Monday, September 22, 2014

Turning A Sow's Ear Into Creamy Risotto

re: Bay Area Restaurant takes on Yelp -It's Gone International!

 by Tammy de Leeuw

If you haven't been keeping up with the ongoing saga of the San Francisco Bay area restaurant who decided to take on the suspect business practices of review mega-site, Yelp, then you are missing a textbook lesson in how to use negative press in your favor and make the haters pay.

Botto Italian Bistro owners claim they were being harassed by Yelp salespeople up fifteen times a week, urging them to buy advertising.  The one time they did so, they noticed an upward trend in positive reviews.  As soon as they stopped advertising, however, there was an obvious decline in their rating, with positive reviews being hidden or pushed to the bottom.

This is not the first time I have heard these types of complaints from merchants, many of whom never asked to be on Yelp in the first place.

Despite the fact that courts have consistently said that the practice of skewing reviews in this manner, while it may somewhat despicable, is not illegal, Yelp continues to publicly deny that reviews are rigged relative to advertising reviews.

The reason for this denial, of course, is to maintain the illusion of legitimacy and impartiality that is required if you want merchants to buy advertising on your review site. 

Botto, after demanding that Yelp remove their listing (which Yelp refused to do) came up with a unique idea: offer patrons and would-be patrons a 25% discount for writing BAD reviews.  In fact, the owners stated that they want to be the worst-reviewed restaurant in the entire Bay Area/

This proved positively brilliant, as news outlet after news outlet, some from as far away as Europe and Australia, got in on the act and pushed Botto's review page to viral status.

 I can't wait to go there soon and talk to the owners.  In the meantime, I wrote my own "preview."
Check out the "Best of Botto" at the bottom of the page.

Best of Botto Reviews (you should definitely read all of them when you have a chance)

 Here are just a few samples of the best bad reviews any restaurant has ever gotten...on purpose.
 From Noah M. in North Carolina

Upon entry, me and my wife were greeted by a man wearing nothing but Crocs and a lacrosse jersey. After offering himself as an appetizer, our waiter led us to the broom closet where he attempted to disrobe my wife and I while singing Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money. After explaining we were just there to eat, the waiter became very cross and led us to a table where we were served a delicious seafood dinner. The waiter redoubled his efforts with a free bottle of wine, but when we declined it he poured the bottle on my head and shouted, "who comes to a brothel to eat dinner?!"

My wife divorced me. I blame Botto.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

So, what IS this annuity lead service anyway?

re: insider secrets that work better... when you have QUALITY LEADS

Ever wonder why most advisors fail miserably when working leads... even good leads?

Scott Brooks of Rollover Coach gives you some real tips from advisors and agents who have learned the art of working leads and are profiting handsomely.

Check it out 
If you like what you see, you can hear more about Scott's program here.

 To Listen to the recorded conference call: Dial - (559) 726-1099 Enter Access Code - 183341#

When they ask for an ID # just wait for the "most recent recording"option and hit #

To get the paperwork, either call me at 925-776-4368 or go to this link to download 

Questions specific to your area of the country or practice? email

File under: annuity-leads, high-quality-annuity-leads, leads-for-insurance-agents, best-annuity-leads, how-work-leads, best-ways-work-annuity-leads, find-better-annuity-leads, rollover-coach-leads, how-sell-annuities, senior-leads, retiree-leads, best-source-annuity-leads.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Nothing Works...Unless YOU Do

re: the whine zone... (aka: "Nothing Works Unless YOU Do)

by Tammy de Leeuw
The Grouchy Marketing Lady

Over the past 10 (count 'em!) years, I have devoted myself to finding effective, simple, and inexpensive ways for small business owners, solo professionals, and entrepreneurs to market themselves.

I have done countless webinars and teleseminars, written books and free reports, introduced you to experts in fields ranging from video production to persuasion to phone selling to social media.

A few of you (thank God) "get it."

Just last week, I got a call from an advisor thanking me for showing him a better way to get the data at a small meeting he hosted for local business owners. He spoke to 40 company executives and.. got 40 complete and accurate data cards returned.  For you numerically-challenged folks, that's a 100% success rate!

For all of these ten years, I have made a concerted effort to disabuse you of the notion that there is or ever was, a magic lead bullet that ensures that you will get stellar results each time you try a marketing initiative.

Guess what?  Marketing is work.  Finding what speaks to your niche best is work.  Learning about new technologies and methodologies is WORK.  Researching all this has been a lot of work for me.

