Posts Tagged ‘WOW Gal’

I’ll do backflips if I have to

Monday, January 21st, 2013

By Lynda Kavanagh

I’ve been training for well over 25 years and I find it is getting harder and harder to keep audience’s attention. It makes sense because our world is getting faster and faster and that means people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. So, I always say I’ll do backflips if I have to to keep people’s attention when I am training.

I recently taught a group of youth who are preparing to move into the career section of their lives. My topic was Business Etiquette – a very important topic but probably not the most interesting for this age group. I was nervous but they were great and opened their minds.

I’m back this week to talk with them about Social Media Etiquette and Dealing with Difficult People, again, important topics but maybe not that interesting at the moment to them. But this time I will have a huge advantage. The organizers, #Taber Adult Learning, have approved that I can bring my dog Peanut to the sessions. Peanut was trained as a pet therapy dog. My daughter-in-law took her to pet therapy classes at our local hospital and Peanut passed with flying colors. She was rewarded by receiving her own name tag, and invitations to visit the hospital for lots of hugging and tummy rubbing.

Peanut excelled and progressed to visiting senior lodges. This week her therapy learning will move her into another area – the training room but now, she will be training instead of being trained. I know she will do well because I’ve seen the faces of those she has visited with before. Their eyes light up, a smile comes to their face and their hands automatically move towards her so they can pet her. I’ve seen people who are lost in their own minds, perk up when they see her, I’ve seen people who may look grouch on the outside, absolutely melt when they come in contact with Peanut.

By the way, Peanut is a curly haired Jack Russell. Not the type of dog to relax and sit still for someone to pet her. She is a wild thing but, when she is working her therapy, she just seems to know she needs to give these people a little bit of her time.

I know this will help these young people learn what I am presenting to them, in a better way. Thanks to Taber Adult Learning for being so progressive, and thanks to Peanut. Her reward will be meeting new friends, getting tummy rubs, and probably a few peanut butter treats.


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Whatever you call marketing…

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

By Lynda Kavanagh

Marketing is marketing!

I’m on a bit of a rant today. I’m getting tired of these self proclaimed “Marketing Experts” confusing the heck out of small business owners about marketing. These “experts” don’t have any idea what marketing is, instead they have some knowledge in one particular area of marketing and therefore that area is what they say, and personally think, is marketing.

Some of them think that sales is marketing, or that social media marketing is better than traditional marketing, that digital marketing is better than outbound marketing and that public relations is better than inbound marketing.

As Kevin  O’Leary, from Dragons’ Den says “STOP THE MADNESS”.

Marketing is marketing!

Any activity that is conducted to attract potential customers to a business is marketing.

I’d like to provide you with a couple of excerpts from my book “Sales suck… NOW WHAT?”, not because I’m flogging my book (but if you want to buy one I’d be happy to sell it to you), but because at the very beginning of the book it explains what marketing is.

Sales suck – page 3:  

… Many small businesses are confused about what sales and marketing really are. I’ll make it very simple for you with my definition:

“Marketing is the overall strategy of creating a message that will capture the interest of a specific group of people (potential customers). Once that specific group of people is aware of your products/services, then sales represent all the activities that help those potential customers make the decision to buy your products/services.”

In short, marketing is the overall plan and strategy while sales is the action……

Sales suck – page 4:

… I’d like to explain sales and marketing using Canada’s historic Bluenose schooner from Nova Scotia as an example. To make the Bluenose sail effectively, many components of the schooner needed to be working together – the sails, the rudder and the ship’s wheel just to name three.

If the sails were the only part of the schooner that worked, the Bluenose still wouldn’t have sailed effectively. The Bluenose would have moved, but, without a steering wheel or a rudder, it would have had no direction. If only the sails worked on the Bluenose, it would have moved but only where the wind took it, without any way to steer away from rough waters. For the crew, that would have been a scary and uncertain fate.

To make a business run effectively, you must ensure all aspects of your sales and marketing work together. If one component is ignored, you could begin heading for dangerous waters.

I’ve talked to thousands of businesses and they almost always say the same thing: “Marketing is frustrating.”

