Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rounding Up the Troops

1 of my favorite shows on TV is Undercover Boss on CBS.

The head of a big company goes undercover to discover what goes on behind the scenes of her/his company and discovers the good, bad & ugly.

If you have more than 75 employees in your company, you probably don't know everything you should know. Drew wrote about this recently:

How do you communicate with your team?

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 08:50 AM PDT

…How’s your employee communication?

We’ve talked before about the importance of recognizing your employees as a very important audience for your business. You need them to all be pulling in the same direction. But like any audience — you have to decide what are your key messages to them — and how do you deliver them. Over and over. They’ll need some repetition so the key points can really sink in.

Employee communication is probably an area that every team leader or boss could improve. (think I’m wrong — ask your team!) I’m curious — how do you communicate with your team (or how does your boss communicate with you?)

Have you tried any of these?

Ask Them

GOOD — Employee surveys: Don’t even bother asking their opinion, if you aren’t going to act on what you learn. The good news about employee surveys is that the anonymity is likely to get you feedback that’s more candid. And if you have a big crew, it’s probably the only way to get a fair representation.

BETTER — A scheduled chat: What, if instead of the formal survey, you carved out a set time every week and you, throughout the course of the year, met with everyone individually and picked their brain a little, while sharing your vision and thoughts?

Tell Them

GOOD — An all staff meeting: The plus of this is that everyone hears the same message and can ask questions, watch other’s reactions and participate as a group. The down side of this is — someone always misses the meeting and if you have multiple locations across multiple time zones — tough to coordinate.

BETTER — Regular messages from leadership: Whether it’s an internal intranet/blog, a monthly video from the CEO, a weekly wrap up e-mail from the team leader — I think in this case, frequency wins. If your team knows they’re going to hear from you on a regular basis, they’ll be more confident that they’re in the know.

Bonus points to you if you give them feedback avenues. Which is the perfect segue to…

Listen to Them

GOOD — The tried and true suggestion box: Whether you literally have suggestion boxes throughout the office or you use an electronic version, giving your employees a chance to speak up/out with ideas, questions, concerns etc. is a good start. But some pumps need priming.

BETTER — Involve them: Are there some big financial goals you want to hit? Put together a task force and ask them to help you create the plan. Need ideas for holiday gifts for clients — pull together 3-4 people and give them the assignment. Want to improve your recruiting efforts? Why not put together a blend of young/old, new/seasoned employees and ask them why they took the job, what they love about the job and how you could improve the working conditions, etc.

Everyone works better and harder when they believe they are contributing. So the best way to listen is to ask…and then implement!

This is one of my personal goals — to get better and better at being plugged into what my employees are thinking, doing, wondering about and tapping their insights to make MMG an even better place to work and do business with.

How about you? Do you do any of the above? Have any other suggestions to share?

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ScLoHo Moving Day

Just a quick note that it is moving day for the 4 ScLoHo Blog sites.

I will continue to use the Google Blogger hosting platform, but each now has their own domain name:

ScLoHo's Really is moving from to

ScLoHo's Collective Wisdom is moving from to

ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure is moving from to

The Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo
is moving from to

I am doing this on a Saturday which typically is the slowest traffic day for the ScLoHo sites because there may be some downtime as the transition occurs. They say it could take 24 to 48 hours for a transfer to complete, but so far, it has been less than an hour.

All of the sites should automatically redirect, however for future reference, I would urge you to save the new domains in your bookmarks.

Thanks for your support.

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The Trickle Down Effect of Gas Prices

Tuesday I took a trip to Indianapolis, it cost $77 in gas.

I started in Fort Wayne, Indiana where the price of gas was $4.19 a gallon and my first stop was in Anderson, Indiana where I filled up the tank for just $3.89.

When I got to Indianapolis it was $4.17.

Yesterday in Fort Wayne prices varied between $4.02 and $4.15.

