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Good Timing

Think time is money? Don't kid yourself--it's far more valuable than dollars and cents.

The big lie has been circulating through America for well over a century. You've probably been buying into this enormous lie yourself. If you're a guerrilla, you already know that it is a misguided, whopping lie. Time is not money.

If you run out of money, you can always generate more. If you run out of time, you can never generate more. Time is more beneficial to your life and your business than money ever could be.

There are now ways to create more time for yourself--and your customers--coupling the old, proven time-management practices of the past with today's time-conserving technologies:
e-mail, faxes, cellular phones, pagers, computers . . . it's a long, long list. What does all this have to do with marketing? It has everything to do with it because Americans now revere time above all else, and anything you can do to conserve their time is money in the bank.

If you waste other people's time by taking too much of it or asking them to wait when they're in a hurry, you're not geared for the new value that is placed upon time. The '80s were the Decade of Improved Quality. The '90s are turning out to be the Decade of Time Conservation.

The Gallup Poll, Roper Poll, Harris Poll, and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Maryland conduct surveys to find out what Americans cherish most. In 1988, time went to number one on everyone's list and has stayed there since. The way you conduct your business must be reevaluated in light of saving your customers time.

Speed should be employed at every opportunity: customer service, deliveries, contact with callers, telephone on-hold time, requests for information, and anywhere else you can insert it into your way of doing business.

You can save time for your prospects with postcard mailings, clear brochures, fax-on-demand, and a devotion to convenience. And the more time you spend online, the more shortcuts you'll spot--in communicating, in researching and in networking.

By employing guerrilla marketing weapons such as extended hours, seven-day-a-week operation, toll-free phone numbers, a Web site, e-mail, faxes, speedy delivery, and speed in all you do, you'll be providing the time savings craved by customers and prospects. Will a customer actually desert you for a competitor who can save him time? You can bet your Timex he will.

Guerrilla marketing by definition means investing in marketing with your time, energy and imagination rather than merely your money. The time you invest making phone calls to key customers, giving talks to groups, writing articles, making PR first-name-basis contacts, shining at trade shows, and training your sales and service people will be time that will pay far richer dividends than money.

You read it here first: Time is not money. Invest your precious time figuring ways to save your
customers' and your prospects' precious time, and you'll be operating in guerrilla fashion.

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the father of Guerrilla Marketing, the bestselling marketing series in history, selling more than 14 million copies worldwide. He is chairman of Guerrilla Marketing International. His latest books include Guerrilla Marketing in 30 Days, 2nd. Edition with Al Lautenslager, Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet with Mitch Meyerson and Mary Eule Scarborough, and Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing with Jeannie Levinson.

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This article was originally published in the July 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Good Timing.

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