3 Career-Changing Takeaways from Denny Hatch
Since 2005, Denny Hatch has been writing a free e-newsletter, Business Common Sense, that looks at current news stories and connects the dots back to the reader's life and career. Every issue contains "Takeaway Points," a collection of bullets that summarize why a particular issue might be worth reading.
In his newly released book, "Career-Changing Takeaways," Denny has grouped the very best of these takeaways into 99 categories of marketing, business and life. Many touch on how people handle situations in war, sports, politics, arts and general business, but they relate directly back to what all of us do every day at work. After all, many successful individuals cite a few rules from a highly respected source as partly responsible for that success.
Here are three of the best:
Here's the secret of successful advertising: interrupting what's going on in the front of a prospect's brain with headline, graphics, copy and action that seize upon a lurking fear or desire and exploiting it.
If the marketing effort is dull ... if it does not interrupt and keep on interrupting ... the interruption is interrupted ... and we resume the conversation with ourselves. The marketer has lost money.
2. Expanding a Business
What are you doing to create add-ons—extensions to your existing line of products or services—that will enhance user understanding and pleasure, and perhaps generate good will, viral marketing and additional sales?
How can you surround your customers or clients? What new products, services or line extensions can you come up with that will bring in additional revenue and cut out your competitors?
Need ideas for new products or services? Go to your existing customer base and use surveys or focus groups or both.
Many magazine renewal efforts include a customer survey along with the renewal message. This can raise response at minimal extra cost. Whether or not the data from the survey is accessed or simply discarded, the subscriber has been made to feel that the sender cares.
In a growing business, invest in infrastructure that will support future operations rather than trying to economize by jury-rigging what you have.
When launching a new product or service—or acquiring a company—do you know the approximate size of the potential universe of buyers?
3. Customer Relationship Magic
The old rule of thumb is that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to sell something to an existing customer. Given the clutter of advertising messages and the choices of media, the cost of acquiring a new customer is probably more like 10 to 12 times.
The main business of business is acquiring customers and then doing your very best to continually delight them.
Customers are the lifeblood of every business. If you don't have customers, you don't have a business. This truism holds in boom times and bust.