Retail Stories Drive Dollars & Senses

Amazingly the American wheels of commerce continue to turn despite health scares and community unrest! International innovation has developed the ability to energize sales and maintain safe practices. Retailers have created systems and consumers have evolved technology so that both sides of sales tractions more efficiently have their needs met! Oberlo, a leading retail industry analyst, projects international retail to grow 4.5% over the next couple of years! How does that happen?

Large retailers have changed practices to more effectively sell products; driven by buying preferences that shifted toward boutique and virtual retail. More knowledgeable customers know what they like and return policies are more convenient. An important driver to retail progress exists with social and commercial pivots enabling sellers and buyers to communicate effectively before, during, and after purchasing. Retailers compete by being flexible in managing customer service demands. Meanwhile customers buy aggressively because of the service safety net. So, what changes drove this behavioral shift on both sides of the cash register?


Surprise! Technology has made sales more efficient! Notice how consumers even in their teen years now evaluate purchases in real-time while walking through a store. A consumer with an iPhone strolls through Macy’s communicating through the internet and learns that her next pair of Wonder Woman Vans are three miles away for four dollars less; plus a coupon is included with an additional purchase. Always accessible information drives better price offerings, as well as a sense of retail adventure that previous generations could not fathom. 

Of course, the product matters. The price matters. Certainly the story matters, too. Very little says “power shopper” quite like a wirelessly connected young professional with cooler apps and better deals via the web. Of course, the technology directs the soon-to-be-purchaser, toward submitting a rating, plus comments about the buying experience. Now the next customer knows exactly where the updated coolness threshold exists. The ability to communicate with other customers and retailers creates unprecedented buyers’ strength. Through assorted forums and instant discounts, a savvy retailer has all the necessary information to sell competitively and stylishly. All it took was an electronic dialogue between retail options and determined shoppers. 

Emotional Connection

To be clear, the emotion that drives retail has existed at least for the last century. However, today’s hyper-connected world, with too many choices and even more competition for consumers’ time and attention, creates elevated stress when buying the old way. Consequently, customers now pay more attention to brands and what they communicate. Listening to the marketplace has come a long way from buying whatever was advertised on a favorite radio station or sitcom. Sellers are much more pointed. Now the dialogue means listening to how favorite brands are portrayed in media outlets ranging from movies to web-based personalities. The latest internet sensation, podcaster, and blogger disseminate multi-media stories concerning current fashion. Now young consumers select a media personality, steal their look, and represent them until the audience ignores their message. Listening now represents every multi- sensory channel where influencers communicate with followers.

As a result of increasing communication channels, marketing messages are rapidly expanding among retailers in quantity and by type. Who has not epically failed walking or driving past a Krispy Kreme outlet despite the best intentions? What clearly matters is the inner dialogue that the retailer has imposed! Everyone knows that warm, sugary goodness is on the other side of the red light! Clearly, retailers who win are best at creating communication among customers and sellers. Regardless what sense is targeted, it is external stimuli and human socialization processes that accelerate retail momentum. The ability to interact emotionally with the desired good, then with any combination of prospects’ five senses, manifest successful sales. Include the ability to share information and experiences with live people, or through social media, then validation is done. The story has been told! The sale is ready to be transacted.


Ultimately interaction creates value. Circulating art, publishing literature, delivering music into the marketplace is how the masses now learn to appreciate artistic superiority across the senses. Of course constantly evolving fashion and gadgets helps, too. Merchandise and sensory images must be available for style and creativity to circulate. “Create value” has to resonate emotionally! Consequently, creating value keeps creativity and its creator alive! The entire retail system demands stories that grab the senses, emotions and mind! Then, popular products monetize the most dominant emotions to reward overstimulated senses! Then retailers will extend thanks, and ultimately receive their financial rewards!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter and Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Coaching, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growth And The New Factor

A long time small business owner once again closes her office door at exactly 8:30 AM. She accesses today’s prospects call list. She recites her daily mantra, “These bills ain’t gonna pay themselves.” Then she starts pushing buttons on her phone. This routine has kept the lights on in the business that she founded. Furthermore, the routine has facilitated occasional growth spikes. Enduring the industry average for customer churn has become a routine. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs struggle with growth even through good times. Then, they hold on with white knuckles to whatever business they can conjure in tough times. In this particular case growth remains pedestrian, because the owner and her sales support walk meekly through their revenue generating process. What they need is a New Factor!

