Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas Y'all!

Last month I was contemplating what to post on Christmas day, when this appeared in my inbox from Mediapost.

I dare you to add up the cost of all the loot you got this year and see if it adds up to $75 more than you got in 2009.

Because Christmas for us adults isn't really about stuff. It's about a gift from God that we can never return or exchange.

But on with the email:

Consumers Find An Additional $75 To Spend on Christmas This Year

According to a Gallup poll conducted in November, in which respondents were asked to predict the total amount they will spend on Christmas gifts this year, they will spend $714 -- well exceeding the $638 they forecast in November a year ago for the 2009 holiday season, but still trailing the forecasts recorded over most of the last decade.

Christmas Spending Forecasts (November of Each Year)


Personal Spending Expectation























Source: Gallup, November 2010

According to Gallup, if the figure holds at this level through December, that would point to a roughly 2% year-over-year increase in holiday sales. Further, if consumers' spending estimate increases between November and December, as it typically does, actual retail sales could improve by closer to 4%, similar to the long-term average.

Although 52% of Americans say they will spend the same on gifts this year as in 2009, 34%, of Americans, say they will spend less, compared with 12% saying they will spend more. That 22-percentage-point gap is nearly double the average 13-point difference between these figures over the past 20 years, providing a note of caution to Americans' dollar spending forecast.

The current gap contrasts with a 39-point gap found in November 2008, amid the turmoil of the global economic collapse. However, in periods of relative economic prosperity, such as from 1995 through 2000, the figures were about even.

More or Less than Amount Spent Last Christmas (% of Respondents)


About the Same















Source: Gallup, November 2010

The report concludes by noting that consumers seem on track to increase their Christmas spending this year compared with 2009. The precise percentage increase is unclear, and will likely be reflected in what Americans say about their gift-buying intentions in December. Historically, consumers' estimates of their Christmas spending increase between November and December, and the amount of that increase will indicate whether retailers can expect modest growth or something closer to the average 4% increases enjoyed in the years prior to the latest economic downturn.

And, with additional money to spend, new research from Unicast shows that consumers are looking to online sources for savings. 53% of people surveyed said that they planned to surf the web to research deals, with 42% of respondents planning to get ahead of the gift-giving-game by researching Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales online.

Key findings from Unicast include the fact that:

  • 53% of shoppers plan to use the internet to compare deals between stores or retailers' websites this holiday season
  • 37% of consumers will shop on Free Shipping Day, this December 17th, in order to avoid shipping fees
  • Most of this year's online holiday shopping will occur during the first two weeks in December (December 1-15)
  • Most popular online purchases include entertainment items like music, movies, and video games
  • 54% of consumers said that they are most likely to interact with ads that include sales offers, discounts, or special promotion codes

14% of consumers will get a head start on their holiday shopping, checking most of the items off their lists by Thanksgiving Day. Another 7% expect to be last-minute shoppers, cramming most of their purchases into the last week before Christmas.

  • 21% of those aged 18-24 planned to buy most of their presents on Black Friday while the plurality of 25-34 year olds will make their purchases on Cyber Monday.
  • Consumers with an annual household income of $50K-$74K were especially likely to partake in Cyber Monday (14% vs. 8%, <$25K; 11%, $25K-$49K; 6%, $75K-$99K; 10%, $100K+).
  • Those with children in the household were significantly more inclined than those without kids to buy gifts on Black Friday (15% vs. 11% and 20% vs. 10%, respectively)
  • Married adults were significantly more apt than their unwed counterparts to buy gifts on Black Friday (15% vs. 11%, respectively) or within the first two weeks of December (25% vs. 19%, respectively)
  • Twenty-nine percent of Northeasterners reported a plan to get their online shopping done between December 1st and 15th compared to 22% overall. Westerners were especially likely to buy their gifts before Thanksgiving Day (13%), while Southerners were more apt than the average respondent to partake in Black Friday (16%)

Additionally, the study finds the types of offerings which would most encourage the consumer to purchase from a particular online retailer:

  • 63% say free shipping
  • 21% Coupons for a percentage off one item selected by the shopper
  • 20% Gift card with purchase for future use
  • 17% Sale items determined by the retailer
  • 15% A large variety or products
  • 13% Free returns
  • 9% Brand name items
  • 6% Special discounts for retail club

Gallup poll results are based on telephone interviews conducted Nov 4-7, 2010, with a random sample of 1,025 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental U.S., providing an expected 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.

