Tag Archives: marketing

“Everyone has Gotten So Rude!”

Not too long ago, I was leading a group of business owners in a discussion. These were not my peer board members, but rather owners at a breakfast, none of whom I’d met before. To start the conversation, I asked … Continue reading

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Sales, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

6 Responses to “Everyone has Gotten So Rude!”

  1. Phyllis Pickard says:

    It is true that we don’t see cold call sales people, but we do try to treat them courteously.

  2. Mike Havel says:

    Interesting and so true. The World has changed! When I started in sales in 1979, I use to park my car in an industrial area, and walk the block making cold calls. I do not believe that would work in today’s world.

    Just like a lot of us grew up with an open chain link fence or no fence at all. We all knew our neighbors.

    Today most fences are tall wooded structures that are not open to your neighbors to see in, and a lot of us never see or know our neighbors.

    I agree that most of my calls today are “warm calls”. Either the customer found us on the web and ask to see us, or I connect with a referral or follow up from a show.

    However I do miss the FUN of making cold calls. Use to learn a lot about an area and meet new and interesting people.


  3. Jim Edholm says:

    I began selling in 1964. From day #1 – based on the sales book used at my Monsanto sales training course, “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Sales” by Frank Bettger – I always worked by appointment out of respect for the other person’s time. I felt that just “dropping by” suggested that the CEO or Purchasing Agent had little to do besides entertain me.

    That said, when I would call for appointments, I usually got a somewhat friendly reception and an appointment.

    In 1975 I changed to selling estate planning/financial planning just like your subject in your opening story. We called on business owners – valuable, illiquid assets like a business need cash, i.e. insurance, to pay estate taxes at death. WHen I made that switch, also moving to New England from the Midwest at the time, I found an ENTIRELY different atmosphere – hostile, suspicious, defensive, closed off.

    Since then it’s only gotten worse. Coward that I am, I now employ a telemarketer to “sell” initial telephone consultations. Easier appointment to get, somewhat less productive than face-to-face.

  4. Mike Wright says:

    As pointed out, the Internet has changed so much. It used to be that sales calls were an important source of information. Now we are constantly bombarded with information, and the challenge is on filtering most of it out. Which comes across as abrupt or rude. We have been trained the we can search for what we need when we need it. Knowing exactly what we are looking for has become the challenge.

  5. Jeff Ostroff says:

    Our distribution business requires cold calling. We get no where with phone calls and little with emails, so we go to the prospects. In food service this has not become entirely unexpected. We apologize for interrupting, introduce ourselves, leave a card, ask for a card and a future appointment. Rarely are we treated poorly and the results are still worthwhile.

    • John F. Dini says:

      I agree, Jeff. The restaurant industry – perhaps due to the more hectic nature of mealtime rush and lulls combined with the “hospitality” aspect of greeting everyone as a potential customer, is one of those where cold calling is still effective and expected.

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What a Customer Needs May Not Be What He Wants

The owner of an IT services company recently presented his new reporting system to his peer board. They had provided substantial input as to what they, as customers, would want to see from their technology provider. Per their advice, he provided … Continue reading

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Is Uber Really Disruptive Technology?

I attended a technology awards event a few nights ago. The speaker extolled technology as the engine of change and economic development, while attendees posted pictures of each other for the Pinterest feed on the screens to either side of … Continue reading

Posted in Business Perspectives, Economic Trends, Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Is Uber Really Disruptive Technology?

  1. David Basri says:

    I am generally in agreement with Awake at 2 O’clock articles, but respectfully disagree with this one. What Uber has done is clearly disruptive to the traditional taxi industry. Previously the only phone number that would connect someone who wants a ride with someone who could provide one, was to a taxi company. Taxi company are a silo or vertical business model. Uber, and the other ride-share companies, have made it much more horizontal. The barrier to becoming part of a ride-share fleet is very low.

    John correctly identifies that as a serious issue that will need to be dealt with. The barrier is very low and government is largely out of the dynamic (which is both good news and bad news). Of course one could argue that it is a classic case of a consumer accepting increased risk in return for decreased cost. The industry will have to evolve to deal with the issues, but it has pretty clearly been a disruptive shift in a long’standing business model.

    • John F. Dini says:

      Thanks David, but I still don’t see how Uber inherently does more than a taxi company (match people wanting a ride with affiliated drivers who are willing to do so for pay.) Some folks read my article as an argument against Uber. Not at all. I’ve used the service, will again, and think it is terrific. The artificial market constraints of medallions that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for a middle-class wage should be removed. Uber is shaking up the industry, and I applaud them. Like you, I worry about the impact of claiming a right to work outside the public safety system. Working outside other regulations that exists merely to stifle competition? Go for it!

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Reputations are Sticky

“We have a great reputation in our industry.” In thousands of hours of coaching and facilitating I’ve never heard a business owner say “We have a lousy reputation.” The myopia of working hard to deliver a product or service leads … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Marketing and Sales, Sales | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

One Response to Reputations are Sticky

  1. Great topic. This is a continuing problem with most businesses. They have blinders for their own reputations or they don’t really want to know the answer to the question from former customers or people who’ve never bought. Asking the really hard questions is never comfortable.

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Google, SEO and the Yellow Pages Game

When the Yellow Pages were a primary source of advertising for small businesses, they had a nifty sales technique. If an advertiser was doubtful about the value of an ad, their sales rep would offer a special telephone number to track how much business … Continue reading

Posted in Customer Relations, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Marketing and Sales | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Google, SEO and the Yellow Pages Game

  1. Ray Walker says:

    Perceptive & so true

  2. Todd Marquardt says:

    Well done sir. Thank you for looking out for small business. Every dollar counts for us. We don’t have the luxury of throwing good money down the drain.

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