No.18/ August 19, 2006

 The Corporate Muse


Welcome once again to the August issue of The Corporate Muse.  This month we focus on: dressing for success, follow-up when networking and the storytelling aspect of copy.  As always, we welcome suggestions and/or questions. 


  Is Professionalism Dead? 

As we packed and prepared for our last air travel, we wrestled a bit with what to wear on the plane. Andy's daughter looked at us like we were crazy.


"Just wear shorts," she said, "It's just a plane ride.  Be comfortable."


We told her we both remembered the days when people wore their Sunday best whenever they flew. She stared at us incredulously. It made no sense to her. 


In the end, we chose casual clothes; still not sure we made the right decision.


This trend toward a more relaxed wardrobe was reiterated the other day when we went out to eat. I remarked to Andy that I thought the staff dressed a little too carefree. He agreed.


One teenaged hostess had on a top I wouldn't let my daughter wear to the beach. V-spaghetti straps held it on ... barely. Granted the restaurant aspired to an atmosphere of the tropics. A décor of bright colors, exotic birds and palm tree embossed plates gave one the feel of being somewhere south of the border. Still, the server wearing baggy brown slacks and a wrinkled peasant blouse appeared slovenly, not interesting.


At our last seminar, we grew nervous about our trip's clothing choice when we were educated and entertained by a man named, Joel Bauer. He trotted up the aisle toward the stage dressed to the nines. His gray pinstriped suit, crisp white shirt and yellow silk tie {and matching intricately cut handkerchief} screamed class. He had our attention.


Then he spoke. Full of magnetic energy, Joel held us captive. His words, just short of harsh, tingled with honesty.


He admonished us to "wrap our packages." In other words, dress the way we hope to be perceived. 


"The first point of contact is the first point of impact," he said. You only have one chance to make a first impression. So make it a good one, because that first impression is everlasting.


He walked around the room, picking on various attendees and giving us his first impression of them. Most weren't favorable. (I was later called out in another of his demonstrations. Not for what I was wearing, even though, according to Joel, I hadn’t "wrapped my package" correctly. Unfortunately, I didn't respond the right way to his question, but then, that's another story for another time.)


After instructing us to always dress professionally wherever we went, he attacked our excuses by instituting "the power of four."


1)       It takes four seconds for someone to judge you.

2)       It will take you four seconds longer to get dressed in the morning.

3)       You will be four degrees warmer if you wear a blazer.

4)       You'll receive a 4000% greater response than you've ever gotten before.


He cited his recent flight to the seminar in which he'd been upgraded to first class. Not because of anything he'd done, but simply because of his attire. These kinds of things happen to him all the time. He frequently receives top floor hotel rooms, is seated in choice restaurant spots, and gets kind, attentive service in a variety of situations, and all without requesting any special treatment.


His point, I believe, is if you look like a million, people will treat you as if you are worth it. 


So what does this mean for you (and me) if you work at home or have a more physical type job?  Should you dress in a suit or wear a blazer?  Probably not.  Dressing appropriately is as important as presenting yourself in a professional manner. 


Personally it means I'll rethink my wardrobe next time I travel. I might spend a little more time and thought on what to wear, not only to the events, but also on the plane. After all, you never know whom you might meet. Prospective clients are always around the corner and I want to make that ever important first impression be one they'll never forget.   (SKC) 


       © QuickSilver Copywriters 2006 -  Andy & Shawn Catsimanes; http://www.quicksilvercopywriters.com/; mailto: andy_shawn@quicksilvercopywriters.com; Sign up for The Corporate Muse: admin@quicksilvercopywriters.com




Follow-up is one of the most important aspects of networking. Once you've met someone new you'll want to ensure they remember you. Getting those notes, postcards or email messages to your new associates as soon as possible (some recommend before you even leave the hotel) is essential. But making an impression is even more crucial.


As Leah Carson (www.catalystcopy.com) puts it, "Look for an opportunity to do something that will set you apart from all the other people they talked to."  She recommends you offer something of value. Such as:  Recommend an Ezine, software program or book. 


