Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Deflowered at the Surf Expo September 2008

No, I didn’t have sex in the Reef booth, or the Body Glove booth or even the Lucy Love booth, but man, I love the action sports industry! Attending for the first time, I expected the bikini models, throngs of t-shirt and baggy shorts wearing groms and reps, but what I didn’t expect is the proportion of the event. The booths were big as hell, the excitement was palpable, the skate ramp was an acre and the Skull Candy concert could be heard throughout the Expo.

Talking with Aaron from Eastern Skate Supply and Eastern Surf Supply, who’ve been exhibiting at the show for 20 years, I was really excited to hear that business is still good. I attend other conferences and the economy always comes up and is used as a way to lower the standards of expectations. Not this show! Mood at Quiksilver, “Great show!” WRV, “Killin’ it!” Allyance, “Buyers are there!” ESS, “Business is really strong!” And the list goes on and on.

I’m sure I stood out as the only person wearing a button-down shirt, but that’s me. When I’m not surfing or at home, it’s business. There is real money being committed in our services and I take that seriously. So while it was really a great time, I look forward to the next show in January. At least here in Fla. we can wear shorts in the winter!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Guerrilla Marketing

The most important book I've read for small businesses is Guerilla Marketing. Go to the site and buy the book by Jay Conrad Levinson. Fourteen million of these books have been sold worldwide, and the book is worth every cent- it cost me $15.32 at B&N.

For those who don't want to read, below are the 16 secrets he talks about (they end in "-ent"). If you have any questions about any of the secrets contact me and I'll tell you how to implement one or more of them- no cost.

1. You must have commitment to your marketing plan.
2. Think of that program as an investment.
3. See to it that your program is consistent.
4. Make your prospects confident in your firm.
5. You must be patient in order to keep a commitment.
6. You must see that marketing is an assortment of weapons.
7. You must know profits come subsequent to the sale.
8. You must aim to run your firm in a way that makes it convenient for your customers.
9. Put an element of amazement in your marketing.
10. Use measurement to judge the effectiveness of your weapons.
11. Prove your involvement with customers and prospects by your regular follow-up with them.
12. Learn to become dependent on other businesses and they on you.
13. You must be skilled with the armament of guerrillas, which means technology.
14. Use marketing to gain consent from prospects, and then broaden that consent so it leads to the sale.
15. Sell the content of your offering rather than the style; sell the steak and the sizzle, because people are too sophisticated to merely buy that sizzle.
16. After you have a full-fledged marketing program, work to augment it rather than rest on your laurels.

Use them for everything you do- proposals, brain-storming, execution, revisiting. They will change your business and hopefully your life.