Friday, December 14, 2007

Prepare for 2008

From my email came the following from Steve Clark:

What to Think About As the 4th Quarter Comes to a Close

What you do between now and the end of the year will impact your 1st quarter of 2008 greatly.

What are you going to do between now and the end of the year?

Here are some questions for you to ponder, reflect and hopefully act on

  1. How many prospects do you want to contact between now and Dec. 31st?
  2. Based on your closing percentages how many 1st time conversations will you need to have to hit your production goals? How many do you need per week?
  3. How many names do you have on your written prospect list TODAY? (Hint – you need to have more than the answer to question number 2).
  4. If you do not have enough names on your prospect list when will you sit down and work on your list?
  5. What is your prospecting plan? You do have a written prospecting plan for the 4th quarter don’t you? Is it broken down into measurable, weekly activity?
  6. How will you track and keep score of your activity?
  7. Have you made daily appointments with yourself to prospect? Are they written in your calendar?

I urge you to sit down and devote some quality time to answer these questions and make a plan. After all In the absence of clearly defined goals and objectives anything becomes acceptable.

You are better than that.

Good Selling


PS Want to join the ranks of the elite?

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Marketing Flops and the answers

From my email, and from another marketing blog run by the folks at came the following (my answers are in red):

What's Your Biggest Marketing Flop?

I usually ask my audience this question whenever I do a training seminar or speaking engagement: "What is your biggest marketing flop?"

Here's a snapshot of responses from a recent group--

I placed a single ad in the newspaper to promote an event. Received zero response. One Ad, unless it's the Super Bowl will always have a slim to none chance of working. It's always better to get the message out multiple times, to the same consumer, than to blow all your bucks on a single ad.

Have not had any success from newspaper advertising. Any medium can work, if the message is clear and appealing, the cost is in line with the R.O.I. you need to make it work, and you give it the time to work. Also you need to understand how to measure success for the campaign you are doing. Most business owners don't know how to do all of these important elements.

We planned a private retail shopping party. From the RSVPs we thought we had 25 people coming and planned food, staff, etc., accordingly. Only two disinterested people showed up, and we did not sell one dollar's worth of merchandise. I cringe when a client wants to have a private retail shopping party. You are counting on people who are already suffering from time poverty, to carve out the time to come to you and spend their hard earned money. I want to do successful events and invite as many as possible. Also instead of a private event, make it the kick off to a longer sale event. And you must use your connections to bring people in, not just RSVP's.

When I was starting out in business, I got my first call from a reporter. I did not prepare, and the call caught me off guard. Needless to say, my message did not come across in the story as well as it should have. Be prepared. It could be a reporter or your biggest customer.

I have not had any response to my "yellow page" ads. Yellow pages ads do not generate response. I was watching the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk" recently where he is all excited because his name is now in print (listed in the phone book). Remember he was "The Jerk". You need to be more proactive in getting new business, and make yourself known to potential clients before they need you.

Have you had any experiences like these? What could these folks have done differently? Let's hear from you marketing geniuses.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

A crusade to rise above...

Too many commercials scream at you and me.....

Too many ads are full of empty meaningless words...

Too many people think that all you have to do is reach lots of people (and the message doesn't really matter)....

Too many ad agencies are using numbers to justify their jobs...

Too many businesses think that the internet is their savior.....

Too many creative folks, go for the creative, instead of results....

If you are offended by any of this, then I challenge you to examine why.

Yes, there is a place for creativity, the internet, reaching enough people, etc, etc, etc....

But, when you are done with your creation ask yourself this simple question:

Will this motivate me to do what it is supposed to do?

And if the answer is no, then stop and start again.

Rise Above...

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The Chicken or the Egg revisited

In my email was the latest from Chuck McKay:

Restaurants and Monday Nights.

While browsing the web, I recently came across an article titled, "Why is My Restaurant Not Full Every Monday Night?" (Google search if you're all that curious. The article doesn't answer the question, which is why I'm not linking it).

But it does pose a valid question. Why isn't your restaurant full on Mondays?

Its a common desire in retail to advertise the things which aren't selling, and let those which will sell easily sell themselves. This is frequently bad strategy. Very bad.

It may well be part of the reason Wal-Mart thrived while K-Mart worked its way through bankruptcy. Of course, their respective advertising policies may only be a reflection of their inventory management. Then again, this all may be only a coincidence.

And for the record, our story is completely fictitious.

