6 Ways to Increase Your Customers

6 Ways to Attract Customers1. STOP DOING THE ONE-STEP:

95% of the advertising used by small business owners is based on the One-Step strategy.

The marketing piece tries to sell the product or service in one, quick and easy step. There may be a description of the product or service, with a few bulleted features. Often there are a few bursts about how long they’ve been in business, how many awards they’ve won, etc. They may include a picture of the owner. At the bottom of the ad, flyer, e-mail or letter is a phone number with the line ‘call for more information.’  Few people respond to these types of One-Step ads. They are huge money wasters. If you’re doing the one-step, you already know they don’t work — stop using them immediately.

2. DO THE TWO-STEP:

People buy things they want from people they know, like and trust. You can’t get people to know, like and trust you in a One-Step ad.
Instead, use the Two-Step strategy.
Step One, attract hundreds, even thousands, of prospects by offering free information. In other words, use your initial marketing as a lead generator, not a sales generator.
Step Two, build a Prospect List of follow-up information — name, address, phone, e-mail, etc. — from all of the prospects that responded to your first step, and follow up with them repeatedly with enticing offers.
It sounds like a simple idea, and it is. But while it is the most powerful marketing technique available, few business owners use it.
With just this one technique we have helped our clients double, triple even quadruple the size of their businesses.
This simple tactic has helped us grow our home-based, Internet business from nothing just a little over two years ago, to nearly $200,000 a year. And it has all been done on a shoestring budget!
There’s no reason why you can’t do the same thing. Maybe your goal isn’t to make a hundred thousand a year from your small business. That’s okay. Perhaps you just want to make a few hundred extra dollars each month. You can use these step-by-step systems to make any amount you want.
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have. The simple strategy and systems work for service businesses, product based businesses, home-based businesses, Internet businesses, even traditional brick and mortar businesses.
We’ve put everything you need to know in a simple, step- by-step format called The Give to Get Marketing Solution. You don’t need to be a marketing or business genius, to apply any of it. The best thing is, all of the techniques are low-cost, and many of them are actually free.

3. RE-INSTATE PAST CUSTOMERS

One of our clients had lost hundreds of customers over the years. They just stopped coming back. We helped him write a simple, one-page letter telling his past customers that he missed serving them and would really like to have them back. He included an Appreciation Gift Certificate. Within 4 weeks, 20% were coming back to his business regularly again. It didn’t take much — he just let them know that their business was important to him.

4. DO A JOINT VENTURE

Team up with someone who has the same types of customers as you, and do a joint venture. We helped a real estate agent put on a Home-Buying workshop with a banker, and they both generated new customers through the effort.
You could do a joint mailing with another business to share the costs. If you both have a customer list, she could endorse your products or services to her customers, and you could do the same for her. You both would gain new customers from each others lists.

5. FOLLOW UP MULTIPLE TIMES WITH YOUR PROSPECTS

We have had many clients that were throwing away thousands of dollars a year in sales by simply failing to follow up with their prospects.
They assumed that if their prospects didn’t buy the first day they called for information, that they weren’t worth any more of their time and effort. What a waste!
We taught one client how to capture the names and addresses of her prospects who called for information about her service, and put them into a computer database.
Then every month, she printed labels from her database and sent all of her prospects a flyer telling them about her latest offers. Her sales went through the roof!
She learned a powerful lesson about people. We are not all ready to buy at the same time. Some prospects buy immediately. Some need to be reminded of your product or service offers two or three times, and still others may not be ready to buy until you have followed up with them 8-10 times!

If you give up after the first contact, you are losing up to 80% of your potential sales. And you’re not just losing the value of their initial sales, but you’re also losing the combined value of their future sales!
We enter every one of our Prospects into our database — that’s over 70,000 prospects so far — and we follow up with them all, several times a month with our free newsletters. Some of our prospects become customers after just a few follow-up newsletters, but most buy after receiving 8 or more. If we didn’t follow up over and over again with our prospects, our sales would be a fraction of what they are.
Don’t ever throw away prospect names and addresses, because they haven’t purchased after one or two follow-ups. When they are ready to become customers, you want to be sure that you are uppermost in their minds.

6. ATTRACT NEW CUSTOMERS WITH FREE SAMPLES

Free samples are everywhere. When you watch a preview of a new movie, you’re receiving a free sample of that movie. Imagine Hollywood trying to sell movie tickets without providing us with those free sample scenes!
A local popcorn vendor gives away small sample bags of his caramel popcorn at summer festivals — 60% of the samplers turn around and get in line to pay for the full size bag!
A dental restoration client of ours was hesitant when we recommended that he give away a free $100 dental restoration to prospective dentists. But since we knew that his restorations were superior to his competitors, we knew that many of those dentists would switch to his company as their primary restoration supplier, after sampling his work. He made the offers, and they loved his work. He tripled his business in 9 months.

These are marketing tactics that any business can begin to apply immediately. Make a commitment to start growing your business today, and you may be amazed at where it will be a year from now.

(c) Copyright 2002 – Joe Gracia – Give to Get Marketing

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Microsoft Office 15 Details to be revealed

Microsoft is ready to release details of the new and redesigned version of Office. The latter, by the way, is a real cash cow and selling licenses for Windows packaged with the Office suite is huge money. However, lately the package, including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, has been under intense pressure with the rivals introducing products aimed at taking away its market share.

Office 15 LogoOffice 15 is promised to appear in the shops next year and features a lot of software attachments into Windows 8. However, the developers have been a little quiet about what will be under the bonnet. The experts point out that to do well Microsoft has to knock out any attempt by Google to push its competing Google Docs suite, as well as both Open Office and Libre Office that offer a free version of something very similar. Apple is expecting that people would ignore functionality and forces businesses try to tap 20,000 word reports and spreadsheets on iPad software. The company has somehow managed to keep Office and Google Docs off the iPad – «just in case”.

Overall, Office is responsible for $22.2 billion of the software giant’s nearly $70 billion in fiscal 2011 revenue, or $14.1 billion of operating income, by far the most of any unit. That’s why in case of Office 15 failure virtually every part of the company will suffer.

The official information about the new Office is prepared to be released, but the rumors are abound that Office 15 might enable editing of Adobe PDF documents and have a lot of mobile functions to get onto more devices. Of course, it is expected that the new Office will play nicely with Surface tablets and connect the software into the company’s free Internet-accessible services. In addition, it will be more touch friendly. The rest will be revealed soon enough.

Read more: http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/6/2848579/microsoft-office-15-features-improvements

 

Don’t steal my information

It’s important to take the precautions to protect you and your products from information theft these days, because it’s getting easier and easier for people to share digital products.  Information theft is a type of computer security risk and it’s defined as stealing an individual’s personal or confidential information.  When this is stolen this can cause as much damage, or possibly more then hardware or software theft.

Business or home users are both at risk of information theft. One example is a malicious individual stealing credit cards so they can make unauthorized purchases on another person’s account. If information is transmitted over a network then it has a very high chance for malicious users to intercept the information. Every computer in the path of your data can see what you send, and they can also see what you send.  A lot of companies try to stop information from being stolen by applying some user identification and authentication controls. These constraints are best for protecting computers along a company’s premise. However, to protect information on the Internet and on networks, companies use a handful of encryption methods.

Encryption refers to the process of converting data into an unreadable form. One type of encryption software is Obfuscated code which is a programming language that is extremely hard to read. Encrypted data is like any other data because you can send it through a lot of options, but to read it you must decrypt or decipher it into a more readable form. Throughout the encryption process, the unencrypted data or input is known as plaintext and the encrypted data, or output is known as ciphertext.  To encrypt information, the programmer converts the plaintext into ciphertext using some type of encryption key. An encryption key is the programmed formula that the person who receives the data uses to decrypt the ciphertext.

There are a variety of encryption or algorithm methods. However, with an encryption key formula, you will be using more then one of these techniques.  Some business use available software, while others develop their own. When an individual send information online such as through an email for example, they will never know who might intercept it, or to whom it could possibly be forwarded to.  That’s why it’s not such a good idea to send confidential information online. However, an individual can help protect themselves by encrypting the information, or signing it digitally. Some very popular email encryption software is known as Pretty Good Piracy (PGP) and Centurion Soft Secure Protection.

