• Do you ever complain about a coworker?

    30 Oct 2020 | 12:00 am

    King Solomon instructed, "Do not testify against your neighbor without cause" (Proverbs 24:28 NIV). When mistakes crop up at work, we may quickly cast blame on others. Next time the ball is dropped, determine the cause of the fumble and[…]

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Steve Marr Blog

Steve Marr's contributions
Aug 11
2020

Machines Eliminate Seasonal Farm Workers

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

For many years, the use of migrant farm labor has been controversial. We read an account from Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and other movies highlighting the plight of migrant workers, both immigrants from other countries as well as US citizens.

The challenge for many farmers has been to obtain the correct amount of temporary field hands at the right time, in the correct place and at an affordable price.  As labor costs have increased, it placed an additional burden on farmers who needed hands to tend the crops and harvest when needed.

Aug 07
2020

Developing Online Video Sales Presentations

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In today’s competitive sales environment, the salesperson faces two significant challenges. First, the Covid 19 pandemic reduces the amount of face time available for selling. Many of us don’t like making client visits during this time and many prospects don’t want to sit across the desk from us even if we went to their office. Second, the majority of people don’t like to read, especially millennials. This includes sales literature, booklets, and website copy. The millennial prospects would rather watch a three minute sales video.

However, the key principles of marketing still apply: lead with benefits and follow with evidence.

A professional marketing video is particularly effective to demonstrate a product. A great example is the Flex Seal advertisement showing the effectiveness of the product for plugging leaks.  The ad shows a basement window where water pours into the house.  Then, the video shows what happens when the home owner uses the Flex Seal product to stop the leak. Marketing a product that requires hands on use is tailor-made for a video presentation. It allows the customer to see exactly how an item works.

Aug 04
2020

Value-focused Versus Price-focused Customers

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Most of us understand some customers make decisions by price alone; others purchase based on perceived value. Marketing to each type of customers is very different.

When I was in the international trade business, a fast food chain bought large amounts of hamburger meat from Australia and shipped it in frozen food containers. The customer generally requested competitive bids over three months. They made it clear that they would accept the lowest price. For several years we bid for the business and a couple times we landed the work for a quarter or two. However, when somebody was a dollar less; the business quickly went to the lower bid. Customer service seemed to make little difference. A sharp pencil was the only way to make successful bid.

Jul 29
2020

Is This Meeting Necessary?

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Many of us are bombarded with requests for meetings, many from people we don’t know very well. The meetings probably won’t be productive, at least from our viewpoint. 

Nehemiah encountered this circumstance and he responded with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” (Nehemiah 6:3, NIV) Four times messengers brought the same mess and four times Nehemiah gave the same answer, he couldn’t come. (Nehemiah 6:4 NIV)

Jul 27
2020

Using Masks in Your Business

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

The use of masks has become a hot button issue for many individuals. Some believe everyone should wear a mask all the time.  Others believe it is a liberty issue and each person should be able to make their own decision regarding wearing a mask. I don’t intend to get into the political issues of mask-wearing. Rather, I want to provide a perspective for businesses. 

The Mayo Clinic has provided the guidance that masks are helpful in reducing the spread of COVID 19. Many state and local governments have issued regulations regarding the use of masks in business. However, for the purpose of this article, I would like to look at mask-wearing from a business owner’s perspective as well as from the perspective of a customer.