You’re NOT in the (What business you’re in) business…
You’re in the MARKETING business.
Read those sentences again… and again… and again. Digest them. Understand them. Internalize them. Make them an integral part of your business philosophy. Because unless and until you do, your business will be no better and no different than any of the other choices your prospects and customers can select to do business with.
Let me explain by using the insurance profession as an example, and as I do, think about how these principles might apply to your business.
It’s a well-known fact that very few people (if any at all), want to actually buy an insurance policy. It’s true, they may want the benefits, security and piece of mind that insurance provides them and their families or their business, but they don’t necessarily want to spend their money on an insurance policy. But, what do most insurance sales people sell?
They sell insurance!
No wonder the business is so difficult. It doesn’t take a Harvard degree to figure it out. If you sell insurance… and know that people don’t want to buy insurance… why would you continue to beat your head against the wall trying to sell it?
Consider the way most people shop for auto insurance. They call up a number of insurance companies and ask for a quote. The agent or his or her representative asks what coverage the caller is currently carrying, and gives a quote based on those figures.
The caller then thanks the agent or staff member, and goes to the next number on their list. They keep repeating that scenario until they’re convinced that they’ve found the lowest price… and whichever company comes in lowest gets the business.
But, wait a minute. Isn’t there more to buying insurance than just “low price?” Well, sure there is. And you and I both know it. And so do most insurance agents.
Why is it, then, that nearly every agent from nearly every insurance company you call tries to sell on price… knowing that there’s probably someone out there with a lower price than they can quote?
Why is it that so few agents try to differentiate themselves from their competition, and change the prospect’s base of thinking away from price, and on to other, more important things?
Price is important, don’t get me wrong. It’s very important. And it carries a lot of weight in a prospect’s buying decision.
But it’s only one of many factors that a person needs to consider when making their buying decision.
In actuality, there’s very little difference in insurance policies issued by any number of insurance companies in the same geographical area.
And likewise, there’s usually very little difference in the products or services you sell versus those same types of products or services sold by your competitors.
General overhead costs, utilities, phones, supplies, wages, and product costs are also similar for most companies that sell like products and services.
So, if all those factors… similarity of products and services, overhead costs and product costs… are pretty much the same, the prices charged by each individual business must, out of necessity, be pretty close, as well.
It’s true, that one company may, for example, obtain a lower purchase price on their products and as a result, be able to offer a more attractive sales price for a certain period of time, but eventually, things change and the playing field becomes pretty level once again.
There are other factors not to be overlooked such as investment income and tax write-offs or advantages that can play a role in the prices businesses charge for the things they sell.
But overall, all things considered, the prices charged for the goods and services from one company to another similar company are going to be fairly close over the long haul.
The process of human change begins within us.
We all have tremendous potential.
We all desire good results from our efforts.
Most of us are willing to work hard and to pay the price that success and happiness demand. Each of us has the ability to put our unique human potential into action and to acquire a desired result. But the one thing that determines the level of our potential that produces the intensity of our activity and predicts the quality of the result we receive is our attitude. Attitude determines how much of the future we are allowed to see. It decides the size of our dreams and influences our determination when we are faced with new challenges. No other person on earth has dominion over our attitude.
People can affect our attitude by teaching us poor thinking habits or unintentionally misinforming us or providing us with negative sources of influence, but no one can control our attitude unless we voluntarily surrender that control.
No one else “makes us angry.” We make ourselves angry when we surrender control of our attitude. What someone else may have done is irrelevant. We choose, not they. They merely put our attitude to a test. If we select a volatile attitude by becoming hostile, angry, jealous or suspicious, then we have failed the test. If we condemn ourselves by believing that we are unworthy, then again, we have failed the test. If we care at all about ourselves, then we must accept full responsibility for our own feelings. We must learn to guard against those feelings that have the capacity to lead our attitude down the wrong path and to strengthen those feelings that can lead us confidently into a better future.
If we want to receive the rewards the future holds in trust for us, then we must exercise the most important choice given to us as members of the human race by maintaining total dominion over our attitude. Our attitude is an asset, a treasure of great value, which must be protected accordingly. Beware of the vandals and thieves among us who would injure our positive attitude or seek to steal it away. Having the right attitude is one of the basics that success requires. The combination of a sound personal philosophy and a positive attitude about ourselves and the world around us gives us an inner strength and a firm resolve that influences all the other areas of our existence.
Use the past as a learning tool. “We must not beat ourselves to death with past mistakes, faults, failures and losses.” The greatest opportunity today brings with it “is the opportunity to begin the process of change.”
Adopt a new attitude. It can be about “who we are, what we are, what we want and what we are going to do. Today can also be exactly like yesterday, and the day before; it’s all a question of attitude.”
Develop self-awareness. “As we learn more about who we are, we begin to make better choices and decisions for ourselves and about ourselves. As our choices improve, so do our results, and as our results improve, so does our attitude.”
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Your fears can actually lead you to success. Fear is an intense emotion. But that doesn’t mean it has to control you, or even stop you. Fear can prepare you and push you forward just as strongly as it can hold you back. Fear heightens your awareness and increases your physical strength. Fear brings your mind to sharp focus. With all that going for you, does it make sense to just run and hide? Of course not. Fear gets you in shape to take action!
