Saturday, December 26, 2009

I have uploaded more Tips and Hints pdf's

Check Your Website Ratings for Free
Go to and enter your URL. Also put in your email address to send yourself a link. Save the link when you get it to a folder so you can compare this to later results. Save the displayed report as a pdf file for future review. Contact me for a link to a FREE pdf creator if you do not have one. I’ll send a link by return e-mail with instructions!

Does Your Company List for Local Search Results?
Proceed to where you enter your business name and zip code. Click and look for results. In case you need to add your listing or to edit one, contact me for a checklist beforehand. Things such as logos, photos, history, description, contact information, office/store hours, etc.

List if you work from home or have a mailbox drop. It might take a while if you do not have a telephone listed in a business name. Some sites may send a written snail mail confirmation.

For pdf versions of these and other Tips and Hints (with graphics if applicable)
go to our site DIYWEBJEM – DIY Guides

Contact us for a no-obligation consultation if you need help interpreting the results or to improve your ratings to increase your traffic and resulting sales through search engine optimization.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Marketing Opportunity for Illinois Small Businesses to Obtain Contracts from the Government

A management consultant friend of mine wrote an article last week. He cited several sources of potential small business marketing opportunities in Illinois. The article says there are significant opportunities available for enterprising companies. This is not a cake walk, however, since any governmental process which can be slow and tedious. But help and assistance is available through offices scattered through Illinois. Read the rest of the article and follow the links contained at

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Do You Think a Website is Important to Market Your Business?

At the end of 2009 “...the majority of small business owners still don't consider use of the Internet as mandatory in running a small business in America today...” Discover said this in a December 17th article in the Daily Herald.

45 percent of 22 million small business in America had Websites as of August, 2009. The article went on to say: “Forty-six percent of small business owners said it is a myth that every company should have a Web site, 44 percent felt the opposite and 10 percent were not sure.

I was also a skeptic up until about three years ago. Then I began to see the potential sales results from a targeted E-marketing effort. So, looking at it from a glass half-full perspective: there are 9.5 million small businesses that DO have Websites. Isn't that a large target audience!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What Do Search Engines See When They Visit Your Website? It Could Surprise You!

Enter your site's domain name in a Google search box. Click on the search function. Your site should be the first result on the page. Click on “Cached” at the bottom, next to your address. Your Web site's landing page should open up and it should look as it does on a monitor. Next click on “text-only-version” near the top right. All graphics and pictures will be eliminated and you will see the text or content as search engine robots do. This is what is read and categorized/indexed so search engines can match your information to their search engine queries. Be on guard if things look strange!

For a pdf version download with graphics, visit our site DIYWEBJEM – DIY Guides.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Income Ideas: Website Flipping

A website flipper is like a virtual real estate broker without the need for a license. Real estate flippers buy a property, fix it up and then sell it for a profit. Website flippers do essentially the same thing just instead with websites.

How do you actually make money from website flipping and how hard is it to do? Here are some tips for those considering giving the virtual real estate market a go:

  • Buy a site to generate ad revenue. This works very well for sites whose overall content is good but they have been poorly optimized by their owner. You may not need to do much more than ramp up the traffic coming to the site. Buying the site will give you the right to all of its’ content as well, which you could repackage and redistribute for even more profit.

  • Buy a Community Site. Many busy forums are started by keen hobbyists, who then run out of the money to pay for all the extra bandwidth to keep them going. Just be careful with the site’s audience, as they may not take well to their community forum becoming an advertising laden affair and migrate away quickly. Subtlety is called for here to avoid being left with a lemon on your hands.

  • In order to be a successful website flipper you need the design and marketing skills to successfully upgrade the site, or at least know where to hire someone who does. In order to make the kind of profit you are hoping for you will need to put the effort in, this is not a “passive” moneymaker.

    Good places to begin shopping for a website? Flippa is a major player in the industry but, even Ebay now has a websites for sale section. Some others to try: BuySellWebsite, DealASite, & WebsiteBroker. To really find a bargain you may have to dig deep into a Google search but, this expanding business venture could be a great investment.

    For more online business tips and advice visit

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    3 Reasons to Hire a Creative Web Designer – Sorry, but I don't agree.

