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Richard Fouts

Former Research VP

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How to Pitch a Creative Idea

As marketers and salespeople we are good at generating ideas. Where we often fail is pitching them. Why does this happen? According to University of California business professor Kimberly Elsbach, it comes from preconceived notions about us (the pitchers) and our audience (the catchers).  Elsbach says: “Before you know it, your audience has placed you…

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The #1 Driver of Loyalty You Don’t Know About

Simplicity.   The mere sound of the word is musical. Listen to your buyers. If there’s one thing people don’t need in a world of sensory overload, it’s complexity, a sentiment that rings loudly in a survey conducted by IBM’s Institute of Business Value. Consumers say in the study that marketers try too hard to engage…

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Why Should Consumer Marketers Have All the Fun?

Remember when AdAge asked its readers, “What viral ad made you cry?”  The response was fantastic. Consumer marketers don’t apologize for the emotional threads they run through their promotional fabric; their customers seem to love it; and consumer marketers have fun with it. But, while consumers LOL over Budweiser’s swear jar ad or sob over…

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Why You Should Stop Selling Solutions

As HBR reported a year ago, solution sales people (those that solicit buyer problems, then serve up standard solutions) are consistent low performers.  High performing sales people search for business roadblocks the prospect may not even be aware of, offering up insight versus canned solutions. Though it’s one of the best studies on selling I’ve…

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…my chat with Lester Wunderman

While in New York recently, I had the opportunity to wander by Lester Wunderman’s office (accompanied by CMO Trish Wheaton who generously made the introduction). At age 91, he’s sharp as a tack and ventures into the office everyday (saying, “what else would I do?”).  Well, I can think of plenty of things I’d do,…

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Eloqua: Should CMOs should carry a quota?

Eloqua is teasing us to attend their next webinar with the email subject line, Why the CMO Should Carry a Quota.  Great idea right?  After all, marketing executives are rapidly adopting the mantra, “We drive growth.” While it might sound new, there are plenty of CMOs that carry quotas, and when I talk to them…

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Boulder Logic, Point of Reference, References-Online, Metia: Please share the love.

Automating the management of customer references is an emerging software category whose time has come.  Companies like Boulder Logic, Point of Reference, References-Online and  Metia all see how complex it can be to not only recruit customers to act as references, but to manage them as well. When customers act as references, they put their reputations…

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What Marketers Can Learn From Bruce Springsteen

The Boss would take issue with marketing and communications people that include “exceed customer expectations” in their mission statements (or those lists of core values you see hanging in company cafeterias). Why? “Because I want them to come to my next concert,” he replied when a pesky reporter called him “ungenerous and almost stingy when…

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How to Use SMS in Sales Communications

One of our Account Executives, Amanda Duffy, asked me if SMS was the next voicemail. There’s no question voicemail has declined rapidly in recent years as we’ve shifted our messaging preferences to email, text messaging, and now Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Why the decline in voicemail?  Simple … it is not an immediate response tool,…

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How to Improve Lead Quality

It’s tempting in any economy, but especially one where demand is soft, to cast a wider net in hopes of generating more leads. But with sales costs soaring, it’s more important than ever to keep lead quality high. Nothing can burn dollars faster than chasing down unqualified opportunities. In this interview, lead management consultant Carlos Hidalgo…

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