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The Path to Understanding – How Having a Concrete Marketing Message Can Make Or Break Your Business

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In 1987, 29-year old entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan had the opportunity to pitch his idea for a new generation of personal computers that were small enough to fit on a person’s lap. He was pitching to one of the most prestigious firms in Silicon Valley at the time-Kleiner Perkins. Kaplan was nervous and had never presented to a venture capitalist before. The future of his idea depended on his ability to get funding.

When he arrived at the meeting room in his sport jacket and open-collared shirt, another entrepreneur was finishing up his presentation. The other entrepreneur, who was wearing a dark suit and red tie, was pointing to a full-color graph he had projected on the wall. Kaplan realized that what he thought was an informal session was actually expected to be a formal presentation, and he was armed only with a maroon portfolio with a pad of paper inside. He had no business plan with him, no presentation at all. Kaplan began to panic as the audience of the company’s partners began asking a myriad of difficult questions to the impressive entrepreneur.

When it was Kaplan’s turn to present, he jumped into what he had to say, quickly covering his idea: a personal computer more like a notebook than a typewriter that would serve the needs of busy professionals away from their desks. Kaplan recounts his audience’s response:

My audience seemed tense. I couldn’t tell whether they were annoyed by my lack of preparation or merely concentrating on what I was saying. . . . . Thinking I had already blown it, and therefore had little to lose, I decided to risk some theatrics.

“If I were carrying a portable PC right now, you would sure as hell know it. You probably didn’t realize that I am holding a model of the future of computing right here in my hands.”

I tossed my maroon leather case in the air. It sailed to the center of the table where it landed with a loud clap.

“Gentlemen, here is a model of the next step in the computer revolution.”

For a moment, I thought this final act of drama might get me thrown out of the room. They were sitting in stunned silence, staring at my plain leather folder-which lay motionless on the table-as though it were suddenly going to come to life. Brook Byers, the youthful-looking but long-time partner in the firm, slowly reached out and touched the portfolio as if it were some sort of talisman. He asked the first question.

“Just how much information could you store in something like this?”

John Doerr answered before I could respond. “It doesn’t matter. Memory chips are getting smaller and cheaper each year and the capacity will probably double for the same size and price annually.”

Kaplan said that he did not even need to speak much after that, as the partners debated the challenges and exchanged ideas for the new technology. He said that periodically, someone would reach out and touch his maroon portfolio, which still lay on the table.

A few days later, Kaplan got a call from Kleiner Perkins with the news that the partners had decided to back his idea. Their investment valued Kaplan’s new idea at $4.5 million.

This story illustrates the power of concreteness. While graphs and charts and abstract concepts may be helpful to a group of experts who already understand an idea, they do not serve well to take a person from little or no knowledge of a concept to understanding.

In Kaplan’s case, the portfolio served as a way for the partners to visualize the new technology and it gave them a creative way to brainstorm and focus their thoughts.

Concreteness is effective because it takes things we already understand and uses those things as a foundation to help us understand something more complex.

Here’s how you can apply the principle of concreteness to your marketing messages:

1. Realize that your customers don’t know as much as you do about your products or services. They need you to help them understand how your products can help them by illustrating a problem they’re experiencing and helping them to visualize how they can get it solved with your products or services.

2. Realize that your customers don’t understand your industry’s jargon. It happens in the web industry all the time. Web companies start talking to customers about PHP and ASP, CSS and HTML, search engine optimization, captchas, favicons, and ROI. Our customers need someone to talk to them in language they understand. Your customers need that too.

3. Use pictures. The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is true. And pictures don’t even have to be photographs or illustrations. They can be stories that help the customer visualize pictures in their mind-like the story of Jerry Kaplan.

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Live Your Life by Design With a Vision Board

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OK already, so you have heard this before, well here it is again. Do you have a vision board and if not why not?

They are so easy to make, they are fun and when you make them you are deliberately forecasting your future. How cool is this?

Maybe the question should be, how scary it is if you do make a vision board.

What is a vision board: It is a snapshot of your personal desires, goals and dreams in drawings, pictures and writings. When you create a vision board you are having fun and thinking about what you want to come into your life. You are activating the universal law of attraction to bring these desires into your reality.

A few years ago I decided for the first time to make a vision board. I had no idea if it would work but I remained opened to the idea that it would. I cut pictures from magazines. I paste money from foreign countries that I received during my travels. I put a big cruise ship and lots of interesting, thoughtful and fun things on my board. I added more items as time passed. I placed the board in a location that I could view often. I stared at my vision board everyday for 6 months or more.

I moved my household to a different location and state thus packing the board away. I unpacked it recently and was overcome with emotions when I realized that everything on that board had come into my life. I was so full with gratitude as I touched the items on that vision board.

So, needless to say, I started another.

