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Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

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Social Media provides an excellent opportunity to say what you say instead of do what you do.

by Rick Baker
On Jun 22, 2018

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Are you hunkering down over anti-social media?

Some thoughts about Fake Work.

...yes...pots do call kettles black.

Tags:

Humour | Marketing | Thought Tweets

People want to hear positive messages…give them what they want...deliver some positive messages.

by Rick Baker
On May 26, 2017

The Thinking Behind the Tweet

We tested positive and negative marketing messages. We tried both "in these tough economic times" and "to build for the future". We found our positive messages were twice as successful as our negative messages. So we work to keep our communications on the positive side of centre.

Stopping to think about CRM tools

by Rick Baker
On Dec 5, 2016

Most small businesses want to gain advantage over their competitors.

Most small businesses want more sales.

Most small businesses want to keep track of their operating activity.

And - the operations of most small businesses become far more complicated than outsiders [and most insiders] would have guessed or expected…and much of that complication is unnecessary. Considering this from another perspective, most small businesses do not perform basic planning activities such as SWOT analyses and 80/20 Rule analyses.

Consequently, most small businesses struggle with business development actions and business development results.

CRM to the rescue...

Well, maybe not!

Here's why [not].

There's lots of small-business talk about finding simple and user-friendly CRM tools and using those CRM tools to improve management of actions, improve monitoring of results, and grow a base of satisfied customers. Yet, relatively few of these small businesses are ready to use a CRM system. In addition to the lack of planning introduced above, there are two main reasons why they are not ready for CRM tools:

  1. they cannot [clearly and concisely] describe their existing operating actions
  2. they lack knowledge about CRM tools, in some cases they cannot even define what the abbreviation 'CRM' means

So - let's start by defining CRM.

Here's the definition-picture provided by Wikipedia -

Now, that picture introduces CRM...as long as you agree "CRM" is an abbreviation of "Customer Relationship Management". And, for now, let's work from that base, CRM = Customer Relationship Management. If we accept "CRM" means "Customer Relationship Management" then we should also be able to agree CRM tools/systems do not include business tools/systems for on-line sales/ordering or inventory-control. While CRM does not include these tools/systems, CRM may or may not link with these and other tools/systems.

More about CRM in future Thought Posts...

 

 

Tags:

Business Plan: Writing Plans | Marketing | Sales | Thinking as in Think and Grow Rich

Referrals bring huge value to small businesses

by Rick Baker
On Oct 24, 2016

15 or so years ago, Jay Abraham recommended telling your clients you will have more time to do a better job serving them if they provide referrals to you. The idea made some sense to me when I first heard it. On the other hand, I could not see how that sort of communication could be packaged so it would be well received by clients. 

Recently, I developed a different perspective. Most, if not all of us, would agree that people in general complain more about being busy now than they did 15 years ago. And as a result of that mindset of busyness, business leaders must be attentive to the limitations (realities) ‘lived’ by many people in the workforce. Many people feel so busy they must cut corners throughout all aspects of their lives, including cutting corners at work. To the extent business leaders could make these people’s lives easier at work, it would be in everyone's best interest to do so.  It would be in the employer’s best interest, it would be in the employee's best interest, and at the end of the day it would be in the best interest of clients and suppliers. 

In small businesses, the owners and leaders in the organization often wear multiple hats - including a sales/business development hat. To the extent these small-business leaders receive referrals they are in a position to spend more time serving their clients and suppliers. And that service would [or at least could] be at an ‘improved level’. An ‘improved level of work’ could mean more creative work, which could replace mundane work [such as plodding through CRM programs to determine the next required phone call and/or the next required email for development of new business]. 

So, with that thinking in mind, I strongly believe referrals bring huge value to small businesses. 

So, small-business leaders should spend the time figuring out how to package messages that help generate referrals.

[Of course, products and services must contain value and that value must be delivered with spirit - those are prerequisites.]

Tags:

I'm too busy! - I don't have time! | Marketing | Sales

Who sells Heinz ketchup?

by Rick Baker
On Jul 7, 2016

Today, I am thinking about the numerous pieces of advice we receive from 'the experts' on how people should do business and how to improve company practices. For example, years ago corporate branding was a popular topic. Now, both corporate branding and personal branding are popular topics.

It strikes me that some of 'the experts' are confusing or distracting more of us than they are helping us.

I had to slow down and think about the starting point...I mean, how to explain that last thought.

After considering options for starting points, I've concluded - "When we build companies, they reflect our thinking." I am hoping the majority of people can accept and agree with that statement. Whether or not we embrace concepts around 'personal branding', we buy our favourite products. We buy 'branded products',  products produced by the companies. When we buy products we prefer our actions confirm we prefer the companies that make those products. For example, many of us buy Heinz ketchup.

Even after the company closed its Leamington, Ontario production plant, many of us continue to buy this branded product - Heinz ketchup.

Does the company that makes Heinz ketchup, now called The Kraft Heinz Company, reflect the thinking of the people who built it and created the famous product?

Do the people who work at The Kraft Heinz Company reflect the the legacy of the thinking embedded in the company/organization and/or its famous product?

There's a company with a legacy, a product with a legacy, people now long gone, and people now working.

There's all these recommendations about branding.

And, there's this question...

Who sells Heinz ketchup?

 

 

Tags:

Marketing | Questions?: The Art of Asking Good Questions

Getting over the perplexities of business development

by Rick Baker
On Apr 1, 2016

Today, I am thinking about business development… How to find clients who would obtain value from our service… What, specifically, do they think they need and why do they need it?...And how should I go about connecting with them in a meaningful way so they understand what we can do to help them?

There's lots of advice - out there - to guide me: 

  •  People are too busy to meet 
  •  People do not return phone calls 
  •  People do not read email 
  •  This magazine advertising space is on sale
  •  Better build an amazing website 
  •  Better put lots of SEO stuff in that website 
  •  Make some cool videos, cool stuff works
  •  Add lots of content, keep it fresh and fun 
  •  Social media - that's essential

…and every day I get a couple of emails from folks who tell me they have a surefire way to provide some choice new clients. 

So, with all of this to help me, I'm pretty much set to go sign up some new clients. 

Wait a second. We do excellent work. Our clients are pleased with our work. Why not rely on word-of-mouth? 

OK - we're good - time to get back to work. 

Tags:

Marketing | Sales

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