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Come Sale Away With Me, Lads

Posted on June 30, 2006 by Sarah Eaton.

Tomorrow is July 1.  Summer is saling right by.  Don't sale close to the wind; you'll just get put about on the wrong tack, or even turn turtle.  Instead, keep a weather eye open to Janet Ryan's column "Selling Skills for Non-Sales People," a regular component of the WorldWIT newsletter, Thinking Aloud. 

(An aside: It's amazing how many nautical terms we use without knowing their origins.  Check it out.)

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June 30, 2006 in award winning design, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blogs, Building Customer Community, Building Customer Intuition, Business editorial, business magazine, Business Marketing, company blog, company newsletter sample, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter, Corporate publications | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Posted on June 28, 2006 by Kathryn Regina.

Is getting your tired brain to concentrate feeling more and more analogous to taking a walk through a swamp? Do you daydream about being struck by a lightening bolt that grants you super-human mental strength?  I do. I really do.  So I’ve done some research about brain power. Here’s what I learned.

Diet makes a difference, and people are talking more than just Ginkgo Biloba these days. Choline is the new buzz—a nutrient that improves memory, increases brain power and minimizes fatigue.  Found in egg yolks and skim milk, choline deficiencies can lead to liver disease and cardiovascular problems.  Vitamin B and Omega-3 fatty acids (most commonly found in fish) also increase brain function.  On the flip side, a diet high in saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables isn’t just bad for your heart—it makes you dumber.

If you’re not keen on fish and skim milk for dinner every night, keep your brain challenged with logic puzzles or word games. Research indicates that your brain is much like a muscle—it needs a workout to stay sharp.  Balance that workout with the right nutrition, and you’ll be bench pressing test tubes in no time.

Brain Food: Puzzles for the Brain to Gnaw On
Eleven Steps to a Better Brain

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June 28, 2006 in award winning design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

In Review: Lead Generation for the Complex Sale

Posted on June 28, 2006 by Kat.

By Maria Schwieder

Everybody knows that it costs more to get a new client than to retain an existing one.  But, everybody also knows that significant growth is predicated on the continual feeding of new leads into the pipeline. When it comes to successful business development, it is necessary to develop a calculated and customized methodology for finding new clients. 

In Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, entrepreneur, blogger and public speaker Brian J. Carroll discusses every aspect of business leads: How to find leads of caliber, cultivate relationships, convert leads into business and maintain relationships.

Each segment of lead generation is presented broadly as a necessary step in the process, and further dissected into strategies, questions and possible outcomes for approaching various methodologies.

Carroll defines a lead as “a potential customer that wants to learn more about what you have to sell and that has acknowledged it has a business problem that you could help solve.”  But not all potential customers are significant leads. 

Carroll adds that this potential customer must also demonstrate “elements from the ideal customer profile” to have the “beginnings of a meaningful lead.”  Successful lead cultivation is calculated to focus the ideal customer profile “on companies with the greatest likelihood of becoming profitable customers.”  For example, you can “rank your customers by most profitable, best revenue, easiest to do business with.”  While establishing the ideal client profile is the crux of proceeding with a sales relationship, the lead must also be “sales-ready” to qualify as a worthwhile pursuit. 

The quandary with lead selling can be the temptation to develop available leads just because they are available, not because they are suitable. The result is failed attempts and discouraging follow-ups.  Pursuing only qualified and ready leads will result in more successful conversions and efficient use of time and energy.  It also builds a foundation of trust that elevates the salesperson’s confidence.

Sales vs. Marketing: In Competition or Cahoots? 

Carroll identifies the similar, yet different, functions these roles contribute in generating and pursuing a sales lead. For optimal results, the two must work together. Agreeing upon a “universal lead definition” naturally leads to enhanced “communication, teamwork, and shared vision,” which fortifies the process.  Negative scenarios with perfunctory quota goals can arise when sales and marketing do not establish a common ground for appropriate lead pursuit.

Carroll presents outlets and methodology for tracking, analyzing and maintaining leads.  The business model in Lead Generation for the Complex Sale advocates business plan modernization and constant innovation.  This is an evergreen approach as technology, expectations and practice trends change. 

He addresses sales barriers triggered by common mistakes in the lead generation process, such as viewing lead generation as a series of isolated campaigns instead of an ongoing effort. 

He also provides effective ways to:

  • Use multi-modal contact tools such as email, telephone, direct mailings, referrals, podcasts and blogs
  • Avoid damaging misuses like the proliferation of spam or messages lacking meaningful relevance
  • Utilize human capital resources and outsource possibilities such as public relations, public speaking, events and marketing
  • Explore opportunities in technology with ROI tracking programs, CRM databases and other online outlets 

Detailed chapters discuss ways the multi-modal plan succeeds in heightening “the response rate potential because it more effectively impacts contacts and their sphere of influence.”  For example, public relations can brand your company’s image in a deliberate method to a target audience.  Carroll suggests PR imaging as a way to dodge the deluge of contradictory messages your customers receive daily, and streamline and affirm the message you are sending them.  To determine which tools are appropriate, “measure the tactics or programs in terms of return on investment.” 

Managing new lead generation methods is equally as critical.  A thorough and successful system will incorporate continuous iterations of ROI measurement and reporting to track what is working and why.  Nurturing the leads you generate and convert is the only way to transform them into existing clients — the most cost effective sale!

