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Steve has learned from 40 years of business experience that God's way works. As an author, speaker, radio host, and business consultant...

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Dec 23

Give Logo Products

Posted by Steve Marr in Untagged 

As Christmas approaches you may consider giving a gift to a customer. Many businesses give products with their logo as a way of keeping the organization in front of the customer.  While this practice seems forgotten these days, it is still effective in many instances.

A study completed by the Advertising Specialty Institute indicated that 85% of prospects will remember the name of a business that advertises with a logoed item.  Further, the average American owns ten promotional products containing a logo.

I looked through my desk as I wrote this article. I see nail clippers, a flash light, a pocket knife, a letter opener, a note pad and a pen with business logos; and I haven’t even left my chair.

King Solomon wrote, “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” (Proverbs 18:16, NIV)  Most of us like to receive gifts; that’s one reason children have birthday parties.

When thinking through the gifts you may want to give to customers, consider the value of your service and your target customer. In some instances an inexpensive item like a pen may be an appropriate gift. In other circumstances a more elaborate or expensive item is appropriate. One business I worked with gave their best customers a fairly expensive desk clock. I was gratified to see some of these clocks on customer desks when I visited them. Make sure your gift fits the value of your service or image.  If you’re selling an inexpensive service, a lower-priced gift is appropriate.  For a higher-level image, match the value of your gift to the image you want your customer to remember.

In your marketing plans for next year do not ignore the effectiveness and value of giving branded products to customers and prospects.

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Dec 21

Establishing Policy

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I often encounter circumstances with a client who becomes angry with an employee who did the wrong thing even though there was no policy against the action.  Granted some circumstances are so basic they don’t require the cover of policy, but the majority of procedures should be covered.  I recall one manager who left the warehouse door unlocked which resulted in a theft. One of the defensive comments was “We didn’t have a policy about locking the door.”  Rather than saying exactly what I thought, I said nothing. The manager got the point.

Dec 20

Avoid Becoming a Guidance Counselor

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From time to time I encounter clients whose circumstances go beyond business issues and into personal counseling matters. I try to be clear with myself and my clients that I am not a counselor; I’m a business consultant and business coach. If I allow a client to move me outside my area of expertise into becoming a counselor, I am likely to do everybody a disservice.

Dec 14

Making a Professional Match

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I have been asked a number of times how I match myself to good clients. Generally, I have a fairly good idea in the first moment or two if a person is a good fit for me. I don’t say this arrogantly or trying to imply that I should not work with someone. Some clients are simply not a good fit for valid reasons that have nothing to do with them or me. The questions I use may help you make good matches in your business.

Dec 12

Future Cities Face Bankruptcy

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A recent article in the New York Times ( ) highlighted the plight of many American cities that are struggling to pay future retirement benefits as promised. The theme of the article was Dallas, Texas. This city, one of the fastest growing cities in America, will be unable to pay future benefits as promised. The difficulty has been that for generations, cities have promised future benefits for retirees rather than raising their wages.  Within the next decade these bills come due.