Pretty Good Piracy is known as freeware, which means that individuals can use it for their personal needs but not for commercial purposes. You can download this for no cost. A digital signature is a type of encrypted code that a individual, website, or company pastes to an electronic document to make sure that the individual is who they claim to be.  The code will most likely consist of the user name and a hash of usually part of the message. A hash is a type of mathematical formula that generates content from a specific message, so it is different from a message. The recipient will have to generate a new hash from the received message and compares it from the one with the digital signature to make sure that they match appropriately. The main purpose behind using digital signatures is to make sure that it’s not a deceiver participating in the transaction. So, digital signatures help narrow down e-mail scams. A digital signature can also make sure that contents of a message have not been changed. A lot of web browsers use encryption that is regarded as 40 bit encryption, and this is a very low level. A variety of browsers also offer 128 bit encryption which has a higher level of protection because the encryption key is longer.  Some important places that require extremely hire security like banks, and online retailers needs at least 128-bit encryption. A website that successfully uses encryption methods to secure information is known as a secure site.  A secure site uses digital certificate with security protocol.  The two most popular security protocols are secure sockets layer, and secure HTTP.

A digital certificate is a notice that verifies that a user or a website is for real or not a scam. A lot of ecommerce websites will usually have digital certificates. A certificate authority (CA) is an authorized company or individual for that matter that has the ability to issue and verify digital certificates.  There are several of websites that offer a digital certificate. Some popular ones are Verisign http://www.verisign.com/, Godaddy www.godaddy.com, Digicert http://www.digicert.com/, and Thawte http://www.thawte.com/.

The digital certificate will usually contain information such as the username and the serial number of the certificate. By the way, the information in the digital certificate is also encrypted. Next, the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provides encryption of every detail that passes between a server and a client.  SSL also requires the client to have a digital certificate, so the web browser can communicate securely with the client.  The web pages that use SSL will usually begin with https as opposed to http. SSL is available in 40 and 128-bit encryption. Secured HTTP (S-HTTP) allows individuals to choose encryption for data that pass through a client and a server.  When using S-HTTP, the client and the server must have a digital certificate.  This makes S-HTTP more difficult to use then SSL, but on the other hand, it is more secured. Companies that have to use verify a client such as online banking companies use S-HTTP.

Also, mobile users can also access computer networks through a virtual private network. When mobile users successfully logon to a main office using some type of standard Internet connection, a virtual private network (VPN) allows the mobile user to secure the connection.  VPNs encrypt data as it passes from a notebook computer or any other mobile device so it won’t be intercepted.  Regardless of your security method, I will highly recommend using the most powerful safeguard which is a backup. It prevents data loss from several of sources such as system failure for one.  A backup is simply a backup of a file, program, or desk that can be used in place of the original if its loss, destroyed, or corrupted.  If the files are destroyed, then you can replace them by restoring it, which copies the backed up files into their original position in the computer.

 

 

Computer Security Ethics and Privacy

Today, many people rely on computers to do homework, work, and create or store useful information. Therefore, it is important for the information on the computer to be stored and kept properly. It is also extremely important for people on computers to protect their computer from data loss, misuse, and abuse.

For example, it is crucial for businesses to keep information they have secure so that hackers can’t access the information. Home users also need to take means to make sure that their credit card numbers are secure when they are participating in online transactions.

A computer security risk is any action that could cause lost of information, software, data, processing incompatibilities, or cause damage to computer hardware,   a lot of these are planned to do damage. An intentional breach in computer security is known as a computer crime which is slightly different from a cybercrime.

A cybercrime is known as illegal acts based on the internet and is one of the FBI’s top priorities.  There are several distinct categories for people that cause cybercrimes, and they are refereed as hacker, cracker, cyberterrorist, cyberextortionist, unethical employee, script kiddie and corporate spy.  The term hacker was actually known as a good word but now it has a very negative view. A hacker is defined as someone who accesses a computer or computer network unlawfully.  They often claim that they do this to find leaks in the security of a network. The term cracker has never been associated with something positive this refers to someone how intentionally access a computer or computer network for evil reasons. It’s basically an evil hacker.  They access it with the intent of destroying, or stealing information. Both crackers and hackers are very advanced with network skills.

A cyberterrorist is someone who uses a computer network or the internet to destroy computers for political reasons.  It’s just like a regular terrorist attack because it requires highly skilled individuals, millions of dollars to implement, and years of planning. The term cyperextortionist is someone who uses emails as an offensive force. They would usually send a company a very threatening email stating that they will release some confidential information, exploit a security leak, or launch an attack that will harm a company’s network. They will request a paid amount to not proceed sort of like black mailing in a since.

An unethical employee is an employee that illegally accesses their company’s network for numerous reasons. One could be the money they can get from selling top secret information, or some may be bitter and want revenge.

A script kiddie is someone who is like a cracker because they may have the intentions of doing harm, but they usually lack the technical skills. They are usually silly teenagers that use prewritten hacking and cracking programs.

A corporate spy has extremely high computer and network skills and is hired to break into a specific computer or computer network to steal or delete data and information. Shady companies hire these type people in a practice known as corporate espionage. They do this to gain an advantage over their competition an illegal practice. Business and home users must do their best to protect or safeguard their computers from security risks.

The next part of this article will give some pointers to help protect your computer. However, one must remember that there is no one hundred percent guarantee way to protect your computer so becoming more knowledgeable about them is a must during these days. When you transfer information over a network it has a high security risk compared to information transmitted in a business network because the administrators usually take some extreme measures to help protect against security risks. Over the internet there is no powerful administrator which makes the risk a lot higher. If your not sure if your computer is vulnerable to a computer risk than you can always use some-type of online security service which is a website that checks your computer for email and Internet vulnerabilities. The company will then give some pointers on how to correct these vulnerabilities.  The Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center is a place that can do this.

The typical network attacks that puts computers at risk includes viruses, worms, spoofing, Trojan horses, and denial of service attacks.  Every unprotected computer is vulnerable to a computer virus which is a potentially harming computer program that infects a computer negatively and altering the way the computer operates without the user’s consent. Once the virus is in the computer it can spread throughout infecting other files and potentially damaging the operating system itself. It’s similar to a bacteria virus that infects humans because it gets into the body through small openings and can spread to other parts of the body and can cause some damage. The similarity is, the best way to avoid is preparation.

A computer worm is a program that repeatedly copies itself and is very similar to a computer virus. However the difference is that a virus needs o attach itself to an executable file and become a part of it. A computer worm doesn’t need to do that I seems copies to itself and to other networks and eats up a lot of bandwidth.

A Trojan Horse named after the famous Greek myth and is used to describe a program that secretly hides and actually looks like a legitimate program but is a fake.  A certain action usually triggers the Trojan horse, and unlike viruses and worms they don’t replicate itself. Computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses are all classifies as malicious-logic programs which are just programs that deliberately harms a computer.  Although these are the common three there are many more variations and it would be almost impossible to list them. You know when a computer is infected by a virus, worm, or Trojan horse if one or more of these acts happen:

  • Screen shots of weird messages or pictures appear.
  • You have less available memory then you expected
  • Music or sounds plays randomly.
  • Files get corrupted
  • Programs are files don’t work properly
  • Unknown files or programs randomly appear
  • System properties fluctuate

Computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses deliver their payload or instructions through four common ways. One, when an individual runs an infected program so if you download a lot of things you should always scan the files before executing, especially executable files. Second, is when an individual runs an infected program. Third, is when an individual bots a computer with an infected drive, so that’s why it’s important to not leave media files in your computer when you shut it down.  Fourth is when it connects an unprotected computer to a network. Today, a very common way that people get a computer virus, worm, or Trojan horse is when they open up an infected file through an email attachment. There are literally thousands of computer malicious logic programs and new one comes out by the numbers so that’s why it’s important to keep up to date with new ones that come out each day. Many websites keep track of this. There is no known method for completely protecting a computer or computer network from computer viruses, worms, and Trojan horses, but people can take several precautions to significantly reduce their chances of being infected by one of those malicious programs.

Whenever you start a computer you should have no removable media in he drives. This goes for CD, DVD, and floppy disks. When the computer starts up it tries to execute a bot sector on the drives and even if it’s unsuccessful any given various on the bot sector can infect the computer’s hard disk. If you must start the computer for a particular reason, such as the hard disk fails and you are trying to reformat the drive make sure that the disk is not infected.

 

Nigerian Email Spammer Correspondence

This is an actual correspondence between the owner of The Cleverest (http://www.thecleverest.com)  called Mike Solomon and a poor Nigerian scammer who got outwitted. We thought it was really funny and we wanted to share it with the world and give a heads up on ongoing email fraud.