When they say this, I know they don’t understand what marketing is.  Moreover, they have unrealistic expectations of business growth based on the type of marketing they are doing.

One of the most important parts of creating a marketing strategy is ensuring that all your marketing is working together, not just one or two components. That takes planning…..

Back to the rant….

So stay away from those “experts” who think that marketing is just one component to be your marketing activity. Marketing has to be a combination of sales, advertising, online promotion, personal promotion, public relations, digital, inbound, outbound, direct mail, social media, sponsorship… the list goes on.

The key to marketing is to think long and hard about what combination of marketing components you do, and make sure it is based on your target customer habits, not on misinformation from one-sided marketing experts.

There’s my rant… now I’m done! I’m taking my dog Peanut for a walk.

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Changes to Facebook

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

By Lynda D. Kavanagh

I hope that every business person knows that they should not be conducting business on their personal facebook profile but should have a Facebook page. Following Facebook’s mandate of always spicing things up they are changing the way people do business on Facebook.

Rather than explaining what you should be doing before March 30, 2012. Go to:


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What the heck is a QR Code?

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

by Lynda Kavanagh, aka the “WOW” Gal

By now you have seen these graphics on realtor signs, in magazines, or on business cards. These are called QR Codes. So, for a small business – do you need one?

Let me first explain what they are and then you can decide if you need a QR Code.

QR stands for “quick response” and are similar to bar codes. Point of purchase machines scan bar codes and, because the data has already been inputted into a computer program, the point of purchase machine records all the necessary information. The same happens for QR Codes. When someone scans the QR Code they get contact information about your company. The catch is that the person doing the scanning must have a smartphone with a QR Reader.

For a business it is relatively easy to get a QR Code. It is free and there are many website that will register your QR Code for you. We got our WOW Communications QR Code from: website will generate your QR Code. The site provides a pdf document offering a great description of how QR Codes work so you can read more there if you want all the nuts and bolts of QR Codes. 

When you put your QR Code graphic in your marketing material, it can then be scanned with a smartphone and will immediately launch the Internet browser in their phone and your website. 

It is a bit more difficult to actually get a QR Code reader for your smartphone as you will need an app.  There are many apps out there for smartphones but not all of them work well and/or work each time. I had a Blackberry Bold 9700 and I had to go onto the Blackberry apps website and read the reviews about QR Code readers, I finally found one called ScanLife that worked well and it was free. Iphone – well there are lots, I downloaded one that was free and also scans barcodes.  I’d recommend you type into Google “QR Code Reader (for your brand of phone)” and see what reviews come up. You may have to try a few of them to find the QR Code reader that works well for you.

So, as a small business should you have a QR Code? Well, it is one more way to direct people to your website – so why not. If you put it on your business card and other marketing material, people can scan it and learn more about your business. It’s kinda the cool thing in marketing right now so if you have a QR Reader – people will think you are an “up-to-date” techie!

Oh ya, BTW I do teach a workshop on technology and marketing that includes information about QR Codes, give us a call 1 855 329-0179 or email to discuss.

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I’m sad about email!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

WOW Words of Wisdom – respecting people

By Lynda Kavanagh

I read in one of the national papers today that people are saying they are too busy to reply to all the emails that people send them. The story wasn’t about spam, this was about directed email to a specific person from someone they know, with a request or information. The story went on to say that these busy people were considering sending an automatic reply to all their emails saying they cannot possibly answer all their emails so if “you don’t get a reply we are sorry”.

That’s it? Interesting.

I’m not sure what the person getting that automatic response will then know what to do with the information or request within the email that had been sent.

This was a timely story as just as I turned on my computer this morning, I had an email from a friend who works for a government organization. He’s frustrated. He just wants to help a customer but needs higher up authority to offer a solution to this customer’s problem. Now the only way he can get to the powers with authority to comply is to send an email because… did you guess this…. they are too busy to reply to the phone messages he has already sent. They aren’t answering the emails either…. because …. they are too busy!

When did this lack of manners happen? Did it sneak up on us or has it been lurking there for a while. I’m very, very, very tired of people telling me they are busy. Stop it! To those people I must scream YOU ARE NO BUSIER THAN ANYONE ELSE.

