Posts filed under ‘sales’

What motivates employees to work hard?

The easy answer used to be “money”. Is it still? I invite you to take a look at an April 15th report by Paul Solman on PBS Newshour. If it’s true that today’s employees are looking for something different, how can you incorporate their wants and needs into your strategic plan?

What Drives Motivation in the Modern Workplace? | PBS Newshour


June 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm Leave a comment

How to structure a winning sales offer.

Economists like to think human beings make decisions based on enlightened self-interest. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely disagrees. As marketers, we can count on “irrational” decisions to structure an offer that makes the best possible sale. The following video is 17 minutes long. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

Do you know why we so often promise ourselves to diet and exercise, only to have the thought vanish when the dessert cart rolls by?

Do you know why we sometimes find ourselves excitedly buying things we don’t really need?  (more…)

January 30, 2010 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

I’ve read several books that dealt with making conversations work. Here is a brief article that gives specific advice and a clear example of diffusing a verbal attack. Each of us can use this in our business and family lives, but marketers should consider presenting this to their colleagues in sales and customer service.

November 13, 2009 at 9:33 am Leave a comment

Can you sell what you wouldn’t buy?

You are a savvy shopper, right?. You think before you buy and so does your customer. He’s looking for the same things you are… value, features, performance, benefits. Oh, yeah… and style, color, newness, hipness, whatever.

Take a quick look at your marketing strategy. Look at your products, your message, your results. Would you buy your product from your company? If not, why would anybody else?

Ask your key people how they would answer these questions. Get their honest answers and empower them to suggest necessary changes. Be ready to change your marketing plan as often as you have to so savvy shoppers will buy from you.

October 8, 2009 at 9:48 am Leave a comment

Gratitude makes great marketing!

My wife likes gardening and she likes to bring her garden into the kitchen. Fresh herbs, root vegetables, fruits and berries. I am grateful for these things, but they are not the point of my story.

A few days ago, she received a greeting card in the mail. I recognized the logo on the card, so I assumed it was a “special offer” for a “special customer.” It was something far more powerful… a thank you card from Gardener’s Supply Company.

The copy thanked my wife for her recent order and welcomed her into Gardener’s Supply community. No special offers. No hype. Just gratitude. It made an immediate, positive impression.

Think about it. When you check out at the grocery store or your favorite retail shop, the clerk thanks you. Restaurant servers do the same. Online retailers often include a thank you message on their packing list or invoice, but it doesn’t make much of an impression. Does it?

Gardener’s Supply — a company willing to make an extra effort to deliver extraordinary customer service. Now that’s powerful marketing.

November 28, 2008 at 11:39 am 1 comment

Trash talk your competition… artfully.

When I was creative director for a SoCal ad agency, I used to do a lot of field work before crafting a marketing strategy. I’d spend time with the client, usually the CEO of a midsize company, and ask permission to chat with key staffers including the sales manager and ride along with two or three sales reps.

No time for a ride along? Here’s some great advice from Kevin Sasser on The Sales Wars blog.

I used to compete against Microsoft in the Content Management space and so often I would get, “So, why should I buy your solution over one of the biggest, most famous companies in the world?” Start off your response by complementing your competitor. (Read that again if you have to) “To be honest, I love Microsoft. I own stock in Microsoft. As soon as my wife lets me, Im getting an Xbox.”

Read the entire post here.

Share this with your sales team. Ask how they respond when a prospect or long-time customer asks why he should by from you instead of your competitor. Make sure your marketing folks hear their answers, then ask how they will use what they heard to shape your message about the competition.

October 24, 2008 at 6:04 am Leave a comment

Selling marketing services to entrepreneurs.

So, I’m reading Seth Godin’s blog about how to read a business book. He linked to the 800-CEO-read blog for May 16, 2008, What is Wrong With Business Books?! – Part II which quoted rather freely from the anonymous “Uncle Saul” at

And I’m thinking, Seth Godin writes/sells books. I get why this is important to him, but it’s also important to marketing agencies, consultants and service providers who are selling to entrepreneurs.

Bottom line: know who you’re pitching before you make the pitch. Entrepreneurs are different from serial entrepreneurs, who are different from professional managers or second generation owners.

Continue Reading June 3, 2008 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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