Yitzchok Saftlas

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Proceed With Speed

Healthy competition is good for any business because it forces you to keep sharp and stay focused. But name and brand recognition is contingent upon putting distance between you and your competition. To accomplish that, dash out of the starting block and don’t look back. Most of us probably remember the fable about the plodding tortoise that beat the speedy hare in a race. The moral of the fable was that slow and steady wins the race.

Breathing Life into Ideas

Some ideas we might think of, can lead to great inventions, while others might simple “crash and burn.” Yet, all ideas are worthy of at least some discussion. The only bad ideas are the ones we hesitate to bring up. It has been known to happen. A board of directors or organizational volunteers meets to kick around ideas to boost revenues or fundraising. One participant recommends sending out a newsletter or a direct mail piece. Another participant dismisses the idea on the spot, saying something to the effect of, whenever I get a brochure in the mailbox it goes straight to the trash can unopened, so why should we spend our money on that. This reaction can come from even the most decent people who have only the best interests of the organization at heart. However, there is a facet of human nature that contains an initial, knee- jerk reaction to kill an idea, or to be dismissive without giving the matter its due consideration.

Sticking With the Program

You just started an advertising campaign with great expectations, not to mention with a sizable investment. Much to your dismay, the days pass and your campaign is greeted with an eerie radio silence. Do you give it more time, or do you cut and run? How long do you stick with an advertising campaign that seems to be floundering? This is an important and fair question, which can only be answered after taking a combination of factors into account. The three most important aspects to consider are: did you allocate enough resources to the campaign? Are you targeting the right audience with the right medium? Is your message “resonating,” which means can people relate to it?

Appreciating the Gift of Chareidi Media

We have all been traumatized by the terrible calamity that befell our community. Our heartfelt tefillos go out to the family that suffered tragic loss. We can only pray that no more disasters will befall the Jewish people before Moshiach tzidkeinu arrives The mind is still numb and the heart remains broken with sorrow over the tragic death of precious Leiby Kletzky z’l. Leiby is klal Yisrael’s child. His memory is etched into our hearts.

Listen and Learn

We all know the famous saying, “Humans were created with two ears and one mouth.” It therefore makes sense that we should spend twice as much time listening than talking! While it takes training and self-discipline to achieve the correct ratio, our generation’s greatest men have perfected the art. Sales and marketing people can definitely learn from them. These past few weeks have been very painful ones for Klal Yisroel, with the petiros of three revered Gedolim: Rav Yitzchok Dov Koppelman zt”l, Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz zt”l and Rav Chaim Stein z”tl. Who doesn’t feel the ache in their hearts and the void amidst our nation?

The Name of the Game

Keeping our good name is something we all strive for. After all, our names are synonymous with our reputations. In order to keep a name, we first have to devise one and that’s when the creativity starts. When it comes to naming newborns, the selection process is well established. The baby is usually named in memory of a departed loved one. Naming your second baby – your business or other enterprise – is a greater challenge. You only have one, or two, or three pithy words to tell people who you are and what you do.

Building Worlds with Words

Life presents us with many growth opportunities, including building our homes, careers, our families and our middos. Organizations are also dynamic, just like people. By showing their supporters and the public how they are growing, they perform an important service to the tzibur It would be wonderful if every parent could periodically visit their children’s yeshivos to view the dedication of the mechanchim and the hanhala in real time. For most of us, this is impossible, due to our own personal and professional commitments. Our indefatigable roshei yeshivos and administrators are aware of this and that is one reason they invest the time, effort and even the funds to raise community awareness of their ongoing accomplishments and challenges.

Thinking Out of the Bin

“I found myself shaking my head in grudging admiration,” wrote Greene. “While the rest of us were standing in those lines stewing over what the world has come to, one person among us saw a potential moneymaking opportunity just waiting to be snapped up.” Every advertiser’s dream is to have a captive audience for his message, but finding folks to sit still for that message is more challenging than ever in our increasingly mobile and unfocused world. But some creative thinkers have been remarkably successful at finding a niche to get their message across without clutter or competition. You can too.

A Lesson in Marketing from the Feds

Not all of us are blessed to sell bread or ice cream that everyone must buy or can’t live without. Sometimes our goods or services are a “harder sell,” but we can make our job easier by placing our customers in the driver’s seat and making their priorities ours.

Try Your Mazel, Not Your Luck

We have all heard the expression trying our luck. While we always have to try, luck has nothing to do with it. But mazel, as we understand it, operates on a completely different level and when we work on our marketing mazel, the returns can be huge Most folks are not “born salesman.” Just ask anyone who has ever tried to sell their house or used car. Sales, and marketing, are acquired skills. People spend years studying the best techniques and even then, they always have to adapt what they have learned to suit their own style and personality. But some people have a unique way of expressing themselves, and one of them is the noted speaker, author and very close friend, Rabbi Paysach Krohn. When he spoke at a recent parlor meeting for Acheinu that I attended, I expected to get a healthy dose of inspiration - not a lesson in marketing. I ended up getting plenty of both!

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