Tag Archives: People

When people are nice, you give them the business

When people are nice, you give them the business

Last week, with Certificates of Deposit (CD) due for renewal, I called the bank to find out the new interest rate. A woman answered, dithered a bit and then said that nobody could talk to me. They’d call back.

They didn’t.

I called again the next day. Same thing. The bank is a Florida operation with 20 branches, so I tried calling another branch that is near my office, but apparently you can’t do that.

Hmmm. I called my original branch, tapping my feet, and told whoever answered that I’d be in to close the CDs the next day. He said “okay”.

So, I drove over there and, after an hour of waiting to get approvals, I left with my cashier’s checks. The employees didn’t even pretend to try to keep me as a customer.

Later many people tweeted and emailed me that the reason the bank didn’t care about renewing my CD’s is that they really make no money on them and that they’re more interested in investment accounts or loans.

That may be the case, but aren’t I a prospect for all of those programs also? Yes, I am. Plus, I’m on my Condo Board and we have a huge sum of money in that particular branch. They made me upset because they didn’t recognize our long-term relationship. And, as a business owner, I would be so upset if any of our clients were ever treated poorly like I was.

Flash forward a day

I was talking to my right-out-of-college assistant, Rachel, about saving money and investing wisely. One thing led to another, and I called to make an appointment for her with Jack Howell at a nearby branch of Scottrade.

He was happy to meet her and spent a lot of time explaining how to trade online. He answered her questions and was so informative that I, who’ve had a Scottrade account for years, learned a few things – like how to find dividend bearing stocks on Scottrade’s website. Here’s a photo of Jack with Rachel.

Since then, I’ve told all kinds of people about how great Scottrade is, even Tweeting the company’s praises to my 17,700 followers. My cousin, Fran up in Philadelphia, just called to tell me she signed up for a Scottrade account. Maybe others did, too.

I can’t understand the bank’s cavalier approach to customer service. They weren’t always like that. My Mom and Dad banked there for years and loved it. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that a large international bank group bought them a while back and now their marketing focus has changed.

Maybe they just wanted me to leave. It’s possible. But, why? What are your thoughts?

The Power of the Strong List

The Power of the Strong List

(The people are spelling out “Strong”)

I was reading an article the other day about “The Social Network” movie (“How Facebook Really Won the Social Media War…“) and it said something that I’ve been saying for years! There is Power in the List.

The movie was nominated for an Oscar, not because of the genius directing or their brilliant acting, but really for the depiction of how Facebook went from being an idea to a phenomenon that affected 500 million people!

The key to their success was in the power of their list! Being a Direct Marketer I’ve always known the value of having the right list. Remember, the 40-40-20 Rule. 40 percent of the success of a campaign lies in the list! When you have the right audience, you are more likely to be a success.

In “The Social Network” Mark Zuckerberg had to make decisions that were crucial to his success. He knew that in order to make “The Facebook” (It’s then name) a success, he had to get Eduardo Saverin’s (friend and co-founder) email list. His idea was that if he could get the emails of the Pheonix (a prominent social club at Harvard) it would make all the difference. Sending it to his personal list wouldn’t get them very far.

Zuckerberg was smart in that he knew if he got to the “popular” crowd first, the rest would follow their lead.

Are you targeting the right list? If you’re not too sure, then call us at our office 646.723.3231 or email me for some ideas at loisgeller@loisgellermarketinggroup.com.

The Johnson & Wales Univ. Challenge 2

The Johnson & Wales Univ. Challenge 2

While JWU Challenge Part 1 works on a jewelry campaign, another group of students will be working on a program for one of our clients, a Retirement Seminar company that helps people prepare to transition their lives from busy and white-collar driven to an ideal retirement lifestyle.

The company will run their first seminar in February, in Miami.

Before then, the students’ challenge is to create a marketing plan involving social media and mobile marketing to generate reservations. Out of state people are part of the target audience; fortunately convincing people up north to visit Miami in February isn’t all that hard.

The general idea is that students will begin building relationships with prospects while guiding them to the client’s free downloadable book, then through a series of intermediary products, and, finally, to the seminar.

By the end of 10 weeks the students will be judged on their final presentations. They will have to share the results of their efforts and the progress they have made with their programs. This will be fun: college students marketing to geezers.