This book will be most helpful for a reader with a keen interest in business strategy.  The chapter topics are universally applicable to all industries, and the lead generation methods are suited to all types of business practices.  The content flows logically, escalating from fundamentals to tactics and development.  Mind maps provide useful visuals for the concepts presented.  Carroll offers considerable focus on online methods, which will be most beneficial in broadening strategies for readers that favor traditional lead generation methods that predate online technology.

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June 28, 2006 in audio publication, blog publish, Blogging Tools, bulk email marketing, Business editorial, company newsletter, company newsletter sample, corporate magazine | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

Marketing run amok

Posted on June 23, 2006 by Kat.

Yes, Virginia, marketing can be taken too far.

FIFA de-trousers Dutch fans at the World Cup footie game.

I can see an argument for "no outside food or drink" at the stadium, but since when does a beer company have any jurisdiction over their customers' pants?  Would your average television viewer even notice what the fans were wearing? 

I especially love the phrase "ambush marketing," because, you know, the Dutch fans -- the entire country full of 'em, and at their own expense -- conspired to sneakily market the other guy's beer on their bums. 

Reality check, please.

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June 23, 2006 in award winning design, blog publish, corporate magazine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brother Blog Nominated

Posted on June 22, 2006 by Sarah Eaton.

Guess what, guess what?  Our brother blog, BeConnected: Developing Your Customer Intuition, has been nominated for a Marketing Sherpa 2006 Readers' Choice Blog Award in the "Blogs on general (multiple topic) marketing" category.  BeSure to vote!

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June 22, 2006 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Intuition, business credibility, Business Marketing, Business publications, Business relationships, Company newsletters, corporate magazine, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Politeness in the Big Apple?

Posted on June 22, 2006 by Kevin G.

A recent study by Reader’s Digest was released on the politeness of 35 prominent cities around the world.  Surprisingly enough, New York came in first place, while Mumbai, India came last.  The study involved three parts: holding the door, saying thank you, and recovering dropped papers.  While Mayor Bloomburg of NYC did not seem surprised by the results, Mumbai seems to dispute the findings.  I wonder how badly Chicago would have beaten New York if put up to the test?

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June 22, 2006 in award winning design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Speaking American

Posted on June 21, 2006 by Kathryn Regina.

Manny Cortez, president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, died Sunday. But the “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” campaign he championed will continue on, according to the convention authority.

And it won’t just continue on television. The campaign phrase, launched in 2002, has made its way into the American pop-culture lexicon. From Leno to soccer moms, almost everyone has found a way to make a clever pun out of the what-happens-here stays-here formula. 

What gives campaigns like this the “X factor?”  Following in the tradition of “been there, done that,” and “got milk?” the Vegas campaign is verbally satisfyingly.  All of these marketing phrases employ an economy of language and formulaic balance (notice the use of repetition and syllabic symmetry) that yields an effect of catchiness and humor.  While not in the same league as Shakespeare, these campaigns clearly draw on poetic principles. And the result?  A campaign slogan so slick that it defines its industry and becomes part of the American vernacular.

Manny Cortez
Got Milk?

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June 21, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Creativity that makes me giggle

Posted on June 21, 2006 by Kat.

I admit it.  I've been feeling creatively slumpy lately.  And my eyes and brain have wandered around looking for a bit of rejuvenation.

Enter the Society for HandHeld Hushing (SHHH), one of two brainchildren of Coudal Partners that are truly creatively inspired.  And funny too, because I'm wicked that way.

And then there is the other one, a rather innovative concept in Web publishing.  What would you call this, a Web newspaper?

Lots of clicky goodness to explore...

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June 21, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Business newsletter, Business publications, company newsletter, corporate magazine, Corporate newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Technology Dependency and You

Posted on June 15, 2006 by Sarah Eaton.

File under "Stupid things you do that reveal something telling":

I'd printed out an article because it was long, and I wanted to take notes on it as I read.  I spread the pages over my keyboard and started to read--and realized I WAS STILL USING MY MOUSE AS IF I WERE SCROLLING ON SCREEN. 

There I was, hand on mouse, sliding it ever-downward.  Even after I realized what I was doing and announced it to the room at large (everyone laughed at me), I felt my hand creeping back to the mouse.  I was downright uncomfortable unless it was cradled beneath my palm.  I had to move the mouse from the pad and hide it behind my laptop before I could return my attention to the article. 


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June 15, 2006 in award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, business credibility, Business newsletter, CMO, company blog, company newsletter sample, corporate magazine, Corporate publications, create a newsletter | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

How Shyness Shines

Posted on June 09, 2006 by Kevin G.

While browsing the Yahoo News links, I came across an intriguing article on personality and business (it seems I need to take a lesson from Bill Gates).  I always thought the individuals destined to run a successful company are the fast walking, fast talking go-getters of the bunch.  I’m not talking about the high-fiving jocks from high school, but the ones who never shied away from meeting new people and those who took risks. 

The article I found examines the high amount of entrepreneurs and CEOs with a naturally introverted personality; the ones who would rather contribute to a finance blog than socialize at a business cocktail party.  It appears that there are more introverted CEOs than one would think.  You can read about the abundance of shy business leaders below and take a personality test (one of the few that will not ask for your email address) to see where you place.

Not All Successful CEOs are Extroverts

Take the Introvert/Extrovert Personality Test

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June 9, 2006 in award winning design, blog publish, corporate magazine | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack