COMMENT:

When your goal is to get great results in any area of your life, sometimes the missing step you are looking for can be one or more helpful ideas.

The good news is that high quality, helpful ideas are all around you and the trick is to find the ones that can help you to quickly improve your own results.

One of the easiest ways to get exposure to high quality ideas is to identify people who are already experts in the areas where you want to get great results.

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These areas could be anything from selling, marketing, time management, money management, health, fitness, parenting, relationships and many others.

If you own or manage a business, an important key for long term business success is your ability to attract new customers and clients and convince them to spend money on the products and services you offer.

In other words sales and marketing is a critical factor for your business success and is something you should devote time to getting good at.

The 1 per cent learning rule:

When it comes to learning new ideas I came across a very helpful rule many years ago.

This rule recommended that you invest at least 1 per cent of your after tax income into learning new ideas that will help you to get better results in any area of your life that is important.

So if your after tax income is $65,000 a year then 1 per cent of this is $650. This amount of money could then be used and will allow you to buy some helpful books, attend a couple of courses or hire some expert advice.

One of my favourite ways of learning useful ideas is to read.

I personally think it is very helpful to read good sales and marketing books.

In a few hours you can often learn helpful ideas that the author has taken 10-20 years to learn.

So reading good sales and marketing books can be a huge time saver.

During the last 41 years I've read over 719 helpful books on sales and marketing.

And the sales and marketing books that I have found most useful all have one thing in common. They each have dozens of practical sales and marketing ideas that I can put into action fast in my own business.

If you would like a list of my top 10 sales and marketing books just email me using the email address at the top of this column.

In the meantime I want to mention a terrific sales and marketing book called The Digital Marketing Handbook by Bob Bly.

(I bought both the hard copy and digital version of this book recently and it's easily the most valuable sales and marketing book I've read all year.)

What I really like about this book is that it contains dozens and dozens of easy to use tips and strategies for creating websites that sell.

In it, you will discover how to:

• Build a large and responsive opt-in email list - page 141.
• Choose the best online business model for your company - page 1.
• Drive quality leads to your websites and sales pages - page 83.
• Produce brand awareness and generate leads with social media - page 136.
• Build sales funnels that boost your online ROI - page 33.
• Generate on going monthly revenue with membership sites - page 277.
• Generate additional sales through affiliate marketing - page 258
• And much more.

You'll discover proven direct response methods that can increase your online revenues by 50, 100, and even 200 per cent.

For more information on the "Digital Marketing Handbook" ... or to download a free sample chapter ... just click here now.

And while I'm on the subject of reading I want to mention a fantastic article by Richard Koch called The Seven Rules for Productive Reading.

Richard is the bestselling author of The 80-20 Principle which has sold over one million copies worldwide.

In this helpful article on reading Richard will show you a great technique for reading books in one tenth the normal time.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin.

Action Exercise:

Write down three areas of your life that you want to get great improvement in during the next 12 months. Ask yourself what ideas you need to learn to get better results in these three areas. Then write down how you can expose yourself to these types of ideas. Are there books you can read, courses you can do or people you can talk to or hire?

- Graham McGregor is The Added Value Marketing Expert™. Register at his website www.addedvaluemarketing.com and Graham will give you a free copy of his brand new free guide 'Easy Sales with Added Value Marketing'. (This guide contains ten time tested strategies that any business can use right now to create easy sales and delighted clients and is with Graham's compliments.)