Monthly Archives: June 2013

Unleash Success Through Your Inner Entrepreneur

success Business can be very tricky. You need to stay ahead of the game in order to succeed. Learning that edge, that winning drive to satisfy customers and attract others is certainly the key. At business video marketing strategies, we believe there are so many ways to do better business. Ultimately, we have to keep our customers and prospects happy. That led us into seeking the additional thoughts from a very special individual, the author of “Attract, Sell, and Keep: The Art of Marketing Your Services.” He is a certified financial planner, has set up multiple companies, and retired in 2007. He wishes to teach and mentor entrepreneurs, just like you! Take a look at this interview we had on Henry Feldman.

Henry: Good to talk to you David.

David: It’s great to have you on the line Henry, it really is. Now, can I ask… How did you first get into this industry? It sounds very interesting.

Henry: Well, almost by accident, actually. I had some background in business school and was told by a professor that I should get out of the pre-law major that I had and reconsider because I wrote some A+ papers in marketing. And it was almost by accident, I found it to be understandable and a lot easier to think about than microeconomics. So I went to market research and advertising and I went into franchise, and I was one of the original people employed when our corporation was started. We opened up 400 licensees in four years and I was travelling all over the United States. Eventually I wanted to get married and have children and so I decided to go into brokerage business, which had been a hobby. Investing had been a hobby of mine since I was 14 years old. The first stock I bought was USD 27 and I sold it at 92, and I said, “Wow, this is a great way to make a living!” So, I joined Merrill Lynch, the leading brokerage firm in the late 60s. So I went there and started my career in 1969 as a retail stock broker with no sales, no marketing experience, and a fanciful belief that if I told people what stocks to buy and they went up, they would tell all their friends and I’ll build my business. That was the totality of my business plan. So, you want me to keep going on with all this..?

David: Absolutely. This is good stuff.

Henry: With three months of planning and training in New York, I came back to Merrill Lynch and I was handed a pile of coupons that had been sent in by a potential customer who wanted a free brochure from Merrill Lynch. I was told to “smile and dial.” In those days it was easy, you don’t have voicemail and all those defences that people now have. I started smiling and dialling, although I was basically shy. I was recently married, scared to death, and I thought that this was the most undignified way to get new business, but I persevered out of fear of failure. In the process, I learned what I needed to do to start bringing in new business. Four, fast years later, I was the leading broker nationwide. When I went over to Smith-Barney, an American-based company, I became number one in the United States in new business and I said, “Oh my God, I got a talent I didn’t even know about!” And I kept studying, studying, and studying it. The more I studied, the more I realized that it was an art that could be learned, rather than some kind of inborn talent that I was sure I didn’t have. And the more that I realized that I could make a lot more money working for myself. And in 1977, I left a good job at Smith-Barney, which is a fine firm, and I set up my own firm, hired my own secretary, and set up a lot of phones. I started calling small community banks trust departments in the States. By the end of ’87, I had about 193 banks in 38 states, and building a substantially fast-growing business. The more I did it, and the more that I was in the trenches, I realized that this was the most important part of business. Are you familiar with Peter Drucker, the man that wrote a pre-eminent management book to date?

David: Personally, no, I don’t know him.

Henry: It’s an excellent book, and he said that the job of entrepreneuring with your audience is threefold. First, you have to have administration. Second, you have to have implementation. The third is you’ve got to have marketing sales. The first two, administration and implementation are costs. The only thing that makes business and grows in business is the ability to market and sell your services. So I said, if I have a choice among these three, I would think I am a particularly good administrator, and I was sort of an average manager. But what I found the best realization of my time was to go out and build my two businesses, which became substantial businesses. By the day I retired in ’07, I had sold both and I went into retirement, being a proud one percenter of the United States. So that’s a fast review of my business. I’m retiring, but being a bit neurotic and productive most of my life, I wanted to get this university of hard knocks experience down on paper because I have read well over a hundred books on marketing services and not one of them satisfied me. Most of them were written by consultants that really didn’t have feet on the ground. Going after a new business, I figured there is a need for a basic manual and a workbook that would teach people, who had to sell, how to go out and sell a business.

David: Well, that certainly wraps up a big chunk of experience. And a lot of people, I can say, as you mentioned, don’t think they like to sell, but they’ve got to realize that everyone is selling something every day. That is quite a resume that you have. So that’s how you got into the industry and got this book around in 2011 which is “Attract, Sell, and Keep.” What was the actual drive for getting in and start writing it?

Henry: Good question. When you reach that marvellous age of 70 years old, well, actually mine is 67 years old. I realize I had a gift to give to my friends, my former employees, and just anybody who would listen to me. I didn’t mention that I had taught various aspects for 30 years, but no one was teaching the basic lessons. I wrote the book simply to give to anybody who was willing to read it and practice the skills that I talked about to just about anybody. You go out and really attract, sell, and keep your business. It didn’t require a silver-tongued double because I sound maybe a little better now, but when I started out I was awkward, frightened, and very tentative about what I did. But like anything else, if you keep doing it, you get good at it. And I just want to share this information with others.