So when some of you make a half-hearted stab at implementing real changes to your marketing strategy, and you whine about lack of results, I am face-palmingly frustrated.

Now, I do realize that some of you have had your chains yanked by hucksters promising you unlimited rainbows with endless pots of cash and golden-horned unicorns strutting around.
Perhaps you spent money on something that didn't work...because it was NEVER going to work.

However, the ideas I present here and on the webinars are based on solid blended marketing techniques that have been used successfully by thousands of business owners, just like you.

Why they work for some and not for others isn't much of a mystery when you think about it.
Sometimes, there are geographical constraints, meaning that what plays well in Boston or New York might not play at all in Des Moines, and vice-versa.

More often, however, it is simply lack of implementation and proper follow-up that generates poor results.  Sloth with an added dash of cheapskate is a sure-fire recipe for (at the very best) "MEH" results.

I get it, I get it.  There are budgetary issues.  I know these well.  I have them all the time.  My daughter insists the word "entrepreneur" means BROKE in French.  For some of you, though, broke is just another excuse to avoid doing anything.

How do I know this?  Because I have handed you a way to both advertise AND attract business owner clients AND make a little bit of cash as well.

And only a few very smart people who see the potential have done it so far.  (by the way, a couple of THOSE people have already met some brand new qualified prospects.)

That's why I encourage you, if you do nothing else this week, download the Paid2Save app.
Use code 90435 to access the app and be sure to register.  You won't get spam, you don't have to give up your firstborn child, your phone won't get a virus, etc.

This is totally free on either GOOGLE PLAY or the Apple App store.  As the network grows, you can use the app to save at the over 9,000 major retailers who will be onboarded in the next few months, or for local merchants, etc.

You can also profit in other ways.  So, get the app, play with it, and check out the resources on thsi page to learn how to use it to make money, save money, and meet new people.

Paid 2 Save - Three Minute Cartoon from Paid 2 Save on Vimeo.

Learn more at

 PS: The Little Old Man From Pasadena.  One of my associates in Southern California recently signed up the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce (1,500 plus members!)   If you don't think he is going to wind up with a lot of money from helping the chamber members, you are nuts.

File under: What-is-paid2-save?, best-smartphone-apps, #groupon, save-money-online, mobile-coupon-apps, mobile-marketing, #mobilemarketing, #findoutmorenow, mobile-marketing-offline-businesses

Thursday, July 31, 2014

On Demand Recording of Today's Annuity Leads Teleconference

re: great session with Scott Brooks on how to get higher quality annuity and life leads

To Listen to Your Recorded Conference:

Dial - (559) 726-1099
Enter Access Code - 183341#

When they ask for an ID # just wait for the "most recent recording"option and hit #

To get the paperwork, either call me at 925-776-4368
or go to  this link to download

Questions specific to your area of the country or practice?

PS: Yes, you could use these for life insurance as well...

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I have seen the future and it's MOBILE

re:"Info" Mation machines.. they are changing...

Is this YOU?

If you still have a flip phone...
A "porn stache"
Lime green leisure suit
Pet rocks
Or a curly perm
Wake up and smell the High Karate
It's time to get your freaky technology on
Exit the age of Aquarius
And enter the digital era
Come on, don't be the last one on the carousel ride

Download the brand new FREE daily deal app
For smartphones
Save money, be smarter
And shave off that stache, Ron Burgundy!
Learn more here:

Get it before the other dinosaurs do!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Financial-advisors-agents buying leads seldom a good idea, but...

re: if you really have to...

On Thursday, July 31st, I will be hosting a special teleconference with Scott Brooks (The Rollover Coach," to discuss the high end leads he has developed for elite advisors and insurance agents.

I am generally not a fan of lead companies because of poor performance I have witnessed in the past.  However, I still have agents and advisors asking me to find a decent lead company they can use when their other marketing efforts have gone flat.

So I invited Scott to join us and discuss the reality of buying leads in the modern world.  For some of you this just might work...

July 31 at 10AM P Noon C 1PM E
Dial in to listen:

Dial - (559) 726-1000
Enter Access Code - 183341#

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Exit Coach Radio-Interview with Bill Black

re: exit coach radio

I recently visited with Bill Black of Exit Coach Radio for a short interview about how any business owner can co-opt the power of new media and attract more clients and prospective clients.

Check out the interview here.