My job requires me to drive a car, but not everyone needs to and that is creating a growing alternative market:

Bike, Scooter Sales Pick Up Speed

As gas prices continue to remain high, more Americans are cycling as a way to stay fit, save money, or both.

Sales of new bikes rose 9% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same period in 2010, and sales of road bikes -- commonly used in commuting -- jumped 29%, says Scott Jaeger, senior retail analyst with Leisure Trends Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based retail tracking firm. Sales of gas-powered scooters are up even more: nearly 50% in the first quarter compared with a year ago, says the Motorcycle Industry Council, a trade group.

"We see spikes when fuel prices rise," says Ty van Hooydonk, the group's spokesman, noting many scooters average 60 to 80 miles per gallon.

When gas prices last peaked in the summer of 2008, Census data show bike commuting rose 15% nationwide from 2007. "We're starting to see the same thing playing out in 2011," says Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists, a bike advocacy group.

"It's too early to say definitively that bike sales are up because of gas prices," says Tim Blumenthal, president of He expects gas prices to escalate more and take bike sales along with them.

Also driving bike use is the boom in bike trails and bike-sharing programs, Blumenthal says, adding the federal government has made an "unprecedented" $2 billion investment in trails in the last two years.

Last year, Boston installed 20 miles of bike lanes and New York City added more than 50 miles, says the League of American Bicyclists, which designates 179 communities in 44 states as bike-friendly, up from 25 in 2003. It cites new bike-sharing programs in Denver, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis.

Regular riders tend to be low-income who cycle to save money or affluent who bike for fitness, Clarke says. Relatively few bike for environmental reasons, he says.

Upper-income leisure cyclists are unlikely to bike to work unless gas hits at least $6 a gallon, says Jay Townley of the market research firm Gluskin-Townley Group.

(Source: USA TODAY, 05/09/11)

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Big or Little?

from Jim's Marketing Blog:

Don’t major in minor things

Posted: 02 May 2011 11:25 PM PDT

One of the most common attributes of every successful person I know, is that they focus their energy and time intelligently.

They don’t waste major time on minor things.

The Pareto principle famously said that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. In reality, it could be that 80% of our results come from 10% or 30% of our efforts, however, the concept behind it is sound. Our job then, is twofold.

  1. We need to discover what the key activities are that produce the highest return for us.
  2. We need to ensure that whatever happens, these activities get done before we start on lower value tasks.

Failing to invest your time correctly, means you run the risk of mistaking movement for progress. I know many small business owners, who work hard and often long hours too, but they achieve very little. They are like the guy rowing his boat with all his strength in the wrong direction. The harder he rows, the more lost he becomes.

We have to be wiser than that.

We have to examine what we want to achieve and then determine what the key activities are, to get us from where we are to where we want to be. Once you know what these activities are, you need to ask yourself the following question throughout the day:

Is this the best use of my time right now?

If the answer is yes, then carry on. If the answer is no, then go and get to work on a more worthy use of your valuable time.

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Night Marketing News from Mediapost

Looks like the Google Blogger folks got things up and running again....

by Karl Greenberg
Toyota's Scion division has a new video game embedded as an iTunes app for iPad designed to get college kids interested in the automaker's program that gives graduates $1,000 off of a new Scion car. The game, Scion College Rebate Rally, via Scion's creative agency Attik, is in the June iPad edition of the humor site The Onion, a month-long sponsorship. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"Companies are optimistic and are starting to see an uptick in demand," Mark Larson, KPMG's global head of retail, tells Marketing Daily. "They also feel like they've made significant progress operationally and are keeping expenses flat." ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Tofu isn't the kind of product you'd immediately associate with Hollywood. But when the movie is DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda 2" (opening in theaters on May 26), the match-up's logic is clear. The main character in the Kung Fu Panda movies, Po, grew up working in his family's tofu and noodle shop, on his way to becoming a legend. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Maytag identified four Boys & Girls Club professionals who are the human faces of dependability for their local organizations and introduced them to people via Facebook. Facebook users are encouraged to take a deeper look at these special BGC honorees and recognize someone that's dependable in their lives by going to ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
To kick off the promotion on Thursday, Southwest and SeaWorld employees and customers welcomed SeaWorld's penguins, Pete and Penny, at San Antonio International Airport. Southwest customers were greeted by this pair of Magellanic penguins, along with a lemur and a wallaby, and were able to take photos with the animals while chatting with the trainers. ...Read the whole story >>

