Monday, November 20, 2006

We are making progress on the Organization Package which will allow organizations to use our credit card marketing program to generate revenue. I can't really say much more as we are still testing out some program elements, but stay tuned.

You have hopefully heard our message "Always Be Training" and now I would like to supplement that with another, "Always Be Prospecting". You should constantly be thinking about people that you can develop into qualified leads. Go beyond just sending a impersonal e-mail to your list of contacts by picking up the phone and setting up further discussions. Ours is a relationship driven business, the more successful you are at developing relationships the more successful you will be in Family and Friends Financial.

E-mail is a powerful and efficient tool for staying in touch, but its effectiveness wanes daily. With the proliferation of spam/junk e-mail, and spam filters e-mail should not be the only tool you use. So pick up the phone, set up some meetings and build your business to the next level. Spend time really qualifying your leads and developing your personalized pitch and watch your success rate skyrocket. Remember we have three main communications to convey to potential prospects: credit cards, income opportunity, and free membership. Go into the meeting with your approach mapped out and be prepared to change course based on the immediate feedback that you receive. Personal marketing has always been and will always be the most effective. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Did you get out and vote today? If not you must be one of those smart people that voted early or submitted an absentee ballot. During election campaigns we often hear about inappropriate government spending, but I recently read an article in the St. Pete Times about a government funded program that deserves a bigger budget.

Ways to Work provides a means for parents with credit challenges to secure financing for an auto loan with a decent interest rate. The article by Nicole Johnson suggested that the program dealt with some issues managing default rates when they started serving Pinellas County in 1999. Through experience and refinement of their selection criteria Ways to Work has been able to operate successfully since last year. In addition to assistance with auto loans, Ways to Work provides counseling on rebuilding credit. The vision behind the program focuses on providing reliable transportation as the foundation of getting your credit on the right track.

Family and Friends Financial offers a free membership program providing credit knowledge and information on personal finance. If you are not already a member click here to sign up for FREE.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I just returned from a conference in NYC hosted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. The conference was highly informative and I would like to share some of the highlights with you.

Keynote Address by Fran Kelly - CEO of Arnold International

Fran spoke about building "Breakaway Brands" (also the title of his new book), as the developer of the Volkswagen "Drivers Wanted" campaign Fran sure knows a thing or two about this. The key point of his address was the need to be the best in your space, to become a category of one, by developing your distinguishing factors and answering the question: "What makes us different?"

Taking Control of user Generated Content
panel featuring
Mary Bremel - Director of Interative, Hewlitt-Packard
Dean Harris - Chief Marketing Officer,
John Trimble - Director of Interactive, Fox Interactive Media

The panel addressed everything from Myspace (Fox/NewsCorp was on the panel) and blogging to future movements in television and radio. The key point from this discussion was the acceptance that due to the ease of communication and pervasiveness of information in our digital world every individual consumer represents an entire channel. The discussion brought some heated debate as to whether or not current trends in user generated content (i.e. Myspace) really represented a paradigm shift or simply an enhancement to the channels and efficacy of communication. I believe that the ease of spreading your own content does amount to a paradigm shift because at no time before in the history of mankind have the masses been able to directly influence the news and media with no more effort than taking a picture or writing a letter. The average citizen has in effect become the producer and reporter of news and current events through tools such as blogs and CNN's iReport.

Representatives of Family and Friends Financial may want to leverage blogs and social networking tools like Myspace and Linked In to grow their networks and build teams through effective communication. Just a thought, please let me know what you think.