JAN
26

Do You Hire Like a Pharaoh?

REINVENT YOUR WEB PRESENCE

Hiring and promoting only from within?  A sales management team leader told me that this type of hiring and promoting had been their downfall. "You need new blood, ideas and experience from OUTSIDE of the industry and the company to bring a fresh insight," he told me.

Some of the best reinventions in history came from outsiders who saw opportunities where those within the organization only saw stumbling blocks. For instance, it took an outsider to turn Ford and then Chrysler around in the last century - Lee Iaccoca. It took an outsider to change the face of IBM. Former CEO Lou Gerstner was brought in as a high-profile outsider CEO. He became an effective change agent.

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  5435 Hits
5435 Hits
JAN
04

Why Isn't Your Web Site Attracting People?

REINVENT YOUR WEB PRESENCE

Your web site is awful and nobody (but you) cares about it.

You have a site on the web, but it isn’t helping you.  Your web site is probably something that, at one time, you poured a lot of money and time into.  You hired who you thought was a responsible designer (don’t worry, I did, too) and what you got was full of great copy, some flashy bells and whistles and a huge bill.  So you sat back and waited for the business to pour back in…and waited, and waited, and waited.

But it never came in, did it?

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  4080 Hits
4080 Hits
OCT
28

The Best Cold-Call Opening Line

REINVENT YOUR VALUES

  “Could you help me, please?”
My friend and mentor, Joe Bonura taught me that line. It is the most effective opening to a conversation when making cold calls I have ever run across. 
Why?
1.  Everyone wants to help someone.  We don’t like doing a “favor,” but we love to help others, even if they are total strangers.

2.  It makes the person on the other end think (and say) “Yes.”  Think about the last cold-call you got.  You were probably thinking “No” from the moment they mispronounced your name or started a sales pitch without engaging you at all.  Asking for help elicits a “Yes” from people who are usually very busy with other tasks.

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  5375 Hits
5375 Hits
OCT
22

The Free Bottle on Flight 1765

REINVENT YOUR VALUES

I am on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Calgary, Alberta.  The gentleman seated next to me ordered red wine.  Delta has a policy of not charging you for alcohol on international flights.  But the flight attendant was stubborn in his insistence that Canada doesn’t count as an international destination.

There is no denying this fact:  If you allow rules to be in charge, you will always...I am on a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Calgary, Alberta.  The gentleman seated next to me ordered red wine.  Delta has a policy of not charging you for alcohol on international flights.  But the flight attendant was stubborn in his insistence that Canada doesn’t count as an international destination.

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  4793 Hits
4793 Hits
OCT
02

Reinvent Your Voice Mail!

ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM THE "VANILLA" CROWD?

My friend Mike is in sales for an international company. He makes phone calls to prospective clients every day to sell a magazine that helps his clients make more money. When they are not in, he leaves a great message that gets prospects to call him back…. frequently.

His message was once the basic:  “Hi, this is Mike. I am not in right now. Please wait for the beep and leave a short message. I will return your call shortly.”

Yeah, that is pretty lame...  And it sounds about the same as everybody else on the planet, too.

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  4350 Hits
4350 Hits
OCT
02

Are You Happy?

REINVENT YOUR VALUES

I had a personal epiphany last month.  I was speaking to a group in Las Vegas (if you are going to get a revelation about acquiring the most pieces, Las Vegas is the place for that to happen).  A speaker friend whom I’ve known for several year asked me how business was going. 

For years I bought into the myth that more is better, and much more is to be bragged about to your peers.  You’ve heard the saying, “He who dies with the most pieces wins the game.” But watching others chase the pieces and not wind up any happier, I decided that the chase isn’t worth it. I reinvented my thinking when he asked me that question.  More on that in a moment…

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  3868 Hits
3868 Hits
SEP
17

I Want my iPhone 6!

Remember Dire Straits’ hit song in 1985, “Money for Nothing?”  The iconic line by echoed in the opening strains by Sting, “I want my MTV.”  You could sing, “I want my iPhone 6,” now and it would be more appropriate.