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The Top 13 Stories & Headlines

in the world of Advertising, Media and Marketing according to Mediapost Thursday:

Blogger has been down for the past 24 hours and has been having scheduling problems which meant the articles I had set up for Thursday didn't appear. Some will be rescheduled and you'll never know the difference!

The folks behind Blogger are Google, which gives me confidence in keeping them as the host of this site and the 3 others I update every week.

However, I will be setting up each of these blogs with their own domain name, in the next few days.

Stay Tuned...

by Karl Greenberg
"Our renaissance began all the way back in 2003 with first-generation CTS [sedan]. The second-generation CTS in 2008 started us on the road of competing toe to toe with Mercedes-Benz and BMW as a performance luxury brand. It also set the stage to build a high-performance series going forward." ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
"This is a company with a visibility problem, not a product problem. Although it's widely known in Europe, it's not here, and the whole shift to lightweight luggage -- which started about five or six years ago in Europe -- is late to come here. And while other companies make light bags, too, they do it by stripping down the luggage. There's a real quality difference." ...Read the whole story >>
Financial Services
by Tanya Irwin
The direct-to-consumer car insurance provider, which first sponsored the event last year, will focus on elevating the fan experience and the US Open's Green Initiative, Esurance vice president of marketing Darren Howard tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
While the restaurant industry continues to see signs of slow recovery, more than two thirds (76%) of U.S. consumers continue to report that they are reducing restaurant visits -- and that, when they do dine out, they're trading down and ordering fewer items. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
The consumer electronics company has unveiled a social media-driven contest, "Your Life in Sony 3D," through which consumers will have the opportunity to have their most meaningful life event (so long as it happens this summer) filmed in 3D and aired on 3net, a 3D cable network recently launched by Sony, Discovery and Imax. ...Read the whole story >>
by Sarah Mahoney
The big winner is online retailing overall: Customer satisfaction with e-retail remains at an all-time high of 78 on the study's 100-point scale. In fact, almost one-third of the e-retailers included in the study scored an 80 or above, which is usually the threshold for top performers. And not one company fell below 70. Even two years ago, 15% performed at those poorer rates. ...Read the whole story >>
by Mark Walsh
New data from mobile ad network Jumptap shows older, more affluent consumers are more apt to interact with ads than younger, less well-off mobile users. Those 40 and over were almost five times more likely to engage with an ad than people below that age, and those making more than $50,000 were twice as likely. ...Read the whole story >>

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Motivation & Memories

from the Talking Media Sales site:

How to Turn Memories Into Success

Written by Josh Easby

When I got into my car this morning, I reached for my keys and immediately felt the comforting weight of the metal fob that serves as my key ring.

It’s just a piece of polished metal, scuffed on both sides and intrinsically, it’s probably worth less than a cup of coffee. But to me it’s a valued possession.

On one side are inscribed the words: ‘Member of the Marcher Millionaires’ Club.’

It refers to a UK business where I worked about 10 years ago – and where I became one of about 50 employees presented with the key rings at a staff party. We were celebrating our collective achievement of turning round a struggling business, and we had finally hit our profit target of £1 million in a year.

I look back and realise the power of that memento, bought for a few pennies but worth far more than any expensive present or a night on the town paid for by the company.

I see the key ring every day and it reminds me of the outstanding team of people with whom I worked. I imagine where they are today, spread over the globe (many of us keep in touch via Facebook) and I know most have continued the success of their careers.