How to start yours:

  1. Your subconscious works in pictures and images. Collect pictures of things you desire to come into your life. Cars, money, checks, homes, computers, jewelry, large groups for your business. You can add a resignation to your boss or even quotations that move you. Let your dreams soar.
  2. Get colored pencils for drawings and writing.
  3. Buy a sturdy board from office store along with glue and tape
  4. Draw, write and paste pictures on your board.
  5. Use dates you want things to occur. Go for it.
  6. Engage your senses and emotions when adding to your board.

TIP: Do not place anything negative on your vision board, ever!

You vision board is only limited by the extent of your creativity. It should evoke a positive response from you and make you feel happy when you look at it.

Your board should be intentionally placed in a location that gives you maximum exposure to it. Constantly wash your subconscious mind with the energy from your board to manifest your desires quickly.

If you fear criticism or the need to justify your vision board to others, place it in a private location for your eyes only. Your little secret. How delightful.

Start collecting pictures for your board today and begin to live your life by your design.

Honor yourself!

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Medical Machining

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Medical machining process is used for manufacturing different types of medical tools such as scissors, clamps, surgical knives, syringes, and others. Medical instruments manufacturing uses advanced machining processes that help in producing precision medical tools and equipment required in the medical industry.

Medical machining involves fabrication of metal parts, which are extremely intricate and are mainly made from thin metal sheets. Different techniques used in medical machining include chemical etching, metal stamping, and EDM machining. Chemical etching machining process is mainly used for producing typical precision medical parts. The machining system offers a great flexibility for producing precision medical tools with unusual configuration as well as metals with tight tolerance within .0005′. Besides this, chemical etching machining is capable of producing small holes and bars that are not possible with other machining processes. Furthermore, chemical etching machining uses state-of-the-art-CAD software enabled with ¼-mm resolution in the production process, which facilitates speedy and low cost operations. The machining system is ideal for both prototype and production of large quantities of precision medical instruments.

Another technique known as the metal stamping machining phenomenon, which is also referred to as progressive die stamping or long run metal stamping, is extensively used in production of precision medical equipment with thickness from .002′ to .135′. The technique is mainly used for processing typical low price parts that are formed into three dimensions. Another common process is Wire Electrical-Discharge Machining (EDM) in which the metal is separated from a conductive work piece by means of electrical erosion. During this process, the wire never touches the conductive work piece and leaves a path on the work piece, which is slightly larger than the wire.

The advancement in precision medical machining has provided a significant boost to the medical industry, as surgical procedures need parts, which are designed with utmost perfection. Medical machining phenomenon has helped in manufacturing better quality hospital tools, thus serving greatly for a social cause.

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Should An Eye Witness To An Automobile Accident Cooperate With The Police?

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One thing I have noticed in my years of practice as a car accident lawyer is that eye witnesses to car accidents do not want to get involved. Likewise, they just keep driving and choose not to stop and provide their information. If you witness a car accident, you should stop and give your information. As an eye witness, you can help resolve conflicts about the events surrounding the accident thereby helping to avoid lengthy and expensive litigation. This in turn saves valuable time and money for the insurance companies and our overly crowded courts.

Here are some helpful hints that you can use in the event you witness a car accident:

1. Give your name and contact information to each driver individually. If you give your information to one driver and not the other, then you appear biased. Remember that you want to always appear independent and unbiased. At least give your name and telephone number. You can choose to give more contact information if you feel comfortable doing so.

2. Do not discuss the accident with any of the drivers or other witnesses at the scene. If you are asked what you saw, just politely say that you prefer not to discuss the accident with either of the drivers at the scene and will be glad to discuss it later with the police or the insurance companies.

3. Tell the police what you saw. You should tell the police what you witnessed, but make sure the other drivers are not around to hear what you have to say. The police will usually talk to you in private anyway. But if any of the other drivers are listening in, just politely tell the police that you would rather discuss the accident privately. Be sure to give your contact information to the police.

4. Tell the attorneys and insurance adjusters your version of the accident. Normally, the drivers will report the accident to their insurance companies or their attorney. If you are contacted by an insurance adjuster or attorney, be sure to tell them your version of the accident. They may request a more formal written or recorded statement; however, you are not required to do so. Giving a written or recorded statement just gives the parties an opportunity to twist your words against you in the future. Therefore, you may politely refuse to give a written or recorded statement and just choose to engage in a casual telephone conversation.

5. Always tell the truth. Don’t guess or speculate about the facts and do not exaggerate or embellish your version of events. Just stick to the basic facts.

If you witness a car accident, STOP and HELP! If you were the innocent victim of a car accident, wouldn’t you want witnesses to stop and identify themselves? Then you should also be willing to do the same. Once the insurance company knows that there is an independent eye witness to a car accident, they can better evaluate the case for settlement without having to rely solely on the drivers’ version of events.