By the way, I did mention the power of mobile advertising and how you can have something brand new to offer your customers: access to a brand new "daily deal" app.

Learn more now:

File under: mobile-advertising, marketing, marketing for small business, #paid2save, growing-small-business, financial-advisors, financial-marketing, bill-black-exit-coach, #exitcoachradio

Monday, July 21, 2014

Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy - Short Convo with Charles Hugh Smith

re: I retained the ambiance...

I spent a fantastic couple of hours with my favorite writer, Charles Hugh Smith, to talk about his latest insights into our funky economy.  Charles' latest ruminations can be read in " Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy" 

Here's what he had to say about the book:


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

This is really taking off...

re:a great way to build a list

Mobile apps are hot right now and for the foreseeable future

Imagine having access to an app that you could give away on your website, blog, or Facebook page
Or, if you do speaking engagements, you could offer it to attendees

Print up some postcards and share them at events (fairs, farmers' markets, etc.)

Imagine having something NEW to say when you are trying to build relationships with business owners,
families and individuals..
And a way to gather their names and emails so that you can keep in touch and keep growing that relationship
(which leads to sales of your other products and services)

I don't know how to make lead generation any simpler, cheaper or
potentially LUCRATIVE than this.

All you have to do is:
  • Turn on your smart phone
  • Go to the Google Play or Iphone store
  • Search "PAID2SAVE"
  • Download the app, use special download code 90435
It's possible your local area doesn't have much of a network yet (which is actually a plus for YOU)
So, you might want to introduce your favorite merchants to it by offering them a free merchant account.

So, download the app right now before you forget
And start telling others about it..
You might be pleasantly surprised to find how quickly your list growns
And... you might even get a rebate check in the mail

PS: Looking for ways to promote this without spending too much money?  Make a Vistaprint OVERSIZED postcard like this insurance advisor did.  Check it out:

The oversized cards make more of an impact than ordinary business cards.  If you need the graphics I used, call me M-F during normal business hours and I will send them to you.  Also, don't forget to Google for Vistaprint discount codes.  Input these at checkout and save tons of money.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Become a Paid2Save Connector and Get Paid...

re: becoming a connector

by Rick Liuag

Paid 2 Save has just announced that starting immediately, everyone who simply downloads a free app will become part of their new  CONNECTOR program/

When you download the free Paid 2 Save mobile app, you will automatically get a unique ID code and a replicated website automatically.

Then, simply share the app with friends,relatives, and co-workers.  They can then use their unique ID code to activate the app. You make 5% cash every time those people use the app, and when they distribute it to others, THEY will make 5% when it gets uses.

That's right.. download the app for free .... share it with others, and get paid 5% cash every time they use it. Mention the merchant network to any merchants in your local area, if they sign up for FREE to promote their deals and coupons you get paid 10% cash every time someone redeems a coupon from that merchant.

 NO PAYING ANY MONEY, NO SELLING, NO RECRUITING... just download the app...use it to save on local deals... share the app with other individuals and merchants for free... Get paid 5% or 10% cash every time it's used or a coupon is redeemed. ...that simple. EVERYONE can now make 5% cash by sharing the app with others.

However, a Connector only makes money on those individuals who they share the app with (1 level) and 10% of the coupons redeemed by any merchants they enlist on the network for free. This just may be for YOU if: you don't really want to have to work to make money you don't want to have to sell anything to make money you don't want to have to recruit anybody to make money you don't want to have to spend any money to make money.

To download the app and become a free connector go here:
You might consider becoming a brand partner affiliate now before this app goes viral.
The paid brand partner affiliate gets a "check match" of every free connector in their hierarchy... and the app volume and merchant volume created by the free connectors contributes to the brand partner's commission pool from the matrix.

For example if there are 10,000 free connectors in your hierarchy who've downloaded the app and shared it with friends and relatives.... and hypothetically in any given month 3,000 of them make $5 from the apps they shared..... the brand partner affiliate "check matches" every one of those free connectors or in this scenario 3,000 X $5 = $15,000 created by people downloading the app for free and telling their friends to do the same...

This could make this app go viral on college campuses etc... This makes the Paid 2 Save business GREAT for fundraisers, charitable organizations and associations.

So the earning potential for brand partner affiliates has just grown geometrically..... no business has ever done this type of "cash payment for referring friends" to download a mobile app

This is a great tool for growing an email list to market any product or service.

