Lathering Up With Your Dog

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A while back I heard the statistic that every 20 minutes 400 people begin using the internet for the very first time.
400 people every 20 minutes...
For the veteran marketer beginning to feel like there are no new frontiers to conquer, this should provide hope :) Granted, it takes a while for those with the inclination to explore the possibilities of making a living online to find our little niche on the net.
And for those of us who've been around for a while, it may seem like we've talked to every potential customer, client, and interested party.
400 new people every 20 minutes...
! So it's safe to assume...
For example, this morning my brother-in-law called from Texas.
Though not heavy internet users, he and his wife have pre-existing experience on the net and using email.
My basic assumption was since they already were using the net and their email, there wasn't a lot I could tell them.
I was wrong.
Recently they decided (rightly) that to do business online they needed to get rid of their old dial-up and switch to high-speed access (in their case, DSL).
This much-needed switch now allows them to talk on the phone and walk perspective clients through the signup process - in the moment.
Very basic, very necessary.
They received their new isp's information by mail, and proceeded to follow what they thought would get them up and rolling with their email.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the case.
What one reads and what one does can most certainly be two different animals.
Thinking everything was set up correctly, and still not being able to get their email, they assumed it was a problem on their "old" end - the dial-up service.
Yet, they are surfing with their DSL, so in essence that cannot be the problem (though making sure one isn't still being billed by the old company most definitely requires follow up).
So we took a look via telephone conversation at their outlook express account.
Boy, what a mess - either the directions they received were written totally wrong or (much more likely) they did not understand or follow said directions "to the T.
" After a bit of screen-by-screen, line-by-line input, voila! outlook express stopped sending "wrong!" alerts and seemed ready to use.
However, when I sent them a test email, within seconds I received a nondeliverable message.
The message stated, "Username unknown.
" This, of course, indicates that their new isp hadn't a clue that suchnsuch@suchnsuch.
even existed.
When I last left them - going as far as I could over the phone - they were going to place a phone call to their new isp to get the information to gain access to the isp's member/client area.
Inside there, one must first create the email account in order to use the email name to receive and send.
Basic to most? Sure, but again, not so basic to them.
The purpose to my not-so-short story? Never assume anything! I've two fre.
e reports circulating that explain the basics of both computer use (some not all) and ezine a.
When I first put them together I thought, "Geez, I hope people don't think that...
" (fill in anything you'd like at this point, but be kind please, *smile!*).
I worried that I might insult someone by leading them step-by-step through what I perceived as "simple as pie" usage.
But it's just not the case.
These reports are downloaded almost every day by those who need help.
From a marketing viewpoint? Never assume when you make a contact or send information or follow up on a lead that the person on the receiving end has the computer and internet knowledge sufficient TO follow up on your advice, help, guidance.
And, from their side of the fence, not knowing means just that...
they won't and don't know enough to even be able to TELL YOU that they don't know.
It is your responsibility to "feel them out.
" Ask questions to assure yourself that they do in fact have enough internet, marketing, and/or computer savvy to take your program, product, or service and run with it.
Ask them pointblank questions like, "Can you? Do you? Will you?" Honestly, it's the little things that fall through the cracks.
Stuff as basic (to some of us) as email and not-so-basic like research and marketing can be a full and as-yet-unexplored plate for your lead.
Just copying and pasting one of your ads may be too big a task for your brand new affiliate.
Never assume! Put your service, product, or program in their hands and not follow up, and you're sure to have one frustrated, unhappy, and soon to quit individual.
And vice versa of course! Help them to be able to help themselves and you've not only gained a friend for life, but have ensured that - with work - they, too, become marketing pros :)
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