For more information from Gallup, please visit here, or for more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit here.

For more findings from Unicast, including additional charts and graphs, please go here for the full report.

Sphere: Related Content

We're Not Snowflakes

from Drew:

Marketing tip #8: Marketing is asymmetrical

Posted: 16 Dec 2010 06:10 AM PST

106413085 Maybe it's the time of year and the fact that we're having a beautiful evening snowfall, but as I watched it snow, I got thinking about the uniqueness of snowflakes. They say there are no two the same because they're all asymmetrical in their own way.

And yet, when we draw them or use them for decorations -- we can't help but draw them incorrectly, fixing the asymmetry and making them "perfect."

In our pursuit of perfection, we actually take something unique and make it common and ordinary.

And yet -- what do we want from companies who market to us? Do we want fake perfection or do we want to see them for who they really are, warts and all? Personally, I want those rough edges. They're reassuring.

Mette Mitchell wrote about a fascinating trend called Wabi-sabi (from the Japanese aesthetics concept) that is the celebration of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete.

Check out her post (by clicking on the link) and see how Wabi-sabi is impacting packaging, retail spaces and brands.

This isn't a trend about sloppiness or not caring enough to clean up imperfections. It's actually about being brave enough to be a little lopsided.

Because lopsided is real, one of a kind, honest and puts a consumer at ease.

Sphere: Related Content

Q, A & L

I have the book Alen mentions:

Asking Questions – Active Listening

Dated: 15 December,2010

When qualifying a client you will spend a great amount of time asking questions in order to glean information and, in turn, actively listening to what the client has to say. The best sales people ask a lot of questions and genuinely listen to the answers. By asking pertinent questions and listening much more than you talk, you will learn a lot about your prospect and it will enhance your ability to close the deal.

If you want to connect better with your prospects, nobody will get jealous about this (unless it’s one of your colleagues who has had enough of being beaten to the finishing line by your superb closing skills). However, when in pursuit of a variety of personal prospects, they can be quick to become jealous at the very thought of you sharing your attention with someone else. With your client, there is no better way to connect than to listen carefully to what he has to say. Your girlfriend might tell you the same thing about your relationship – but she doesn’t understand that there’s no commission in the deal for you. Hence your sluggish approach to having your ear bent at her every whim!

Active listening means you will listen patiently and actively pay attention to what the client has to say. Try to understand the feeling that your client is expressing as well as the intellectual content of the conversation. Encourage your client to talk, and then listen, not only for what IS said, but for what IS NOT said. It’s wise not to become emotionally involved in the conversation yourself. It is your task to understand first and to defer evaluation until later.

Your girlfriend, on the other hand may always encourage you to get more emotionally involved in the conversation, but she’ll also want you to understand that it is your task – no, your DUTY – to understand first and to defer judgment until later. In fact, she may well ask you to forget all about the judgment part and to simply keep your opinions to yourself. At least with your clients you can become an expert at listening and absorbing the pertinent information and still earn a decent commission from it when you manage to close the deal successfully.

In short, you can get to understand a customer’s situation, his needs and his wants, by asking great questions. If you master the art of asking intelligent questions, the prospect will tell you what they want and how they want it – which spells out to you exactly how you need to sell the solution. Wouldn’t it be great if the same process and logic could be applied to personal relationships?!


This is an excerpt from my latest book “Selling Is Better Than Sex”. If you want to learn how to ask the right sales questions to better qualify prospects, get the book today from, Barnes and Noble or Chapters-Indigo in Canada. If you want to get a signed copy, order it directly from me –

Click here to read this post at The Science and Art of Selling by Alen Majer.

602-100 Strachan Ave, Toronto, ON, M6K 3M6

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read, and have a very Merry Christmas..

by Sarah Mahoney
The post-Christmas push comes after early indications that, overall, these have been healthy holidays. ShopperTrak's National Retail Sales Estimate reports that over "Super Saturday" weekend, sales increased 5.5% over last year, with foot traffic climbing 3% in the period. And Saturday itself accounted for $7.58 billion, with a 10.1% traffic increase. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The effort is an extension of "Explorer Live" on Ford's Facebook page. The site was originally intended to generate real-time responses to customers' questions about the vehicle. Now it has evolved into a viral content platform that still answers specific questions, but also has become a hub for dozens of video responses intended to be both technical and entertaining. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The Richvale, Calif.-based producer of organic rice and rice products is giving away several high-end rice cookers. The goal of the contest is to help raise awareness about how easy it can be to add healthy rice to a healthy diet, says Todd Kluger, Lundberg's vice president of marketing. ...Read the whole story >>
by Laurie Sullivan
The National Hockey League and NBC Sports Thursday unveiled a campaign that integrates Facebook, Twitter and national television on the New Year's Day broadcast of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. ...Read the whole story >>

Sphere: Related Content

The Truth About Women

Over the next week, I'm going to be reading an insightful book from Michele Miller that promises to help us guys understand how to marketing to women.

