Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Site for Authors Launches

I'm excited to be a part of a new web site/service created to assist authors with writing/editing, publishing, and marketing. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

P + F = Success

Three weeks from today, my client, Silverado Brewing Company, begins their biggest week-long celebration of the year: their annual Oktoberfest celebration. (That's our head brewer, Ken Mee, in the pic to the right. Funny hats are a part of our Oktoberfest tradition.) Not only do we feature daily German food specials (all of which go great with our special Oktoberfest lager), but we put on two big special events: a Community Dinner (where we turn the restaurant into a giant beer hall) and a Brewer’s Dinner (where we pair five courses with a different Silverado beer).

As the Marketing Guy, I should be SLAMMED, right? I should be CRAZY.

No, I’m not. It’s all good. In fact, the focus of our marketing meeting tomorrow will be to begin discussing the components of a new customer loyalty (locals) program we want to implement soon.

So why am I NOT c-r-a-z-y? Preparation. We began planning Oktoberfest six weeks ago. During that time, we created the various flyers, email blasts, press releases, and Facebook/blog posts that we will use to publicize this event. We also work off of a checklist complete with due-by dates. As a date comes up…boom—the marketing element, already created, is simply implemented. The only outstanding Oktoberfest item at this time is a postcard, and that is due to go to the printer by Monday.

Want more bang for your events? Prepare. Use a checklist. Meet regularly to review goals, timelines, and resolve any issues. Get the word out in as many different ways and formats as possible.

If you do these things, not only will your event be more successful, it will be much less stressful.

Preparation + Fun = Success

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Staff Training: A Critical Piece of Marketing

The goal of marketing focuses on getting customers or prospects to take action--go to your web site, or come in to your restaurant or pet store or country inn.

Today I want to talk about an important, if not critical component of a company's overall success--once that prospect comes into your store, your staff should be trained to (1) treat that prospect in a professional, customer-oriented manner, and (2) have basic sales skills to enhance the prospect's visit and, and course, drive sales higher.

With this in mind, I have developed a three-part staff training program. The parts are:

1. Customer Service
This includes everything from the initial greeting to what I believe is one of the most important customer service areas: THANKING the customer as they are leaving.

2. Cross-Selling
This simple concept trains staff to suggest other, complimentary, items. If a client orders a dessert, the server should suggest coffee, espresso, or an after-dinner drink. If a man decides to buy a suit, the store associate should suggest a shirt and tie.

3. Up-Selling
Again this is a simple, yet extremely effective, designed to increase what a customer spends at your location. Up-selling involves exposing customers to higher priced (and, more times than not, best value) items. For example, if a customer walks into a pet food store, and then asks the clerk, "What type of dog food do you suggest for my dog?", the clerk should ask several questions to determine the type of dog, then suggest the premium dog food available. If the customer doesn't want to spend that much money, the clerk can then offer a lower-priced version.

To really get the most from your marketing efforts, consider on-going staff training focused on customer service and basic sales skills.
Note about the picture: from the Oktoberfest Celebration 2009 at Silverado Brewing Company. Why this pic? Have some FUN with your staff, too!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Guerrilla Marketing Insights_part 2

More marketing insights from Guerrilla Business School....

Three keys points to the Ultimate Marketing Strategy:
1. Market
2. Message
3. Medium (HOW you reach your market)

If you can't define your market, you can't find them.

Your best market is someone who has purchased a similar product or service before.

Messaging is about answering two key questions:
1. Why buy this?
2. Why buy from us?

A company's Number One assest is their database/customer list.

"Up-level" your marketing -- create a higher-ticket product/service for your clients.

{ - end - }

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guerrilla Marketing Insights_part 1

How you do anything is how you do EVERYTHING.

To be successful, you must surround yourself with successful people.

Way to create a "new" product:
Take an existing product, add a needed new enhancement or feature, and make it unique.

FOCUS is critical to business success. Opportunities can become obstacles...as they cause you to lose focus.

In life, you don't get what you want -- you get what you are committed to.

Every business should tell their story. Story telling is really story selling.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Guerilla Marketing

...off on Tuesday (Mar 23) to a Guerilla Marketing program put on by the Peak Potentials folks.... Stay tuned for some great info....

Monday, March 1, 2010


...forget that they're in a race, and just run.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Becoming an Expert

During my recent Virtual Marketing Program (Professionals Need Coaches) group phone call, I led a discussion on how to create the most effective solution for your clients. To create great solutions for clients, you need great information from them regarding their specific needs. To receive this information, you must first build trust and rapport. How do you do this? By building your reputation as an expert. Once you become the expert, clients will place greater value on your time, your insights, and, most importantly, the value of your services (i.e., solutions).

One way to become an expert is to act like an expert. How? By asking lots of questions and then listening intently to the answers. Once the prospective client sees that you truly care about their business, they will be more open. When they are more open, you are better able to identify and understand their specific needs.

Are you asking enough questions of your clients/prospects? Who talks more: the prospect, or...you?

To care more, ask...and then listen more!

Friday, January 22, 2010

VMP Launches!

I'm excited to announce that my Virtual Marketing Program (VMP) had a successful test-launch a week or so ago. In addition to some North Bay (CA) folks, we had people attending from places like Colorado and Las Vegas, NV.

Again, the purpose of VMP is to assist business owners and sales professionals who want to grow their business. For more information and to register, visit here.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

VMP Payment Options

The Virtual Marketing Program has three payment options:

Monthly: $75.00
3-Month: $199.00 (Only $66 per month)
12-month: $699.00 (Only $58 per month)

To purchase the VMP:
1. Mail a check to:
Tim Polk Communications
Attn: Tim Polk
2436 Quail Hollow Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95403

2. Purchase online through the secure PayPal program:

Monthly: $75.00

3-Month: $199.00

12-Month: $699.00

For questions, please call 707-568-7322. Thanks!

VMP Calendar of Calls

The Virtual Marketing Program (VMP) monthly group coaching calls will take place as follows:

January 2010:
Tuesday Jan 19 and Monday Jan 25

February - December 2010:
The second and fourth Mondays of each month

Phone Call Times:
Calls will begin at 11:05 a.m., and end at 11:55 a.m. PST

When you sign up for VMP, you will receive the call-in phone number and other information.