What is Your Factor?
The New Factor is important because it can influence the top line on any business. Simply, the New Factor is the percentage increase on the price of products. A factor of 5% means that a $100 product is now a $105 product. No new features, nor clever marketing gimmicks drive the change. The new price is 5% more, period. Nervous about the increase? Consider what vendor has recently raised prices 5% in the local marketplace. They got over it. You can, too! The number is less important than the mindset. Some consultant will undoubtedly appear and talk about how elasticity will adversely affect your profits with your higher price point because of the type of good or service that you provide. The rare consultant will concede that aggregately the customers’ pain by changing providers is at best a nuisance. In reality, customers value consistency in routines just like vendors do.

Change can be painful. Nevertheless, many customers do not really want to change, nor endure the pain either. Customers that leave over a mild increase were probably going to leave anyway. A convenient excuse simply presented itself. Do not discount them to get them back! Go take someone else’s customer! Consequently, the owner makes daily sales calls. Growth is intentional. A moody customer will only escape over minimal price hikes, if the vendor was already on a slippery slope; or the vendor refused to let the individual customer win by not recognizing them as a superior negotiator.

Earn Your Next Increase
Business leaders must be able to reverse engineer their worth. In the event that a price hike is met with legitimate resistance, new value still has to be recognized in the strategic decision. An old saying proclaims, “Pride is a foolish man’s burden”. Beware of the Pride Tax! If a customer decides not to absorb the revenue increase, explore the possibility of selling a greater quantity. Packaging often presents an option to save. Is the unique packaging really worth the extra cost? Ultimately, the business leader is responsible for profits. Feel free to humble one’s ego, if ultimately the increase is not a cost effective decision. Above all concerning an individual, final decision, “If it doesn’t make dollars, then it doesn’t make sense (cents).”

Regardless, the New Factor permits the economics to work in favor of the business’ growth. Too many entrepreneurs treat economics as an academic exercise. In reality, it focuses on allocating scarce resources for maximum benefit. Consequently, if prices can be increased with no loss of sales volume, the economics declare that the business wins! Of course, none of this exists in a vacuum. Still, by increasing revenue more than an increase in expenses, the result is larger profits. The New Factor provides a modest way to communicate more value with a slight numerical increase that allegedly disrupts the provider as well. To the savvy entrepreneur, everyone shares in the New Factor’s pain, the customer happens to endure a little bit more.

Entrepreneurs are resourceful by design. Ask someone smarter to endorse the decision to deploy the New Factor. Mentors, gurus, subject matter experts, are titles that help to justify and articulate the tough decisions to increase prices. Most importantly, assure every customer that must now endure the New Factor, that pain is shared by multiple parties. From a business perspective prices do increase. Business economics are tricky. Nevertheless, savvy entrepreneurs who truly understand their business fundamentals will undoubtedly endure price increases at some point. Inflationary pressure promises that result. The New Factor is just a tool to get ahead of that curve.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond LLC

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Networking Growth In A New Virtual World

With a nod to Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” Likewise, the laws of interpersonal networking have not been repealed! Evidently, the fundamentals to interact with other human beings remain intact. Yes, social norms evolve and viruses re-write proper behaviors regarding personal space. Nevertheless, human interaction, clear communications, and their business impact is still essential to our quality of life. No number of endless virtual meetings, texts, or voice messages will change the fact that people connect with people. Furthemore, business is transacted, relationships are honored, and virtual currency is spent. To help people who are slow to accept the new normal, realize that adaptability and networking are the social skills that now carry disproportionate weight.

