’ll find the Time in a Bottle story on the Brand Brain Trust web site next week. Without the hang tag your product doesn’t sell as well.
  • YouTube videos that get the most views tend to have the words “How To” in their titles. Those that go viral also “How To” (Google: How to shuck corn) Other possibilities include questions like “Will it Blend?” or “Will it Crush?” from Arnold Shwarzenegger with over 4 Million views.
  • Show your emotions to get a reaction. Another YouTube example is the story of Dave Carroll’s run in with United Airlines. They smashed his $3500 guitar. He spent nine months negotiating with United over compensation and they lawyered up and refused him. He wrote United Breaks Guitars, posted it on You Tube. in 10days it was viewed over 3 million times. It was one of the top ten viral videos of 2009.


Jerry Fletcher is the founder of  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year, is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.


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Trust is the Strongest Link for Consultants

“At least once a year I look at how I’m marketing my own practice,” I said

“This year I looked at all the ways to link suspects, contacts, prospects and such to my digital assets.” Brand as central to link strategy

Gail, our resident writer who is always looking for the facts, sounding like a TV cop asked, “So what social media did you put on the list?”

“Well,” Rick offered, “I’ll bet he picked on the usual suspects—Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and maybe a little bit of old-fashioned direct mail since he ran operations in my direct marketing agency for a while.”

“That’s good as far as it goes,” I replied. “I looked at Instagram, too.”

Bubba snorted. The branding Buddha dripped southern disdain as he said “Instagram– isn’t that the chile of Facebook from the wrong side of the sheets?”

Gail snickered and said, “Kind of, but it’s closer to the photo album the Momma wanted to share.”

“In any case,” I said, “you have to have a business page on Facebook in order to put ads on it and you use Facebook tools to build the ads.”

Chris, our young Digital Director for a training outfit said, “What you decided to do with each of them is what is important. Is it possible you’re about to take the plunge into ubiquity?”

Bubba drawled, “You getting’ uppity boy? I know there’s some new blown theory about being ‘present everywhere’ in the digital world. Tha’s why some brands are so well known. And it has more to do with all kinds of media than just the on-line stuff.”

“You’re right again my cracker friend,” I said. “I ran some tests on-line. You remember that old data that linked awareness to preference? Well the tests showed the rule of thumb is true. The difference is you can get the results a lot quicker.”

B@B Purchase process

Chris asked, “Did the numbers work out the same?”

“It’s too early to tell on the longer term items but from Awareness to Preference to Trial is pretty much the same,” I replied. “This is really more about human nature than media. Just because we have more ways of reaching people doesn’t change the way people operate.  The better they know you the more they trust you. If they trust you they respond.

What it does do is force you to look at broadening your approach slightly and to be present enough in any media you use to generate the critical awareness that leads to success down line. It means you have to be very cognizant of your brand across all the media and make sure that all the things you do are linked.”

The Takeaway:

Digital advertising response goes through the same phases as non-digital…just a little faster.

Human response based on trust is what to monitor if you want to make money…not the media.

Your brand is the linchpin of all your promotions. Link everything to it.

Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry, The Consultant’s Communication Consultant, is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at:

Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at

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