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$10.00 MARCH | 2011

w w w. b r i l l i a n t p u b l i s h i n g . c o m

GREEN G LF page 8

Green Business? By: maryanne morrill

Contact your local Promotional Products Distributor



Vol. 8, No. 2 2011

features: 8

Go Green ~ Green Business?

departments: 6 7 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 33 34

publisher’s letter contributors: who’s who in the industry


web ways: 9ine ways to fall in love with your e-mail foresight: can I tape my business card on your wall sales secrets: the ‘a-ha’ selling moment incentives: green golf… naturally sales management: powerful sales meetings marketing: beyond the status quo branding: contextual branding travel: getting brilliant results with green tourism exhibit: the right place to exhibit it’s all personal: innovative thinking ad index staying sharp: be prepared for what ever is coming

4 Brilliant Results

• March 2011


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publisher’s letter


Brilliant Publishing LLC 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown, PA 17036 Ph: 717.571.9233 Fax: 717.566.5431

PUBLISHER / ADVERTISING Maureen Williams 717-608-5869

This month we start out with a simple question: What shade of green are you? Great question really. At Brilliant Publishing we are constantly improving our shade of green. From recycling to publishing the magazine digitally online, we are constantly striving to make a difference and have an impact. If you haven’t already checked out our website or found us on, we hope this green issue will motivate you to check us out digitally. You may find you enjoy reading us online and referring to past issues for inspiration. Please don’t forget to let us know your thoughts. Many have told us via email that they are enjoying our magazine digitally, so if you are a new digital convert let us know. But for those subscribers who still like the feel of paper we will continue to publish the Brilliant Results print version. In our quest to streamline and become a digital presence, we plan to provide even more solutions via direct links to our advertisers, twitter updates, etc. We are even considering making a BR app! Let us know your thoughts. Would you be interested in reading the magazine on your iPad, iPhone or Blackberry? In our quest to deliver results do not miss one single article in this issue; from Nuts & Bolts of Selling, to an AHA sales moment, to 9 helpful hints for a better result from your email marketing, to contextual branding, to finding your perfect shade of green, we have you covered. And for a brilliant way to keep your contact information in front of your clients 24/7 make sure you read ‘Can I Tape My Business Card To Your Wall.” Yes, another brilliant issue awaits…So what are you waiting for…go grab a cup of coffee or tea and read away and make it a…

EDITORIAL Editor in Chief MaryAnne Morrill

Senior Editor Michelle Donofry

Style Editor Charity Plata

Asst. Editor Molly Anika

Contributing Writers Bob Circosta, Michael Merrick Crooks, Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., Arnold Light, CTC, Martin Lindstrom, John Murphy, Barry Siskind, Dr. Peter Tarlow, John R. Treace Steve Woodburn

PRODUCTION / DESIGN Art Director Jeremy Tingle

Brilliant Results is published monthly by Brilliant Publishing LLC, 9034 Joyce Lane Hummelstown PA 17036 (717) 608-5869; Fax# (717) 566-5431. Postage paid at Michigan City, IN and additional offices. POSTMASTER please send address changes to Brilliant Results, 9034 Joyce Lane, Hummelstown PA 17036. Volume 8. Number 03. Brilliant Results subscription rates: one-year $120;

Brilliant Day!

Canadian $160 USD; one-year foreign $225 USD. All subscriptions are non-refundable. Copyright © 2011 Brilliant Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. The publisher reserves the right to accept or reject any advertising or editorial material. Advertisers, and/or their agents, assume the responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on the advertisement. Editorial contributors assume responsibility for

Maureen Williams Publisher 717-608-5869

their published works and assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on published work. No part of this publication can be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher. All items submitted to Brilliant Results become the sole property of Brilliant Publishing LLC. Editorial content does not reflect the views of the publisher. The imprints, logos, trademarks or trade names (Collectively the “Marks”) displayed on the products featured in Brilliant Results are for illustrative purposes

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only and are not available for sale. The marks do not represent the implied or actual endorsement by the owners of the Marks of the product on which they appear. All of the Marks are the property of the respective owners and is not the property of either the advertisers using the Marks or Brilliant Results.

6 Brilliant Results

• March 2011










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Bob Circosta, “The Billion Dollar Man”, takes lessons learned from achieving individual product sales in excess of $1 billion to help companies and sales professionals develop effective marketing and promotions techniques to produce sales results. Bob played a key role in the creation of the home shopping industry, and speaks to corporations, small businesses and entrepreneurs on how to sell more effectively. For more information, visit www. .


Michael Merrick Crooks

owns Crooks Advertising Alliance, an advertising and promotional marketing company that specializes in creative problem-solving. He’s internationally recognized as a thought-leader for his ability to strip away the statusquo to reveal the obscure obvious. To learn more about his creative, writing and speaking services contact Crooks through


Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. For more than two decades Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government organizations have relied on Dr. Barton Goldsmith to help them develop creative and balanced leadership. He is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, business consultant and author.  His columns appear in over 500 publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times, the Detroit News, and the Los Angeles Business Journal. He may be contacted through his web site


Arnold Light, CTC,

CEO & President of Fire and Light has 35 years of marketing experience specializing in incentive and loyalty marketing helping multinational corporations develop and implement B2B and B2C results oriented performance improvement programs. For additional information visit


Martin Lindstrom, a respected branding and marketing expert, was selected as one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME magazine. The founder, CEO and Chairman of the LINDSTROM company (Sydney), Martin speaks to a global audience of approximately one million people every year. He has been featured in numerous publications, and on major broadcast and financial television network programs, his previous book, BRAND sense, was acclaimed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five best marketing books ever published. His latest book; Buyology – Truth and Lies About Why We Buy – a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling book has been translated into 37 languages and is on almost all major bestseller lists worldwide.


As the President of ReachMail, John Murphy continues what he’s been doing since 1999 - helping marketers improve their e-mail marketing campaigns. Previously, John managed e-mail marketing programs for leading companies and organizations such as Sun Microsystems, Citrix Online and the University of Wisconsin, and he holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

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Barry Siskind is an internationally recognized trade and consumer show expert. He is the author of six bestselling business books including Powerful Exhibit Marketing. Read his newest book, Selling from the Inside Out for an in depth guide to a successful sales career. Visit Barry at


Dr. Peter Tarlow is the founder and president of Tourism & More Inc. Dr. Tarlow has appeared on National televised programs such as Dateline: NBC and on CNBC. Dr. Tarlow organizes conferences around the world dealing with visitor safety and security issues and with the economic importance of tourism and tourism marketing. He also works with numerous cities, states, and foreign governments to improve their tourism products and to train their tourism security professionals. For additional information visit


John R. Treace is the author of Nuts & Bolts of Sales Management: How to Build a HighVelocity Sales Organization (available at bookstores and on John mines decades of sales officer experience effecting business turnarounds of near-bankrupt companies to position them for being publicly traded. These ventures produced a ten-times return for initial investors at three years after going public. Go to his website,, or contact him at


With 25 years in promotional marketing,

Steve Woodburn works with clients to develop

creative and measurable solutions that solve their marketing needs using promotional products, uniform programs, online company stores, point-ofsale initiatives along with rewards and recognition. He builds long-term relationships and becomes a trusted advisor and consultant his clients can turn to for all their brand extension needs. You can reach him at Staples Promotional Products: stephen.

