Talk to Me

It’s worse than Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day.

As a writer, I pride myself on being able to communicate with extreme clarity. My secret (and it’s no secret) is that I put myself in the place of the reader. Is this clear? Is there a better way of saying it? Can I simplify the message?

But more and more, the businesses I do business with communicate only antique telephonethrough email. A commercial printer, media channel, and an insurance company. It’s email or nothing.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the principle of email. It’s fast, efficient communication.

However, the emails I receive are so cryptic and incomplete that I need to pick up the phone to call the business for clarification. On those rare occasions when it can speak to a person to ask a question, that helps. But most of the time, I’m forced to leave my message or question in voicemail.

The vendor’s response comes to me through email – another cryptic and incomplete answer. Ergo, an endless Groundhog Day loop. Continue reading

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Self-promotion for one-man or one-woman bands

For most of my business career, I’ve been a solo practitioner – specifically a business and marketing consultant.

As a solopreneur, I’m chief cook and bottle washer. I like it and wohotdogcart3uldn’t want it any other way.

I prospect, court, pitch, write proposals, and close deals. I run back to my desk to do the work. (It’s excellent work!) And when it’s done, I send an invoice. The check comes in. I put on my bookkeeper hat and make a bank deposit.

It sounds like a chore but, admittedly, I love what I do.

The overriding challenge is that when I’m working, I’m not promoting myself or touting my work. I’m not writing blog posts, sending emails, or making phone calls. And I’m not networking and getting out among other business people.

Is this sounding all too familiar?

My answer was to write a book – a book intended to make the marketing world sit up and take notice as it connected the dots between marketing and the sales process.

Well, the world didn’t sit up and take notice of How to Close More Business in Less Time because I still had the same nasty problem of self-promotion. So, now I needed to promote the book.

A longtime friend says, “Gil, you should become a best-selling author.”

He proceeds to outline a process in which I promote my book on Amazon for one day only. He says, “Drop the price of the digital edition of the book to 99¢. You won’t get rich, but you’ll sell a lot of books. And selling a hundred or so books in one day will make you an Amazon Best Seller.”

So, I thought I’d try it. I picked Tuesday, May 2, 2017, as the one and only day for this promotion. I set up a landing page at to help explain my deal and how it works. Most importantly, I’m promoting the heck out of this. We’ll see what happens.

Now, here’s the revelation – and what I believe is one of the answers for those of us who are solopreneurs and need to promote ourselves. When I made a personal commitment to promote the book and become an Amazon Best Seller, I began treating the project as though it was a client project.

I always get my client’s work done and I always deliver on time. It’s working. I’m now my own client allocating time each week to work on promoting my most important and valuable client – ME! And, of course, my book.

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99 cents well spent!

amazon banner2

When I wrote How to Close More Business in Less Time, my plan was to use the book as a calling card and professional credential.only 99 cents

And although it’s available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I never invested time in selling  single copies.

However, since 2014, How to Close More Business in Less Time found its way into the hands of business owners, professionals, team leaders, emerging businesses, and startups who tell me the ideas I share are a real game changer. It put them back in the game… or kept them in the game… or helped push them higher than they ever dreamed possible!

It’s now time for a major relaunch of the book and to turn it into an Amazon Best Seller. That’s where you come in.

To Become an Amazon BEST SELLER, I need 100 Kindle sales in ONE DAY!

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, ONLY, between 12:01 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., the Kindle version of How to  Close More Business in Less Time will be on sale for ONLY 99¢. (Best seller status is based on quantity purchased, not dollar volume.) Use the SHORTCUT LINK below to purchase the 99¢ Kindle deal.

Then, to thank you for purchasing the Kindle version on Tuesday, May 2nd, I’ll send you a FREE SUPER BONUS! – my 24-page ebook entitled “If you want to WRITE like a Marketing Pro, You need to THINK like a Marketing Pro!” This ebook contains many of the principles, strategies, and techniques I use for developing and writing marketing and sales copy that really pops!

Here’s how it works: After you place your order for the 99¢ deal, forward a copy of your Amazon email purchase confirmation to me at Gil [at] GilEffron [dot] com. When I receive your purchase confirmation email, I’ll email the ebook to you

Please mark your calendar so you don’t forget. Then, on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, you can jump onto to purchase the Kindle edition for ONLY 99¢.

Thanks for helping make  How to  Close More Business in Less Time an AMAZON BEST SELLER.

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Everything starts with a process

Highly creative and talented people – artists, writers, composers – don’t seem to have a process. The artist, for example, sits down at her easel, takes out a brush, dips it into some paint and begins painting. As we watch, the canvas comes aliProcess Blackboardve with shape and color. We wonder, “How does she do that? There’s no process. She just starts painting.”

Well, as with all creative people, the artist does have a process. We just don’t see it.

But it started with a process. Way back when the artist learned a process that incorporated specific techniques that she could use as her skills progressed. The process became automatic… natural… and effortless. And it continues to evolve.

I see the same thing in the world of marketing and sales. A highly-polished, effective marketing campaign instantly motivates people to act, buy now, or sign on the dotted line. We watch a business owner or sales manager making a presentation that seems to flow effortlessly from beginning to end – until the sale is won. But we don’t see the process nor does the prospect or buyer realize there is a process. Continue reading

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To get better results, get a better process

Most of us don’t think about the processes we use. We just keep using them. And that’s okay.