Most successful teams understand the need to link performance with rewards and recognition. Hitting target is rewarded with bonuses, incentives or career advancement. Top performers are rightly recognised by their peers through company and industry awards.

But too often we forget that one of the strongest motivators of performance is the sense of belonging to a winning team.

Finding a simple symbol that represents the bond felt by a winning team can be powerful.

I once worked with a team, many of whom were members of a bike gang, who worked at a meat processing factory – hard work in tough conditions, but they were up there with the best. They commissioned their own T-shirt that bore the nickname (‘The Broncos’) they’d created for themselves.

The T-shirt helped cement the bond between team members, just as my key ring continues to do for my old team at Marcher.

Ask any veteran in any industry to name the best team they ever worked in and I’ll wager they won’t have to think for long. I’ve been in business for 40 years and reckon I’ve been part of truly outstanding teams only three times (representing less than half the length of my career).

And after comparing notes with friends and colleagues, I reckon I’ve been lucky to find three!

One of them was at Marcher.

To this day, I’m grateful the managing director had the foresight to get a few key rings inscribed and presented.

My battered key ring (which will last for many more years) ensures I’ll long remember the power of having clear objectives and working beside people who shared the same passion and commitment to achieving them. It’s a symbol of their success and of my own, and gives me a boost whenever I feel the need.

Investing in memories can be the greatest reward of all.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Lies Media Companies Tell

I could go in all kinds of directions with that headline, but this site is focused on Media, Marketing, Advertising and Sales.

Advertisers and their ad agencies want to have confidence that the money they spend on their ads are going to reach enough people to be a profitable expenditure.

There are many, many, Many factors that are not easily measured, but there are some standards of measurement that are accepted by most in the biz.

Now, due to the decline in printed newspaper circulation that business is now presenting their data differently.

What does this have to do with advertising effectiveness? Not much in my opinion.

Formula Changes For Determining Newspaper Circulation Figures

The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and The New York Times Rank as Three Largest Weekday Papers

The Wall Street Journal has retained its crown as the country's largest weekday newspaper, reporting total average circulation of 2.1 million over the six months ending in March, followed by USA Today at 1.8 million and The New York Times at 916,911.

The Journal increased its average weekday circulation by 1.2% from the six months ending in March 2010, while USA Today edged up 0.1% and The Times declined 3.6%.

The Journal's total was aided by its paid digital circulation, which increased 21.9% to 504,734, while its weekday print circulation slipped 3.9% to 1,613,062.

USA Today's circulation increased year-over-year for the first time since September 2008.

What you can't get from the new round of figures, however, is the usual sense from reports past of how overall newspaper circulation has changed since the equivalent period a year earlier.

That's because The Audit Bureau of Circulations, whose board is composed of advertisers and newspapers, has changed the rules. Instead of reporting total paid circulation, which required that readers paid one way or another, newspapers now report total average circulation, including editions under different names that publish at least weekly -- as long as they are labeled to include the word 'edition' -- such as commuter or alternative language papers.

The 10th-largest weekday paper in the current report, for example, is the Chicago Sun-Times, whose 419,407 average Monday-through-Friday circulation includes 168,299 copies attributed to branded editions. In the report a year ago, the Chicago Sun-Times ranked 17th with average weekday circulation of 268,803.

Complimentary copies ordered by businesses such as hotels, airlines and beauty salons used to count as unpaid; under the new rules they count toward "total average circulation" under a new "verified" category.

But not all the changes will help newspapers increase their totals. Copies distributed in an uncontrolled environment such as a festival formerly qualified as a kind of paid circulation, but now are called unpaid and cannot be counted toward total average circulation.

For many papers, however, their top-line circulation figures include exactly or roughly the same circulation sources as before.

"The new definitions and formats reflect changes in the way publishers market their newspapers to readers, allowing newspaper companies to more accurately portray the powerful audiences they deliver across a multitude of print, digital and mobile platforms," said John Sturm, president and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, in a statement.

