Monthly Archives: November 2010

A Thanksgiving Gift — 3 Ways Gratitude Can Grow Your Business

In honor of Thanksgiving, I have a gift for all of  you (even those not in the US) I’m reprinting one of my most requested articles about Thanksgiving and the gift of gratitude. Enjoy!

3 Ways Gratitude Can Grow Your Business

I love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday.  Family, food, friends and football thrown in for good measure. But I digress.

What I REALLY like about Thanksgiving is it’s  about giving thanks. And I think gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions out there. Why is it so powerful? Because it has the capacity to change your life.

My business and life are going great right now, better than I had planned, but it hasn’t always been that way. There were plenty of times where things were looking pretty bleak. During one particularly bleak time, a friend told me to just start listing everything I had in my life to be grateful for. Now, when things are looking pretty bad, in can be easy to say “everything sucks, I have nothing to be grateful for.” But, if we’re honest, we know that isn’t true. There’s always something, no matter how small, that is in your life you can be grateful for, and sometimes you just need to take a step back to see it.

What’s so amazing about gratitude is it’s so simple yet it has so much power Ð in fact, it’s so powerful it can start turning things around for you. Now, granted, being grateful all by itself will probably not turn a sinking business into a profitable one. But, it CAN be the catalyst to a transformation.

Why does this work? Well, if you’re a fan of the Secret and law of attraction, you’ve heard the phrase “what you focus on expands.” So if you focus on all the things you’re grateful for instead of all the things that aren’t working, the universe will bring you more things to be grateful for and less of the things that aren’t working.

Now, while I do think this is true, I also know a lot of people do not believe this or don’t think it’s true for them. So, might I suggest another, more practical reason, for why gratitude works — because it makes you feel better.

Yes, if you start to think about all the wonderful things that are in your life and that you have to be grateful for, things don’t look quite so bleak. You’re able to break, even for just a few moments, the funk you might have sunk into. And, with that improved mindset, you most likely can see your situation a bit more clearer and start coming up with some solutions (and maybe even take some actions) to get yourself out of it.

But gratitude isn’t just about when things are going wrong, it’s also powerful when things are going right. When you’re on top of the world, it’s still an amazing practice to give thanks. If nothing else, it gives you a moment to fully appreciate how wonderful things are right now. (And isn’t that a nice feeling to enjoy?)

So, how do you start adding a practice of gratitude to your life? Here are 3 tips to get you started:

1. Feelings are important. It’s not enough to just think about being grateful, you have to feel grateful as well. When you think about all the things you’re grateful for, really feel that gratitude throughout your body. Focus on it, and feel it radiate everywhere, from your fingers to your toes. Another tip is to imagine you have a dial in front of you, and when you turn up that dial you’re amplifying that emotion. It only takes a few moments to do, but the results are amazing.
Try it and see if you don’t feel so much better afterwards.

2. Write it down. My coach, Melanie Benson Strick, Success Connections, has a great daily journal which includes a space to write 5 things you’re grateful for each day. Writing is a physical activity, so again you’re anchoring that gratitude feeling in your body. If you’re really struggling right now, I would suggest taking a few minutes and writing down everything you’re grateful for each day.

3. Put out a reminder. My grandfather gave me a stuffed bear. But not just any stuffed bear, this bear has a little button on it and a story. The story is a bit longer than what I want to get into now, but the gist of it is this — the bear comes from a magical land and represents an emotion. When you push the button and give it a hug, the emotion is released. My particular bear is about love. I’ve put the bear out so I can see it every day, and when I see it, it reminds me to be grateful. (And yes, sometimes I push the button and give it a hug as well.)

I agree, it’s a little silly. But it works. And if  there’s something you can put out that reminds you to be grateful, then it’s an easy way to make being grateful a daily part of your routine.

It only takes a few minutes, but the results can be amazing. I challenge all of you to try it for 30 days and see if your business and your life start to improve.

Do those long-copy sales letters actually work?

This is one of those questions I get ALL the time.

“I never read those long-copy sales letters. They can’t possibly work, can they?”

“MY target market doesn’t read those long-copy sales letters, they want shorter letters.”

“I can’t imagine anyone reading that much.”

And so on.

Okay, before I get around to answering the question, let me quickly explain what a long-copy sales letter is. It’s those sales letters that are dotted across the web where you have to scroll down and down and down before you finally find the price.

Yeah. You know the ones.

So do they work? Yes they do — IF they’re done right.

Here’s the thing. The reason they work is NOT because they’re long. Length doesn’t equal sales. What DOES equal sales is if you properly answer all of your ideal client’s questions and objections and demonstrate your product/service/program will solve your ideal client’s problems.

And all that takes words. How many words depends on how expensive an investment your solution is.

Think of a conversation. Let’s say it takes you 30 minutes to have a sales call with a prospect. Well, if you take that call and transcribe it, it’s going to be around 10 pages long depending on how fast you talk. And that’s just one person.

Now you have a call with another person selling the same program. That person asks different questions, but it’s still 30 minutes. Now you have 20 pages worth of transcripts.

Are you starting to see how the long-copy sales letter gets so long?

Granted you’re probably not going to hear completely different questions time after time. But you can see how the pages will start to add up. (The reality is, a sales letter is actually much shorter than any of your one-on-one sales calls.)

Okay, so now you understand how these letters get so long. But what about the whole “you-don’t-read-them-or-your-ideal-clients-don’t-read-them?” Well, I have 2 reasons why that happens:

1. You’re not the ideal client. I don’t care how great or how poor the sales letter is, if you’re not the ideal client, you’re going to have very little interest in reading the letter. (And here’s the kicker — reading is a hypnotic activity, which means you don’t remember when you ARE reading but you DO remember when you don’t finish something. So you’re going to remember all those half-read sales letters much more clearly than the ones you actually finish.)

2. The sales letter is poorly written. This is probably even more common than the first one. Look, you can’t bore anyone into buying anything. And there are a lot of people who don’t understand the long-copy sales letter, so they simply throw a lot of words on the page and hope for the best. That is NOT how to write a sales letter. You need to connect with your ideal client and do it in such a way that they feel compelled to keep reading. A whole bunch of words ain’t going to make the sale (especially a whole bunch of boring words that don’t inspire anyone to do anything).

Bottom line — studies have shown over and over again that long-copy sales letters sell more then shorter sales letter. (Just as long as they’re well written.) So, even if you don’t completely understand it, don’t worry about it. Give your ideal clients what they want to make a decision to invest with you — a well-written, interesting long-copy sales letter.