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  • Jim Jewell
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Speaking the right language? The importance of customer profiling

Speaking the right language? The importance of customer profiling

An important part of great marketing is speaking the right language! America tongue language open mouth. Studio shot. If you know who you are trying to reach with your sales and marketing messages, the next step is to figure out what language they speak. No, not if they speak English, Spanish, Chinese, Russian or French. That’s important, of course, but for the purposes of this discussion, we’ll assume you have that figured out. This principle is #25 of Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth: “Cre...

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What are your New Year’s resolutions?

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? It’s a long tradition that doesn't’ seem to be losing steam.  Here are the top-10 New Year's resolutions from a recent survey of 2,000 people conducted for Inc. magazine: Diet or eat healthier (71%) Exercise more (65%) Lose weight (54%) Save more and spend less--my personal favorite! (32%) Learn a new skill or hobby (26%) Quit smoking (21%) Read more (17%) Find another job (16%) Drink less alcohol (15%) Spend more time with family and friends (13%) More from...

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Secret Spy? Conducting Competitor Research

Secret Spy? Conducting Competitor Research

It’s not difficult to find the opposite of customer-centricity. I found it while traveling in eastern Europe late last year, where many businesses still—after 50 years of official communism followed by 25 years of capitalism—haven’t discovered the value and competitive advantage of good customer relations But you don’t have to travel to former totalitarian states to experience horrendous customer service. If you’re attempting to solve a problem with your phone, insurance policy, satellite servi...

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Questions that will help your business grow

Questions that will help your business grow

Recently, we worked with a respected manufacturing company that was concerned about multiple years of flat growth in a thriving industry. They believed that their products were chosen because they were of the highest quality in the category, but they could not figure out why they weren’t growing. We worked with the company’s leaders on a thorough VALCORT strategic analysis, and as we asked questions of both internal stakeholders and customers around the world, the situation became dramatically c...

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10 Business Decisions that Influenced the Future  

10 Business Decisions that Influenced the Future  

We've found 10 examples from the last 75 years when individuals, companies or groups saw a need and took dramatic action, often creating something historic out of nothing--advancing not only single invention or program, but also the business principles that influenced not only that time, but today and our future. Here they are: Suburbia is Born: In 1947, American GIs were just back from the war, and often returning to sub-standard housing with little income to leverage. A real estate developer...

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4 Dimensional Trust in an Age of Change

4 Dimensional Trust in an Age of Change

When you or your company or group seek to operate in a change environment, or if you are going into a time of change, the highest priority will be to create and rely on embedded, earned trust. And in times of change, the last thing you need to experience as an employee, or the company experience from its staff and partners, or customers experience from a supplier is:  The discovery that trust has been violated. Do any of the following sound familiar? * A person, group or organization has broken...

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What difference does it make? The importance of tracking customer response

What difference does it make? The importance of tracking customer response

Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth:  #21 We have specific, consistent ways we collect data and track customer response to every advertising, marketing and sales effort. We use this information to measure our marketing and sales efficiency and effectiveness. For more than 10 years we have been asking executives to rate their companies’ performance in each of 35 best practices. One that is consistently troublesome to companies large and small is #21-- tracking customer response to sales and mar...

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Influencing the influencers through communication

Influencing the influencers through communication

Valcort’s 35 Keys to Business Growth: #20--“Have strong communication with people who can influence a buyer’s decision, based on addressing a buyer’s most important needs.” Think about your last major purchase.  As a business owner, it may have been a piece of equipment or a building. As a home owner or a parent, you may have just purchased a new set of patio furniture to prepare for summer, or a new bicycle for your 10-year-old. Whatever it may be, you did not make the purchase in an informatio...

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7 Reasons Nonprofits Flounder or Fail

7 Reasons Nonprofits Flounder or Fail

A group of our friends led a wonderful start-up that was trying to bring new perspectives to theenvironmental cause, to reach faith-based constituencies who were not traditional supporters of these concerns.  They had the plan worked out on paper, and even had a foundation to underwrite the effort for a couple of years.  But although there were many who cheered from the sidelines, very few people were committed enough to provide significant financial support.  When the grant money ran out, the c...

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7 reasons people buy

7 reasons people buy

Since money isn’t easy to come by, what makes us part with it?  And if we decide to make a purchase of any kind, why do we choose one product or service over another?  There are mountains of research on these questions, but since you may have even less time than money, we’ve condensed a lot of answers into 7 reasons people buy. Here they are:   Scarcity First, we buy to meet our basic needs; things to fulfill what Maslow describes as the foundation of his hierarchy,  like food and shelter. Or ...

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