(Source: Advertising Age, 05/03/11)

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Average or Exceptional?


6 Questions to Prepare for the Biggest Conversation of Your Life
by Mike Schultz & John Doerr

Imagine for a minute you’re a master carpenter. You’ve been building houses your whole life, trying your best to hone your craft and deliver the highest quality work every day that you possibly could.

Then one day, you’re presented with the opportunity to teach your craft – a craft you’ve been honing for 30 years – to someone else.

Let’s say for argument’s sake that this person has positively average talent! They have no better raw abilities than anyone else you might run into that barely knows the difference between a router and a miter saw.

But they’ve told themselves that they’re going to be the best carpenter that’s ever walked the face of the planet. They’re going to prove to themself, and in the process everybody else, that they will become a master craftsman, a craftsman with the skills that rival the best carpenters in the land.

Now imagine for a minute that they really mean it...

Read the rest of this article on the RAIN Selling Blog.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Some Car Companies Get No Respect

Walk into a room of 10 people & announce that the Subaru outside has its lights on.

No one leaves the room.

Try it in a room of 25.


A room of 100?

Nobody moves.

Just who owns these Subarus?

Which brings me to....

Tuesday night Marketing News from Mediapost.

by Karl Greenberg
The effort, "The World's Worst Weatherman," has the central idea that you can't count on predictions, but at least you'll be able to get around if you have a Subaru. The campaign, via AOR Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch, includes TV, the homepage at, Facebook, mobile applications and YouTube. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
Print and out-of-home will remain Maker's Mark's dominant advertising media for the year. Print ads, already appearing in some issues, are in a wide range of publications, including Outside magazine and Conde Nast Traveler, and are tailored to the context of each publication, reports Kelly Doss , Maker's Mark's VP, global marketing. "We want to be a part of the conversation within each publication," Doss tells Marketing Daily. ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
The Golfer's Ultimate 6-Pack will be released on May 23 and is the first retail package to combine Michelob Ultra with Bridgestone e6 golf balls at the point of purchase. The promotion includes nearly 500,000 sleeves of e6 balls, making this one of the largest golf ball samplings in recent history. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
A new study from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management suggests there are dangers inherent in creating a lifestyle brand. The most serious is that by transcending the strict categories defined by the actual thing a brand is built around, it opens itself up to a much wider field of competitors -- other lifestyle brands whose products may be in totally different segments. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karlene Lukovitz
"I take my hat off to IHOP for being bold," says Bill Cross, VP, restaurant and food brand licensing for Broad Street Licensing Group. "This is a natural extension -- the IHOP name has the strongest resonance with consumers -- and with Walmart carrying it, it looks particularly promising." ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
"I think Apple is benefitting from inventing a whole new category," Millward Brown's Eileen Campbell tells Marketing Daily. "This year's rankings are the tale of the tablet. The iPad is the first device that is completely ubiquitous computing. What Apple [also] did well in 2010 is they grew every single one of their lines of business, with the exception of iPods. They're still keeping an eye on their other products." ...Read the whole story >>

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Measuring the UnMeasureable

Quick, name three products you saw advertised online the last time you were on the web.

Odds are you can't.

Odds are it doesn't matter.

Each and every advertising message will not have a measureable result. It is the combination of frequency and exposure through various forms of messages and mediums that add up to create an impression that leads to consumers spending money.

If you are only gauging the success of an advertising campaign by trackable results as described in the following article, you are short sighted and foolish.

Just because you can measure something, doesn't mean you can rely on that one form of measurement.

Internet Users View Ads as a Distraction

What does it take to get Internet users to click on ads? Advertisers have been trying to unlock that mystery for years. With the average click-through rate at .09%, new research commissioned by AdKeeper and WPP's 24/7 Real Media, and conducted by Nielsen, might have the answer.

