Eric Taylor is a speaker, best-selling author, coach, consultant and President of Eric Taylor Consulting. Eric collaborates with enthusiastic, ethical and forward-thinking CEOs, sales professionals, HR directors, business owners and entrepreneurs in the areas of sales, sales management, leadership, employee motivation and personal development. By delivering keynotes that are energized, intelligent, relevant and engaging, his audiences become inspired and motivated to reach their full potential. His latest book in the Mastering the World series, Mastering the World of Marketing (John Wiley & Sons, 2011), is being featured in the April 2012 issue of Entrepreneur magazine.
Interview With Eric Taylor
Question: Mastering the World of Marketing: The Ultimate Training Resource from the Biggest Names in Marketing is part of your Mastering the World book series. Before we dive into this specific book, can you tell us what inspired you to create the series?
The thought process behind the entire series is to give people an opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge in a specific genre, whether it’s selling, marketing, employee engagement, leadership, or whatever it might be as we move through the series of books. Think of it as a desktop reference, where you can get insights into different minds and organizations that are the leaders in any of these genres.
There’s not one way, or one philosophy, or one methodology, or one process for doing anything. There are many ways to do it, and I wanted to give business professionals an opportunity to learn from people who have been very successful using different strategies.
Question: Mastering the World of Marketing reveals how 50 top marketers generate leads, create brand recognition, and capture new customers. How can this book specifically help small and medium sized business owners?
The people from the companies in the book are individuals who work with small and medium sized businesses. Although some of the featured contributors do work with Fortune 500 companies, they’re not the Madison Avenue agencies that have these unbelievable clients coming to them, like a Nike or a Verizon, that have $1 billion to spend on a marketing campaign.
A lot of the strategies shared in this book are bootstrap, grassroots applications and marketing strategies that small and medium sized business owners can put to use immediately and convert into money. Some of the folks in this book might talk about a large scale TV campaign or a billboard advertising campaign, and that won’t always be the way to go. But they also talk about things like email marketing, social media marketing or search, that any business can use.
You want to expose yourself to strategies that are working now and are relevant now. This book is broken out into small chapters and it’s easy to read, so you can go through and pick up something that could transform your business or your life.
Question: The book is being featured in this month’s issue of Entrepreneur magazine. What was it like to get that phone call, and what does it mean for you as an author, speaker and business owner?
It obviously brings a higher level of credibility. It really acknowledges the book, the quality of the content and the contributors. It means so much that Entrepreneur magazine felt, when they received a copy of the book when it was first released, that they should earmark the book because it would be valuable to the entrepreneur, not just here but globally. It was exciting. You send hundreds if not thousands of books out to different channels and publishers that you think might find value in presenting the book to their audiences. It just validates the fact that we put together something really cool that’s valuable to the marketplace.
Question: What are some of the most common challenges faced by business owners who attend your speaking engagements about marketing and selling, and how do you recommend overcoming those challenges?
They’re really universal challenges – attracting, engaging and converting – finding the most cost-effective way to brand yourself, to get your business top of mind with people so when they’re thinking of the product or service you offer, they’re thinking about you.
Of course, the ultimate is to retain people as clients and create a raving fan who will go out and be an ambassador and fill your pipeline with unsolicited referrals. That’s what we all want – unsolicited, personal referrals who call and email us all day long.
The biggest mistake is a lack of planning. You have to create an action plan, what I would call a war board or a strategy board, where you lay out actionable tactics and marketing strategies that you’ll apply on a daily and weekly basis. Don’t fly by the seat of your pants. Come up with engagement strategies for social media, relationship marketing, email marketing, or whatever channels you can use to reach your red carpet client.
The main thing is to never quit. Be consistent. Keep showing up. Most salespeople give up after one or two phone calls. Don’t stop. Obviously, evaluate what you’re doing, and if it’s not working, change your approach. But you have to stay in the game if you want to win.
Question: You’ve said that your experience with Christopher Reeve changed your life. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?
It’s one of those moments in life that you never forget. There’s a Superman dog tag that’s offered through the Christopher and Dana Reeve website and I keep it on my keychain.
In a blink of an eye, Christopher Reeve had gone from Superman, a worldwide icon, to a quadriplegic in a wheelchair. He really considered ending it, until his wife basically said, “You’re still you and I still love you.” Instead of becoming a victim, he went on a mission and became an ambassador and a leader raising money for spinal cord injuries.
In September 2004, I presented an inspirational seminar called Empower New Jersey at First Energy Park (Lakewood, NJ). The featured speaker was Christopher Reeve. When he came out of the dugout in his 600-pound wheelchair and headed towards home plate to face the audience, I watched as if it was in slow motion.
It made me realize that I don’t have anything in my life to complain about. We moan about a hang nail, headache, a cold or the flu, something that’s really no big deal. Then you see Christopher Reeve, who can’t even feed himself or do the things that you and I take for granted, coming out to speak to an audience to inspire them. I could play it back like it happened this morning.
He died 10 days later. I’m very aware of my blessings, I count them every day, and I thank him for that.