Get your app right now while it's still free by going to:

Turn on your smart phone
Go to the app store or Google Play
Search "PAID2SAVE"
Download the app, using code 90435

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Merchants, The #Antigroupon Has Arrived

re: Paid2Save... 

By Tammy de Leeuw

I've been wanting to find a way to hop on board the mobile advertising bandwagon without having to spend a fortune to do so.  And I think I may have finally found it.

Paid2Save is what I like to call the "anti-groupon."   Merchants have long complained about Groupon's business model, saying that it was restrictive, costly, and there was no way to control deals once they were launched.

We've all heard the horror stories of stores having to close because their daily deals bankrupted them.

Well, the folks at #paid2save found ways to fix the flaws and make merchants a lot happier.  As this network grows, I look for it to be a significant player in the mobile advertising space.

Check out these resources and see how Paid2Save can help you, whether you are merchant or service provider, affiliate marketer, or consumer looking for a great deal.  Watch the short slideshow below and you'll see how it works, and where you can learn more.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Three Marketing Strategies Financial Advisors and Agents Are Using Right Now to Attract More Clients

re: if you don't build it...they will never come

by Tammy de Leeuw
Button Pusher @ The Marketing Blend-O-Matic

Stop telling me it's hard to find new clients...
That your emails aren't working anymore...
That you spent $4,000 for a mailer and NOTHING HAPPENED...

Because I know that some of you are just sitting around waiting for things to happen...
Instead of making phone calls, knocking on doors..
You know,... being active.

Here are three things that some insurance agent friends of mine are doing RIGHT NOW that are working to attract and RETAIN clients.

1. Providing great content.  My friend Teresa Kuhn has a great website, blog and radio show that all serve to make her more interesting to potential clients.

Teresa has managed to book some of today's most intriguing and controversial thought leaders as guests on her show.  For example, forecaster Harry Dent was on the show to give his financial predictions for 2014- GREAT STUFF!

Our mutual affiliate, Heath Frantzen, is producing lots of quality reports for the agents who work with him.  His site at has lots of resources for people looking to sell businesses.

2. Finding ways to use mobile marketing and other emerging technologies.    Rick Liuag, an insurance agent from Corona, California finally discovered a way for financial professionals to hop on the mobile advertising train and use it to reach more people.

Check out the merchant video here:

You can down the app for free if you have a smartphone.  Check it out for yourself here:

You can hear Rick talk about how he uses mobile marketing to get more clients:

Dial In

Listen to your recorded conference
from the phone
Dial: (559) 726-1099
Access code: 183341
"Most recent recording"

And here is the MERCHANT video
3. Keep doing live events, just do them smarter.   Gary Boatman, CFP, a financial and tax planner in Pennsylvania, has built his own event center and fills it with locals who want to learn about everything from Obamacare to social security to becoming their own finance companies.    Gary is doing everything right to ensure these events are successful and that people in his area are talking about him and what he does.

The important thing to remember about all these success stories is that all these advisors chose something that worked well with their own values, work ethics, and personalities. 

When you find something that resonates with you, don't be a wallflower.  DO IT!  Your customers  need what you have to offer, but they have to find you first.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Insurance Agents: Are you looking for more success?

Why You Should Partner With The Winning Team Of Michael J. Travers
by Tammy de Leeuw
Blended Marketing Blog 

Insurance agents who are successful understand the need to have reliable, ethical joint venture partners; partners who have the skills, tools, and products to help their agents meet and exceed their business goals.

In this challenging economic climate, the value of building a network of solid partners cannot be overstated.

Michael J. Travers is the kind of committed broker agents look to when they want an industry insider who operates with honesty, integrity, and an old-fashioned work ethic.

“I’m not averse to automation or digital technology, “says Travers, “but I still believe the key to getting referrals for agents is a warm, personalized approach.   You can start conversations online, but you need to have the means to take those online conversations, continue them offline, and turn them into sales.”

A graduate of the prestigious Bentley College of Accounting and Finance, Michael Travers has more than 40 years of expertise in selling and marketing insurance products and in helping recruit and develop top agents. 

Having reached a high level of expertise in annuities, life insurance, and other insurance products, Travers decided to pursue his own entrepreneurial vision, becoming an annuity wholesaler after a very successful run as a Regional Sales director for Midland National.

His brokers achieved immediate success with his annuity wholesaling business, racking up an impressive $55 million dollars in paid annuity premium in 2002.  

