M/A/R/C Research
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Archive for March, 2014

Hey Merrill, What’s a Wanu?!

Monday, March 31st, 2014

A few times a year, I come up with a good idea. Last month was one of those times. While on vacation with my kids in Key Largo, FL, I decided to surprise them with a morning swim. Most of you are thinking, “So what? That’s no surprise!”…and you’re right; but what if I told you that the swim included a 153 pound sea lion named Wanu?! Now, THAT’S a surprise.

What an amazing time we had. Nicole, the trainer, couldn’t have been nicer or more informative. The kids loved it (Although my daughter was a little scared and had to come out of the water for a little while) and they learned a lot about the sea lion, its body and how smart the species is!

I highly recommend doing this if you are in the area. They do the swim twice a day and typically only take two people per session…but if you plead a little, they might stretch it to four people like they did for us.

  • Do you have a similar experience to share?
  • Have you ever swam with dolphins?
  • What animals have you played with over the years?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

For Me, It’s All About Names!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Over an 8 hour period of time, I met Corey serving food at the beach restaurant, Nicole training the sea lions, Luiz who checked us in at the hotel, and Adam at the local restaurant. All strangers whose names I remembered.

That night, my son, who tends to be very inquisitive, asked me an interesting question. He said, “Dad, why do you call everyone by their first name? I noticed you always do this and that lots of people don’t do that”. My first response was “Thanks for noticing and asking” (His observance, in my mind, is two good signs from someone I am trying to help navigate thru life.) My next few comments were the explanation of why I do that:

  • It’s a sign of respect
  • Most people like to be called by their first name, it’s a feel-good for many people

    Those reasons are very important…but there is a another reason, a bonus as to why I call people by their first names, which is: Because I have been in sales for so long, I tend to go to meetings and meet lots of new people very often. By calling everyone I meet by their first name, it helps me remember names of prospects/clients. This a strategy that I have been using for decades!

    So, one of my secrets is out of the bag!

    • Do you tend to call servers, retail, hotel staff etc…by their first name?
    • Do you ever find yourself sitting in a meeting with six people but can only remember the names of three of them?
    • Do you have any helpful hints or strategies to share related to remembering people’s names?

      I look forward to reading your comments.

Wouldn’t It Be Great If Every Place Were Like This?

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation with my kids in Key Largo. As we were going back and forth between the pool and beach I noticed a cute tiki hut. As I was looking at some merchandise, I noticed there wasn’t a staff member manning the hut. I needed to buy some sun tan lotion and noticed the sign below which basically said that the “Birdman” was away and just to take what you needed and leave your money or room number in an envelope.

What a great concept – the honor system!

When I think of the honor system, I can only think of USA Today and the concierge lounges at hotels as using something like the honor system. I struggle to think of others who use this system!

  • What do you think of this concept that “Birdman” has been using
  • Do you think “Birdman” sells more or less items with this strategy?
  • If you had to guess, do you think he has many dishonorable customers?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Can We Please Stop With The Impossible-To-Remove Price Tags?

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Here is a business idea: Can’t someone create a retail price sticker that is easily removable? I understand that retail stores probably don’t want to make it terribly easy to remove the stickers so people can’t switch price tags in the store…but seriously some of these stickers are impossible to get off! Recently I purchased some items from Pier One Imports and the stickers must have been made out of the strongest adhesive that I have ever encountered…almost broke a nail or two, they wouldn’t come off with Windex and when all else failed: I put them in the dishwasher and the dishwasher BARELY won that battle!

So I ask you:

  • Have you had a similar experience with retail price stickers?
  • Do you have any secrets on removing them?
  • Should we all join together and start a company called “Magic Stickers: Remove at Home With Ease”

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Although I Hate The Snow…These are Pretty Cool!

Friday, March 21st, 2014

These sculptures are from the annual contest in Breckenridge, Colorado. Check out these amazing works of art!

Have you ever attended this annual event?