The cast is comprised of:


Aaron Obasanjo
played by an unknown scam artist

The idiot
played by Michael Solomon

 


AARON OBASANJO
EMAIL:a_obasanjo@onebox.com
LAGOS – NIGERIA
Dear Sir,
RE: PRIVATE BUSINESS PROPOSAL
Due to the nature of this transaction, being utterly confidential and of utmost secrecy, I must start by soliciting your strict confidence.You have been recommended by an associate who assured me in confidence of your ability and reliability to prosecute a transaction of great magnitude involving a pending business transaction requiring maximum confidence.

Let me start by introducing myself. I am AARON OBASANJO, executive director of the Federal Ministry of Power and Steel, executive secretary of the newly constituted contract review panel and the chairman of OIL and GAS Nigeria Ltd. I have a proposal to offer to you, which would be of mutual benefit to all parties involved. It involves investing about US$26,400,000:00 (TWENTY SIX MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) in your country. Please contact me by email, if you might be interested in the proposal so that we can discuss further.

Expecting your favourable response.With kind regards,

AARON OBASANJO

N.B;PLEASE WHEN YOU ANSWER QUOTE REFERENCE NO;AO/O1


Aaron,

Yes. I would love to help you out. Please send me more information and I’d be happy to do anything nescessary to get this money. Thanks for choosing me!

Michael Solomon


ATTENTION: MIKE SOLOMON.

Thank you very much for your most timely email response acknowledging reciept of my proposal. After due consultations with my client, we have decided to go ahead with you. This will spell the beginning of a truly rewarding and cherished relationship between us that will bridge our religious and geographical divides. I shall briefly enunciate the process that will be adopted by us to achieve our mutual objective in this project. The undue delay was a result of the fact that, my client had to consult a spiritualist who assured us of your reliability hence our present enthusiasm towards your person. Discussions with other members of her family ad to be held. I would need to use this opportunity to bring you into the full picture of this pending transaction. As regards the information to this transaction, I am obliged to inform you that I am not in this alone but working on my client’s brief who is the originator of this transaction. I have taken time to discuss your response to my client hence my delay in responding to your email. They have given me the go-ahead to intimate you of their pressing need, to go into a business relationship with you. Since we would work together,I wish to introduce myself to you a bit more. I am Dr Aaron Obasanjo a private attorney to the family of late former head of state of the Federal Republic of Nigeria General Sani Abacha. I have been directed by his only surviving widow to seek urgently an associate in your country that will assist the family in receiving a consignment of funds that is currently in the custody of a security/courier company in a West African country. These funds amounting to about US$26.4M was to be used for establishing some businesses . Immediately the late head of state died, things fell apart and there was a terrible probe into the family’s activities. This has made it impossible for any member of the family to as much as lift a finger to move out funds. Then the present Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo started carrying out a personal vendetta on my client’s family, claiming that they looted funds from the Nigerian treasury. I want to point out that these allegations are not only false but also baseless as the late head of state imprisoned the incumbent president of my country in 1995 for plotting a coup, hence the present situation of bad blood.

It is all a personal vendetta against the family of the Abacha’s. Presently, General Abacha’s eldest son Alhaji Mohammed Abacha has been held illegally in detention for the past one year on trumped up murder charges. All their bank accounts have been frozen and most of their known assets expropriated by this current very vindictive government their close relatives and friends are not left out as they are constantly been monitored by our vicious security agencies.

Consequently, we are soliciting your assistance in the collection of the funds which are currently in Nigeria, for onward shipment to Europe, the United states or Canada for safe keeping in your account or investments in fixed interest government securities until the Abacha Family is able to travel out of Nigeria for collection as there is currently a travel ban on them including my humble self. They have proposed that on collection, you will keep 5% of the funds for your kind assistance while 5% will be set aside for expenses that will be incurred during the course of this transaction These expenses include, telephone bills, fax running bills and power bills. Although, for the sake of clarity, you have to let us be aware of such expenses before offsetting. This is for our mutual trust as partners and to allow for good book keeping. If you decide to go into this arrangement, I will proceed to instruct the security/ courier company that you are the sole beneficiary of the consignment and will consequently authorise the company to ship the funds to your designated location for pick up. This is the sole reason why I contacted you in the first place and we are all soliciting your help, assistance and co-operation as regards this business. Arrangements have been made with the security company where the funds are presently kept to arrange with either their representatives in Europe, US or Canada, since they have representatives there, to receive these funds in cash depending on where it is most convenient for you to pick up the cash. If you now decide to go into this arrangement with us, it will be greatly appreciated if you will kindly indicate where will be most convenient for you to pick up the funds and also send to me the following information; your company name, address and your private telephone and fax numbers (home or office) for easy reach and contact. Once we can get this information, we would be able to commence this transaction in earnest as all we have to do is to initiate the movements of the funds from here to you for pick up. All modalities would be taken care of down here. You do not need to spend any money at all. We have taken care of all the loose ends and indulge me when I say that it is totally risk free.

Please as soon as you get this message and you are willing to assist in this transaction, do send to me the information requested so that we can begin with this process. Also if you decide to assist us, I would expect your call later today for us to be able to decide the way forward for this transaction. My confidential telephone line again is 234-1-7593414. You can reach me anytime of the day, but the best times to call me are between 18:00 – 23:00 hours GMT. You can also send the necessary information via E-mail.

Finally, I want to assure you that this transaction is hundred percent risk free and all that is required is mutual trust, honesty and a non-religious adherence to my instructions. The need for confidentiality and secrecy during the course of this transaction, cannot be overemphasised as any breach could impact negatively on the successful outcome of this transaction.

Let me at this juncture mention an african adage that says that, « money that can not be enjoyed does not make one rich » We wish to enjoy this money after transfer hence, when we say it is 100% risk free, we know what we are saying.

Hoping to hear from you soonest.

Best regards,

AARON OBASAJO.


Aaron,

Honestly, I feel truly honorfull to help you and your clients. Just let me know what I need to do.

~Michael Solomon


DEAR MIKETOP OF THE DAY TO YOU OVER THERE.THANK YOU FOR THE MAIL AND FOR YOUR INTEREST IN THIS TRANSACTION WHICH I BELIEVE IS THE BEGINING OF A GREAT RELATIONSHIP.I SHALL INTIMATE YOU ON WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO DO AFTER I MUST HAVE DISCUSSED WITH MY CLIENT YOUR RESPONSE,SO THAT THE TRANSACTION CAN BE COMPLETED IN EARNEST AT THIS JUNCTION I WOULD LIKE TO REASSURE YOU THAT A SINGLE PENNY WOULD NOT BE REQUIRED FROM YOU AS ALL LEGAL REQUIREMENT WOULD BE TAKEN CARE OF BY MY CHAMBERS.AGAIN THANKS FOR YOUR WILLINGNESS TO WORK WITH US WE REMAIN OBLIGED AARON OBASANJON B:IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT A TRANSACTION OF THIS MAGNITUDE IS NOT CONFIDENTIAL ENOUGH BY EMAIL IT IS THEREFORE IMPERATIVE THAT YOU FORWARD TO THE CHAMBERS YOUR CONFIDENTIAL TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBERS MINE ARE ,TEL234 1 7593414 FAX234 1 7593896.

Aaron,
Sorry to be writing you this late, but I can’t sleep because I can’t stop thinking about this exciting
transaction!
I understand that email is not a safe way for us to communicate about a financial disclosure of this magnitude, so i will fax you the information when I get around to purchasing a fax machiene from a radio shack that’s nearby where I live.
Thank you again for choosing me to assist your monitary needs,
Michael Solomon

DEAR MIKETOP OF THE DAY TO YOU.PLEASE TRY NOT TO BE OVERCOME BY ANXIETY SO THAT THIS TRANSACTION CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED.THE INFORMATION I REQUESTED FOR ARE VERY VITAL FOR THE SUCCESS OF THE TRANSACTION.
PLEASE THE FAX MACHINE SHOULD BE BOUGHT IN EARNEST FOR THERE IS NO TIME ON OUR SIDE INFACT WE ARE WORKING AGAINST TIME.PLEASE KINDLY SEND YOUR COMPANY NAME ,YOUR CONFIDENTIAL TEL AND FAX NUMBERS AND ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION,THIS
COULD BE YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE SO WE COULD KNOW WHO WE ARE DEALING WITH.PLEASE BE FAST ABOUT THIS FOR THE IMMEDIATE BEGINING OF THIS PROJECT AWAITING YOUR PROMPT RESPONSE
WE REMAIN OBLIGED
AARON OBASANJO

