Rick Baker Thought Posts
Left Menu Space Holder

About the author

Name of author Rick Baker, P.Eng.

E-mail me Send mail
Follow me LinkedIn Twitter



<<  February 2024  >>

View posts in large calendar

Recent Comments

Comment RSS

Thought Tweet #526

by Rick Baker
On Jul 23, 2012

Thought Tweet #526 Invest the time it takes to understand people. Understanding provides for trust, motivation, & leadership.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

In part, inspired by a re-reading of Michael Gerber's 'The E-Myth Revisited'. Pick a demographic - learn its psychographics - and don't forget, we're dealing with people...not statistics.


Marketing | Sales | Thought Tweets

The Attention Dilemma

by Rick Baker
On Jul 19, 2012

Have you had trouble getting people's attention?

Is it becoming more difficult to get people's attention?

If you have had trouble getting people's attention and that problem seems to be worsening...you're not alone.

And, there's good reason for it.

Here's the picture...

Some experts say each of us is 'hit' by 5,000 advertising impressions a day...others say the number could be as high as 50,000 per day. 

Regardless, 5,000 or 50,000, that's a lot of advertising hits per day. The ads hit our eyes and ears...as we drive down the street, look at magazines, get our hair cut, stop behind a bus, read our mail, look at our BlackBerry or iPhone, watch a movie at the theatre, visit a restaurant, buy gas for our car, rent a movie, watch TV, surf the Internet...logos, marketing messages, branding, branding, branding. 

100,000,000 hours per weekend...that's how much time people in North America spend every weekend watching TV commercials.

We are mostly immune to the ads. 

Let me rephrase that - our conscious minds are mostly immune to the ads. However, all those thousands and thousands of ads and branding pictures get through our eyes and ears and into our unconscious brains. And, that's where the problem starts. I mean - if you want to get people's attention - that's where the problem starts. All of the incoming stimuli - 5,000 or 50,000 advertising hits per day on top of numerable other stimuli Mother Nature, Man, and everyday life expose our brains to - gnaws away at our brains.

That's why it is so darned hard to get people's attention.


Brain: about the Human Brain | Communication: Improving Communication | Marketing | Sales

A New Wave of Sales Philosophy...or is it?

by Rick Baker
On Jul 17, 2012

During a conversation last week, I mentioned I had been studying sales performance at a number of companies.

During the last 15 years, many B2B enterprises have experienced difficulties with sales. For some, the tech meltdown about 12 years ago caused major changes which neutered their sales performance. For most, the worldwide economic meltdown which began about 4 years ago and still lingers on as [at least] the tail of a recession shook sales performance to its core.

It is time for better sales performance, better results in the near-term and growing results as the future unfolds.

All of us who run B2B enterprises should be working on this.

As part of my effort, for small to mid-sized B2B enterprises, I have been considering 4 main questions:

  1. Does a Sales System - that is - does a process containing specific steps and routes - when followed, lead to sales success? 
  2. If the answer to #1 is 'Yes' then can a wide range of people be trained to follow those steps, or, are only certain types of people able to learn how to succeed?
  3. If the answer to #1 is 'Yes' then is that the only way to succeed?
  4. Have the steps/routes changed in response to technological developments commonly known as social media?
My conclusions:
  1. Yes - more than ever it is essential to have a sales system. Also, more than ever it is important for your sales system to reflect and be a sub-set of your overall business premises, philosophies, vision, values, mission, rules, goals, & measurements. This must be your CEO commitment and part of your company mandate.
  2. Yes...to a degree...most sales people can improve their performance if they adhere to their company's sales system. However, that Yes only applies if the company's sales system is 'integrated' as introduced in Conclusion #1. Also, it only applies if the sales system receives an ongoing stream or premises/insights to fuel the salespeople's efforts. And, of course, some salespeople will be far better performers than others. Providing food for sales-process thought must be a company mandate.
  3. Yes - sometimes the sales system is not formalized, housed in a single brain or a few brains...we see that in successful entrepreneurial start-ups. We see that when entrepreneurs lead with revenue. However, soon, as staff are added, the sales system must be formalized and it must be taught. Teaching sales process must be a company mandate.
  4. Yes - the most important change is the increased difficulty in capturing and keeping clients' attention...at the outset of the sales process and throughout the sales process.


Leaders' Thoughts | Marketing | Sales

Symptoms of recession-ridden businesses

by Rick Baker
On Jul 10, 2012

After talking with several hundred business owners and leaders during the past 4 years, I have noticed some trends.

Many businesses are struggling with social media...

  • people seem to believe there are magic formulae and secret prescriptions for social media & marketing success
  • people don't realize nobody has a clear image of the future [...we are making it as we go along]
  • some people think they have exact/precise prescriptions for social-media success [yet, they cannot deliver on their claims]
  • as communication tools become more advanced and widespread, the less actual contact we have with other people
Many businesses are struggling with sales...
  • many lack good hiring process...accepting too many unknowns at the time of hiring
  • many lack good sales process & training, putting too much reliance on old methods and past success
  • many lack insights of true value to good salespeople and clients
  • few pay attention to clients' clients
Many businesses are struggling with communication...
  • many people have difficulty handling the volume of communication they face [e-mail is often cited as the key problem]
  • many people fail to reply to communications...unless they see immediate value they do not reply to e-mail to phone messages
  • most people fail to grasp the proven value of weak links
  • for many businesses communication shortfalls create extra work, kill morale, and stifle innovation

Thought Tweet #515

by Rick Baker
On Jul 6, 2012

Thought Tweet #515 A piece of social-media advice: consider first the relationships your activities are building.


The Thinking Behind The Tweet

'Just Do It' worked real well for Nike. But...


Marketing | Sales | Thought Tweets

Removing the blur of Social Media

by Rick Baker
On Jul 5, 2012

Social Media is forcing business - worldwide business - to get back to the basics.

In business, the Marketing & Sales functions are about testing for value and, where it exists, exchanging value through transactions.

Social Media has blurred the lines around both testing for value and exchanging value through transactions.

That's the nature of new media. When innovations lead to new media, the new media complicates Marketing & Sales. For some business the complication is a boon. For others it is a bane. For example, when the printing press spread across Europe the common man had the opportunity to write as never before...that led to Shakespeare. Then, widespread plagiarism quickly led to patent laws [by Queen Elizabeth I].

Now, 400 years later, social media is creating an even larger communication/media change.

For some people it's a boon: marketing consultants and website designers are a couple of examples.

For some people it's a bane. Perhaps, B2B salespeople have suffered the most? 

B2B salespeople have been (1) distracted then (2) taught how to dilute the relationships that link them to their clients and potential clients. 

Diluting the relationship between B2B salespeople and their clients: that's the blur of social media.

We can and we must remove that blur by getting back to the basics...the basics of salesperson-client relationships.

Those Sales [and Marketing] basics are:

  1. testing for value and 
  2. exchanging value through transactions


Marketing | Sales

Copyright © 2012. W.F.C (Rick) Baker. All Rights Reserved.