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Let’s make a little wager… I’ll bet you just about anything that I know your competition better than you. “How much?” you ask. Well, how much do you have? Let me immediately apologize for the arrogant nature of the question. However, I still feel confident that I’ll win the bet. Not because I’m smarter, have researched more, or have some innate psychic abilities. It’s because you think of the wrong business — or an incorrect individual — as your competition. Most of us believe our competition is the company that is selling a product or service that is the most similar to our own. (Or, a professional who works for that company calling on customers and prospects in a similar territory to our own.) However, from the customer’s standpoint, your competition is vastly different from that. If I have a great night’s stay at a Ritz-Carlton, I do not say…”Wow! What a terri... (more)

Media 2.0 on Ulitzer - New Media and Content Marketing Strategies

Here is an interesting news item which claims that UK online ad spend overtakes mainstream TV. The same news was corroborated by another post which stated that spending on online advertising surpasses TV. The news was little disconcerting because it did not seem to match with my ground level experience. So, I decided to probe a little deeper and unearthed more data on Internet ad spend. What I uncovered was more in line with what I perceive to be the real situation. These reports claimed that the Internet ad spend is less than 10% of total ad spend which is only a fraction of ad spend on TV. Ad Spend to Grow 6.7% in '08, Internet to Overtake Radio in '08 & Mags in '10 Share of Ad Spending by Medium - April 2008 How can both be true? Careful reading of all the reports resolved the mystery. The first set of reports … “… counts the money companies spend on their own we... (more)

The True Cost of Not Making a Buying Decision

Dear Lee, Today, after a six month sales cycle that included extensive relationship building, expensive marketing strategies and a detailed return on investment analysis that revealed a monthly savings of $13,347 per month (net after the expense of my new proposal), the client shared that she was inclined to delay the decision by twelve months! Her reasoning? She feels that she can get a better deal when her contract comes to end of term. I am so frustrated and angry! I’ve neglected other clients because of the amount of effort, time and energy I have put into winning this deal. Without this deal I will not make plan. I am at my wits end and fear that I could lose my job. Do you have any thoughts that may help? P.S. I was very impressed with your background from the press release issued last month. I have not shared today’s announcement from my client with my boss... (more)

Can You See the Business Opportunities?

As economic conditions improve, it will be those managers and organizations that can see opportunities which will flourish. And what we see is a function of how we think. We normally imagine that things work the other way round: that we see, and on the basis of the evidence in front of us, we alter our thinking. But without a certain level of understanding we cannot interpret the evidence we are looking at. It is tempting to think that Galileo looked through his telescope and evidence for the Earth orbiting the Sun. In fact, if he had not had the benefit of Copernicus’ theories which argued that that this was so, Galileo might have looked through his telescope and not understood what he was seeing. In other words, Copernicus thought it, then Galileo proved it – not the other way around. What do most senior managers think? They think that they have been in management... (more)

Webinar: Drive Sales and Customer Service Performance with Gamification

Click Here to Register for Webinar Now! When: Tuesday, December 17, 2013, 10:00 a.m. Pacific Last year, companies invested more than $5 billion into CRM-based applications to optimize their sales and service processes. But as more than 50% of employees fail to adopt these applications, Gartner predicts that only 1% of organizations provide a consistent customer service experience across channels and a projected 10% loss in revenue from bad sales performance management Join Badgeville and our industry experts on Tuesday, December 17, at 10:00 a.m. PT as they share how gamification can enable sales and service leaders to provide a more personalized, rewarding user experience on top of their enterprise applications, leading to greater user adoption and performance. In this upcoming webinar, you will learn: Different gamification design concepts that influence the user b... (more)

The Six Must-Have Essentials for Building High Performance Teams

Successful teams are what makes organizations succeed. It could be a project team, a sales team, a marketing team, or a myriad of other types of teams. The point is, if your organization has teams that are successful, result oriented, and cohesive, you are on the way to success. A challenge, in the first place however,is to build that high performance dependable team. Here are six essentials of ensuring that your teams are the best that can be ! Break the Ice - Socialize ! Get your team mates acquainted with each other. Do an introductory session, a bowling night, a lunch or anything in your means to bring everyone together. Team building is a delicate process which needs to be undertaken to get a great team spirit going. After the Storming phase, the team will start to Form and then Normalize into having a team mindset. Assign Roles - Give Responsibility ! In the a... (more)

Has Selling Changed Forever with the Technology Revolution?

