How to Influence People & Totally Put Them Off Doing Business With You

I received a phone call the other day from an advertising representative who had got my number via our website. This gentleman was calling to tell me about a fantastic opportunity he had to offer for the special EBACE (European Business Aircraft Convention & Exhibition) edition of his publication. An advertiser had pulled out at the last minute so they had some space they had to fill quickly, and of course the space was at a considerable, never to be repeated, massive discount.

I had a couple of clients visiting EBACE and in my role as media advisor they had given me the task of arranging some meetings with trade and industry publications. I saw this as an opportunity to make another appointment for them and the start of a beautiful new media relationship. My first mistake!

I started to ask if the caller would be at EBACE and if it would be possible to arrange a meeting. My new friend was not really interested in arranging a meeting and nurturing a new relationship, his sights were firmly fixed on “filling that space”.

I came to this conclusion because during the first five minutes of this call I had little chance to get my requests in, he was so busy telling me what an “incredible” opportunity this was. I should also mention that during the call there was a strange clicking noise on the line, almost as if the call was going to break up but then it would come back at full volume.

Having spent the best part of 10 years as a advertising salesperson (and with my calculator poised at the ready) I decided I should have a little fun and see how far I could bargain the price down on this incredible one time offer. My second big mistake!

The full page rate was in excess of £8,000 but because of the last minute urgency of this situation the offer was £5,500 for the page. I explained that for a magazine I had never seen before (and believe me I have seen most of them) there was no way my clients would consider that price, he would have to do better. He immediately did! The price dropped to £3,420! But there was no way my clients would consider a magazine at such short notice, sight unseen, unknown etc.

As it would be my clients who would make any booking, and of course they are totally unaware of this at this time, I asked what the agency commission rate was. He said 15%. I said “therefore if the clients make a direct booking the price will be £3,420 minus 15%, £2,907, is that correct?” Sensing he had boxed himself into to a corner he immediately responded. “No, with that much discount we would only offer a 10% agency commission”. Mmmm! Interesting, I thought agency commissions were fixed on the rate card and a minute it go it was 15%.

Thinking he had reached an agreeable price he decided to go in for the kill and launched into his pitch on why this edition was such an un-missable opportunity. Unfortunately for him it was at this point his telephone connection made a loud click and I was pitched into a surreal world where I could hear him but it was as if he was on speakerphone and talking from the back of the room. It sounded like someone giving a pep talk and pre-op briefing for the Dambusters raid.

I said “hello, can you hear me”. No reply. I waited patiently. Again “hello, can you hear me? I can hear you faintly but you don’t seem to hear me”. No reply. He was in full flow, still talking non stop! At this point I should have hung up but was curious as to where this was going. After a full five minutes and forty five seconds he eventually stopped, probably wondering why he had not heard a peep from me all this time. I explained that I had not been able to hear what he was saying, BUT before he launched into his spiel again, I “appreciated his offer but I should not waste anymore of his time.” The clients would not be advertising but we could meet at EBACE and continue from there.

This was not acceptable to him. He asked what the client’s phone number was as he had a “duty” to make them aware of this incredible opportunity. He went on to tell me an anecdote about how if there was a jacket on special offer at my local branch of Armani that if I did not know about it I would miss out, therefore it would be churlish of me to not let him speak directly with the clients. I explained that as their “media advisor” I would be advising them not to advertise on this occasion but a meeting at EBACE may just be the start of a beautiful relationship.

Determined not to let this opportunity go he asked for the name of the MD of the client. I advised him that it was not my policy to give such information away and there would be no advertising, but (in a Bill Cosby assertive voice) “HOW, ABOUT, A, MEETING at EBACE!!?”

Then it turned nasty! He said I had an “un-professional attitude” and “did not know my business.” That was it! I explained, with restrained anger, I had over 12 years experience of advertising sales. I had been polite to him because I empathised with his plight and had tried to move forward with a mutually agreeable solution. He had talked incessantly for 40+ minutes, he was not remotely interested in my objectives, he did not take his cue when he was politely turned down but offered the olive branch of a meeting, for 5+ minutes of the call I could not hear what he was saying and to top it all he had the nerve to say I did not know my business.

I concluded by saying that he had been given every opportunity to continue this budding relationship and it was only my politeness, good nature and curiosity which had allowed him to go on for so long. I should have cut him off in the first minutes of the call. My parting shot was that he had totally turned me off his publication and I hoped that I should not encounter him or his magazine in the future, I would positively recommend NOT advertising with his publication.

With hindsight I feel sorry for this guy. I find it hard to believe he will have a long career in advertising sales and I will be amazed if a person with such an aggressive attitude will be made welcome at industry events. The problem is that this is the kind of pitch that gets advertising representatives (and some publications) a bad reputation. It also makes life difficult for the “professionals” out there doing a good job. This attitude of the short term, one time sale is no good for the clients and no good for the publication. Eventually they will run out of advertisers and in a small industry the bad reputation will become known very quickly.

Perhaps we can start a campaign, here and now, a Hall of Fame and a Hall of Shame to let our industry know who the bad guys are and who the good guys are.

The Surreal Reality Behind Starting An Internet Business

The Facts On The Reality Behind Starting An Internet Business

It’s a known fact that we all can perceive reality differently, as well as be influenced by something that seems to be the ULTIMATE solution to our financial shortage (that’s fancy talk for being broke!). But when it comes to starting an internet business, our eyes seem to cross and we only see the profit that could be made.