The study conducted in March among 600 people ages 18 to 54 looked at consumer behavior in an attempt to understand why some Internet users don't click on ads. The range includes banner, expandable, video and rich media, excluding search marketing and Facebook. Those who participated in the study "hardly ever or never" click on advertisements they see across the Web.

It turns out that "distraction" remains the No. 1 reason people don't like to click on ads. The multiple choice study reveals that 61% say the ad takes them away from their purpose on the Web site. Fifty-eight percent don't see the ads as relevant, followed by 57% who are afraid clicking on the ad will trigger more spam from advertisers. Some 55% believe their computer will download a virus, 54% don't trust the ads, 46% are afraid pop-up screens will take over their computer screen, and 43% don't see ads as engaging.

Some answers were based on fear, but the majority of consumers just didn't want the ad to take them off the page, according to MaryAnn Bekkedahl, AdKeeper's chief revenue officer. "Most people think the consumer won't click on ads because they don't like them," she says.

Advertisers spend only 15% of their budgets online, while consumers spend 28% of the time they consume media on the Internet, according to AdKeeper. Closing that gap should become a priority for advertisers.

When Internet users participating in the study asked what would get them to click on ads, 17% admit if it didn't interrupt their browsing experience; 9%, seeing an ad from a brand they trust; 9%, seeing targeted and interesting ads; and 7%, ads with coupons or targeted discount codes.

AdKeeper suggests designing ads that allow the Internet user to learn about products or services without leaving the Web site page. The company also suggests building in relevant messages. Give consumers reason to trust the message and give them time to engage with the message on their terms.

(Source: Online Media Daily, 04/18/11)

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Do you Spend $$ on You?

On one hand I found this amazing. I've always bought books, audio programs, and paid for my own professional memberships. Then as I look around at the dozens of sales people I've worked with in just the past 8 years, I know of only 2 did the same. Both are successful.

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Investing in Yourself

Over the 20-plus years that I have been training salespeople, educating sales managers and working to transform sales organizations, I have stumbled upon an observation which bothers me every time I communicate it. It's this: Out of a group of any 20 salespeople, only one has invested $25 of their own money on their own development and improvement in the past 12 months.

The non-professional salespeople don't think it's their responsibility to improve themselves. They won't buy a book, or attend a seminar without their bosses paying for it and requiring it of them. To them, it's just a job.

The professionals invest in themselves. Since they see themselves as professionals, they understand that they must constantly and continually "sharpen the saw." They buy the books, get the newsletters, attend the conferences, listen to the podcasts, etc.

Can you imagine your CPA, as he delivers your tax return, mentioning that he hasn't spent any time updating himself in years? Or the doctor, as he goes into surgery to work on your spouse or child, off-handedly tossing out the fact that it's been years since he bothered to take a class or upgrade his skills.

These seem like silly examples. But most salespeople (95 percent) don't bother to take the initiative to upgrade their skills and develop their competencies. Only the professionals do.

Source: Veteran sales trainer and author Dave Kahle

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Is that a Raisin or a QR Code?

Monday night Marketing News from Mediapost explains:

by Karlene Lukovitz
Starting this month, Sun-Maid raisin six-packs and 24-ounce canisters are carrying the codes, which when snapped with an Internet-enabled phone camera direct consumers to special mobile sites. Once registered, they can view trailers from the movie, learn more about its characters, download computer wallpaper or enter a sweepstakes. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
Land Rover has released its first-ever interactive movie, part of a pre-launch campaign to promote the forthcoming Range Rover Evoque, the first two-door Land Rover since the Defender, which was discontinued in the late 1990s. The vehicle is also Land Rover's first compact crossover designed explicitly for urban drivers. ...Read the whole story >>
by Aaron Baar
According to a new survey from Accenture, nearly two-thirds (63%) of so-called "super-users" (those who own and use 14 or more consumer electronics devices for their personal and business needs) said they would like to have one company support all of their devices, regardless of the communications services (landline, broadband, wireless, cable, satellite) each device uses. ...Read the whole story >>
by Karl Greenberg
The company has been doing cultural programs worldwide for nearly half a century, much of it with more direct ties to BMW products, such as the art car project. "But, in terms of scale and magnitude, with a cultural institution this is the biggest adventure we have ever been in," says Thomas Girst, BMW Group Spokesman Culture Communication . ...Read the whole story >>
by Tanya Irwin
Ferring Pharmaceuticals Inc., is sponsoring the Great Prostate Cancer Challenge, the fastest-growing men's health event series in the United States. Now in its fifth year, the event is led by Zero and its "Project to End Prostate Cancer." Washington, D.C.-based Zero is committed not only to reducing prostate cancer and alleviating pain from the disease but to ending it. ...Read the whole story >>

