What Will You Do Differently in 2011?


If you haven’t already taken the time to evaluate what 2010 meant for your business, now is the time! You can’t really put together a well-thought plan for 2011 without knowing what worked (and what didn’t) in 2010.

Take a few minutes to review your revenues, your client list, your prospect list, which products/services sold and which didn’t, which marketing tactics produced results and which were sorely lacking.

Once you’ve done this, you are ready to put together your marketing plan so that you can capitalize on the best of what you do and tweak or eliminate the worst.

A good plan will not only help guide you through the year, it will also give you a solid way to measure your efforts so that you can build an even better plan the next year.

Happy holidays and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2011 to each and every one of you.

The End of the Year Blah’s


It seems to be a constant refrain this time of year – non-retail business slows down, people concentrating on family and gifts, everyone waiting for things to start fresh in the new year.

There is business to be had out there, even in the last few weeks of the year. If your competition is in hold mode, why not up the ante and go after some prospects? They may be ripe to take advantage of end-of-the year savings, or want to close the deal before prices go up on January 1st? Maybe they can’t/won’t act now, but you’ll be front and center in their minds when they’re ready to act in January. Maybe they have a need, but think their current vendor can’t help them because they’re closed for the holidays, or are just laying low this time of year.

Whatever the situation, if you’re open for business, keep running your business as if it’s any other time of the year.

As for me, I’m expecting no loss of volume in promotional product sales or consulting clients coming on board in the next two weeks as compared to any other time of the year. If you work it, they will come!

Make Your Trade Show Exhibit a Success


The winter trade show season hits the ground running on January 3rd. If you’re booked to exhibit at a trade show anytime in the first quarter of 2011 and haven’t put together and/or started to implement your pre-show marketing plan, then it’s time to get going now, before it’s too late.

There are three components to a successful trade show exhibit: 1) pre-show plan  2) qualifying prospects on the show floor  3) post-show follow-up.

In order to drive the most traffic to your exhibit, and certainly to try to see as many of the people that you really want to connect with there as possible, a pre-show plan is imperative.

A pre-show mailer, e-mail and/or phone call to key targets and clients can make the difference between actually meeting with those people on the show floor (or for a more private off-the-floor meeting before or after show hours) and just waving to them as they saunter by your booth.

You can certainly tap into your own contact/client list, and you should; but don’t forget that you can usually purchase a list of pre-registered attendees from show management. You can usually even specify the parameters of which registrants you would like contact information for based on the questions asked at the time of registration (e.g. You only want to reach out to the owners and CFO’s of companies with earnings of $5M or more per year, you may be able to specify that.)

By reaching out ahead of time, you have the opportunity to set appointments and pique the interest of your particular target market. Of course you won’t want to focus on them to the exclusion of everyone else who comes by your exhibit; but you will have a better overall outcome (ROI/ROO) if you go into it knowing who are the key people you would like to meet while there and then taking an active role in making those meetings happen.