Oct 11

Prospecting 101

There are right ways and wrong ways to develop new business. Alaska-state-library-photograph-pca-44-3-15-sourdough-in-stream-panning-for-gold-skinner

The right way is to first conduct deep research on a prospect organization, arrive at some sort of possible 'white space' opportunity and then 'ask' the prospect's permission to discuss the findings.

The wrong way is to spam the prospect. One of our clients, who leads communications for a global brand, says she is literally being deluged by spam pitches from myriad public relations firms. They're arriving in ever-increasing numbers, are 'inside out' in their approach (i.e. “We're a great agency and you'd be smart to hire us.”) and are actually counter-productive since they damage the firm's image and reputation.

I have the great fortune to serve on several boards populated by some of the best and brightest corporate communications chiefs in the world. I would never, ever allow my firm to blindly spam these individuals. To do so would violate a business relationship and, even more importantly to me, a personal friendship. That said, I've been able to win new business with some of my board peers but only after a long period of building mutual trust.

So, here's a heads-up to all the new business people at all the PR firms in the world. Stop spamming prospects. Step back and be more thoughtful in your approach and suggest solutions instead of pitching your incredible capabilities. My client will tell you those unsolicited mailers are going straight in her trash can, as is any chance of being considered for future assignments.

Jun 12

The only thing we have to worry about is worry itself

Many years ago, we had a management supervisor who literally fell asleep during client meetings. TheSleeping
first time it happened, we apologized to the client and warned the MS not to let it happen again. The second time it occurred, we moved him off the account and told him to fix the problem. When it kept happening, we parted ways.

Since he was reticent to explain exactly why he was passing out at work, we guessed there was some sort of serious sleeping issue. But, we never would have guessed he might have been getting too much sleep!

According to a new report, our chronically fatigued MS may have been getting too much sleep at night. It sounds counterintuitive, but too much sleep is just as harmful as too little.

Researchers say most people believe they’re not getting enough sleep. That perception, in turn, causes them so much stress that they don’t sleep. As a result, they go to work battered, beleaguered and believing they won’t be able to function. The truth is that most of us only need five or six hours. The problems arise (pun intended) when sleepers get too little or too much.

Fear of getting too little sleep, say researchers, is a root cause of the insomnia epidemic. The experts urge insomniacs to get up, walk around and distract their minds when they can’t sleep. Such activity actually enhances sleep since it distracts the mind from the fear of not sleeping.

Bottom-line? As FDR might have said, “when it comes to insomnia, the only thing we have to worry about is worry itself.”

May 13

A market research company that doesn’t do market research

I love irony. The thicker, the better. How rich, then, is this voice mail?

“Hey Melissa, this is xxxxxxx xxxx calling from xxxxxxxxxxx. Um, I had been speaking with Dandy, and uh, I had been speaking with Steve Cody before he left Peppercom, um, regarding market research with you guys. So when you have a moment if you could give me a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx. If you want to check us out online before you call we’re at xxxxxxxxxxx.com. Thanks, Melissa.”

This poor guy not only believes that ‘…Steve Cody no longer works for Peppercom, but he’s also trying to pitch his market research company’s services to our very own Melissa Vigue. Ouch!

No need to expound on the damage a market researcher who doesn’t do market research can wreak on a market research company’s image and reputation (and, try saying that line three times fast).