First and Foremost: Happy Thanksgiving from The Zajaros Family

When is it appropriate to give thanks?

It’s on the receipt

by Bob Oros

A good friend of mine, Vern Holder, told me a great story that could save us a bunch of time.

He was getting ready to put on a presentation for one of his clients in the small town of Wilburton, Oklahoma, and needed to purchase several items at the local office supply store. The clerk checked him out and the total purchase was $320. Vern paid the clerk and then – there was silence.

Vern said to the young clerk,

“Don’t I even get a thank you?”

The clerk responded:

“It’s printed on the receipt.”

Since the words “thank you” are more than likely printed on your company invoice you don’t have to say “thank you” anymore! Think of how much easier your job has just become. One less thing you have to remember.

In our quest for being brief and getting more done we can even save a few keystrokes on our email and text messages by simply putting it in our signature. We no longer have to make the effort to type TKS or THX or THNX or TU or 10Q or THNQ.

For those of you who are in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, or other distant lands where you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we take one day a year and show our gratitude, the rest of the year is a breeze. Based on the comment from the young man in Wilburton, Oklahoma, we don’t have to say thank you any more because it’s written on the receipt. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, 130,000,000 people are going to hit the stores to hunt down the good deals! Just think about how much quicker everyone will be able to get checked out without having the heavy responsibility of saying thank you!

However, there is another side of the equation that can come back and bite you…

In our effort to be brief and efficient, if saying “thank you” becomes TMTH (too much to handle) because TTTT (these things take time) your fate as a sales person is TBD (to be determined), because the TPTB (the powers that be), meaning your customers, may tell you to TAH (take a hike). TMOT (trust me on this), TNSTAAFL (there’s no such thing as a free lunch).

So, to be on the safe side and take the risk of being “old school” or “not hip” or not “in sync” with the young clerk in Wilburton, Oklahoma, I am going to spell it out for you.

For all of those in the U.S…

…Happy Thanksgiving – I sincerely thank you.

And for those of you who do not have a Thanksgiving day…

…a sincere thank you, a “high-five” for staying on my list and reading my stuff.

NOTE: Bob Oros and I have never met. We have never shared a meal. And yet, I consider Bob Oros a friend. Bob is my Send Out Cards sponsor.

Bob is “old school” in a lot of ways…but then, so am I!

One thing Bob and I are in complete agreement on?

How grateful we are to be young, and alive, and living our own lives on our own terms.

Yes, young!

Interestingly, Richard Branson, in his new book Screw Business as Usual (a must read by the way), claims he feels like, acts like, in fact is in his twenties.

I’m not sure I want to go back to my twenties…but I’ll take whatever the Man Upstairs (Higher Power, God, Whatever or Whomever you believe in) will give me.

I am indeed thankful for each and every day!

I am thankful for my family!

I am thankful for my students!

I am thankful for my clients!

I am thankful for my business success!

I am thankful for the new life I have been granted…thankful to be ALIVE!

And, I am very thankful for each and every one of you…

…grateful to have had our paths cross! 

I could easily go on for a week or so…

…so I’ll just say…

Happy Thanksgiving from The Zajaros Family

ASIDE: Bob Oros just published a hard copy 300 page book based on the emails he’s sent over the last dozen or so years. It is priceless…as is the man himself!

Take a look at www.SellingConfidential.com

Bob is The Real Deal, One of the Good Guys, and My Friend!

Click on this link for more from Bob:

www.BobOros.com

Bob Oros
Bob@BobOros.com
www.BobOros.com
800-480-5197

Bob Oros

The Real Deal, One of the Good Guys, and My Friend!

 

 

 

PS, Happy Thanksgiving Bob!

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The NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike: A Shipping and Handling Disaster

I recently decided to invest in a recumbent bike. Over the past 2 years my schedule has gone from what I might call leisurely to what I must call very crowded. Heck, some days swamped is more accurate!

Consequently, as my business grew, and the demands on my time doubled, so did my waistline…or at least it seemed that way to me!

So, a few days ago I decided to take the plunge and invest in a recumbent bike. I felt I could use the bike in my home office. I am always reading and watching videos as part of an ongoing self-education program. I often spend time reading or reviewing material online in order to prepare for clients I am hired to work with. I also prepare for students I coach, mentor, and tutor.