    The comment beneath this LinkedIn discussion headline read: “Website is all about the way you design it! No matter how much marketing you do, or how quality-filled products and services you offer, it is designing that gets you the actual recognition.”

    My comment: “Can't agree less. A pretty Website without traffic is like a bright billboard on a road with no traffic after it was bypassed by a superhighway. It's like a Cubic zirconia bright, shiny and optically flawless - but basically worthless.

    “There are no absolutes in building a successful Web business. It takes a combination of graphic art design, Web development and E-Marketing to complete the entire picture. Cash is king, traffic drives sales. Beauty is skin deep.”

    Do you have a thought or comment on my comment?

    Wednesday, November 25, 2009

    When did you find out it was all about traffic?

    A major Search Engine Optimization company's newsletter I received today had this subject line: "When did you find out it was all about traffic?"

    It didn't take me long to realize I had that figured out a while back. Generating traffic to your site is what increases sales. And sales are why you are in business, unless of course you are philanthropic.

    Traffic also has a side effect. It raises page ranking because it proves you have good content, or what people are looking for. Good content plus high traffic (or backlinks) get you good grades in Google.

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Has the economy slowed your sales? Try some newer Web marketing techniques when traditional methods do not work!

    Old school marketing techniques such as telemarketing, cold calling, direct mail, e-mail campaigns, etc., are known as “Outbound” or interruption based marketing. They have put time starved consumers and businesses in a “do not interrupt me” defensive mode. Protective shields (voice mail, spam filters, etc.) guard against attacks.

    Organizations must adopt to the consumer's altered buying patterns to survive these turbulent times. Realize how people search for information and answers to questions. They do so on their terms, not yours. They do so when they are ready and at times convenient to them. This is especially true of more affluent and higher educated people.

    Where do they turn to for information and answers to their questions? The same place you turn to, the WEB. Of course they do! It is open round the clock. Consumers scour Websites, reviews, forums, blogs, and social networking sites such as MySpace, facebook, LinkedIn. Information is dispersed almost instantaneously via Twitter and other broadcasting means.

    The key to your Web success is adopting to this newer “Inbound” or permission based marketing. I define this loosely as being at the right place at the right time. Or, in other words, when someone searches for your service or product, make it easy to find you, 24/7/365. Make it easy for them to find you and your information. Prepare your site for Google searches through optimization. Then get your self known by blogging, article marketing, video marketing, press releases, etc.

    Comments are welcome.

    Saturday, October 17, 2009

    Spring Courses for Website Owners to Drive Traffic and Increase Sales

    I am proud to announce I will be teaching two short courses for the Buffalo Grove (IL) Park District starting in the Spring, 2010. The courses will be repeated in the Summer.

    The first is "Considerations in Putting Your Business on the Web" for non- Website owners. It is a pre-requisite if someone does not have a site for the follow up course: "Increasing your Traffic (and Sales) to your Existing Website."

    Look for enrollment announcements in about three months!



    Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Pay Per Click Advertising - I take Exception to This Author's View on LinkedIn

    I disagree about PPC for "...self employed small business owners and those starting out on a limited budget. Pay per click is, at best, a short term solution. You keep paying and paying and paying....

    “It is akin to opening a retail storefront years ago. There you rented space for the privilege of working 80 hours a week, hung out a shingle (that you paid your sign maker to do), send monthly checks for your rent and utilities, pay insurance and other business related expenses to the site location (snow removal, cleaning, etc.), pay help, employment taxes, etc. And, if you are lucky to do business, there was, of course, the override on the gross sales to the landlord. Bottom line was everybody else got paid before you did! NO thanks! Been there, done that!

    “Although more time consuming, search engine optimization in the long haul is more cost effective and produces far more results. If you do it right at the get go, all the statistics point to better results from Organic (free) search engine marketing. That is unless you want to make your landlord (Google) even more rich!”

    I wrote the above just a few minutes ago in response to -

    “This is the number one strategy of all the top producers in this business and can be very tough and daunting, but when done well will generate the MOST leads out of any of your marketing strategies in days. Not weeks or months.”

    Join LinkedIn for other stimulating discussions!

    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Recession Drives Women Back to the Work Force

    Steven Greenhouse wrote an article for the New York Times on September 18, 2009.

