Why Price Isn’t the Biggest Factor on Big Deals | Inc. |


Inc.com - The Daily Resource for Entrepreneurs

Most deals aren’t won on price alone. Align your value proposition with your buyer’s strategic needs and the deal will get bigger and possibly better.This is an excerpt from Tom Searcy’s latest book, “How to Close a Deal Like Warren Buffett—Lessons from the World’s Greatest Dealmaker” written with Henry DeVries and published by McGraw-Hill, available now.

When Walmart sold Warren Buffett their McLane Company Division, which was valued at $22 billion in 2003 at the time of the sale, they made a choice they never made before—to sell a part of the company.  Was it the money? A fair question, but Walmart has plenty of money—and although the $1.45 billion cash acquisition price was a nice chunk of change—the real reason was strategic benefit.

McLane was well run, profitable and successful, but it was still the ugly stepsister of the family. It had razor-thin margins and it’s ability to grow was limited because competitors to Walmart were wary about contributing in any way to the success of their biggest rival. McLane was the weakest link in the chain for Walmart. Buffett’s transaction was quick and easy and it brought an independence that would allow investments and revenues for McLane to grow without negatively impacting Walmart’s balance sheet. This was addition by subtraction.

An outright auction may have been more financially beneficial in the short run, but Walmart wanted to keep the capability of McLane as a part of its supply and distribution.

What do you bring to a customer’s strategy? Leer más “Why Price Isn’t the Biggest Factor on Big Deals | Inc. |”

Facebook Timeline for Brands: 10 Things to Get Right

It’s here! This week Facebook finally unveiled the arrival of timeline for brand pages. A long-awaited change to the layout of Facebook pages, much welcomed by some and resistingly sneered at by others. With the announcement comes a number of significant changes to the overall format, navigation and visual layout of brand pages, including the introduction of, believe it or not, a ‘timeline’ running throughout the page and replacing the much-loved Facebook wall.

Gone too is the emphasis on landing pages, something which will no doubt come as a surprise for many brands, particularly those who invested time, resource and budget towards designing, creating and tweaking a welcome tab to present fans and new visitors with the perfect starting point and latest promotions. In light of this, one of the key features available for brands is the ability for posts to be ‘pinned’ to the top of their Timeline, with ‘pinned’ posts remaining as the first post seen until a new post is ‘pinned’ in its place.

Many page admins will see this area as the perfect place to do what landing tabs of old achieved, i.e. highlighting current promotions, news, products and campaign content, as well as providing visitors with a starting point for the page.
With Facebook announcing the 30th March as the automatic switch over date when all pages will change to Timeline, below are 10 key things brands should be focusing on in the weeks leading up to the switch…


http://socialmediatoday.com
Posted by:George Guildford






It’s here! This week Facebook finally unveiled the arrival of timeline for brand pages. A long-awaited change to the layout of Facebook pages, much welcomed by some and resistingly sneered at by others. With the announcement comes a number of significant changes to the overall format, navigation and visual layout of brand pages, including the introduction of, believe it or not, a ‘timeline’ running throughout the page and replacing the much-loved Facebook wall.

Gone too is the emphasis on landing pages,  something which will no doubt come as a surprise for many brands, particularly those who invested time, resource and budget towards designing, creating and tweaking a welcome tab to present fans and new visitors with the perfect starting point and latest promotions. In light of this, one of the key features available for brands is the ability for posts to be ‘pinned’ to the top of their Timeline, with ‘pinned’ posts remaining as the first post seen until a new post is ‘pinned’ in its place.

Many page admins will see this area as the perfect place to do what landing tabs of old achieved, i.e. highlighting current promotions, news, products and campaign content, as well as providing visitors with a starting point for the page.

With Facebook announcing the 30th March as the automatic switch over date when all pages will change to Timeline, below are 10 key things brands should be focusing on in the weeks leading up to the switch… Leer más “Facebook Timeline for Brands: 10 Things to Get Right”

The Social Media Time Suck Is Our Own Fault

The tools aren’t the problem, we are.

The tools are inert in and of themselves but we, the people operating them, are the catalyst that can realize their potential or turn them into spinning wheels and dead ends. Adapting how we work isn’t easy, but it’s necessary and it’s not new. We adapted to the phone. We adapted to the emergence of the web and email, and learned how to integrate these things into how we build and operate our companies. There’s good uses of all of those things, and there are complete wastes of time.