In the meantime, as you are wrapping things up for Christmas, I have two things for you.

First a link to the past. This is how advertising used to portray women. Click here.

And here's some insight on what we should be doing in 2011 from Mediapost:

The Eight Truths For Talking To Alpha Moms

Marketing to specific audiences is no different than fishing, and if you want to catch a big fish, you need the right bait. Reaching the coveted and influential "Mom market"-made up of Soccer Moms, Momma grizzlies, and whatever else you call her-is the goal of most marketers looking to succeed, but to reach them directly, properly and inoffensively is an art.

In the Mom market, the thought leader, trend setter and influencer is the Alpha Mom. She is the one who seeks out new products, information and services, has an extended social network and a willingness to share information.

Think Like One

If you want to catch an Alpha Mom you have to think like she does: She uses all available informational resources to stay at the top of her game. She is tech savvy, an early adopter and is honest and communicative in her reviews. She readily trumpets finds or flops without encouragement from marketers and PR people. She wants to be the first to champion a brand, product or service she believes in or the first to openly criticize a brand, product or service she deems unworthy.

Reliable Information

An Alpha Mom knows that to remain an influencer, she needs good, credible content and reliable information. To get both, she proactively devours research, including information found through traditional searches, blogs and wikis from the media she chooses. She doesn't spend time watching TV or leafing though magazine ads, which only allow for one-way communications and ads. Instead, she actively indulges in social media which has, consequently, given her the power of instantly recommending (or not) any brand, product or service to her large circle of "friends" and followers. She answers requests for advice posted by others and she crafts tweets with shopping advice and sales opportunities.

The Plan

Marketers can best reach Alpha Moms with authentic information that does not pressure her into making a decision or into writing a biased review. An Alpha Mom does not want to be sold or talked into an opinion. She wants to try a brand, product or service for herself and to form her own judgments.

Here's an eight-point plan for finding and getting through to an Alpha Mom. The overriding theme is credible content, told well.

1. Tell her the truth.

2. Tell her quickly. She is always busy.

3. Tell her where she will listen: her phone, her iPad, Facebook, mom blogs and the like.

4. Don't forget print. It's content-rich and still relevant in the Alpha Mom's world.

5. Highlight the benefits for her and her family.

6. Make that benefit worthwhile and measurable - as well as simple to digest.

7. Deliver on your offer in a tangible way.

8. Ask for her feedback; a conversation is always better than a monologue.

The value of a conversation with an Alpha Mom should not be underestimated. Her feedback will make your product or service better, easier to sell and more beneficial to more consumers. She will help you zero in on what's best for your target audience (she is, after all, one of its leaders) and will ultimately help you sell.

So give an Alpha Mom your best content and offers. She can't wait to tell her friends.

Kimberly Jackson is an Editorial Strategist at King Fish Media, a custom media firm. Kimberly is a former executive at Ziff Davis, Carat Interactive and a mom of three kids.

Sphere: Related Content

Splurge Time

from my email:

Consumer Indulgences Making a Comeback

Few companies were clobbered harder than Starbucks in the recession. The coffee chain with outposts on every corner came to represent all that was wrong with American businesses and shoppers: unchecked expansion, self-indulgence and mindless credit-card swiping.

But now customers who swore off frivolous spending during the recession are lining up again for their $4 caffeine fix. The company's net income nearly doubled and revenue rose 17 percent in the most recent quarter compared with a year earlier, as more Americans allowed themselves a small treat.

After seeing their retirement funds and home equity shrink severely, consumers tightened their belts in a shift some economists dubbed the New Frugality. Fortunately for the world's largest latte purveyor and other peddlers of small luxuries, Americans have a short memory when it comes to the economy.

Affordable luxury goods like gourmet coffee, lingerie and high-end skin cream have been enjoying a comeback since the stock market began to rally in August and higher-income Americans started feeling better about their finances.