At the same time, Travers gained a reputation in the industry as a top developer of agent talent, formulating systems to attract and support the best, most client-centric agents and brokers. 

He also came up with new ways of doing live presentations and became a recognized expert at conducting seminars and workshops.   All these techniques continue to be shared with agents who work with him.

Travers’ reputation as an expert recruiter, sales trainer, and product expert eventually caught the attention of Mass Mutual’s top New England agency and he was hired as Brokerage Director in 2009.

In less than two years, Michael Travers increased sales at the agency, going from $900,000 to nearly $1.6 million in 2011 Life premium.  This achievement earned him one of Mass Mutual’s top awards, “The Brokerage Director Growth Award,” in 2011. This prestigious award recognizes brokerage directors who achieve the highest percentage increase over the prior year-end.

Travers credits his success to having assembled a trained, responsive, back office staff; people who can lighten the agents’ burdens.

“I’ve been able to put together a top notch team who knows how to get the job done.   They take care of things so my agents can focus on what they do best- getting in front of the clients,” he says.

Travers believes many FMO’s fail to deliver on their promises to help agents create lead pipelines, close deals, and process business in a fast, efficient manner.

“I saw that a lot of marketing organizations just take their cut and leave the agent dangling.  I decided I could do a lot better than that.” he says.

“My secret weapon is my operations manager, Brenda Sullivan.  Brenda “gets it.”  She knows what has to be done to ensure that our agents are well taken care of and that their customers are pleased as well.  Our agents are very appreciative of her talent and expertise,” Travers explains. 

Michael Travers believes the key to continued success is finding the right kinds of business affiliates and maintaining and nurturing his insurance and annuity company contacts.

“I believe the insurance industry is once again on a path to explosive growth fueled by the massive company wealth transfer occurring in the Boomer Generation.   My goal is to partner with like-minded agents with whom I can work to facilitate this growth and continue the momentum,” he says.  “I know that I can help producers reach the next level of success in their business.”

Michael Travers is reaching out to experienced agents across the United States who are dissatisfied with their present situations and want to achieve new levels of production and income.

“Our industry has undergone massive changes over the past few years, and it’s been challenging.  But I do believe that with these challenges come exceptional opportunities for those who are willing to do what it takes.”

If you are a hard-working, experienced life or annuity producer, you should contact Michael Travers today to see how you can partner with him to attain your goals for this year and beyond.

 Michael J Travers & Associates
Mike Cell: 508-889-4978
Fax: 800-782-9199

File under: insurance-agent-jobs, insurance-agent-opportunities, financial-services, insurance-FMO's, annuity-sales-opportunities, whole-life-insurance-sales

Sunday, February 23, 2014

For Business Owners Who Want to Sell Their Businesses for More Money, With Less Stress,and Pay Zero Taxes

re: business exit planning done right.  Free webinar recording from Heath Frantzen

FILE UNDER: business succession planning, business exit planning, how to successfully sell a business, business selling solutions,Delta Business Services, free-how-to-sell-business-webinar,
baby boomer business owners

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Have you planned your exit yet?

re: 80% of business owners fail to do this. (free webinar)

File under: business-exit-plan, succession planning, business-succession-plan-how-exit-business, selling-your-business

Tuesday, February 11AM Central, Noon Eastern, 9AM Pacific
Register here:

Many business owners say they'd like to sell their businesses, create a lifetime income stream, and pay zero taxes.

Unfortunately though, In the United States the realities of selling a business, even a successful one, are far harsher than one might imagine.

In fact,   business owners who want to sell  their companies have only a  3% chance of  doing so successfully.

87% of small businesses listed for sale in America never sell at all. .In most cases business that DO sell , sell only after having been on the market for years, and are often sold for a discounted price.

In this webinar, business acquisitions expert Heath Frantzen discusses the reasons behind these dismal statistics and offers solutions to the issues plaguing business owners who try and exit successfully.

Heath will discuss:

How a lack of qualified buyers hinders business exits, and what sellers can do to overcome this.

Financial issues that can implode a sale

Selling successfully to create income for life...and a whole lot more

If you have a successful business, and are thinking of selling or...

if you work with business owners who eventually want to exit, but don't know how

Then you need to attend this webinar with one of the country's most knowledgeable business acquisition and succession experts, Heath Frantzen.

SPECIAL BONUS:  All attendees will get a free copy of Heath's latest report "9 Signs It's Time to Sell Your Business."  .