Archives For Marketing

I Just Interviewed Eric Kohl, VP of Advanced Services for Ingram Micro

Leading the Charge for Ingram’s 2019 Security Ramp-Up Initiatives…

Listen in as Eric Explains the importance of MSP providers getting on board with security – why it’s important, and what happens when they don’t.

© 2019, All Rights Reserved.

brainCreativity is Essential

But where does creativity come from?

Success comes to those who are truly creative, but how many people do you know, that you can truly say have great, creative ideas?

My 13 year-old son and I were discussing creativity and inventions just yesterday. Who actually invents something or comes up with an idea that turns into millions or billions of dollars? Much of it is technology today and Steve Jobs is a great example. Read his life story and you’ll see some character attributes you may not appreciate, but you can’t deny he had some genius in him. Is this creativity limited to just a few people? Or can you build your capacity to create?

Creativity is a character trait. Some may be more creative  than others, but don’t for a minute believe that you can’t become creative, or more creative than you are right now. Here are three things to consider if you want to be more creative, and therefore achieve greater success.

Taking Time To Build and Organize Knowledge

Napoleon Hill calls each one of us  to become learners – but not generalists. He calls out the university system as broken. The university system would have you believe the lie that a broad, general, liberal arts education is what you want if you’re going to lead. They have also instilled in us the lie that you need a professor to master something. This is not the case. Hill says, “No, you want specialized knowledge – to be an expert in something.” And that comes from research, reading, and organizing knowledge as you learn it.

Greg McKeown agrees in his book Essentialism.   He stresses the importance of choosing to either know a lot about a lot of things, and therefore be mediocre in all of them, or to specialize and become the expert; the advisor. Of course he urges us to choose the latter. Choose to be an expert in something that matters.

Hill encourages us to be reading every month and to subscribe to online courses (what he calls home study courses) that give us that specialized knowledge in our field of choice.

Taking Time To Brainstorm

Seth Godin, well known author and former VP of Marketing for Yahoo (back when they were a stock you’d want to own), tells us that great ideas are the few that pop up in the midst of hundreds of bad ideas. In other words, taking time to brainstorm and write out ideas leads to lots of bad ideas and a few good ones.  Those who don’t have good ideas, don’t actually have any ideas. They just don’t take time to think up ideas.

Before Thomas Edison solved the lightbulb problem, he first came up with a thousand things that don’t work. You can’t expect to have great, creative ideas, unless you first spend time coming up with all kinds of ideas, good and bad.

Hill points to our inherent fear of failure as the hurdle that keeps us from creating. It’s one of the six major fears common to all men according to Hill. No one wants to be different. But being the same just means you’re average. If you want to be more successful, you have to somehow be different.  Again, it was likely the school system, where the oddly dressed person was the outcast. Everyone had to be the same – same clothes, same music, same hair style, same lingo. Different was bad…Just ask Bill Gates.

Taking Time to Rejuvenate

Finally, McKeown compares us to our cell phones. If we’re not charged we won’t perform. Looking back at the industrial revolution he describes our mindset as one that values constant work, not creativity. The idea of a machine being down simply means it’s broken. So when it’s time to take time off for renewal, we cringe. It’s seems like a waste of time. The guy working next to you, who never takes any sick or vacation time, and who works 80 hours per week, is seen as more valuable. The truth is, creativity is worth more than any machine can produce. And more than the average workaholic will produce.

McKeown schedules his vacation days first. Days to completely let go of work, put away the phone, and ignore check email. These are days of renewal, to reset the mind and prepare him for great things.

Taking McKeown’s advice, I am, right now as you read this, trekking through the most northern mountain range in New York with my 13 year-old son Josiah. There’s no cell service out here, and no place to charge a laptop. Our only electronics are GPS and a satellite phone in case of emergency. It’s a time for relationship and renewal – one that will lead to greater self-awareness, productivity, and creativity.

If you want to be creative, and therefore more successful, start reading, organizing knowledge, brainstorming from that knowledge, and taking time off to renew your mind.

© 2016, David Stelzl



inkpenCopywriting Just Might be The Next Skill to Master

If you’re in sales, you’re trying to connect with people. You’re goal is to grab their attention.  But the market is crowded…”Sales” strategies by themselves are no longer enough to reach new prospects.

Marketing is Not Always Marketing

You might have a marketing group. Bad news – most marketing groups are actually more administrative than they are true marketing.

They might be meeting planners, or they might be handling logistics like ordering cards and working with third party printers, etc. to create data sheets.  If you have marketing professionals that really understand demand generation and the science of moving people forward, you’re way ahead of most.

But Copywriting is Yet Another Thing

What is Copywriting? Hopefully you know the  term.  It’s a speciality area of marketing. Your marketing people won’t get this in their marketing degree, and it goes against just about everything you and I learned in English class.  Yet great copywriting is responsible for converting people more than just about any other marketing discipline.

When you see a great headline on a billboard or magazine, a copywriter wrote it. They probably wrote it years ago, tested it millions of times, and they know it works.  And they probably made a fortune writing that one sentence.

You don’t need to become a expert copywriter, however, if you want people to read your email, sales letters, or respond to your social media posts, you do need some input on this subject.

It would take a long post to actually give you the steps – instead let me point you to people like John Caples, Victor Schwab, and Robert Bly.  They’ve all written books on this subject. I think my favorite is John Caples, How to Make Your Advertising Make Money. Study and perfect your copywriting, and you’ll find it much easier to attract new prospects.

© 2016, David Stelzl

newsletterAre You Connected w/ Your Clients?