It’s easy for people to say they are “too busy”  and use that for an excuse for lack of respect, manners or customer service. After all that is so much easier than taking 100% responsibility that those “busy” people really suck at time management; they suck at prioritizing tasks and they suck at saying “NO” to requests that take them away from their priority tasks.

When you tell someone you are too busy, you are saying two things to them:

1. My busy is much more important than your busy.

2. I’m too busy and therefore you can expect my manners to slip.

The next time someone tells you they are too busy, see if you can analyze that person’s role in the world economy. I don’t think I’ve ever hear an entrepreneur say they are too busy. Being busy is a good think for entrepreneurs. Being too busy for entrepreneurs it’s the hunger that drives them. Being too busy means that there is work, that means a pay check will come, that means security for themselves, their families, and their business. You’ll never hear an entrepreneur say they are “too busy to respect a customer with a reply for assistance”.

How come it tends to be people who work for the government, for institutions, or they work for others who tend to be so busy.  Could it be that their lively hood is secured with a monthly paycheck and therefore they aren’t hungry, they will still get paid if customers aren’t happy, they still get that security for themselves or their families?

I’m sad about email an the lack of respect to reply.

Whatever you do folks, here is a word of advice, don’t ever tell me you are too busy to respect or help others. If you say that to me, I’ll go ballistic and then… you should run, and run fast!

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I can get it cheaper …

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Almost every business is going to get this statement at some time. I find that people who are selling services rather than a “tangible” product here this statement often. When you hear this, it means the prospect has not seen the value of what you are talking to them about.

Don’t immediately reduce your price. Think this through. The minute you reduce your pricing, is the minute you start a downward spiral of price changing. Think of your self as a consumer, when you ask someone to reduce their price and they do, does it make you think that the first price was “over priced” to begin with?

There will always be cheaper and more expensive prices than what you are charging. I’d encourage you to spend the necessary time to price your product correctly THE FIRST TIME and then stick to it. If someone doesn’t buy from you because you are not “cheap” enough, maybe you don’t really want them for a customer.

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WOW Communications’s Blog

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Our Blog is now user friendly with all mobile devices. For sales and marketing topics go to: or subscribe to our feed

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WOW Words of Wisdom #22 – Social Media

Friday, January 14th, 2011

The “NEW” Word of Mouth – Social Media©

By Lynda Kavanagh

Holly molly. Social media are big buzz words these days. There sure is alot of information flying around these days about social media – “What it is” and “What it can do”. But, I’m finding there’s not a lot of information on “What it isn’t” and “What it can’t do”. Let’s explore.

What is it and what can it do?
Well, Social Media Networks are marketing tools that are fabulous at creating brand awareness for you and your business/products. I often find in my consulting, I use the concept of personal networking to help people understand social networking better.

Just like personal networking is a marketing tool that enables you to talk to a bunch of people and tell your story, Social Media Networks allow you to also tell your story, except that, bunch of people, is expanded to the world. 

What it isn’t?
Both personal and social networking are marketing tools but their primary purposes are not to sell. Both personal and social networking are useful in creating awareness that you are an expert in your area. Unfortunately, those using social media to sell their product/services is probably the most common misuse of social media. It is just as faux pas to sell through social media as it is to sell in a personal networking situation.  

In personal networking, if someone becomes aggressive, others will find ways to “run” away from them. You know what I mean, you’re at a function and someone corners you with trying to sell you their product/service and you can’t get away from them. With social media, if you become too aggressive people will also try to get away from you. They become tired of hearing your messages – even the helpful ones – so they quit following you or worse tell the world to stay away from you too. 

Making people run away, quit following you or telling others bad things about you are not good for anyone’s marketing. Social media is all about providing others with information, the selling part should come in when they recognize you are the expert, and they contact you directly.   

Sure, there are some really creative and effective ways to encourage people to consider your product/service through social media but they can’t be direct selling ways. I tell my clients that a good rule of thumb is 50 to 1. With social media, I’ll send out 50 marketing tips to every one comment that may be perceived as a soft sell message about WOW.

