Showcasing past enrolled and current adult student pet product designs. See our doggie models strut the runway in true fashionista style. BARK-à-Porter is also a charitable endeavor, held in partnership with the New York City Mayor’s Alliance and Animal Care and Control of NYC. We promise an experience worthy of market week in Paris.
Get your tickets before they sell out!
Date: May 3, Friday
Posts tagged: sales
Congratulations to our Retail Professional Development
Certificate student’s Grand Opening!
Retail Management Experience
I wanted to provide women my size with the opportunity to shop in a boutique especially for them as most boutiques really only cater to about size 10/12.
We’re usually so busy trying to get started in marketing that we tend to forget that once we start, we need to continue. What happens if we don’t?
Today’s guest blogger, Aruna Inalsingh (http://www.animarketingservice.com/) provides some insight into marketing, measurements and meltdowns of the corporate variety. Aruna is President and Found of Ani Marketing Services Ani Marketing Service, and has years of experience providing strategic marketing solutions for a wide range of companies, products, and services, starting their new programs and improving their existing ones.
“As a career marketer, one of the most common client requests is for a direct correlation between marketing investments and business revenues. The reality is that it is indeed hard to quantify direct success from marketing programs. Although with digital media, it’s getting easier, as you can track the number of followers, visitors, clicks, and online sales– especially if you don’t have any brick and mortar stores. Furthermore, it is true that marketing takes time, resources, and/or money – ask Walmart’s CFO, Charles Holley!
That being said, here’s a story we like to tell about the value of marketing, which is exemplary of scientific proofs where you cannot prove if something is true, but you can prove if something is not true:
Seiko Watches was founded in 1881. They were a strong believer in marketing, and with an ongoing commitment to invest in company promotion, within a short amount of time they developed a solid reputation for affordable and reliable watches. Seiko had a monopoly on this market until 1930, when Citizen Watches was established. Citizen wanted to be the Pepsi to the Coca-Cola, if you will. Citizen proceeded to invest as much money in marketing, if not more than Seiko, to achieve a similar brand recognition (and revenue stream). It never happened … until 2008. The global financial crisis in 2008 hit everyone hard. Seiko and Citizen had to make strategic decisions. Seiko decided its brand was strong enough to temporarily sustain itself with a skeletal marketing staff, and Citizens decided to maintain as much of its marketing program as possible, in context of its diminishing budget. In 2010, when Seiko was ready to re-invest in its marketing program, initial research showed that the consumer market thought Seiko had gone out of business and therefore had turned to Citizen as the market leader. It took 2 years of marketing withdrawal to ruin the 127 year old Seiko watch dynasty. Today Citizen has a similar brand and market value to Seiko.”
There’s a new book, that just came out, called “Significant Business Results… Ten sales secrets that your competitors know and use!” The author is Franne McNeal, a serial entrepreneur, business coach, the youngest person ever to be awarded a training contract with the City of Pittsburgh among other things such as restructuring, training and development at such places as PNC Financial Services, and SmithKline Beecham. She’s a certified Kauffman Foundation FastTrac facilitator, and Adjunct Faculty for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. She started her first business while still a student at Princeton University. I occasionally facilitate with Franne and she is an amazing force.
So why should you care about Franne’s credentials and book? Well, creating your product is only part of the story of a successful entrepreneur. You then have to get it out the door (or to shameless plug the first chapter in my book, “Lies Startups Tell Themselves to Avoid Marketing” – “ If I build it, they will come”.. I guarantee NOT if you don’t market, which goes hand-in-hand with sales). Franne tells you how to accomplish this in 10 steps – with exercises and examples sprinkled throughout the book at just the moments you need them to help you get to the next step. Her 10 chapters give you an idea of what you will learn when you read the book (and grow your business if you practice them):
1- Define Your Target Market
2- Create a Powerful Offer
3- Use Testimonials for Social Proof
4- Generate Unlimited Leads
5- Create Immediate Sales
6- Use Scripts to Increase Sales
7- Create Repeat Business
8- Double your Referrals
9- Reverse Risk to Increase Sales
10- Create Added Value
It’s a great book for your armamentarium – even if you know most of the topics covered, it’s always good to have a refresher.
Everyone is stressed this holiday season. The opportunity is ripe for both shoppers and store personnel to be rude and abusive (particularly when stores hire part time or seasonal help who haven’t been properly trained). But there’s a very simple way to break out of this cycle and turn a potentially bad experience into a memorable one – which is something we all want. Michael Hess has a great post on CBS News Moneywatch about how you say something during the holiday season being crucial to creating a good customer experience. Here’s one example he gives:
Say this: “Let me help you with that” or “How can I help you?”