Truth is, there are a lot of steps to take in between that initial start-up and that “Profit” stage. Steps like:

  • Understanding The Sales Industry
  • Building Relationships
  • Learning And Staying Up-To-Date On Marketing Strategies
  • Phone Prospecting Skills
  • Following Up On Potential Clients
  • Closing The Sale
  • And Last But Not Least, Teaching Others To Duplicate Your Efforts (this is were the BIG MONEY comes in)

I know, these steps at starting an internet business sound intimidating, but in reality they’re just action steps anyone can implement (with the right training of course) and potentially reach that “profit” goal.

But you see, I understand that the majority of you that are reading this article are looking for more information regarding starting an internet business.

So for those of you, I’d like to break each step down to a more simplified definition as to what exactly you’ll be doing when starting an internet business and what needs to happen in order to create a sustainable income from home.

Breaking Down The Steps Of Starting An Internet Business

First, let’s better define what the sales industry truly is and why it’s important to understand.

  • Professional Selling is defined as: “The holistic business system required to effectively develop, manage, enable, and execute a mutually beneficial, interpersonal exchange of goods and/or services for equitable value.”

Note: this definition was published by ASTD in 2009.

Notice the definition says “execute a mutually beneficial, interpersonal exchange,” something that MANY people overlook when starting an internet business.

Remember, when starting an internet business, focus on what your product or service has that will truly benefit someone and share your experience.

Facts tell and stories sell. Next, let’s chat about building relationships.

Starting An Internet Business Around Professional Relationships

Ever notice how people buy from people whom they know and trust? Even if they’ve only met them a few moments ago? You’ll see this a lot at your local electronics or appliance store.

That one sales rep that seemed really nice and was willing to take his or her time with you to find the best product and deal that best fit your needs.

Well, this same experience that customer had is what you’ll need to provide someone, even as you’re just starting an internet business. Relationship building is a very easy, but very important step to take when starting an internet business.

From experience, I began approaching this industry with the complete opposite approach, which only led to frustration at not knowing why someone wouldn’t purchase, let alone let me present what I had to offer them.

It’s all about your intentions as they will be the first thing someone will notice when you’re chatting about them starting an internet business.

Now, as for the other four steps I mentioned above, those are more involved as they pertain to understanding marketing. So how can you learn more about those steps?

The Marketing End Of Starting An Internet Business

Getting your message out about what your product or service has to offer and how it can benefit others is obviously a critical step. But it’s one that takes a bit more time to learn as it’s more of a technical aspect that you’ll have to learn.

But we all did at one point or another. Just some chose to learn by trial and error, while others chose to learn from those that have already been through the failures and KNOW what actually works.

Me, I’m lazy! I don’t like having to go through the trial and errors.

I’d much rather learn from someone that’s already been there, done that. So I chose a private educational program on starting an internet business and how to market that business online.

So for more information, visit

The Challenges in the Business of Art

There are so many things about the business side of art I don’t know about. Many artists, galleries, collectors, and dealers emphasize in its importance, while others want to completely dismiss the subject. I am not sure where I stand yet in this subject, so I need your help. What is your side of the story? I’ve been reading about this in books, blogs, and articles and finding all kinds of mix-messages about how to present yourself as an artist and how to present your art for people to get to know it and buy it. “Don’t put your art for sale!” “You need to let people know it is for sale!” “Art is about creativity not money!” “The artist needs to eat too!” “You can’t consider yourself a professional artist if you do this just for fun and leisure!”… It gets very confusing at times and honestly I don’t have a straight answer or position in the subject.

My wife, who is my greatest supporter, is constantly motivating me and helping me to get the word out about my art. I remember when we visited a gallery in Miami Beach a few years ago. I was drooling with all the wonderful art I was looking at from some of my favorite artists. I’ve only seen these pieces online and being in front of them was just a surreal experience. At that point I was still struggling with the idea of showing my art. To make this story short, after hesitating for a moment I showed pictures of my work to the gallery director. His reaction was very interesting. He removed his glasses in disappointment when he knew all of my pieces were in a corner of my living room and said to me with his card at hand: “Whenever you want to make something of your life let me know”.

Shortly after I had my first show, one of my pieces was requested to be in several shows in Argentina, and a commissioned piece ended in Paris. So it began! I am still trying to figure this out as other pieces are in other parts of the world and published (although someone in a very demeaning way called the books paid ‘catalogs’ I feel fine when I see the fruit of this). I was afraid that getting involved in the business of art could affect my creativity and suck the fun out of it. It is disappointing at times to see people making tons of money with artwork that makes no sense to me (art is subjective anyway) and I bet they feel fine about it. This is a lot of work, a lot of pressure, and a lot of sacrifice to have someone tell you that your work is not “all that.” I keep pushing, learning, growing, and trying to figure this out.

I try looking back to some artists in history: Dalí, Picasso, Warhol, Bernini, Caravaggio… and many others who enjoyed the fruit of their labor and still loved their art. Then I look at Van Gogh. Isn’t it a sad story? Now people are making millions when he barely made it through the day. I imagine my art paying the bills so I can get in the studio and worry about nothing but to create. I see nothing wrong with that. In fact, I want that! I also want to share what I know with others and open my studio for others to learn too. The business of art seems scary to me but it should not affect my creative spirit or the love for what I do.