The Pumpkin That Sold Me a House

The Pumpkin That Sold Me a House

This morning I found this pumpkin on my doorstep--again. The Coen's are the realtors that helped us buy our home nearly three years ago. Every year at this time we get a pumpkin and an invitation to their Christmas party. They did the same for my brother. In fact, when I was preparing to move to Mesa and asked Joe if he knew any realtors, he said "Oh yeah, we just got our pumpkin from the Coen's. Here is their number."

Just a gimmick? For some it could be, but we've been to the Coen's party. We didn't feel like customers. We were friends. My point is the pumpkin is a nice way to get attention (and there are countless other ways to get attention) but if you don't back it up with a genuine relationship it will be nothing but a gimmick.

Looking for a house in the Phoenix area? Contact the Coen's.

(Looking for a remarkable real estate web solution?)

Customers who feel that you are listening to them are more likely to recommend you to a friend. How do your customers know that you are listening? Learn more

Best of Seeds 10/22/06 to 10/28/06


October 22nd to the 28th, 2006

From Seeds of Growth--Your Own Personal Pollstir

With the elections in the US approaching we are once again faced with a myriad of choices as we sift through the political mudslinging. No matter which side of an issue you are on, who do you trust? Actually, you already know who you trust (friends, family, colleagues etc.), now there is a tool to help you learn what they think. It's called Pollstir. It's free and its a quick and easy way to help you prepare for the voting booth. Give it a try and let us know what you think. Pollstir.

From Other Business Blogs

Number 3-- 10 Free Advertising Ideas from Small Business Branding.
Here are 10 creative marketing ideas from a landscaper that has started his business by posting “Landscape design student needs your home for portfolio development” and ended up with more business than he could handle.

Number 2--Top 10 Secrets of The Marketing Process from Seth Godin.
This must be the week for the lists of 10. Here's Seth's list of things to keep in mind when marketing. My favorite: "If it makes you nervous, it’s probably a good idea."

Number 1--Jet-Sized Gravanity. from Springwise.
They call it gravanity--where graffiti meets vanity. In this case it is another opportunity to get customers engaged and give them something to talk to their friends about.

Have a great week and be sure to give Pollstir a try. As John Adams said, "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people."

Dave
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Best of Seeds is a service of Promoterz--Happy Customers Talking

Promoterz is the hands-free, word-of-mouth marketing service that takes care of the details so you can focus on business. Learn more

Your own personal pollster

Your own personal pollster

At this time of year in the United States there is a massive amount of marketing going on. Political marketing. Email in-boxes and physical mail boxes alike are stuffed with glossy literature spinning their own story.

My wife saves all of the mailings in a big pile. Then we take the time to go through them, sort them out and try to decide who to believe. We invariably call a couple of people more involved, that we trust, to tell us how they are going to vote. We put it all together and then head off to the polls.

Recent years have been even more difficult as the number of propositions has grown. You want to make the right decisions on those, but often don't have any reliable information.

There are all kinds of polls out there, except a personal poll of people I trust. It occurred to us we could make a tool people could use to find, assemble and view the opinions of their friends.

So we made just such a tool, we call it Pollstir and it is free for anyone to use. Think of it as your own personal pollster and our little gift to a great country.

Here is how it works. You pick a ballot for your state and invite friends to "vote" and leave comments as well. You view their responses with interactive charts. Clicking on the charts will display the "reasons" behind the votes.

You can also enter PollstirIDs of others to include in your "mixins". So if you want the opinions of candidates, columnists, talk-show hosts, and celebrities you could just type in their PollstirID.

Our hope is that our little tool will help all voters, regardless of party, become more informed and therefore better voters. Just as your customer's comments about your business help their friends to "vote" on visiting your business.

Customers who feel that you are listening to them are more likely to recommend you to a friend. How do your customers know that you are listening? Learn more

They Call it the Hawthorne Effect

They Call it the Hawthorne Effect

In the 1930's some studies were held at the Western Electric production facility outside Chicago in a place called Hawthorne. The intent of the study was simple enough: invite a handful of employees to participate in various working condition tests to determine which conditions were most conducive to increased production. Those conditions that "tested" best were then to be rolled out to the general production floor. One of things they tested was brighter lights. Production went up. Then they tested dimmer lights. Production went up. In fact, no matter what they tested, production went up!

Dr. Paul Marsden, from the London School of Economics, brought my attention to the study and the results which have come to be known as the "Hawthorne Effect." He explains it like this in the preview chapter of his book Connected Marketing:

By singling out a small group of employees to participate in an exclusive trial, participants felt valued, special and important. The special attention they received gratified their ego and created a positive emotional bond with what they were trialing. The practical upshot was that the research trials effectively transformed the research participants into advocates for whatever it was they were trialing.

What does the Hawthorne Effect have to do with growing your business? Creating advocates, or promoters, or evangelists is the first step to harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing. The researchers at Hawthorne created advocates by singling out a small, exclusive group, giving them special attention, and asking for their opinion. It is possible to do the same with your product or service.

Case in point: text book publishers. Whether they know it or not, text book publishers have been using the Hawthorne Effect to sell more text books for years. The smart publishers pro-actively select instructors with large adoptions and stellar reputations to review forthcoming text books. Sure, they get good feedback to improve the text, but they also realize that professors that review texts are much more likely to adopt them. I know this because I worked with a unique company called Content Connections that helps publishers do exactly that. Content Connections has developed online tools and processes that facilitate the review process and helps authors and publishers harness the power of the Hawthorne Effect.

Put the power of the Hawthorne Effect to work for your business today. Choose some customers, make them feel special, and ask for their feedback on new products or services. Not only will you get good feedback, you'll get advocates and all those they go on to tell.

Need some help? Contact us at Zeryn.

Get customer feedback, generate referrals, and increase repeat sales for as little as $150 a month. Learn more

Thomas Jefferson on Advertising

Thomas Jefferson on Advertising

Advertisements contain
the only truths to be relied
on in a newspaper.

He'd be so dissappointed in today's marketers...

Unhappy customers tell on average 22 other people. If you ticket price is $50 that is $1100 in revenue. How would you like to know before they tell 22 others? Learn more

Seeds from the blogworld
We search the business blog world looking for posts that illustrate principles, or "Seeds", that if followed, or "planted", will help small businesses grow. We list them here for your convenience. Enjoy.
I remember having a note pinned to my shirt by my kindergarten teacher to make sure it made it home to my parents. (They don't do it anymore, probably because of liability issues--they used straight ...more.
She ordered that night (stomachs were growling) A few pizzas to keep the kids from howling. We waited and waited and waited some more, Must the pepperoni age before it got to the door? The min ...more.
I have a little '97 Dodge Neon that has been "enjoying" the heat about as much as the rest of the country and began overheating. I took it to Hefners and dropped it off with no fear. I had no worries ...more.
Remember the talking bubble from the cartoons? It occurs to me that there is a lot of power in that bubble. In fact, the whole intent of word-of-mouth efforts is to get your business in your custome ...more.
Welcome to the July 24, 2006 edition of carnival of business. Come on in! This edition has got something for everybody! Before we jump into the submissions, we're going to drop by the games booth a ...more.
I was in a hobby store yesterday buying model rocket engines (think venture scouts making jet propelled barbie cars). Anyway, I noticed a new restaurant had opened up in the same strip mall. While t ...more.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.
I grew up in the west and now live in Arizona. There is a simple rule for growing things out here (this rule applies everywhere but is more obvious in the arid west): if it doesn't get water it does ...more.

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