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The 10 Elements of Successful Tendering

Over 30 billion dollars is being spent through the tendering process in Australia yet many businesses minimise their opportunities in reaping the rewards of generating profitable contracts. I’ve seen many businesses that are too busy responding to tenders to stop and look at ways they can start winning tenders. I’ve asked many companies about their strategy for responding to particular tenders, only to find that there hasn’t been one. I’ve asked companies what criteria they used to determine which tenders they should respond to, only to find again that there aren’t any. This is not a good start for any tender, especially when we consider how many hours need to be spent on a tender submission.

It’s important to recognise that a winning submission is the end result of a chain of well performed events. This chain begins with the selection process of the tender and ends with the final presentation given to a tendering board.

Why a tender submission is the most important selling document you’ll ever write? It’s simple. The document you submit is the only basis on which the purchaser can make a decision and judge your company on its ability to deliver on their requested outcome. In other selling situations, you can follow up a proposal with a telephone call and discuss any areas that a purchaser is not too sure about. Being able to follow up a proposal also gives you further opportunities to sell the benefits of your company’s products or services. Yet in a tendering situation the document has to sell all aspects of the project and offer better solutions than the competition.

The 1st element – Existing Relationships When responding to tenders you need to identify whether you are the right fit for the contract on offer. There’s no point in responding if you haven’t got a clear understanding of the company or organisation asking for the tender. It’s important to gather intelligence on the tenders available in your industry. This will give you valuable information and knowledge of the market potential, who your competitors are and what are the current solutions being sought by purchasers. Depending on the industry many tenders are recurring and constantly come up for resubmission, so you can prepare yourself to respond more effectively on future offers. This also allows you to educate and inform as well as build a relationship with potential clients that dramatically improve the chances of you being invited to tender.

A great source of information on tenders are notification companies that can give you information on tenders specific to your industry these are easily accessible on the internet.

The 2nd element – Be one of only a few responses Many tenders are won before they are published. When a company asks for an expression of interest publicly they have already invited others personally based on previous relationships to tender for a future project. These organisations will generally go to between 3 and 5 suppliers to determine who will be the best provider of a solution. Then they will publish the tender to open the response to other potential suppliers in the market place. If you have been invited to tender your chances of winning are dramatically improved because the organisation who has requested you to respond has an understanding of your capabilities to deliver on projects. That’s why from a strategic point of view it’s important to build relationships that add value to potential prospects in the market place.

The 3rd element – Does the tender suit your marketing strategy? One of the key questions to ask in your tendering process is what are the other opportunities around a tender? For example, if a company was looking for a recruitment firm to consult on developing systems and processes to help build their human recourses capabilities, then does the company also require assistance in recruiting executive staff as an added service. This would be outside the request for the original tender and may be one of several opportunities available for extra work. Another question to consider is will the tender produce a strong strategic alliance. This means that by getting involved with a company, can they open the door for you to do business with either their clients or other areas of the same company and can they utilise your expertise to add value to their clients. This will dramatically improve the chances of dealing with like minded companies.

The 4th element – Is your tendering team resourced and available? As mentioned before, a tender is the most important selling document you’ll ever write. To maximise your opportunity you need to make yourself ready to respond efficiently and effectively. You have to clearly differentiate your service and your process, and you’ll need to prioritise the tender appropriately so you meet your deadline for submission. You must have selection criteria that determine if you are ready and able to respond and that the tender fits your capabilities to deliver. It’s also important to improve the writing skills of your team so that you communicate effectively in your submission. Allow for additional staff or help when you’re tendering or bring in outside assistance to help you pull your document together. You’ll need all the help you can get to meet your deadline of a large project.

The 5th element – Have 75% of your document pre-prepared prior to release You can template most of your documents in advance prior to a tender being released. This will dramatically improve your ability to respond as you can have the following items pre-prepared:

  • Your mission statement
  • Background of the company
  • Executive summary
  • Referees and testimonials
  • Current business activities
  • Financial statements
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Quality Assurance certifications
  • Training programs

The presentation of the submission should be already decided on and designed. A management process for your document should be in place. Your cover, tabs, diagrams and text layout should be pre-prepared and have available an image library that has templated graphics to use on your documents.

