sandi krakowski Archives - Sandi Krakowski, Building Brand Equity For Small Businesses

The Skill Of Listening For Huge Company Growth

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The Skill Of Listening For Huge Company Growth

By: Sandi Krakowski

Company owners do keyword research, brand analysis, review historical data and all the other big methods they can come up with to validate whether or not their product will sink or swim. Few ever practice the age-old art of listening.

Your prospective customers are talking all day long. They're showing up on Facebook talking about their dreams, their worries and their fears.  Forums are filled with prospective buyers who are looking for someone who will give them a listening ear.

Gone are the days of "Big CEO and Company" going into the marketplace with an announcement that draws millions. Telling the market what they need doesn't work. The question might really be, did it ever?

Your present and future clients are savvy and they are smart. They won't fall for the old "Squawk Box" Charlie Brown's teacher messages any longer. They aren't listening and they don't care. 

But they do want you to hear!

Will you hear their pain? Feel their needs and pay attention to what wakes them up in the middle of the night? 

Listen to what your customers are asking for. Listen to what your competitor's customers are saying. Lean in…. pay very close attention, listen to the "chatter" and take copious notes. There's no reason to go without this information that is steadily flowing. The key to big profits in today's market is a good listening ear.

What Do They Need?

Your clients are very aware of what they need. But when you enter the marketplace a bigger issue must be faced. Are YOU aware of what they need?  This is the real issue when it comes to selling products or services. 

What is it they really need?  Every person needs value, love, recognition and security. They'll pay a fortune to get it, as sales reports online reveal. Even during what was viewed as a 'down season' last year more than $41.2 BILLION dollars were spent on Black Friday alone! And we thought people were struggling?

This was considered a lower than average Black Friday! More people spent less and billions were spent

The reality of being successful in sales is summed up in this principle: People are looking to have their needs met. Period. You can bring joy, security, satisfaction to them as you serve them what they want and as they come to know you even better, you can serve them again and again. This is brand loyalty and long term business in the making. Giving your customers what they want. 

It might sound crazy, but to the successful business owner, it's "Business 101." 

What Are They Complaining About?

If you pay attention online through forums, chat groups, social media and other places people hang out, you'll quickly learn what they need. It's right there for anyone to discover. But it takes time to pay attention and sadly, far too many companies aren't listening.

Amidst all the headlines of dropping profits, increased layoffs and lost investments something has remained the same that only a select few are paying attention to. People are still buying what they love, dreaming about what they want and making it plainly obvious what they don't like!

Solve a problem with a unique solution and you'll make a huge profit. If people really love your solution, get great satisfaction and you treat them better than anyone else, you will never lack as a company. And if you pay very careful attention to your client's growing needs, you could easily create a long term business. Pretty simple, isn't it? 

Are People Disillusioned And Unaware?

Another great key to long term profits is in becoming a resource that people can turn to and trust. Revealing hidden information, making difficult things simple and serving as an expert is a great way to grow a company. 

It is my belief that we are at a critical time in history when people really do want the right information, they desire change and truly do want to know the truth. This is also a vulnerable time where less than commendable or reliable 'so-called' experts are teaching things they know nothing about.

Colleges fill our heads with notions of 'security and long term dreams' when the sad reality is this- if you don't market a product that is highly in demand– you'll have an extremely hard time making a profit. Pay very close attention to what people are asking for. What are your customers struggling with? What do they want? What are they seeking?

If you can give it to them, with value and excellence, you're on the verge of huge success!

The marketplace pays for value. Your value is directly related to how much you can bring to the people you serve. If you help those who are unaware, confused or even disillusioned you could be personally responsible for helping others change their lives. This is one of the funnest ways to build a business. Bring value and change to your customers and they will love you forever!

Give It With Excellence And Honor

Excellent customer services seems to have left the face of the earth. Business owners are watching their bottom line more than the satisfaction of the customers they serve. This has not helped our economy one bit and needs a serious change. Talk about needing a revival in the marketplace! Where are the happy service representatives, CEO's who can't wait to serve and product developers who dream of inventions at all hours of the night!?

