For Better Sales and Marketing Messages, First Get Everyone Uncomfortable

For Better Sales and Marketing Messages, First Get Everyone Uncomfortable

La-Z-Boy sells a lot of recliners. I don’t believe they win a lot of design awards, but then again their customers likely put a low priority on being fashion-forward in the family room. The recliner buyers wants to be comfortable and those big cushy chairs can indeed deliver comfort. That might be fine at home—but on the job comfort can wreck your marketing and growth plans. Too often I see internal teams running on auto-pilot in the ways they deal with customers and prospects. On the external side, you can be sure that competitors are trying to make your customers a little uncomfortable. And we have to make prospects similarly uncomfortable in order for them to consider doing business with us. ...
A Big Risk for a City such as Little Rock?

A Big Risk for a City such as Little Rock?

Has your company ever seen a Request For Proposals (RFP) that you knew you likely couldn’t win? Your options might include ignoring it altogether, tossing the “Hail Mary” pass in hopes for a miracle result, or perhaps just doing the basics in order to keep your name out there. This year’s Mother of All RFPs might be Amazon’s open competition for its second headquarters location. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company expects to spend $5 billion on the project over nearly 20 years. ...
Turn Your Dry Case Studies into Compelling Customer Stories

Turn Your Dry Case Studies into Compelling Customer Stories

What makes for an effective marketing story—the kind that is fun to tell, interesting to hear, and persuasive? We are learning more and more about the importance of good storytelling. Many companies rely on published case studies as a primary means to create and share stories and carry their sales conversations. One client has nearly 500 case studies on its website, many of which run well over 2,000 words. That represents a lot of work from the marketing team and a treasure trove for anyone who talks with customers! ...

How Buyers are Different When Other People are Involved

We human beings can be a strange lot when in our role as consumers. As just one example, we tend to behave differently as buyers when other human beings are involved in the process of selling to us. Some new research has now quantified the degree to which fear of embarrassment, or fear of being wrong, has an impact on buying behavior.  

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Build Your Business: How to Share Your New Story

Build Your Business: How to Share Your New Story

A new year tends to track along with new challenges and opportunities in our businesses, doesn’t it? When I speak with organizational leaders I learn about all manner of changes afoot in 2017. Some companies have acquired businesses (or have themselves been acquired). Some are introducing new products and services, or have dramatically enhanced the capabilities of existing products. Others have grown into new locations or means of distribution. Some have a new category of customer. Many others recognize that they need to reposition themselves in the marketplace in order to deal with new competitors. ...
Too Many Meetings End at Halftime

Too Many Meetings End at Halftime

I attend meetings—lots of them—as a participant or speaker. In general, meetings continue to improve as tools that enable the businesses (associations or corporations) that created the meetings in the first place. Event professionals have made great strides in promoting their events beforehand to raise attendance and set expectations. I also see higher levels of interaction for attendees during the events themselves. ...

Stop Selling Stuff

Nothing happens, as they say, until someone sells something. Unfortunately, many executives and sales people are in the habit of saying the wrong things – and thus they miss opportunities to make things happen.

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What Does Everyone Need to Know?

“But I had no way of knowing that.”  

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Who Feels Ownership of Your Message?

It is a common, and quite natural, question. When some new branding or corporate message is rolled out, employees and other potential messengers will wonder (or even skeptically ask aloud), “Who came up with this message anyway?”

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3 Entrepreneurial Tips from Donald Trump’s First ‘Apprentice’

You might have noticed that a certain Donald Trump is getting a lot of attention these days. The chatter about Mr. Trump, as both presidential candidate and business mogul, is a reminder of his time as star of The Apprentice—and lessons that other business people were able to draw from a group of budding entrepreneurs. It reminds me specifically of Bill Rancic, the first winning ‘Apprentice’ and a very successful entrepreneur in his own right. Bill founded Cigars Around the World in a 400 square-foot studio apartment years before entering The Donald’s orbit.

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