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How to Qualify Your Prospects?

Qualify Your Prospects

How do you reduce the time, effort, and money spent on prospects who just waste your time and money? 

How do you know when to say NO, to prospects who don't have the right characteristics or elements to work with you in a way that meets your needs. 

Everyone wants to reduce the time wasters and freeloaders. You want to reduce the time and money spent and focus your time and effort on real customers. 
I recommend you establish five or more definitive qualifications to accepting a customer:
1. Do they have a marketable idea or proposal, service or product?
2. Do they have the money and can they afford you? 
3. Are they ready to do what you need them to do practically?
4. Can your service really help them produce a return on the investment? 
5. Can you communicate with them effectively? 
If the answer to any of these is no, then just says, "Sorry, this is not a match" or "We've reviewed your information and do not feel we can help you."  
Success speaks loudly in the world of business, but failure speaks much much louder. Be averse to failure and focus on only those who you can really help. That way you collect success stories with every client. 
Here's a search tool that helps find more guidance on "How to quality prospects".  

How to Qualify Your Prospects?


Ways to Say No to Prospects


Business MeetUps

FounderDating group member asked about getting together with other Founders in his area. 

I created a special search tool to help find other Founders in a given area. This search tool lets you use nine search engines from all in one place (e.g., Google, Bing, SlideShare, YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, and I added in the MeetUp search engine, too.) 

The different results provided by each search engine give you different perspectives on who the groups are and what sort of experience people have with them. 
It turns out that the MeetUp search engine only makes use of certain simple one word or two word keywords, like business or startups. To get local results using Google and Bing, you need to add your own local geographic key words (e.g., city and state). If your gps enabled switch is on, the results at many of the search engines will be automatically localized for you. 

Business MeetUp


StartUps MeetUp


Entrepreneurs MeetUp


What are the Best PR Metrics?

How do you develop and select the best PR metrics? 

What did you say today? Who did you say it to? What did you earn as a result? 

Selecting metrics that matter means you must measure a management activity and be able to determine the effects on a sales or profits.   

To get the absolute most out of all that you do you need to quantitatively know and use the words people are searching on.  You need to track and modify your active communications to emphasize the words that turn people on so much you get the most sales.

This is what will maximize your financial success. 

Words thus matter.  If you use words that turn people on, sales can increase.  If you don't, sales stay the same or decrease. 

Traffic does not always equate with profit. Freebie seekers may grab an article or turn into evergy vampires.  If the content fails to convert to sales, then the words and methods utilized do not help you. You must go here your people are and learn how to turn them on. 

You have to develop whatever messaging you use carefully and test it till it gets the action you want. You have to study, analyze and improve every step in the funnel – every communications touch point and the overall process.

First, you must be able to measure and track costs, sales and profits every day. Then you can develop and track the effect of articles, interviews and posts in media and online.  There are at least five key measurement points you can use to determine the effectiveness of your communications efforts.

1. The first point is when you transmit a news release or conduct an outreach effort. Do you feel like the costs of performing the publicity outreach are reasonable? Do you feel like the service has been responsive to your needs?

2. The second point is immediately after the outreach is conducted and you can identify the number and quality of the media responses to your outreach. 

3. The third point is when articles are actually published or when your interviews have been conducted.

4. The fourth point is when you determine whether enough of the right people respond to your message.

5. The fifth and final point is sometime later still, when you are finally able to somehow determine the overall benefits of your outreach effort and experience.

It is only now you can truly ask “Was it worth it?” 

To do this you divide you financial metric by the management factor. This could be the dollars invested, time invested, resurces invested, or some other controllable factor. 

If it works, e,g, you make more, then you can manage the investment factor to maximize the efect. 

You can also monitor and compare a range of content and the effect of keywords use the same way. 

Here is an excellent article by Gini Dietrich that talks about PR Metrics

Here is a link that goes to a number of articles on identifying and selecting metrics that matter

And here is a search tool that gets you to a lot of the most current research and articles on PR Metrics:  

What are the Best PR Metrics?






FTC Guidance on Native Advertising

In December 2015 the FTC released new guidance on "native advertising", which is content that looks like an article or a news feature, but which lacks the objectivity inherent in real journalistic reporting because of a financial interest that has been exchanged for the use of the content.