Social’s value is still partially hidden in – or hindered by – our adaptability and vision.

If there’s a waste of time involved, it’s based in errors of human judgment and not in the nature of social itself. But if we can envision things strategically, quit hitting the panic button, and breathe social into our businesses gradually and with some critical thought, the business case might just become easier to illustrate.

Accountability counts in business, too.


http://www.brasstackthinking.com

The Social Media Time Suck Is Our Own Fault - Brass Tack ThinkingContinuing to talk about social media as a “time suck” instead of focusing on how to better manage the investmentof time is just one way we’re going to keep marginalizing it and wondering why the leadership of organizations doesn’t take it seriously or discuss it strategically.

Everything worthwhile in business requires time. And just about anything on earth can become a waste of time if the person doing it isn’t accountable for the purpose behind it or if the strategy and implementation is considered in isolation, apart from the ripple effect it can and will have through the rest of the business. Every process, every technical solution we use from email to CRM to the telephone on our desk can be a time sink or an absolutely critical investment of effort.

We are in danger of abusing social, both in terms of asking it to shoulder the burden of our misdirected business models and in being horrifically short sighted about its gradual role in business’ overall communication evolution rather than treating it like something we desperately want to shortcut, set, and forget. Leer más “The Social Media Time Suck Is Our Own Fault”

Why You Should Embrace ‘Icky’ Sales and Marketing

If you’re in business, you’re in it to sell.

This is absolutely the first tenet. The whole purpose of being in business is to sell services or products to people who need them, allowing you to make profits in the process.

You’re in business to make money. To earn a decent living. To bring home a salary or an income that feeds your family. You’re not in this for back-pats or accolades or warm fuzzies. Praise is nice, but it doesn’t pay the bills.

Without sales, your business hits a dead end.

“But Jaaaaammes, selling is just so… so sleazy… so icky!”

Please. No it’s not. There is absolutely nothing distasteful about telling potential customers that you have something good they might be interested in. There’s nothing disgusting about promoting your products or services if you believe that what you sell is worth money.

Here’s the real truth of the matter:

If you feel uncomfortable selling, you lack faith in what you sell.

I learned this lesson long ago, and now it’s time for you to learn it too: If you don’t 150% believe that what you have to offer is worth someone’s money, then you’re going to feel unsure, uncertain and under-confident.

You’ll have trouble selling. You’ll have trouble telling people to buy – even if they really want what you have. You’ll feel awkward saying, “This is a good thing. You should get it.” You’ll feel uncomfortable asking for money because deep down, you don’t think that what you have is worth it.

Think about that a minute: If you felt 150% confident that you had an amazing offer that people should snap up right now because the deal was that good… don’t you think you’d step up to the plate?

“This is the best damned popcorn you’ll ever taste – and I swear after one buttery-sweet mouthful of this luscious stuff, you’ll never want that other crappy, over-salted dry cardboard again. Go on, try it! Have some and see for yourself!”

That’s convincing. That’s persuasive. That confident attitude makes people believe that yeah, this popcorn does seem to be better. And sure, they’ll have a try.


http://menwithpens.ca/ | Written by 

money in the hands

Icky. It’s a word that makes me shudder.

I shudder because this juvenile term is being used by fully grown adults. Business owners. People who should by now know a little more professionalism and who should speak words a touch above my 7-year-old’s current lexicon.

Really, people. Icky?

But using a childish term when you’re 40 or so isn’t what most turns me off. What really makes me roll my eyes is that some people equate ‘icky’ to a crucial aspect of business success. An aspect so integral to business survival that doing anything less than embracing it leads to fast, hard disaster:

Failure.

You see, if you’re in business, there’s really no room for ‘icky’ at all. In fact, if you start feeling ‘icky’ about an integral area of your business, you might as well just close up shop right now. Rip down your website. Turn away your customers. Because there’s just no hope.

What am I talking about? Sales and marketing, of course.

And there’s nothing ‘icky’ about it. Leer más “Why You Should Embrace ‘Icky’ Sales and Marketing”

Innovation does not start with idea generation

I’ve just finished reading a book called Intangible Capital (more on that in another post) by Mary Adams. The book does a good job describing the value and importance of knowledge, intellectual property and other intangible assets, and why innovation is key to the creation of those assets.