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Too Late?

Here's the latest chapter from the Not-So-Secret Writings of ScLoHo.

A new chapter about Naming Your Business will be available at 7am Tuesday here:

Lost Your Mojo?

Last week I received a very important announcement from Yahoo!

Dear Scott Howard,

Thank you for being a Yahoo! Mail user for the past 7 year(s). We look forward to bringing you an even faster, safer, easier-to-use Yahoo! Mail very soon.

In the coming months, we will ask you to upgrade to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail for your account All Yahoo! Mail customers will be asked to upgrade. But in the meantime, you don't have to wait, you can have the newest Yahoo! Mail today.

When I clicked on the link in the email, it went to a page that featured this video:

After watching the video, which told me nothing except using Yahoo Mail would be messier, I clicked on the links that would actually tell me what was new and improved. I was disappointed. Yahoo Mail was trying to be like Gmail.

But they already lost their mojo with me.

About 5 years ago, I stopped using my Yahoo Mail account and switched over to Gmail from Google. The primary reason for my dumping Yahoo was the spam filtering that Gmail offered was so much further advanced from what Yahoo was doing.

I had given up on Yahoo Mail and only kept that email account alive by forwarding Yahoo emails to my Gmail account.
Now it appears that it has taken 5 years for Yahoo to catch up with where Google and Gmail was 5 years ago.

In the meantime, Gmail continues to offer improvements so Yahoo will always be behind.

What about your business?
Are you constantly playing catch-up or are you leap-frogging your competitors. It isn't enough to say, "You know that service or product that they (insert competitors name) offer, we have it now too."

By the time you have caught up, you've lost your Mojo.

According to the
Urban Dictionary:

Mojo: The word originally means a charm or a spell. But now its more commonly said meaning sex appeal or talent.


1. Self-confidence, Self-assuredness. As in basis for belief in ones self in a situation. Esp. I context of contest or display of skill such as sexual advances or going into battle.

2. Good luck fetish / charm to bolster confidence.

3. ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude

In this ever changing world, you always risk being left behind. Especially if you wait 5 years.

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How to Stop Wasting Time Cold Calling

From my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Goal of Cold Calling

The primary goal of cold calling is to find and qualify prospects. The only way to perform this task correctly is to measure prospects against a customer profile for your business. This means that before you make a cold call, you must have a clearly defined profile of who qualifies as a prospect.

This is important, because if you don't have a target customer profile, you'll be wasting time with cold calling. Think of it this way: If you are sent to the grocery store to bring back tomatoes, can you tell ripe ones from rotten ones? If you can't tell the difference, you aren't qualified to pick tomatoes. The same is true with trying to pick good prospects and determine if they are good or not.

If you went cold calling and came back with rotten contacts that don't match your customer profile, you will have wasted your time. And here is where it gets a little tricky, depending on your business. There is an expected ratio of who qualifies as an ideal prospect. In many cases, there are more duds than prospects when cold calling, which means you will need to filter through a lot of contacts to find good ones. This is perfectly fine, and the better you are at filtering your prospects the easier cold calling becomes.