Consider the case of referrals. Referrals remain an amazing example of facilitating social capital and business interactions. A referral consists of one business professional transferring their credibility to another individual for the benefit of facilitating a transaction. Simply put, one person tells a second person, that a third person will take care of the second person. The second person believes him, the third person in turn delivers. Everyone is happy and new relationships potentially emerge. This fundamental of exchanging like and trust is essential to ongoing business success among individuals.

Nevertheless, in virtual environments, the steely look into a counterpart’s eye and a firm handshake is still somewhat missing in the transaction. What is important is that the transaction does not lose any value in the revised interaction. A heart-felt text can be a credible substitute. What remains important is the resource sharing and trustful recognition among professionals. With new capable and grateful professionals participating in current and future growth interactions, the quantity of people with whom to connect grows. Additional resources emerge. The network increases!

While business transactions are clear economic drivers, the ability to exchange information carries significant value, as well. The virtual world has created many interactive inconsistencies in communicating. The economic savings of less airfare and travel time to execute certain meetings has been a pleasant financial benefit. On the other hand, the longstanding prominence of jumping on an airplane to connect with a distant colleague eye-to-eye has become less practical. In this environment, cost savings typically override bruised egos. Nevertheless, this trade-off still has shortcomings to navigate that impact both business transactions and networking.

For example, can you truly trust someone who has a fake background on their video screen in their virtual office, and you are secretly questioning if they are really wearing pants? Nevertheless, despite who is on the virtual call, where they are located, and what is their personal agenda, the process of grabbing a coffee and planting in front of a screen is convenient. Still, non-verbal cues are still essential to maximize communication; yet bad odors and clammy hands are non-existent in the virtual world. Fundamentally, the connections from a virtual meeting are real. The results create real opportunities. The professionals who convey trust and confidence tend to have a tangible advantage.

Ultimately, networking remains an essential business skill. Communicating with other professionals regardless of their physical environment, their cultural background, or their emotional distance remains a valuable skill. Conveying like and trust, while pursuing a reciprocal exchange in information or value, represents the foundation of successful networking and business growth. In larger virtual meetings people can get lost with whom they are connecting. Nonverbal cues become more valuable if someone watches a counterpart’s behavior through a panel where the target may or may not be looking in return. Uncertainty abounds. Checking for understanding becomes more critical. “Was that delayed smile really for me after my insightful comment? Am I sure?” Nevertheless, maximizing all tools and techniques in virtual meetings will yield significant advantages. If the virtual communication channels do eventually become overwhelming, remember the chatbox! If the matter continues to escalate, then text! Be sure to get the message right.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

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Maximum Reach, Coordinated Content

Max Reach sounds like an action hero! Actually, from a thought leadership and content creation perspective, maximizing an influencer’s reach should perform exactly like an action hero! Influencers should be strong, clever, and trustworthy. To share a secret: “Content does not have to be good. It has to be experienced!” To understand fully, once it is experienced, read, or heard, then the desire kicks in that it should be really good! Bad content, over the long run, hurts credibility and the ability to attract fans. Regardless of the niche, followers have options. Ultimately, bad content will be exposed and displaced out of competitive marketplaces!


Yet, exciting content keeps good creators in the game! Content is a proven way for entrepreneurs, professionals and personalities to attract attention to themselves, their products, and their services. With that attention, the content leads to engagement. Then, increase in engagement leads to activating the brand’s power. Fundamentally, successful branding engages specific audiences, prospects, and customers even in the absence of the personality or organization. Consequently, getting content right is a significant boost to communicating a product’s or service’s superiority! Essentially, good content manifests fresh opportunities for incredible growth!