    “The Great Recession is pushing many highly educated women who had left work to stay at home with their children to dive back into the labor pool, according to several nationally recognized experts on women in the workplace.”

    He added later: “According to some economists, these women, once part of a privileged minority that could afford not to work, are now collateral damage of the recession — not forced out of work, but back into it.”

    Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics were cited as well as other resources. Read the rest of the article.

    Saturday, July 25, 2009

    Yes You Can Apply Basic Selling Techniques to Your Web Marketing

    Admit it if you are clueless about what Web E-Marketing is all about and want to start doing something about securing your future!

    I read a statement on the Web recently about small business owners with Websites who just don’t get it. And how, frankly, they are being left behind by the “I do get it!” crowd. Why is this? Because they neither take the time nor pay the freight.

    My personal view is Web E-Marketing is simply all about getting people to buy from you. It is not about rankings or Search Engine Optimization or pay per click advertising. It is about marketing your product or service, generating traffic (or potential customers) and selling your proposition.

    Every professional salesperson knows the drill. However, too many business owners are not professional salespeople. If you fall into that category, there is good news. Salesmanship is a learned art not something you are merely born with.

    If you doubt your results you must first ask yourself some questions. Some of your answers may be disturbing, so prepare yourself. First of all, be honest in your answers.

    What makes you unique? Where is your niche? How are you different from your competitors rather than the same? And, how can you capitalize and leverage your uniqueness on the Web?

    Keep the faith. You can do an honest assessment and learn the basics of E-marketing. Look, you have come this far with your business, do not stand at the sidelines and wait for the lotto. You can take it to the next level. Take the time and the road to success is yours on the information highway.

    To be continued….

    For more tips and pointers, visit our Website,

    Saturday, July 18, 2009

    Learn to Apply Today’s Chicago Tribune Article to Search Engine Optimization

    An article appeared in today’s Chicago Tribune that has many lessons that can be applied to E-marketing your Web business. Part of the secondary headline caught my attention as did several parts of the story. Sandra M. Jones talks about retailers using special services to promote sales in the article .

    Some of her very interesting observations follow. “Shoppers are motivated by price more than anything these days….” Sales are everywhere and shoppers “..are tuning out the endless barrage..”

    She quotes Theresa Williams of Indiana University: “…there has to be a new approach rather than just run another sale.”

    In this recession a sale is not merely enough. Ms. Jones continues: “Merchants are putting away their red pens and drumming up novel ways to tout a bargain without cutting into profits.”

    Sandra mentions loyalty programs, new and creative ways to get people to shop, and more. As an example, Bottega M, an Oak Park (IL) shop, lets customers bring in old clothing and their seamstresses can be hired to do alterations.

    The days of unbridled affluence and unlimited credit are gone and people are just not spending the way they used to with . Part of the change, according to Nancy Koehn of the Harvard Business School, is “the rise in consumer information…” People search the Web and “…find the best price for just about anything..” Add to that “..the decline of imaginative merchants.”

    Read the rest of the story.

    “Holy Toledo, Batman!” as Robin would say to his crime solving partner. I am sure we, as Webmasters, can all learn how to better promote ourselves if we study these principles and apply them. If we promote our passion and dare to be different.

    Sell what makes you different, not what makes you the same. Identify a market niche where you excel. Learn about free tools available to do it yourself e-market on the Web. Commit to the sweat equity and use those tools to promote your business which will drive visitors to your Website. Learn more about do it yourself Web marketing at our Website.

    You Can Learn to E-Market your Website from Newspaper Articles!

    I must confess I am a reader of “print” newspapers and magazines. I prefer them to electronic versions. Although papers are shrinking more and more daily, I still like washing the ink stains from my hands.

    I especially like reading two papers on Sunday mornings while watching Sunday Morning and George Stephanopoulos. The time spent in front of the TV is shorter with DVR recording and fast forwarding through commercials. However, since the size of the newspapers is smaller, it thus compensates.

    In the past there were many times I could not finish the papers until after both programs ended. This was especially true when there were some really interesting segments. Now it seems I finish well ahead of the programs.

    Where is Andy Rooney?

    Later I’ll be sharing a very interesting newspaper article with you which can help with your E-marketing and Web Business.

