How To Be A Brilliant Conversationalist And A Stellar Networker

“Like I said,” Rob drawled, “Y’all know that being able to
spin a good yarn stickin’ to the truth without gettin’ tangled up in the
details is how you get the dogs out from under the porch.”

Brilliant Converstionalist

“Fletch,” Kate asked, “Can you translate that?”

“Sure,” I said, “Rob’s idea of being a brilliant
conversationalist is being the center of attention. For him, that works. For
the really good networker there’s another way.”

“Oh?” Kate said.

“Yes,” I responded

The table went quiet. They were all looking at me.

I said, “Tell ‘em, Kate.”

Kate explained, “It’s a technique I came across in some
sales training done by Xerox in the 90s, I think. What you do is:

  1. Ask an
    open ended question, one that can’t be answered with just a word or two.
  2. Shut
    up and listen.
  3. When
    they run down simply say Oh?”

“Oh? “ I said.

She went on, “They will keep adding information just about
as long as you are wiling to listen. The trick is to get them started.”

Rick dove in, “And the most common question in our culture
is what do you do?”

“Give the man a gold star,” said Kate. “Anyone else have a
question that works?”

Rick, our inveterate traveler, said, “I’ve got another
one—If you could visit any place in the world, where would you go?”

“That works,” said Kate, “If you remember to say Oh?”

Gail piped up, “If you could have any technology to help you
run our business, what would it be?”

“Sure,” said Kate. “Again, remember when they run down to
say Oh?”

What question would you ask?

Jerry Fletcher provides this kind of proven marketing advice
to all his clients from across kitchen tables to corporate board rooms. See his
answer to “What do you  do” in the video
on the home page of:

Jerry Fletcher Speaks on 30 Second Marketing, How to develop an unforgettable self
See his story about Margie at

Why True Entrepreneurs Succeed

“Some companies take off like a rocket while others fizzle
on the launch pad,” I said as we assembled for the weekly nosh and natter.

Entrepreneurs like rockets“I suppose you’re going to tell us why,” Rick suggested.

Gail anted with, “Nope. He would rather let us thrash
around trying to catch up with something he’s been thinking about for a week,
right Fletch?”

“True,” I said, I have been thinking about the question but
a lot longer than a week.”

“So,” Rob said.

Kate gave me that over the glasses look and said, “Get on
with it.”

“All of us have worked with new companies at one time or
another,” I started. “Some have been successful and others haven’t. The
successful ones, to me, have been a little bit of a mystery in some cases but
pretty obvious in others.

For instance, the ones I’ve known were going to be
successful had these things in common:

A good idea that meets a user need in a new way that is an
improvement over the old way.

Taking an incremental approach—doing one thing at a time—not
having to accomplish one huge task to be successful.

Better knowledge or more complete research into the market.
Successful entrepreneurs don’t see themselves as taking risks rather they can’t
understand why others don’t see the opportunity!”

Kate, our sales expert interrupted, “Let’s go back to that
first one. You left out a critical element. It has to be what the buyer

“She’s right,” said Chris. 
And if it is an online business you can find out real quick what is

“And tweak it,” said Rick. The companies I’ve worked with
used the incremental approach to direct marketing I helped develop on top of
their own sort of engineering driven step-by-step approach to make it.”

Gail said, “My experience is that you have to have an entrepreneurial
oriented leader in the equation, preferably one that can be very persuasive. If
that person, guy or gal is inside a company they have to convince the powers
that be to give them the time and resources to bring the idea to life. If they
are on their own, it is all about the money. And they have to be just as
persuasive…only more frequently.”

Rob summarized, So you need to be risk aversive, sort of
innovative and willing to get to success step-by-step. Right?

What would you add?

Jerry Fletcher stopped counting successful new product introductions at 207 Learn more at

See Jerry speak. Check out the Jerry Fletcher channel on YouTube

You Cannot Build A Relationship With Your Thumbs.

I was having coffee with Les who is an extremely successful
technology entrepreneur who casually observed, “You can’t build a relationship
with your thumbs.”

Texting and relationshipsWhen a guy that talks about structuring his family
foundation like the Vanderbilts in one breath says something like that in the
next I pay attention.

“So what’s the rest of the story,” Kate asked.

“He has been quietly courting me to provide marketing advice
because he wants to build his cloud based business sufficiently to sell it in
about five years and pursue a couple of other ideas he has. He got into cloud
based services before it became a big company fad and now he can see the event
horizon for a few new things.”

Bob groaned and said, “The thumb thing, Fletch”

“He told me that one of his kids is in the Y generation as
are a number of the technicians he employees. They were having a beer
the other night and a couple of the guys started teasing one of their coworkers
for texting in the middle of a beer fest with the boss.”

Les told me “One of them asked another whether anything ever
came of texting like that. He asked if that is how he planned on building a
business of his own or finding the right girl. The youngster answered that it was
a way to keep in touch with his friends but didn’t seem to work for finding
partners of any kind.”

Les ordered another pitcher and listened. That’s when he
heard the thumbs line.”

He told me about his experience working for others and
having ideas he just knew could be profitable but not being able to even talk
to the people running the company. So he went off on his own. And he never
stopped looking for people he could partner with. He said the secret of his
success was taking his time to get to know people and doing it face to face.