The 6th element – Do you have a competitive advantage? It’s important to identify your competitive advantage in your tender. There needs to be a clear indication as to what makes your company an obvious contender for winning the contract. Things you should consider in including that show what sets you apart from your competitors are: you may have specialist services; your distribution systems are state of the art; the expertise of your team is highly technical; your service is geared towards solving frustrations that people have with your industry; and you may provide extensive back up and support beyond the standards. A key consideration may be, by utilising your services, that you’ll reduce their costs and add to their bottom line. Part of your point of difference is your pricing policy. The following are issues to be considered:

  • Remove non related marketing expenses from pricing
  • Consider lifetime value of the client not just the tender itself
  • Consider the value of further sales opportunities that come from existing relationships
  • Consider the strategic advantages of external relationships

The 7th element – Clearly articulate your understanding of the purchaser’s culture, requirements and value in solution submitted Five things that can dramatically demonstrate your understanding of the purchasers needs:

  1. Write in such a way that reflects the culture of the purchasing company (use their terminology and style in your writing)
  2. Clearly articulate your understanding of the requirements and show you have the ideal solution
  3. Articulate your value for money
  4. Demonstrate your compliance and non compliance
  5. Write in the same order as the specifications (question and answer approach)

Five ways to avoid tendering blunders:

  1. Failing the capacity to do the job – not including case studies or referees to illustrate competence
  2. Trying to teach the buyer a lesson (they already have an idea of what they want so stick to it)
  3. Criticising tender requirements
  4. Failing to answer questions or submitting up-side down pages and spelling mistakes
  5. Submitting a bid past its deadline

The 8th element – Presentation and Submission To set your document apart from your competitors, it needs to look different from the others – you want them to be drawn to your document. Here are 7 things to consider:

  1. Have your tender taken from the pile first – use their images to reflect their corporate branding so the document represents them (if you use their images and logos make sure you get permission from the purchaser to do so)
  2. Reflect the layout of the tender specifications
  3. Show a level of commitment to winning within the submission
  4. Maintain the readers interest visually (use flow charts, images and graphics throughout the document)
  5. Make it easy to find specific sections of the document (use tabs to separate the different sections)
  6. Have colour testimonials with photos on file for digital print
  7. Use digital printing to lift the presentation of your document and use quality stock for printing (laminate covers and use paper that enhances the photographic quality of your images)

The 9th element – Your ability to deliver This is very important – make sure you are able to deliver on the contract. This includes meeting the budgets, distribution, service and technology. If there are any extra costs involved outside the tender, make sure you clearly articulate any possibilities of the potential to increase the investment and the procedures to do so. Remember this is a legally binding contract so ensure you check everything before you deliver your document.

The 10th element – Further tendering and sales opportunities Evaluate the value of ongoing relationships with the organisation such as your credibility for the next tender and further sales opportunities to come from within. By delivering a high level of service during the contract this will dramatically improve your chances of renewal. For consistency present ongoing reports with the same level of commitment as your tender document. This should be quite easy as you have all the information from your research. Tendering is an exciting game that can generate an enormous amount of business whether you are a small to medium enterprise or a large corporation. The point here is that preparation and strategy are the keys to a winning tender submission.

Source by John Logar


Book Review – Vanessa Greatorex's Wilmslow Through Time

Wilmslow Through Time by Vanessa Greatorex (Amberley Publishing £9.99)

Wilmslow, home to almost 40 000 people, including celebrities such as Alex Ferguson and Coronation Street’s Bill Roach, is the subject of a new book,Wilmslow Through Time, by Chester author and historian, Vanessa Greatorex. Using photographs from 1890 onwards, plus captions, the recent history of the bijou Cheshire town is captured in storybook form.

Now home to luxury car sales rooms, and the rich and famous (detached homes there can cost anything up to £6m), the town’s former milling industry factories, and humble worker’s dwellings, earn their place in Greatorex’s century of images and comment. Modern Wilmslow’s prosperity and comforts come at the cost of significant visual interference in the form of road markings, cars, lampposts and telegraph cabling, and some pretty awful modern architecture, as the pictures of Church Street show. However, the author is careful to delineate the reasons – usually dereliction, sanitation or fire damage in previous decades – for new build and demolition. Overall, a clear picture of continuity is presented in the book, with the key points of architectural interest and natural beauty being preserved through time, and forming the basis of Wilmslow’s reputation of well-established exclusivity.

Award-winner Greatorex’s typically succinct prose conveys a wealth of interesting and indeed entertaining snippets. On the Grove Street Jaw-Droppers page, for example, a 1970 photograph of the only camel to have walked the Wilmslow streets sits beside a recent shot of the equally strange-looking Barclays bank, which the author archly describes as more of a “seaside pavilion than a bank”. A very real sense of personal engagement with the town, and its people, is evident throughout. The reader cannot but share the author’s huge disappointment upon failing to locate a breathtakingly beautiful scene – the regimented line of riverside winter poplars, along with their symmetrical still water reflection – of a 1905 T.Baddely sepia photograph.

As a writer of thrillers myself, I was especially interested to see that, in true Midsomer Murder tradition, there is a dark flipside to the bucolic idyll suggested by photographs such as the Wilmslow Carnival pipers and horse drawn floats bearing costumed villagers. In 1984, Wilmslow made international headlines as the site of the Lindow Man, whose astonishingly well-preserved body was found in peaty, common ground just outside of Wilmslow.