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Basic Building Blocks of a Web Business

    My love is organic search engine optimization and do it yourself marketing to promote Judy's business, A-BnC Parties and More, Inc. Why? Because it only takes time! Time to learn, then time to implement, then time to tweak.

    Through years of research and intuitive exploring I have gathered a wealth of information and references. I've learned that pretty sites even if well optimized don't draw traffic nor resulting sales. I also learned that what you "think" is great may not be to your audience. I also learned than most self acclaimed "gurus" are really not.

    There comes a time when everyone must market. You have to get the word out through appropriate channels so people can find you. Then see if they buy! If not, reinvent yourself. That's what we have done on the Web, several times.

    The basic building blocks are -
    • determine your niche market through research work,
    • construct your site based on the message you wish to convey,
    • make sure people can navigate your site easily,
    • "sell" your product,
    • optimize for organic search results,
    • add analytics and learn to use,
    • market, market, market, market, etc.
    • tweak all of the above...

    Sites can have flaws and people will always criticize them. (I still have not optimized fully myself!) In the end, it boils down to whether you accomplish your goals, make sales and stay in business.

    Saturday, July 4, 2009

    Give Your Site the Exposure It Needs to Compete in this Market

    Not getting the traffic results your need? Then click here to give your site the exposure it needs.

    Take your keyword advertising to the next level! Analyze the keywords your competition uses to get their results.

    Choose from four powerful KeywordSpy packages to help you increase awareness in paid, organic and affiliate marketing. These tools offers cutting-edge analytics to study competitors’ tactics as well as monitor their online search campaigns.

    Take a spin test to see how it can work for you!

    Saturday, June 27, 2009

    Tools To Analyze Competitors’ Website Traffic

    Aashish Malve (in his SEO Column blog) wrote on 2/26/09:

    “If you don't beat the competition using PPC or SEO then you are giving business to your competitors. So, better know the competitor website's performance and then analyze your online marketing strategy to over shadow them.”

    Then he goes on to list more than 11 free sources to help analyze your competition. Read the rest of the article if you are interested in Do It Yourself Search Engine Optimization. For additional hints and tips visit my Website.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009

    One of the best SEO Primers I have Ever Seen

    Quite honestly folks, I found one of the best video primers on SEO basics I have ever seen. I posted the video on by Website and invite you to watch it.

    Friday, June 12, 2009

    How do Search Engines "Read" your Photos and Images?

    Say a search engine crawls your site. How can it "see" or read your images or photos? It cannot, unless you have Alt Tags describing the images.

    Alt Tags are descriptive words for images and other items that cannot normally be read by search engines such as Google.

    A picture is worth 1,000 words! But not to search engines!

    Adults are more attracted to pictures than words. Out attention spans are minimal when reading long dissertations. If you have a product that is best described with a photo, make sure you include the “Alt=” parameter to describe it.

    Optimize your photos and images through DIY Search Engine Optimization tips. More E-marketing do it yourself tips available at DIYwebJem.

    Wednesday, June 3, 2009

    Do It Youself Search Engine Optimization Tips from Google's Matt Cutts

    Matt Cutts gives some great common sense do it yourself search engine optimization tips. I posted a video on our site for your to view, and offer additional free tips.

    He talks about a lot of the same tips I discuss:

    1. Use a common sense approach, Think about what people will type into the search bar to find your site and make sure those words (a.k.a. keywords) are on your page.

    2. Write a good Title Tag to appear in search engine results.

    3. Make sure your MetaTag Description does describe the page it leads to.

    4. Write a BLOG! It's not that difficult once you learn about it.

    5. Get involved with and learn how to use social media sites.

    6. You don't have to pay to get Google to know who you are. You can submit your Website directly and add maps to guide them along.

    Contact me for any questions.

    Remember, we are here to get you optimized!

    Sunday, May 31, 2009

    Become an expert authority in your field and drive traffic to your Website!

    I wrote a blog about encouraging others to get on the Web if you are an expert in your field. You might enjoy it at webmarketing101.

    Friday, May 29, 2009

    Can anyone suggest the ways to get the more customers for an e-commerce website?

    I am about to post this comment on a LinkedIn group I belong to.

    Budget? When considering PPC (Ed. Note: Pay Per Click)... or do you want to do it via sweat equity?