As predicted, Apple introduced a new iPhone and people can’t wait to get their hands on it now… before the price drops.  It is amazing how we clamor for the latest gadget at the highest price, then claim we don’t have money to spend on essentials.  

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  3379 Hits
3379 Hits
SEP
11

How Your Public Sector Can Learn from Private Enterprise (III)

Why can’t a government organization be profitable like a private enterprise... or at least break even?

3.  Governmental organizations can increase their perception by public service training.  Remember, when you speak to one individual with a private company, you take their attitude as the attitude of the entire organization. 

Southwest Airlines is known for delivering some of the best customer service in the airlines industry.  People like to fly this airline because the flights are cheaper AND they are entertaining.  Although Southwest doesn’t have assigned seating and people are herded on and off each plane like cattle, they make the experience fun.  They even ask passengers to assist in cleaning up the plane before they leave for the sake of the next passengers who will fly. 

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  3588 Hits
3588 Hits
AUG
19

What is Your Netflix?

As predicted, Netflix surpassed HBO in revenue for the second quarter of 2014.  Reed Hastings, President of the company posted the news to Facebook, noting that his company is still behind when it comes to profits and Emmys, but "we're honored to be in the same league." Netflix produced its own series, House of Cards.

Netflix began in 1997 as a DVD rental service.  They went through some bumps in the road but emerged as a streaming service in 2007.  Their ability to deliver movies and television shows to consumers at home helped to put the Blockbuster movie rental company out of business. Now they are putting theater owners in jeopardy.

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  3359 Hits
3359 Hits
AUG
19

How Your Public Sector Can Learn from Private Enterprise (I)

Why can’t a government organization be profitable like a private enterprise... or at least break even?

1. Governmental organizations can streamline services using the internet.

Recently I had a medical procedure.  The doctor’s office gave me the option of showing up 30 minutes before my scheduled appointment to fill out paperwork, OR filling it all out online in about 20 minutes prior to the appointment so I could show up on time.  I chose the online alternative, was taken back to the prep room immediately and got home an hour ahead of my schedule.  The staff told me at each point that they already had everything they needed and it sped up the whole process.  I was back to my daily routine in a shorter time! 

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  3892 Hits
3892 Hits
AUG
19

How Your Public Sector Can Learn from Private Enterprise (II)

Why can’t a government organization be profitable like a private enterprise... or at least break even?

2.  Governmental organizations can be creative in solving public problems.

There is a famous story about the town leadership of London, England in 1900.  Faced with a population boom they knew that decisive action was required to meet the growing demands people brought with them.  According to the story, they selected some of the smartest people in England and sequestered them in a building to develop a strategic plan to move London into the 20th Century.

The planning committee studied the problem, but their solution was based on their experience and not of the people who were moving into London.  They decided that the city fathers needed to invest in over a thousand horses for transportation and commerce – because their experience was with horses for their entire lives.

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  2375 Hits
2375 Hits
JUL
30

Deal Me In!

Most sales transactions are based on negotiations, but we don’t always realize it.  You can negotiate more than you realize if you apply simple skills and want the deal done on your terms.  Concentrate on the best deal and you will be more skillful in negotiating.

Most of the time if you use good skills in the right arena, it can be fun!  Trust me there is no better feeling than getting what you want for much less.  An effective negotiator can always find a way to save money.
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  7080 Hits
7080 Hits
JUL
22

Running Yourself OUT of Business

What do you fear MOST that someone will do to steal your customers and clients away?  In what ways are you avoiding serving people that makes you vulnerable to an attack from a competitor?

What if you could run yourself out of the traditional business you have been in and reinvent it?   You would get a jump ahead of your competition and beat them to the punch.

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  5120 Hits
5120 Hits
JUL
11

Jumping the Shark

A BRIDGE TOO FAR

A Bridge Too Far” was a WWII movie called about an allied plan to take a series of bridges held by the Nazi’s.  The ambitious plan was to take a series of bridges by sending in paratroopers followed by a sweeping assault by ground forces up a narrow road.  On paper it looked good. In practice it failed miserably.

