Big Beautiful Bamboo

Have you heard the story of the black bamboo? I spent a great deal of time in Japan many years ago. While there, I met an elderly gentlemen who had a beautiful bamboo garden in his yard. One day he gave me a walking tour of this garden pointing out the different types of bamboo.

“Few people,” the old man said in a ragged voice, “realize that there are hundreds of types of bamboo. This is the Black Bamboo seed.” He held the small seed between his thumb and forefinger like it was a holy relic. It looked like a small walnut as far as I was concerned. “When planted, Mark-san, it must have water and fertilizer nearly day.”

He then led me to a patch of dirt and pointed to it saying, “In this place there will grow the most beautiful bamboo garden with stalks more than 20 feet high. But it will require great loyalty and patience from its caretaker.”

I remember thinking, “Yeah right, 20 feet high. This guy is dreaming. I always get hooked-up with the strange, eccentric odd-balls.” For the next few weeks I watched the old man lovingly tending his dirt patch but nothing grew. Week after week he kept watering and fertilizing yet there was not the tiniest sprout to show for all his efforts. On the day of my departure back to the States, I watched him outside my window. There he was on his knees gently pouring water into the dirt – sprinkling fertilizer onto the soil. But there was nothing. I remember thinking, “doesn’t this guy get it? When will he give up this lost cause?”

Surprise Surprise
I returned to Japan several years later and again rented the same room. As I looked out the window I saw the old man and I felt a tinge of sorrow for him. There he was again with his water sprinkling can and little hand-spade. Yet there was no dirt this time. In its place was the most magnificent bamboo garden I have ever seen. The beautiful black bamboo grew higher than the roof of the house itself. You see, what the old man failed to tell me was that when the black bamboo seed is watered and fertilized repeatedly nothing appears to be happening for months on end. Even after a year with the same process of feeding and watering nothing visually happens.

Then, during the tenth month of the second year, the seed opens and a stalk bursts through the ground. Within a period lasting no more than six weeks, the bamboo grows to a majestic height of 20 feet!

The question is when did all this growth really take place – 20 feet in six weeks or 20 feet in two years?

I believe that the growth was a result of precise events staged over the entire two year period. Why? Because at any time during that period, had fertilizing and watering not been maintained, the seed would surely have died.

Systemized Marketing
Marketing is much the same. To get a prospect to think of you first, to get an old customer to think of you in a new way, to get an entire organization to operate more productively or even to change long-standing attitudes and behaviors, the mental changes may require pro-active relationship building for a number of years.

And once the effort of the relationship building takes hold, results often measure in double digit percentages. The return on effective relationship development is enormous.

As business professionals we must take a more systemized approach to our marketing efforts. Whether it’s developing effective advertising or collateral material, creating an ad placement strategy or even launching a public relations campaign, using a consistent systemized approach is far more effective than the quick fix. This is true in building customer relationships as well.

Many people tell me “if I could only get in front of a prospect then I could sell them my services.” But in getting the customer’s attention and interest we run the risk of losing credibility and being perceived as a “salesperson”. Now there is a way to use a systemized approach to getting more appointments “without” selling!

New Tele-Clinic
I would like to invite you to learn how to use a simple yet powerful five step marketing approach to getting more appointments. I have never used this weekly update to shamelessly promote myself for profit purposes. In fact this is the FIRST TIME I have ever made an offer in this newsletter. Yet I have received an overwhelming request from subscribers and web site visitors for information on this particular topic.

In this Tele-clinic we will present non-selling principles, approaches and techniques that will get you more appointments with qualified prospects. We will cover:

  • How to establish the ground rules so it’s easier to ask for an appointment.
  • What information your prospect should have BEFORE you meet with them (or even talk with them).
  • How to reach the right person without a battle.
  • The things you should never ask a prospect when you get them on the telephone.
  • The things you must ask your prospect before you set up an appointment.
  • Why you should spend more time REJECTING prospects rather than trying to get them to accept you.
  • How to get a prospect to ask YOU for an appointment instead of you asking them.
  • Why you should give your prospect homework after you’ve set the appointment. Several ways to pre-sell your services even before meeting for the appointment.
  • How to dramatically reduce appointment cancellations.

The five steps that we will cover in the Tele-Clinic is as follows:

  1. Preparation
  2. Reconnaissance
  3. Contact
  4. Rejection
  5. Response

What’s a TeleClinic?
The content of our TeleClinics are practical and hands-on. The sessions are highly interactive, not just one way information. We discuss principles and strategies and how to put them into action. You get to ask plenty of questions. We work with participants to clarify the ideas and show them how they can implement each in their own business.

This TeleClinic will be held over a conference line and will last 20 to 30 minutes. It is supported by presentation material which each member will receive prior to the event. Additionally, the entire presentation will be audio taped and made available so that participants can replay the content “on demand”.

We are only able to accommodate a maximum of 20 participants for this TeleClinic, so sign-up today. Simply click here to learn more and register to take part.

Posted in Sales Improvement, Uncategorized.

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