Has technology forever changed selling? There's no question about it - Over the last two decades selling has changed, massively. Is it for the better or are we worse off from where we started? To help answer this question we've brought in:   Sam Jefferies: Digital Marketing Executive at Workbooks CRM. Providing CRM Software aimed at small to medium sized businesses. To find out more sign up for their 30 Day Free Trial. Ian Moyse: Sales Leader for Rackspace and Board Member of Eurocloud.   Q. So what exactly has changed? Ian begins: "Sales has moved on a great deal from my early days of a fax machine, no mobile phone and a PC tied to your desktop. In those times you did not have an inbox full of emails, were not expected to be always accessible and would work from paper maps when on the road, using the now rare red telephone box as your friendly reach back to base.... (more)

Leadership Lessons From the Heart

CEOs lead by using their brains: they think about how to generate revenues, they ponder company vision and they constantly think about how to advance and grow their organization. Competitive analysis, differentiation, profitability, sustainable growth and innovation. Whew! Heady heads! And that's good stuff going on in the brains of business leaders. But in a down economy, you can tell real leadership by what is going on in executives' hearts. Shifting focus from profits to philanthropy is easy in good times, but in this bleak economic landscape, it takes a CEO with the right stuff to have head and heart operating at full steam. Case in point, I read a recent blog post in Fast Company about Seth Merrin, CEO of Liquidnet receiving an award from the Committee to Advance Corporate Philanthropy (co-founded by the Paul Newman Foundation). Now, Mr. Merrin is a millionaire man... (more)

CEO or Czar: Which Leader Are You?

CEOs in Technology on Ulitzer The "C" word is getting a lot of press these days (you WERE thinking CEO, weren't you?). It seems that every time someone gets appointed to a government post, they get the title "czar." There are so many of these little crazy Ivans running around in Washington that Senator McCain said Obama has, "more Czars than the Romanovs." We have a drug czar, an energy czar, a border czar, a climate czar, a czar for this and a czar for that. In a Wall Street Journal article, Laura Meckler once wrote about the rising ascension of czars in the White House. And it's not just in the US. The United Kingdom has it share of little Ivans, with drug czars, and according to Business Week, the UK has appointed its first "Twitter Czar!" God help us all! (It's OK to say that...I'm under 140 characters). The question is, what is a czar, and as a leader, do you want... (more)

Pick the CEO, Not the Company

Most organizational experts will tell you that when joining an organization, the company's culture is the key to determining whether you will thrive or suffer in a given work environment.  While this is true for a mid-level manager or individual contributor, the closer you get to the top, the less a culture matters and the more the CEO's leadership and management style impact your work satisfaction. I learned this when early in my career I was a director at a privately held company that was acquired by a much large public company.  In a matter of a few weeks our approachable, personable CEO was replaced by a top down, autocratic manager who announced at our first management meeting, "there's a new sheriff in town, and if you don't like my way of doing things, feel free to leave before I make the decision for you." Later on, with a few battle scars and bumps along the ... (more)

Put Your Competition in the RearView Mirror

One of my first CEO clients - a leader in the early days of the Search industry - gave me a great piece of advice about the competition.  I still follow it. "If you pay too much attention to the competition - you'll always end up following them." At the time I actually think I thought he was nuts. After all, as a young idealistic marketing consultant, competitive analysis was one of those B school standards near and dear to my heart. Now, some twenty something years later, I see how brilliant he was. Companies have to think for themselves, not like their competitors. I'm not saying that you have to ignore your competition. That'd be kinda silly, now wouldn't it. What I am saying is that companies have to stop focusing on what their competition is doing as the baseline for defining their future direction. Following the competition's lead won't help you be a leader. ... (more)