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Friday, June 26, 2009

SALES AND MARKETING: Appreciation Marketing

Sales and Marketing with Bill Doerr

15 Second Executive Speed-Read
In the highly competitive, over-crowded marketplace of 2009 where more media seems to produce fewer results there's a growing concern among small business owners about how to best use increasingly limited resources to achieve their marketing objectives. Enter Curtis Lewsey, author of his latest book, Appreciation Marketing / How To Achieve Greatness Through Gratitude. The principles and practices he shares may hold some of the answers that many, perhaps even you, are seeking!

The Magic Wand of Marketing
If I gave you a 'magic wand' for your marketing, you'd probably use it to create a steady stream of highly qualified prospects who all know you through the influence and prestige of people you know in common. That's the positive consequence of having developed a network of people who know, like and trust you personally and respect you professionally. Over time, you'd find you have more people to process than time to do so. Nice picture, right?

The Reality of Marketing
Wake-up time! If the above scenario doesn't exactly reflect your own reality, take heart. It doesn't have to stay that way. But you do have to do something differently in the future than you've been doing in the past.

Curtis Lewsey and his new book Appreciation Marketing may hold the answer to what you need to do to get better marketing results.

I met Curtis over a year ago at (what else!) a business event. Everyone I was meeting was buzzing about "that guy" across the room.

When I got the opportunity to meet him, I understood why everyone was his 'raving fan'. He was on a personal mission to enjoy the reality suggested by the old saying, "See 2 people a day to bring (financial) freedom your way". Curtis believed it and was living that truth with everyone he could at every chance he got.

As a recent Sacred Heart University grad, Curtis was developing quite a business for himself. Like Johnny Appleseed he was committed to 'sharing the word' about keeping-in-touch to stay-in-mind and create value-for-all with his people -- small business owners and self-employed entrepreneurs.

Since then, he's impressed me more by his actions than his rhetoric. Although both are very impressive!

Common Sense and Common Practice
Curtis shared that, according to a recent CNN poll, a majority of smaller firms are expecting a decrease in revenues for 2009. Most also indicated that they plan to invest less on their marketing in 2009, too. Folly? I'd say so. Understandable? Absolutely. On the surface, it seems to make sense. But, it's a costly strategy in the long-run.

The problem isn't that an investment in marketing is bad. Investment in bad marketing is bad! And, in 2009, a throwback to the 'good old days' where marketing meant building relationships with your market members may be back in style.

It's The Relationship That Matters!
Curtis has achieved a level of success at an age when most people are still trying to get traction on their careers. Part of why he has achieved so much so quickly is his network of people who know, like and trust him. "I've got close to 4,000 people in my database whom I've met personally in a 1:1 setting and I know a) what they do and b) who is most likely to benefit from their expertise". That . . . is awesome!

Connecting is Not Enough
As laudable as knowing 4,000 people is, it's not enough to realize value from those relationships. Curtis also knows he must stay 'top-of-mind' with these people or he risks falling off the 'mental shelf' in the category he wants to occupy with them.

Old School is Cool
"In a Google age, you can always find a cheaper alternative for anything". So we're all at risk of being viewed as a commodity. And the only way to differentiate a commodity is on price -- and a lower price is a sure-fire strategy to marketing Hell.

An alternative approach is to develop a personal relationship between you and your prospects, clients and centers-of-influence so you can leverage the relationship in a mutually beneficial manner.

Curtis likes to say, "Success reflects the connections you make and the relationships you maintain over time". It's the quantity AND the quality of your relationships with people that matter, isn't it?

Tomato Gardening
One chapter in his book is called Growing a Tomato Garden. The term 'Tomato' stands for 'Top-Of-Mind-Awareness-Through-Others'. The garden is your network and the fruit of your labor in the garden of connections is very, very sweet indeed!

Attitude of Gratitude
Curtis says, "Basic etiquette -- recognizing people and appreciating them is a key factor in building a relationships. You need to be thankful for the people in your life. You also need systems to help you implement and maintain an appreciation strategy".

Chocolate-Frosted Dog Crap
Curtis cautions, "Once you're committed to TOMATO, it's imperative not to lose your authenticity as you implement a keep-in-touch communication strategy".

One of the book's chapters is "Chocolate-Frosted Dog Crap". It sums up what doing the right 'thing' without the right 'attitude of gratitude' is all about.

Keeping in touch just to keep-in-touch, without the requisite commitment to the relationship you have with someone is hollow and mechanical -- just like putting chocolate frosting on 'dog crap' and then calling it 'chocolate cake'. Sooner or later the subterfuge will be painfully obvious.

If you're interested in leaving more about the Appreciation Marketing principles and practices, get yourself a copy of Curtis' latest book: Appreciation Marketing. It's due out in early July 2009 and addresses the topic in greater depth and detail than space allows here.

Visit as well. There you can register for The Apppreciator e-newsletter that features case-studies and 'best practices' you can use in your business. Of course, you can contact Curtis directly at: 203-331-2575 or email him at:

Sensing our time was running out, I asked Curtis for a 'parting word of wisdom'.

"Never lose sight of the importance of making connections and building relationships. It's not all that difficult but you must do a little bit every day".

In the last chapter of the book, "The Popcorn Principle", Curtis explains how a system to do something like popping pop corn or keeping-in-touch . . . asks that you have faith . . . that you trust . . . the system will work.

You may not have connected with as many people as Curtis Lewsey, but if you adopt the principles and practices of his Appreciation Marketing, you can enjoy more success than most.

Thank you Curtis. I appreciate the time and wisdom you've shared here with us all.

Curtis Lewsey is an author who shares business wisdom that builds relationships and revenues for his small business clients. His latest book: Appreciation Marketing is coming out in July 2009. For more information, call him directly at 203-331-2575, email Curtis or visit his website:

Bill Doerr is CCO of SellMore Marketing. He helps professionals and other service providers to market their problem-solving expertise simply, effectively and affordably. You can reach him at, by email at or by phone at 860-798-6964.
For more please see Bill's TNNW Bio.

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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