Greatorex finishes her book with an arresting image of the dig for his remains, complete with inset of a pathetic, crumpled, high-born, young man who had been ritualistically murdered and his body dumped in the Wilmslow mud. The shadow cast by his tragedy reaches through time: in addition to Lindow Man, the excavations unearthed a skull fragment which prompted local man Peter Reyn-Bardt confess to the murder of his wife in the 1950’s. He was convicted, even though the skull fragment belonged to an Iron Age (some archaeologists argue, Roman) Wilmslow woman.

Wilmslow Through Time is more than a well-presented, highly readable work. It is a labour of love by a highly accomplished researcher and writer whose clear affinity and affection for the landscape of her childhood is evident in this meticulously sourced and well-presented series of anecdotes and images.

Source by Charlotte Pickering


Participant Structures and Communicative Competence

In her article, “Participant Structures and Communicative Competence: Warm Springs Children in Community and Classroom” Susan Philips described the disjuncture between verbal encounters in classrooms where young North American Indians get formally educated and in their native communities where they learn the particular skills their people deem necessary in their roles as members of the community. This disjuncture represents one of the major challenges being encountered in the primary and secondary education of North American Indians which have been widely reported in previous research and are well-known phenomena in the national education sector.

Specifically, Philips focused her study on the learning dynamics in Warm Springs Indian Reservation where some 1,500 descendants of the Warm Springs Sahaptin, Wasco, Chinook, and Paiute Indians who have began settling there in 1855, live. While originally from distinct tribes, these groups evolved into an almost homogenous community and came to share almost identical cultural backgrounds after more than a hundred years of sharing the same geographical home. Presently, these groups collectively call themselves the “tribe.”

In their efforts to improve the educational system in the reservation, the tribe encouraged the establishment of schools and scholarship programs. However, after many years of teaching Indian children using the standard methods implemented in US public schools, a clear trend has emerged, indicating that Indian students consistently perform poorly compared with non-Indian learners. Thoroughly examining this phenomenon, Philips demonstrates that there are pronounced differences between the social conditions that govern verbal discourses in classrooms and the conditions that allow Indian children to participate verbally in community activities, and that these differences in participant structures account for the poor educational performance of young Indian learners in Warm Springs.

Philips provided a comparative context for her study by making observations of all-Indian and non-Indian or white grammar school classes at first and sixth grade levels. Philips also considered Indian social conditions to determine how Indian children verbally participate during community gatherings. These are some of the participant structures Philips probed to show the disconnect between standard verbal communication dynamics in the classroom and the culturally charged verbal opportunities allowed or encouraged by the community. As demonstrated, this disconnect causes the communicative competence issues being reported on Indian learners.

The four participant structures Philips discussed in her article are 1) the teacher speaking to the group of students; 2) a student who has volunteered or has been asked by the teacher to speak in front of the class; 3) students working independently but each having access to the teacher for a one-on-one verbal engagement; and, 4) student groups controlled by the students themselves. Young Indian learners exhibit unusually high hesitance to participate in the first two participant structures while they strongly engage in verbal encounters in the third and fourth participant structures. Notably in all participant structures, Indian children refuse to assume leadership roles in verbal encounters.

Meantime, participant structures at home and in the community are radically different from those in schools. First, in Warm Springs community activities where children are allowed to participate, any member my verbally communicate in various ways. There are no distinctions between performer and audience because everyone can participate. Each community member is also allowed to decide how much she wants to participate. In these community activities, there is no single leader that controls the engagements unlike in classrooms where the teacher pretty much controls all the learning processes. On the other hand, community activities like dancing, singing, and drumming, require no soloists. This strongly reflects on speaking roles allowed by the community. Indian children also required or encouraged to observe adult interactions. Moreover, there is a marked absence of skill testing similar to quizzes, graded recitations, and exams being done in classrooms. In Warm Springs, learners conduct private self- tests to gauge their own proficiency with a given skill. Only when they are certain that they have developed sufficient skill will they publicly demonstrate what they have learned. Often, the demonstration is also nonverbal, such as a shot deer or a properly prepared dinner on the table. Lastly, use of speech is minimal in most participant structures in Indian communities.

These contextual differences account for the inappropriateness of western teaching models as applied in Native American contexts and will likely prolong historical inequalities if left unchanged and unresponsive to the cultural preferences of Native American learners.

Source by Joseph D Mapue


Make Him Commit – Why Men Resist Commitment

Do you want to make him commit but have no idea why he is resisting? If you knew what some of his concerns were, do you think you could find a way to overcome them? What if he’s just not ready? Should you stick it out or move on? Before you can learn how to make a man commit, you have to understand why men resist it in the first place.