David: I’m sure it has really paid off. I mean, you published a whole book and moved forward in that respect. So with that said, the actual, “Attract. Sell. Keep.” book… If I’m an average Joe on the street and I want to learn how to start my own business, then how would this book change my life? How would this point me in the right direction, in starting me up? Read more »

Business Marketing Strategies on Podcast

Business Marketing Strategies

I am delighted to announce the arrival of the Business Marketing Strategies Podcast – available iTunes and PodOmatic.

The Podcasts cover all types of topics from Entrepreneurs to Business Marketing – even video marketing strategies. We discuss the ins and outs of good business with a great line up of Guests from all over the world.
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David Cummings

The Man That Wrote The Book On Being A Real Entrepreneur

This is an article about the interview that we did with a very special guest, who came from Dubai. His name is John Lincoln, the author of “Connect the Dots.” He is also the vice president of a large corporation that is currently based in the United Arab Emirates. He has been around the business world and has had his share of ups and downs with business as well.

David:   Welcome John.

John:     Thank you very much David for having me here today. It’s my pleasure.

David:   I really appreciate your joining us. I found your details quite intriguing and I certainly wanted to interview you for quite a while now, especially about your book, “Connect the Dots.” It certainly is something I believe our listeners can certainly benefit from. Firstly, can I ask you how you started out as an entrepreneur and a business leader?

John:     You know… I’ve been very fortunate. I was born in Malaysia, and I moved to the US where I started my career as a telecommunications professional. In the late 1990’s, I saw an opportunity to start a business in Japan, where I was based in one of my assignments. I started an e-learning business, and it failed, but I learned many things from it. Along the way, I also had the chance to advise smaller business entrepreneurs, both formally and informally. I always noticed that most small businesses are more opportunistic than strategic. I learned both from the corporate world and from observing small to medium businesses in developing and emerging economies in many markets.

David:   You mentioned about the entrepreneurialship in Japan, and you opened a company that didn’t do too well. Can you talk about that please?

John:     Sure. When I was based in Japan, I realized that many Japanese really want to learn how to speak English. It was the start of the internet boom in those days, and I thought that I could offer them English language lessons using the internet as key enabler. The reason being that, many Japanese, as you are all aware of, commute everyday from home to work and most of them will go to English language school right after work, in the evenings or late at night, and they pay about $60/hour. I thought that there is an opportunity to offer them English language lessons on the internet. That’s the reason why I started this business. You can offer language lessons through the internet. So I had a hybrid model where I had a call centre full of American teachers sitting there, coaching lessons, and students can call in and try the lessons and different sorts of coaching. And that was my business model at that time. The business didn’t take off because I had roughly underestimated one key factor. The internet at that time was dependent mainly on the phone line, and the phone lines in Japan at that time didn’t exactly have great service. It didn’t take off as much as I expected. I closed the business eventually and the second guy who followed after me, well, I guess it’s a billion-dollar business today. In this case the early bird didn’t get the worm and the second one got it.

David:   Was the primary reason why it fell was because the market research wasn’t done properly or the tools to be used was not researched?

John:     Not really. There were multiple reasons. One of the key reasons was that it was probably a bit too early in my time because internet service was dependent on the phone line, it was still a measured rate of service in Japan, and it was not a flat rate like in many developing economies today. The second reason is that I probably should not have tried to do a consumer model. Rather, I should have gone on to a b to b model, a business to business model whereby instead of developing all 150 lessons in one go, I probably should have done five or ten lessons, hired a couple of econ managers, tried and sell it to the corporations, and slowly build up on them. I had a very ambitious plan at that time which was just conceived a little bit early on.

David:   Okay, but I must admit though that you’ve been pretty courageous about jumping in and trying something brand new. That’s very open-thinking.

John:     Yes. It involved two countries, you know. The development is down in the states and the call centre with the teachers was launched in Osaka, Japan. Of course I had some Japanese partners. I never attempted to do it myself. On hindsight, it really probably was a stupid idea at the time.

David:   Well, everyone’s got 20/20 vision in hindsight, don’t they?

John:     Yes. Hindsight is 20/20.

David:   I suppose what I’m getting at is that you could’ve stepped out and tried something new. Does your book really explain or connect the dots for young entrepreneurs today to actually help them move forward and try something different like this if they’ve got great big ideas?

John:     Yes, I’m hopeful that it will do that. One of the reasons is that I specifically introduced the book in my first chapter. On the last chapter, it’s a very personal story, the dots that I did not connect, you know. But more on that, the book actually tries to attempt to address this topic that are not normally covered in business books or in smaller or medium sized business advice books. In my first chapter, I titled it as, “Before you take the bull by the horns, know your exit.” For example, Read more »