I Apologize for Ignoring You

By John R. Aberle | Small Business Management

Oct 30

It has been a very busy past few of months, which is my excuse for ignoring you for so long. I’ve also been going through some soul searching during this time about what I want to be when I grow up. One of the biggest aids in my decision was having a past client from nine/eight years ago contact me to see if I would train his two, new sales people in relationship selling. I was thrilled to accept this job. And I threw myself into it.

Love of Doing Sales Training Re-emerges

Naturally, I had a lot of materials which I had to dig out of my hard drive, pick the best ones and update them. I even wrote some totally new material when rewriting the older material to update it didn’t satisfy me. The exciting part is that I realized my eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Business was a great tool for homework as it reviewed much of what we covered in classes. I had a fabulous time as I love training while I also rediscovered my love for sales and marketing.

Being Too Hurried Results in Recommending Faulty Products

If you know me at all, you know that I strive to give the best I can. From a time frame point of view, that means I invest a lot of time being sure the content I give you is as accurate as I know how. Doing this research over the past few years has prevented my recommending a source that I disagree with and even consider harmful. One example was an excellent video, excellent that is until it became obvious it was to sell email lists. Had I just watched a short amount and approved it, I would have ended up recommending that you buy email lists.

If you know anything about the U.S.’s CAN-SPAM Act, you know that it is illegal to do bulk emailing to people who didn’t ask to be on your email list. In other words, you can email anyone you have an address for if you do it as a personal, one-on-one email though that implies it really is personal, so you have something in the email that identifies them as someone you know or know something specifically about. Using MailChimp, they have already set up the basics to make compliance

Now, that’s not to say I won’t ever recommend or promote an event that hasn’t happened yet. However, for me to do that, I need to know and trust the people involved.

Always Needing a Call-to-Action Slows Me Down

As a sales and marketing professional and trainer, I’ve done my best to follow the advice of more experience marketers. In this case though, I need to change that approach. I have delayed writing to you until I could figure out what call-to-action I wanted to ask you to take.

While I believe in Gina Gaudio-Graves’ maxim to “serve to the best of your ability while strategically monetizing,” I don’t always have a product that fits what I’m writing about. Looking for a product that does fit can delay me to the point that I never get that post made.

The easiest call-to-action is to ask you to sign up for my email list, but if you are already on my email list, you have already done that. So, I thought further about what is important to me, serving. In The Art of Social Media (this is an Amazon affiliate link), Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick suggest an approach leads to a solution that feels right for me.

NPR Approach to Posting

Guy Kawasaki calls it the NPR (National Public Radio (and television too) model to posting because it follows their example.

“The goal is to emulate what I call the ‘NPR model.’ NPR provides great content 365 day a year. Every few months, NPR runs a pledge drive to raise money. The reason NPR can run pledge drives is that it provides such great value.

“Your goal is to earn the privilege to run your own ‘pledge drive.’ A ‘pledge drive’ in this context is a promotion for your organization, product, or service. If you are familiar with American radio or TV networks, the question is, Do you want to be NPR or QVC?”[1]

[1]  Kawasaki, Guy and Peg Fitzpatrick. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users. New York, NY Penguin Group (USA) LLC., Location 428 – 435.

As I don’t want to be QVC, the NPR model appeals to me. I know, I do have an affiliate link to the book for The Art of Social Media above, but NPR does have sponsor notices on some of their programs so I’m comfortable with taking a bit of liberty here and still being within the NPR model.

Open your heart in selling,
John R. Aberle

Image of How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses book cover


Do you love taking care of your customers and prospects? If you yearn to build more long-term business connections with your customers, get your copy of the Amazon Kindle eBook: How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses.

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About the Author

I have a strong love for small businesses, especially brick and mortar companies. After an 18-year career in sales and marketing, I started my own service company, which I grew in both sales and profits for the first five years. In my sixth year, the bottom dropped out of the printer market such that it made more sense to sell my assets and return to Southern California. There I went to work for an international small business consulting company. I spent over three years on the road with them helping small businesses to become more profitable and better managed. I then started my own company specializing in sales and marketing consulting, coaching and training. My emphasis is on heart-centered, relationship selling that empowers prospects to make their own choices.