Blog

8
Oct

We’re 20 Years Old: Thank-You!

By Phil Krone I took the entrepreneurial plunge 20 years ago in July and launched my own marketing and management consulting firm, Productive Strategies, Inc. We knew where we wanted to go but not how to get there. We were fortunate that our clients taught us a great lesson about business growth that put us on the right path and

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29
Jul

Clarke Cares, Carter Center Stop ‘Forgotten Disease of Forgotten People’

More than 100,000 highly effective and durable mosquito nets provided by the Clarke Cares Foundation have contributed to stopping the transmission of lymphatic filariasis (LF) in the two Nigerian states of Plateau and Nasarawa, The Carter Center announced on June 13. The foundation’s Net for Net Project combined with drugs provided by Merck and GlazoSmithKline to halt the spread by

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9
Jul

Attorneys: Do Clients Appreciate Your True Value?

Attorneys have told us about some 30 business development challenges they face, including: pressure to reduce fees, poor ROI on firm-sponsored events, disappointing net realization rates. They also give away intellectual property during business development (in an attempt to impress prospects), use networking time inefficiently, and lose clients because they don’t cross sell within their firms. What’s the common thread here?

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2
Jul

Innovation Turned Outside In?

“Think outside the box” is a well-worn business cliché. But, like nearly all clichés, at one time it was a brand spanking new innovative idea. We do anoint ideas as clichés because they work, don’t we? At one time, at least, they made a lot of sense and often still do. Well, we may be witnessing the birth of a “new” cliché

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25
Jun

New Handy Guide to Growth

Ever wish an expert business growth advisor always had your back? Someone who could help you ask the right questions and guide you to the right answers? Sure, we all do. Unfortunately, that really is wishful thinking. Growth-oriented small business owners, however, might consider as a constant companion a handy new guide that offers new ways to look at building a successful

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26
Apr

Big Data or Small Ball?

Big data is a big deal these days because it offers unparalleled opportunities for companies to transform their relationships with their customers. The problem is that you have to be pretty big to take advantage of those kinds of opportunities. But if you run a smaller company, plenty of opportunities to play “small ball” with data exist, too. (In baseball, “small

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3
Apr

Credit Where Credit Is Due: CPEs for CPAs

Our popular consultative selling course, FOCIS®, now provides 19 hours of continuing professional education credit for CPAs. That’s great news for at least a couple of reasons. First, the official government licensing authority in Illinois has recognized that consultative selling is a skill that can be learned and developed with the right training and guidance. It’s not magic or a

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10
Dec

Stop Selling for the Holidays?

Business-to-business sellers can come up with all sorts of reasons their prospects and customers just don’t buy during the holidays. What happens? Sellers just stop selling. And why not? During the holidays everyone knows that buyers are . . . Getting ready for the holidays. They’re too busy to listen to sellers–especially you. Celebrating the holidays. They’re too busy to meet with sellers–especially you.

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29
Oct

Following Up Means Business

How effective are you at following up on sales opportunities? By that I mean after seminars, networking events, proposals-even “old” ones-chance meetings, and so on. It’s been eye-opening to me over the years to see just how effective simply following up can be. In fact, for salespeople, following up is akin to Woody Allen’s statement that “80 percent of success

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12
Sep

Focusing on Charisma

By definition you can’t become charismatic. You either are charismatic or you aren’t. But you can develop some of the traits charismatic leaders come by naturally and increase your ability to influence and lead people. For example, no matter how large the crowd, a charismatic speaker makes nearly everyone feel he is speaking directly to each of them as individuals.  “That’s just how Ifeel,”

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