Monthly Archives: February 2014

“Back to Basics and Product Promotion” by Arte Maren

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Product Promotion

From my observation, a well-named product tends to promote itself.

An example of its value might be demonstrated at an actor’s convention. There are lots of photographers there who are promoting themselves.

“What do you do, Bill?”

“Oh, I’m a photographer.”

“Oh, let me have your card. I need pictures all the time.”

“Oh, fine.”

But it is likely that he will never call. There are hundreds of photographers available. But now the actor meets our photographer who’s just done an Admin Scale on his photographic services.

“What do you do, Bill?”

“Oh, I’m an image consultant.”

“What?”

“An image consultant. I find out what image, what communication you want to portray in a photograph and I capture that on film.”

“When can we start?” is the actor’s immediate response. Why? Because that really communicates as something valuable!

“Oh, it’s very expensive.” he could add. When it’s perceived as valuable enough, the actor will not care! It’s never the money. Repeat, it’s never the money, as any seasoned veteran salesperson will agree. If a potential buyer or client starts talking about or getting concerned about money, then you probably haven’t communicated the value of the product or service. The value is simply not real enough.

Now our photographer can even do a consultation before the photography session, for the same or extra fee, to isolate what the “message” is and be sure he can get his product and a satisfied customer.

Before our photographer’s Admin Scale training, his clients used to come in and he’d say,

“Okay. What kind of photograph would you like?”

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“Well, I want a picture…you know. I want to look strong.”

“Oh, OK. Have a seat there. I’ll get some barbells…”

He takes the picture. The client comes back for his photos.

“Here are your pictures.”

“Uh. I don’t know. That’s not me. I don’t know.”

“Yeah, but you said strong. Look, that’s strong. See the barbells?

“That’s not what I meant by strong.”

“Oh. What did you mean?”

“I don’t know. Strong.”

What occurred was a breakdown of communication. And that breakdown was caused by a breakdown of sufficient early interest on the part of the photographer. The customer said “Strong.” What did he mean exactly?

If you don’t fully understand something, you’ve got to ask. If you’re really interested, you will ask. You don’t know what he means by “strong,” so you automatically ask. (Unless, of course, you don’t want to appear “stupid.” Somebody is talking about something, and you don’t quite get it, but you don’t want to appear stupid and don’t ask them. At that point, you are stupid. So try to make it a policy to query what you don’t understand. It keeps you smart.)

“What do you mean by strong?” “Well, you know…strong,” is the answer.

So he puts a bunch of “strong” type pictures up on the wall. “This is the ‘strong’ picture set. I’d like you to take a look at this and point out the picture that you like best. Which seems to be the kind of communication or image that you want to portray?”

One cares. One asks because one wants to know.

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“All right, well, I like #3, that picture of strength.” “Oh, all right. Tell me about it. What do you like about this?” “Well, you know, you see how the head is tilted there to one side? It’s strength, but it’s a quiet strength. Yeah. It’s a quiet strength. That’s what I want.”

He’s got it. He’s discovered his image. Now it’s simple. No problem. The photographer knows exactly how to set this picture up. He’s got some certainty. He has communicated and fully understands what the client wants. No problem. Success is guaranteed. And you don’t have to hope; you are certain.

Using this procedure, we organize and promote better. The customer walks in and is handed a sheet to fill out which gives the photographer an idea of what this prospect is really after. Then the photographer shows him five different “messages” in photographs, or maybe ten other actors and actresses in poses that are communicating something. “Which one most closely approximates what you are trying to say?” he would ask, and then—having isolated exactly what was needed and wanted—he would produce it.

The event is the photo session. But all the preparation is done prior to the shoot. By the time he is at work in the studio, he knows exactly what the client wants. He knows how he is going to set it up and how he will shoot it, which is the technical expertise.

The taking of the photograph was the event—but look at the preparation that went into creating that event! That’s professionalism.

Back to Basics

If you are having trouble working out naming your PRODUCT, one good method is to cut out all the verbiage, and go strictly down to “What is it that I do?” Then look at the result of that “doingness,” and build on that.

What is it you deliver?

-Arte Maren
Professional Speaker, Writer and Business Consultant
Author of The Natural Laws of Management: The Admin Scale

 

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“Utilization of Resources for Business Success” by Arte Maren

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Resources have a lot to do with how soon you are going to achieve your goals and with how much effort.

What are your resources? You’ve got a certain level of knowledge, X amount of money in the bank, Y number of employees, Z amount of time, etc. You might have a fantastic project lined up but the staff you have right now are too tied up and are not going to get it done. So what is the solution? You could drop the project until later or hire other people. All these points go into planning.

Before one begins the PLANNING and TARGETING, the resources one has must be considered.

How quickly you move from your existing scene to your IDEAL SCENE will depend upon the bright utilization of resources.

“Handling must be WITHIN THE CAPABILITIES of those who will do the actions.

“Handling must be WITHIN THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE.

“Handling quite often but not always requires a BRIGHT IDEA. It is peculiarly true that the less the resources available the brighter the idea required to attain effective handling.”1

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If you wanted to go to China, and had plenty of money, no problem. Just buy the ticket. But suppose one did not have the money, suppose one had little money at all and still wanted to go to China? One would have to get pretty bright! “Who do I know? Does anyone that I know also know some people from China, or who know people in China? I’ll make a list of all of the possible resources I have that might help me get to China. And on the list of resources is my ability to speak English! Also on the list was my close association with the owner of the Chinese laundry down the block. What if I speak to him about teaching the rest of his family English? They are still in China and he wants to bring them over next year. In exchange, he will provide a ticket and my room and board in China for the next year.” And what do you know? Goodbye Toledo, hello Hong Kong!

Planning always considers resources first.

 Every now and then I’m challenged about how planning things so “specifically” seems to take the “fun” out of life. But simply because one plans, does not mean there will be no further surprises. To think so would be folly and an underestimation of the unpredictable adventures on planet Earth. If I am going to Hawaii, I don’t want my luggage sent to Japan. What I can control, I wish to control. Life still offers up lots of surprises to keep it interesting.

 

-Arte Maren
Professional Speaker, Writer and Business Consultant
Author of The Natural Laws of Management: The Admin Scale

1 Hubbard, “Proper Format and Correct Action” 
Policy Letter of 17 February 1972, Management Series

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