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By: MaryAnne Morrill

Green Golf ~

Green Business? 8 Brilliant Results

• March 2011

“It’s not easy being green.” -Kermit the Frog (muppet)

Looking across the

vista of many golf courses with their trees and beautiful greens, it is hard to image that these are not the most eco-friendly shades of green. Up until the 1990’s, golf people were sure that environmentalists were an enemy who didn't understand the game. Today improvements continue to be made through the Golf Environment Organization (www.golfenvironment. org). Its Legacy Guidance project is a culmination of years of research and consultation with some of the leading design firms to help developers, designers and land owners learn about the benefits of sustainability both in environmental and economic terms and to create golf courses that have a positive impact on the surrounding land. Clearly the golf course is changing in appearance and management practices in response to environmentalism, resource scarcity (read water), economic issues, and golfer’s appreciation of the beauty and challenge of playing natural wildly challenging courses like Bandon Dunes, Sand Hills and Chambers Bay, reminiscent of the rugged, natural links of the British Isles, where the game began. It stands to reason if the course itself is becoming ecofriendly, then golf events must also answer the call to ‘green’.

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 9

And event ‘hosts’ will find that incorporating green into their of getting information to clients in a format they use every day. general business practices will increase their eco-friendly The use of CDs would not only encourage retention because of footprint and provide positive feedback from a public that is the minimal storage space required, it would also make the item becoming increasing aware of the benefits of caring for the a ready reference if produced with a searchable option. environment, whether it be in their ‘organic’ food choices or Another green consideration, while perhaps more time their horror at images of brown pelicans encased in oil. consuming, is to update all mailing lists on a regular basis. With this in mind, companies are finding that there are as This is not only good for the environment by eliminating many ways to incorporate eco-friendly into their business and mail waste and saving on postage costs, it can also prevent event plans, as there are shades of green. When planning unintended consequences, for example an insurance a golf or other event follow the example recently set by the company sending out a direct mail piece to ‘save on car Ryder Cup ‘Green Drive’, by incorporating some obvious insurance’ addressed to a young mother killed in a car wreck and not so obvious eco-friendly practices. For example, two years before. According to the latest statistics available encourage recycling by providing from the Centers for Disease Control prominent sorting stations, utilize and Prevention, in 2005, 659,000 One example is the use of promotional and gift products that are people under age 65 died. While mail something as simple as a made from recyclable materials, serve that is sent to deceased persons via power strip like The Monster® local, organic food – perhaps a ‘Taste relatives is a fraction of the overall of” whatever the location, encourage amount of undeliverable mail each Digital PowerCenter™ MDP the golf facility to install energy saving year, it is still costly – to your bottom 650 available from Rymax lights, if it hasn’t already do so, use the line and your company image. Marketing Services, Inc. (info@ event as an opportunity to incorporate One of the biggest environmental to protect your environmental messaging, this would mailing costs is that associated with be a perfect time to make participants undeliverable mail…over six million computer and the valuable aware of your organization’s green data stored on it from common trees and more than 300 million practices. pounds of paper are wasted each power surges and spikes, as year on undeliverable-as-addressed well as, automatically shutting Simple Shades of Green Standard class mail, as reported by UAA Clearinghouse. It costs the Post While in the words of Kermit, “it’s not down outlets to stop energy Office over 2 billion dollars annually to easy being green”, there are numerous waste and save some money. process this true “junk mail”. And the ways both large and small to make your cost to mailers is even more dramatic – company a better shade of green, any undeliverable mail costs direct mailers one of which can be showcased in an over $6 billion dollars a year. upcoming event’s messaging. Experts Implementing green office in going green often encourage supply practices and utilizing simple companies to start their green strategy technological items is another way to with "low hanging fruit" projects, such green up a company. One example is as replacing light bulbs and starting the use of something as simple as a recycling programs, which deliver low power strip like The Monster® Digital cost quick results. These efforts can PowerCenter™ MDP 650 available from help to plant the ‘green seed’ in a Rymax Marketing Services, Inc. (info@ company’s culture getting employees to protect your computer and the valuable data engaged in green thinking and sparking green initiatives. As a company begins to color in a deeper shade of green, stored on it from common power surges and spikes, as well as, one often overlooked way to green your business it to green your automatically shutting down outlets to stop energy waste and mailing practices. Two simple methods that saved money and save some money. Another way to incorporate green thinking is to make all trees mentioned in the USPS Deliver magazine involved reducing mailer sizes (non-profit, Consumers Union saved more than of your promotional and incentive products either green or $250,000 over 3 years) and mailing directories and periodicals with a significant green orientation. Simple things like giving on CDs instead of paper (375 million paper pages were saved out recyclable bags, bamboo pencils, trees and plants as in 2007 when MetLife did this). These are actions that can be tradeshow takeaways and having all literature and hand outs taken by any organization. The idea of putting directories and printed with soy inks on recyclable paper will help to plant the especially catalogs on CDs would not only save millions of trees idea that your organization is environmentally aware in the and paper added to landfills, it would also be a more effective way minds of your customers.

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When planning a golf or other event follow the example recently set by the Ryder Cup ‘Green Drive’, by incorporating some obvious and not so obvious eco-friendly practices.

If you haven’t already, consider these ideas for deepening your shade of green; •

Buy greener office supplies...........................................................................................

Buy greener office furniture....................................................................

Conserve energy..............................................................................................................,

Use less hazardous cleaning

Conserve water....................................................................................,

Boost heating and cooling efficiency.................................................................................

Use green building products.........................................................................,

Install air and water filtration...........................................................................................

Buy carbon

Improve manufacturing procedures...................................................................................................

Buy materials from sustainable

Buy wind or solar powered electricity........................................................................



Use biodiesel fuel...............................................................................................................................

Consider Green Energy Certificates....................................................................................................

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 11

Companies both large and small can implement any or all the above ideas and many more. Some large companies like IBM, Xerox and Intel have implemented green manufacturing processes, supported energy conservation and utilize renewable energy resulting in real measurable advantages. These programs have helped them reduce operating costs and cut their chances of being sued or fined for violating environmental regulations. Small businesses, which comprise the vast majority of the US business landscape, should also have the same interest in cutting costs, boosting their environmental compliance and enhancing their reputation.