What can’t it do?
I’ve heard lots of self-proclaimed social media experts say that traditional mediums are dead. That is just plain silly and demonstrates these people know nothing about marketing, and, only know the positive attributes of social media. Traditional mediums are resilient and will continue to evolve to the needs of the evolving consumer. All mediums are in competition with each other for advertising revenue, social media is just another medium to compete with. Every medium has its strength and weakness, and that includes social media.

Social media is not the “end all, be all”. It is just one tool in the plethora of tools marketers can use to capture the attention of a specific audience. Experienced professional marketers know that the consumer learns about products/services through multiple sources. There is ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY not one medium that can effectively work alone. Professional marketers know, and understand, the importance of  integrated marketing and that means looking at all those marketing tools available and implementing the appropriate tools to reach a specific audience.

So is social media better than traditional mediums? Well, that depends on the business, its products and its customers. It is NOT about the medium used (traditional or social) it’s ALL about the customer!


If you are finding that you need to understand how to effectively use Social Media to market your business we can provide our session: The “NEW” Word of Mouth – Social media in an on-site or online format.

 Call us for pricing of the on-site workshop, for our online session – go to the Social Media session is 1 hour and is priced at $29.95, accessible for a two-month period.

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What are ya gonna do?

Sunday, December 5th, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh, aka The “WOW” Gal

See this on Youtube:

It’s mid December. Soon you will get the financials from last year. They may be great or they may suck. What are ya gonna do? 2009 and for some, 2010 changed everything – saying “We’ve always done it this way” may not work any more! What are ya gonna do that is new and creative in marketing your business?

You know if you only do one sales or marketing activity each working day that is over 260 activities you will have conducted over a year. How could your business not move forward? Here is a list of activities you may want to think about. If you’ve got some great ideas you want to share with others let us know, but here are 15 to get your mind started on ideas:

  1. Call current customers and thank them for their business
  2. Send your current customers a survey asking why they do business with you and why the don’t do more business with you. Make it confidential, short and easy for them to do.
  3. Set a marketing budget that is realistic for your expectations. (Increasing sales by 50% with a $100/month budget is not realistic.)
  4. Subscribe to a new blog, newsletter, magazine, webinar, on business.
  5. Take a course on social media marketing – what it is and what it is not.
  6. Take a critical look at your marketing material, website, business card, etc.
  7. Take a critical look at your office/location (if people come to you).
  8. Take a critical look at YOU. Are you projecting the image you want, do you project your company’s brand?
  9. Ask yourself, and honestly answer – “Why would someone do business with you?”
  10. Do some research into upcoming trends that will have an impact on your customers.
  11. Identify a new market for your product/service – look past the obvious – your competitors are looking there too.
  12. If you have staff invest in them by providing sales, marketing and customer service training. You advertising activity will be wasted if your staff are indifferent. Don’t take the attitude that you don’t want to trains staff because they may leave – think of how much damage they can do if you don’t train them and the STAY!  If you don’t have staff, invest in you with training on these topics.
  13. Connect with other business owners your size. Share your success and failures, they’ll share theirs with you.
  14. Thank your family for supporting you through this crazy world of entrepreneurship, management or senior administration.
  15. Be focused on building your business’ sales. Put your name on the list for your copy of “Sales Suck… now what?” our upcoming book on down & dirty methods to sales and marketing.

Okay that was clearly self-promotion. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself because every day I look for ways to help move my business forward. (At least I do what I preach!)

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Are you pigeon-holed?

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh (The “WOW” Gal)

1. Are you pigeon-holed:  I love consumer behaviour – why people do what they do – it is fascinating and essential to understand when it comes to marketing a business. When someone buys from a business for the first time, in their head, that product/service is all that is offered by the business. That is called pigeon-holed. If a business does not find a way to “talk” on a continuous basis to those customers, then those customers may never know the other products/services that are offered by the business. 