    Some basic steps before trying to build traffic and before you consider anything else, especially when you have to pay for the anything else, are - does your site measure up in:
    1. SEO?
    2. Navigation?
    3. Content (is KING!)?

    Ask your mother (or someone equivalent)...ask a teenager...ask a true friend...only after they say you site is OK can you start the campaign.

    Terra hit on link building (build backlinks) and PR (agree with Steve via press releases). There is also article marketing, producing videos, etc.).

    But where is your business blog? Best way to drive traffic in my estimation, when you combine with other factors to do it right!

    Ask yourself: "What other social networking media are you using to promote your business?"

    One thing I strongly disagree with Steve is the statement that a Web designer should be able to create an SEO website without question. When it comes to small business entrepreneurs, I find the exact opposite to be true. Most business owners do not even get involved with their sites. They are not knowledgeable. They generally farm it our to a relative or a barter partner or latch on to a "freebie" site builder.

    For the few who use professional Web designers, I find them utterly lacking in basic SEO skills. Meta tags, alt tags, title tags, bold, headlines, submissions, site maps....Steve, where are they on most sites?

    Thursday, May 28, 2009

    Content May Well Be The Most Important Aspect of Your Website

    Take this advise straight from Google:

    "Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content."

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Using Statistics When You Start an E-Marketing Web Campaign.

    In this market you have a choice...stay stagnant or do something, for it's better than nothing. If business is great (and you anticipate it continuing) do the former and count your money all the way to the bank! If you are not satisfied with your business, then I suggest you do the later.

    Before you start any E-Marketing campaign you need to set a goal. As you proceed with your tactics, you need measuring sticks to determine your progress. Does something you do cause a reaction or not? How do you know?

    Measuring sticks include sales of products and services, as well as sales trends and comparisons. Log on line sales as well as local sales (if applicable). As for your Website and blogs...unique visitor hits, Web pages browsed, exit pages, etc.

    You should log telephone inquiries, emails, etc. Try to differentiate between local advertising, referrals, as well as Web based sources.

    Note when you try something different to see if there is a significant change in any of the patterns. Some are sort term, while others are long term. When you find a key that brings results, hit on it hard!!!!

    But you must try and experiment, analyze and improve, then try some more. These are the Web challenges facing us today in the competitive markets. But these techniques work for us, and they can work for you!

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Niche E-Marketing Success Story, a.k.a. The Train is Leaving The Station

    I have a story (not another! you say) to tell you this morning. Let me preface this by saying story telling is a salesman’s tool. We use analogies to get our point(s) across. Prior successes become the story lines for a salesman’s act. For we salespeople know we are on stage everyday with our potential customers and clients. All business owners must consider themselves to be salespeople and learn some of our basic sales techniques (i.e. moving people to decide), especially in these economic times.

    All salespeople know we must perform well to get rewarded. If we successfully entertain, we get our applause a contract or commission, and get to keep our jobs and benefits! If we are not entertaining we are boo’d, get rejected, ugh(!), and feel badly.
    Sometimes our audience even throws rotten fruit at us, too!

    Wait, stop, cease and desist! You only feel badly if you are not a true professional for professionals know that a “No” is OK and part of the process. You simply cannot satisfy all of the people all of the time. It is really the “maybes” – stall tactics like, don’t call us we’ll call you, we’ll let you know, or ignoring the calls and emails after your hard work - that drive us up a wall!
    Lead, follow, or get out of my way….Please!
    Some salespeople are charming and insincere (per my cousin Barbara – I love you!). And some are blunt and frank. Guess what category I fall into?
    My wife’s Website continues to draw national business as well as local customers. I recently posted a picture of a new kit for her to market in anticipation of an upcoming event. I needed about 30 minutes to post the previously taken pictures, write copy, and set the prices. In that time I made sure the page and all the items on it were Search Engine friendly. I uploaded the page’s incremental changes only in two minutes. That evening I posted two blog entries as my only advertisement, total time about 15 minutes.

    My wife took an order for 21 kits yesterday morning, with add ons. And that is just one order!