Discussing commitment produces fear and anxiety for both men and women. Men tend to feel pressured by the subject, and women dread the possibility that he either doesn’t want a commitment or isn’t ready right now. To really understand men and commitment, it’s important to be aware of what commitment symbolizes to a man versus what it symbolizes to a woman.

Women and Commitment

For most women commitment is almost always considered as a very positive thing. This is probably due in part to how you were raised as well as how society has influenced you to think about commitment. In most cases, it symbolizes love, security, and companionship. Even very independent women crave the emotional security of knowing they are loved and cared for. Commitment helps relieve the fear of abandonment that is all too pervasive in a throwaway society where things and people are easily discarded.

Men and Commitment

Men on the other hand have been conditioned to associate commitment with more negative symbolism. In a man’s mind commitment involves loss of freedom, added expenses, pressure, and stress, and a lifetime of demands and expectations that he may not be able to live up to. Men also dread the boredom that is often associated with commitment.

It’s no wonder that these two very different views collide and create conflict between men and women. But for you, success depends on two things:

o Having realistic expectations that are based in reality rather than fantasy

o Overcoming the objections and negative expectations in a man’s mind.

Setting Realistic Expectations for yourself

Recognize that in large part you control the direction and outcome of your life. Take responsibility for creating your own happiness rather than waiting for the right guy to come along and create it for you. Love has a much better chance for success when two whole and happy people come together than when an emotionally broken person looks for someone to fix them or fill an unmet emotional need.

Overcoming His Objections

You want to show him a very different picture of the one he has in his head. And for a man, this is best done through actions rather than words. Show a man that making a commitment with you will be much different and much better than anything he’s ever imagined.

First, you want him to see you as a complete person on your own. This means cultivating and maintaining positive relationships and interests outside of your romantic relationship.

Second, you want him to see you as a partner. This means that you do not drain him emotionally or financially. Avoid the princess mentality. Instead, show him you are capable of pulling your weight when things become difficult. When a man loves you he’ll treat you like a princess because he desires to not because you demand it from him.

Third, you want him to see you as a safe haven from the world around him by being the woman who can relax him and take his mind off the pressures around him.

Fourth, you want him to see you as exciting. Frequently find little ways to surprise him. Say something he’s not expecting, plan a surprise getaway, leave a note where he’ll find it later, and initiate intimacy with him.

Creating a sense of mystery and intrigue does not require extravagant gestures. It just takes a little thought.

Making a man commit is just a matter of overcoming his pre-conceived notions about commitment. When

you do this, he will have no reservations.

Source by Tina L. Jones


Psychology – A Science As Well As an Art

Psychology is commonly defined as ‘scientific’ study of human behavior and cognitive processes. Broadly speaking the discussion focuses on the different branches of psychology, and if they are indeed scientific. However, it is integral in this to debate to understand exactly the major features of a science, in order to judge if psychology is in fact one. There must be a definable subject matter – this changed from conscious human thought to human and non-human behavior, then to cognitive processes within psychology’s first eighty years as a separate discipline. Also, a theory construction is important. This represents an attempt to explain observed phenomena, such as Watson’s attempt to account for human and non-human behavior in terms of classical conditioning, and Skinner’s subsequent attempt to do the same with operant conditioning. Any science must have hypotheses, and indeed test them. This involves making specific predictions about behavior under certain specified conditions.

Science is meant to be objective and unbiased. It should be free of values and discover the truths about what it is studying. Positivism is the view that science is objective and a study of what is real. For example, schizophrenia, when diagnosed as being caused due to excess dopamine, is being studied in a scientific manner. The explanation does not take into account any cultural customs or individual differences that might lead to ‘schizophrenic’ behavior. However, even in scientific research like this the person is doing the diagnosing has his or her own views, and may misinterpret behavior because of his or her own subjective biases. For example, if someone talks about hearing voices, they may be referring to a spiritual experience, but a medical practitioner might well diagnose schizophrenia. So objective, value-free study is not easy, because the scientist has views and biases, and cultural or other issues are perhaps important factors. Some say that a truly objective study is not possible, and that a scientific approach to the study of people is not desirable.

Definitions of psychology have changed during its lifetime, largely reflecting the influence and contributions of its major theoretical approaches or orientations. Kline in 1998 argued that the different approaches within the field of psychology should be seen as self-contained disciplines, as well as different facets of the same discipline. He argued that a field of study can only be legitimately considered a science if a majority of its workers subscribe to a common, global perspective or ‘paradigm’. According to Kuhn, a philosopher of science, this means that psychology is ‘pre-paradigmatic’ – it lacks a paradigm, without which it is still in a state of ‘pre-science’. Whether psychology has, or ever had, paradigm is hotly debated. Others believe that psychology has already undergone two revolutions, and is now in a stage of normal science, with cognitive psychology the current paradigm. A third view, which represents a blend of the first two, is that psychology currently, and simultaneously, has a number of paradigms.

