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March 27, 2006


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Gordon  Bell

I absolutely agree and testify that passion is the underlying key to sales success. Because everything is energy. Everything is energy!

I had a successful operation devoted to military personnel. Yes, the government put an end to that by closing the base on which I thrived. I went into a different market and fell flat on my face several times because as I see it now, I did not have the same high degree of expertise.

Since then I went out and took every course available and some unavailable that related to my services. Then I studied the latest knowledge on selling skills and power presenting. In other words I made an intense effort to discover every reason I had failed and the solution to each. I had no thoughts about passion when I began this “voyage” but now I realize that I couldn’t help but develop passion in the process.

To think that I even would attempt to have succeeded without the knowledge I since acquired seems ludicrous yet I did that. Along the way I have met other students of a particular topic but none are committed to the whole process and guess what? They are not earning their way; they just do enough to get by. Passion for them is a misunderstood word that they probably can’t even spell. To them I am obnoxious. Think about it, if you see the other guy as such then maybe it’s you. I could go on and on and I could introduce you to the mentors that helped me realize that the acquisition of more and more knowledge is the key to automatic passion but this probably isn’t the place!

Gordon Bell AIFA CAPP CWPP San Jose CA

Lawrence Groves

I have taken advantage of a couple of your marketing ideas and applied them at my web site at The amount of traffic has increased.

Barry Bassnett

Hi Everyone

Thanks Robert, One of the few blogs that is on my daily to do list.

Is anyone out there like me getting a bit hacked off with the overuse of auto-responders. Of course they are a miraculous tool but their over use and the lack of imagination and skill in their application are just further fuelling the fires of scepticism.

I’ve just read one of my (now) former heroes in Entrepreneurial internet marketing, berating me with his pre-progammed auto salesmail for not buying his product.

I’m a professional copywriter. That is all I do. I know how the tricks work, but he has just lost my business forever. (I’ve taken my affiliate link to his products off my web site, which will cost me a lot of money. I’m not prepared to recommend anyone who deals with clients in this fashion or lacks respect for them). He probably doesn’t care a hoot. To him I’m a just a cookie, a number, an IP address. But scepticism feeds and multiplies all by itself and the old saying, ‘Bad news travels around the World before good news has got his boots on’ is even more relevant with the speed of transfer of the Internet.

Crafted in the right way you can do so much positive business building with programmed e-mail but you have to mix it up with blogs , e-zines and snail mail. Just how nice is it to get a thank you letter on your mat from somebody these days? Just a simple note, saying thanks for the business, no other sales pitch included. It works wonders. Don’t forget the simple things.

Auto-responders are a very, very blunt instrument. Technology may give you the time and space to work much more effectively but you have to apply them with care. There is no greater purpose in your business than building a genuine relationship, even if it is a virtual.

Autoresponders are rather like penicillin, a miraculous tool but in some areas you it develop resistance or even worse, an allergic reaction.

Barry Bassnett. Yorkshire


Thank you! I've always enjoyed the newsletters, including this one, but I had a terrible experience with this "I'll think about it = You blew it" idea.

The newsletter said: When a prospect says, "I'll think about it," they really mean, "You blew it."

Not always....

Maybe I'm the last "thinker" in America who does not make every decision on spur-of-the-moment impulse? My bad experience with this "You blew it" idea was with a landscape designer last summer.

The designer and I had walked around and studied my yard. He then described what he wanted to do, and I said, "That sounds really nice...let me think about it." He then described another design....I said, "Oh, that's an idea. Let me think about it." He then pulled yet another design description out of his hat...and another....

You get the picture. All I really wanted to do was Think About It...get a picture in my mind, try to visualize what it would look like, decide whether I wanted to go with that design or modify it a little, or whatever. Five designs later, I was so confused I didn't know what he wanted to do, and in any case I didn't want him doing anything to my yard because he couldn't stick to one idea! I imagined him changing plans in the middle of the job....and who knew what we would end up with...a mess.

It was several days later that I realized he was taking my "Let me think about it" statement as "You blew it" and trying, rather desperately in the end, to come up with something that would get me to sign on the dotted line right then and there.

Unfortunately, he so frustrated me that, even though he is a talented landscaper, I'll never do business with him.

Kevin Dervin

Thanks again for another great article and a timely reminder about what's important when it comes to small business marketing.

The transformation in my results has come from being more genuine and authentic about what I'm out to cause. When I catch myself talking too much about "what I will do" for clients (i.e., tasks and activities) and refocus on what problems I want to help them solve and results I want to help them produce, good things happen. This is a real focus of continuous improvement in my business.

It's amazing how difficult this is for some small business owners to do. The brainwashing of their experiences tells them that their marketing needs to be filled with slick messages and lots of information about their experience. But that's the kind of thing that makes the marketplace skeptical. Too many have bought into it in the past and been burned.

It's an awesome revelation when one of my clients finally realizes that passionately and enthusiastically telling prospects what they are out to cause gets so much better results. And the bonus is you don't have to be manipulative, just genuine and authentic.


I can appricate the point this article drives home. Real Estate Agents are very skeptical. They have a limited budget and everyone is trying to sell them something.

After 5 years of running my business part-time I took the plunge last month and decided to go full time with my business.

I do virtual tours and computer consulting. I was starting to question my ability to be successful in this Virtual Tour Market Place as it is highly competitive and cut throat! I am also in the Detroit, Michigan area so our Real Estate market is always worse than other places.

Then I got the below message from one of my new clients after sending him a "thank you for your business" message. I was blow away and very happy to get a message like this. Now all I have to do is figure out how I capitalize on this message with out wearing it out. I am good at the work I do but marketing my services is something I am still trying to figure out.

E-mail message follows and is verifiable.


"My pleasure, actually "_____", another Realtor at Century 21, actually my mentor in Real Estate highly recommended your work. He had mentioned that due to proper price and your virtual tour he sold one of his homes in 3 days, that is flat out amazing for this economy."

Indeed it is... Now all I have to do is show all the skeptical Agents out there that I am actually working in their best interest!


Cathy Bolodo

Hi Mr. Middleton. I have been a long-time subscriber of your ezine (i guess more than 5 years now).

First, I want to thank you for your effort of sharing your marketing ideas. I have benefitted mightily from them. I am currently designing marketing plans for the foodservice and hotel industry in a city in the Philippines. I actually started early last year but I guess my mailers were still lousy then. This year, I decided to give it my all. Now I'm starting to get clients!

I guess your recent ezine still boils down to your previous advice of being clear on what you do, who you work with and what they can expect from you. It works!

Again, thanks!

Cathy Bolodo

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