The time savings, even just the drive time alone, seemed more than enough to justify the purchase. Additionally, if I add in all the other wasted moments commuting to and from the gym, it’s simply a no-brainer!

Add to the above-mentioned time savings the convenience of being able to work out when I want? No longer having to worry about whether or not the gym is open? Putting away once and for all the thoughts about time limits? Never having to worry about the availability of aerobic fitness machines when I arrived…in my case the recumbent bikes?

The idea not only had legs, it was a done deal…sign me up!

NordicTrack's Customer Service Failure: An Empathetic Let Down

NORDICTRACK COMMERCIAL VR BIKE (NTEX13808): A Huge Mistake

Now, keep in mind that as recently as August of 2008 I really wasn’t sure how much longer I was even going to be around.

Really!

As I began my fight for life, and no I am not being melodramatic, a $25 per month gym membership was at about the top of my budget allotment for fitness expenses.

Consequently, I owned a month-to-month gym membership in a very “quaint” little iron gym. Yes, I am being facetious. And yes, I did like it very much. Why? Because I felt alive again!

I also owned a good pair of walking shoes; and they were invaluable! Take care of your feet…always!

And, I partnered with a super walking companion…a Bull Mastiff trapped in a Puggle’s body, a little guy named TuffGuy!

Many of you know the rest of the story!

Back to the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike

A few days ago I had all but completed the online ordering process for the recumbent bike I believed would best fit the bill. Interestingly, the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike was on sale, marked down more than 50%! How could I pass up such a great price?

I’ll tell you how!

I got to the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike Shipping Options page and was floored. Here are NordicTrack’s shipping and assembly options:

From Free to Platinum: NordicTrack's Shipping and Assembly Revealed

NordicTrack's Delivery Service Options: From Free to Platinum - NordicTrack's Shipping and Assembly Revealed

Well, I stopped the order process right then and there…before it was ever completed!

$239 for NordicTrack to deliver and assemble the recumbent bike I was going to pay over $700 for?

I was incredulous! And it wasn’t about the money, really. It was the idea that I was going to buy something and then paying half-again as much for someone to walk it into my house and assemble it. A complex mechanical machine weighing close to 500 pounds and they were going to drop it on my porch and leave for $99?

Again, I was incredulous!

Incredibly, I mentioned it online a few times and the only message I got was a @Mention on Twitter that included the following:

NordicTracklive NordicTrack
@JohnZajaros

That was it…the entire message!

Today I received a canned offer from NordicTrack, a failed or incomplete order follow-up, no doubt. I have copied it below (a Dear John letter!):

Dear John,

Thank you for visiting us online store recently. We noticed that you left something in your cart without
placing your order, and we wanted to make sure that you didn’t experience any problems
with our ordering system.

Sometimes glitches happen, and we don’t want want to let that get in the way of our
customer’s satisfaction.

For that reason, we are happy to offer you a 10% discount on your entire order.
This offer is good until 02/18/2011.

To make it easier to redeem your discount click this link to go back to your shopping cart
enter NTSAVE10 in the Redeem Promotion Code box.

One item that is currently in your cart:

NordicTrack Commercial VR Bike
(NTEX13808) FREE SHIPPING (NOT!)

DON’T FORGET!

We offer FREE SHIPPING on most orders above $499.
We offer a 30 day, risk free trial on all of our machines.

We look forward to seeing you online again soon!

Sincerely,
XXXXX XXXXX (name removed as a show of respect for the specialist’s privacy)
Customer Service Specialist

Guess what I did? I tried again!

Hey, I wanted the recumbent bike and I felt if they were going to throw in the shipping and give me another 10% off? I’d take a look at their offer!

I should have saved my time!

Here was my final reply, as I am done and disgusted with NordicTrack:

To Whom This May Concern:

I tried once again to order.

1) I was fast tracked and my total went from $599 to $694 without explanation on the shopping cart…and if it was tax it was not labeled as such!
2)I typed in the 10% savings but given the new $694 charge? I wondered what I was saving 10% on…and why the bump?
3) Your stock email follow-up states that I am entitled to Free Shipping. The code provided under the bike name was invalid.
4) Then, the only shipping options I was provided started at $99 and went up to the aforementioned and ridiculous $239…no free lunch here! And certainly no free shipping offered!

Given the difficult nature of the ordering process and the extremely pricey shipping options? I think I will pass! Not to mention the fact that the recumbent bike I was going to order was already supposed to be “off the table” at that price.

