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Bring ‘em Back From the Dead

Andrew Penny, December 5 2019

Please excuse the title, I’m writing this just after Halloween... Most companies have lots of old customers – not they are actually ‘old’, but simply companies that haven’t done business with you for a very long time. Why they stopped doing business with you is in most cases a mystery. Perhaps a sales rep annoyed them at some [point, or an order wa...

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Market Strategy

Would you like fries with that?

The Kingsford Team, December 2 2019

Almost everyone is familiar with the question – “Would you like Fries with that?”  Apart from being a well worn meme, it’s also one of the most profitable questions ever asked. To get your client to a purchase commitment, a finite expense has been incurred so any gross margin from the sale created by Up-selling goes right to the bottom line.

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Market Strategy

Frito-Lay Your Clients

Andrew Penny, November 19 2019

When I ran Bell’s Eastern region cell phone sales and marketing business, we created a new verb. We called it Frito-Laying. Frito-Lay sells snack food to just about every point of sale you can image. Many of these are Mom and Pop operations where the purchase decision is made on the spot. Frito-Lay had established delivery routes and visited every...

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Leadership & Management

The best kept secret for increasing revenue

Andrew Penny, November 12 2019

If you want to increase your revenue, increase your prices. Stunninglyobvious but so few do it. We often don’t raise our prices because we believe we are already at the limit of our pricing ... ... and perhaps it was a few years ago when your service level was lower, when your product quality wasn’t as good, when your competition was different, or...

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Leadership & Management

Diverse Thinking - Your Team's Secret Weapon

Graham Birkenhead, June 26 2019

I’m a great fan of diversity in the work place – not just those more obvious visible aspects, or the broad range of cultural perspectives and experiential insights that people can bring, but also the way we are all wired differently. This is known as *neuro-diversity. Neuro-diversity can give a team strength by allowing it to ‘see different and to...

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Leadership & Management

Lesson from a Bee Hive

The Kingsford Team, June 13 2019

Click image to play The way bees operate in their hive can provide an useful lesson that we should think about in our businesses. And while we are talking about bees: World Bee Day is celebrated on 20 May each year (since 2017) in honour of Anton Jansa who was born on that date in 1734 and who is recognized as a pioneering beekeeper.  World Bee Day...

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Leadership & Management

Meeting Mayhem and Magic

Graham Birkenhead, June 5 2019

I was invited to observe a meeting with a client last week. Ten of the invitees arrived on time but the meeting didn’t start on time because a couple of ‘key’ people were missing.  And then, when it finally got underway, I realized that most of the attendees weren’t sure what the meeting was all about. As the conversation progressed, one or two peo...

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Market Strategy

The 5 Golden Rules of Pricing

Andrew Penny, May 28 2019

An area that people get wrong all the time is pricing. Some people price high based on the profits they hope to achieve. Some base it on some sort of average industry “cost plus” rule.  Some are afraid to charge too much. Still others simply add a few percent to last year’s price. So before you set your next price or quote your next deal here are A...

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Lean & Agile

Feeling Cluttered?  Prune!

Graham Birkenhead, May 22 2019

Have you ever tried to find something in your garage or storage cupboard? You know what you are looking for, you know where it is, but to get there you have to wade through loads of other stuff? Stuff just accumulates, little by little; you hardly notice it – in fact, most often you don't notice it at all – until you are looking for something. So,...

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Leadership & Management

Why strategic advice from professionals can be sub-optimal for business owners?

Andrew Penny, May 14 2019

At a recent event organized by Peter Jaskiewicz at University of Ottawa and the Ontario CPA, the above participants each weighed in on a family business case study to provide succession advice based on their expertise. And while each piece of advice was excellent, I couldn’t help thinking about the old adage of  ‘when you have a hammer – everythin...

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