  • Which of these creations is your favorite?
  • If you were to try and sculpt one of these with your kids, what would you sculpt?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Which Day of the Week is Most Productive?

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

I realize that every reader of the blog is productive every day…in fact, very productive. However, if you had to pick one day that you believe to be your most productive work day, which would it be?

Take a few seconds and think of your answer. Drum roll, please……

And your answer is…?

To me, this is a very interesting question

According to Accountemps, statistically speaking, Tuesday is the most productive day of the work week!

This chart illustrates studies over 26 years and Tuesday is always the most productive work day.

I ruled out Monday/Wednesday/Friday very quickly and I did end up answering Tuesday as my most productive day. I did a quick, very informal survey around the office and no one said Monday but Thursday was the second most popular answer.

What do you think?

  • What is your most productive day?
  • Are you surprised that Tuesday is the clear winner?
  • Will this data encourage you to move big meetings or activities to Tuesday?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

My Kids are Better at This Than I am…

Monday, March 17th, 2014

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to my kids’ school and watch my kids participate in a cool program. During the session the kids went to several stations and either jumped rope or played with a hula hoop. The interesting thing is: I’m not very good at either of those activities…Okay, truth be told: I am a horrible at jumping rope and can only do a hula hoop for like 3 seconds!

My daughter is great at the hula hoop, she appeared to be able to keep one going forever and can actually do two hula hoops at a time for over a minute. My son enjoys jumping rope and can get over 30 jumps in a row!

What’s your preference?

  • Can you hula hoop?
  • Are you good at jumping rope?
  • Are there any activities that your kids are better at than you are?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

28 Years Later…My Parents Finally Replaced Their TV

Friday, March 14th, 2014

This is a true story. My parents had a 28 year old TV in their house…the original one they had when they built the house in Florida. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted too! I have offered many times to help them get a new one and my mother’s response has been the same time after time:

“IT ISN’T NECESSARY!”

This has always amazed me. Well, finally, the TV quit working and my sister (thanks L.B. – you have the biggest heart of anyone in the entire world) was in Florida so she decided to do something about it. A new TV was bought, installed and everyone was happy. Well, almost…my sister couldn’t lift the old 28 year old TV and needed to find a few people to help haul off the monstrosity!

I am sure many of you have had similar situations so I need your help:

  • Do you have any advice on convincing your parents to upgrade their electronics, furniture, etc…?
  • What is the oldest thing you’ve convinced your parents to throw out?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Seriously? Another Piece of Black Luggage?

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Unfortunately, a few weeks ago American Airlines (an airline which I love) misplaced my luggage and had to find it and deliver it to me the next day. Thankfully, they did just that. As I watched the baggage belt pass by, I noticed that more than 75% of the bags on this flight were the same color….black! Not many bags had distinguishing marks on them. A few bags had ribbons, the bag that stood out the most had several 5-inch pieces of gray electrical tape on it for identification.

This made me wonder:

  • What is your baggage color of choice?
  • If your bag is black, do you have anything on your bag to set it apart from the others?
  • What is the most creative thing you’ve seen used as a baggage identifier?

    I look forward to reading your comments.

Working on our Weaknesses

Monday, March 10th, 2014

So, you are good at many things, in fact, you’re great at most things! But everyone can’t be great at everything so today’s questions are:

What Do You Need to Improve On?

AND

How Do You Plan to Improve?

It may seem like a very basic question…and frankly, it is! So, why do so many people struggle to answer these questions?

Personally, I think people feel that by mentioning an area in which they need to improve, it makes them vulnerable and shows weakness. However, I completely disagree with this sentiment; In my opinion, it shows strength and courage to acknowledge weaknesses and goals for improvement because doing so allows you to grow as a person, a parent, a spouse, a professional, etc…

So, what do you think?

  • Do you think it is challenging to point out areas in which you need to improve?
  • What would you like to improve on?
  • How are you working towards your improvement goals?
  • Do you think it is a sign of strength to admit to an area in which you can improve?

    I look forward to reading your comments.