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Cheap Car Insurance – Why Serious Motorists Are Choosing It

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Nowadays, almost every car-owner is utilizing cheap car insurance so that any bad happening with their car can not result in big financial implications. And this is necessary also as anything can happen with your car. Somebody may attempt to steal your car or it can be stolen sometimes. It also can become victim of road accident, fire or sometimes vandalism.

Due to these factors people are utilizing one among the three types of cheap car insurance or sometimes they are opting for one car insurance plan for one car and other plan for the second car. I hope that you know the different types but if you don’t know then let me brief about them first. First kind of car insurance is the third party only or TPO which covers your liability to third parties i.e. claims made by third parties, against you.

The second type of cheap car insurance is the third party fire & theft or TPF&T which covers you if some other person claims against you for injury or damage to his/her car or its driver. If your car is damaged by fire then also it helps. Whereas, the third type is comprehensive which covers accidental damage caused to your car and damage or injury you cause to some other vehicle or its driver in an accident.

Now, people are utilizing one or two of these cheap car insurance plans and auto-insurance companies are coming up with various new beneficial features with these plans. Now, you can get coverage for personal effects damaged in a car accident such as clothing and luggage, up to a specified amount. Sometimes, you also can get payment for travel expenses up to a specified amount when your car is damaged or stolen.

Some companies are also taking care of your stereo equipment in your car as the equipment damaged in a crash may be covered up to a specified amount. Sometimes, the deductible for collision coverage is waived when the accident involves two cars insured by the same auto-insurance company. And these hidden benefits are alluring so many serious drivers to opt for car insurance.

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Focus Your Business on Specific Markets to Achieve Success

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Some time ago, Chris Anderson of Wired magazine wrote the now infamous “long tale” article. He argued that the music industry needed to have broad based “hits” and serve narrow “niches”. So now you are thinking, here we go again, how does this apply to my business and internet marketing? It applies the same way it does for an attorney in Fresno, California or an Aston-Martin dealer in Scottsdale (or Scotsdale as I have been known to spell it) Arizona.

The long tail theory applies to smaller businesses and Internet marketing in a very direct way. Successful Internet marketing only happens when you know exactly how people are looking for you. The search engines are smart, but if they were perfect, they would match the right website to the right person every time and Internet advertising would die along with their key source of revenue (and mine).

Until that day comes, business owners need to clearly understand their customer. The Aston-Martin dealer is a pretty clear case. They pretty much sell and service one British marque, the Aston-Martin. If you have a Ferrari, you go next door, a Porsche around the block. They understand their customer. The Lawyer presents the more common challenge.

The lawyer might be like a family doctor, a general practitioner of sorts. The lawyer might charge by the hour or he might charge by the case on a percentage or fee basis. A few even work on retainer like an insurance company. Most of these general practitioners have small quiet offices.

The problem with Internet advertising for this general practitioner lawyer is, it costs money every time someone clicks. If a lawyer working by him or herself in Fresno California tries to advertise to people searching, bankruptcy, personal injury, divorce, tax problems, business law, contract disputes, real estate law, workers compensation and trial law, the lawyer will go broke before anyone ever can write them a check. The keyword bid for “personal injury attorney” is as high as $15.00 per click in some cities. I have seen single keywords like lawyer go for $20.00 per click.

The interesting thing about the Internet is the people searching know what they want. They enter a search sentence that is broken down or “parsed” by the search engine to try and figure out what website will best help them. If a person is looking for an attorney with RSD experience and they land on a website that highlights the lawyers success as a divorce attorney guess what happens. The lawyer just spent $8.00 for someone to click their back button.

In 1998 when I first started building websites, I didn’t realize how important focus would become to my success or my customers. I have since expanded my work to helping people and businesses find focus. What I learned over the years with the Internet applied to people so I wrote the book So, Now What? because most people don’t need to spend $200 an hour for me to coach them. Success through focus also applies to businesses and that is why we incorporate business focus consulting with our SEO programs.

Simply put, we can’t focus your Internet advertising if your business isn’t focused. Let’s consider the example of the attorney. There are some larger firms with deep pockets that do advertise to a wide spectrum of people browsing the Internet. For smaller single practice firms and any other small business, focus is the key to keeping your advertising program on budget. By selecting two (or three at most) key areas, we are able to create a very specific website and advertising program. Keep in mind, there are over 2,000,000 searches every day just in the Fresno California Area, the lawyer only wants the one person he can help that day. In Houston Texas there are 400,000,000 or more searches every business day. Search is huge.

Using Chris Andersons Long Tail approach, when the attorney picks a couple of niches to focus on, we are then able to create a four or more keyword ad that only costs $1 or $2 per click. We also create a website that highlights those keywords. Instead of 400-500 clicks a day at $8 or more per click where only one person calls the office, we are now getting 4-5 clicks a day at an average of $1.47 a click and getting the same one person calling the office. The secondary benefit of this is the attorney becomes much better at that specific niche of the law. When we pick two or three niches to advertise, if we find one to be a low performer, it can go away and another put in it’s place.