The Right Shade of Green So large or small how do you color your company green? The first steps are perhaps the most important to a successful green transition: 1. Decide why you want to go green; 2. Develop a plan with your performance objectives; 3. Establish the scope of your ‘green’ program; 4. Determine your follow-through method. The first step seems obvious – deciding why you want to green your business. But just as there are numerous shades of green on a color wheel, green means that many and more things to different individuals. To reach that shade of green that works for your organization you must understand your motivating factors. Is it to cut costs, enhance employee health, improve productivity, enhance your business reputation or comply with environmental regulations? Understanding the motivation with help your business select the right shade of company green. The next step is to define your green objectives. Without defined and measurable objectives it is difficult to quantify success in reaching your desired level of greenness. It is also generally best to initially establish the rate at which your organization wants to ‘green’. Deciding whether the right approach is: a. starting slow with the ‘low-hanging fruit’ and building a more comprehensive program over time; or, b. addressing as many environmental issues as quickly as time and resources permit, can greatly assist in the decision process and in setting objectives. The critical decision regarding the scope of your green program is the next step in the process. Is the scope limited to just office or manufacturing or is your organization going green through and through? This may require taking a critical look at all of your business activities to identify the environmental impacts associated with each and the potential green benefit, in other words, make a ‘green opportunities assessment’. With an assessment in hand it is now time to evaluate the cost/ benefit effect of each opportunity from both a dollars and 12 Brilliant Results

• March 2011

cents (tangible) and a reputation and community responsibility (intangible) aspect. Once an organization has decided what its right shade of green is, it is imperative that the company culture from the top down has a 100% buy-in to that shade of green. As with any business project, specific task assignments, completion dates and resource commitments must be made including periodic progress reports as goals are met. Perhaps most importantly everyone from the CEO to the maintenance staff must feel committed to the green goals, anything less than a 100% commitment will not result in the follow-through effort that is necessary to color and maintain a company’s shade of green. Finally, the most important thing is to get started and become part of the green solution.

Why Green? The simple answer is because it can make an organization’s bottom-line greener. Your customers are concerned about the environment they and their children share, they are more health conscious, they are beginning to eat both organic and locally grown food and they are better informed thanks to new technologies that allow word-of-mouth comments both positive and negative to spread at the speed of light. If you doubt this ask yourself, “What airline breaks guitars?” “What pizza maker spits in dough?” “What oil company has an executive who wants his life back?”…Know the answers… so do your customers. By connecting a better shade of green to your company image, you can increase its marketing advantage and link to organizations that promote the green initiatives that your company has taken. For example, Enterprise Rent-ACar commemorated its 50th anniversary with a 50 Million-Tree pledge. The pledge was accomplished through a public/private partnership with the U.S. Forest Service; Enterprise launched its initiative through the Arbor Day Foundation to plant 50 million trees over the next 50 years -- a gift worth more than $50 million dollars. With a fleet of approximately one million cars, Enterprise has basically pledged to plant a tree every year for 50 years for each of its cars, thereby offsetting its fleet’s environmental impact. They have also partnered with the EPA’s SmartWay green vehicle rating program, thus giving customers a chance to buy carbon offset credits as a part of their rental agreement. So whether its recycling, planting trees or radical ideas like riding bicycles to power office equipment, shades of green are rapidly becoming a requirement for the successful business with the courage to try something different, engage its people and seize the opportunity to be an innovative leader. Here’s hoping your company makes its shade of green deep and rich.

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9ine Ways to Fall in Love

With Your E-Mail Marketing

When it comes

to e-mail marketing, the last thing you need is for your customers to take you for granted. As memories of the holidays fade, it’s time to rekindle the passion between you and your customers. Reigniting this passion is even more critical now that Internet service providers are looking at engagement – open and clickthrough rates – as a major factor in deliverability. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, following are nine ways to connect with your customers through every stage of the relationship:

• Avoid being clingy. When the infatuation inevitably wanes, position yourself for a long-term relationship by presenting personalized offers, allowing them to adjust mailing frequency to their preferences. Don’t abuse the relationship by being clingy; instead, be reliable yet respectful of their privacy. • Delight them by doing something special for no reason at all. Your customers know you're in business to make money, so when you give something to them with no obligation, they will take notice. • Surprise them with a very personalized offer. The best performing e-mail campaigns are ones that speak directly to your customers’ individual needs. In the consumer space, major online retailers have had great success with e-mails targeted to consumers who abandoned purchases with items in their virtual shopping carts. The best results originate with e-mails featuring the shopping cart item that are sent three to six hours after abandonment. Business-to-business marketers can re-engage by messaging clients who were viewing their whitepaper library but did not download a whitepaper. • Remember your anniversary. Thank your customers on the one-year or six-month anniversary of their first purchase. Make sure the promo is tailored to their past purchases and is not just a general offer.

• Ask them out. Make sure you have the permission of your customers by using the gold standard of a double opt-in. You wouldn't show up at a stranger’s door for a date, so don't show up uninvited in their inbox. • Flirt a little. When prospective customers opt in, you don’t want to bombard them with too many offers immediately. If you come on too strong, you might scare customers away. • Wine and dine. Present your best offers early on in the marketing sequence. We all dress up a little more for a first or second date than we do for a 10th date, and the same is true for e-mail marketing.  Put your best foot forward by sending your best deals and promotions up front.

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• Give them a chance to talk. Create a short, simple survey to let them tell you honestly what they think of your relationship. Do they want more space? Is your merchandise in need of a makeover? Are there things you used to do that they miss? Now's the time to find out the honest truth. Win them over at the end of the survey by offering them a surprise gift. • Can we still be friends? If a customer is just not in to you, accept it and let her opt out. Thank her for her business, and avoid burying the opt-out link. On the opt-out page, give her the opportunity to “friend” you on Facebook or follow your Twitter feed. If you end the relationship with class, there may be a second chance down the road.

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Can I Tape My Business Card to Your Wall? Imagine going into a prospect or customer's office and taping your business card to their wall or perhaps the corner of their desk? Chances are you'd find yourself being escorted out of their office by security with a firm invitation not to come back...ever! Now imagine your customer voluntarily putting your contact information on their wall and referring to it on a daily basis. Sound far-fetched? If your contact information is printed on a calendar; be it a wall, desk, pocket or magnetic calendar, chances are your customer will find a place to give it a

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home The reality is that even though we use the electronic calendars on our computers and phones, the paper calendar is still one of the most cost-effective promotional products you can purchase.

Here are a few statistics that may surprise you: • 98% of all homes and virtually 100% of all businesses have at least one calendar. • The typical person has 2.5 calendars in their working area and/or home (not sure why they would put up half a calendar!!). • 87% of householders and 94% of business recipients recall the advertising message displayed on their calendar. • Recipients say if they weren't given a calendar they would purchase one from a retail outlet. • You can choose from hundreds of stock calendars with themes and pictures such as food, sports cars, big rigs, medical, Americana, lighthouses, airplanes, homes, beaches, Norman Rockwell, Native Americans, motorcycles, wildlife and the list goes on and on. Stock calendars have several areas you can customize with your company’s information.

