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April 10, 2002

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A FREE electronic magazine...                      April 10, 2002
B I G   B U C K S   I N   A   B A T H R O B E
Make More Money & Have More Fun With Your Small Business!
Publisher:  Dave Balch, "The Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
(Scroll to end for subscribe / unsubscribe instructions)
The "Big Bucks Boutique" is now open!  Resources and materials
that will help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your
business are now available online with secure ordering.  Take a
look now! Limited time... FREE T-SHIRT WITH ANY ORDER OVER $30!
I n   T h i s   I s s u e . . .
   1. A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
   2. Feature: Article
               "Get 'em While They're Hot!"
   3. Feature: "Ask Dave" - Can I help with a business problem?
               Telephone etiquette
   4. Feature: "Meanwhile, back at the ranch..."
               Emma vs Keno
   5. About "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe" Newsletter
   6. Who the Heck am I, Anyway?
   7. How to Subscribe / Unsubscribe
  PLEASE FORWARD THIS to each of your friends who have small or
  home-based businesses; they'll LOVE you for it!  (Be sure they
  know it's from you, or they'll think I spammed 'em!)  Thanks!
Copyright (c)2002, A Few Good People, Inc.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
11111 A "Quickie" - Personal Observation
We were in a restaurant that had just been purchased.  The
new owners were asking all the customers whether they
preferred "Sweet 'n Low" or "Equal" for their low-calorie
When I asked why they were asking, they told me it was to
determine which one they should carry.
Is it just me, or is that a little silly?  They can easily
put both on the tables.  There is virtually no difference in
cost, a negligible difference in administrative hassle, and
they improve their product just a smidgeon.
Seems like a no-brainer to me.
22222 A r t i c l e "Get 'em While They're Hot!"
By Dave Balch, the "Stay-at-Home CEO"(tm)
What do you do when a customer compliments you on your
product or service?  (If you don't get any compliments, you
need to read all of my other articles… NOW!)  The correct
answer is "I get it in writing!"
It's wonderful when your customers appreciate you; it's even
more wonderful when you can share that appreciation with
others.  After all, what gives you more credibility than a
happy customer?  And who better to spread the word than that
The word of the day, then, is "Testimonial".  Here are some
tips and tricks to getting good testimonials and using them
to your advantage.
   1. If you get a compliment on your product or service,
   ask if you can get it in writing, preferably on their
   2. If you have what you feel is a good customer and you
   don't yet have a testimonial from them, ASK FOR ONE!
   3. Regardless of how the subject comes up, ask them some
   questions that will clarify the benefit they enjoyed from
   your product or service.
   4. Offer to put it in writing for them to save them time
   (and to word it the way you feel is best).  Naturally,
   you will ask them for approval of what you wrote and
   then, if appropriate, they can put it on their
   5. A good testimonial gives specific results; the more
   specific the better.  For example, "Our productivity
   increased 35%" is much more powerful than "You saved us a
   lot of time".
   6. Use the testimonials everywhere you can.  Every piece
   of literature, every brochure, every flyer should have at
   least one.  And don't forget to use them generously on
   your website!  (Don't include your customer's email
   address though, because that would make it available to
   spammers who comb the web looking for addresses to
   7. Organize the originals in a binder where customers can
   see them, or so you can bring them with you on calls.
   8. Make a separate piece of literature that contains
   nothing but your best testimonials… call it "Our brag
   sheet" or "People are talking about us… and we LOVE it!"
   9. If possible, eliminate dates on your testimonials; if
   it's too old it loses some of it's punch, even though
   everything they said is still just as valid as when it
   was first written.
   10.  Can you take photos of your happy customers with
   your product?  Some products lend themselves better to
   photographs than others; that's something only you can
   decide, but if it's a particularly large or well-known
   customer a photo could add more impact.  (Remember,
   though, that if you use a photo of someone you will
   probably need some sort of release from them allowing you
   to use it for promotional purposes.  And, if you didn't
   take the photo yourself, there could be some copyright
   issues to consider, so get some legal advice before you
   use photos in your marketing materials.  It sounds like a
   lot of trouble, but a good photo is pretty powerful in
   establishing credibility for you and/or your product or
Start collecting testimonials today, even if you're not
quite sure how you're going to use them.  Then, when you're
ready, you'll have a boatload to choose from.
33333  "A s k   D a v e"
   (Can I help you with a business problem?  I will field
   business questions in every issue.  Send them to )
   Ask whatever you'd like... all letters will remain anonymous.
   Maybe my 2-cents'-worth will help you make "Big Bucks"!
   (Maybe not!)
Today's question:
I work generating sales, mainly on the telephone.  Sometimes
I get another call while talking to a potential client or,
in my case, interviewing a candidate who might be calling
me from work.  Which is better:  to put them on hold to
answer the new call or to let the new call go to voice mail
and then return that call later.  I feel if you put the
person on hold they are not crazy about it, and if you let
voice mail pick up it gives an image of you being a small
                  A.K., Arizona
   Dear A.K.
