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BUSINESS MARKETING: A huge step for mankind started from a leap off a dune

A little earlier this week The Society of Innovators, the organization that works to foster an environment supportive of innovation, inducted their newest members, fellows, and teams. One of the key moments of the evening is the awarding the Chanute Prize, which was presented to two outstand…

October 18, 2014 9:55 am

CONSUMER AFFAIRS: I love your smile!

Last week I attended a conference in a very nice hotel out of town.

October 11, 2014 4:49 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Follow-up and be remembered

Businesspeople meet other businesspeople all the time. At trade shows, networking events, seminars and on sales calls we are constantly shaking hands and exchanging business cards.

September 27, 2014 1:39 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Leadership is much more than 'follow me!'

Looking through the business book listings under the topic of leadership, I found hundreds, if not thousands of references. Leadership is a popular topic. Why? Because very few people (think John Wayne in some iconic movies – and they are fiction) in a leadership role feel adequate or even c…

September 20, 2014 3:42 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: A 'relationship' and 'Friendship' are very different

Recently I heard a businessperson’s sad lament over a lost client, “Oh, I thought we had built such a strong relationship with them that they were our customer for life. We played golf together, we went to dinner together, we sold lots of stuff to them for years. I thought we were friends an…

September 09, 2014 2:19 pm

Something good to tell? Shout it, don’t whisper

Most companies work hard to keep their service, quality and value promises to customers, not as something extraordinary, but as part of their normal existence. “It’s what we do here every day at XYZ Enterprises.” So they rarely make a big deal of it.

September 06, 2014 4:26 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Don’t be mediocre - 'good' isn’t good enough

In today’s competitive marketplace, because of massive technological change  we are seeing huge disruptions in our marketplaces.

August 31, 2014 6:19 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Sometimes you must 'reinvent the wheel'

How many times have you been considering something – maybe introducing a new product or service, a different internal process, perhaps a change in your marketing geography – and said something like, “we don’t want to reinvent the wheel”?

August 23, 2014 4:45 pm

Start your planning session with the 'hard points'

For many people, the process of planning is difficult and the hardest part is getting started. Often the difficulty is staring at the proverbial blank sheet of paper, white board or monitor that is intimidating, causing a case of severe procrastination. But once the plan is started, words, d…

August 10, 2014 12:00 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: My baseball card collection and your CFS

It’s been a long time since I collected baseball cards, but I remember vividly the little table on the back of each card that illustrated various statistics on each player. In business we call those stats critical factors for success, often referred to as CFS.

August 02, 2014 7:35 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Problems, symptoms, causes and then solutions

I got a number of emails after last week’s column about asking “management auestions” to solve problems forever, so I thought I would expand on this theme this week.

July 26, 2014 2:32 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Ask management questions and solve problems forever

Problems. Every business has some problems of one kind or another. Sales problems, quality problems, employee problems, production problems, inventory problems, financial problems. The list goes on and on.

July 19, 2014 10:32 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Say it like a frefly

I was sitting outdoors a little after dusk on a warm summer night mesmerized by the magical glow of fireflies flickering, illuminating, building awareness and bringing momentary joy.

July 12, 2014 10:27 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Does your guarantee help close more sales?

Every purchase, no matter how small, has an element of risk in it for the buyer. To some degree, this element of risk reduces the chances  someone will actually make a purchase. If the prospect feels they are assuming too much risk, they will not buy.

June 28, 2014 4:12 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Solid goals produce solid results

Every businessperson has goals, most have lots of them. But when asked what those goals might be, most communicate their goals in “fuzzy” terms like, “more sales and profit,” “give better service,” “fewer inventory outages” or “more efficient production.”

June 14, 2014 3:02 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Self-fulfilling prophecies and self-limiting beliefs

While preparing for a presentation I will be giving next month, I had to review some material that was filed in my filing cabinet.

June 07, 2014 11:16 am

BUSINESS MARKEING: Escape the gumption trap today

Every so often I, like most people, fall into a gumption trap.

May 31, 2014 10:23 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Stop sitting with your friends

One business activity I have been involved in for many years is attending networking events – chamber meetings, “business after hours,” conventions and industry seminars, etc.

May 24, 2014 10:05 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Yes, there’s a 'time for every purpose'

This is not a column about bird watching, but for the past month or so we’ve been enjoying watching migratory birds on their seasonal travels.

May 17, 2014 10:46 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Exceptions create exceptional businesses

Many if not most business activities are repetitive. No matter the industry or what you do within your industry, your company produces something, gets stuff from vendors, has a bookkeeping function and deals with customers and prospects.

May 10, 2014 3:29 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: So what am I … a mindreader?

Sooner or later, everyone in a leadership position hears someone say, “I didn’t know what you expected” or “I didn’t know how you wanted me to do it” or “I didn’t know when you wanted it done” or “I thought I did it right” or any one of many variations on that “I didn’t know” theme.

May 03, 2014 10:02 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Your brand – strong or a mishmash?

The primary use of a brand is to focus attention on a company’s core differentiation and make it memorable. To do that, the brand must be easy to comprehend and illustrate benefits.

April 22, 2014 10:12 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Follow-up is just (un)common sense

Why is common sense so darn uncommon? Well, if I could answer that question I’d probably win the Nobel Prize.