With regards to which perspectives are regarded as ‘scientific’, and which are not, the majority lies with ‘scientific’. There are four perspectives that clearly lie under ‘scientific’, the behavioral, cognitive, cognitive-developmental and the physiological. The psychodynamic and humanistic perspectives are argued to be idiographic, in that they look at individual differences, instead of universal laws. The social approach can be seen as an intermediate, as, although it appreciates that there is a strong element of science involved in psychology, for example the treatment of some mental disorders, it focuses on social and environmental factors. For example, the biological perspective is said to be scientific fundamentally because it looks at the biological functioning of every human being and searches for reasons and solutions which can be applied nomothetically. It focuses on biological behavior, which can be empirically tested, and findings generalized. It emphasizes on the importance of the nervous system and the importance of genetics on behavior. These aims are clearly scientific, and the methods used are scientific – empirically measured, hypothesized and nomothetic.

One example of this is the medical approach to mental illness. The biological approach suggests that schizophrenia could be down to several factors, such as genetics or a chemical imbalance. The psychodynamic approach however, as been criticized as being ‘unscientific’. Many of Freud’s theories are not able to be tested, and many of his studies, because empirical measures cannot be applied, remain firmly in theory and cannot be tested, they are difficult to operate – it is impossible to test if the unconscious exists if we are by nature meant to be unaware of it. One could however argue that we cannot prove that it does not exist either. The majority of the approaches suggests that psychology is in fact a science, but within the field of psychology, in order for it to be classified as a science, each of its perspective should be seen as scientific. The humanistic approach, a so-called ‘third-force’ between behaviorism and the psychodynamic approaches, is idiographic, since it studies the individual, and holistic, as it looks at the whole person. A scientific approach for general laws will not capture this active interacting individual, and so the humanistic approach uses methods that are not scientific.

The issue of psychology as a science is cloudy. On one hand, psychology is a science. The subject matter is behavior, including mental aspects of behavior such as memory, and the subject matter is divided up for study. Variables are measured, and carefully controlled to a point. Laboratories are often used in an effort to improve controls – controls are as thorough as possible, so that general laws about behavior can be built.

On the other hand, psychology can be viewed not as a science, as it does not aim at scientific principles to measure the whole world. In many areas of psychology there is no attempt to generalize from some human behavior to all human behavior. The social representation theory focuses on interactions, and the humanistic theory focuses on self-actualization and the individual’s experiences and actions. Where there is focus on interactions between people, and on the individual’s experiences, scientific methods are not useful. Non-scientific methods include case-studies and unstructured interviews. If a method in not scientific, it aims for good validity, in-depth material about someone or a small group, qualitative data and a richness of data that is not found by isolating variables, as in many psychological studies.

Psychology as a separate field of study grew out of several other disciplines, both scientific (such as physiology) and non-scientific (in particular philosophy). For much of its life as an independent discipline, and through what some call revolutions and paradigm shifts, it has taken the natural sciences as its model. Ultimately, whatever a particular science may claim to have discovered about the phenomena it studies, scientific activity remains just one aspect of human behavior. I feel that psychology should be viewed as a science, even if it does not concur with traditional scientific specifications.

Source by Mathew Simond


So, What Is This Thing Called Edumarketing?

We Live in a Society driven by information. Information provides the building blocks upon which knowledge is constructed. Today, knowledge is the real currency of business-the stimulus that drives our economy and thus our livelihoods.

Two of the most revered thinkers of the past 100 years, Peter Drucker and Philip Kotler, were clear in their characterization of the contemporary business environment. That is, we now live in a knowledge society.

Peter Drucker noted this transformation in his book The Post Capitalist Society, exhorting, “That knowledge has become the resource, rather than a resource. Further, “This fact changes-fundamentally-the structure of society.”

According to Kotler “the passage from an Industrial Economy into an Informational Economy is introducing new considerations that question the suitability of conventional marketing thinking in developing today’s and tomorrow’s marketing strategies.”

Why Edumarketing?

The past ten years have seen tremendous tumult in the field of marketing. We live in a media-rich world in which information bombards us from all angles. In his compelling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini states, “You and I exist in an extraordinarily complicated stimulus environment, easily the most rapidly moving and complex that has ever existed on this planet.”

These views suitably describe the world we live in, where information and knowledge are central to our existence. The advent of computers, the Internet, wireless communication, and other technologies are presenting new opportunities for marketing practitioners.

One of the areas is that of partnering with customers, both business-to-business and business-to-consumer, to create a learning experience in which the customer learns-both how to better define their problem and how to best solve this problem.

In this new reality, it’s the customer who, for the most part, runs the show.

Customers are using technology to learn about the company behind the product and services they purchase along with dissecting every element of the product via self-education-and that fundamentally changes everything.