Assume that we have one Wal-Mart store and one K-Mart store, each stocked with various sizes of golf shirts in four colors: red, blue, green, and yellow. We'll further assume that each store stocks ten in each color.

For some reason, the yellow shirts are in hot demand.

Each store sells out of yellow golf shirts.

K-Mart, in the traditional Henry Ford fashion * notes that they still have 30 shirts in stock. No problem.

Wal-Mart however, takes note that they are completely out of yellow golf shirts, and promptly puts ten more in inventory.

Humm. People will buy what they want, when its available to them. The won't necessarily buy what's being advertised. So, while K-Mart is advertising golf shirts in various colors, Wal-Mart advertises that they have yellow golf shirts, and they have them in stock. (Again, this story is of my own invention. It has only a passing relationship to any reality).

Can advertising sell them things they don't want?

The bitter experience of K-Mart would indicate that people will purchase only what appeals to them, rather than what's being advertised.

But our question wasn't about golf shirts, was it? The question was "Why is My Restaurant Not Full Every Monday Night?"

The reason is simple.

Its not lack of advertising. (Rookie media salespeople will assure you that it is. They are wrong. It has nothing to do with advertising.)

It is because people customarily don't go out to dinner on Monday evening.

They just don't want to.

They tend to go out to dinner on Friday nites, on Saturday, even on Sunday. By the time Monday rolls around, they're feeling as if they should stop being so extravagant.

On Mondays they plan to eat at home.

Is there a Monday appeal?

Is there a way to attract a relational customer to your restaurant on a Monday? Sadly, if Monday isn't Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or a spouse's birthday, there is not. You could maybe get a transactional customer into your restaurant on a Monday if you offered a discount, but transactional customers tend to stay home on Mondays too.

OK, make it a BIG discount. That will insure two things:
1. bad turnout, and
2. no profit from those rare few who do show up.
Humm. Advertising a restaurant is very much like duck hunting. You shoot when there are ducks to shoot at.

So what can you do about those Monday nights in your restaurant?

You can cut back on your staffing on Monday and hold your costs to a minimum. Then advertise your great Friday night specials, or your Saturday dinners, or even your Sunday brunch.

Your will start boosting attendance when you cater to what your customers want - and do so on their timetable. Wait for them to be inclined to dine away from home, then remind them to pick you.

* Henry Ford is rumored to have said about the available colors of his Model T automobile, "You can have any color you want, as long as that color is black."

Chuck McKay is a marketing consultant who works with professional practices and owner operated businesses. Questions about maximizing sales during times of natural traffic flow may be directed to

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How to Turn Setbacks into Success

Great article on attitude in my email today:

Kiss the Frogs: How to Turn Setbacks into Success
by Jill Konrath

The other day I was at the Olive Garden talking to a prospective client over lunch. He was telling me about all the challenges his sales organization was facing. Decisions were being delayed because of the economy. Competition was everywhere, cutting prices to bare bones to get the orders. His reps were frustrated, discouraged.

“If only they could all be like Paul,” he said, shaking his head in frustration. “Can you clone him?

I laughed, but my curiosity was piqued. “Tell me more,” I asked.

It seems that Paul was having a really good year, despite everything that was going on. He’d lost some business to competitors, but had won more than his share without major discounting. Even the numerous obstacles he encountered, which totally derailed the other sales reps, only set him back temporarily.

“Let me guess,” I interrupted. “Those setbacks almost seem to energize him. Right?”

My client, who was about to take a bite of fettucini, set down his fork. Looking at me quizzically, he said almost in a whisper, “How did you know? That is exactly what happens.”

I smiled slowly, but couldn’t keep the twinkle out of my eyes. I leaned forward and whispered back, “Paul kisses the frogs.”

My client burst out laughing. It certainly was not the answer he expected, but it’s the truth. Over the years I’ve met other Pauls and they are usually the top performers. What differentiates them from their colleagues is how they approach the setbacks (or ugly frogs) they invariably encounter in selling.

When setbacks occur, frog kissers like Paul reframe these obstacles into personal challenges. Rather than getting discouraged or blaming others, they ask, “How can I tackle this new situation? What other options can I try? What can I learn by kissing this frog?”

With their creative energies ignited, new options and alternatives emerge. Limitations become possibilities. They experiment with different approaches, willing to grow in the process. In doing this, frog kissers are often able to transform their setbacks into successes.

So, here’s my challenge to you. In the next month you’re likely to run into a few sales problems such as disinterested prospects, angry customers, delayed decisions, or cut-throat competitors. This time, instead of getting upset, go kiss the frogs.