Aaron,
I understand the importance of time in our situation, and I am doing everything possible to expediate the
information to you and your chambers so we can proceed in earnest.
I just returned from the fax macheine store, where Rick, the salesman helped me purchase a VERY nice fax macheine. I told him that I needed a fax macheine and i needed it fast because I have some VERY important business to take care of. But he was on the phone and kept me waiting for 5 minutes!! So I waited. After that, he showed me the Lexmark P250, which I liked but it was too cheap( it only cost $129). For an operation of this type of business venture we are
involved in, I didn’t want to risk the security and quality of our correspondance with a cheap fax macheine that might break. So I asked Rick to show me the best fax macheine, and he showed me the Cannon XP-3000, and I bought it! It cost me $1,249, but i know that it is worth it because a correspondance between you and i of this nature deserves the utmost quality and importance. I’ve had so much money in my account since my father passed away, i never thought
i’d be able to spend any of it, but now, i can finally have peace knowing that my father’s inheritance is finally being put to good use.
When i figure out how to use the Cannon XP-3000, i shall fax you all the aforementioned information, but as of now, I’m only on the second chapter in the instruction manuel. i’m reading as fast as I can.

sincerely,
Michael Solomon


DEAR FRIEND AND PARTNER,
TOP OF THE DAY TO YOU. I MUST CONFESS THAT WE ARE IMPRESSES WITH YOUR LEVEL OF COMMITMENT AND UNDERSTANDING SO FAR CONCERNING THIS PROJECT, WE ARE NOW MORE THAN EVER CONVINCED THAT WE HAVE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE IN DOING THIS BUSINESS WITH YOU, WE DO APPRECIATE YOUR SPENDING SO MUCH TO PURCHASE A STANDARD FAX MACHINE WITH GREAT CAPACITY TO PERFORM AND WE ASSURE YOU THAT AT THE END OF THIS PROJECT, YOU WOULD NOT REGRET YOUR ACTION AND WE WOULD WANT TO APPEAL TO YOU TO KEEP IT UP BECAUSE IF WE CONTINUE AT THIS RATE, WE WOULD FINISH THIS PROJECT IN ESTIMATED TIME.

I WOULD LIKE ALSO TO APPEAL TO YOU TO BE CALM, PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU KEEP THIS DEAL CONFIDENTIAL AND CLOSE TO YOUR HEART AS WE WOULD NOT WANT UNSCRUPULOUS PEOPLE TO HIJACK IT FROM US. IN THIS REGARD, I WOULD REQUEST THAT YOU CALL ME IMMEDIATELY YOU RECIEVE THIS MESSAGE SO THAT WE COULD DISCUSS AND GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER MORE, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO ESTABLISH THE MUCH NEEDED TRUST AND UNDERSTANDING.
NOTE. THAT WE HAVE ALREADY STARTED THE PROCESS OF LEGALISING THIS DEAL, BUT WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT COMPANY TO USE, YOU COULD GIVE US YOUR COMPANY NAME OR WE COULD REGISTER A COMPANY OF YOURS HERE WITH YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY OF THE FUNDS, THIS IS PART OF THE THINGS WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU CALL. IF CALLING IS NOT CONDUSIVE FOR YOU NOW, JUST STATE EXACTLY WHAT TIME YOU WOULD CALL AS MY CHAMBERS IS NOT CLOSING FOR THE NEXT THREE HOURS.
THE PHONE NUMBER TO CALL IS 234 1 759 3414

PLEASE REACH ME IMMEDIATELY TO LET ME KNOW YOUR DECISION.

THANKS AND BEST REGARDS,

AARON OBASANJO


Aaron,
I’m still very excited to move this project forward, however I cannot give you a company name to use because I am currently unemployed. I was fired a few years ago after my drunk driving accident which subsequently sent my father to the hospital where his life ended. I’m also afraid I cannot send you a driver’s liscense because I had my driver’s liscense taken away after the accient.
Aaron, I tell you this for two reasons.
1: so that we can be totally honest with each other. You have been honest with me in entrusting me with the private matters regarding your client, and I feel that a way to repay you and your honesty is for me to be totally honest myself. I have never told anyone but my close remaining family about my accident. It is something that i am not proud of.
2: I am telling you this because I can closely relate your client’s situation with overzealous prosecution from the government. i too, was unjustly prosecuted, so i understand the feelings of you and your client.
After telling you the truth I hope that you do not doubt my abilities to carry out this project. I have confidance in your spirtualist that I am the right man for the job.
I tried to call your phone number, but it looks like an international number, and I don’t know how to dial it. Please clarify this for me.
Do not forget that I am more excited now than I have ever been to work with you and your associates.
Michael Solomon

DEAR FRIEND AND PARTNER,
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIMELY RESPONSE, WE DO APPRECIATE YOUR HIGH SENSE OF COMMITMENT, WE DO ALSO APPRECIATE YOUR OBLIGING US WITH SOME PRIVATE SECRET INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR FAMILY BASED ON TRUST, WE BELIEVE THAT FOR THIS TRANSACTION TO SUCCEED, WE NEED TO DEVELOP A GREAT LEVEL OF TRUST AND UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN US TO EFFECTIVELY PROSECUTE THIS PROJECT.
PLEASE ACCEPT OUR SINCERE SYMPATHY.
NOW MY FRIEND, AS ORIGINATORS OF THIS PROJECT, WE WOULD LIKE TO ASSUME THAT WE ARE IN A BETTER POSITION TO GIVE ADVISES CONCERNING THIS DEAL, THAT IS WHY WE WOULD LIKE TO APPEAL TO YOU TO CO-OPERATE AND FOLLOW OUR INSTRUCTIONS TO THE LETTER, THIS IS IMPORTANT AS WE DO NOT WANT TO MAKE ANY MISTAKES THAT WOULD JEOPARDISE OUR CHANCES, WE DO NOT DOUBT YOUR ABILITIES TO PROSECUTE THIS PROJECT AT ALL AS WE HAVE OUR CONVICTIONS ALREADY, PLEASE JUST TRY TO CALM YOUR ANXIETY AND TRY TO DO AS WE INSTRUCT OR DIRECT FOR THE GOOD OF ALL PARTIES.
BY YOUR LAST MAIL, WE WOULD NEED TO REGISTER A COMPANY WITH YOU AS THE PRESIDENT/C.E.O , THIS MEANS YOU ARE THE BENEFICIARY OF THE FUNDS , THE SECURITY COMPANY THAT WILL MOVE THE FUNDS DOES NOT DEAL WITH INDIVIDUALS BUT CORPORATE COMPANIES THAT IS WHY WE NEED A COMPANY TO REPRESENT YOU.
IN THIS REGARD, WE HAVE CHOSEN TO REGISTER “SOLOMON’S ENTERPRISES NIGERIA LTD.” AS A LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY NAME
HERE IN NIGERIA. BY MONDAY 19/03/2001, WE SHALL BE PAYING ALL NECESSARY REGISTRATION/INCORPORATION FEES AND CHARGES AND AS SOON AS THE CERTIFICATE IS OUT WE SHALL BE SENDING IT TO YOU BY FAX. YOU CAN THUS UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS ABSOLUTELY VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE YOUR PHONE AND FAX NUMBER SO THAT WE CAN SEND YOU NECESSARY INFO. AND DOCUMENTS FROM TIME TO TIME FOR YOUR PERUSAL AND RECORDS.
DEAR MIKE, AS PER CALLING ME , LISTEN CAREFULLY AND FOLLOW MY ADVISE.

1. I GUESS YOU DO NOT HAVE INTERNATIONAL ACCESS FACILITY ON YOUR PHONE,IF YOU DONT, THEN TRY TO GET ONE.
2. IF YOU DO HAVE INTERNATIONAL ACCESS FACILITY ON YOUR PHONE, WHAT YOU NEED TO DO, IS TO CALL YOUR INTERNATIONAL PHONE OPERATOR AND SAY THAT YOU WANT TO CALL YOUR FRIEND ABROAD(OUTSIDE YOUR COUNTRY), THAT YOU NEED THE INTERNATIONAL DIALING CODE. THERE IS A CODE APPLICABLE IN YOUR COUNTRY THAT YOU HAVE TO DIAL BEFORE 234 1 759 3414 . PLEASE AND PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOU DO NOT DISCLOSE THIS DEAL WITH ANYBODY WHATSOEVER EVEN THE OPERATOR, IF YOU ARE ASKED WHY YOU ARE CALLING NIGERIA, JUST SAY YOU ARE TRYING TO REACH YOUR FAMILY.
I AM IN THE OFFICE TODAY TO EXPECT YOUR CALL, IF YOU CANNOT GET TO SPEAK WITH ME, JUST SEND ME A FAX(DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW TO USE THE MACHINE NOW?). NOTE THAT IF YOUR CALL GOES THROUGH,ALWAYS ASK HOW IS THE WEATHER?
AND THE RESPONSE SHOULD BE..VERY POSITIVE. THIS IS IMPORTANT SO THAT WE CAN BE SURE YOU ARE SPEAKING WITH THE RIGHT PERSON DOWN HERE AND VICE VERSA. THE NUMBER TO CALL ONCE AGAIN IS PHONE: 234 1 759 3414 . FAX : 234 1 759 3896.