Capturing the customer’s attention is no longer possible by simply putting your message “out there.” An emphasis on knowledge creation calls for bold changes.

What has to change? The way you communicate.

The fast pace of today’s marketplace-whatever your industry-has changed the way customers want to do business. Marketing has become less about pushing messages out to people, and more about empowering them to make informed purchase decisions.

Rather than engaging in a manipulative process, marketing communicators should look to inform and educate potential customers, providing them with insight and information they need to make an intelligent decision. Doing this is the new way of building customer loyalty.

This paper discusses a new method of understanding and influencing the customer through communications that inform and influence. This method is called edumarketing.

Edumarketing is the activity initiated by a company that is designed to influence changes in knowledge, skills, or attitudes of customers-whether individuals, groups, or communities.

Cognitive psychology, and particularly research dealing with how people learn, tells us that people use existing perceptual filters and mental representations when making decisions.

Numerous studies verify that thinking involves three constructive elements-that together drive they way people learn. These elements are cognition, emotion, and the context in which the thinking takes place.

Edumarketing emphasises influencing the path to purchase using education-based marketing that informs, instructs and educates. Weaving together the cognitive, emotional and social components of learning.

Today, your customers are likely to hold you to very high standards when it comes to providing them data and information necessary for them create knowledge and understanding. Ultimately helping them make the best purchase possible.

Education based marketing, edumarketing, provides an opportunity for the marketing communicator to connect with customers in a way centered that delivers high-perceived value. Instead of overwhelming people with a self-inflated message, the marketing communicator presents an educational basis for helping the customer find the proper solution to their idiosyncratic issue. And this changes the way you create and exchange messages about your products and services.

How does it work?

The main task for marketing communicators has become every bit as much that of an educator as it is an informer and entertainer. Certainly a great many consumer products will continue down the path of least resistance-that is, to simply entertain in the hopes of building brand image or manipulating one-time sales.

However, what is quickly becoming a prominent part of the marketer’s tool kit is the use of educational techniques to help build loyalty resulting in sales.

Take for example the ordinary cereal box. Cheerios adorns its box with its “Heart Healthy” educational messages. Cheerios uses the cereal box to educate customers on the issue of cholesterol and, of course, how Cheerios can be a part of reducing cholesterol.

This new approach to marketing relies on educating the customer, and for that different principles of marketing apply. The new marketer must understand principles of learning and for sophisticated products and services-get this…learning theory.

Another example, small industrial detergent maker ChemStation ( supplies thousands of products in hundreds of industries. ChemStation sells industrial cleaning chemical to a wide variety of business customers, ranging from car washes to the U.S. Air Force. Whether a customer is washing down a fleet or a factory, a store or a restaurant, ChemStation comes up with the right cleaning solution every time.

ChemStation partners with customers working with them to custom-design solutions to their unique cleaning problems. ChemStation works with each individual customer to concoct a soap formula specially designed for that customer.

This works because many business buyers prefer to buy a packaged solution to a problem from a single seller. ChemStation sells its intellectual capabilities to firms that need solutions.

Another firm that excels in the edumarketing arena is Butterball, a leader in the marketing and selling of turkeys. Customers can visit the Butterball web site ( for information on cooking and carving a turkey.

Butterball’s web site receives over 500,000 visitors during the Thanksgiving week accessing its timely features and tips. However, the dedication to education is found in the fact that the Butterball help line (1-800-BUTTTERBALL) is staffed by 50 home economists and nutritionists who respond to more than 100,000 questions each November and December.

BMW has capitalized on its edumarketing capabilities. They offer an exiting a training program for young drivers. As a part of its “Ultimate Driving Experience” tour, BMW offers to teach people how to drive their cars-at fast speeds! The offer: “Experienced professional drivers will be on hand to guide you through a variety of exhilarating driving techniques designed to hone your abilities – and make you a safer, more confident driver. ” The benefit: Drivers turned on by their new driving capabilities and ready to engage in a conversation about how to integrate these capabilities into their daily driving habits.

Gone are the days when advertisers could simply tell the world about their new and wonderful product or service. Today’s customers are smart. They have access to information from a wide range of sources-and they use it. Firms must go beyond the simple show-and-tell of yesteryear.

Source by Cory Dobbs


Introduction to Writing Love Poems

Ah, the love poem! There is nothing else like it on earth. To use your words in a creative and beautiful way to show someone special just how very much they mean to you is such a marvelous thing. The poem is more than just words on paper. The poem is more than just the opinions of thoughts of the poet. Poetry is the door to the soul. A poem is a feeling inside that moves you, that inspires you, that makes you laugh or makes you cry. Love poetry is about capturing those moments and freezing them for a moment on paper so someone else can feel what you feel.