That’s right. Kiss the frogs. I guarantee you that princely pay-offs are hidden inside.

Jill Konrath, author of Selling to Big Companies and founder of the Sales Shebang, helps sellers crack into corporate accounts, shorten sales cycles and win big contracts. She is a frequent speaker at national sales meetings and association events.
For more article like this, visit .

Get a free Sales Call Planning Guide ($19.95 value) when you sign up for the Selling to Big Companies e-newsletter.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Now hear this.....

RADAR: Radio Reaches 233 Million Listeners Weekly

NEW YORK -- December 10, 2007: Early results from Arbitron's upcoming RADAR 95 network-radio report show that radio reaches 233 million listeners every week, including 82 percent of all people 12 and older.

Radio reaches 95 percent of adults 18-49 with college degrees and household income of $50,000 or more, while RADAR's network-radio affiliates reach 86 percent of that group. RADAR networks also reach 85 percent of 25-54s with degrees and annual household income of $75,000 or more, and 84 percent of 12-17-year-old listeners.

The report continues, "RADAR Network affiliates have consistent delivery with reaching the key young and adult demographics that advertisers target: They reach 84 percent of adults 18-34 and 84 percent of aduts 25-54. They also reach 84 percent of adults 18-49."

Arbitron also notes that radio reaches 94 percent of 12-plus black non-Hispanic persons and 95 percent of 12-plus Hispanic persons every week.

The complete RADAR 95 report for the 56 RADAR-affiliated networks will be released December 17.

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Another way to create Word of Mouth

Caterpillar's roadshow: show, not tell

Mike Cai is relying on word of mouth, not advertising, to sell Caterpillar's massive construction machines in China.

His strategy: roadshows. He hauls things like 38-ton tractor-scrapers (seen above) all over China to demonstrate their functions. People in China's construction industry haven't seen a tractor-scraper and don't necessarily understand its concept, so why not let them see a tractor-scraper in action?

Read more here

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Getting Ready to Get Ready

From the incoming email:

Daily Sales Tip: Getting Ready to Get Ready

This is a good time of the year to write an article like this. This is the getting-ready time of the year. We pause and reflect on the past year, lick our wounds, count our blessings, and lay the ground work for the coming year. We're getting ready. Getting ready for the holidays. Getting ready to chase a whole new set of dreams. Whew! All this getting-ready stuff is enough to wear a person down.

In sales, there are getting-ready activities, and there are getting-busy activities. Unfortunately, too many salespeople (one in four) are getting ready to get ready. There is a time to get ready and a time to get busy. Getting ready is planning, preparation, and rehearsal. Too much getting ready and you're procrastinating, which is really avoidance behavior. These are the people who stare down the gun sight of life but rarely pull the trigger. Getting ready is important, but getting busy is imperative to your success.

Years ago, a management guru earned a living by encouraging managers to "ready, fire, aim." This was his way of saying, "There's a time to plan and a time to act." Planning is an important part of the sales process, but sooner or later you have to make the sales call, especially the tough one. I met a salesperson in Baltimore years ago who was a planning master. He researched, planned, and prepared extensively for sales calls. He was masterful in his analytical thinking. The problem is that he didn't really want to make the call. And planning was his way to avoid it. For him, getting ready was his way of not getting busy.

Too much getting ready and you're not chasing your dreams. When my college-aged daughter played training league soccer, I helped coach her team. We were winning one game by a huge margin, which my daughter was responsible for, and it was the third quarter. She was sitting on the sidelines. I went over to her and noticed her long face. I asked her, "Honey, what's wrong?"

"Oh Daddy, the coach pulled me out of the game."

"That's okay," I reassured. "You've had a good game and it's time for the other kids to get a chance to play."

"You don't understand, Dad."

"Sure I do," I boasted.

"No, Dad, you don't. I can't kick goals if I'm not in the game."

I looked at her and said, "You know, Amanda, people pay me a lot of money to say that kind of stuff."

Imagine my five-year-old daughter giving me a lesson on motivation: You don't kick goals if you're not in the game. This was her way of saying, "You can't get busy if you spend too much time getting ready to get ready."

So, what are you getting ready for? What are you thinking about doing? What are you dreaming about for the new year? Are you getting ready to get ready or are you getting ready to get busy. Remember Amanda's advice: You can't kick goals if you're not in the game.

