Graham McGregor 's Opinion

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: The value of starting early

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

There is an interesting marketing strategy that you may like to test in your own life.

It's getting up a bit earlier on work days and putting that extra time to productive use.

Here are three examples...

1: Around thirty years ago I worked briefly in commercial real estate sales and leasing. In my first month I was introduced to a very wealthy real-estate developer.

I asked if I could be of some service to him and he said, "Maybe you can, Graham. Give me a call next Wednesday at 5 o'clock."

I asked, "Is that 5 p.m.?" He looked at me strangely and said, "No, 5 a.m."

This particular prospect controlled more than 50 million dollars' worth of commercial real estate, so I set my alarm early and rang him at 5 a.m. sharp.

He answered the phone on the first ring and sounded delighted to hear from me.

He said, "Graham, nice of you to ring. I'm busy right now, but please ring back at 5 o'clock next Wednesday."

And the same thing happened again and again and again and again. By the sixth week, it was obvious to him that my interest in working for him was sincere - so he gave me the opportunity to lease some of his properties for him.

2: I have read more than 137 biographies of successful men and women, including many top salespeople. The vast majority of them - in fact, nearly all - have the habit of starting the day early.

3: I was at a business conference a few years ago that featured a panel of six salespeople from different industries. Every one of them was earning an excellent six-figure income.

I asked them to tell me how they started each day. The one thing they all said was that they never got up later than 6 a.m. Some exercised, some used the early hour to read business material or plan their days, and others actually conducted business.

How can you get started with this strategy?

I find that one of the easiest ways to use this 'starting early' strategy is to set your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier.

Then spend those 15 minutes reading something helpful on sales and marketing.

For some reason, when you read something positive and helpful first thing in the morning your mind seems to remember it well. And you'll often be reminded of what you have read as you go about your normal day.

(If you would like a list of useful marketing books to read just email me using the email link near the end of this column. Put 'helpful reading' in the subject line and I'll email you a list of my favourite books on sales and marketing.)

Here is one book you may wish to start with...

It's brand new and is called 'Nice companies finish first' by Peter Shankman
Peter is the founder of the fabulous website 'Help a Reporter' which helps businesses to connect with reporters and get free publicity opportunities.

Peter explains in his book why being 'nice' works so well as a marketing strategy. And how this translates into delighted staff and customers, higher profits and increased market share.

It's a very easy read and jam- packed with useful examples you can easily apply.

In my own business, I like to write at least a page or two of helpful marketing ideas first thing in the morning. And over the years this helped me to produce hundreds of marketing articles and dozens of marketing guides and programmes.

What impact could starting a bit earlier have on your own business results?
"I never knew an early-rising, hard-working, prudent man, careful of his earnings, and strictly honest who complained of bad luck." Henry Ward Beecher

Action Exercise:
Experiment with getting up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and putting this time to productive use in your marketing. Notice what difference this makes in your business over the next month or two.


Graham McGregor is a marketing consultant and the creator of the 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage Report.' www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com (This is free and has now been read by business owners from 27 countries.) You can email him at the link above.

Graham McGregor

A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

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