Was the sale was extended?

Good fortune for those still interested in the NordicTrack Commercial VR Recumbent Bike! But I wonder how many people who purchased the bike a few days ago, feeling they had to make a decision or lose the discounted price, feel hoodwinked? And hoodwinked is expressing what many may feel mildly.

How in the world can NordicTrack justify a shipping option that more or less says that if you pay us $99 we’ll drop your 200 pound plus machine off at the front door? Not in the front door but outside the front door?

You are offering items to men and women in various states of “disrepair!”

The fact that NordicTrack bumps the price in this manner? Just to bring it in the door and put it together? The common courtesy of bringing it through the front door costs over $100?

To bring the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike in and assemble it costs close to 50% of the sale price of the bike?

You have got to be kidding!

NordicTrack’s shipping and assembly policy is absolutely the worst one I have come across in over half a century! I am 56 years old and I have been purchasing items online and via direct mail for most of my adult life. I have never come across anything like this from a company like NordicTrack.

A sales price with a bump of almost 50% just to deliver it and set it up?

Reprehensible!

You are selling big ticket items, particularly given the present state of the economy. You are also selling a complex piece of machinery that weighs anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds up to more than a quarter of a ton. And you charge extra to have two men carry it over the threshold? Never mind assemble it? And in light of the age and “disrepair” of many of your clients?

Once again, that is reprehensible!

Well good luck to you. I won’t be one of your clients any time soon. However, I might write about my experience as this has been both edifying and, in spite of a certain amount of frustration, quite interesting.

Sincerely,

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.

PS, Just a suggestion. I would have happily paid $240 more on the retail side for the product I wanted and needed…particularly if it included what you refer to as “NordicTrack Platinum Shipping!” So much for marketing…never mind presentation and packaging. Someone really dropped the ball on this one! But then exercise balls really aren’t your thing…are they?

What more can I say? This is why so many people quit on their way through the shopping cart-sales process! Someone really dropped the ball and thought they could bump someone on the back end and make up for a portion of the front-end incentive. How much more wrong could NordicTrack possibly be?

NordicTrack has obviously never heard of the Law of 250!

Comments? I would love to hear about similar experiences or get your take on the process described above!

Thank you for taking the time to read the article above…and please comment and pass it along!

John Zajaros

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Online and Offline Business Success is About One Thing

The Client!

Zig Ziglar was one of the first real sales trainers and motivational speakers I heard speak live…and it transformed my thinking and my life!

Zig Ziglar said something all those years ago that has stayed with me throughout my business life and has been the basis of every entrepreneurial endeavor:

“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”

I’ve always thought of it as pushing others up. I’ve heard other describe it as pushing people forward.

Regardless of how you phrase it, one thing is certain, if you push enough other people up, you can’t help but ascend the ladder along with them. In fact, if you help others succeed, they will generally bend over backwards to make sure you do too.

Some of the skeptics out there may disagree with that last statement…but I have found it to be true over and over again.

People are wonderful!

And, like you and I, all most people want is a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

If someone owns a business, they want to make sure their family, friends, and employees are taken care of and that they have built up a successful enough business to either sell it when the time is right, thus providing for themselves and their loved ones; or, they want to pass it along to the kids, other relatives, and/or loyal employees when the time comes.

The Life Lesson My Grandfather Taught Me

My grandfather was an incredible force in my life, an example of the type of person I have just described and have always aspired to become!

In the early 1980s, Chevrolet decided they were no longer going to have what they call a point, that means a dealership presence in a given area, in downtown Detroit. Detroit had weathered the riots a few years before and GM was moving most of its dealerships to the suburbs.

So, after almost 50 years in business my grandfather was closing his doors. Trumbull Chevrolet was the first dealership in downtown Detroit and an institution for decades. They were a casualty of the times; and, of urban blight and suburban flight.

The thing that amazed me, and has stayed with me for the last 28 years, not unlike the Zig Ziglar quote above, was that prior to closing his doors, my grandfather made sure every person working for him had a job.

That’s right!

In the midst of the worst economy since The Great Depression, my grandfather got 73 of his 74 employees jobs before he closed his doors once and for all.

The 74th person was the real lesson!

The 74th person was a man I knew only as “Little Joe.”