But that’s not the subject of today’s post. Today’s post deals with the fallacy that innovation “starts” with idea generation. I’m picking on Mary’s book because it was at hand and the latest to suggest that innovation starts with idea generation. I know this because it says so on page 85, but Mary’s writing does not stand alone. Far too often I hear people suggest or read that innovation starts with idea generation. Sorry, no – and my apologies in advance to Mary for calling out this small problem in what was otherwise a very good book.


Jeffrey Phillips

I’ve just finished reading a book called Intangible Capital (more on that in another post) by Mary Adams.  The book does a good job describing the value and importance of knowledge, intellectual property and other intangible assets, and why innovation is key to the creation of those assets.

But that’s not the subject of today’s post.  Today’s post deals with the fallacy that innovation “starts” with idea generation.  I’m picking on Mary’s book because it was at hand and the latest to suggest that innovation starts with idea generation.  I know this because it says so on page 85, but Mary’s writing does not stand alone.  Far too often I hear people suggest or read that innovation starts with idea generation.  Sorry, no – and my apologies in advance to Mary for calling out this small problem in what was otherwise a very good book.

Leer más “Innovation does not start with idea generation”

7 Easy, Low Cost Ways to Generate Leads and Keep Customers

The latest Vistage International Confidence Index results for Q2 2010 were just released on July, 2010. The good news is that small business CEOs are WAY more confident today than they were at the same time last year. Realistically, you can say that the 2500 responding CEOs were cautiously optimistic about the future.

According to the survey, small and medium sized businesses have accepted the new state of the economy and have positioned themselves to do more with less so that they can be profitable throughout the next year.

The survey also showed that CEOs hoped that their profitability would come from getting and keeping customers through innovative products and services.

Now that you’ve read that, you’re probably thinking that this sounds great, but where should you begin?

Since small business CEOs are most concerned with innovation, lead generation, and funding their future with cash instead of loans, I’ve collected the following easy, low-cost DIY Marketing strategies to help you get and keep profitable customers.


7 Easy, Low Cost Ways to Generate Leads and Keep Customers

The latest Vistage International Confidence Index results for Q2 2010 were just released on July, 2010.  The good news is that small business CEOs are WAY more confident today than they were at the same time last year.   Realistically, you can say that the 2500 responding CEOs were cautiously optimistic about the future.

According to the survey, small and medium sized businesses have accepted the new state of the economy and have positioned themselves to do more with less so that they can be profitable throughout the next year.

The survey also showed that CEOs hoped that their profitability would come from getting and keeping customers through innovative products and services.

Now that you’ve read that, you’re probably thinking that this sounds great, but where should you begin?

Since small business CEOs are most concerned with innovation,  lead generation, and funding their future with cash instead of loans,  I’ve collected the following easy, low-cost DIY Marketing strategies to help you get and keep profitable customers. Leer más “7 Easy, Low Cost Ways to Generate Leads and Keep Customers”

11 Herbs and Creative Strategic Thinking

Kentucky Fried Chicken is celebrating its 70th anniversary with a promotional discount offer. A literally-oriented marketer (if they’re at least somewhat strategic), would be thinking about, “What can we do with 70 in a promotion?” 70 pieces of chicken? 70% discount? 70 cents off? None of those really work.

Another number important to KFC is eleven – the number of herbs and spices in its original recipe. Less literal than 70 in the context of this offer, it’s still a strategically and creatively important number for the brand. A literal marketer might get to 11 pieces for $11 because it’s direct and straight-forward. Yet, that’s not the ultimate offer. Instead, it’s 11 pieces of chicken for $11.99. Sure 99 might not be connected to the KFC brand. A strategic, non-literal marketer, however, wouldn’t be stopped by that because adding the 99 cents to the price increases revenue per item by 9%


by Mike Brown

11 Herbs and Creative Strategic ThinkingBuilding on a recent post on branding warning signals, in the Brainzooming world view, creativity and creative exploration are integral to developing successful strategy. Yet in the last few years, I’ve run across many marketers gravitating toward incredibly literal – not lateral – thinking. This may reflect a crappy economy and job market where people want to follow exactly what they’re told or pick the safest path to minimize the perceived risk of being fired for pushing beyond the status quo or implementing a strategy with some room for maneuver (and potential risk) in it.

The real downsides to literal thinking arise in ho-hum strategies and uninspired customers. It’s my firm belief literal thinking also results in inferior financial performance. Outside of direct marketing strategies, however, it can be tough to demonstrate the financial downside of play-it-safe marketing. Leer más “11 Herbs and Creative Strategic Thinking”