executives deliver them personally to their customers. How cool is that? 3. If this is being given to workers or customers where safety is important, add relevant safety tips each month. Workplace safety is a huge concern given insurance and medical costs and reinforcing safety with monthly or even daily safety reminders is smart. 4. Use the calendar as a way to get employees involved. Have a contest for the best recipes, most creative photography or best suggestions to improve their areas and include those on each month’s page. 5. Pick a format that fits the people you’ll be giving them to. For those who sit in cubicles, pick a functional desk calendar that doesn’t take up a lot of space. For warehouses or home use a wall calendar might be your best choice. There are calendar cards, one-sheet 12-month calendars, desk calendars, wall calendars, magnetic calendars and pocket calendars. Work with your calendar professional to choose the right format for your business. If you're looking for inspiration go to your local bookstore and browse through the rows of retail calendars and see what's selling. Also notice the retail price on those calendars, from $10 to $25. Keep in mind if you produce 5,000 custom calendars for your company chances are you'll be able to get them for $5.00 or less. Let's say your client refers to that calendar you give them once a day every day for the next year (most likely they'll look at it multiple times each day), your cost per exposure is a little more than a penny per view. Not to mention the long-term exposure your message gets which tends to build trust with your customer in a non-invasive way. Calendars are a wonderful way to advertise your message in places you couldn't pay for no matter how deep your pockets. Even in this world of technology they continue to be a great advertising investment and now is the best time to start working on your 2012 calendar. There are typically discounts given if you order before the end of April and most companies will hold the calendars you purchase now until the fall when you are ready to hand them out. I’m not sure anyone will let you tape your business card to their wall, but most people will gladly put a calendar up with your advertising, especially if it is creative and informative. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case keep your name in front of those important to you. 

Calendars are a wonderful way to advertise your message in places you couldn’t pay for no matter how deep your pockets.

Better yet, for reasonable minimum quantities, you can create a custom calendar using your own look and design, photographs you choose and copy throughout to tell your company's story. Use your imagination and think of a custom calendar as a blank slate. Here are a few ways to make your calendar more useful depending on who your audience is:

1. Add 12 coupons that can be used, one per month, over the course of the year. These give customers, be they retail or corporate, a reason to do business with you each month. 10% off on their next purchase, buy one get one free or discounts on seasonal items. Chick fil-A, a national restaurant chain puts out an amazing calendar each year, charges $5 for it and includes coupons worth 10 times that much in discounts and free food items. 2. People will rarely throw something out with their name on it and with variable printing, you can now literally personalize each page of a custom calendar with a client’s name. Create a mailing to your database with personalized calendars or have the account

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 17

sales secrets BY: BOB CIRCOSTA

The ‘A-HA’ Selling Moment When I travel

around the country conducting my sales presentation training sessions, the audience is often a cross-section of the business world – from independent insurance sales professionals, to corporate sales executives, to entrepreneurs pitching brand-new products. But no matter what they do for a living, they all tend to get an “a-ha” moment at a certain stage of the training. It’s when they realize that a key to successful sales lies in knowing how and when to sell a product’s benefits vs. just selling its features. Realizing this is when the light bulb goes on – and the magic begins!

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It can take some explaining, though, because often the first thought is this: “I thought all I have to do to sell is to describe my product and see if someone is interested.” But to understand where better to devote your energy, think about this statement: There is one reason that people respond to you in a sale, and that’s emotion. There’s an old saying that “… people buy based on emotion – and justify with the facts later!” Now, this is not to say the facts are not important – they are. You still need to share the facts about your product, service or idea. However, I like to say, “… the facts provide the information, but the emotion provides the interpretation.” And this interpretation is the key in helping customers understand how a product will help them. This is what will eventually determine the successful – or not so successful – outcome of your situation. I often work with salespeople who are having challenges in their business. “I can’t figure out why people don’t respond to me when I make my pitch,” they’ll say. “I feel I am an engaging person, but I can’t seem to get a response.” So what do they do next? They try to change themselves, thinking they are the problem. Now, if your product is one that simply won’t engage an audience, or if you are getting in front of the wrong kind of prospect, that’s another issue. (This is something to take up with your marketing department, for one thing, since you need to do a better job of finding your target customer or to make changes to your product to better match customer demand.) But if your targeting isn’t off the mark, remember it is easier (and of course, more credible) to be you, and to think instead about how you are talking about your product. One side note here: Don’t think that since we aren’t emphasizing features in our pitch that you don’t have to understand your product, including how it rates compared to your competition. If you don’t have at least a basic working knowledge of what you are selling, it’s going to be very difficult to establish credibility in the process. Granted, this level of knowledge may vary on such things as how many products you are being asked to sell, or how deep and long the sales process is. For instance, you might expect to get a lot more questions about a $300,000 house than you would about a $200 vacuum cleaner. Or, if you

are pitching something new every day – as we did on the TV shopping channel, where my sales career took shape – you will probably have time to only think about the most commonly asked questions about your product. Still, that basic understanding is needed – not only for credibility, but to make the jump to understanding the benefits that each feature offers the customer. Next, you need to know when to talk benefits. Basically, base your timing on your desire to get a response from your sales prospect. I recently sold a basic water filter on a TV shopping channel, selling over 20,000 of them in less than 24 hours at $29.95 each. To start the pitch, I could have simply talked about the filter – how much it cost, how it worked, etc. But instead, after establishing the basic need – “everyone needs to drink water, of course, and it’s great for your health” – I started asking some questions. “Wouldn’t it be terrific if you never had to buy water bottles again?” I asked. “Or never again had to pay a monthly fee for a water cooler in your home?” This turned the conversation immediately to the benefits of the product. As I started describing the filter, every step of the way I talked about how it could help the viewer. Instead of just talking about price, I talked about how much money it would save vs. other ways to get drinking water. And instead of just saying how long the filter would last, I estimated how much money it could save in a multi-year time period. This approach got the response I wanted, and it also elicited excellent on-air testimonials from viewers who had bought and used the filter in the past. You’ll find that talking about benefits ties in perfectly with one of the best tried-and-true sales tools – customer testimonials. We talked in a previous column about how in successful selling, you aren’t selling to someone…You are helping that person. Once you understand this, and stop looking at your product only through its features, you will find your sales pitches will be less stressful and much more successful. In our next column, we’ll walk you through our guaranteed way to sell that matches the reasons people buy – a method summarized in five letters that has been the key to my selling over $1 billion worth of merchandise in my career. Every buying prospect has a hot button. Our job is simply to find it and help them with our product, service or idea. Selling benefits is the way to do just that! 

There’s an old saying that “… people buy based on emotion – and justify with the facts later!” Now, this is not to say the facts are not important – they are. You still need to share the facts about your product, service or idea.

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 19

incentives BY: Arnold light, CTC

Green Golf… Naturally! For the past

several years, golf has made a great transition, not necessarily in the way the game is played but in the way golf courses are managed. Going green has become a natural experience for golf course mangers across the USA and in many other countries as well. The incentive to be green is to either start conserving and taking measures to make courses environmentally sound or risk losing the course altogether. Conserving natural resources by using less water and chemicals, preserving wetlands and forests, protecting wildlife, and reclaiming degraded land, have become the norm. Back in the early 1990's the United States Golf Association (USGA) funded 90 environmental research projects at a cost of more than $11 million which culminated in a 951 page book on environmental issues related to golf course construction and ongoing management. Also during this time period the USGA and Audubon International teamed up to establish the Audubon Cooperative Society Program for Golf Courses. According to the Incentive Research Foundation’s latest trend study of what is happening in the incentive industry one of the most substantive differences is a reduction in per-person budgets and increased ties to corporate social responsibility. So if you are planning golf incentives in the near future, perhaps this summer or fall, you can do so and keep the respectability and integrity of the program by staying within the continental USA and using golf facilities that are environmentally sustainable. Here are several eco-friendly courses:

Tournament Players Club, Dearborn, Michigan Once an old Ford trash heap, this course designed by Jack Nicklaus with assistance from Audubon International, was made into a championship course and a certified wildlife refuge as well. And the management is also conserving water, using daily measurements to see if the course needs watering or if it's okay to just be left alone. Because it sits on a flood plain, it can use less water than many other courses.

