Avoid these 8 Rookie Mistakes with your Next Capabilities Presentation

June 5th, 2018

Whether you’re an introvert who hates public speaking – or an experienced presenter who thrives in front of an audience – there are a number of common mistakes you must avoid to give yourself the best chance of success with your next capabilities presentation.

#1. Lousy PowerPoint slides. Come on… you know you’re guilty of this. These are the slides with 6-8-10 (or more) bullet points, each one in the form of a compete sentence. As an attendee, they’re just miserable to have to sit through. And as the presenter, they’re impossible to remember… so what do you do? Turn your back on the audience and read them verbatim! UGH!

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Think. Plan. Do. A Smarter Way to Grow Your Firm

May 27th, 2018

Those who are regular readers of my content have heard me say (on more than one occasion), that “Market Research is an industry that does not embrace marketing and sales”… particularly among agencies and consultants. And when these firms do decide to execute some business development efforts, they often just execute. There isn’t a lot of thinking or planning that goes into it… in reality, they’re just “winging it.”

Why does this happen? Why do the smart people at these firms not invest the time upfront to help ensure better results on the back end?

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Your feedback please: Are ‘thank you notes’ a good idea or a bad idea?

May 16th, 2018

I got into a “passionate” discussion last week with a client about sending handwritten thank you notes, especially at the close of large projects.

I argued for them. I like the personal touch… and think that a handwritten note of sincere gratitude, thanking a client for their business is a good and appropriate thing to do. To my way of thinking, if a client spends $50,000 with you – or even $5,000 – I don’t think it’s asking too much to take five minutes out of your day to write and send a note.

For all the tools, techniques and technologies we employ, I believe we are still in the “people business.” And that well-written thank you notes (something, by the way, that your competitors are unlikely to do) are a real H2H (human-to-human) touch point.

One of my client contacts took the other side of the ‘discussion’… with equal fervor.

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Has marketing changed over the years? ‘Yes’… and an even bigger ‘No!’

May 7th, 2018

marketingWe hear it all the time… “Marketing is so different compared to the way it used to be.” Or, “Marketing is changing so fast that I can’t keep up.” And you know what? Both statements are true.

Think of all the technology-driven tools, developed in just the past few years, that have impacted the way we work: marketing & email automation, social media, CRM and SFA, data & analytics, SEO and – more recently – chatbots, AI and blockchain. In fact, there are more than 5,000 (!) software platforms and apps purpose-built to support marketing and sales. (Want to see them? Click here: https://cdn.chiefmartec.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/marketing_technology_landscape_2018_slide.jpg)

It’s mind-numbing!

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Want to improve your sales results? Sell like a doctor.

April 29th, 2018

For years, while working with providers of market research consulting and technology services, one of my pleas has been (and still is)… “Seek first to help… then to sell.” I believe it is THE most effective selling mindset for winning projects and – more importantly – long-term relationships with clients.

But recently, I heard that same sentiment stated another way… one that, I think, will resonate with most of us: “Sell like a doctor.”

I went through rotator cuff surgery last year. And in thinking back about the interactions with my orthopedic surgeon throughout the process, I thought about his “selling skills” and how they might translate in our industry.

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Don’t just “show up” at a conference. Be prepared!

April 17th, 2018

be preparedI’m attending a conference in 2 months. Here’s what I’m doing now to be prepared.

I’ll be attending Greenbook’s IIeX 2018 NA Conference in Atlanta this June. It’s one of my favorite industry events. Like many, I’m attending to expand my knowledge, but also to network – and hopefully initiate relationships with some potential clients. And even though it’s two months away, I’m preparing now to have a successful event. Here’s how…

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8 ‘Excuses’ for Not Embracing Sales and Marketing… and What to Do About It

April 10th, 2018

During the time I’ve been in this industry, I have often said that, “Market Research is an industry that does not embrace sales and marketing.” And in 12+ years, no one has ever disagreed with me about that.

To be fair, certain segments – tech providers and panel companies, for example – have done a better job of making sales and marketing an integral part of their organizations. But one of the core segments of the industry – market research agencies and consultants – uhhh… not so much!

And when I chat with the leaders of these agencies about their lack of sales and marketing activity, they always respond with some sort of reason. Make that, some sort of “excuse.” So, for each of these excuses, I want share a new way to think about it.

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For Sales & Marketing Success: Finish What You Start

March 27th, 2018

One of the first questions I ask during an initial exploratory call with a prospective client is, “What kind of marketing and sales are you doing now?” And I generally get the kind of answers you’d expect…

  • “We blog once or twice a month.”
  • “We network at conferences.”
  • “We send out a monthly e-newsletter.”
  • “We’re all on LinkedIn.”

And so on.

And it all sounds pretty good on the surface, but once I dig a little deeper, I find that even though many of these firms have taken the first step… they rarely finish what they start. For example…

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