    Small business owners, attention, may I have your attention, please!
    This is the POWER of today's Web. Knowing your niche market, knowing how to make your site search engine friendly, knowing how to advertise your product or service, and moving quickly. For the Web moves at lightening speed and you have to react FAST in an ever changing and competitive arena. It is the future of retailing and marketing.
    I believe the Web and e-marketing can be applied to ANY business. That includes any Web business you choose now, or in the future to build.

    What you need to survive in this competitive and hostile economy is to identify a niche market or a part of the market you are presently in, and a niche within that market where the competition is weakest. Take one of your products or services (or produce another that you have expertise in) that fills a need in that market. Stir in time and know how and bring the skill sets to a boil. Let it simmer for a while as the aroma fills the marketplace.

    If it fails, write it off and cut your losses. If it works, improve on it and duplicate your efforts in another, or newer, part of that niche. If you are truly skilled and motivated already, start several at one time. Learn from one and apply o the other.

    Or you can just do what you have been doing in the past, and keep headed where you were going in the past. You will indeed get there.

    “Cause” the love train is leaving the station and “if you miss it, I feel sorry, sorry for you.”

    Thursday, January 29, 2009

    Marketing your business in a slow economy.

    "Plan marketplace disruptions that favor your business"
    was an article in today’s daily Herald by Jim Kendall

    I found it very interesting. In the article he writes:

    "Adam Hartung suggests that your business should be the one that shifts the marketplace in a manner that takes competitors by surprise and puts them on the defensive. He goes on to talk about being willing to change. When you focus on execution you become obsessed with price.

    "Then soon the difference between you and everyone else is merely price! Change your base and change the competition."

    My comments are -- Do what others are not doing. Make yourself different, not the same. Distance yourself from the pack.

    Hartung also says what I have been saying for years: "Get obsessive about the competition. Analyze the competition."

    Read the rest of the article.

    Wednesday, January 28, 2009

    Intro to Web 2.0, Backlinks - Part 2

    You have to speak the jargon of the Web to succeed in this battle ground. And, this is a giant war, a war for sales. It will get worse as the economy shrinks! Consumer confidence hit a new low as reported this morning.

    And, people do NOT play fair. There are smoke screens and diversionary tactics, super highways and dead ends, gurus and scam artists. This is a playground where acronyms abound. HTML, FTP, RSS, PDF, JPG, MOV, etc., etc., etc.

    You have to learn by doing. You have to walk the walk and talk the talk. But before you can Run, Run, Run you must crawl, crawl, crawl.

    Building backlinks to your site improves your visitor traffic. More visitor traffic should increase you SALES. If you are selling something they want.

    Forget about the past, this is a new day with a new market. Building backlinks is but one way to build your success. Use the free tools Web 2.0 offers you.

    Sunday, January 25, 2009

    Web2.0 My Understand Thus Far, Part I

    Web2.0 is social networking. And social networking can be, and is being, used for business, point blank. You can use Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, TBD, etc., to only socialize. You can share events, play games, meet old and new friends, post photos, etc., and waste a lot of time. You can post videos on YouTube for humor, shock, information, etc.

    Or you can use these, and other Web2.0 avenues, to get people to visit your Website. And most of these avenues are FREE advertising and demand only sweat equity. Some are better than others. The point is if you want to generate sales through social networking, you can. If you get more people to visit, more people will purchase. Increase traffic, increase sales. Point blank, end of story.

    The old rule of thumb in retailing was you either have traffic or you build traffic. In either case you pay for it. One option was to rent in a mall or street location where there was a lot of traffic, and a lot of rent. Or to start in a low traffic (i.e. home based, garage, industrial park, etc.) and spend money on advertising for traffic.

    That day is passé.

    Some of you spent a lot of time, money, and energy at last week’s Party Planning Showcase in a Northwest Chicago Suburb. Judy and I strolled the show talking with our friends. We asked ourselves “why continue?” five years ago and could not find a reason to. We found the reason.

    Glance at the Web statistics I provided you free, or request another or a new one. It compares your recent Website activities and search engine rankings with those of A-BnC Parties and More, Inc. Visitor hits on Judy’s sites, including have DOUBLED on a daily basis from December, 2008 to January, 2009. Sales have also increased over last year’s comparisons. Sorry, I will not divulge by how much.