Source: Professional speaker/author Tom Reilly (

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More numbers

From the email files comes this collection of numbers.
Regarding #1: We are never too old to try new things, the younger we are the less set in our ways we are.
#2: I've never seen a health coach at a supermarket!?!
#3: I wonder what the number one resource is for finding out about the weather? Is it the radio?
#4: So spamming works! Not for me.
#5: These numbers are too small to make any conclusions.

Draw your own conclusions:

Volume 2 Issue 51 - December 10, 2007


Consumers aged 18-34 are the most interested in trying new cuisines (68%), compared to those aged 35-54 (65%) and those aged 55 and older (51%), says Technomic.


More than half of consumers (58%) who received "health coaching" during a visit to a supermarket or food seller went to the sponsoring brand's website, reports PULSE.


People most commonly watch their local news channel (44%) to get their weather forecast, compared to 17% who watch The Weather Channel or visit a weather website, according to Harris Interactive.


One in six people (16%) have made a purchase from an email they found in their spam folder, finds Endai Worldwide.


Men aged 25-34 (32.8%) are more likely than women the same age (28.4%) to say they primarily go online at work, reports BurstMedia.

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Word of Mouth Advertising with a BIGGER Mouth

Nearly 22 years ago, I joined a company that helped me set the foundation for the marketing and advertising world that I am entrenched in. It was either the General Manager of WMUZ, Frank Franciosi, or the President of Crawford Broadcast, Don Crawford that inspired the phrase, "word of mouth advertising with a bigger mouth." A few years ago when I returned to this business, I had that slogan on my business cards.

Word of Mouth: That is the most believable form of advertising and marketing that is out there. It can be either positive or negative. And bad news travels faster than a brush fire in California, while good news can be as slow as F.E.M.A. responding to a hurricane. I use those two examples because we have seen the impact.

...with a BIGGER Mouth: This is what attracted me to the radio advertising business, after spending 10 years in the on-air and programming side. If done correctly, the radio advertisements and the campaigns behind them can be nearly as effective as traditional Word of Mouth, except....

Traditional Word of Mouth is one on one. When you use a medium like radio, it is one on 100, or one on 1000, or one on 5000, or more. If the radio commercial reaches someones emotions, their heart, then it can be extremely powerful.

Think about the power that Don Imus had when he uttered the phrase that cost him his job earlier this year. That was an abuse of power, like yelling fire in a theater, or the rant that Michael Richards, (Kramer of Seinfield), did on stage.

The power of the media is changing. We have many more options and choices. Word of mouth is spreading too over the internet. The following survey appeared in my email today:

Monday, December 10, 2007

Online Consumer Reviews Impact Offline Purchasers

A new study conducted by comScore with The Kelsey Group, shows that nearly one out of every four Internet users reported using online reviews prior to paying for a service delivered offline by restaurants, hotels, travel, legal, medical, automotive and home services, Of those who consulted an online review, 41 percent of restaurant reviewers subsequently visited a restaurant, while 40 percent of hotel reviewers subsequently stayed at a hotel.

Based on the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. Internet users in October 2007, consumers were willing to pay at least 20 percent more for services receiving an "Excellent," or 5-star, rating than for the same service receiving a "Good," or 4-star, rating.

Purchase Behavior After Online Review Consultation October 12-18, 2007


Percent Making a Purchase















Source: comScore, Inc./The Kelsey Group, November 2007

More than three-quarters of review users in nearly every category reported that the review had a significant influence on their purchase, with hotels ranking the highest at 87 percent. Review users noted that reviews generated by fellow consumers had a greater influence than those generated by professionals.

Online Review Influence on Purchase Decision October 12-18, 2007


% of Users Saying Review Had Significant Influence















Source: comScore, Inc./The Kelsey Group, , November 2007

Consumers were willing to pay between 20 percent and 99 percent more for an Excellent rating than for a Good rating depending on the product category.

Amount Consumers Willing to Spend for 5-Star Service October 12-18, 2007

Service (Suggested Average Price)

Excellent (5 Stars)

Good (4 Stars)


Restaurant Meal ($20)




Restaurant Meal ($50)




Hotel ($100)




Home ($250)




Travel ($350)




Legal ($60)




Medical ($15)




Source: comScore, Inc./The Kelsey Group, , November 2007

Brian Jurutka, senior director, comScore Marketing Solutions, said "This study underscores the importance of providing not just good, but excellent service if a business hopes to generate... consumer reviews... (that) result in greater sales."

For more information, please visit comScore here.

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