DO YOU HAVE ANY FORM OF IDENTIFICATION, IF YOU DO, WE WOULD APPRECIATE IF YOU OBLIGE US AS WE NEED TO KNOW WHO WE ARE REALLY DEALING WITH AS WE WOULD NOT WANT ANYBODY TO IMPERSONATE YOU. I HOPE YOU DO UNDERSTAND PERFECTLY.

PLEASE RESPOND PROMPTLY TO THIS MESSAGE AND INCLUDE YOUR PHONE AND FAX LINE IN YOUR RESPONSE. TIME AND CONFIDENTIALITY IS OF THE ESSENCE.

WITH KIND REGARDS,
AARON OBASANJO.


Aaron,
Wow! I’m very excited that as of Monday, I will have my own business in your country! Let’s get down to business.
I did some investigating about my phone service, and I was told that I don’t have international access. So, I called my phone company and I arranged for a customer service/installation representitave to come to my house and install a new phone line (that has access to calling Nigeria) and he will also instruct me on how to use it. I’ve already spoken to him by phone, and he seems like a really friendly guy; his name is Rodney.
I can’t wait until Rodney gets my new phone service working so I can finally call up my new business associates in Nigeria, and finally bring this operation forward.
Michael Solomon

DEAR FRIEND AND PARTNER,
I AM DELIGHTED TO HEAR THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE THE MOVE TO GET A PHONE
WITH INTERNATIONAL DIALING FACILITY, WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TOO TO HEAING FROM YOU AS WE BELIEVE THAT SPEAKING TO YOU WOULD ACTUALLY USHER IN THE PROJECT PROPER.HOWEVER, WE ARE STILL WONDERING WHY YOU HAVE NOT SENT YOUR PHONE AND FAX NUMBER TO US. WE NEED TO INCLUDE THESE NUMBERS IN SOME APPLICATIONS WE MAKE ON BEHALF OF THIS DEAL, I ADVISED EARLIER ON IN MY LAST MESSAGE THAT YOU TRY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO FOLLOW MY INSTRUCTIONS AND DO ACCORDINGLY BUT YOU SEEM TO BE TOO EXCITED THAT YOU ENTIRELY IGNORE SOME PARTS OF MY MESSAGES. PLEASE I AM NOT TRYING TO CONTROL OR PUSH YOU AROUND BUT YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT FOR US TO SUCCEED IN THIS TRANSACTION, WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL AND FOLLOW SOME GUIDELINES. PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND.
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS KEEP THIS DEAL TO YOUR HEART, WHEN THE DEAL IS FINALLY CONCLUDED AND WE ARE SAFE YOU COULD FEEL FREE TO TELL ANYBODY HOW YOU GOT YOUR RICHES BUT FOR NOW WE NEED TO CARRY IT OUT TO IT’S LOGICAL CONCLUSION.
EXPECTING YOUR RESPONSE.
BEST REGARDS,
AARON OBASANJO

Aaron,
Bad news. We’ll have to put the project on hold for a few days. I can’t beleive this just happened. I had a glass of water resting on a shelf above my new fax macheine (The Cannon XP-3000) and my x-girlfriend’s dumb cat (which i’m babysitting for while she’s in Canada this weekend) knocked over the glass RIGHT ONTO THE FAX MACHEINE! The water shocked the cat so bad, I had to take him to the animal hospital, and the water shorted out my fax macheine and blew a circut and now my house has no power! I’m writing you this email from my pal Lance’s house, but don’t worry, he’s in the other room and can’t see what I’m typing. I have to go to the hospital in a few minutes to check on the cat, and if this damn cat dies, i’ll have to find a new one by monday, when Denise gets back from canada. I had to leave a note on my door for Rodney, because when he gets to my house, i’ll already be at the hospotal. I’ll get back to you when i have time to check my email again.
I remain obliged,
Michael Solomon

DEAR FRIEND AND PARTNER,
TOP OF THE DAY TO YOU. HOW IS THE CAT DOING, HOPE SHE IS FINE? WE DO NOT WANT DENISE TO BE UPSET BY THE TIME SHE RETURNS FROM CANADA, SO PLEASE SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS WE WOULD NOT WANT YOU TO FACE ANY KIND OF EMOTIONAL STRESS WHEN THIS DEAL FULLY COMMENCES SO THAT YOU COULD HAVE FULL CONCENTRATION FOR THE DEAL. JUST BE CAREFULL NEXT TIME AND PROTECT YOUR EQUIPMENT(S) ADEQUATELY. IT COST SO MUCH, REMEMBER?PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO HEED MY REQUEST AND SEND YOUR PHONE AND FAX NUMBER TO ME, MAYBE I COULD CALL YOU FIRST, THIS IS RISKY AS I HAVE TO GO THROUGH
THE OPERATOR IN THE COMPLEX WHERE I WORK, BUT I THINK I CAN MANAGE JUST ONE CALL. PLEASE COMPLY.
REMEMBER ANYTIME YOU CALL ME ALWAYS ASK: HOW IS THE WEATHER? AND THE ANSWER SHOULD BE “VERY POSITIVE”.
EXPECTING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.

WITH KIND REGARDS,
AARON OBASANJO


Aaron,
As it turns out, the cat died. No pet store in the area had another cat like it, so i’ll just have to wait untill tomorrow to see how mad Denise will be. But when I was in the hospital, I was talking to my friend Jeremy and he mentioned that he too had recently bought a new fax macheine. I asked him why he bought it, and he said he couldn’t tell me because it was confidential. When I asked him a second time, he winked at me, and then nodded. Then he changed the subject. Aaron, this brings doubts that I am the only one selected for this operation. Who was the associate that told you to contact me in the first place? I suspect it was Jeremy, and I don’t appreciate you undercutting my importance in this mission. Even if it wasn’t Jeremy, I do not think I can proceed untill I know who told you to contact me about this deal. It could be anyone, and I can’t continue to not trust each of my associates, especially Jeremy. And if the spiritualist can verify my dedication to the job, then why can’t she guess my phone number and address?
Having doubts,
Michael

DEAR FRIEND,
TOP OF THE DAY TO YOU. I MUST NOT FAIL TO SAY HOW SORRY WE ARE AND SYMPATIZE WITH YOU ON THE DEATH OF YOUR CAT, WE ARE INDEED VERY SORRY AND WE HOPE YOU ARE ABLE TO EXPLAIN TO DENISE AND CALM HER AND CONSOLE HER. DEAR MIKE, I MUST CONFESS TO YOU THAT I WAS SO UPSET BY YOUR RECENT INSINUATIONS AND ACCUSATIONS THAT I SAID NOT TO RESPOND TO YOU AGAIN BUT AFTER CAREFUL DELIBERATIONS WITH MY PARTNERS AND OUR CLIENT, WE FEEL IT IS OUR DUTY TO EXPLAIN TO YOU FOR MORE CLARIFICATIONS. FIRST OF ALL YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE DOING A PROFESSIONAL WORK HERE AND WE STAND TO BE PAID OUR PROFESSIONAL FEES AND WE WOULD NOT LEAVE OUR DUTIES TO COME AND ENGAGE IN SOME KIND OF CHILD’S PLAY AS YOU WANT TO MAKE THIS LOOK LIKE. FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT, LET ME SAY HERE THAT NEITHER I AND ANY OTHER PARTNER IN THIS HONOURABLE CHAMBERS NOR MY CLIENT HAS HAD, IS HAVING ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR JEREMY OR WHATEVER YOU CALL HIS NAME. WE HAVE DEALT WITH YOU AND YOU ALONE ALL THIS WHILE AND WE DO NOT HAVE ANY CONTRARY INTENSIONS EXCEPT YOU TELL US THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO CONTINUE WITH THE DEAL, THEN AND ONLY THEN CAN WE LOOK FOR ANOTHER. HOW CAN YOU SEE A MERE COINCIDENCE OF BUYING A FAX MACHINE AS A REASON TO BRING THIS CAREFULLY THOUGHT OUT SCHEME SO LOW, YOUR FRIEND MIGHT
HAVE BOUGHT THE MACHINE FOR GOD KNOWS WHAT, WE ARE NOT UNDERCUTTING YOUR IMPORTANCE AS YOU CLAIM BUT WE EVEN BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE EVEN SORT OF BLACKMAILING US BECAUSE WE BELIEVE AS OUR SPIRITUALIST SAY THAT YOU ARE THE ONE FOR US TO TRUST AND DO THIS WITH, BUT THAT IS CHEAP BLACKMAIL.