Next, coordinated content means the created content can now be used across different channels and categories. If social media is important to the operation’s growth, then posting coordinated messages across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram leverages additional visibility from the same source. Likewise, the operation now leverages followers, influencers, friends, and advocates to help spread messaging that in turn generates greater influence and reach. Beyond the quantity of influencers, fans and evangelists, quality truly makes a big difference. Having the right popular, niche personality that aligns with the brand is much better than a lot of minor characters screaming to be heard. 


When the right personality or image connects with the previously mentioned brand, then exposure materially expands. In order to benefit from this development, the business or personality must intentionally connect with targeted, desired influencers. What you know matters. Who you know matters more. Consequently, the successful enterprise is intentional to connect with personalities and organizations that can facilitate more growth. This level of progress requires networking, introductions, and targeted campaigns. Visibility in front of the right audiences requires intentionality and effort. Good branding helps connecting directly, virtually, or through networking, in order to deliver much more powerful results.

As successful reach matures, power relationships become less “who you know” and become more “who knows you”! This level of accomplishment requires engagement, reach, and imposing an impressive personality into the marketplace. Not only does this tactic require intentionality, it requires coordination and boldness. Posting, tagging, hyping, or simply buying with regards to the targeted connection makes a difference. Strategy and perseverance plays a part, as well. Marketing success and growth are not easy, but for coordinated and tenacious winners, it is worthwhile.


Ultimately, beauty is in the eyes (ears, nose, hands) of the beholder. Content creation has to be good by those who experience it. Desired target markets need to be clear, even as they continue to evolve. Someone may love the output but without sharing it nor buying it, they are not really contributing to the goal. Be intentional where images, messages, and content must appear. Then, work hard to deliver them there. Finally, be aware of exactly where the content and brand goes, and where it is loved. Unexpected markets gravitate toward products, services, and outputs all the time. Converse All-Stars (the canvas ones) would absolutely suck as basketball shoes today after dominating the market 50 years ago. However, for quirky formal wear, cool casual wear, or coordinating colors with your look, the same product is now nearly unparalleled. Fundamentally, content must serve a specific purpose. It can also have sub-purposes. Better content communicates a specific, maximized message to a targeted audience; it is just fine if others want to eavesdrop! Still, the best content leads to massive sales!

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Content Creation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Power Partners, Profiles And People

Super-successful business professionals continuously brag about their networks. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is an oldie but goodie among business people. However, in the trenches of commerce, it is actually less who you know, but who knows you! Regardless of how great an opening line draws prospects into conversation, the technique is inferior to a professional seeing you across a real, or virtual room, then summon the courage to connect with, “Do you remember when we met that time…?” A positive reputation that precedes any professional creates a more valuable connection, every time! After that type of warm lead, the next most effective options are Power Partners. So, who are these professionals who utilize their power to transfer their superior credibility instantly to a trusted colleague? 


Power Partners independently rely on specific skills so that they can credibly facilitate revenue-producing introductions with their connections. The big boss who knows everyone in town within a certain industry may have incredible professional resources. For example, that individual may belong to the right clubs, or may regularly present before industry groups, or has been published in business periodicals and blogs. However, that notoriety does not guarantee transfering to new revenue. Unless that leader intentionally introduces and connects their team members to specific influencers, opportunities and resources, that leader fails the Power Partner test. 

Power Partners earn their title by consistently sharing skills, access, and influence! In identifying the profile for a successful Power Partner, the seeker must know exactly what problem that he or she wants to solve. A sales professional that seeks help with new prospects needs to connect with a Power Partner that has significant reach to contacts in that industry with buying authority. If the power seeker needs a relationship with someone of influence and reputation, the best connection is not necessarily with a rainmaker. The successful connection for that profile can be a leader, or subject matter expert. Productivity does not automatically equate with recognition. Significant influencers can often be valuable because their strength is in knowledge, and not necessarily people. 