Vineyard Golf Club, Martha's Vineyard, MA The management at Vineyard Golf Club, in Martha’s Vineyard, MA takes a more natural approach. The links style course, which takes advantage of the land it sits on rather than changing it, is also planted without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. This course is managed by Jeff Carlson, winner of the Award for Environmental Stewardship from the Golf Course 20 Brilliant Results

• March 2011

Superintendents Association of America and kudos from Golf Digest for his environmental management.

Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma The Air Force owns dozens of environmentally friendly courses that are run through the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment's (AFCEE) Golf Course Environmental Management Program. Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma is one of their flagship courses. They've attacked water usage and according to the Air Force a recent greens renovation succeeded in increasing the environmental compatibility of the course.

The Old Collier Golf Club, Naples, Florida The Old Collier course is a Gold Seal winner from Audubon International that tailored its course to the natural environment and ensured that local wildlife was safe in the area. Some golf courses tailor their grass use to the environment, this club invented a brand new type of ecofriendly grass that thrives in salty environments. The grass is called Seashore Paspalum and works well in coastal areas,

where a large number of golf courses are located. The Old Collier's landscaping approach already included salt tolerant natural plants, but the new grass will allow courses to use naturally brackish and salty water rather than using local freshwater to water its grounds. Since Seashore Paspalum was introduced more native animals have been noted in the area’s golf courses. The above are just a small sampling of golf courses that have made the switch. When you think about the 17,000 golf courses in the USA, which is about 50% of all golf courses around the world, the fact that extensive research by the USGA and Audubon International is leading the way to environmentally sustainable courses only leads to one conclusion… that sooner or later all golf courses will for the most part be eco-friendly and will be much more tuned into a course’s natural integration with nature. What does this mean for incentive planners? As the trend toward more social responsibility permeates America’s corporate world, planners can now, when called upon, book a golf outing that meets the corporate mandates for being green.  Have A Rewarding Day…

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 21

sales management BY: john treace

Powerful Sales Meetings Designing a powerful

sales meeting is not an easy task, but it is one of the most important aspects of building and maintaining a high-velocity sales organization. The objective of all sales meetings should be to increase sales—period. That’s why we call them sales meetings. Entertaining the participants and having them leave full of enthusiasm is a good thing, but it should never overshadow the need to produce sales.

like that. They want to make money, they want to focus their attention on that goal, and they want to work for managers who are committed to being the best.

If the sales team begins to suspect that management doesn’t know how to increase sales, morale will be negatively affected and team members will question their choice of employers. Additionally, salespeople are conscious of the way management spends its money, so seeing waste during ineffective meetings degrades their confidence in the company and makes them less considerate of protecting the corporate resources under their control.

Because managers who can’t write these strategic statements and goals generally do not understand the business, this process can also be used by executive management to evaluate the effectiveness of managers charged with designing the meetings. In other words, this statement of strategic intent is useful for ensuring powerful results meetings and as a management evaluation tool.

With so much at stake in a sales meeting, how can we ensure that the meeting will bring value to the sales team and produce sales? The answer is simple, but the implementation is not: Managers need to develop a statement of strategic intent for the meeting, along with defined, time-sensitive metrics that will be used to It is the sales management’s responsibility to be a measure the meeting’s success. For example, we might good shepherd of corporate resources, so spending say that the strategic intent of our meeting is to train reps money without expecting a measurable return is not good to sell X product, with the goal of 80 business. Every high-performing percent of them exceeding quota salesperson who attends a meeting If the sales team within thirty days of the meeting will be thinking, “Is this meeting making me money, or is my time begins to suspect that management and maintaining that performance through the end of the year. being wasted?” A company’s high doesn’t know how to increase performers will usually produce at sales, morale will be negatively The challenge in developing least 60 percent of the company’s affected and team members will a statement of strategic intent revenues, so when sales managers is in knowing what needs to be waste top salespeople’s time with question their choice accomplished in the meeting to poorly designed meetings, they of employers. reach the required performance send several negative messages: (1) goal. The specifics must be laid that management is not considerate out, and an aggressive but realistic of employees’ time (high performers performance goal must be defined. know that time is money), and (2) that Carrying out this process takes management does not understand a deep understanding of the the business, does not know what business, the sales force, and the needs to be done to increase sales, competition. and is wasting corporate resources.

Unproductive meetings also signal to salespeople that management is not committed to excellence—and powerful sales people don’t want to work for companies 22 Brilliant Results

• March 2011

Powerful sales meetings driven by statements of strategic intent and clear objectives are at the core of powerful companies. Management teams that hold them regularly will always stay on top.

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marketing By: Michael Crooks

Just Beyond The Status Quo: A Better Way of Doing A new door of enlightenment opened to me the day I realized that many of the things we take for granted actually required thought. Someone had to come up with the idea to pre-slice bread. And the person who said, “We should integrate a cup holder right into the design of the car’s interior” should have their own star on Hollywood Boulevard. Even things that at first seem silly had to be invented. Take the “bun-sized hot dog”. I believe the hot dog and the hot dog bun were invented by two different teams. The hot dog people insisted that the bun people made a bun too long for the hot dog. The bun people insisted that the hot dog people made the hot dog too short for the bun. Then one day a hot dog guy said: “Let’s make a hot dog the same length as the bun.” “Seriously?” “Yes. We’ll call it a “Bun-Sized” hot dog.” I bring this up because of the January 2011 passing of Don Tyson, former CEO and chairman of the board of Tyson Foods. As reported in The Week magazine, Tyson was one of the first to recognize that the parts of a chicken, when processed and conveniently packaged, could be worth more than a whole chicken. This insight helped him turn a small family feed and hauling business into a global food empire. Realize, Tyson’s insight flew directly in the face of the status quo. This is the same thinking that prevails in the legitimate auto salvage business. One day, someone realized that a retired vehicle is worth more parted out than scraping it whole. Of course an entirely different and profitable industry was created when illegal chop shops applied the same thinking to new vehicles – increasing profitability (and risk) by stealing the vehicles prior to disassembly. Still, at its core, it’s innovative thinking.

