Why You Must Kill the Time Sheet

Marketing Podcast with Ron Baker

The age old practice of billing for time is both unethical and profit robbing.

photo credit: factoryjoe via photopin cc

photo credit: factoryjoe via photopin cc

It’s unethical because it misaligns you and client. Your goal now is to bill as many hours as possible at the highest possible rate. This is the exact process that has many firms tracking things that don’t benefit the client at all and throwing senior people at things they shouldn’t be doing.

It’s profit robbing because you can’t make more hours and you probably deliver far greater value than your hourly thinking allows you to consider. Imagine if premium brands like Apple added up what it ultimately cost them to build an iPad and charged us cost plus a 100% markup. We would all own iPads for about $27. Instead Apple charges and receives much more because we value what they do.  They don’t obsess over market share, they obsess over profit and value.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Ron Baker, founder of VeraSage Institute and author of six best-selling books, including: Professional’s Guide to Value Pricing and Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms.

Our discussion centers on the idea of building value in some as of yet still radical ways.

The idea of creating, tracking, measuring and pricing based on value rather than time is so significant that most organizations could benefit from the appointment of a Chief Value Officer on their executive team. Some accomplish this via a focus on branding, but this, I think goes even deeper.

One of my favorite moments in the interview is when we talk about scope creep in projects and how a remodeling contractor simply uses a change order to address additional requests. Change orders are now going to become a central tool in my proposal and project management kit.

Below is an overview of the Eight Steps to Implementing Value Pricing from Baker’s book- Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms:

  1. Value Conversation with the customer, including the best opening statement to begin this conversation: “Mr. Customer, we will only undertake this engagement if we can agree, to our mutual satisfaction, that the value we are creating is greater than the price we are charging you. Is that acceptable?”
  2. Price the customer, not the service. Establish a Value Council, appoint a Chief Value Officer (CVO). Why do actors and authors use agents?
  3. Developing and Pricing Options: Offering 3 options, Goldilocks Pricing; heuristics—mental shortcuts we use to decide how to buy; the anchor and framing effects and how they influence the prices we’re willing to pay.
  4. Presenting the options to the customer––should you lead with your most expensive or cheapest offering?
  5. Codifying the option selected into a Fixed Price Agreement
  6. Proper Project Management: Project management is important no matter how you price.
  7. Dealing with scope creep and utilizing Change Orders
  8. Conducting a Pricing After Action Review

Work Simply

Marketing Podcast with Carson Tate

photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc

photo credit: garryknight via photopin cc

Routine, process, to-do and task lists – that’s how we get stuff done right?

Turns out the most productive individuals all have one thing in common and that’s a system.

In search for that one, perfect system people use GTD, Franklin-Covey, Note pad, Evernote and a variety of hybrid tricks and tools.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Carson Tate, author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style and founder of a productivity consulting practice Working Simply.

My favorite part of Tate’s work is the recognition that everyone has their own personal productivity style and that because of that one person’s system won’t necessarily work for everyone. So, if you’ve tried to use GTD or Evernote and couldn’t wrap your brain around why others swear by them when you just can’t get the knack of them, turns out they just don’t fit your style.

It’s lot like learning – some people love words, some pictures, some math, some history. The trick to unlocking your productivity is to embrace this fact.

Tate has even created a personal productivity assessment to help you determine your style – take the test here.

Getting more done each day, managing the demands of a growing company and juggling all the new things that come at me each day consumes a great deal of my thinking so I invest a great deal of energy in ways that allow me to do more, but with less stress.

 

Telling the Story of You

Marketing Podcast with Judy Carter

The message of you

photo credit: Will Tull via photopin cc

Storytelling in business is a hot topic. Marketers, leaders and brand builders are all encouraged to create narratives around their business, culture and even products. Pay attention to a great deal of the television advertising you see today and you’ll find that many possess a little story about who you could become if you only bought their product.

Stories possess the power to drive emotional reactions, simplify complicated ideas and create immediate connection between the storyteller and recipient.

I’ve long professed the value of creating a personal marketing story as part of your marketing message.

My guest for this week’s episode is Judy Carter, a comedian, magician, motivational speaker, and author of four books on comedy and self-improvement including – The Message of You – Turn your life story into a money making speaking career.

Carter tells a funny story about how she got into comedy. She was a magician and on one evening the props for her show went missing, but the promoter said she had to go on anyway. She went on and told joke after joke about her mishaps and another promoter of comedy shows hired her to tour through all of his clubs.

In The Message of You Carter talks not only about stories, but how to find and use your story as a pivotal element of your personal brand.

She talks about finding your story in a number of classic story types. I particularly like what she calls the Signature Heart Story – a story that gets under people’s skin and takes them on an emotional journey that can truly inspire change and transformation.

The Message of You is also filled with some exercises aimed at helping you find your story and then use it as a tool to promote your business through public speaking.

How to Create Buyer Legends

Marketing Podcast with Bryan Eisenberg

photo credit: Anna Fischer via photopin cc

photo credit: Anna Fischer via photopin cc

Like many marketers I’ve trumpeted the virtues of something called buyer personas for years. A persona, borrowed from the theater, is a thorough description of a character in a play. Who that are, what their story is and what motivates or demotivates them.

When you couple strong customer personas with an accurate journey through your business, or something I’ve called The Marketing Hourglass, you have the makings of a strong marketing strategy.

My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Bryan Eisenberg, co-author of Buyer Legends:The Executive Storyteller’s Guide

In Buyer Legends, Eisenberg emphasizes a critical component in building personas – or what he calls legends – and that’s data.

If a persona and buying journey are to serve the entire organization they must be tied to business objectives and metrics.

When you do this you can lead with buyer legends, teach with them and guide the entire organization based on strong narratives.

The book is a quick 46 page read with exercises and additional online resources included and I believe every marketer will find something useful in this book!