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Archive for July, 2009

Do You Double Dip?

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

double dippingLast month during the President’s reception at the MRA conference, I was speaking to a few people when a stranger walked up to the area I was in and took a napkin and a dumpling from the servers passing around appetizers. I didn’t think anything for the first few moments until the person dipped the dumpling in the sauce, took a bite and then (you guessed it) dipped again — clearly a double dipper! Probably not allowed or shouldn’t be in a number of situations and maybe–just maybe–this is one of them.

I thought about what happened and asked myself two questions:

  1. Do I double dip?
  2. And what items could I double dip?

The short answer is yes I double dip, but it really depends on where I am and who I am with.

Quickly I identified some things I could possibly double dip:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Shrimp
  • Satay (love peanut sauce)
  • Egg rolls

If I am with friends and family I probably double dip and don’t think anything about it. I am sure most of the readers are now saying they don’t want to go to a Mexican restaurant with me! But I won’t double dip with strangers, at a conference or a nice event. That’s the rules I play by.

  • Are you a double dipper?
  • Do you have a double dip rule?
  • If someone does it will you say something?

I look forward to your comments.

Isn’t It All About Referrals?

Monday, July 6th, 2009

A few weeks ago I was speaking with my buddy KW and he said I have to see the movie The Hangover. He said it was absolutely hysterical and the funniest movie he has seen since Wedding Crashers. I must admit I had never heard of the movie but said that I was going to try and see the movie that weekend.

My sense is, what I described happens to most of us . . . in fact very often!

When was the last time a friend of yours:

  • Gave you a restaurant recommendation?
  • Was excited about a new car they bought?
  • Talked about how much they enjoyed a conference they attended?
  • Described a new TV show?
  • Talked about how great their dry cleaner is?
  • Told you how much their insurance broker helped them out?

All of these things have happened to me recently. In addition to that, last week we landed a large piece of new business. Yes it was exciting (very in fact) because it was a two year tracking study. Yes it was exciting because the project is over $500,000. Yes it was exciting because this is a NEW client. But more important than all of that, it was VERY exciting to me because this was a referral. The lead came from one of our current clients who passed on our name to them. To me this is the greatest form of flattery. When a client is so excited about your service sometimes they are willing to share that experience with their friends and industry contacts. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Isn’t a company’s greatest sales tool referrals?

I believe so! So many companies (including M/A/R/C Research) don’t use this to our advantage.

  • We don’t ask our core clients for referrals!
  • We don’t strategize enough about this!
  • We don’t have a formal program in place!

For us that needs to change. We do follow-up surveys with our clients after projects as well as with our prospects and frankly our customer satisfaction scores are amazing and off the chart.

We need to really start to change our thinking on asking for referrals.

  • The real question is, "What about you?"
  • Are you in the same boat as us?
  • Do you have a formal program in place?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Six Months In The Record Books And Six Months To Go! How Do You Feel?

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

As you read this posting, the year is half over. You have heard over and over how difficult and challenging the economy is and how that has affected all of our businesses.

  • So how do you feel about things?
  • How is the morale of your team?
  • Is your strategy working?
  • Are you ahead of budget?
  • Are things getting better for you?

For us, we have had a pretty good year. For some reason the economy hit our company hard in August and September of 2008. Since then we have responded nicely, picked up some new clients and are really focusing everyone on delivering more insight to our current clients to ensure they truly see us as a partner.

I truly believe that companies that made the necessary moves and decisions in the past year will pay huge dividends in the years to come.

I feel much better about the economy and what is going on than I did six months ago. I am hearing from many clients and prospects that budgets are starting to loosen up and the second half of the year will be better than the first half.

  • Are you hearing the same thing?
  • What are you hearing?

I believe that by second quarter of 2010, things will be in a much different and better place and what we went through will be in the history books.

Do you agree with my timeline?

I look forward to hearing from you.