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When I think about innovative thinking, my father and his partner come to mind. They started an auto repair shop in the 60’s. Two common and major repairs quickly got their attention: valve jobs and transmission repair. At most shops, a customer needing a valve job would leave their car for a couple days. The repair shop would remove the engine head, inspect the head, perform a valve job by disassembling the head, grinding the valves and the seats and re-assembling. Then they would have to reinstall the heads. My dad however, rebuked the status quo. He identified the most popular engines needing valve jobs. He had refurbished heads, all painted and ready to go … sitting on the shelf, making the operation “remove & replace” or R & R. This meant that in many cases, the customer could have their car back the next day. The same process was used for transmissions. Guys were employed full-time to rebuild the most popular transmissions. This made transmission failure an R & R job. It was possible that a person could bring their car in at 8:30 am and have it back by noon. This strategy allowed my dad and his partner to complete more jobs, in less time and at reduced cost to their customers. They thrived.

I also get plenty of blasts that basically say, “Buy This”. My immediate question is, “Why?” The blast however, doesn’t tell me why. DELETE You see, just jumping on the latest marketing bandwagon such as text messaging, app sponsorship or QR code ads isn’t enough. Tyson didn’t just cut chickens up … he found a way to add value to people’s lives by doing it. My dad wasn’t refurbishing heads because it was fun. He was doing it because he realized the faster a customer could get his car back affordably, the happier they would be and the more business he’d get.

Don Tyson didn’t invent chicken. He invented a better way to offer it.

Don Tyson pioneered prepackaged chicken parts. My father and his partner pioneered “refurbished”. In earlier articles I’ve written that I believe what keeps many people from thinking outside the box is a lack of thinking inside the box. Both Tyson and my father were able to identify opportunity because they took the time to really give thought to what they were doing, how they were doing it and how people were affected. Another important trait is that they both were hands-on boss types. What emerged was a better way of doing. A better way of doing is what I believe we need in promotional marketing. Email blasts are one area I feel needs vast improvement. Marketers are so busy “getting the word out” that they’ve forgotten some of the very basics of effective marketing. Everyday I get email blasts that have

absolutely no call to action. By the slim chance that I’m interested in whatever they are offering … I have no idea what to do next. DELETE.

New ways of impacting a target audience are being developed at warp speed. The problem is, many marketers (not all) are undermining the credibility of these marketing mediums by ignoring basic principles that Tyson and my dad understood: there needs to be a demonstrable benefit to the idea, the message or the approach … if it’s going to make you money. In a February 4, USA Today article, Handing Off To Multimedia, author Bruce Horovitz explored how marketers are catering to the social media crowd. In the article he warned, “It may be that 2011 Super Bowl advertisers now are so focused on spreading the message across so many media channels that many forgot to focus on the content of the central message itself.”

Don Tyson didn’t invent chicken. He invented a better way to offer it. My father didn’t invent the valve job. He invented a better way of delivering the fix. Here’s my challenge to you. Even though you didn’t invent marketing parts such as the internet (Al Gore already claimed that), text messaging, phone apps or QR codes — perhaps you CAN be the first to in your industry, region, town or among your peers to invent a relevant method by which to effectively use the technology and achieve brilliant results. 

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 25

branding BY: Martin Lindstrom

Contextual Branding

When I first

surfed the Net, some years ago, I clicked on every banner ad that came before me. I reckon this was, not so much because I was in desperate need for home loan advice, fly fishing equipment or wedding dresses, but because I was curious to see what a banner ad was all about. I can promise you, I'm not curious any longer! But I am still curious about ads that appear in logical contexts. In these cases, the advertising message makes sense and, piquing my curiosity because of this fact, encourages me to revert to my earlier discovery- oriented behavior. I wonder if I'm the only user in the world behaving like this. Hard to tell because, according to Digitas, less than 1% of larger sites compile meaningful profiles on their customers. And, as a result of this lack of consumer behavior data, even

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• March 2011

fewer manage to situate their messages within appropriate, interest-compelling contexts. You might have occasion to claim that a great offer on a respected brand compels consumer attention. But the reality is that such opportunities are rare. In fact, according to another study conducted by AC Nielsen in Northern Europe, less than 0.05% of banner ads' messages are blessed with the uniqueness that harnesses the attention of consumers beyond the ads' main target groups. Maybe m-commerce will solve this problem: the Japanese I- Mode phones can tell you that a friend is in your vicinity and about to pass by, and can then offer an online coupon which you redeem by taking the passing friend to a nearby coffee shop; a bookstore will inform you that the book you've been searching for is available in-store, at the very minute you're passing by the shop. But even though

technology like this in Europe and Japan is miles ahead of that in the USA, the fact is that m-commerce represented less than 0.002% of the e-commerce that took place over the last year. This fact leads me back to the premise which prompted this article: the urgent need for a revision of the way we serve our message, the timing of the message and ... you guessed it — context. Contextual Branding is simple. It's about how, when and where you serve your message to achieve the best possible result. It's not a surprise that’s business model is based on retaining each customer for a significant number of years — Up to an astonishing twelve years according to some analysts' forecasts. Why is this possible? Because every year a customer is with you, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more value you can squeeze out of your marketing dollars. I want to see every piece of communication doing what J&J’s Tylenol banner ads for headache reliever is doing. The Tylenol banner ad appears on e-broker’s sites whenever the stock market falls by more than 100 points. Or how about what Unilever’s mobile recipe book is about






to do, a concept, which is available on digital mobile phones in Europe. Intended for use while shopping, the mobile tool suggests recipes and breaks them down into their requisite ingredients, identifying, wherever possible, Unilever products. I'd like to see American Airlines alert their customers to flight delays when I'm about to leave for the airport, rather than once I'm there. Let’s be straight. What I'd like is to see advertisers become more creative. To see them think through their consumers' behavior and figure out when the need for their products is at its peak. Put your brand in context by understanding consumer behavior and need. Contextual Branding is what professional marketers have been doing for decades. But brands now need another push to get them even closer to their consumers' recognition of need. This can only happen by using three ingredients: knowledge of and insight into consumer behavior, an understanding of what technology is available to get as close as possible to the consumer (without interfering with privacy), and tireless creativity.

At least, that's my contextual branding cocktail. How will you make yours? 






Use: AMEX distributes their custom Sudoku books as a credit card sign-up incentive at airports. Why? Travelers love Sudoku! Perfect for corporate travel and meetings, airlines, rental companies, auto dealers, travel websites.

Use: AARP distributes large-print custom Sudoku books as a website sign-up incentive to gain new members. Why? Fight off the effects of mental aging – Sudoku puzzles help to prevent memory loss and increase mental fitness.





Use: Liberty medical supply company distributes their custom Sudoku books at tradeshows and through direct-mail – as a thank you gift for repeat customers. Why? Sudoku books are useful long lasting reminders of a tradeshow booth visit. Tradeshow attendees will play the puzzles in the hotel room, on the plane and on the couch at home.

Use: Microsoft distributes their custom Sudoku books at college recruiting fairs. Inside pages list job positions available, Microsoft trivia questions and Micro-speak terms. Why? Because technology employees, recruits and customers are problem solvers – puzzle masters. People who look into the future and envision a solution.