If you serve people with excellence and honor you will be remembered forever. Because it's so rare, you could quite frankly triple your profits if you do it long term. While it might not be easy, it surely isn't popular and it isn't something you even hear about much any longer in business school, it is always and has always been right. 

Good will and honor will pay you much more than any stock investment could and it will leave you with a good night sleep each night when you lay your head down on the pillow. 

But what defines good will? Is it being available to your customers 24/7 through Social Media for every question or notion they might have? No. Not at all. But it does mean that when you are open,  you give with all of your heart and with all that you have. Serve with excellence and honor and you'll rise to the top!

Rise To The Top!

The KEY to rising to the top is to serve better, work harder and go farther than the rest. This doesn't mean you work longer hours, you spend your entire life on Facebook or you never sleep-rather, it means every hour you work, ever minute you spend building your company, every decision you make is to the furthering of your company and your customer's service.

The investment you make is the investment you'll receive. It never ceases to amaze me when people write me on Facebook and say, "Hey could you just give me some input?" and they continue with over 10 paragraphs of details on what they need "input" on. 

Before you think I'm being hard on anyone, let me tell you the truth- you aren't going to ever reach your goals in business by begging people for help on Facebook or by asking a big company owner to just give their 'quick input' anytime you need something. This is poverty in the mind. It's a cheap way of doing things and it makes the person 'seeking' look desperate. Desperation is what you'll receive. And you'll NEVER serve with honor and excellence with this method!  Invest into your future and your future will reward you handsomely. Take the time and money to get some one on one mentoring from someone who is doing what you want to do! Don't expect free handouts, fast 'quick input' answers to change your future. Do the time and do the work. 

Rise to the top! Do what others will not! While other's waste time and worry about what tomorrow will bring, go create more products that customers are begging for and give it to them with the best spirit possible! 

Turn Your Ear Into The "Chatter" For Bigger Results!

Listen, they are talking. Listen carefully to what they need. Pay attention to your keyword research, do your due diligence when it comes to PPC and media buys. But when push comes to shove, listen. Listen carefully and your prospective customers will tell you exactly what they need! Then it's your job to give it to them and give them all you've got!

If a budding business owner says, "What if I don't know what I want to do" or "I don't know what I want to sell" they are still thinking like a lazy employee, waiting for someone to tell them what to do. CEO's don't think this way. Stellar employees don't even think this way, either! Even a valuable employee is proactive, making decisions, looking for ways to serve and go the extra mile

They KNOW what they want to do. It DRIVES them, it STEERS them, sometimes it POSSESSES them… and the war becomes, HOW TO GET IT DONE.. not a miry abyss of wondering what to do next!

Listen more, serve with all you have, give with excellence and work with honor….. and YOU my With friends will see your dreams come true!

With love,

Sandi Krakowski 

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Marketing And Mind Control- The Main Focus Of Headlines, Content And A Powerful Call To Action

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Marketing And Mind Control- The Main Focus Of Headlines, Content And A Powerful Call To Action

By: Sandi Krakowski

The goal of all marketing is much different than many new business owners might think. As I've asked this question through social media and on my coaching calls, answers varied from:

  • To get my product out there
  • Find my ideal client
  • Speak my client's language
  • Sell something

to things as wide and broad as:

  • To beat my competitors
  • Be the best
  • Make money
  • Give you an offer

As we can see from just these few short replies, very few new and beginning business owners understand the focus and the goal of successful marketing campaigns.

The goal of every marketing campaign is to create or change a belief.

The headline, lead, opening statements, bullet points, proof, you name it…. is all aimed at one thing- can I get you to change or alter your belief about something.

When we write a marketing campaign, create a Pay Per Click ad, position ourselves through our blog or communicate to an audience through social media, the goal is to influence and change a belief. Whether it's in changing the belief to something positive or changing the belief so that our client understands the pain they are in on a daily basis, as in the case of skincare, weight loss, lack of sleep or other ailments, the goal of our marketing is to touch the belief and change it.

