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February 2011
Volume 12 Issue 3

Article of the Month

Calling on commercial accounts
Tom Shay

Having written this article several years ago, I was honored when one of our vendors used the article as the basis for the educational program they created to help their dealers sell to commercial accounts.

This is not the old traditional telemarketing that we have all grown to dislike. Instead it is a technique that worked well for a business owned by someone I know. What concerns me is that the story in the article happened over 30 years ago.

If calling on commercial accounts is a part of your business, or if there is the potential for you adding to your business by calling on commercial accounts, this article is for you.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Branded! How Retailers Engage Consumers with Social Media and Mobility
by Bernie Brennan and Lori Schafer

I will be one of the first to say that I have better things to do with my time than to use my cell phone for more than a telephone. The truth is that more and more of your customers have cell phones and they are very connected to the world and to each other.

They use Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube, LinkedIn; they read blogs, emails and text each other. You need to know how to use this to your advantage.

The neat part is that these customers are more affluent, and they talk to their friends about the experiences they have as they spend money with you and other businesses.

Read this book to see how you can get this current trend in marketing to work to your advantage.

Click on Book Referral to visit this page on our site.

e-retailer conversations

Hey, we are blogging, tweeting, facebooking and invite your participation.

Visit our e-ret@iler conversations, find the category of interest and post your comments, questions or best practices. You may also go directly to one of our categories by clicking on one of the links below.

Employee Issues
Financial ManagementGeneral DiscussionMerchandising
Sales Techniques
Vendor Issues

And you can follow my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook.
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Profits Plus
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
33731 USA
(727) 464-2182 Voice
(727) 898-3179 Fax

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Business Advisory

The signs on the horizon

The last 60 days have shown me the best signs of hope for the next year. I am hearing more meeting planners tell of increased registration and more retailers tell of their increased traffic and sales.

There have been businesses closing in this time, and more will close; but the rate of closure is slowing. The losing of businesses was a necessary part of the circle of business life. There were too many businesses. Too many people were taking a very small amount of money, or none at all, and opening businesses. These businesses took customers and dollars away because of the simple attraction of people to see something new.

They also drew some customers because many of them attracted customers on prices. These failed businesses could not sustain these low margins because they did not have correct models of profitability for their business.

Going forward? I do not suggest you jump out there and flood your business with lots of inventory just to have the depth. Instead, I suggest you look at the opportunity of selling more items to your existing customers.

Look at your target customer and look at other products and services you could offer to them. Think of selling five items to your customer instead of trying to sell a narrow grouping of merchandise to a wide base of customers. It is easier to sell more items to fewer customers.

I do not think you are going to see sudden and drastic increases in business. Instead I see a slow but consistent growth in sales. Tread carefully, but do plan on enjoying the upward trend.


e-ret@iler conversations conference calls

Thanks to all of you I have visited with this month that have told me you enjoy both the live and recorded versions of these calls.

E-retailer conversations conference calls

February will unfortunately be a month without a conference call. The reason is that I am not in the office for any week nights during the month of February (plenty of those trade shows I was speaking about).

We will regroup in March and discuss another aspect of your business. In the meantime, Valentine's Day is coming and for everyone, there is a great opportunity to sell gifts. Everything can be a gift to somebody. Look at your business in that manner, and you can increase sales.

Internet Tip of The Month

Promotion evaluator calculator

A fellow Southerner shared his experience of how he developed a method for making his advertising more effective. He calculates how much he plans to spend on advertising as well as how much he expects to have in markdowns on the merchandise that is in his advertising.

For most businesses, the advertising expense outweighs the amount of markdowns. However, this business owner has decided that the markdowns should be much larger than the amount of advertising dollars spent.

His belief, and I agree is that people are not going to talk about how much money he has spent on advertising. But, they will talk about what a great deal they got at his business.

I agree with this person; especially in light of the availability of social media available to customers. His logic is why we created the promotion evaluator calculator that we are featuring this month.

Seeing this calculator for the first time may not convert your thinking. Let me invite you to try it just one time with one of your promotional events this spring. It definitely will not cost you any more money than you are currently spending, but you have the potential to see more people show up at your business.

I have nicknamed this calculator the Bonnie Raite calculator. She had a popular song entitled, "Let's give them something to talk about". Trying this promotion will definitely give your customers something to talk about - your business.

Promotion evaluator calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
Promoting your website

Most everything in the February e-retailer newsletter has a relationship to using social media. For the power promoting idea of the month, let's make sure we have one of the most basic items covered - your website.

Make sure you have your website address on everything the customer sees - bags, receipts, pens, vehicles, etc. On your website, be sure to have links to your social media. Tell people what your name is on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others. And one side tip, take a look at an online tool at

In the red power promoting book, the second promotional book I wrote, this is idea #15.

You can find more ideas like this in our promotions books. You can order your copy by clicking on the link below; each book is only $9.95 plus postage.

Profits Plus Resource Center


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Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179