March 2011 • Brilliant Results 27


Getting Brilliant Results with Green Tourism There has long

been a debate about whether or not tourism and ecology are compatible industries. On one hand tourism critics have pointed out that travel uses a great deal of energy and that when we travel we tend to use more linen, create more water pollution, take longer showers and make more demands on the environment. Many believe that part of the fun of traveling is leaving cares and concerns behind and enjoying those little extra luxuries that are not part of most people's every day lives.   There is no doubt that tourism, at least in the past, was not always environmentally friendly.  There are numerous reasons for this lack of ecological concern.  Among the reasons that critics cite are the fact that travel is hard, people on vacation or a business trip want to be pampered, and that hotels, airport terminals and hotels often either overheat their facilities in winter or over air-condition them in summer. Tourism defenders note the importance of the tourism industry to modern life, its impact on the economy, and the fact that many tourism entities are environmentally responsible.   For example, it is no longer a rarity to find hotels and motels requesting that guests reuse their bath towel and/or accept having their sheets changed once every three days rather than once a day.  Often water is served only upon request.  Another sign of the travel industry's sensitivity to ecological concerns is the fact that airlines are replacing older less fuel-efficient engines with newer and more fuel efficient models, and on most flights recycling is now a common occurrence.  In fact, travel defenders note that in a global world no industry has been more sensitive to the needs of the environment than the travel industry.

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Ironically, despite the criticisms, good tourism demands good ecology. For example, tourists tend to seek out places that are both pretty and natural.  Creating "fields of concrete tied together by rivers of asphalt" simply hurts the tourism industry.  Instead good traffic management, creative streetscapes, replacing unsightly advertisements with creative environmental information centers and providing for urban green spaces not only adds beauty to their visitors and citizens' lives but also helps to replenish our oxygen supply.  As a side note, green cities often have lower crime rates, and create environments where guests tend to spend more money and report having a better time. .   Here are some of the ways that we can enhance our travel experience while protecting the environment and being ecologically friendly: • Use real ecology rather than make-believe ecology. For example, electronic hand dryers in public washrooms may appear to be environmentally friendly, but in reality use a lot more energy than recyclable paper towels.  Sometimes simple is better! • Wash dishes and linens with non-polluting soaps.   Simply refraining from washing linens and tablecloths is not

enough, rather when washing use soaps that are strong enough to kill germs but are also environmentally friendly. • Be careful not to use the latest technology until all of the kinks have been worked out. A few years ago, everyone was encouraged to switch to mercury centered light bulbs, now the trend is away from these florescent bulbs due to fear of breakage and environmental damage.  The bottom line is take the time to explore the consequences of a change and if the change makes sense for your business. • Communities need to make public transportation both affordable and easily available. Consider running special buses or mini-buses to highly frequented tourism areas. The visitors will appreciate the fact that they will not need to worry about getting lost or seek a parking place and the community will be helping the industry to cut down on the use of fossil fuels.

Turn your environmentalism into a form of marketing. By promoting green and by finding innovate ways to protect the environment, the travel and tourism industry not only becomes a green industry but obtains brilliant results by offering products that are pleasant to the eye, and good for our planet. 

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 29

exhibit By: Barry Siskind

The Right Place to Exhibit – A Strategic Approach Business Week Magazine

reported that “a trial and error approach to selecting a place to exhibit results in an average of 2.5 exhibit participations before you choose the right event.” When you multiply that by the thousands of dollars and incredible amount of human resources to participate in a show, the cost of choosing the wrong place to exhibit is massive. Here is a two-step approach to choosing the best places for you to exhibit.

Step #1 - Understand Your Objectives Everything starts with your objectives. Understanding your objectives will influence all your choices.

Step #2 - Define Your Audience Who do you want to attract to your exhibit? If your answer is “Anyone with a pulse and a wallet,” your response may be misleading you. Rarely will one product or service be appropriate for everyone. Follow this plan to ensure you select the right events the first time.


Total Audience

Percentage Who Fit Criteria

Potential Audience

New York


Priority A, 3% Priority B, 2%

360 240



Priority A, 4% Priority B, 0%




Priority A, 10% Priority B, 3.5%

1,000 350



Priority A, 14% Priority B, 8%

1,050 600

a. Establish a Customer Profile The best place to start is to clarify who your real customer is. Understanding your existing customers and how they perceive the features and benefits of what you have to offer is the place to begin. This involves an in depth demographic and psychographic analysis of the person who is most likely to help you achieve your objectives. Demographics answer the question, “Who is my customer?” It is an analysis of all the pertinent data that defines the characteristics of your customer. For a businessto-business transaction, the qualifiers may include: size of company, type of products sold, revenue, budget, number of employees, number of branches, ownership, industry sector, and so on. Psychographics answer the question, “What do they do?” This is a chance to examine your target audience’s attitudes, beliefs, and emotions. In the business-tobusiness marketplace, psychographic elements include: social responsibility, environmental conscience, business style, position within an industry, innovations, affiliations, employee relations, workforce type, management style, employee remuneration, shareholder relations, and so on.

b. Rank Your Customer Profiles in Order of Priority The next step is to determine which targeted group will deliver the greatest return on your investment. Let’s say you 30 Brilliant Results

• March 2011

have identified three distinct users of your product or service. Ask which will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Now, when faced with various potential show selections, you can simply examine the audience quality, see where it fits in your priority, and decide. Let’s assume the following: • Customer profile 1 is your “A” priority. • Customer profile 2 is your “B” priority. • Customer profile 3 is your “C” priority. Your analysis may look like this:

In the above example, Toronto is the clear winner, although the total overall traffic is smaller than the other three shows.

c. Choose the right type of event Choosing the right event is a matter of style, taste, logistics, budget, ability, and geography. Geography is an important factor since it refers to your marketing reach and begs the question “Where is the best place to reach my targeted customer?” Think of your geographic reach as three tiers: regional, national, and international. Tier 1: Regional Events If you select a regional show, you might be able to influence visitors from as far away as 200 miles from the site. Tier 2: National Events National events attract an audience from across the country. They are usually wider in scope and focus. Tier 3: International Events In the international arena there are fewer events, but they are designed to attract visitors from a wider geographic area. These events are usually well established and well known in the industry, and because they are often timed according to business cycles, they become a must-see event for attendees and attract all levels of decisionmakers. When you choose your event you may also want to

include such factors as market priority, competitor profile, ability to generate leads or take orders, media opportunities, networking, access to an exhibitor’s list, reputation of the show, show organizer’s promotion strategy, sponsorships layout, and timing. Your list of factors should include the things that best meet your criteria for success.

d. Establishing a Selection Criteria Your criterion generally falls into two broad categories: Strategic and tactical. Strategic considerations are where you should place your emphasis. Audience profile and geography are, for most exhibitors’ crucial strategic elements. The tactical elements revolve around logistical elements that can often be overcome. Show layout, move-in and move out considerations fall under this category. Take each of your strategic and tactical elements and rate each on a continuum of 1 – 10, with one being a “nice to” but not critical to your success to ten being a “must have” element that is critical to your success. The following provides an example of how your ranking might look:

Strategic considerations High Ranking Elements (weighting of X3) would be considered as the “must-have” elements that drive a company’s decision to participate in a particular show. If the show is missing any of these elements, the odds are that it is not worth participating in.

