Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Primetime Women

My wife is now one!

Primetime Women

Marti Barletta, CEO and founder, TrendSight Group

Story posted: April 2, 2007 - 9:43 am EDT

Women ages 50 to 70 have huge purchasing influence in business—now market to them

Women control most of the corporate and small business spending decisions in the U.S. Women hold 50% of managerial and professional positions. Among them, women ages 50 to 70, whom I call "PrimeTime Women," are in the most senior positions with the most spending authority.

Among women business owners—who have been starting 70% of all small businesses for the last couple of decades—a significant number have exited big corporate jobs to bring their considerable business experience to their own table.

I call them "PrimeTime Women" for two reasons: they are in the prime of their lives; and they are the prime target opportunity for marketers in almost every category. They handle 80% to 85% of the spending decisions for households (and a significant amount in businesses) and are in the peak years of their income, wealth and spending power. PrimeTime Women are different than men and, most importantly, than younger women.

Whether you're targeting these women business owners or merely talking one-on-one, there are must-haves to keep in mind:
  • Listen. Recognize that women often communicate via the "story of their lives." She's telling you how she is going to use your product or service, in the context of her business, business needs and the people in her business. You need to listen for cues to her needs, wants and worries.
  • Present benefits over features. Present the human benefits, not the product features, in the context of the business needs she has already told you. Don't use the canned pitch. Offer options to consider, with the pros and cons of each, so she can feel that she has a comprehensive grasp of specifics and has done "due diligence."
  • Follow-up. Just because she doesn't buy after the first conversation doesn't mean that she is not interested. It probably just means that she's busy. Be sure to follow up in a way that indicates that it's for her benefit, not yours.
  • Thank her. Thanking them for their business with something to surprise and delight them will lead to word-of-mouth and positive recommendations to their friends and expanded networks.
  • Make it an "event." One specific vehicle that connects with these women is event marketing. These women are in the market for great experiences. Build a fun, educational and social event and they will come.

PrimeTime Women are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active, educated and influential generation of women in history. Your business can't afford to ignore them. Are you ready for prime time?

Marti Barletta is CEO and founder of TrendSight Group, Winnetka, Ill., and author of "Marketing to Women" and "PrimeTime Women." She can be reached at

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Sales Science and other links

Got this in my e-mail this week. You can subscribe (free, of course) and get it in your e-mail:

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This Month: Injecting Science into the Art of Sales

Dear Scott,

A change initiative isn't a stand alone effort, sitting off somewhere by itself. Change roots itself into a company's culture when the process and tools are completely incorporated into an organization's established methods. If it isn't integrated into the big picture, it can be confusing for the sales force and actual adoption of the new process is minimal.

Passive resistance is sometimes the elephant in the room; those that nod their heads in seeming agreement but don't actually change can keep an initiative from being successful. Every implementation that wins full adoption has one common thread: executive sponsorship. Managers who understand the benefits and are passionate, who keep the initiative alive and embed it into everyday sales tools help drive change by demonstrating that the change is enterprise-wide--and it's not up to the individual contributor to decide whether to participate.

Change adoption has a different definition for different people; that's why it's crucial to pinpoint its meaning. Integration doesn't just mean continual learning and reinforcing of the program. Sales leadership needs to be clear in its communication around expected results, best practices and how progress will be measured. Front end commitment to a communication plan is essential, so the sales force understands that the initiative is here to stay.

Best regards,

Sam Reese
President and CEO
Miller Heiman Inc.

Process Excellence:
Inject Science into the Art of Selling

Any large-scale change or effective process implementation requires strong commitment, precise coordination and widespread cultural adoption. The foundation for any successful change initiative is executive sponsorship--obtaining C-level support. Then, concentrate on the elements that drive acceptance of a new process: training, mastery, measurement, enablement and reinforcement.

Drive Change.

Halliburton: Combining Passion and
Process for Sales Results

As a publicly held company, Halliburton Co. is keenly aware of its responsibilities to shareholders, who expect results in any environment. Peter Bernard, senior vice president of business and development for Halliburton, knows the necessity of passion for results--and also of having the right processes in place for ongoing sales success. Bernard describes the five steps to sales process adoption.

Read Halliburton's success.

Datapoint: Beyond Passive Resistance:
Motivating Sales Teams To Adopt Change

No matter how innovative and effective a projected change may seem, individuals must implement it in order for the initiative to be successful. People fall into three distinct groups when it comes to attitudes toward change. The largest of these groups--60 percent--passively resist change by neither supporting nor acting against it. Organizations can motivate adoption by avoiding these eight common pitfalls.

Overcome resistance.

Ask the Expert: You asked, we answered

Question: "How do you define a buying influence when a third party administers the purchases--and the user is screaming 'I am the owner'?" Read the answer here.

Have a pressing sales performance issue? Share your concern and Miller Heiman will connect you with an expert who can help. You may also call 877-678-3386 to speak with an expert directly.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007


What really counts? The number of people you know or the number of customers you have? The numbers that you use to track your business can be deceiving. I recently have asked my staff to do a minimum of 20 calls a day and turn in the results. It could be left a message, made an appointment, no answer, sold $10,000. But the first step was action.

The next step is to take the action and convert that to $$$. That involves looking beyond the starting numbers and looking at what is really happening so that you can spot growth and trends. Most people over estimate the number of people they know or contact in sales. But the real numbers, the ones with $ in front of them, also known as the results will tell the true story.

More to come....

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