A few weekends ago, for one glorious afternoon, I turned off all of my tech devices, pulled out a pile of Harvard Business Review magazines (the hard copy kind) and, with nothing but a legal pad and pen in hand, set out to engage in some thinking time. I sat on my deck, without even my Bose SoundLink, and just lost myself in learning. I literally (more…)
Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category
A number of years ago I was on a weekend outing with my husband and a group of his friends, including one guy who had recently gotten engaged to a “knockout.” She was gorgeous–long, really long, blonde hair; perfect make-up; great nails, dressed exceptionally.
The rest of the women (well, maybe I’m projecting my own thoughts on the others, but…) thought: “Wow! How do we compare to that!!?!” Fortunately, she was one of the many beautiful women (and men) that I’ve met over the years who wasn’t really that “full of themselves.” Over the course of the weekend after many conversations, and a few cocktails from time to time, we got to talking. I admitted my awe about how well put together she was and my wish that I could be as well put together.
She laughed and said: “You should have seen me last week!” “What do you mean?,” I asked.
Every once in a while I hear someone make a comment about their customers like: “They just don’t get it.” Or, “what they don’t understand is…” The truth is, with any audience, when you hear yourself saying these words warning bells should start going off inside your head. Chances are, it’s not them, it’s you that doesn’t “get it.”
As I work with clients, or speak with prospective clients, it’s not uncommon for them to lament that their target audience just “doesn’t understand the value” of their products or services. That certainly can be a valid communication opportunity. But, in my mind, the opportunity doesn’t lie in trying to come up with new and ever-more-creative ways to spin your messages to that audience. Instead, the real opportunity lies in (more…)
Supporting the local community can be expensive. Even large organizations have to be careful about how and where they lend their time – and money. Is there value – beyond personal satisfaction – in supporting local events and activities? Which ones? How can you say “no” graciously to the many requests that come your way?
Research from the Council on Foundations, indicates that over a 10-year period, companies with good corporate citizenship images and programs enjoyed a 33 percent lead in growth of profits over competitors without such programs.
These efforts, though, need to be done strategically! The factors that go into determining whether you will support specific goodwill advertising requests are the same factors that go into virtually every business decision you make: your market, your business objectives and the resources you have available (your budget).
As you work to develop your own “goodwill policy,” follow these steps: (more…)
I saw an interesting comment on a blog site recently in response to an article about 6 effective marketing tips for small businesses. One poster noted that, among the small businesses she works with, her focus is on providing strong customer service and trusting that the rest will come. (Sort of a Field of Dreams approach I guess…)
There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with focusing on customer service–in fact I’m all in favor of it. But (more…)
A recent experience I had, contrasted with a similar experience my husband had a few years ago, made me consider how easy it can be to not only gather key marketing research intelligence from customers but also to improve the service experience, generate positive word-of-mouth and, ultimately, increase sales. (more…)
Every once in a while, we work with a client who believes that they do not have any competition–they are unique or their product is so exceptional that there is just nothing that competes. Those client conversations are always just a little bit awkward because, in reality, every organization of any size has competition of one form or another. Even an organization that is introducing a truly unique and innovative new product will deal with “indirect competition” (literally, “any other alternative” to what they have to offer). Acknowledging competition can be tough, but it’s a critical step in determining how to best “position” and sell what it is that you have to offer.
One way to think about this is to ask yourself the question: (more…)