FOR CLARITY PURPOSES, MY CLIENT GOT YOUR CONTACT FROM ONE OF HIS FRIENDS WHO HAPPENS TO WORK WITH ONE OF OUR FOREIGN MISSIONS(SPECIFICALLY THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY)THAT IS THE BEST WE CAN DISCLOSE AS WE DO NOT INTEND FOR ANY REASON(S) TO DISCLOSE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION AS THIS IS AGAINST PROFESSIONAL ETHICS BUT WE DO KNOW AND WE ARE VERY CERTAIN THAT IT WAS NOT FROM YOUR SO CALLED JEREMY OR ANY OTHER PERSON CLOSE TO YOU.

FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF ANY DOUBTS, PLEASE TRY HARDER TO GET MORE INFORMATION FROM YOUR FRIEND ABOUT HIS REASON FOR GETTING A FAX MACHINE AND YOU WOULD SEE THAT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME,MY FELLOW PARTNERS AND MY CLIENT.
YOUR FRIEND MIGHT EVEN BE INVOLVED WITH SOMEBODY ELSE IN THIS SIMILAR SITUATION WHO NEEDS ASSISTANCE BUT CERTAINLY NOT US. WHATEVER YOU DO , PLEASE MAKE SURE NOT TO DISCLOSE MY CLIENT’S IDENTITY AS A SEARCHLIGHT IS STILL ON HIS FAMILY.

AFTER ALL SAID AND DONE, WE HERE DO HAVE A SECOND THOUGHT ABOUT YOUR ABILITY TO PRESERVE THE CONFIDENTIAL NATURE OF THIS TRANSACTION AS YOU ALLOW EXCITEMENT TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOU. IF YOU ARE STILL INTERESTED IN THIS TRANSACTION THEN YOU HAVE TO CHANGE. WE HAVE TAKEN TIME TO EXPLAIN THE SITUATION TO YOU AS IT IS, IF YOU BELIEVE FINE, OTHERWISE THERE IS NOTHING MUCH WE COULD DO IN THE CIRCUMSTANCE.

IS THIS WHY YOU HAVE NOT SENT YOUR PHONE NUMBER FOR US TO COMMUNICATE? OR YOU ARE JUST RAISING EXCUSES HERE AND THERE. IF YOU WANT TO DO THIS WITH US LET US BEGIN OTHERWISE LET’S STOP WASTING EACH OTHER’S TIME. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

EXPECT TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.

BEST REGARDS,
AARON


Aaron,
I’m sorry for being hostile in my last email. Understandably so, I was upset becase of the cat. Thank you for your kind wishes for me and Denise, although now she’s refusing to talk with me because of what happened with the cat. This business deal that you and I have is all I’ve got going for me right now. Thanks again, I really appreciate your choosing me.
Since the mentalist said I’m the chosen one, I’ve been feeling much more powerful lately. Last night I sat at my table for 3 hours and tried to move things with my mind, and although the feather did move a tiny bit, I think it was from the ceiling fan.
I talked with Jeremy, and you were right. He bought the fax macheine for his new job at the post office, not because you told him to. I’m feeling much more confidant in this deal, and I’m sorry it took me so long to finally trust you, Aaron.
I’m also excited because I got an email from a company in California that chose me (out of hundreds of others!) to test sneakers for them. All I have to do is give them my credit card number to pay for shipping, and they said they’d ship me 15 pairs of shoes to test, absolutely free, and I get to keep the shoes! This is great, because I’ve always felt that I’m good at knowing a good pair of shoes when I see one. But don’t worry, I don’t tell these people about our special deal. I haven’t told anyone, and that’s how I plan to keep it.

I remain obliged,
Michael


DEAR MIKE,
NOW THAT YOU SEEM TO HAVE COME TO TERMS WITH YOURSELF, WHAT IS THE WAY
FORWARD? YOU HAVE NOT TOLD ME ANYTHING POSITIVE FOR A WHILE NOW. AFTER
YOU BOUGHT YOUR FAX MACHINE, YOU SAID YOU NEEDED JUST A LITTLE WHILE
TO STUDY THE MANUAL AND THEN AFTERWARDS YOU WILL CALL, HAVE YOU NOT
FINISHED
STUDYING, OR HOW DO YOU THINK WE COULD GO ON WITH THIS DEAL WITHOUT
COMMUNICATING
PROPERLY. THIS E-MAIL KIND OF COMMUNICATION LIKE I TOLD YOU BEFORE IS
NOT TOTALLY SAFE, OR DONT YOU HAVE A PHONE AND FAX LINE, IF WE HAVE TO
CONTINUE THIS PROJECT LET US HAVE YOUR PHONE AND FAX LINE.
I HAVE WORD FROM OUR CONTACT THAT THE REGISTRATION OF YOUR COMPANY
“SOLOMON’S
ENTERPRISES (NIG.) LTD. IS IN IT’S FINAL STAGE AND THE DOCUMENTATIONS
WILL BE OUT, HOW ON EARTH DO WE SEND THESE DOCUMENTS TO YOU?
LET’S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS. WE EXPECT YOU TO SEND THESE INFORMATION
WHEN
NEXT YOU RESPOND, RIGHT?
WE REMAIN OBLIGED,
AARON

Aaron,
I think this is the end of our business deal. Do you
remember that company in California that said they
would ship me 15 pairs of shoes in exchange for my
credit card number? Well, it turns out it was a
SCAM!!! Yesterday I needed to pay for the cremation
of the cat with my credit card and it was denied. I
thought, whoah! hold on a second! I thought it was a
mistake because I had over $375,000 in that account
(from when my dad died). I called Visa, and they said
that somebody in california was pretending to be me and bought 3 new cars and thousands of dollars worth of sterio equiptment!!!!
So, I immediately contacted the police (I’ve been in the police station for the past 7 hours) and they’re starting a full investigation into this whole mess. aparantly, when somebody steals over $100,000 dollars, it becomes a federal crime, so tomorrow somebody from the FBI is coming to talk with me. the only thing I have from the scam artist is an email address, but the police said that they can almost always track a person from an email address.
But for now, i don’t have the time to own a company in nigeria, i hope you understand Mr Obasanjo. thanks for all you’ve done for me; i really appreciate it.
~Michael

13 Costly Marketing Mistakes

To be successful and profitable, you must ‘START’ using the most effective marketing strategies possible within your overall marketing plans.  Less obvious, is the fact that you must also ‘STOP’ using the most ineffective, money-wasting marketing strategies.

I call them The 13 Costly Marketing Mistakes. While this list doesn’t cover ‘all’ of the possible marketing mistakes, it does describe some of the most expensive, destructive and most ‘common’ made by many owners or traditional and home based businesses.

1. ONE-STEP MARKETING

The ‘One-Step’ marketing strategy is the most common marketing strategy used by most small business owners today. It’s everywhere — and it’s a big money waster.  It consists of an ad, flyer or other marketing vehicle that simply ‘announces’ the business name, possibly lists a few basic features of the product or service and ends with an address and phone number.  The prospect is now expected to respond to this type of marketing piece by immediately purchasing the product or service.  Unless you are offering an extremely ‘high-demand,’ ‘hard-to-get’ product/service (an original Van Gogh painting for $100, Super Bowl tickets, etc.) this marketing strategy ‘almost always’ results in little or no response. This strategy totally disregards the ‘psychological buying sequence’ of consumers. It’s very much like walking up to a stranger at a party and asking ‘Would you marry me?’ What do you think the response would be?