Recently we added a client in Costa Mesa California, TruSpeed Motorcars. TruSpeed is an independent Porsche service center, and has certified technicians for BMW, Mercedes and Ferrari. They also have a technician that is Bentley and Land Rover certified. When the service manager let me know that we should add Bentley and Land Rover to our marketing campaign, I saw my income going way up. The GM quickly said the right thing and killed my pay raise. He said “We are not going to be the jack of all trades, we service only sports cars, and European ones at that, we are not advertising Bentley or Land Rover”.

While this may sound strange to some people, this is where the 80/20 rule kicks in. The service manager is trying to get all the business and the GM is trying to get the right business. Every time I coach a small business owner, their financial issues are fixed by simply changing their focus to getting the right business. If you can do 80% of the work that you are doing now, and get a pay raise would you do it? Of course the answer is yes, so why don’t you?

What happens in business is simple. Business people cater to the customer, sometimes too much. In doing so they start doing work they shouldn’t. Accounting systems don’t always show that the business is losing money on a specific type of customer. The accounting systems have to be set up for it, and that can take six months or so to set up and get enough data to prove the point. The faster method (and I would argue therefore better) is to find the core competency and trim the customers (and ads) that don’t fit and see if profit and attitudes of the business improve. So far in all but one case over 15 years it has worked. The one that didn’t, the owner refused to even try. He said, “I need all the work I can get, I don’t care what brand or what service.”

When a politician runs for office, the winners usually picked one topic or one issue and stuck to it like it was tattooed on their forehead. Does “Change” sound familiar even two years later? Life and business are no different. When you pick one area to focus on, and really go for it, you will win and so will your business. If the attorney in Fresno decides to go after farm workers with pesticide related illness, he might need to expand a little outside of the Fresno area, and over time will become known as the “go to” attorney for pesticide exposure cases. When this happens, he is also able to command a much larger income for a lot less work.

Before you open for business today, what is the one thing you will focus your entire business on? Write down four to six very specific goals for the week, make them realistic and get them done. When your business is focused and your advertising is focused, you will hit your targets more often and better than your competition. That sounds like success to me. Get focused, stay focused and succeed. If you need a little help call me.

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5 Dirty Little Tactics Insurers Use to Deny Legitimate Claims

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The bottom line is that all insurance companies really care about is their bottom line. Nowhere else is this more evident than when a customer tries to make a valid claim, but is turned away and denied the coverage they not only need, but are entitled to.

For example, take the case of Molly Jefferson. Molly, at age 24, was seriously injured in a car accident. Initially, her insurance carrier refused to pay more than $100,000 in damages, falsely stating that the policy limits extended no further. Molly hired legal representation and sued for bad faith. The company, knowing they were in the wrong, settled for $2 million out of court-enough to cover Molly’s medical expenses and lost time at work.

Insurance companies have all kinds of tactics to avoid paying for the job they are obligated to do. Here are five of the most common.

Tactic #1: Standard claim denial

For many insurance companies, it is standard procedure to deny claims the first time around. The reason is that most claimants will not attempt to fight the decision, and the company will get out of having to pay coverage. However, if the claimant does indeed pursue coverage further after the initial denial, the company will then pay up.

Tactic #2: Lowball settlement offers

In many personal injury cases, such as car accidents, the victim is scrambling to pay expensive medical bills and recover from lost time at work. Insurance companies use this financial stress to their advantage by persuading claimants to settle too quickly for insufficient offers and sign a form that releases the company from future claims. Most people underestimate the time and expense of fully recovering from their injuries, and insurance companies count on that to get out of providing your complete coverage.

Tactic #3: Recorded statements

The job of insurance adjustors is to record your statement in the hopes that you will say something that the insurance company can use against you to deny or reduce coverage. Adjustors have an extensive knowledge of the legal system, which they use to try and twist your words around in their favor.

Tactic #4: Requesting medical records

Insurance companies ask for claimant’s medical records in order to find information suggesting that the injury was not caused by the accident, but rather a preexisting condition. They will also try to use the medical records to argue that your injury is not as severe as claimed.

Tactic #5: Video surveillance

For claims that the insurance company finds highly disputable, they may send a private investigator to video record a claimant engaging in chores, recreation, or other activities. The intention of video surveillance is to show that the claimant’s injuries are not that severe, since they are able to mow the yard, lift objects, play sports, etc.

Protect Yourself

Insurance companies have plenty of tactics to get out of paying for injuries and damages, as well as a knowledgeable legal team to fight on their behalf. Without a doubt, so should you.

If you have an insurance dispute, contact an experienced bad faith insurance attorney immediately to discuss the details of your case.

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