The very recent vote by Great Britain to leave the European Union – dubbed by media as the Brexit — has sent shock waves through financial markets, political institutions, and businesses worldwide. Despite polls prior to the election indicating that the vote to leave would prevail, the world was taken seemingly by surprise when it came to pass. The pound sterling tumbled to a 31-year low. British political parties were thrown into upheaval. Stock markets around the globe took dives. And the fall out is far from over. But, apparently, many who voted to leave the E.U. are now saying that they wish they could take back their vote. Kelvin Mackenzie, a columnist for the British Sun newspaper which backed the leave, said he was suffering from “buyer’s remorse,” regretting his vote. He was not alone. Emily Tierney, a columnist for the Independent newspaper, wrote “If I could take my vote back now, I would. I’m ashamed of myself.” They are not alone. A Survation poll carried out for the Mail on Sunday after the Brexit vote found that of the 17.4 million who voted to leave, 1.1 million say that they wish they had voted Remain. Given that the leave vote prevailed by only 4% of the votes cast – or 1.2 million votes — that is a monumental case of Buyer’s Remorse.
The truth is that any transaction that involves the ‘purchase’ of a product, service or idea must contend with the possibility and consequences of “buyer’s remorse.” For retailers, “buyer’s remorse” is part of what fuels returns. So what is Buyer’s Remorse anyway? Why does it happen? Is there a way to curb or eliminate Buyer’s Remorse completely? Continue reading
There is a silent (or sometimes not-so-silent) battle waged between what the sales department wants and what the marketing department can and should deliver. Business leaders may only be vaguely aware of this tug-of-war but it exists in most organizations. There are two reasons for this. First, salespeople are always under great pressure (internal and external) to make sales. Not only does the company want them to sell more, but they themselves want to earn more. But selling requires a lot of time and effort. To ease the burden, they look to marketing for help. Second, salespeople are bombarded by other companies’ impressive marketing efforts. Newsletters. Email drip campaigns. Remarketing Campaigns. Seminars. Blogs. Billboards. Ads. Videos. Tradeshow exhibits. Competitor marketing is particularly irksome. Logically, salespeople believe that if they do the same marketing, they too will succeed. This is the business equivalent of “keeping up with the Joneses.”
In most companies, this ‘sales-marketing tug-of-war’ plays out with sales making infinite demands for marketing support with little understanding of the budget or resources required for implementing those ideas, or if those strategies fit in with or duplicate existing efforts. Sales teams claim that they either cannot meet their sales goals or they can be exponentially more successful if their specific marketing ideas are implemented. Unlimited sales demands are thus made on marketing departments that have limited resources. What is the company’s leadership to do? To handle infinite sales demands with finite marketing resources, leaders should implement this three-step process. Continue reading
The ability to communicate verbally is an essential skill for most any occupation. And yet there are a lot of idioms and expressions about wasting time talking, saying the wrong things and talking too much. Chewing the fat. Talking up a storm. Talking out of both sides of one’s mouth. Shooting the breeze. Speaking the same language. Running of at the mouth. Spilling the beans. Big talk. Talking a blue streak. Talking one’s ear off. There are even knick names for people who talk too much or speak when they shouldn’t. Chatty Cathy. Chatterbox. Windbag. Blabbermouth. Perhaps it makes sense that society has so many ways to criticize talk because of the increased amount of babbling that bombards us from all directions including radio, cell phones, television, robocalls, YouTube videos, etc.? Perhaps.
Nevertheless, the ability to speak is one of the greatest skills — and one of the most complex — that a human being performs. Although many animals do make sounds that allow them to communicate with one another, only human beings can manage the complex process of complex talk. After all, fluent speech is based on the interaction of various processing components. We must retrieve appropriate words, generate syntactic structure, compute the phonological shape of syllables, words, phrases and whole utterances, and create and execute articulated thoughts. And, as in any complex skill, there is a self-monitoring mechanism that checks the output. For any professional or business person, being able to speak clearly — choosing the right words and articulating thoughts meaningfully – is a key to success. Are you a good talker? Continue reading
Almost no one would argue that vision and hearing play a big role in one’s career and professional success. Any person without the ability to either see or hear surely has a harder time dealing with phone calls, reading and responding to emails, interacting with clients, driving to meetings, visiting job sites, reviewing product quality, etc. Vision and hearing are fundamental sense for most jobs.
What about the sense of smell? Most people don’t put much importance on their ability to smell or think they use it much at work. While it is vitally important for a chef, fragrance chemist, sommelier, or florist to be able to smell with discernment, the sense of smell is not considered as important to the majority of business people in most industries. Yet, aromas are powerful influencers of human behavior and people can distinguish between smells with greater specificity than they realize. So just how important is the ability to smell to career success and how much does scent impact business?