2. NOT KNOWING WHICH EFFORTS ARE WINNERS OR LOSERS

Not knowing for sure which of your marketing efforts are producing results and which are big ‘money-wasters’ is a guaranteed way to minimize your results.
Even new businesses are investing in up to a ‘dozen’ marketing devices at any given time. Not only are we talking about traditional media, like newspaper or Yellow Page ads but ‘many’ others that may not be as obvious.
These marketing devices are either contributing to your business profit or destroying it. Most business owners don’t have a clue as to which is which.
If they did, they could easily guarantee increasing their profitable results by investing more in the winning devices and eliminating the money-wasting, losing devices.

3. NOT TELLING YOUR PROSPECTS WHAT TO DO

Expecting your prospects to ‘know’ exactly what you want them to do guarantees low results.
Never, never, never assume. Take a look at most small business ads and you’ll see that the business owners are almost always ‘assuming’ that the prospect will know exactly what they want them to do . . . without telling them.
At the bottom of the ad there will be a phone number and an address. Usually nothing more. Ask one of these business owners what they ‘wanted’ the prospect to do after reading their ad and they will most likely reply, ‘Buy my product! Isn’t it obvious??’
The answer is a resounding ‘No!’
For one, there is rarely enough information in the typical marketing piece for a consumer to make an ‘immediate’ buying decision. Therefore, that can’t be the action expected from the consumer.
Second, the marketing competition for the prospect’s consumer dollars is fierce. The prospect is usually exposed to dozens of ads for basically the same product/service. Obviously, he or she is not going to take ‘action’ on every single ad.
How do ‘you’ insure that they will respond to ‘your’ marketing piece and take the specific action you intended?
Certainly, not by ‘assuming’ that they will ‘know’ or ‘figure out’ what you want them to do.

In order for a business owner to tell prospects exactly what action to take next, the business owner must know what that action should be. Once you know the ‘psychological buying sequence’ the next expected action becomes obvious.

4. CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION

Closely related to mistake number 3, is the marketing piece that again simply ‘announces’ the business name, lists a few basic features of the product or service, ends with an address and phone number . . . and then asks the prospect to ‘Call for More Information.’
One of the last things a prospect wants, is to feel dumb. What information should they ask for? Does this mean that the business doesn’t have a brochure or any other literature? Are they going to have to take notes?? Will there be a test?
The other thing ‘no prospect’ wants is to feel pressured. Whether it’s true or not, the average prospect ‘assumes’ that they’ll get a ‘high-pressured’ sales pitch if they call. Most do not want to risk this pain.

Therefore, the ‘Call for More Information’ tag is almost always ignored.
While ‘some’ prospects may not have a problem responding to this ‘vague’ directive, the majority do. If you doubt this . . . try putting it at the bottom of your marketing pieces. You’ll soon be convinced that few prospects, if any, respond to the ‘Call for More Information’ marketing mistake.

5. FOCUSING ON YOU INSTEAD OF YOUR CUSTOMER

It seems natural to tell your prospects about you and your company. We’re proud of what we do and how we do it and we ‘assume’ that our prospects will be impressed and motivated to take action.
‘We’ve been in business for 16 years…’
‘We are an award winning, cutting-edge organization…’
‘We are equipped with the latest micro-techno, laser-guided, nuclear-activated widget-gizmos…’
Too often these phrases evoke the following responses from prospects:

‘So what?’
‘Big deal.’
‘Who cares?’
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying that your marketing materials shouldn’t include background information about you and your company and/or specifications about your product/service. I’m saying that this should be ‘supportive’ information, not your ‘primary’ marketing message.
It’s a costly marketing mistake to think that prospects ‘care’ about the same things you care about.
They rarely do.
However, they do care deeply about something entirely different. Once you know what that is, and you address it powerfully and clearly in your marketing, you will begin to draw prospects to you like a magnet.

6. NOT USING EFFECTIVE FREE/LOW-COST MARKETING METHODS

Ask the typical small business owner what marketing is, and he/she will probably reply, ‘Advertising.’

What kinds of advertising?
‘Yellow Page ads, newspaper ads, magazine ads, radio ads, television ads, billboards, bus cards, Val-Pak mailings, etc.’
While all of these advertising devices can certainly be a ‘part’ of a successful marketing strategy, there are also dozens of ‘low-cost’ and ‘no-cost’ marketing methods available to the small business marketer.

By simply discovering and applying these simple ‘low-cost,’ ‘no-cost’ methods, you will be able to significantly stretch the effectiveness and profitability of your marketing efforts.

It’s relatively easy to produce ‘profitable’ results with a well-planned, tested and ‘proven’ marketing strategy. However, it’s even easier to lose thousands of dollars by making ‘any’ of the following Costly Marketing Mistakes.

7. COPYING YOUR COMPETITORS MISTAKES

If ‘everyone’ else is doing it, then it must be the right thing to do. Remember mom’s admonition, ‘If everyone was jumping off a bridge, would you want to jump too?’  Look at the local, small business ads in any newspaper and you will find the same basic format, same basic message, same basic strategy (see Marketing Mistake #1). . . and the same basic results; little or no response.
We feel safe in the crowd. Safe doing what everyone else is doing. We also ‘assume’ that if it works for them, it can work equally well for us.
Unfortunately, a business’s success is rarely from ‘one’ element in their marketing strategy. Their success is the result of ‘many’ diverse marketing elements; from their location, to their possible lack of competition, to their ‘personality’ and ‘abundance or lack of’ marketing aggressiveness.
But we rarely take all of these strategic elements into consideration when ‘copying’ our competitors. Copying a single marketing element from a competitor is like reaching into ‘their’ pile of puzzle pieces, pulling out one piece and then trying to make it fit into your puzzle.

It rarely works because your marketing puzzle is unique and each piece must fit ‘perfectly’ with all of your other pieces.
In addition, whatever success a competitor may be experiencing can often be from a ‘few’ of their less obvious or ‘visible’ marketing methods. Often the highly visible element (ad, flyer, brochure, etc.) is one of the least effective.
You end up copying the profit losers, rather than developing your own profit winners.

8. DIRECTING YOUR MARKETING TO EVERYONE

Directing your marketing to ‘everyone’ but to ‘no one’ in particular guarantees that your marketing will be ignored.
Many small businesses have failed to determine who their best prospects are, where those prospects live or how to reach them effectively and efficiently.
This is a critical first step in any successful marketing strategy. By skipping this step, they resort to running vague and generic ‘one-step’ ads in mass media, such as local newspapers, magazines, radio, television, cable, Val-pak mailings, Internet Web sites, etc.
Their ‘hope’ is that by presenting their ‘generic’ message about their business to the ‘greatest’ number of people, the result will be the highest number of sales. Wrong.

Unfortunately for them, effective marketing doesn’t work that way. The fact is, in most cases only a small percentage of the readers/listeners/viewers of mass media will have a ‘need’ for your product or service at any given time.
Some business owners may have a hard time believing this, but nevertheless, it’s true. ‘Everyone’ does not need or want your product or service.  By not targeting your marketing to your very ‘best’ and logical prospects, you are wasting most of your marketing dollars on people who have little or no interest in your product or service.
If there are only 100 ‘true’ prospects for your product or service out of 10,000 possible readers of a publication, why would you want to spend thousands of dollars presenting your message over and over to the 9,900 non-prospects?
Yet, this is the method most small business owners choose because they don’t know that there is a much more cost-effective and profitable strategy.

9. WASTING MONEY ON IMAGE MARKETING

A major marketing mistake made by many small businesses is pouring their marketing dollars into ‘image’ marketing. Some of their marketing pieces may be clever, even humorous.  That kind of marketing rarely asks prospects to take ‘action.’ The result? Wasted marketing dollars, vague ideas of who saw the marketing pieces and frustration. Giant corporations like Pepsi or Nike are interested in ‘name recognition’ and a specific ‘image’ for their brands. Therefore, they spend ‘millions’ of dollars on creative, often fun marketing pieces designed to impress their target market with their ‘image’ rather than to generate a direct or immediate sale.  Obviously your image and name recognition are important to the success of your small business. But even ‘more’ important are immediate and steadily growing sales. How can you determine if your marketing is primarily focused on ‘image’ marketing? It is if each of your marketing pieces don’t ask for ‘immediate and specific’ action from your prospects.
This money-wasting and sales destroying marketing mistake is much more common than you may think.