Are you waiting for things to get better before moving ahead? If you’re serious about success, you need to start taking action today. If you’re waiting for things to be perfect, you’ll wait forever and nothing will ever get done.
The way to achieve is to bloom where you’re planted, to do what you can, where you are, with what you have. It’s easy to think up excuses for not taking action. “If only I had more hours in the day. If only I had a better job. If only I could meet the right person.” But excuses won’t bring you anything of value. You’ve got to change your if only into an I will. I will make better use of my time. I will work on improving my career. I will create and nurture my relationships.
Take a chance. Have faith in yourself. Your circumstances will improve when you make the effort to improve them. Start where you are right now. You have everything it takes to reach for whatever you desire. Stop wishing. Use your time, your energy, your thoughts and efforts to make it happen! You’ll be glad you did!
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In order to maximize the effectiveness of an idea, you should continually be looking for ways to support and strengthen it. The more you can support the idea, the more you will believe it, the longer you will retain it, and the more effective it will become in helping you serve your customers’ needs.
Now, what does all this have to do with your business? Simply, this. In your daily business and personal activities, as well as throughout your experience with the information presented in this book, you are going to be exposed to a great number of ideas.
Some will be brand new, that is, you’ve never heard them before. Some will be ideas you have heard in the past, but have forgotten. And others will be ideas you come up with on your own as a result of something that was triggered in your mind as you read. Understanding and applying these five steps in the learning and retention process can help you retain more of what you read and experience.
Action Makes the Difference
It’s important to keep an open mind as you read, hear, or otherwise experience ideas that can help you. Try not to judge them or cast them aside too quickly because they don’t sound good, they’re not part of your personality or make‑up, or because you may have heard them before.
Instead, consider these courses of actions:
If you’ve heard an idea before, say to yourself, “Yes, I’ve heard that before, but am I using it?” If not, “Why not?”
If you are currently using the idea, ask yourself, “How effective am I at using it?
How can I ‘plus’, or improve on it to make it even more effective for me and my business?”
Next, ask yourself this question: “What will I do as a result of what I’ve learned?”
Remember, it’s not what you know – it’s what you do that counts. Ideas are powerful. And good ideas are really important for any business. They’re what keeps your interest up and your business fresh and alive and growing. And put into action, good ideas can make a huge difference in the way you do business, the results you realize, the fun you have, and the profits you make.
This manual is full of good, practical, and usable ideas that can help make that big difference for you. But it’s up to you to tailor them to your own unique situation, and more importantly, to put them into action.
Learn more: HERE
Repetition. One university study revealed that an idea that was read or heard only one time was 66% forgotten within 24 hours. But if that same idea was read or heard repeatedly for 8 days, up to 90% of it could be retained at the end of the eight days.
So once you’ve read this manual all the way through, go back and read it again. But this time read with a highlighter, a pencil and notepad handy. Mark up the book. Write down the ideas you feel fit your personal business situation. This repetition will help you retain more of the information than if you had read it only once.
Utilization. This is the “doing” step. It is here that neuromuscular pathways are actually developed, creating a “mind‑muscle memory.” And according to the study quoted earlier, once you physically experience an action, it becomes twice as easy to recall as if you had heard it only.
Internalization. Actually making the idea a part of you. That may involve some customizing or tailoring of the idea to fit your situation or style, but it is vitally important for you to personalize the idea and make it “yours.” “Learn more now.”
Learning – the acquisition of new information or knowledge, and Retention – the ability to capture that information and recall it when wanted or needed, is actually a process that involves five steps:
Impact. That is, actually receiving the idea in your mind. Impact can be in the form of a word, a visual observation or a concept. It makes no difference. Your mind isn’t capable of making a distinction between a visual or an actual experience. Nor is it capable of determining the difference between a conscious or an unconscious impact an idea may have on you. As far as your mind is concerned, those experiences are all the same and your mind will accept them, regardless.
If information or an experience appears real to your mind, your emotions and nervous system will react as though it were actually real.
To illustrate this point, try this simple experiment:
Seat yourself in a comfortable chair, feet flat on the floor and your hands resting comfortably in your lap.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, let it out slowly and relax. Take another one. Let it out slowly. Relax even more.
Picture in your mind a lemon resting on a table in front of you. Visualize it. See it clearly. Look at its shape – its color – its texture.
Now, mentally reach out with your hand and pick up the lemon. Bring it up to your face. Look at it closely. Squeeze it. Do you notice how firm it feels? Feel the texture of the lemon’s dimply and waxy skin. Notice the lemon’s yellow color and round shape, with its pointy ends.
Now, hold it up to your nose. Smell it. Do you notice the lemon’s citrusy smell?
Place the lemon on the table and mentally pick up a knife that’s laying nearby. Cut the lemon in two.
Pick up one half of the lemon and see the juice dripping from it. Bring the lemon up to your nose. Smell it again. Now bite into the lemon.
What’s happening to you right now? Is saliva flooding your mouth, both in your mind, as well as physically?
Now consider what just happened. In actuality, there was no lemon. You just pictured one in your mind. While this was just a mental exercise, and the lemon was just imagined, chances are, if you are like most people, the mental image you were playing on the screen of your mind triggered certain responses which manifested themselves physically. So, you can see by this demonstration, that Impact, is a critical step involved in the process of learning and retention.