At Estee Lauder Cos., whose brands include Clinique and MAC cosmetics, CEO Fabrizio Freda says customers who traded down to drug store brands when times were tough are returning. Revenue was up 14 percent last quarter, driven by brisk sales of high-end moisturizers and eye creams.

Specialty items like the "Miraculous" push-up bra have buoyed the company that owns Victoria's Secret and Bath and Body Works. Revenue rose 12 percent last quarter at Limited Brands Inc. as shoppers treated themselves to its stock in trade.

"People didn't feel good about having little indulgences" in recent years, says David Palmer, an analyst with UBS Investment Research. "The Suze Orman-type talk shows were telling you to kick your Starbucks habit."

Now, he says, austerity fatigue may be setting in.

For Michele Burkhammer, a nurse clinician for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service in Rockville, Md., austerity was the only option after she was furloughed and her husband lost his job. She started buying groceries at Walmart and pared her list to the essentials.

These days, her husband is back to work, and she's fed up with pinching pennies. She still doesn't splurge on herself, but she recently bought Ralph Lauren khakis and other high-end items for her 3-year-old son. She's also returning to upscale and organic grocers.

"Shopping is starting to be enjoyable again," Burkhammer says.

Trading back up has raised hopes for the holiday season. Research firm ShopperTrak bumped up its holiday sales growth forecast to 3.2 percent from 2.9 percent after a solid start in November.

The recession technically ended in June 2009, but the recovery has been fitful. Manufacturing has been stronger, though hiring has not. Home prices have stabilized somewhat since bottoming out in the spring of 2009. A 17 percent gain in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index since the end of August has helped raise consumer confidence, and with it spending, particularly among the upper class.

"When people feel their household wealth rising, they're more confident and that has a dramatic impact on consumption," says Chris Christopher, an economist with IHS Global Insight.

Still, it's unclear whether this signals the beginning of a broader retreat from thrift. Shoppers still are making lists and, for the most part, sticking to them. The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in November, holding a damper on spending in millions of households.

Frank Mangini, who lives in the Queens borough of New York, is back to making regular trips to Whole Foods, but only for specialty items he can't find at his local supermarket.

"I was trying to lay off a little bit" during the recession, he says. Even with the economy picking up, he says he's "trying not to overdo it." But he's happy to shell out for his favorite organic green tea.

After taking a drubbing during the recession, Whole Foods Market Inc. has been luring back shoppers. Revenue rose 15 percent last quarter. The company, the biggest national seller of organic and natural groceries, says shoppers are buying more higher-priced brands and trading up on pricey items like seafood, cheese and housewares.

"Middle-class people want to make these little splurges on basic luxuries like Victoria's Secret so that they're not breaking the bank or the wallet but are getting out of the doldrums of the recession," said Sherif Mityas, a partner in the retail consultancy firm A.T. Kearney.

These small splurges are unlikely to spark a broader recovery. After all, Starbucks or Whole Foods binges set shoppers back just a few extra dollars.

You'd have to see sales of bigger-ticket items like automobiles, designer handbags and extravagant vacations rebounding -- and see people racking up credit-card debt again -- to say Americans' frugality has ended, says Kenneth Goldstein, an economist at the Conference Board. And that's unlikely as long as unemployment remains stuck above 9 percent. Even with car sales improving, the industry will sell 4 million fewer cars in the U.S. than it did in 2007.

Alan Levenson, chief economist at T. Rowe Price, says Americans couldn't revert to old spending patterns even if they wanted to because banks aren't willing to lend. The personal savings rate remains high, and although consumer spending rose an annualized 2.8 percent in the third quarter, the biggest bump since 2006, that's not enough to rev up the overall economy.

Certainly there's pent-up demand, Levenson says, but shoppers are "not blowing anybody's doors off."

(Source: The Associated Press, 12/09/10)

Sphere: Related Content


from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Helping Your Client Look Good

Make your client look like a rock star to his/her boss. Think about it. Who doesn't need some good press these days?

One of the best ways for you to do this is to proactively go to your client with ideas and resources. By the way, ideas and resources shouldn't always require payment. This is one of the many ways you and I provide this thing everyone keeps regurgitating called "value."

Now, if you are amongst the clueless who think everyone is already doing this, then make it a habit of asking this question in your Needs Analysis: "When was the last time your sales rep came to you (proactively) with an idea?" Get ready for a head tilt as they try to remember.

One way you stay fresh with ideas is to carve out weekly thinking time to, well, think about your client's business.

Tip: Regard this thinking time like you would any other appointment in that once you set it, you keep it!

