Your Customers Make Buying Decisions in Six Seconds; Here’s how To Get Their Attention

That’s all you get—six seconds. People scan the yellow pages, look at listings on Google, Bing or Yahoo, or get a recommendation from an insurance agent or a friend. How can you get to the top of the heap in only six seconds? It actually takes longer than six seconds to read this whole blog, but hopefully the outstanding headline, the catchy first sentence or your undying love for my blogs has moved you to read the rest of the story. See, six seconds can work.

“FREE” works best. More people will read an ad or open an email that has this word in the title or headline. I have a hard time, though, with giving things away for free. I have never made money giving something away for free. There are too many sharks are out there just gobbling up the free stuff without buying what you really want to sell.

Twenty percent off on Tuesdays!  15 percent off on Fridays. People will open emails or read further into an ad with these headlines.

All Seniors get 15 percent off on shower doors–So do Juniors!

We have energy-saving low-E glass in stock!

Our super-smart staff will answer all of your questions!

We’re open on Saturdays!

OK, you get the hint. Just listing your name and address won’t get people to think you are the glass company to go to. 

Now, if you are advertising in a business journal, your line is: “We are experts in commercial work and storefronts!” which is different than advertising in the local TV section of the newspaper, where you would say, “Residential work is our specialty, including energy-saving windows and custom made shower doors!”

One type of ad does not fit all advertising spaces. Make the most of what you spend. Spend a few minutes with the ad representative and get their help in writing the right ad for you.

What You Can Learn From A Turtle

Not generally thought of as smart, not petable, doesn’t wag a tail when you come home, somewhat smelly and not a great conversationalist—but there is one thing I have learned from a turtle, or actually, a saying about a turtle that I have on my desk. This simple saying has guided my business career for 40 years, and it is has never failed me.


If a turtle sits back and waits, nothing will happen. No food, no exciting life with a supermodel turtle. Nothing happens until he sticks his neck out, and that is the turtle’s fear. In his shell, no animal can attack; no bigger critter can have turtle for breakfast. But when he sticks his neck out, he can walk around the pond looking for his breakfast. He can climb out on the rocks and sun himself. He can look for the supermodel.

Safe and alone is not viable. He will slowly starve to death. 

It’s the same for us in business. You have to stick your neck out. Maybe not all the way, but enough to move your business forward.  Enough to attract talented people to work with. Enough to let your customers know who and where you are. Enough so that the rewards from the risk go to your bottom line.

What is enough? No one knows for sure. There have been thousands of books and now blogs written on how to make a profit in business. Some are better than others, but there is no sure-fire, guaranteed way to promise success in business. 

Except this one: Stick you neck out.