Taking good notes about the people you connect with will help you fulfill their needs when you contact them later. "Come across as someone who's helpful, connected and resourceful," Leah says. And don't worry if you're a "newbie," she adds, everyone has something to offer.  


Eileen Coale of http://www.coalecommunications.com/ continues along the same vein.  "Whenever you're reading something and it makes you think of somebody that you met, you clip it and send it to them with a sticky note," she says, "People are really surprised when you actually send them something by real mail. And that you're thinking about them and that it's actually something of interest to them." She attributes this method to the copywriting guru, Bob Bly. 


Eileen says she subscribes to Direct Marketing News. It comes once a week. From every issue, she tries to find something to send to somebody. It keeps her connected and in the minds of those she reaches. 


Maybe the best advice we heard from our interviewees came from Alan Boyer of http://www.leaders-perspective.com/. He has a four-step system he uses after attending any kind of networking event (completely outlined in our chapter in the book Million Dollar Marketing Secrets coming soon). He recommends sending them an email, mentioning something that caught your attention or seemed important to them. It's just one more way to make yourself "memorable" as all of experts proposed. 


Another of his hints is to ask if they'd like to be included on your email list. If you have a newsletter or blog, this is an excellent way to build a list you can continue to market to.  You'll have your name in front of them for months or years to come.


Don't skip this important step at the next networking event you attend. After all, building relationships is the key to having a successful networking experience. So make the most of it by following up!





Experts often advise people to read fiction and watch movies in order to learn how to write better copy. Why? Because to write good copy you need to tell a good story. 


Authors of fiction and the cinema know how to keep you on the edge of your seat. They understand the nuance of suspense -- even in romance or comedy. They've learned the secret of seamlessly guiding you from one place to the next. 


In the case of good copy, it must be both informative and entertaining. It must take you from point A to point B without you desiring to go there. Especially with long copy. 


The goal of all copy is to get the person to take action. No matter what you want to accomplish with your site, you need to be sure your prospect sticks around long enough to achieve it. And that's where a compelling story comes in.


For years, I've watched movies with the eye of a writer. One of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, When Harry Met Sally, is when Harry and his best friend, Jesse, attend a pro football game. Nora Ephron weaves the strange juxtaposition of a very manly activity (a football game) with Harry's emotional description of his wife's exit from their marriage. The two men follow along in performing the "wave," while Harry tells Jesse that Helen booked the movers before she even bothered to tell him she wanted a divorce.  It's brilliant. 


Using unrelated items creates interest. Gives it a burst of the "huh?" factor. Say the reader has drifted a little, he's quickly drawn back into the story. She wants to know where this thing is going now.


With a thriller, you anticipate suspense from the beginning. Tom Clancy's books generally start with a bang and Jack Ryan in the thick of some diabolical scheme. You turn the page because Clancy keeps you intrigued. You have to know what happens next.


But Good Will Hunting proves to be equally suspenseful. In their first and amazing attempt at screenwriting, actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck produce fascination through the character of Will. Why is he working as a janitor? Why doesn't he want others to know how smart he is? What's the real story of his life? 


Next time you're seeing a flick or vegging out with a best selling novel, start viewing it with writer's eyes. Look at it as a way to develop a sense of story you can incorporate into all of your writing projects. Employing the techniques used by renowned storytellers will help you craft winning copy every time.


Thanks for reading. See you next month!


Andy & Shawn Catsimanes

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"With Andy & Shawn's help, 'Snapshots from the Soul' became a reality. They demonstrated great sensitivity and compassion and we enjoyed working with them very much."

~Dennis E. Chapman, Associate Executive Director, City Union Mission, KC, MO


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~Kevin Fryer www.overlap.com


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~ Olga O'Mara


"Andy is a no fluff wordsmith with high direct response, long copy talent. His work will lift interest in your website. His ability to get up to speed on your unique business model is impressive. He is persistent to completing projects and takes personal pride in the quality of his work. He is honest and knows what drives sales. If you are lucky enough to get him, you will get above average copy for a fair price. I'd use Andy anytime."

~ Christopher Hebard
Pruett Media