The other type of Power Partner involves strong relationships with people. Regardless of the organization’s function, identify the responsible individual for ensuring that the entity operates. For example, in heavy sales-oriented environments, a sensational sales professional can enjoy greater pay than their manager, and sometimes the manager’s manager. Such organizations often reward excessive growth and consequently compensate those biggest contributors. In that case a Power Partner may be a contributor with a free agent mindset. As long as that professional is recognized for producing, then she accepts the rewards of continued productivity. That individual’s contribution depends on satisfied recurring customers. Consequently, they need to be compensated as such. This Power Partner’s contribution is primarily connecting solutions to buyers. 

For this Power Partner, closing the transaction is key. Professionals that resonate well with this type of Power Partner knows where opportunities reside either inside an organization or among competitors. They emphasize positioning themselves to deal in information, so that they can be valuable to trusting colleagues and superiors. In short, the Power Partner that emphasizes people is typically a great contributor because the marketplace rewards their teambuilding skills to solve specific industry problems. Any referrals in those circles encourages another’s ability similarly to emphasize teambuilding. Their strongest attribute involve dazzling individuals more than the organization.


Ultimately personalities dictate success. Furthermore, successful personalities must be in environments where their skills are maximally valued. In determining Power Partners, the individual professional must determine whether their personal interests are best served upon dominating a specific customer profile, or by connecting with certain organizational leaders. For the professional accessing Power Partners, the eventual solution must be clear. The high performance routines of Power Partners cannot afford to dampen their brand and productivity operating outside of their strength. On the other hand, for the professional that aligns with certain business profiles, success requires staying in that lane. Ultimately, upon correctly discerning between profile or people, Power Partners must position other business professionals to achieve satisfying and professionally successful results so that they will reciprocate. 

By Glenn W Hunter 

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC 

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture, Leadership Development | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Story Speaks For Me

James “Dat Yoga Dude” Woods, a local yoga instructor and life coach, posts an inspirational video, “15 Seconds of Freedom” every morning for his Instagram followers. This daily message reinforces that he cares enough about personal improvement such that he gives away his expertise first thing in the morning. The video clip shows him delivering his content between O-Dark-Thirty and daybreak. Chronologically the time is about the same. Most importantly, his followers, fans, and clients are reminded that he cares! Genuinely caring about the emotional and physical well-being of others is at the core of “Dat Yoga Dude’s” personal story.


As a small businessman delivering a personal service that targets individuals and groups, James recognizes the priority of communicating consistent messages that engage individuals in his target market.  His consistent message directly reflects his effective branding because every interaction and experience aligns with one consistent message. “Dat Yoga Dude” cares for individuals’ physical and emotional well-being! Realizing that a brand is what a business communicates when no representative is in the room, consistency is essential. Not just consistency in the message, but in the way customers interact with the business. Successfully executing this approach depends directly on the service provider. Whether service delivery happens in a morning group at a community center, or with an individual in her office during lunch, each interaction demonstrates a consistent message that every client values.

Reflecting a broader landscape through example, Apple executes a branding strategy that connects emotionally because their technology seems to adapt to the individual user. In reality, Apple’s starting point is establishing how an Apple product’s experience makes the customer feel. The Apple brand projects lifestyle, imagination, regained liberty, innovation, and power-to-the-people through technology. All these different facets of individual experiences magically appear for various profiles of Apple fanatics. Ultimately, the brand connects broadly such that the customer is happy with their individual experience, or at least happy with the perception that they have cooler technology than their peers. Vanity contributes to the premium price!


After establishing connectivity, more personal engagement continues with scoring more social points. The idea is to give such that multiple types of customer connect, then enjoy what they get! Think about watching a movie on Netflix. Netflix may be offering exclusivity for its content, all-you-can-eat pricing, and convenience (pause the movie, get your popcorn out the microwave, return, and resume watching the movie). A good provider regularly reminds customers about the benefits they get. The ability to watch a movie, take a restroom break and return to the movie exactly where you left off is pretty routine until you compare it to an old theater experience where encountering a line in the restroom is highly likely. 