Source: Sales trainer/speaker Paul Castain

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & Read:

by Karl Greenberg
This year and next are big for Toyota's Prius brand: 2010 was the 10th anniversary of the Prius; next year Prius for the first time becomes a bona fide sub brand as the automaker rolls out a second Prius vehicle. Its long-time AOR, Saatchi L.A., has bridged these two events with an ongoing crowd-sourcing, underground, social-media-buzz-machine. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While the industry continues to grapple with the concerns about blood diamonds, Day's Jewelers is aiming to put Fair Trade Diamonds Made in Botswana on Gen Y's ring finger. The diamonds are proving to be popular with younger consumers, who are increasingly likely to see diamonds as politically cringe-worthy instead of harmless bling. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
The Weight Watchers Kitchen Companion, is designed to deliver both, by combining interactive, hands-on help with low-cal, healthful at-home cooking (from menu planning through shopping and preparation) and providing simple ways to share recipes. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"So much has changed about the fan experience in the 21st century and, everything being instantaneous, we really wanted to use that as being fuel for the campaign," says Steve Williams, a creative director at Publicis Seattle, the agency behind the campaign. "We wanted to give it to a place that T-Mobile could own." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
"In any other case, I'd say that this was just another location-based app that aggregates nearby deals, which isn't that original these days," wrote Justin Montgomery in Mobile Marketing Watch about the new app. "Being a Visa-branded app, however, changes the dynamic and overall appeal from a consumer standpoint. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Kelley Blue Book says that nearly 20% of shoppers who are cutting back on their holiday spend this year say they are doing so because of an upcoming large vehicle or home-related purchase for which they are gearing up. ...Read the whole story >>

Sphere: Related Content

Marketing Predictions for 2011

In 2008 I submitted my 1st prediction for the next year to Joe Puluzzi, founder of Junta 42.

Last year I did it again, and now my prediction for 2011 is included in the latest edition which you can download here.

Here's my annual predictions for 2009, 2010, and 2011. Thanks Joe for the inclusion.

Click here to read my prediction for 2011 a little more clearly.

Sphere: Related Content

New Ad Campaigns

This is Amy's last update until next year.

Do you want me to keep posting them here every week?

Let me know...

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Let's launch!

1I love buying running shoes, but some sneaker fans border on the obsessive when it comes to their kicks. Foot Locker launched a pair of holiday ads under the tag line, "Merry Kicksmas." A teenager takes one of Santa's reindeer as a hostage in the first ad, seen here. He wants sneakers, not money. The reindeer is well cared for and the ransom note is neatly cut and pasted. In the second spot, Santa has a weakness and it's not cookies and milk. He loves smelling the insides of newly purchased sneakers. He's caught in the act by a homeowner who's armed with an oversized stuffed candy cane. Santa is embarrassed and led out the front door. No cookies and milk for him. "It's a sneaker thing," ends the ad, seen here. SapientNitro created the campaign.

2MuchMusic launched a TV spot promoting its Holiday Wrap, two weeks worth of marathons, video countdowns and movies touting the highs, lows and most memorable events of 2010. A conservative family sits down for dinner. Mom and Dad eagerly await the talent portion of the meal. Daughter plans on playing the trumpet. Older brother gets the nod to perform first, however, and it knocks everyone for a loop. His archaic synthesizer blasts fluorescent lights and loud rhythms that leave Mom, Dad and young sister shaken and stirred. The family has mussed hair, dirty faces and wrinkled clothes. The daughter tries to play her trumpet, but it's clogged and emitting little sound. Watch the ad here, created in-house and produced by Crush, Toronto.

3Snoop Dogg sits beside the fireplace and Pepsi Max truck driver to deliver some holiday cheer and recite his 2010 version of "Twas the Night before Christmas." Santa was tired of milk and cookies, and fortunately found a home where a Pepsi Max awaited. Did I mention that Santa drinks his Pepsi Max from a pimp cup? He also swears, but Pepsi Max driver has a hard time believing this. Watch the video here, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day.

4To counter all the attention paid to the negative side of things, LG launched a billboard in Times Square that delivers only good news. The Good News Billboard features good news collected around the world from online feeds and tweets. The billboard is located at 45th Street and 7th Avenue and builds on LG's "Life's Good" motto. Aside from the good news posted, it will be hard to miss Gil, LG's animated brand ambassador, who encourages passersby to text and tweet good tidings his way. Passersby can also watch Gil's varying reactions to certain times of the day and weather conditions. See the billboard here and here, created by Young & Rubicam.