    The invitation is still there, join the Facebook (Home Based or Small Businesses on the Web) discussion. The information is Free. Or should I charge for it? Will it be more valuable if you pay for it? Judy’s new V-P and national sales manager asked: “Why is it so cheap?”

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Building a Web Business – Part 2 – Dealing With Sales 101

    See the preceding blog article for the first in this series.

    As a salesman I love to hear a “yes, I’ll take it”. I am an actor on a stage, and a sale is my applause. I am not afraid to hear “no thanks,” for I know I cannot please everyone. But maybes drive me up the wall! I define “maybes” as any stall tactic. Mostly it comes from people who cannot make a decision. And, I have heard most of them…call me back in a week, check with us later, we’re not ready, it’s not in our budget now (well then when?), we’ll call you when we are ready, don’t call us – we’ll call you. I hear nothing lately that is very original.

    People who are not courteous also upset me. Mostly, they do not return phone calls, or in this day and age, emails. Or they use caller ID to screen their calls. I guess am old fashioned, I long for the days when chivalry ruled. But I am mature enough to (mostly) not get angry. I only get angry with people and customers who pull this “shtick” even though I have known them or been servicing them for years. Or, if they blatantly lie to me. That is why I generally do not sell to friends and people I know.

    To all of you out there I say: “Attention people! Attention! We salespeople are people to!” You think we like to have our feelings hurt? (I still do not know how can you hurt feelings? As I used to say to my daughter…where are they? Can I fix them for you?) I know it may be hard to tell us to our face, or even call us, but at least drop me an email and tell me I did not make the cut! I will understand and I forgive you, in advance! It’s NOT personal, I hope! If it is, please tell me so I can Fix it!

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    If an Elephant and a Dog can become Friends, Why Can't We Be Friends?

    If you cannot believe that an 8,700 pound Asian elephant named Tarra and a dog named Bella could become friends, click on this link. The story was on CBS' Sunday Morning last Sunday, January 4, 2009. I have been talking about it ever since! Here's the full transcript.

    Building a Web Business – Part 1 - Foundation

    I am a salesperson who doesn’t sell, that is I do not “hard” sell. I never even knew how to ask for an order until it was shoved in my face. That is until someone came running down the street after me, shouting, come back, we want to buy!

    Over the past 27 years I have been steadily successful in an industry I knew nothing about when I entered into it. That was despite the fact I had used the industry’s services in a retail business for years. I was a part owner of that retail business as well.

    After the first day of training I came back home and said to my wife: “What have I gotten myself into? I am lost!” At that time I held (and still do) a BS degree in economics and an MBA! The company’s product (and services) was in an applied technical field. My educational background included three years of college engineering studies, advanced mathematics, and I worked for three summers drafting for the Cook County (Illinois) Highways Department. The company had an advance training platform, including video tape training and evaluation.

    Despite the adversities and being desperate for a steady income, I became a salesman who learned. I studied my company’s products and services and looked at them from a customer’s point of view. I looked for my customer’s needs and I told stories. I looked for applications within my products and services to solve prospect’s needs. Then I offered my prospects a solution. Sometimes those solutions included services from competing companies!

    Personal comment: My momma didn’t raise a fool! I would rather get a large piece of the pie rather than no pie!

    Finally, I let them make an adult decision. By being frank I developed a following based on trust. When I made a promise to do something for a prospect or a customer, it happened.

    To be continued...

    Monday, January 5, 2009

    The Internet's 100 Oldest Dot-Com Domains

    Here's an interesting story that brought a nostalgic tear to my eye. The main thrust is a list of the oldest 100 .com Websites. However, it was the the memories of my involvement with the Web in the mid to late 1980's that was endearing. I first read this story from December this morning. Its author is JR Raphael and it starts out...

    The Internet's been around in some form for decades. It wasn't until the mid-80s, though, that the Web as we know it started coming together -- and those precious dot-com domains started getting snatched up.

    As we finish out the tech-centric year of 2008, we thought we'd take a look back at the Internet's oldest commercial Web sites -- the ones registered back when chatting about "the Net" was as socially acceptable as wearing Jedi garb into a crowded nightclub. So grab your light sabers, dear friends -- we're boarding the Millennium Falcon and heading back to a virtual galaxy far, far away

    Click on the title to read the rest of the story.