To eliminate being pigeon-holed, right at the point-of-purchase, the customer must become away of the other products/services a business offers. After all they are buying your product/service and are in a trusting mood. The point-of-purchase awareness could be a poster, that could be a flyer or stuffer put into the customer’s bag, or the best method would be to train staff to say… “By the way, were you aware that we also offer…..?”

 Once the customer has left your location, then you must find other marketing methods to “gently remind” them of what you do. Not aggressive sales, just nice, gentle and appropriately timed reminders. I call these “gentle nudges”. The purpose of “gentle nudges” is so the customer remembers what products/services you can help them with. 

 So, here is your marketing homework for this month:  

Ask yourself if you are pigeon-holed. Look at your point-of-purchase; is there something that gently nudges the customer?  Next, how can you remind your customers of what you do on a regular basis, without getting pushy?

 Now, set those thoughts into a plan!

 Let us know what you do to not get pigeon-holed – email Lynda.


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’tis the season for Tradeshows

Monday, November 1st, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh, the WOW Gal


Select the right Trade Show:
Obviously you can’t go to all of them so find out who usually attends, how much it costs attendees, how much it costs you, how much time lost from the office, quality of the show, number of years the show has run and then, talk to other exhibitors.

Your Job begins way before the show starts.
• Send invitations to all prospects
• Can you offer free samples… or a contest
• Can you participate in a seminar etc
• Can you get a mailing list of other exhibitors

Go to the show with a definite goal in mind.
• Are you creating awareness
• Are you penetrating a new market
• Are you looking of leads

Concentrate on the design of your display.
• Roses are red, profits are blue people don’t respond well to red booth colors
• Are your handouts something you will be proud of
• Put some motion into your booth

Select the right staff.
• If you are having others at your booth, they must be personable and knowledgeable

Although it’s tempting to go all out when designing your first trade show booth display, it makes more sense to keep your first booth small and simple, and focus your energy on marketing your products and networking at your first show.

During the event, learn as much as possible about how you’d like to alter your exhibit for show next show, and write down all your ideas either during or immediately after the show.

Once you have your first trade show under your belt, you’ll have a much sharper idea of what you do – and don’t – need in a trade show display to make each successive show your most profitable one to date.


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Leaders – you either have it or you don’t

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh

(Rather watch than read? Visit our YouTube Channel for this story – search for lyndaatwow)

Leadership … you either have it or you don’t. I don’t believe that leadership is something you can be taught. The dictionary says that Leadership is the process of when an individual’s beliefs and actions are supported by others leading everyone towards a common goal.  

The French love him

The French love him

In France, Napoleon was and continues to be considered the greatest leader in the history of Europe, and clearly that is true when you wander through this majestic shrines and museum devoted to Napoleon’s role in French History.



Why does this devotion continue centuries later? Besides being a military genius his leadership really came from giving the French a sense of national identity and pride which has been carried forward to today. He created an atmosphere where the French were allowed to believe in themselves and what they can do … as a united country.

These days every ceo, manager or president is bragging about what great leaders they are. I personally think many of them are so self-focused that they don’t understand what leadership really is… or what it should be.

They believe they are leading their people to a common goal where in reality it is their goal …not their people’s goal. Most people follow these self proclaimed leaders simply because of the fear in losing their jobs.

Look at some of the so called leaders that you may deal with on a day to day basis. Do they create that atmosphere to allow you to do your job? Do they create that atmosphere of encouraging you to have individual and creative thought? Do they praise you for your ideas and initiative … or … do they micro manage and stifle you with their leadership wants?

You may have the best product in the world but if your leadership sucks, the employees are only there because of a job and that projects through to attitudes, sales and customer service. And then no degree of Marketing will work.

Leadership is in you or it is not.

 Napeoleon had it. To this day there are still a mess of European historians who believe Napoleon was the worst thing to happen to Europe. But… to his people he was a hero and a leader.

He knew how to support his people and showed them how to build on their strength. He made them believe in themselves and what they could do together … and that belief and pride in France is still present today. If you don’t believe me … then you must visit this museum.

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Repetition – WOW Words of Wisdom

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh

Clean up your room, clean up your room, clean up your room… How many times do you have to tell your kids that before they actually … clean up their room?