Connectivity without the ask is like an incredible dinner party without a main course. Recognize that big dinner parties typically include a main course. Successful sales professionals typically invest time in relationships so that relatively inexpensive favors are routinely available for prospects and customers that covet them. Give-Give-Ask reveals itself every time an experience is available for the individual that is rare for the masses. The representative who gives access to that experience has facilitated an engagement that creates a memorable, connective moment. The point is not the event where the seller provides tickets, in order to show kindness. That is just one give. It is the tickets that the prospect gets that he can pass to his teenager who is having difficulties connecting with Dad. The provider just gave his prospect an opportunity to demonstrate his affection for his troubled child. That is actually two “gives” in the same gesture. Once the prospect acknowledges the family relationship’s improvement, then the opportunity to ask for the business is wide open.


My Story Speaks For Me: Recognize that the story must be crafted intentionally. It must connect emotionally. Furthemore, it needs to move to a specific climax! Shopping around for a vehicle can have many emotional ups and downs. But upon selecting the Mercedes-Benz that has been the object of your lust, the owner does not just drive it. The owner tells their friends about the entire experience and the climactic conclusion that ended with the victorious purchase. Aligning with brands that reflect the consumers persona is the ultimate in making purchasing decisions. The story ultimately provides the emotional satisfaction that makes the purchase experience memorable. The brand perpetuates itself as a result of repeated sets of similar experiences. The provider grows and succeeds. The brand continues to tell its story.

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director, Hunter and Beyond LLC

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BYOB – Bring Your Own Blog/ Bring Your Own Beverage/ Bring Your Own Best Idea

WELCOME to our community of bloggers, storytellers, authors & content providers!!!

BYOB has come together as a workshop to provide a safe place to bring your writing ideas to other bloggers who want a little more insight and courage to get their personal masterpieces into the universe.

BYOB is a virtual community where bloggers gather monthly on the third Friday to exchange ideas and polish their written contributions to the world. Experienced bloggers, published authors, and aspiring writers all come together to share ideas and processes to get their brilliant ideas into the marketplace!

Whether you seek affirmation, storytelling tips, a nurturing creative outlet, or a nudge to press “Publish”, BYOB will encourage you to get your best content circulating. You do not have to write a bestseller, you just have to be posted! Join us as we provide confidence and support in getting your best content exposed to the world!!

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No Coffee Networking

Networking in the New Normal no longer requires a cup of coffee. Some old school, 20th Century business professionals may still drink coffee during Zoom meetings. Even if they prominently display their favorite coffee mug which has guaranteed icebreaking small talk over the years, the tiny panel size in large virtual gatherings limits the tchotchke from even being noticeable. Without coffee or overt framed awards being the focal point of connecting, these antiquated power networkers now must resort to unfamiliar innovation! Beware, younger go-getters now have the advantage in manipulating connective experiences through small screens. Their successful social lives literally depend on it!


Fundamentally, people still do business with people. Yes, branding has become more effective in communicating likeable traits and presenting trusting images. Still, interpersonal engagement anthropologically retains an advantage in establishing personal connection. Like and trust still matter. Furthermore, engagement flourishes when it comes to communicating commonality regardless of the medium. People still prefer to connect with people they personally like! Understand that any contact who tells a more recent funny story about a favorite, eccentric entrepreneurship professor from their common business school, even through a tiny screen, has the advantage! Deal with it.

Still, most professionals have profiles, references, and virtual endorsements that can be quickly located and vetted. Literally, a potential contact cannot keep a lie for long about attending a university with a common connection. In the New Normal professional footprints are conveniently available in constantly expanding interconnected virtual environments. Credible and verifiable relationships consistently remain at a premium. Business remains primarily people to people, or at least profile to profile. An emotional connection still must be made. At some point in the engagement like and trust still becomes a major factor. It is difficult to believe that anyone currently feels comfortable doing a deal with someone who’s online profile projects a questionable feeling of illegitimacy.