The surge turned into a disaster because men and supplies were bogged down on the narrow road. Relief was slow for some of the paratroopers.  But it never came for the last group at the farthest bridge down the road.  They were captured and many died for lack of support.

In marketing you can forge ahead with your ambitious plan and think the world will follow along.  But often you are so far ahead of your tribe or organization that they can’t follow you.  John Maxwell said that if you are too far out in front of your followers, they will mistake you for the enemy and shoot you.  Or else you will become a martyr. Either way, you die with your ideas.

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  3732 Hits
3732 Hits
JUL
01

Tablets Changing Restaurants

ARE YOU STREAMING?

Our family dined at a Chili's restaurant last month on a trip to Orlando. To our surprise they have installed table-side tablet devices to place orders and pay for the meal.  The server merely brought out our orders and checked to see if tea/coke were filled.   We enjoyed the meal and the low maintenance interference from the staff.

Many restaurants are now installing devices like this.  I have seen them in airports for hurried travelers to order and pay for meals while keeping up with email and the internet. You can even track your flight status and receive updates on boarding deadlines.

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  3033 Hits
3033 Hits
JUN
15

What is "EBaying" You?

ARE YOU STREAMING?

EBay has changed the way we shop online for both new and used items.  They are bigger than the neighborhood yard sale, appliance, electronic or sporting goods store.  It’s a movement that is trending more all the time.

Green Monday is the newest concept in online marketing.  Coined by the online retailer EBay it is the second Monday in December.  When customers are encouraged to shop online and save fuel money – also because of all the money EBay was making as a result of the campaign.

Prepare for more online shopping days...

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  3522 Hits
3522 Hits
MAY
31

Just One More!

DILIGENCE PAYS OFF

I am a firm believer that you cannot motivate other people.  Everyone is self-motivated only.  So you have to be diligent in doing your job particularly when it comes to sales.  I have said many times before and heard it for years, “Apathetic sales people have hungry children.”

If you quit when you are tired or on a losing streak, you have no idea what one more call or contact will do for you.  Once you reach your daily quota, make one more outreach.  Look for a high note to end with each day.  Decide that you will not settle for anything short of a positive contact on the last call.  

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  11694 Hits
11694 Hits
APR
16

What Gets Rewarded Gets Done, But...

WHAT IS MODELED GETS DONE BETTER!

You have to reward what you want. Change your strategy about what you want, and it will change your performance.  If you want better performance, ask people to do the tasks and obligations that result in performance.  don't expect real change from the mere motions people go through.

John E. Jones said, “What gets measured gets done, what gets measured and fed back gets done well, what gets rewarded gets repeated.”  So the tasks you decide you want people to do should result from the actions or attitudes you put into them in the first place.  Don’t expect productivity without defining what inspires productivity to your people. Don’t force morale at the expense of mere performance behaviors.

People learn more from what you do than what you say.
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  7050 Hits
7050 Hits
APR
09

The Shack Attack

Radio Shack is closing many outlets across North America.  A February 1991 sales flyer  listed items that were “must-haves,” including:  calculator, weather radio, alarm clock, pager telephone, answering machine, stereo headphones, video camera, tape recorder, camera, mobile cellular phone, global watch and computer.  Who would have thought that all of these devices would one day be given to you with a telephone subscription?

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  373736 Hits
373736 Hits
APR
04

Chicken Wars

YOU DECIDE WHO WINS

Vanessa Wong wrote in Businessweek, “The days when fried chicken was synonymous with a certain white-haired southern gentleman are over, at least in the U.S. A new champion has claimed KFC's long-held chicken retail crown:Chick-Fil-A.” 

CFA has only about 1,780 retail outlets while Kentucky Fried Chicken dwarfs them with almost 4,500.  But CFA is beating KFC by almost a 3-1 margin in sales as of 2014.  CFA is primarily located in the Southern US so their “footprint” is more limited … and remember they are closed on Sundays, so they are spotting KFC an entire sales day.

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  3627 Hits
3627 Hits