Before Generating Sales Leads, Get Your Ducks In A Row

Most sales and marketing pros focus on generating sales leads. “Just get people to the Website!” or “Just make the phones ring and our sales people can take it from there,” are common demands of marketing teams. Then the advertising and PR hit the magazines, the PPC keyword ad program tops the search results, the companion direct mail - email drops. Did the campaign work? This company will never know for sure because the free download and contact form on their Web site weren’t working. Just how many hot prospects submitted the form and never heard back they'll never know. In the zeal to take an aggressive approach to boosting sales, it’s easy to overlook the importance of having the back end setup to handle the response. Here are five back end items to consider before launching your new lead generation program: […]

Niagara Falls Destination Marketing with a Smile

Visitors bureaus and destinations invest huge amounts of money to get visitors to spend their precious little vacation time at their attractions. Yet they often overlook or fail to understand it’s the little interactions with front line employees that make people smile, return, and tell their friends and family to visit, too. Here's what one employee did for our family at Niagara Falls, New York. […]

Customer Service Wins = Marketing Wins

The closer we got to the Sierra-at-Tahoe ski area, the more crowded it looked, and the more tension I could feel building from all sides. When finally directed to turn around and park on the access road without even getting close enough to see the mountain, the uncertainty grew. It could have been a customer service fail but this quick article reveals what the parking lot attendant did to save the day and turn a fail into customer service win that also won one for the marketing team. […]

How Customer Service Fails Infuriate Marketing Managers

Customer service fails infuriate marketing managers and waste precious marketing dollars. On this anniversary dinner in a restaurant overlooking Lake Tahoe, one, surly waitress turned an otherwise perfect evening into an experience worthy of a training course for the hospitality industry. […]

Sales Training Is Practice, Do It Before the Game

Ready to sign the advertising contract, I called the sales rep to verify the numbers and get a premium ad position but the rep was out of the office for sales training. How ironic! Unavailable to close the sale to attend training to learn how to sell? […]

Customer service: really worth going the extra mile?

It was the clear, cold, windy prelude to the next day's blizzard and our firewood pile wasn't going to last through the storm. I tried to call the guy around the corner with the gigantic firewood pile but could not remember the name of the company. Finally, he showed up, then this customer service lesson happened. […]

New York Times: Business plans relics of the past?

When I was contacted by a New York Times reporter writing an article about whether startups still need to write a business plan, I was happy to offer what I'd learned after writing two business plans for two, different companies that secured two microloans - and helped get them paid in full. Since the numerous conversations by phone and email were cut to two short paragraphs in the actual article, I thought I'd make use of the time spent thinking about why I'd still recommend entrepreneurs sit down and write a formal business plan and sum it all up right here. […]

We didn't have to pay, but I'm grateful we did

We'd agreed to sell our company with the expectation that the parent company would go public within the year. Then the dot com bubble burst. Here's what happened when the parent company refused to pay our staff. […]

Anger At Root of Staples Easy Button Campaign

I’m not sure it’s that everything has gradually become more difficult. I think it’s that everything we’ve been led to believe is easy to use and would make our lives smoother and easier has failed to do so. We’re all angry about it and the Staples Easy Button ad campaign taps our frustration. […]

Letter Urges Action in Government Affairs

Monumental efforts are required today to keep even more burdensome government involvement from decimating our companies. We need to be involved, especially at the local level, per this letter published in the March Textile Services. […]

How lunch nearly cost millions in sales

As the phone rang, two interior designers worked away at their sandwiches while my friend – the third interior designer – stopped lunching and picked up the phone. By the next day, she’d secured a six figure order from a pitcher on the Red Sox. When the phone rings, answer it. […]

Wanted: Workers Willing to Work

A Cintas laundry route driver said it best this morning as he loaded heavy mats onto his van, “You have to have the will to work.” Small business is still creating jobs, despite federal interference. What’s missing seems to be skilled people willing to get to work. […]

In Praise Of Good Ad Sales People

There's no torture quite like a phone call or meeting with an awful ad sales person to make an advertising professional appreciate the good ones. I try to give a pass to the rookies who are working hard but haven't been given the training or marketing education they need to sound credible and make an effective case for advertising or for their own publications. But it’s still torturous being on the other end of their learning curve. The good ones understand advertisers are actual people, and paying Clients I might add. Enjoy this actual conversation: […]
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