5Virtual snowball fights are just as much fun as regular snowball fights -- without the freezing temperatures and potential injuries. Moroch's holiday card, "SnowBall SmackDown," lets players throw snowballs at the faces of actual Moroch employees. Players receive 50 snowballs to pelt as many employees as possible. My highest score was 1,935. See if you beat me.

6Schwinn launched Bells for Bikes, a holiday campaign that delivers bikes and helmets to kids in need. The site features the Schwinn Bell Choir, consisting of eight men and women on bikes that perform versions of "Jingle Bells," "Deck the Halls" and "Auld Lang Syne" using only their bicycle bells. Every e-carol sent helps Schwinn deliver bikes and helmets to kids less fortunate. Colle+McVoy created the site.

7Chobani yogurt launched "Snow Angels," a holiday Web film that recreates a story told to Chobani's CEO when he was a child. The story begins in Turkey where a young boy describes the generosity of local shepherds. A local woman asks the boy where angels come from. She tells him that angels ride on the backs of snowflakes, which is why they never touch. The young boy was skeptical but waited for winter to confirm the woman's story. Fast-forward to the present day -- and the young boy is now a grown man living in New York telling the same story to his equally skeptical son. See the Web film here, created by Gotham.

8Random iPhone App of the week: Tierney is giving the tongue-tied "The Gift of Conversation" to help anyone prevent or escape an awkward conversational moment. There are five potential awkward social settings to choose from, and 30 conversation starters per category. Did someone back you into a corner, right underneath the mistletoe? Say this: "I think we're cousins." Sharing New Year's Eve with someone new? Use this line: "Mexicans believe wearing red underwear on New Year's Eve brings new love in the coming year." The app is available for free in the App Store.

And another year has come and gone! Thank you to everyone who takes the time to read Out to Launch. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Have a safe and healthy holiday season. .

Amy Corr is managing editor, online newsletters for MediaPost. She can be reached at

Sphere: Related Content

3 ways

to beat your competition from a weekly newsletter I get from Jim:

Here are 3 ways to outsell your competitors. The one thing you never want to do is exactly what the competition is doing because it does nothing to differentiate you.

1. Know more! Don't under-estimate the importance of this one. You'll definitely outsell your competitors if you know more than they do.

You need to know more about your sales prospects and customers,you can do this with Google's help -

You need to know more about your company, and you obviously need to know more about your products.

You also need to know more about business. Reading the Wall Street Journal is a good way to do this. You also need to know more about salesmanship or the art of selling.

Go to your personal library, I hope you have one, and count up the number of books you own on the subject of "Selling."

Sure, I know you're already overloaded with things to do, and finding time to learn more about some of these things just doesn't seem practical or even possible to you.

But remember this. We're drowning in information and starving for knowledge, according to Rutherford D. Rogers.

Invest 15 minutes every day acquiring knowledge.

2. Work harder! Look, I'm a great believer in the concept of simplicity works best.

Yes I'm encouraging you to work harder, but I want you to do it in a smart way.

For example, just make one additional quality sales call every week. When you make 50 additional sales calls a year it will have a positive and high impact on your selling results.

When you're preparing a sales proposal for a big deal, do everything you can to make it the best sales proposal you ever prepared. How do you do this? Work harder and ask "How can I do it better?"

You keep asking, "How can I do it better" every day and guess what happens? Yup, you'll start doing everything better.

Manage your time the way you manage your checkbook.

3. Emphasize benefits! I just leased a new car. During the last 60 days I visited five different auto dealerships.

Here's what I like most about that experience. I liked it when the auto salespeople told me, "This is what I like."

They have it all wrong. I'm not planning to lease a car because of something the salesperson likes.

The salesperson should find out what I like. And, instead of talking about the product features, talk to Jim Meisenheimer about how Jim Meisenheimer would benefit from certain features of the new car.

Here's a pretty good sales tip for you to take to the bank.

Use these words to introduce your product's benefits:

Which means . . .

It enables . . .

It permits . . .

It allows . . .

It creates . . .

FYI - if you're not using these words on a daily basis, there's a 97.5% probability you're not providing your sales prospects and customers with benefits.

I expect you'll be able to improve your sales effectiveness and selling results as soon as you employ these 3 ways to outsell competitors.