Super Sensory Intuition

Do they feel right? Can they be trusted? What does their employer’s branding feel like? Beyond their website text, are their brand images consistent? Imagine a website where gray-haired business leaders are prevalently displayed, yet every time a Zoom call occurs, the other side looks like a hacky-sack game will break out at any moment. Legitimate suspicions can understandably arise. Pay attention to the details. At best the business’ branding is inconsistent. At worst, they are lying!

Nevertheless, realize that young talent can be superior in innovation and performance. Age does not necessarily equate with wisdom. Likewise, youth does not necessarily equate with creativity. Cross reference any perceived inconsistent signals. Ask questions about culture and experience to be certain that satisfactory skills exist across the screen. Press references for clear examples of superior service. In the New Normal, huge decisions are unfortunately made with less tangible evidence. Fewer chances to meet over coffee equates to higher levels of examination whenever interactivity does occur.


Ultimately, a decision emerges. Intellect, experience, appearance are all subjective factors. Can the other side deliver? Is this really a legitimate concern? Business success is fundamentally built upon getting those questions right! When it is ultimately time to make a business decision, no amount of coffee meetings will make that decision a slam dunk. Either trust or do not. Then act. Whether it is relationships, intuition, references, metrics, surveys, or pedigrees, the point person’s skills will be on display upon making the final business decision. Choose wisely, or analytically. Just realize that upon making the decision, the organization owns the consequences. It may still be a good idea to have a cup of coffee before delivering the final answer.

By Glenn W Hunter

Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

Posted in Business Development, Client Relationships, Creating Culture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Distant Business Engagement

What exactly does shutting down the economy really mean? Business continues to transact simply because people still have money which they choose to spend for goods and services. Nothing about that sounds like shutting down. The wheels of commerce continue to turn. Oddly, a clear example of business progress through distance exists in the education system. Whether learning is virtual, in classrooms, or blended, paid teachers continue to deliver lessons and students continue to get grades. The successful educators exercise discipline and an adaptive attitude. Others are less focused. Too many students take advantage of a gracious environment by doing the minimal activities. Yet, diligent students that work hard at learning have less competition for success. The road to excellence presently has less traffic.  

Adapt Or Die 

Likewise, businesses continue to innovate. The current economic cycle offers singular opportunities to pivot. Businesses continue to buy and sell goods and services. They engage customers regardless of location. Amazon trucks continue to dominate the highways. Purchases still occur in environments and with items that deliver tangible value. Front door delivery really is an attractive value-add for purchases. Several successful retailers daily take full advantage of executing that competitive advantage. Meanwhile, businesses that reminisce about the good-old-days of business continue to struggle. Know your market and dominate it! Or at least, secure a disproportionate share of the market by filling a specific, niche need. 


Identify advantages of thriving in the current business environment. Geography no longer limits. Distance can be managed, as long as engagement is prevalent! To compete in a virtual world, the key is to communicate, transact and deliver. Proximity as an advantage has given way to the ability to engage and fulfill. This emerging model remains faithful to basic sales processes. Identify where value exists such that the marketplace will reward, then pivot into that marketplace. Waiting for customers to enter your athletic shoe store to purchase sneakers that they can find anywhere is no longer sustainable. The local mall’s sneaker store is disadvantaged by lack of convenience and most likely price, due to high overhead. Compete with benefits that current consumers value. Convenience, delivery, simple return policies are very much in favor. Deploying those advantages regardless of your business model improves engagement. 


Distant Engagement means that business can be transacted without physical interaction. By embracing the ease of virtual transactions, a competitive advantage emerges as a result of easy delivery and customer convenience. Like the student connecting with the teacher for better learning, he or she has an advantage by being available to the source delivering the educational service, also known as the lesson. Communication is now available whether by text, learning management system, or video chat. The service provider, i.e. teacher, is ready to communicate intelligently across multiple media. For students who want a better deal, i.e. grades, then try connecting with the teacher in a medium where the teacher is comfortable. Are video chats available? Nevertheless, make the transaction easier for everyone involved in order to maximize value. The power remains with the customer/ student. 