April 19, 2014 1:42 pm


Last week I had the pleasure of sitting in the audience at the Society of Innovators Leader Luncheon where a number of innovative community leaders from government, industry, education, business, nonprofits, and science spoke.

April 12, 2014 11:01 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Right place, right time, right offer

The other day I heard a faint warbling sound in the sky. Looking up, I was able to spy a flight of sandhill cranes making their way north on their annual springtime migration. Just as swallows fly back to Capistrano, cranes, robins, geese, ducks -- and your customers -- all follow seasonal patterns.

March 25, 2014 5:35 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Golden handcuffs

It’s happened yet again. I was told that old, sad story of the loyal customer who suddenly became disloyal.

March 22, 2014 11:00 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: When it hits the fan

Every so often everything is going smoothly, the marketing is working, the cash register is ringing, and customers and staff have smiles on their faces. Then suddenly something awful happens, and it all goes wrong.

March 15, 2014 10:57 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Active listening sells more than talk talk talk

The highest percentage of sales presentations revolve around the salesperson talking, talking and talking some more.

March 08, 2014 9:23 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Throw a 'boomerang,' catch more sales

A boomerang, in the hands of a skilled thrower, will loop back to the person who threw it.

February 25, 2014 11:49 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Can we please do something about the weather?

While watching the weather reporter discussing the horrible winter we’ve been having this year from coast to coast, I reflected on that phrase “everyone talks about the weather but we can’t do anything about it.”

February 22, 2014 9:45 am

You can stand on the Olympic podium!

Along with many millions of others, I’ve been glued to the television watching the amazing spectacle that is the Olympics.

February 15, 2014 11:22 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: How do you come back from defeat?

As the last minutes of the Super Bowl ticked off the clock, I started thinking about the how the athletes who suffered such a massive, public defeat would react.

February 08, 2014 12:56 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Were you prepared for this?

Here in Northwest Indiana and in many other places around the country, we’ve been dealing with very difficult arctic weather conditions that have caused major disruptions in our personal and business lives.

February 01, 2014 7:32 am

CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Don’t let them forget you

If you were to look at your sales records going back two or three years, I’m sure you would find a sizable number of clients that bought your products or services but have not bought from you in some time.Ask yourself: Is it possible they no longer need my products or services? Did we do som…

January 25, 2014 7:24 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Sharpen the 'hook!'

The first rule of successful communications is that you must immediately win your audience’s attention, capture their imagination, engage them and answer their “what’s in it for me?” question.

January 18, 2014 12:07 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: 'God is in the details'

Iconic world-class modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe gained notoriety with that quotation decades ago.

January 11, 2014 4:55 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Hit the ground running tomorrow

Even though tomorrow is a few work days into the new year, for many, it will be the first day back to work after an extended holiday period.

January 04, 2014 5:02 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Get out the crystal ball

For the next few days we are all going to inundated by gurus and fortune-tellers telling us what 2014 will be like for business and in the governmental and political arenas, since they are all so intertwined.

December 28, 2013 9:44 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Invention and re-invention

At some point in the past your business was invented or, at the very least, it was modified from someone’s previous invention.

December 21, 2013 3:07 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Let's play a game

In every business there are a number of long, mindless, slogging, dull, repetitive tasks.

December 14, 2013 10:21 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Ready to win the Oscar?

At some level we are all actors playing a part as if we were in a movie, TV show, or stage play because in our normal business day, we present many different versions of ourselves.

December 07, 2013 12:09 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Say it again and again then reinforce it

Repetition. It’s not a secret strategy but over time, repetition can be one of the most effective marketing and advertising tools a business can use to become known in the marketplace.

November 30, 2013 3:46 pm

CONSUMER AFFAIRS: Holiday season - stress, joy and perspective

Seemingly, all of a sudden, it’s holiday season, from the run-up to Thanksgiving all the way to the first day back to school and work after New Year’s Day.

November 23, 2013 2:19 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: The Customer Elimination Department hard at work

I think I’m a pretty mild-mannered guy, but about once a year I feel the need to vent after coming across the “Customer Elimination Department” at a few businesses.

November 16, 2013 9:29 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: It happened again!

So there I was sipping coffee with a business friend, a man I have had many cups of coffee with over the past couple of decades and he said it again: “We’re going to take the business to the next level.”

November 09, 2013 9:45 am

What are you really selling?

The late Charles Revson, founder of Revlon Cosmetics, was quoted as saying, "In the factory we make cosmetics; in the drugstore we sell hope."

November 02, 2013 4:45 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: KPIs are alphabet soup for company success

In some ways, our world with its acronyms substituting for words everywhere often seems like a big bowl of alphabet soup. There is one acronym, KPI, which is essential. KPI stands for "key performance indicators.” Every business has a whole basketload of KPIs and can use them to measure many…

October 27, 2013 12:00 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Is there a strategic alliance in your future?

When two or more businesses that offer complimentary services combine to service clients that neither could serve on their own, that’s a strategic alliance.

October 19, 2013 9:52 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Are you a thought leader?

There are a few people in every industry that, by dint of their efforts, their creativity, their ability to communicate and their often provocative points of view are considered to be “thought leaders.”

October 12, 2013 9:39 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Customer loyalty is earned

Last week I traveled cross-country to a seminar and am happy to report I had a great experience throughout my trip in an age when we hear so many complaints based on stupid systems or uncaring attitudes.

October 05, 2013 1:20 pm
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