The main point of a good love poem is not to tell the other person how you feel but to make them feel it themselves. You don’t want to just tell someone you love them. You want them to feel it in their hearts, in their souls, in their bones. You want them to feel your words flow through every ounce of their body. You want to make them feel what you feel and you can’t achieve this goal by simply telling. You can hear a great poem. You can smell a great poem. You feel like you can reach out and touch it. That’s the kind of poem you want to learn to write for your sweetie.

So many people out there want to be able to write good love poetry. Whether you want to express to your partner how you feel, impress your mother with some sweet lines or even to learn to write poetry as a profession, you still need to follow the same rules. Just imagine how that special person in your life would feel to open a card, letter or email from you and find not only beautiful poetry- but words you wrote yourself especially for them!

But if you are like many people, you probably think you can’t write a love poem. You wouldn’t even know where to begin, right? Well, the first step is to listen to your heart. This is where all great love poetry originates. However, while any type of poetry is about expressing yourself, it is still not as easy as just some words on paper. There is more that you need to learn to be successful as a love poet.

Source by Lisa A Mason


Tips to Select Some Stunning and Stylish Fashion Jewellery for Bikers

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The sign of the skull in modern day jewelry portrays uniqueness, individuality and freedom. This is a highly common trend in recent times to sport some individual and panache piece of jewelry and ornaments. Furthermore, people are becoming extremely cognizant about their external appearance as well as beauty. It actually highlights the requirement for wearing some trendy ornaments so that they can easily portray young, classy and modern in heart individuals.

Numerous pieces of items of biker accessories denote the specific type of an attitude, which resembles the outlook of both elder and younger people. Apart from that, several head ornaments fascinate a number of attentions from the other spectators. And it also makes persons wearing them well-known. Conventionally some biker ornaments were just meant to be accepted by the male communal. Though, along with the changing times, the trend has overturned, and also the Stylish Fashion Jewellery is famous amongst the newer generation of this society.

The new trend of jewelry

The growing trend of the stainless steel accessories for sale may be accredited to the detail that this is preferred both by the women and men. This is so because all these sorts of accessories assist them just to accessories themselves. In previous times, the accessories were utilized by warriors.

Henceforth, a well-known keeps a trust about them that lies in fact, which they characterize strength and vitality. Furthermore, all these kind of adornments uses by motorists and bikers who like to depict their style and skill to the outer world. Furthermore, like all embellishments of this sort create with stainless steel, so, they are quite durable and may be utilized for a prolonged era of time.

The design of all the ornaments of nature can be wide-ranging just depending on the private favorite of the individual wearing them. This denotes that the cool ornaments are customizable as well. It used in the wide range of events.

When one may have a little stone just embodied on a piece of embellishment, others can also select an extensive change of several choices just to make the decorations look extremely exclusive and unique. Furthermore, there are numerous selections to fix decorated stones on those particular steel adornments, which look exotic and are appropriate for several types of events.

Facts about the biker accessories

Biker jewelries create initially with stainless that is incredibly cheap as it compares to the other metals. Though, the fame and the demand of these types of ornaments have made them quite accessible to the other metals like silver and gold. The growing trend of the stainless steel for sale has been turning out to be extremely popular, which even the jewelry designers are taking on their account. The manufacturer made Stylish Fashion Jewellery make their customers happier and satisfied.

Though, along with the growing saturation of internet in the contemporary world, the obtainability of this sort of stainless steel jewelry is in plenty. The accessories are available and accessible as well in ample of shops. It founds in a high style street store. In recent times, as the demand for online marketing has become so popular, so you will get this type of adornments on several online retailer shops.

A number of online retailers make customized jewelry for their clients. One can easily sit in the comfort in their house and place an order for these kinds of accessories. In spite of their acceptance in the old ethos, they are fairly popular amongst young generation in recent times. Henceforth, it can be easily said that stainless steel accessories can find a certain place in the minds of today’s contemporary and stylish population.

Source by Aaron Chen


The Most Uninteresting Man in the World

There is a man who lives four houses down from me and he is the most uninteresting man in the world.

He always drinks beer, but would never even try a Dos Equis.

He drives a beige car that looks like every other car ever made.

Out to a restaurant for breakfast, he orders toast with no butter served open-faced on a piece of toast with no butter.

Last week he repainted his entire house from a can that promised a clear finish that would not alter the original paint in any way.

His mother has a picture of him on her dresser, but it is actually a photo of some other child.

His wife and he got married with hopes of having 2.3 children.

Marketing consultants call him to find out what the average person wants to buy.

George W. Bush spent a week at his ranch alone with my neighbor and never could come up with a nickname for him.

Even his wife cannot tell when he has been drinking because a lack of personality can never be altered.

The church he attends worships no deity and has no doctrine of any kind.

No known religion has ever found anything about my neighbor’s behavior to be objectionable in the slightest.

His favorite joke has no punch line and is not even supposed to be funny.