10. GIVING UP ON YOUR PROSPECTS AFTER JUST ONE OR TWO FOLLOW-UPS

Effective marketers know that persistence and repetition are vital for success. But too many business owners spend a great deal of time and money attracting prospects to their businesses and then either follow-up with them just once, or, as incredible as it may sound, never follow-up with them at all.
Successful people in sales know that most of the sales are made after the seventh or eighth call. Few are made after just one follow-up call.
Your prospects have many reasons for not buying from you immediately.

They may not be ready to make a decision. They may have more pressing things on their minds. They may not feel comfortable enough with you, or trust you enough to buy right now. They may have more questions about your product/service, that haven’t been answered. They may have information from you and 2-3 of your competitors and are trying to determine which company would be their best choice.

By following up repeatedly, you will have a dramatic advantage over your competitors, since few of them will follow up more than once. When your prospects are ready to buy, which could be one week from now, or six months from now, you will have a better chance of getting the sale if you are uppermost in their minds. You can only do that by consistently following up.

11. CHANGING YOUR MARKETING STRATEGY FREQUENTLY

Henry Ford once told an ad executive from his advertising agency, ‘It’s time for you to come up with a new ad campaign. We’ve been using this one for too long and I’m sure the public has to be bored to death with it.’
Ford was reportedly miffed to hear, ‘But sir, we haven’t even started running this campaign yet. The public has never seen it.
Having seen the campaign presentations dozens of times, ‘he’ was bored with it. He wanted to see something ‘new and different.’
You should never, never stop using something that is still working, because you, your employees or your friends are ‘bored’ with it.
In successful and profitable marketing you should only be listening to your ‘customers’ since they vote with dollars rather than opinions.

12. WAITING FOR REFERRALS TO MAGICALLY APPEAR

Word-of-mouth referrals are an extremely important element of any business’s marketing success. But most small businesses are making a big marketing mistake by believing that those referrals will come automatically.
It’s true that if you provide good service and your prices are competitive, you will probably get ‘some’ word-of-mouth referrals. But to generate an abundance and highly profitable level of referrals takes more initiative and effort.
Unless someone comes to us and specifically asks for our recommendation of a good dentist, doctor, veterinarian, insurance agent or auto alarm specialist we are probably not going to actively ‘promote’ these businesses to our friends and neighbors.
How often in any given year are ‘you’ asked to recommend a good dentist or auto alarm specialist? The chances are . . . not very often, if at all.
That’s why expecting referrals to come to you . . . just by chance (as most small business owners do), is a costly marketing mistake.
The most ‘Costly’ mistake of all . . .

13. BASING YOUR MARKETING ON GUESSES AND ASSUMPTIONS

Basing your marketing strategy on ‘guesses,’ ‘assumptions’ or ‘advice’ from friends, relatives or business associates is a sure way to guarantee little or no results from your marketing.

‘Guessing’ at the elements of your marketing strategy is like trying to guess the specific sequence of numbers needed to open a combination lock.
Since each consecutive step is linked to the success of the previous step, one wrong guess destroys your chances for success.
Most people, including many small business owners, mistakenly believe that marketing is more of an ‘art’ than a ‘science.’
Those of the ‘marketing is art’ point of view believe that anyone’s opinion concerning marketing is just as valid as anyone else’s.
In reality, marketing is very much a ‘science’ with specific principles, rules and ‘quantifiable’ results.
Because of this ‘marketing is art’ philosophy, most of what people believe about marketing is based on ‘myths,’ not ‘facts.’
Show ten people two ads and ask them to select the one they think is the better ad. Nine out of ten will select the profit loser rather than the profit winner. Why? Because they are unaware of and don’t recognize the marketing principles and strategies that make a powerful marketing piece a profit winner.

So they base their ‘opinion’ instead on such vague, subjective criteria as ‘cleverness,’ ‘cuteness,’ ‘different and artistic look,’ and the ads’ ‘fun/pun’ appeal.

These criteria rarely have anything to do with generating maximum response but they have everything to do with wasting your marketing investment and destroying your potential sales.
The best way to develop a successful and profitable marketing strategy is to use the knowledge, experience and skills of someone who has already discovered the marketing approaches that ‘do work’ as well as the approaches that ‘don’t work.’
These discoveries should always be based on measurable results from objective tests . . . never subjective opinions or assumptions.

Copyright © 2000-2010 by Joe Gracia – All Rights Reserved.

How Do Potential Clients Think? Ten Things to Consider

Potential Clients?A potential client walks in your front door, or sends you an email from your Web site. How did that client find you? How did that client choose your firm from dozens of other competitors that could offer him similar services?   Whether you are designing a Web site, developing a brochure, or even considering the layout of your lobby, everything you do affects the way a potential client thinks of your firm. It seems silly, but even the smallest things can have profound impacts. Leather chairs and a mahogany armoire in your office may impress some clients but scare away others.

This month we look at how potential clients think. As you read over these points, ask yourself two questions: first, who is my ideal client? Second, how do I need to change my marketing to conform to that client’s thought process?

  1. Understanding of the Legal Process .
    There are some people who – though not lawyers – live and breathe the law everyday. A tax accountant, for example, may not have a JD, but she no doubt has a pretty good understanding of the Tax Code, the IRS, and judicial proceedings. Contrast this knowledge to a person injured in a car crash. The car crash victim may have never given a moment’s thought to law, or what lawyers do. Suddenly, the pain and medical payments have forced them to seek representation. Depending on the type of client you are interested in attracting, your marketing needs to reflect the level of understanding your clients bring to the table. For people looking for a lawyer for the very first time, consider providing basic information, “how to guides” and “frequently asked questions” materials. For experienced clients, recently published articles on a particular area of expertise might be more appropriate.
  2. Urgency .
    A person is arrested for drunk driving and is in the local jail, waiting to be bailed out. The arraignment is set for 10am the next day. This client needs help fast! Now consider the in-house counsel of a large corporation looking for outside help on an upcoming patent issue. The DUI defendant has about 48 hours to find a good attorney; the in-house counsel might spend months. If you are serving DUI defendants, do you have a 24-hour answering service? Does your Web site state that you’ll return calls within a certain period of time? 
  3. Skepticism .
    It is a sad fact that some Americans either fear or dislike lawyers. At least until they need one, at which point they grudgingly contact an attorney. How do you combat skepticism? Some people feel more comfortable if they can ‘put a face to the name’, which may be an argument for including attorney photos on your Web site. Client testimonials can also help. And prominently advertising “free consultation” may also go a long way (if you offer that, of course).
  4. Personal Relevance .
    How personally involved is the potential client in the case? For issues like bankruptcy, divorce, and criminal law, the legal matter at hand may be one of the most important moments in a person’s life. Your initial interactions with that potential client may be vital to getting a signed client. If you recognize the significance of the case to the client (regardless of how many similar cases you have had before), you may put the client at ease. If you immediately point them to your paralegal, they may look for an attorney who cares. 
  5. Quantifiable Needs .
    Sometimes, choosing a lawyer comes down to simple ‘yes or no’ questions. Does the firm have more than ten years of experience? What’s the win/loss record? Will this cost me more than $1000? Is your office within 25 miles of my house? The more of this information you provide upfront – whether on your Web site, brochures, or other advertising – the more likely it is that you will answer important questions a potential client may have (and choose you over a firm that doesn’t provide this information). 
  6. Qualitative Needs .
    Some clients want an attorney who is “compassionate” and “understanding of their needs.” Others are looking for someone who is “a pit bull” and “aggressive.” If your firm has a distinct personality, why not advertise this to potential clients? After all, if all of your attorneys are really ‘pit bulls,’ a potential client that wants someone to hold their hand isn’t going to choose your firm anyway. 
  7. Internet Experience .
    Are your clients tech-savvy engineers from Silicon Valley who get excited by the latest gizmos, or hard-working blue-collar folks who want basic and straightforward information? Create your Web site to reflect the values of your potential customers. 
  8. Alternatives .
    Are there alternatives to using a lawyer for your potential clients? For example, instead of hiring you to draft their will, could they use a software product instead? If so, do you have an explanation for why a potential client should choose legal representation over the alternatives? 
  9. Preferred Method of Contact .
    Some people prefer to talk on the phone. Others only want to communicate by email. For some practice areas, the initial consultation may be followed by fancy dinners, tickets to theatre, and golf outings. Think about how potential clients prefer to engage with your firm. 
  10. The Tip of the Iceberg .
    The suggestions above are only a few of the hundreds of factors that go into a client’s decision to retain an attorney. The best way to really understand your clients’ behavior is to ask them – ask past clients, ask current clients, and ask potential clients. Gleaning this information now will help you win over more clients in the future.