Distant Engagement means sales professionals meet customers wherever they are. If prospects prefer to communicate via Zoom, then connect with them through that medium. If multiple prospects can get on a single call simultaneously without compromising competitive positioning, then by all means do it. Operating more efficiently is always a competitive advantage. If your networking time can be leveraged via video conference or conference call, then master that interaction. The economy perseveres in a virtual, low-touch environment because sales efforts from extra-large conglomerates, as well as small enterprises, continue to thrive because prosperous operations embrace connecting with prospects and consummating transactions with customers who have never physically connected. Distant Engagement reinforces trust considering that any party often does not know, nor care, if others are in an office tower or someone’s child’s former bedroom. Ultimately, businesses will engage, agree, then deliver, or they will not. 

By Glenn W Hunter 

Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC. 

Posted in Business Coaching, Business Development, Client Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Slaughterhouse Marketing

Inspectors review quality of beef.

Who loves steaks? Who knows the connection between creating them and marketing? Slaughterhouses are where the connection starts. They are violent, bloody, messy places that create enormous value upon faithfully executing their strategy. A slaughterhouse’s success requires maximizing usage of every animal component. First, realize that creating value can be messy. Death and destruction of farm animals is necessary for consumers to enjoy the finest steaks and most succulent ribs. Furthermore, slaughterhouses maximize profits when animal parts transform into succulent cuts of meat, as well as into hamburger. Ultimately, they can be unpleasant and dangerous, which oddly sounds like business development processes in competitive marketplaces. 


Effective marketing is fundamentally communication with a business purpose. In other words, marketing is getting a business idea from one place to another. Regardless of the medium, the tool, or the strategy, ultimately benefits are communicated leading to a good or service exchanging hands for money. Communicating both practical and emotional benefits is at the core of maximizing value regardless of the business.  Consistent messaging is absolutely required for any customer to trust a seller. Only then can the opportunity for repeat business emerge. Effective messaging must match the end user’s expectations and experiences. Whether the business emphasizes the product’s emotion, its value, or its taste, the experience must remain consistent to maximize revenue. Translating the slaughterhouse metaphor to a commercial transaction, every part of the sales transaction has value. The successful sales maximize value regarding attributes that the customer prioritizes. Most importantly, the customer is delighted with the expectation and the execution of the transaction. Great selling emphasizes that delight! 


While the butchered animal communicates value for customers who anticipate eating it, additional business communication emerges. Branding represents what your good or services says in the product’s absence. Recognize that a butchered cow’s shoulder is communicating a significantly different set of dining expectations than the tri-tip. In the slaughterhouse, two cows may go to slaughter simultaneously. Nevertheless, they may be preparing for very different destinations. Not all beef is created equal. On behalf of the consumer, butchered cows may have very different experiences based on pedigree and attributes. Nevertheless, all pieces and components must contribute somehow to the overall value offering of the butchered animal. The branding that communicates pricing may have more to do with who buys the pieces of meat, as much as the pedigree that sired it. The slaughterhouse may have different pieces going to different butcher shops and restaurants. Ultimately, the brand dictates the tangible value according to its positioning for buyers. 


Slaughterhouse marketing makes sense because it emphasizes maximizing value! Ultimately, the value drivers are the details that communicate to a customer what pedigree or cut will indicate superior quality to benefit customer experiences. A reputation for cleanliness, precision, and quality commands more customers’ willingness to pay premium prices for the final product. Slaughterhouse marketing achieves value goals because it delivers value to customers across several niches. From ground beef to filet mignon, multiple price points reflect the same raw materials and manufacturing facility. Slaughterhouse marketing works because differences in production yield segmented pricing for outputs. Coordinated communication efforts leads to cost-efficient marketing tactics creating segmented products across multiple price points. Profits are maximized! What can be more tasty than that for a business leader? 

By Glenn W Hunter 

Managing Director, Hunter and Beyond, LLC 

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