When you are sending your messages to potential customers, remember your kids. Repetition is key in Marketing, you have to tell people the same thing over and over again before they get it. And then, you have to tell them over and over some more before they actually will act on it.

Hence why I stress to all my clients to develop one key Branding message and just keep repeating it. YOU will get tired of saying the same thing over and over again, and that is because you are seeing it each time you send that message out. But your potential clients may only be exposed to your message once in every nine times.

Unless you have a large marketing budget, there is a small chance that you will saturate the marketplace with your message so be consistent and be repetitive.

If you send out too many messages to your potential customers they will become confused and… confused people don’t buy.

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WOW Words of Wisdom # 20 What’s your follow-up system?

Monday, April 5th, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh, The “WOW” Gal

80% of business loss is due to a lack of follow up – so what is your follow up system? Just as you should have a plan for your Marketing, you should have a plan for your Follow up. It should be placed you’re your Customer Service section.

Whether you make a sale or you don’t make a sale you need to have some sort of follow up. If you go ask someone to do business with you and they say “NO”, you need a follow up to help you in understanding if that “NO” means “No now” or “NO NEVER”. If you can be brave, ask the person who said “NO”, to tell you why they went with someone else. This can be very informative in your overall sales and marketing strategy and learn from their words.

Now, if they said “YES” then you need to set into play, before you go any further, exactly what your follow up will be. What will you do after you have completed the task for this customer? Is your follow up a “little or a lot”? Do you need to just make a phone call to say thanks, or do you need to make a personal visit to see if all is working right. Quite often appropriate follow up will get you more business, but it will also list you as someone who is focused on Customer Service. Sometimes one little thing may be not quite right and if you don’t follow up, then that little thing becomes a huge… festering … annoyed and ticked off customer.

Follow up is also essential to ask if for future work that you can do for that client, as well as if they can refer you to anyone else that may need your product or services, and, one last thing about follow up, it is a great time to ask if they will provide you with a testimonial. WOW lots of stuff happens with a follow up but maybe you thought that follow up was only a courtesy email. NOT!

So here’s your list – this is a list so you may need to soften this as conversation:

  1. Thank you for your business how is that project (product, task, etc) working? Are there any areas that you are not 100% satisfied with. (If you get an answer on that one – FIX IT FAST!
  2. I appreciate your business is there anything else I can do for you?
  3. Would you consider providing me with a testimonial that I could use in my personal Marketing?
  4. Do you know anyone who may benefit from using my products or service?
  5. Are you okay with me contacting you from time to time? (connects with # 2)
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WOW Words of Wisdom # 17 Advertising

Monday, February 8th, 2010

By Lynda Kavanagh, aka The “WOW” Gal

The second most effective way to get your message out is through Advertising. That is targeted advertising not shotgun advertising. It is researching all the mediums (old and new) and identifying which mediums your target audience is paying attention to, then putting the sufficient budget into those media/mediums to make the campaign effective.

Advertising works. Bad Advertising does not. As an owner you have the responsibility to understand Advertising, not rely on the reps pounding on your door. If you don’t want to do the #1 most effective way to get your message out – personal sales, then you better do the # 2 most effective way and that’s Advertising. Mass Advertising to me is a waste of money; targeted Advertising is a way to invite new people into your location that you will never get a chance to talk to. You are basically saying to them, hi, here we are, here’s what we can do for you so come on over and take a look. If you don’t say that to them, guess what, very few will find you.

Good Advertising means you have your one consistent message that your target audience can be motivated by, and you make them aware of your consistent message with a good headline, a great visual and a list of benefits of why they would want to do business with you. That headline may be in a Print format like an ad or newsletter, or it could be in Electronic format like TV, Radio or social media.

Bad Advertising is putting your logo or company name as the headline rather than a message, that the people hearing or seeing your ad, will respond to. Remember people skim print ads or pay attention to electronic ads with only a small degree of interest, your name and your logo is important to you but …. Sorry…. It’s not that important to the average consumer. Create a message that people will want to get more information about.

Advertising is all about them and very little about you – all you are supposed to do is deliver what they need.

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