Little Joe had started with my grandfather many years before. By the 1980s, Little Joe was too old and too well-paid for him to be placed anywhere. Consequently, Little Joe was the one person my grandfather couldn’t find adequate employment for. In corporate America, Little Joe would have been out of luck!

Not so with my grandfather!

My grandfather, having no other option that would sit well with who he was as a man who loved and cared for his employees, hired Little Joe to help my grandmother around the house, drive her to the store, basically help her with whatever she needed help with.

Joe was probably the highest paid helper/companion in Detroit at the time. My grandmother was showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s disease and needed a companion more than anything. Little Joe needed a job.

It was a marriage (or a job) made in heaven!

Little Joe could barely help himself most days, but that didn’t matter, my grandfather was faithful to Little Joe and Little Joe loved my grandfather and my grandmother.

A Business and a Life Lesson Learned from the Detroit Riots

In fact, during the 1968 Detroit riots, my grandfather’s dealership, a block away from Tiger (Briggs) Stadium in downtown Detroit, was not touched. During that entire summer of upheaval and rioting? Not a window was broken not a single car was vandalized.

While National Guard tanks rolled up and down the city streets and into the suburbs, Little Joe sat with my grandfather, so he would be safe…and they protected “the store,” together.

My grandfather came to find out later that many of his employees, people who lived in the neighborhood, had more or less let it be known that Trumbull Chevrolet was not to be touched. My grandfather had made it a point to hire his neighbors, and his employees became his second family.

When he needed them, his second family took care of him…and their business.

So, while Detroit burned, my grandfather and Little Joe sat and watched from the dealership’s showroom windows. And his employees, who also loved him, made sure he was OK and that the dealership, and the office building that had held the Detroit Lions offices, also owned by my grandfather, were not touched.

He had made it his mission to help the people of Detroit and they returned the favor…and then some.

Like I said, people are wonderful!

People deserve to be treated with integrity and honesty. If you treat people according to the way you want to be treated and help them get what they want…you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

And, you’ll be able to sleep at night!

In sales and marketing, and particularly in Internet marketing, I see things that, even after all these years in sales and marketing, I do not understand. Seth Godin says much of it has to do with Little Lies…or at least that’s how it begins.

I agree!

But I also believe it speaks to who we are as individuals!

It is so easy to succeed in business, any business, if you help enough other people get what they want. Forget about the shortcuts, forget about the “fast and easy,” and forget about the secrets to success.

There is only one secret to success:

The Golden Rule!

Who among us wouldn’t help someone who has helped us get to where we want to be in life? Who wouldn’t treat us as we wish to be treated…if we’ve treated them well?

It’s about pushing people up!

The “secret to success”? Push enough people up or forward and treat them as you would like to be treated.

It really is that simple!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004

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This Sort of Scarcity Ploy is Dated and a Huge Turnoff!

When Will the Internet Marketing World Learn that People Are Not that Gullible!

We are well past the point of a simple oversight, this is a ploy designed to heighten the impulse to purchase based on one thing:

Scarcity!

If this is Affiliate Marketing 2.0? They can keep it!

The Little Lies Continue: The Affiliate Dot Com Screen Capture 8-26-2010 3:54:17 PM

The Little Lies Continue: The Affiliate Dot Com Screen Capture 8-26-2010 3:54:17 PM

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The Affiliate Marketing 2.0 with All the 1.0 Tricks!

Time to End the B.S in Internet Marketing

Will this “stuff” ever end? Watch the video below this image, in the first part of this series, and let me know what you think?

Here we are, 48 hours after the launch floodgates opened and the same horse manure continues! I am being a bit server but when what a few bad eggs pull affects everyone making a living online.

If you don’t believe me, read the entire Digital Future Report for 2010 on the state of the Internet. I mention the report in a previous article at The Ultimate Internet Image.

Take a look at the latest image and watch the video below and let me know if you too are “Mad as Hell and not going to take it any more!

John Zajaros
The Ultimate Internet Image
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004

This image was from this morning’s sales page: 10:37am 8-26-2010 (verifiable with time stamp)

Littles Lies in Internet Marketing: Day 2

Affiliate Dot Com Screen Capture: This image was from this morning's sales page: 10:37am 8-26-2010 (verifiable with time stamp) and shows that some things never change! Are you as tired of these ploys as I am? And I'm an inbound marketing consultant! I have never had to resort to these methods to make a sale.

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