His take on where the computerized world is headed is like
science fiction but he has made a fortune betting on his intuition in terms of
technology and people.

It’s nice to meet someone that has become extremely successful
using techniques I’ve been speaking on for years and compare notes.

Les agreed that the key to being successful at just about
anything is based on who trusts you.

How do you get to Trust?

Jerry Fletcher is a master of Networking who can help you build
your business. launch a new product or make it more saleable.

Hear Jerry Speak. Schedule him for your group. Learn more at
his speaking web site:

Positioning versus Branding

“So I did a search and all these ads for hotshot designers
came up,’ I said. “They equate a logotype with a brand. Has the world gone mad?”

Positioning vs BRANDING

Bob took a sip of his draft and just chortled. “Ol son,” he
said with a tiny twang, “Hope springs eternal. The good lord set the task of
namin’ things to them as was in the garden and we been tryin’ to do right by
him ever since. Those youngins just don’t understand that a brand is about
reputation as much as anythin’ else.”

Kate looked over her glasses at him, harrumphed and said, “Reputation
is only part of it
. It starts with a name, one people can remember and with
products or services they want to buy…maybe. But if you treat them badly, if your
sales people don’t listen and help them you won’t get a chance to have a reputation.”

Chris added, and it doesn’t make a bit of difference if it
is on line or brick and mortar. Every time we run a test the biggest jump in
conversions comes from making it easy to get the information they want in the way
they want to get it depending on where they are in the sales cycle. In some
cases we know they want to talk to somebody that is knowledgeable. And there,
even if you don’t get the sale, you need to be helpful because they don’t

Gail kicked me under the table and said, “Fletch, aren’t you
going to say anything about positioning?”

“Okay,’” In my view it all starts with knowing everything you
can about possible customers and deciding what your mission is going to be with
regard to those customers. Your mission is a touchstone for you and the people
that work with you to deliver the product or service. The unique way you
present that product or service to prospects, and the world for that matter, is
your position. If you adhere to those two things, especially if they are in
sync, you will build trust.

Trust is at the core of what you offer a potential customer.
It is wrapped round by the product, the price, the passage or distribution
methods you choose and then wrapped in a name. Yes, people remember the name
and the logotype for it. They can remember a personality and associate a
lifestyle with that name.

Brand is not something you decide. It is the sum
total of what customers, prospects and others come to believe about you. Your brand
is what they think not what you would like it to be.”

Bob, began clapping and said, “You’re mamma raised no dumb
children ol son. My job for most of my days has been trying to get clients to
understand what their brand really is. You just said a mouthful and the most
important part is that Trust is at the core. Everything I do in the way of
promotion is to build and maintain that trust.

Jerry is considered a master of Positioning see examples at his consultng web site:

class=”MsoNormal”>Jerry speaks on Trust based marketing. Learn more at his speaking web site:

What Is The Value Of Your Brand?

“Here’s an article about the value of brands I clipped from
the New York Times,” I said as they arrived. “It’s all about the rank of the
top brands in the world. But if you’re not publicly held, how do you figure out
your brands worth?”

Brand Value

“Why y’all lookin’ at me,” Bob said.

“Sweetie,” Kate said, You’re the brand guru in this bunch. Spit
it out.”

He glanced at the article and replied, “That’s the annual
review from Interbrand, what they call their Best Global Brands Report. They estimate
the value of each brand in dollars. There’s a financial analysis, a percentage
score for the role of the brand in its market place and a loyalty score. They stir
all that round, crunch the numbers and  as my granny used to say, the cream rises.

It is a formula-based number that is supposed to tell you how much
investors trust the stock. If you run a privately held company you aren’t
included in their assessment.

Little guys have to find another way.”

Chris said, “I’ve got one. A while back one of my clients
was asked to sell his URL. He had paid under a hundred bucks for it. After the
negotiations it sold for thousands.”

Kate said, I can add to that. There was an old wooden
cabinet kind of radio company that went out of business but the folks that
owned it kept up the trademark on the name. They sold it for over $200,000 as I
recall 25 or 30 years after they went out of business. The name came back on a
line of computers. I actually had one.”

Bob asked, Didn’t you tell me ‘bout some research that kinda
gave a value, Fletch?”

“I think you mean the satisfaction studies I include when I’m
speaking about Marketing Without Money TM. What those boil down to is that you don’t
have a brand until you get to about 4.5 on a five point satisfaction scale. That’s
when people will recommend your product or service. At 4.6 they will repeat a
purchase. A 4.8 they will wait for you to introduce a product or service even
if a competitor already has one. Over five they are raving fans and the best sales
people you will ever have.”

Rick said, And if you know how many of them feel that way
and what their life time value (LTV) is you can calculate exactly what they are
worth to you. One company I know has a definable market of 15 Million people. If
they can get just one half of one percent of them to buy a subscription they
could clear over $22 Million. And that’s just in the first year.

How would you tell a little guy to value a brand?

Jerry Fletcher adds brand value through Positioning, product
development and the power of promotion on and off-line

Jerry Speaks to corporate and association audiences
that are changing the way business is being done on three continents