Let's look at weight loss….. our focus has to be creating a certain level of pain for the reader so that they will make a decision, in a very non-painful way, to no longer live in and with the misery of being overweight. Most people want to completely avoid dealing with how overweight they feel! But when it comes to really feeling the pain to the point that a decision is made to end the trap and go in the opposite direction, this is the focus of marketing in the weight loss niche.  Getting people to change their habits isn't the goal- getting someone to make a commitment isn't the goal either! The focus is to get someone to make a decision to go in a new direction, with a specific first step of buying our product.

Another niche to consider is acne cremes and facial programs.

To simple say, "You won't have to have acne any longer" won't work! We'll need stories, strong emotional pull, the ability to open up with our client, let our customers share their story and their pain… the selling process then becomes very normal and effortless. People who are afraid to look in the mirror and face their abscessed face are now dreaming about their next step with our products. The natural course of events will then be to pull out the credit card for payment.  

It's important to move in integrity, to not make claims we can't back up, to have real stories and real people, otherwise we, the marketer, will be the one with pain! But if we can create a result, no matter how small initially, we'll have clients who then market for us, in the same way we do with an even stronger emotional appeal!

A few years ago, I had the honor of meeting Lenny Lieberman, the man responsible for the success of the informercials at Gunthy Renker, the marketing team for ProActiv. He impressed me so much I'd like to share with you the 10 Commandments For Leadership at Gunthy Renker for your reference. 


1. Thou shalt take risks. 

Risk is a prerequisite for success. So feel the fear and do it anyway, and know that every entrepreneur before you has felt the pang of panic at one time or another. The trick is to fight the fear with four simple rules. Research your ideas extensively. Keep your goals clear. Invest and re-invest, and never be afraid to try new things. Soon your fear will be replaced by financial fortitude.

2. Thou shalt make nice with your competitors. 

The old law of "you wash my back, I'll wash yours" is just as applicable in our modern age. Asking competitors for help will reap unparalleled rewards, from getting invaluable advice (especially on new ventures) to combining your forces for mutual benefit. When it comes time to return a favor, brokering a deal for a competitor will allow you to cut in on their profits. It's a win-win situation.

3. Thou shalt pick the right people. 

The people you surround yourself with will often make the difference between profit and perish. Choose partners who offer varying perspectives to cover all your bases. Surround yourself with people who are talented, forward thinking, conscientious and loyal, and you'll create an unbeatable team. Finally, take your time to find the right people – it will be time well spent.

4. Thou shalt have a BlackBerry® that is fruitful and multiplies.   (Sandi notes- I'd choose an iPhone )

Go out of the way to forge relationships with agents, vendors, competitors and colleagues because you never know where your next opportunity will come from. Networking works so keep your rolodex updated and don't let it gather dust. Seemingly unnecessary meetings and contacts today can turn into valuable contracts tomorrow.

5. Thou shalt welcome change. 

Even the subtlest tweak to your pitch, packaging or ad campaign can have a dramatic impact on results. A new headline here and a bumped-up offer there can turn a ho-hum seller into a hit. Be objective and ruthless in your analysis and discard whatever doesn't work. Finally, when re-introducing a tried and true product, change its look but leave the goods alone.

6. Thou shalt master the multimedia marketplace. 

Don't stop at television. TV creates interest in a product but a broader multimedia approach ensures maximum profits. Bolster infomercials with traditional commercials, home shopping appeals, print ads in key publications, catalogs, direct mail, Internet sales, and other efforts. Consider new products in light of their full multimedia potential and always be on the look out for new media to tap into.

7. Thou shalt join and lead thy trade association. 

A leader leads, so be on the frontlines especially in the heat of battle. In 1990, Congress and the Federal Trade Commission were about to impose a legislative straightjacket on the infomercial industry in response to incidents of fraud and abuse. Asked to testify before a Congressional subcommittee, Guthy-Renker took the initiative to form a trade group that would voluntarily police the industry. Today that group, known as the Electronic Retailing Association, serves as the ethical compass for the direct response television industry and Greg Renker remains its Chairman Emeritus. Because Guthy-Renker was unafraid to lead, we garnered greater respect and prestige among our colleagues, government, and the world.