Jim Meisenheimer
13506 Blythefield Terrace
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202
Tel: 800-266-1268
Fax: 941-907-0441

Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Click & read:

by Karlene Lukovitz
While Darden drew praise from analysts for employing short-term, brand-distinctive promotions, its management confirmed that Darden is now looking to return promotional calendars and marketing emphases to being more in line with those typical prior to 2008-09. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The Wal-Mart spot, featuring Procter & Gamble's promotion, resonated across all demographic groups with its philanthropic message. It scored more than 100 points above the retail ad norm for "likeability" and "attention" and more than 90 points above the average for all ads in the Ace Metrix database of nearly 8,000 national ads. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
American Suzuki's Kizashi sport sedan has gone some ways toward raising both awareness for the automaker, whose name many people still associate with two-wheeled transport, and sales. Next year, the company will put most of its marketing dollars behind the car with a campaign centering on a series of ads showing how the Kizashi fares against the competition: luxury sports sedans by Audi, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz.< ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
While people often take their time finishing up their Christmas shopping, it looks like there are better excuses this year. In addition to continued worries about their own finances (after all, it's no accident that Merriam-Webster just made "austerity" the No. 1 word of the year, and that "pragmatic" came in second), many are convinced that the longer they wait, the lower the prices will go.< ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
As the Official Credit Card Partner of the NBA, American Express will give cardmembers entree to regular-season and playoff games, the NBA All-Star, the NBA Draft, and "NBA Games - London 2011," the league's first-ever regular-season games in Europe. Cardmembers will also get into events associated with the WNBA and NBA D-League events. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
Marketers looking to reach the growing Hispanic community in the United States may want to emphasize their mobile programs. According to new information from Scarborough Research, cell phone usage among the Hispanic population is increasing at a faster rate than it is among the general population. ...Read the whole story >>

Sphere: Related Content

Getting by Giving

But you have to give first.

Then take a look at what you get.

This is from Glen Stansberry and his blog:

Miracle On WWW Street

miracle on 34th street
A few nights back my wife and I were playing cards with friends while watching the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street. (We’re talking the original 1947 version with Maureen O’Hara, not the mid-nineties remake.)

While the movie isn’t the most spell-binding flick ever made, it brings up an interesting component that’s been lacking in modern shopping: no-strings-attached referrals.

For those of us needing a refresher, a theme throughout the movie is that the original Santa Claus works at Macy’s, and when children ask for a certain toy that Macy’s doesn’t have, Santa gives tells their parents which Macy’s competitor has it in stock. This sends shockwaves throughout the nation, with major competing brands giving each other free business, in the name of Christmas spirit.

Hokey, right?

Not really, actually. You see, this is actually a fantastic business practice that not enough businesses use. If you can be seen as a resource, you’ll be seen as an authority. And you’ll become the endpoint for people’s purchasing decisions because they can trust you. You might lose some sales, but you’ll build a much more supportive customer base. Because, you know, they trust you.

Becoming a resource means that you’ll always win. Think about the possible outcomes: At best your competitors will soften, and might even return the favor. At worst, they’ll wonder why you’re sending people to them, and be glad for the unexpected business. But you didn’t start your business for your competitors did you? You started it for your customers.

It seems the hot thing right now is to push “authentic”, “heart-filled” business practices. You know those all-too-common catchphrases like “it’s not really about money”. Well, it is. If it wasn’t about money, then we’d just give everything away for free. At the end of the day, businesses exist to put food on the table.

I think originally those buzzwords were created to push businesses into putting the customer first, not the company’s bottom line. This is what makes the good ‘ol fashioned referral so awesome. You have potential to make more money, sending people away.

Customers haver excellent memories, especially of the really good (and bad) experiences. And they talk about them.

Think what the Web would be like if we focused more on helping customers find exactly what they want, not what we wanted them to want? Something to think about this holiday season.

Sphere: Related Content

Marketing to Boomers in 2011

from Mediapost:

It Takes A Village

In true Boomer fashion, I enjoy pushing myself to the limits. My schedule is a whirlwind of going to the gym, Facebooking, shopping, spending time with family and friends, studying nutrition, playing ice hockey and keeping up with the latest thinking on Boomer marketing.

But when late December rolls around, I traditionally find the time to reflect on the year that was, take a moment to smell the roses, and then form a plan of attack for the coming year.