Not this: “You need help?”
This is great advice not only for the holidays but every day. And this practice can be used in writing business documents, such as business plans as well. For instance,
Don’t say this: “Our sales goal was to increase business 40% this year but we only made it to 15%”.
Say this: “We increased business 15% this year and are working towards a 40% sales goal.”
The second phrasing puts a positive spin on the situation. Just as importantly, it tells the reader that you are in control of your business or situation. The reader, particularly an investor, is going to look more favorably upon this positively stated situation.
In the long run, this kind of speaking can change the way you think towards a more positive outlook in general.
For other examples, check out the link to the blog.
In business the most valuable tool you possess is the ability to gather information. You’re constantly on the lookout for insights on industry trends, competitor actions, economic forces, key supplier grumblings, and most importantly what job(s) your idea customer needs done.
Good insights are worth their weight in gold, but bad information can be deadly. Actions predicated on it waste not only money (salaries, prototype expenses, misdirected marketing efforts, etc.) but more importantly can tank professional relationships and your business’ reputation.;
But how do you avoid being burned from unreliable information?
Think like a reporter.
They aren’t compensated for finding the story but for verifying to the best of their ability all sources and ensuring that the information they’re using to weave the full story is authentic before it hits the light of day. Unfortunately for most, but great for those who excel at it, evaluating the reliability of information is an art as well as work – much of which is detective work.
Here are three ways that you can find key data/proof points that support your primary research.
Climb to the mountaintop. Confirm your information with a 3rd party. Seek out 2 to 3 experts to cross verify the information. These could be individuals who are deeply familiar with an area like the targeted market, industry economics, or the particular company.
Dig for details. Ask pointed follow-up questions, not only to your source but also to the world. Tap into the knowledge of the collective by utilize tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn to push a specific question to a knowledgeable sub-set of your connections. Granted individual data that comes from ‘crowdsourcing’ has its own creditability issues, but widespread beliefs can verify trends and core issues.
Extrapolate upon existing creditable sources. Utilize sources of secondary information, the main providers of which are governments, trade associations, academic institutions, research houses, and national & international institutions.
Do you agree? What other methods can you add to our knowledgebase?
HOTTOPICSINSIDER recommends that if you have not seen the new Cartier 3 min+ ad you absolutely have to. Not only is it stunning, but it absolutely embodies a breakthrough concept in advertising style and exemplifies what Brand strategy is all about. The emphasis here is about authenticity, passion, dreams, and desire.
Get in on the buzz. View it now.
For as much as we humans love to share experiences and insights with each other (just checkout Twitter, Facebook, and your local water cooler), why does the thought of ‘selling’ conjure up nightmares for many?
- Talking about yourself feels uncomfortable.
- Public speaking opens you up to public criticism.
- Haggling, it’s just not you.
But, at least you seem to be in control and after, at most, an hour it’s done. So we can handle them.
When we look at selling though, we just can’t see an end so we don’t even want to try. Instead we choose to hide behind tools like social media sites, glossy brochures, and others, hoping that our good work wins the day. At a time in the past this might of been enough to pay the bills, but in this day and age we all need to be at a minimum comfortable selling ourselves.
I know this fear
While I’ve been fortunate enough to have finance and engineering as my base disciplines it did little to develop my sales acumen. I was horrible at it and as a consequence turned away from sales because I didn’t understand selling. I thought it was about being pushy and arrogant. Something that you do to people.
The rub is that if you want to advance in business… heck life, you need to sell and in such a way that they want to help you succeed. So, somehow I had to change my perspective. This led to a voyage of self learning and understanding. What I ultimately discovered is that selling is helping people fill their needs and wants; a mutual win-win activity.
5 keys to becoming comfortable with selling
Focus on selling what you geek out about. The more you know about and love the value derived from your product, the easier it is to identify and convince those who can gain the most from buying it.
Pullback the curtain. Follow (replicate) the leaders. Discover how they overcome their hurdles. Yes, we all still and always will have them.
Control your inner dialogue. The greatest discovery of all time is that you become what you think about all the time. Focus on helping those who can benefit from your solution. The feeling experienced from truly helping someone is powerful.
Commit to lifelong learning. Here are three authors that can provide you with a solid base.
1) Brian Tracy
2) Zig Ziglar
3) Harry Mackay
Resolve to work hard. This just might be the secret ingredient to most successes. I guess there’s good reason then that we heard it from our parents from day one.
What are you going to commit to doing?