   Great question!
   Some thoughts on the 'small company' issue:
     1. I disagree that voice mail gives you a 'small
     company' image.  I'm willing to bet that you get voice
     mail more often than not in the course of your daily
     activities; how many of them are small companies?
     2. Is it a secret that you are a small company?  My
     guess is that most of your callers already know that!
     3. Voice mail gives you an opportunity to show off how
     responsive you are when you return their call quickly.
   Generally speaking, I think you should concentrate on the
   person you're talking to and let the new call go to voice
   mail.  The main thing in your life at that moment should
   be the person you actually have on the phone.
   Some thoughts:
     1. It's hard enough getting them on the phone in the
     first place; once you've got them, hang on for dear
     2. In the course of a sales call, you want to appear as
     helpful and concerned about their problems as possible.
     Putting them on hold sends a message that you have
     more important things to do.
     3. If you have candidates that are calling from their
     jobs, they are probably under considerable stress just
     talking to you.  They will need to get off the phone as
     soon as possible, and putting them on hold could
     generate some considerable anxiety.  Imagine their
     opinion of you after putting them in that position!
     4. Can you get Caller ID on the additional lines?  That
     way, you can decide on a call-by-call basis if it's
     something that is urgent enough to risk offending the
     person you're talking to.  For example, you may be
     expecting a return call from someone that is nearly
     impossible to reach (we all have clients like that!);
     Caller ID would enable you to get his/her call but let
     any others go to voice mail.
     5. If you are going to use Caller ID, save money by
     ordering it for incoming lines only; use different
     lines for your outgoing calls.  If you have several
     lines in rotation, for example, get the Caller ID on
     the first one or two and use the last lines in the
     rotation for your outgoing calls.
44444 "M e a n w h i l e,   b a c k   a t   t h e   r a n c h..."
       A glimpse into the life of this "Stay-at-Home CEO"
   (Photos and short bios of the complete "cast of characters"
   are posted at )
It finally happened.  I guess it was inevitable:  Keno
kicked Emma.  In the eye.  I was about 200 feet away and saw
it happen, but it isn't clear whether Keno did it on purpose
or whether Emma just got too close.
It's surprising that it didn't happen sooner.  She always
chases the horses and runs almost underneath them while
she's doing it.  (I think she thinks she's a sheep dog and
is 'herding' them.)  We've tried many different things to
discourage this behavior, including a training collar and
animal communicators.  This time, though, I didn't put the
collar on her before we went to feed the horses, and she got
Horse versus poodle; the poodle lost.  Even so, the vet said
she was lucky; she only needed one stitch and it didn't look
like there was any damage to the eye itself.  But the next
day, her eye was cloudy and she seemed disoriented, so we
found an animal eye clinic (there's that specialization
thing again!) and drove the 90 minutes each way to see them.
They said essentially the same thing, although they
performed several specialized tests and prescribed some
additional treatment:  two different eye drops, one twice a
day and the other five times a day, plus two prescription
They see this sort of thing fairly often, and they also said
that Emma was lucky.  Lucky that she wasn't killed by the
blow to the head; lucky that she didn't lose the eye.
Thank heavens for specialty animal clinics like this one.
They handle eyes on all sorts of animals, from horses to
So now Emma is on the mend.  Did she learn her lesson?  Time
will tell, but for now we don't allow her near the horses.
We're up to $400 on this one.  So far.
These kids, I tell 'ya...
55555  A b o u t  "Big Bucks in a Bathrobe"  N e w s l e t t e r
Welcome! You are receiving this because either:
   -You requested it on my website or after seeing me at a
    speaking engagement
   -I know you personally and thought you'd like it
   -I asked you if I could send it and you said "Yes"
   -Someone forwarded it to you because they thought you'd
    like it.  Scroll to the bottom for subscription instructions.
If you don't want to receive future issues, scroll to the bottom
for instructions on how to unsubscribe.  No harm, no foul, no
hurt feelings!
My goal is a bi-weekly newsletter that will:
   -help you with your small or home-based business
   -share articles of interest
   -be informal and informative
   -answer specific questions asked by readers
66666  W h o   t h e   H e c k   a m   I,   A n y w a y ?
I've generated over $5 million (so far!) from my own home-based
software business and I have a lot to share with you about how I
did it and what I learned along the way.  Now, as a professional
speaker, I offer programs that will help you and your employees
"Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your small or home-based
Visit me at for descriptions of
the programs and educational resources that I offer.
The "Big Bucks Boutique" offers resources and materials that will
help you "Make More Money and Have More Fun" with your business.
Take a look at
77777  H o w   to   S u b s c r i b e   /   U n s u b s c r i b e
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                   A Few Good People, Inc.
                        P.O. Box 824
                    Twin Peaks, CA  92391



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