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The Competitive Advantage

May 17, 2012

Under-promise and Over-deliver… a True Story

As most of you know, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a must-have in your marketing & sales arsenal.  Your CRM software is used to track and record client & prospect interactions, manage marketing campaigns, create sales reports and so much more.

I happen to use ZoHo (www.zoho.com).  This isn’t a story to promote a specific platform, but rather a story about the “customer experience” and how it can impact your business.  And I happen to be the customer.

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May 14, 2012

Embrace the Exhibitors

A few weeks ago, I wrote about brushing up your “elevator pitch” as you get ready for some of the Spring conferences.

Let me make another suggestion to help you get the most out of your ‘investment’ of time of money in those events: Embrace the exhibitors!  That’s right… build time into your schedule to proactively meet with all of these “salespeople!”  Go ahead, it won’t kill ya.  In fact, I submit that it could be one of the most productive aspects of your time at the conference.  Here’s why:

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May 11, 2012

The Best Promotional Video I’ve Ever Seen

Most promotional videos I come across are far too salesy… no depth, all glitz!

But I came across the video below that I HAD to watch all the way through – it drew me in a wouldn’t let go. It’s promoting a new business book. The video is informational, entertaining and very compelling. Watch and learn…

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May 7, 2012

The Research Industry is NOT Dying, but many firms WILL Disappear

The idea that the market research industry is dying has been filling up LinkedIn groups, conference sessions and online discussion boards for a while now, due largely to the emergence of new technology and the concept of DIY research.  Then a few weeks ago, Google announced its low-cost surveying tool… and the conversations accelerated once again.

The fact is, as technology advances, industries change… would you want to be in the newspaper business today?  Own a bookstore?  Produce vinyl records?

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May 3, 2012

Use LinkedIn for engaging, not hard selling…

LinkedIn is a terrific business tool for a lot of reasons…

  • To connect with someone at a specific company
  • To participate in a discussion about an important industry topic
  • To post a job opening at your firm
  • To connect with a group of liked-minded individuals (in the LinkedIn groups)
  • To provide something of value like an eBook or white paper

Want to put on a hard sell?  While LinkedIn (and all social media, for that matter) is not the venue for a sales pitch, far too many people use it for that… each time lessening the overall value of the platform and alienating its members (like me).

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April 30, 2012

Goal setting is not as easy as it sounds…

We’re all familiar with the adage of setting SMART goals (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-framed).  But I submit that’s only half the story.

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April 24, 2012

Don’t bury old-school advertising just yet…

I know, the marketing & sales world appears to be driven these days by social media, blogs and websites.  But I find it very interesting that many of these ‘social’ sites or users of social media are turning to old-fashioned advertising to make a name for themselves.  Two quick examples…

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April 16, 2012

Creating your Elevator Pitch

It’s Springtime… and that means making plans to attend some of our industry conferences… keynote speakers, breakout sessions, visiting the exhibits and (gulp!) networking.  Yes, networking, that dreaded process of having to introduce yourself to a complete stranger and connect on some “business” level – to see if there’s the possibility of perhaps working on a project together at some point.

I once read that one of peoples’ biggest fears – other than death and public speaking (and death is third on the list) – is being at a party and not knowing anyone there.  And isn’t networking at a conference a little like that?  No wonder we hate it so much.

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