Keeping in touch with hundreds of clients is difficult. I know. I run a micro business out of my home office with hundreds of clients around the world. It’s impossible to keep up!

Here’s Something That’s Working…My Newsletter!

Newsletters? Didn’t that go out of vogue years ago? With email, you can reach your audience in a few seconds. With Facebook, there’s a constant update feeding your clients in real time.  The problem is, no one is reading this stuff.

I know – your kids are reading Facebook updates…but busy business leaders are not. They may be following their kids and grandkids, but it’s unlikely they are keeping up with your business posting (if you even do that.)

Recently I had an hour-long conversation with Shaun Buck, President of Newsletter Pro. Wow! After talking with him I ordered his book (which you can get for free using this link), and read the entire book over the weekend.

Here’s Why You Need Shaun’s Book!

  1. First, I saw that digital newsletters are a waste of time – no one is reading them. The open rates on your digital newsletter are probably around 10% – if you have one.
  2. If your letter is good – looks great, but also has great content, it will sit on your clients desk for weeks…reminding them that you exist.  I’ve tested this. Whenever I talk to my clients on the phone, I ask – “Do you have my latest newsletter?” They always do (of course this requires a printed letter.)
  3. Shaun’s book explains how to create content your clients will actually read – they don’t care about the latest Microsoft patch!  He tells you what to write about.
  4. His welcome package – the one you will receive when you order his book, is outstanding. He makes you want to do business with him. It’s worth using as a model for your own.
  5. He offers you a way to get your letter done – and it’s not that expensive. The truth is, you don’t have time to write a good newsletter,…but he does.

I took his advice. I’ve completely re-engineered my newsletter with Shaun’s help. And the test is – my clients. The feed back has been excellent! In fact, I carry a stack around with me, handing them out when I meet new people. It’s far better than a business card.

© 2016, David Stelzl

Get Shaun’s Book Here – It’s Free, and Life Changing… And then, get yourself a newsletter that really works…

NewsProCoverWe’ve Re-engineered Our Newsletter…Why?

How Many People Are Reading Your Newsletter? And How Long Does It Take To Write It?

What about yours? Do you have a monthly newsletter?  Chances are you do. You might even have a blog. Does anyone read your letter or your blog?

If you’re selling technology or IT Management,…or security, I’m talking to you.

When I started my business over a decade ago, I had a newsletter…it took a lot of time, and my sense was, no one was reading it. After several years, and during a transition to a new CRM system, my SUBSCRIBE list was accidentally deleted. It seemed like a good time to abandon the newsletter – so I did.

About two years ago, around the time I started up the SVLC Insider’s Circle I was prompted by a business coach to get back on the letter. So I did.

I started with electronic – but the truth is I never read electronic newsletters, so I started questioning if anyone does. It turns out, at least most marketing experts agree, that few will open an electronic newsletter and actually read it.  Print is easier. It arrives as one of the only mail pieces that is not truly junk mail, and sits on one’s desk.  But will anyone actually read it?

It depends…

I’ve been writing my newsletter for two years and printing it most of that time.  However, after reading Shaun Buck’s book on Newsletters…my mindset is completely changed!

I read his book in two days!  

And yes, my newsletter needed a facelift. If you’re in one of my programs you’ll receive my newsletter this week.  It’s completely different – and my hope is, it’s interesting.   Shaun encouraged me to reformat, change the content, and change just about everything I thought was right about my old style letter…

Either way – I want your feedback…we think it’s great, but do you?  If you won’t read it, we need to change it more.

But I also want you to have Shaun’s book, and you can get it for Free (Free shipping too) right here:

© 2016, David Stelzl


vance morrisAre Your Customer’s Getting The Disney Experience?

Retention with any form of managed services depends a lot on customer experience.

No one can argue that Disney hasn’t been a leader when it comes to attracting people – and building loyalty.

Yesterday I had the privilege of interviewing Vance Morris as part of our monthly SVLC Insider’s Circle Program.  Vance has lived on the other side of the Disney experience – the side creating it. Today Vance works with companies like yours to help create differentiation through customer experience.

There are two key value propositions out there right now that really matter… Customer Experience and Security. Imagine if your company could provide both!

Here are a few highlights from yesterday’s program… Want more? Join the Insider’s Circle

Read More About Joining The SVLC Insider’s Circle

First, Vance tells us it’s not really MAGIC.  But what is it? It’s more about consistent processes that make everyone feel loved.  He talked about the script you use when you answer the phone, and how your SE’s approach a client when arriving onsite. These simple things go a long way when you engineer them correctly, and train your people to follow through.

The Welcome Matters. Welcome kits are a big deal. But Vance took this a step further, talking about how to keep clients thinking about you long term. It’s more than just good service. The extras go a long way. An important point here was charging enough to add those extras.

Newsletters Create Magic. Vance showed us how a dentist and a carpet cleaning business leveraged the newsletter. This is an area I believe we are failing in!  In fact, I had to look back at my own efforts and make the decision to recreate. It’s not cheap, and it takes time. But I am convinced it matters.  People do read newsletters when they are worth reading…but no one wants to read about Microsoft patches…Vance told us exactly what to put in the  Newsletter if we want it to sell for us.

And there’s a lot more.  But these three things stand out as steps every one of us can take without too much effort.  And if we did…we would see some amazing results.

For those of you who are already in the SVLC Insider’s Circle – your copy of both the video and audio are going out this week…with our NEW newsletter (in hard copy as Vance recommended) shortly to follow…If you’re not – please consider joining us using the link above. These programs are designed to keep you up to date on the industry and in front of your competition.

© 2016 David Stelzl