This man could have had a perfect life of crime because no one would ever pick him out of a lineup.

Someone published an unauthorized tell-all book about him and everyone who bought it killed themselves so they would not have to finish reading it.

A group of people once agreed that he was interesting, but then quickly realized that they were actually referring to someone else who was in fact nothing like my neighbor.

He is the most uninteresting man in the world.

Source by David Douglas Ford


How to Successfully Sell Medicare Plans

Potential sales people call my office every day and tell me they would like to start selling Medicare plans. They feel the senior market is the place to be and want to get started selling right away. Nine out of ten of these people do not even make it out of the first month. I am going to share what they do wrong and how you can avoid the pit falls that kept them from getting off the ground.

The following information I am sharing is based on my trial and errors selling Medicare and health plans for the last 14 years. I have also worked with hundreds of agents with an array of backgrounds and skill sets. Here is a summary of how you can get started and be successful in Medicare sales.

Insurance license and Errors and Omissions: You must have a valid insurance license in the state you plan to do business in. Many carriers will also require you to have E and O insurance. There are a number of E and O carriers. NAPA usually has good pricing which should be in the $500 to $600 a year range.

Education: One of the biggest mistakes made is that people try to sell Medicare Plans without understanding Medicare. You need to understand Medicare A and B before you can feel confident selling people plans to supplement their Medicare A and B coverage. Find a copy of the “Medicare and You” book and read it 2 or 3 times to get started. Then talk to someone who has been selling plans for at least a few years to get some real life explanations. There is also a number of presentations online that give a high level overview of original Medicare. These types of presentations will help you with the basics as well.

Company Appointments: You need to be appointed to sell at least 2 different companies that offer Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement plans in the area you will be working in. As time goes on it will be helpful to be appointed with most if not all of them but that would be too overwhelming to start. Two companies will get it done in the beginning. Again, use the internet to get an idea of which companies are competitive in your area. There are also a number of Medicare Wholesales websites that will allow you to do basic comparisons in any given zip code.

When you get the company supplies, review the summary of benefits multiple times. You should be able to rattle off the copays and benefits off the top of your head. Go through the applications and know then from start to finish.

Consider using a whole seller, FMO or marketing organization: They are companies that have contracts with multiple insurance companies. You may be able to obtain all your different Medicare company insurance contracts through one of these organization.

Try to review some basic summaries to see who has the most competitive advantage plans and then call them to start the appointment process. For supplement plans, you can use the state insurance department website to find who has the best rates. (Rates are the key difference in supplement plans)

Lead Source: Once you have completed your company appointments, certifications and received the sales supplies, you need to find some leads. Many agents will try to rely on personal contacts and referrals. This is a great supplement to your business but will not be enough to keep you busy or pay our mortgage. You will need a primary lead source. I would suggest the following types.

Mailers: Use a mail house. You will pay about $400 per 1000 mailed and get a 3% response. This should buy you the mailers, the postage and the return cards to your mailbox or inbox for this price. If the mail house wants more money per 1000, find a different mail house.

Online Leads: You can purchase leads online. Warning: online leads can work great for the right person but can be a total waste for some. Talk to the online lead company to get suggestions. There are a lot of good pointers for online leads but that will need to be in my next article.

Supplement phone leads and Pre Set appointments: Supplement candidates can be legally called (assuming DNC guidelines are followed). You can pay companies to pre set supplement appointments for you but you cannot make an Advantage sale at those appointments. A good cost for pre set supplement appointments is $18 to $24 per appointment

Some agencies will provide you with leads at no cost but with a reduced commission. This can often be a good deal for many new people in the business, just make sure there are no other strings attached.

Understand the LIS and MSP programs in your state: This is one of the biggest mistakes new and experienced sales people make. They are not familiar with the different Rx and Medical help programs for seniors in their state. Knowing these programs can lead to many additional sales and can help you close your existing sales. You must know the income levels for your state. Drug and copay help programs can create a special election period to sign someone up for a plan outside of AEP.

Understand how full Medicaid works in conjunction with a supplement or Advantage plan: Most sales people have no clue when it comes to Medicaid interaction with original Medicare, Advantage plans and supplements. A lack of understanding by the agent will cost him/her a number of sales.

Be contracted to sell other lines of business: If you are working hard to run appointments, you will certainly see clients that are looking for other services as well such as Hospital Indemnity plans, Final Expense plans, Annuities, Dental and Vision benefits, etc. The more services you can provide the better you will do.

Effort, Persistency and tracking: Work hard to educate yourself as much as possible. Be persistent when working leads (polite but persistent) and understand that you will not get an appointment with everyone or close every sale. Be sure to track your appointments and clients. Keep a list of client and prospects and remember to stay in touch with them.

This is a very basic introduction to Medicare sales but is it a good place to start on your road to Medicare Sales success.

Source by Edward K Crowe