Source: Sales consultant Steve Martinez

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

It's Real Money..

...and you could be throw it away without realizing it.

My Sunday Seth:

The $20,000 phone call

When a homeowner decides to put his house on sale and calls a broker...

When he calls the moving company...

When a family arrives in town and calls someone recommended as the family doctor...

When a wealthy couple calls their favorite fancy restaurant looking for a reservation...

Go down the list. Stockbrokers, even hairdressers. And not just people who recently moved. When a new referral shows up, all that work and expense, and then the phone rings and it gets answered by your annoyed, overworked, burned out, never very good at it anyway receptionist, it all falls apart.

What is the doctor thinking when she allows her neither pleasant nor interested in new patients receptionist to answer the phone?

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Moms, the Facebook & the Email

My own mother passed away before Facebook, but she did have an email account.

Happy Mom's Day!

This is from Mediapost:

Moms Choose Technology That Connects Them With Other Moms

Motherhood in the U.S. has changed dramatically over the past several decades, together with the evolving role of women. In conjunction comes explosive technological growth. Technology nearly dominates our society, and moms are adapting to that transition as fast as it is happening. With this in mind, health marketers need to recognize their changing roles and the effect of technology.

Word of mouth has always been a powerful means to share information, particularly for moms because they often trust each other simply through the bond of the parenting experience. With technology, that word-of-mouth community is rapidly expanding. Moms are reading about and sharing experiences on blogs, communicating through other social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, and using search engines to find even more.

Most industries can benefit from this changing U.S. mom market, and the health industry is in a particularly favorable position. In addition to their other roles, moms are the caregivers in most families. As mothers aim to balance work and family, their role often includes taking the lead on family health, whether it be treating the illness of a child or monitoring the meals of the family to ensure better health. Mothers also often take control when aging parents need assistance. In fact, a report from found that 93% of the moms surveyed manage the health and well being of their entire household.

All of this caretaking requires health-related knowledge. Moms are doing Google searches, turning to health-related Web sites and, most importantly, they are talking to each other; verbally, in email, and through blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

From data collected in a 2011 survey for, "How U.S. Moms Share & Spread Health Information 2011 Report," it was found from mothers who often share health information that:

  • Email and Facebook are their top choices for sharing knowledge; 84% often share things via email and 69% often share via Facebook.
  • Email and Facebook are also the places where they most often hear about the new things -- 83% often find out about news things via email, and 76% via Facebook. Only 65% choose television.
  • On a daily basis, 98% check email, 84% visit Facebook, 60% visit a news Web site, and 60% talk on the phone with a friend.

Moms who share health information are sharing their knowledge and opinions about products and services with family, friends and other parents. These moms also are at the center of the technological growth that continues to transform society, which means they are connecting with the world outside close friends and family -- a global community of tech-savvy moms who also are ready to share and listen.

While most industries should take another look at how they're marketing to mothers, the health industry should pay close attention. There is opportunity to reach this valuable market and benefit from its historic transformation.

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Ever Hear of Social Media?

It can be used for prospecting....

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: Clicking for Dollars

It wasn't that long ago we thumbed through the Yellow Pages and called prospecting "Dialing For Dollars." Today, we have new and better resources: Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

According to a recent research report by Richardson and McCord, 68% of sales professionals from a variety of industries said social media was valuable in prospecting. Nearly as many (65%) said social media was also valuable in strengthening relationships.

Richardson and McCord says: "There is considerable opportunity for more sales professionals to use social media tools -- and for current users to spend more time mining their potential -- to achieve greater results on the front end of the selling and marketing process. By using social media to warm up the cold-call environment and to strengthen ties with existing clients, sales professionals can become more efficient in filling the sales pipeline with more prospects and opportunities."

If you haven't started using social media to prospect, get started today. Create your accounts at,, and, then start searching for clients and new prospects in your area.

Source: John Potter, VP/Training, Radio Advertising Bureau

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