The FTC "Truth in Advertising" requirements for a disclosure of the interests come into play whenever a review, an article, a product review, or some entertainment or event news announcement is published so that the public can distinguish advertising from other content that does not require disclosure.  If a financial or other type of interest exists, the disclosure must be "clear, conspicuous and prominent". 

The lead paragraph of the Principle section of the FTC guidance is illuminating. It states:

"... an act or practice is deceptive if there is a material misrepresentation or omission of information that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances. 

The examples provided in the guidance provide a wide range of situations which clarify where discolsures are needed and where they are not.

Here is a search tool that helps you get access to the latest news and information on the FTC's.

FTC guidance on native advertising


Here is one that gets you to the latest guidance on how to properly make FTC disclosures on digital content:

How to Make Proper Disclosures in Digital Content






Windows 10 Tips, Tricks, Tutorials and Hacks

What Are the Best Early Stage Growth Metrics

Question came in from Founders Dating member who started a new business and was seeking to identify the best ways to identify and evalute growth.  

Years ago I did a lot of work on performance metrics. The best metrics are thosae that you can use to define and track real management action.  You should be able to think in advance wether a upward or downward change in a metric is something you want or don't want.

You can create metrics by deining a unit of management action that you have control over. You can define for example, money received per month by sales time in hours per month. If you double the sales time, what happens to the money received? 

Here's a search tool that gets a lot of specific guidance on early growth metrics:

what are the best early stage growth metrics



FTC Disclosure Requirements - Latest News, Complaints and Updates

Getting into compliance with the FTC requires is really easy. Why so many people fail to get with the program escapes me. 

If you receive a financial interest when you do a review or accept a financial interest for an endorsement of any kind, you must describe and declare your interest in a manner that is clear, prominant and conspicuous. 

It really just comes down to identifying every any ads, sponsored posts, paid reviews, or affiliate ads, endorsements, or posts, clearly with keywords, zones, boxes, borders, colors, icons, and a good clear policy statement and declaration.

The search tools below will help you find all sorts of articles and guidance on how people are wrestling with the FTC requirements. 

I think it is best to just read the regulations yourself, so here are the links to the FTC's documents: 

2013 FTC Guidelines 

FTC Endorsement Guidelines - The What People Are Asking FAQ's

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is continuing to take action on its promise to enforce against deceptive advertising under Section 5 of the FTC Act, regardless of the media in which the advertising appears.

Some of the latest enforcement actions expressly focus on endorsements made in social media and on the Internet. If you use Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram, use simple clean short hastags like this: #ad, #paidreview or #sponsoredpost.  

The FTC requirements state that it is not only is it deceptive to post bogus endorsements. A clear and conspicuous disclosure of any material connection between an endorser and the advertising company is necessary in order to avoid a charge of deception.

The problem of deceptive advertising and promotion is rampant. Media are running stories on company scandals like this one about Lord & Taylor using Instagram

As of today, each and every paid review or promotion in each of the following major publishing industry publications and media appear to lack the appropriate disclosure. Can you distinguish the paid promotions from the objective, merit based, editorial reviews and articles? 

Look at any of the paid reviews and promotions covered by:

Publisher’s Weekly which describes there paid program here:

Foreword magazine  - which has the Clarion Foreword paid program here:

Kirkus which describes their program here:

Self-Published Reviews

Blue Ink  author services -

The Indie Reader author services

And there are many more. 

The following searches will bring up a lot of relevant guidance. Once you do a search, you can use the search tools to zero in on the most recent stories.

Blogging and FTC Disclosure


Book Reviews and FTC 2013 Disclosure Requirements


FTC Disclosure Requirements Complaints or Actions


Google algorithms and FTC Disclosure Requirements


Product Reviews and FTC 2013 Disclosure Requirements


Sponsored Posts and FTC Disclosure Requirements


border advertising and FTC disclosures



Word of Mouth Fundraising Tips and Ideas

word of mouth fundraising tips


word of mouth fundraising ideas


from Word of Mouth Marketing Search Word Pro