In 2010, one of the roses has been reading and contributing to the Engage:Boomers blog. It is truly a privilege to be part of this community, where our combined efforts document and shape the world of Boomer marketing. In recognition of the incredible efforts of this year's contributors, I have put together my personal list of Top Ten Engage:Boomers Takeaways for 2010.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Money (still) matters. Boomers' already impressive numbers are even more impactful when heavyweight Nielsen gets behind them. The largest consumer segment with 2.5 times the discretionary spending power of any other group is hard to ignore.

2. We're getting through. From media companies (PBS, NBCU's iVillage) to brands (Apple, Hyundai, P&G), more and more of those in the mainstream are realizing the benefits of targeting Boomers.

3. Boomers exist somewhere between young and old. It's hard to answer that critical Boomer question, "What's in it for me?" when your marketing is aimed at someone younger, or worse, lumps Boomers in with seniors. Marketing that specifically targets Boomers where they are will resonate most.

4. Universal creative works, too. That is, it can work, as long as Boomers see authentic messaging that is relevant to their lives. (One word: Apple.)

5. For Boomers, by Boomers is best. The only way to create authentic messaging is to have it created by people with first-hand knowledge of the Boomer experience. The vast majority of agency personnel are under Boomer age. That needs to change.

6. Boomer brains are different. Boomers may be increasingly prone to distraction and may not have memories that are as sharp as younger consumers', but they are more agile when it comes to problem solving, reasoning, and understanding the big picture. They are also more empathic and more capable of seeing shades of gray. Speak to them accordingly.

7. Emotion sells. As Boomers age, emotion plays a greater role in their decision-making process. It doesn't necessarily replace rational thought, however, so messaging will be most effective when it connects on both emotional and intellectual levels.

8. Let the Boomer audience control your message's impact. Boomers vary widely based on age, life stage and lifestyle. Messaging that lumps them all together is too restrictive. Let Boomers decide for themselves how your brand fits into their lives by utilizing messaging that is suggestive and open to interpretation.

9. Storytelling works. Storytelling allows people to see themselves in the storyline, thus giving you the ability to move them emotionally. As Maya Angelou said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

10. Experience matters. Due to their life stage and a struggling economy, Boomers are more focused on gathering experiences than on owning things. Communicating how your brand creates or contributes to Boomers' life experience increases brand relevance.

In keeping with another year-end tradition, I have also identified several Boomer marketing issues that will require more of my focus in 2011.

  • Convince smart, talented agency and brand personnel that, despite their seemingly impenetrable beliefs, Boomers are not "old," and help them develop more effective efforts that directly target this generation.
  • Provide more proof, in the form of quantitative research and case studies, of the effectiveness of marketing guidelines recommended by Boomer experts.
  • Help brand and agency colleagues gain a better understanding of how Boomers have changed -- and will continue shaping -- the online world (particularly in regard to social media), as well as what this means for developing online and integrated marketing campaigns.

In the same way that no two Boomers are alike, no two Boomer marketers are alike. As we gear up for pushing the next year of Engage:Boomersblogging to its own limits, it would be helpful to hear what's on your mind: What's on your 2010 takeaway list, and what major challenges do anticipate facing in the year to come?

Mark Bradbury is research director for AARP Media Sales.

Sphere: Related Content


from my email:

December 21st , 2010 We Speak Sales!
How Pablo Picasso
Established Value

Publisher's Note:

Coming to the end of any year takes courage.

I'm not talking about the courage to fight crowds, plan menus, travel or sit down to dinner with relatives you only see once a year.

I'm talking about the courage it takes to make an honest assessment of where your life is heading and make course corrections for the coming year.

It's sometimes comfortable to stay on the path you're on...until you reach the destination. The path to personal power and fulfillment has more obstacles and is harder to travel. However, it will take you to where you want to be.

Resolve to travel a rewarding path in the coming year.

This week's free download shows you "101 Ways to Relieve Sales Stress" by Elinor Stutz. You'll find a link for the download at the end of this week's newsletter.

All the best,


How Pablo Picasso Established Value
by Jim Meisenheimer
The price objection always comes up when I'm doing an in-house corporate sales training program. I always ask the group this question, "What are the biggest challenges you face in growing your business?" They always say the price objection.

Within ten nanoseconds, someone raises his hand and says, "The price objection."

It never fails.

Is this how you feel? Do you find it difficult and aggravating to defend your price on a daily basis?

There is a better way. Why defend your price when you can explain your value?

SalesDog 2701 Loker Ave. West, Ste. 148, Carlsbad, CA 92010
Tel: 760-476-3700 • Fax: 760-476-3733 • Web:

Sphere: Related Content