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The Big Lie

All guerrillas know that the Big Lie is: Time is money. And they also know The Big Truth: Time is far more valuable than money.

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 hurtful, 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 can be more beneficial to your life and your business than money ever could.

There are now ways to create more time for yourself, using the old, proven time management practices of the past, coupled with the new, proven time-conserving technologies of the present: e-mail, faxes, cellular phones, pagers, computers, it's a long, long list. What does all this have to do with marketing? Easy question. It has everything to do with marketing because Americans now revere time above all else, and anything you can do to conserve their time will be greatly appreciated.

Another way of saying that is -- if you waste other people's time by taking too much of it, or ask them to wait when they're in a hurry, you're not geared for the new value that is placed upon time. The eighties were the Decade of Improved Quality. The nineties 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 see what Americans cherish the most. In l988, time went to number one on the list and has stayed there ever since. Count on it remaining number one for the rest of your life. The way you conduct your business must be re-evaluated in the light of time conservation for your market.

Speed should be employed at every opportunity: customer service, deliveries, contact with callers, telephone on-hold time, requests for information, and everywhere else you can insert it into your way of going business. Guerrilla hint: Competing and winning in the arena of time will be the most potent marketing strategy of the next ten years, and probably the ten years after that. People will become more and more aware of the elusive, precious nature of time.

To be sure, time can be used to earn money. And although time has headed the list of American values, time is still one of the top ten values.

By employing the weapons of guerrilla marketing such as extended hours, 7-day-a-week operation, toll-free phone numbers, a web site, e-mail, faxes, speedy delivery, clear signs, no wasted phone hold time, 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 his 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'll also save time for your prospects with postcard mailings, clear brochures, fax-on-demand, and a devotion to convenience. One of the most powerful of all guerrilla marketing weapons is speed. And the more time you spend online, the more shortcuts you will spot -- in communicating, in researching, in networking, and in bonding.

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

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By Jay Conrad Levinson

About the Author: Jay Conrad Levinson

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
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