But when you think about the processes you use, chances are you can find a way to make them better. How to make a process better could come from a sudden flash of inspiration as you discover how to eliminate or simplify a step. Or it could come about systematically as you study the process, analyze it, measure it, and improve it.sales process chart v4a

That’s what I like best about processes – that every process can be studied, analyzed, measured, and improved.

If you’re in manufacturing, you can find a way to speed the assembly process, eliminate unnecessary steps, or increase efficiency. If you’re an online merchant, you can simplify your order handling or shipping process by making physical or data processing changes within the steps of the process. It’s not hard. You just need to study it and be willing to make a change.

Although people don’t usually think about sales as a process, it is one process I believe deserves constant attention.

In How to Close More Business in Less Time and in my private coaching program, I spend a lot of time talking about the sales process and, most importantly, how to improve it and perfect it so it closes more business in less time.

I use a chart (above) in my talks and coaching practice that shows a typical sales process. My sample sales process shows 12 steps. Yours may have more steps, or it may have less, and no two are alike. But every business has one.

Engineers use diagrams to study and improve production processes. You can do the same with your sales process.

By visualizing and graphically blocking your sales process, you identify areas where things aren’t working and, most importantly, where they could work better. Once you know your challenges and constraints, you can start to build an ideal sales process. That brings you closer to closing more business in less time!

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Have Ideas, Will Travel

Throughout my life, I’ve moved from city to city. From Cincinnati to Lansing, Michigan, to Cleveland to Florida to North Carolina to seven years in New York City and back to Florida. (Whoops, I forgot St. Louis.)

I look at my longtime friends who spent their entire life in one place. In many ways, I’m envious of their roots. But as new-york90I think of all the new people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had by being a vagabond, perhaps they were the ones missing out. (I sometimes wonder if they’re envious of me for the gypsy in my blood.)

I also have friends who have been in the same business or career their entire lives. In many ways, I’m envious of them for that. But I couldn’t do that. My nature has always been to try something else –– to learn about something new, to take a risk. Continue reading

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“Who Killed the Customers?” Returns!

Actors from the Centre Club’s Killer Cast have been invited to bring “Who Killed the Customers?” to West Pasco Chamber of Commerce’s Business Development Week, January 23 through January 27, 2017.

In addition to original cast members Loren Murfield, Thanecha Anderson, David Scott, Tom Panaggio, and myself, we’ll be joined by Pasco Economic Development cast members John Walsh, Krista Covey, and Jet Hall and West Pasco Chamber cast members Chip Wichmanowski and Debby Jenkins.

The luncheon performance will be held at the Verizon Center, 8718 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey at noon on Friday, January 27, 2017. Advanced reservations are required. For information and reservations contact West Pasco Chamber of Commerce at (727) 842-7651.

This is the first time we’ve taken one of our Mystery Theatre productions on the road. We’re excited to see how it plays out. As always, “Who Killed the Customers?” will be challenging and fun for the audience as they attempt to identify the killer or killers of Zero Service Corporation and even more fun for the actors as they bring their respective characters to life.

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Thanks, Mike

A testimonial from Mike Bosch, film maker and entrepreneur

“Often consultants teach what worked for them; however, as humans, we are all different. Gil evaluated me and my business as a whole and built a plan that was suited best for my goals and personality and it worked like a charm. If you feel you deserve more out of your business, it’s time to look at a strategy. I highly suggest having a conversation with Gil.”

Thanks, Mike. I appreciate your kind words.

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Who Killed the Customers?

who-killed-the-customers1Last year’s production of “Who Killed the Business?” was so successful, we decided it was time for a sequel. So here comes the Centre Club Business Committee’s original 2016 production of “Who Killed the Customers?”

It was a logical next step because every business is challenged with issues pertaining to customer service. As consumers, we know more about poor customer service than we know about good customer service. We experience the poor far too often.

There are exceptions, of course. And the good customer service businesses continue to grow.

Being the author, producer, director, and copyright holder also gives me the right to play the part of Henry Bigcheese, founder and CEO of Zero Service Corporation.

Henry knows his most important customers are being killed. But he needs your help to determine who the killer or killers are. Could it be the CFO, customer service manager, field service technician, parts manager, or one of the other not-to-be-trusted employees? You’ll need to pay close attention.

Make your reservation today by calling the Centre Club at 813-286-4040. You’ll laugh and you’ll learn. Guaranteed!

Great menu choices when you call to make your reservation. Yes, there is a cash bar.

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How I learned to write like a marketing pro

I learned to write the hard way.

Many years ago I owned and operated a boutique advertising agency in Cleveland. It was easy for me to find talented artists and designers. In some respects, they were a dime a write like a pro cover3 v03dozen. But it was impossible to find marketing writers – writers who knew how to sell using only the written word.

There was one exception. Her name was Donna. I hired her based merely on the cover letter that accompanied her resume. I read her page-and-a-half letter, completely ignored the resume, walked into my assistant’s office and said, “Mary, this is the one. Get her in here right away!”

Just a year or two out of college, Donna was an exceptional marketing writer. How she learned it, I don’t know. Where, I never knew. Perhaps she was born with the talent.

The problem was that Donna didn’t stay very long. Within four or five months, one of the larger marketing firms in the city offered her a position – and a lot more money than I was prepared to pay.

At that point, I determined two things.

First, no way was I going to waste time footslogging through hundreds of resumes from self-proclaimed writers who didn’t bother to take the time to write and include a cover letter to sell themselves the way Donna did.

Second, if I wanted something done right, I had to do it myself!


Continue reading

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