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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

BUSINESS MARKETING: Innovate or die

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

BUSINESS MARKETING: The primary challenge

In my last column I said that there are two primary challenges facing owners of small business. I was wrong.

September 28, 2013 10:28 am

Building and marketing a business is simple -- and complex

Last week I was asked in an interview, “What are the challenges facing owners of small businesses?” It was a simple yet thought-provoking question.

September 15, 2013 12:00 am

BUSINESS MARKEING: Digging for data

There is quite a story hidden in your data, but it isn’t always on the surface, obvious. It is like an archeology dig: hidden.

September 07, 2013 8:25 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: If 'polite persistence' doesn't work

Everyone in sales knows a large percentage of prospects show enough interest to follow up with but then many won’t take phone calls (Caller ID), or won’t return calls or ask you to call them back in a week, a month, six months, or longer, and still they string you along.

August 31, 2013 4:25 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Why Mother Goose didn’t write 'Hamlet'

I’ll bet you’ve never lost sleep wondering why Mother Goose didn’t write Shakespeare’s plays or why Shakespeare didn’t write rhymes for children.

August 24, 2013 9:42 am

Is your business on track or a train wreck?

Your business, my business, every business from the smallest one-person startup to the largest international mega-corporation is made up of many unique components. For the business to be successful, each component must work in harmony with all the others so the company will run smoothly, gro…

August 18, 2013 12:00 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Customer relationship management before there was CRM

Customer relationship management) has been a marketing hot button for at least the past two decades. The bare bones of CRM is the desire to not leave the customer or company relationship to the whims of chance but to actively manage it by impressing the customer with services, information an…

August 10, 2013 11:12 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: De-commoditize now to make your business special

I don’t care what you sell or where you are geographically, at some level and probably at many levels, your clients and prospects view your business as a commodity.

August 03, 2013 12:08 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: At the farmers market

This being the season of natural bounty here in Northwest Indiana, I went to the farmers market to stock up on freshly picked, just-out-of-the-garden corn, lettuce, tomatoes, and squash.

July 27, 2013 3:00 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: One time does not equal a relationship

Yippee! You have a new client. Time to celebrate?

July 20, 2013 10:47 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Do you have a transformative vision?

As much as we would like to think it, a business’s lifespan is not a straight line on a graph.

July 13, 2013 10:31 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Every thing is your job – even if it isn’t

In a busy office of a multi-location company there was a minor issue with a piece of desktop equipment that needed to be moved to a different location within the same office.

July 06, 2013 9:38 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Excellence - It starts at the top

We all instantly recognize businesses that stand out above most of the other companies that essentially offer the same products and services.

June 22, 2013 4:29 pm

There are goals, and there are GOALS

To move forward in business or in every other part of life including dieting (please don’t ask me how I know this), it is important to have goals for many reasons.

June 16, 2013 12:00 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Brainstorming? Don’t do it alone

Creative types (you know who you are) have pretty big egos.

June 08, 2013 4:03 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Goals, plans, and (gasp!) reassessment

Creating goals and then a plan of action to accomplish those goals are important functions of business management but certainly not the only ones.

June 01, 2013 10:03 am

The three-legged stool of business

How is a business like a three-legged stool? Glad you asked!

May 25, 2013 10:23 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: It's innovation season

Many things in our lives make us constantly aware of the seasons – seasonal holidays, the beginning of the baseball season, hay fever season, and “Innovation Season.”

May 18, 2013 3:09 pm

ESTATE PLANNING: If you are the leader, then lead

No matter whether you are the CEO of a large corporation, a mid-level supervisor or someone in their first position managing a small team, you have to lead others. T

May 11, 2013 3:36 pm

BUSINESS MARKETING: Follow-up is the No. 1 networking skill

If you are in a business where personal relationships are important, there is nothing like networking to increase your pool of prospects.

May 05, 2013 12:00 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: What will your legacy be?

It has been my habit for years that when I come across some snippet of information that interests me, I copy it, snip it out, highlight the important part, and stick it in a folder where it resides – a reminder of something that I might want to remember in the future.

April 20, 2013 11:06 am

BUSINESS MARKETING: Diamond in the rough?

I often think a diamond is a good analogy for a business. Just as there are no perfect diamonds, there are no perfect businesses.

April 13, 2013 1:38 pm
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