8. Thou shalt build on thy company's brand name at all times. 

Get your name out there, but cultivate the right image from the get-go because once the public has a perception about you it is nearly impossible to change it. Inspire consumer recognition and trust by associating the name of your company with each product and program, in effect selling your company as aggressively as your products. Be willing to be visible, even if it means taking a hit for your industry. The result will be that competitors and customers will think you are bigger, better, and more powerful than you might actually be.

9. Thou shalt not limit thy upside. 

Don't bet the farm on fads. Look for products that sell indefinitely to the largest and most reliable audience possible. Do your homework and go the extra mile to find products with the greatest multimedia potential. Be on the lookout for new capital sources but remember that not every opportunity is your opportunity, so don't be afraid to pass.

10. Thou shalt be prepared to toss out these commandments and start over! 

Adapt, adapt, adapt. The direct marketing industry changes on a daily basis. The only eternal rule is to keep your ear to the ground and your antennae up at all times. Stay ahead of and capitalize on changing trends. As your company evolves, so must your corporate strategy. Don't fall in love with a business plan because it will only break your heart.

(c) Gunthy Renker, 2015, all rights reserved.

It's critical to see that changing emotions and minds of our clients requires the highest level of integrity on our part. We must do so because we genuinely desire to impact people and help them with our products and our services.

Remember this- our goal is to help people make decisions that they already WANT to make, but they need our help along the way to get the job done!

Help people make a decision. Change their beliefs about themselves and bring your unique and specific solution as the remedy! This is "Marketing In Brilliance 101". 

With love,

A road trip on a tour bus for two weeks…. OH MY!

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Tour bus

A road trip on a tour bus for two weeks…. OH MY!

When Jerry Niswander, my CEO, suggested we do a 10 city roadtrip to celebrate the #BEMORE movement and the new book we were releasing, I honestly had some serious concerns. Aside from all of my issues with needing quiet space to refresh and my natural tendency to be a diva, I wasn't quite sure it was a good idea. 

Then I flashed back to a memory in 2006 when our family relocated to Indiana and Alan had just taken a new job at Monaco Coach. This was years before he accepted my offer to work at ARC full time, and he was pursuing his career in design engineering. We had taken a day tour at the production facilities where he worked and had an opportunity to walk through some of the luxury RVs he was designing the electrical units for. I remember thinking, "HOW on earth do people live on these $200,000 house on wheels?" and something came out of my mouth that would prove to be a very powerful prophetic statement many years later. I said, as I walked through the halls of one very pretty RV, "One day I want to tour the United States and impact people with all God has given me in one of these."

Well here we are!

We arrived late last night into the Nashville airport (after a crisis at the airport that could have ended in a canceled flight if God didn't step in like He always does!)  and spent the night in a local hotel. This morning we headed out to our secret location where my brand new 2014 tour bus was waiting! She is a beauty! I still don't have a name for her but I'm sure it will come to me as we begin to roll down the road. When we were asked what any of my favorite things were, so they could customize my travels, a Tempurpedic bed was my first request. I'm so excited that they made that happen!! A queen sized bed just like the one we have at home in my back suite.

Living with some of my favorite people in the whole world for two weeks as we travel more miles than I've ever driven in my enitre life is surely a new experience! To say I've been excited, nervous, exhilirated, terrified, filled with eagerness and nervous is an understatement. This IS where the perfect will of GOD shows up.

If you're fighting and wrestling for things to happen how YOU think they should go, let me encourage you today. Right where your comfort zone ends and pressure begins, where dreams are birthed and dead end living dies is where the #BEMORE life happens

I can't wait to see more than 12,000 people who have registered througout our 10 locations! I'll be doing behind the scenes videos and more as we get things rolling. Be SURE to tune into my Facebook page for the fun! 

See you soon Nashville, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando, Destin, Baton Rouge, Austin, Dallas, Oklahoma and Kansas City! And for the rest of you… I have a surprise coming very soon that I'll announce this weekend! Heehee I think you'll be SO surprised and super excited!

With love,

Sandi Krakowski

Sandi Krakowski