Evaluation Criteria

Examples of “High Ranking” Elements: Market Priority Audience Fit Exclusivity of Opportunity Important Ranking Elements (weighting of X2) include those elements that significantly extend the reach and impact of your exhibit program, and contribute to the overall strength and viability of show selection. Examples of “Important Ranking” Elements: Ability to contribute to lead generation Opportunity to impact audience Reputation of Show / Credibility of Show Organizer

Tactical considerations Other Ranking Elements (Weighting X1) are usually attributed to specific activities and are considered less important on their own, but support the overall objectives of the exhibit program. Examples of “Other Ranking” Elements: Show Organizer Promotion Strategy Competitor Presence Exhibitor Profile Opportunities Media Opportunities Networking opportunities with targeted decision-makers Access to Attendee Lists

e. Use the Ranking Criteria and Evaluation Grid Once ranking of criteria is completed, the next step is to place desired elements in an Evaluation Grid. (below)

Weighting for the current year


Value of Element (out of 10)


Total Score



8 (general audience with 40% from target market)




8 (one of 3 shows in this market)



Strategic Audience Fit Uniqueness of Opportunity


Lead Generation



8 (mixed audience over 8 halls)






10 (great visibility opportunity, reasonably priced)



Exhibit Location



10 (opp. for great location)



Competitor Presence



8 (most major competitors)



Media Opportunities



10 (pre-show profile, media centre on site)






Conclusion Finding the right show is difficult. Don’t jump at the first opportunity that knocks on your door. You have lots of choices. Take your time and do your homework. The right show is a blend of audience, cost and logistics. Good event selection is a solid base upon which the rest of your exhibit program is built.

March 2011 • Brilliant Results 31

it’s all personal BY: DAVE RIBBLE, MAS

Innovative Thinking Yesterday, a friend

said, “Gold is going to go to $2000 an ounce!” As I started to tell him he was crazy, I remembered back in the ‘90’s when predictions for gold going above $500 seemed impossible. So, while you make a mental note to never ask my opinion about financial investments, let’s at least discuss investments of another kind; investments in ourselves. Is your company innovative? The same innovative thinking that brought about social networks is the same innovative thinking that is bringing about so many advances in science, innovative thinking that is causing people all over the world to dare to design new ways of doing things, etc., and this train is picking up speed. What is happening is that businesses are learning to figure out other ways of coping with the economic challenges we all face and they are coming up with new ways to define “business as usual”. While China struggles to figure out how to build a middle class while artificially keeping their costs down at the same time, competitive manufacturing opportunities here in America are on the upswing. Ford didn’t take bailout money, but instead, reinvented itself and posted record profits for last quarter, by re-thinking how business is done and what they could offer. Where were you in 1998? According to the stats, America’s total output of goods and services back then exceeded $8.5 trillion, and, although our country only contained 5 percent of the world's population, it accounted for more than 25 percent of the world's economic output. Japan, at that time the world's second largest economy, produced about half as much and while Japan and many of the world's other economies grappled with slow growth and other problems in the 1990s, the American economy recorded the longest uninterrupted period of expansion in its history. It seems not so long ago, doesn’t it? Back then, the Internet was still being developed and Facebook was four years away. Yet, just last month you and I watched in real time the unraveling of the 30-year presidency of a country in just 18 days, much of it due to using the Internet and social 32 Brilliant Results

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media to communicate faster than the country’s government could keep up with. Sure, I would love for us to get back to 1998 levels for a lot of things. But I don’t think a healthy America can afford to wait for someone else to make that happen, especially a government that has to deal with so many conflicting issues at the same time. While our incoming freshman members of Congress are attending their lobbyist-sponsored pac dinners only months after telling us on the campaign trail that this wasn’t going to happen, let’s you and I move on and not wait any longer to cause our own ‘innovative revolutions’ in our companies and industries. It’s time to re-energize our own internal “think tanks” and re-evaluate every possible way to reduce costs, improve profit and find more business without sacrificing quality in the products and services we offer. Ford did it. So can we. We don’t lack the tools we need for this, either; we need to re-utilize them. Remember Apollo 13? Bringing those guys back from space required figuring out how to save them from too much carbon dioxide that was rapidly accumulating. However, NASA couldn’t just fly up there and hand them the solution, so the scientists had to put innovative thinking to work and come up with a filtering system utilizing items already located in the capsule that, heretofore, had served other uses. An astronaut’s sock, duct tape, tubing, the cover from the procedures manual and other ‘ingredients’ that, before the accident, served entirely different purposes, were now being used in a new form in order to save lives. It is a riveting example of innovative thinking at its finest. They didn’t have the luxury of waiting for someone else to find the solutions for them; instead they put their heads together and created them. What can you do, today, to reinvent your business model, recognizing that you have the power to put innovative thinking to work through the collective minds of your people? Let’s not wait on 1998 to return. Rather, let’s make 2011 our finest year yet in America.

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March 2011 • Brilliant Results 33

staying sharp By: Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.

Be Prepared for Whatever Is Coming Being prepared, whether it is for a date, a presentation, or the future, will allow you to show off your best assets and help you feel safe. If you prepare, although you may not remember every trick in the book, you’ve probably read about them at some point, so you already have many of the answers in your head.

No, you can’t constantly be ready for everything that life throws at you. But by getting into the habit of preparing, you create a backlog of emotional building blocks that you’ll be able to use later. Trust me on this one please, there is no wasted effort here. Whatever you are preparing for today, even if you don’t use it tomorrow, you will in the future. Preparing emotionally is as important as preparing mentally and physically. The best way I have found is to visualize, by imagining in your mind’s eye what it is you are about to do. If it’s taking a test, see yourself passing it. If it’s giving a speech, see the audience nodding their heads 34 Brilliant Results

• March 2011

and applauding (perhaps even laughing at your jokes). This technique of positive visualization (sometimes called Guided Imagery) is used with cancer patients, and I’m sure it will make you feel more prepared. It will also help you succeed at the task in front of you. Mental preparation requires that you have some familiarity with or have the ability to learn about, what you need to do. They say men never bother to read instructions. While that may have been the case before the technology revolution, it’s not true these days. Life is way too complicated. You have to at least look at the manual before you try and hook up that new video game system. Common sense preparation, like making a mental or written checklist before you begin a project, old or new, is only going to make whatever you take on easier. It will also help you think of things you may have missed, and you won’t be wondering what the leftover parts are for. Making a checklist might be a little over the top if you are just going out for dinner and a movie, but it can be immensely helpful when you are doing something as simple as going to the market. I wouldn’t know what to do without to-do lists. They may be our single greatest aid when it comes to getting things done and staying on track. If required, taking safety precautions can also be a great preparation technique. When you carefully organize your gear as you get ready to climb the Matterhorn, you mentally practice using it. As you tee up your ball (and look around to make sure you’re not about to pulverize your boss with your Big Bertha driver), you are also preparing yourself to make a great shot. Preparation is your friend, and it’s not nearly as painful as you thought.

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