You might consider a “Just in Time” Mailing

You might consider a “Just in Time” Mailing

Guest Post from Rachel, The Intern

Here’s one…


This letter came to Lois Geller, and though it’s about “moving to a new home” not a new office, they have the right idea. People still buy the most new things when they’ve moved and want to start fresh.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned while working in marketing it’s that it all about the right offer, to the right people at the right time. This offer is a bit lame, and not sure we can redeem it in stores close by our office.

blank white page for bv template_01_01Crateandbarrel

Lists and offers are very much like finding the love of your life; it’s not easy finding the perfect match. You try people on and if they don’t fit, you chuck ‘em. You ask yourself, what am I doing wrong? Well in Marketing, it’s the same way! You have to find the right match! When I say match, I mean the right list and the right offer. Once you have those 2 things down, you’re sure to have a successful campaign.

Lists work, and you need a “call to action”- use by September 1, 2010.

Most importantly, you have to strategize! If you want to stay ahead of the game, you have to have a game plan. Like the Miami Heat creating the Dream Team with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh, they have a game plan to win a championship! A good strategy in our case would be a Customer Loyalty program, which builds the database, and also creates long lasting loyal customers- like us!

blank white page for bv template_01_01Rachel

My name is Rachel Rodriguez and I am
currently a student at Johnson & Wales University,
studying Marketing. I will be graduating in the spring of 2011.

How to get business in this economy(and cheer yourself up)

How to get business in this economy(and cheer yourself up)


This was the topic of my speech at the FDMA last week.

When AJ Morales called and asked if I’d speak—I said “No”!

Why? Because, every time I do we get every supplier in our area calling for business. We’re a small group, and spending that time and preparing the speech—usually makes new friends for my agency and that’s good—but it eats up a lot of time.

AJ Morales called back a few weeks later and said I’d help members if I taught them the right way to engage people and get business.

So I relented and did!

Then he changed the venue from the Westin hotel to Johnson & Wales University. I told him attendance would drop like a rock (because people including me)—don’t know where it is.

He said 80 people would show up or he’d eat his hat. I told him I’d bring the hat. Here’s AJ eating his new Yankees hat.

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And the group was great! The bonus was there were many students from the University who are taking the Direct Marketing course there. The great professor,
Mr. Mark Neckes is shown here with me.

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Hope his students intern with us this summer!

This was my leave-behind from the speech,
the ten steps to getting new business:


Being your own Wizard of Oz.

Being your own Wizard of Oz.


Twitter’s site went down for a few hours the other day and within 15 minutes I started feeling the pangs of withdrawal. Why? My goodness, it’s just a web site for short messages, isn’t it?
As I thought about it last night – why am I so attracted to Twitter? – it occurred to me that the reason might lie in Twitter’s competitive value to small companies like mine. In an important way, it gives us a leg up on big companies.


A lot of corporations worry about Twitter. Many of them don’t want to tweet on their own because they can’t control the process tightly; maybe employees will give people a bad impression of their brand. So they turn to their large agencies for help in testing social media. The large agency gives the job to junior creative people who do the best they can. The problem is that they can’t come up with revenue projections for Twitter results.

But small companies can really go to town with Twitter marketing. They can be themselves. If they’re looking for local customers, they can find them on Search. So if, for example, I have a store that specializes in interesting kites, I can talk about all the people who fly kites, I can give ideas for parties, have kite flying contests and sell discount kites, Twitter invite only, say once a month.

After several months, I can track ROI on Twitter much more easily than a large company ever could. This means that small businesses can:

• Build a great big wonderful Brand and voice that sound like they come from a real person;

• Connect with thousands of people and get known in their areas;

• For the first time, have access to anyone they want to reach;

• Talk about happenings, contests, prizes, awards, special offers any time an idea occurs to them;

• Begin to develop really solid friendships.

I’ve been doing this for a while now and I’m seeing real value. And I actually do feel a lot like the man behind the curtain, the Wizard of Twitter, pulling all the right levers.
If you’re interested in a Twitter or Social Media Program, feel free to call: 646-723-3231 or to visit me, on Twitter, of course, at twitter.com/loisgeller

I was talking to my techie pal in Vancouver about Twitter.

I was talking to my techie pal in Vancouver about Twitter.

He was saying, that he hasn’t seen it pay out for anyone.

I mentioned that it takes time to build relationships and the people that hawk their sales all the time will never win. He thinks that it might be a “flash in the pan”.

Then I read about a great Twitter Pizza in the Pan story on a blog, and it said that… Naked Pizza has been blogging and trading stories on Twitter. They decided to find out at the register if it was actually helping them make sales.

So on April 25th, they worked on tracking and found out that 15% of the day’s business came from Twitter. Frank Reed at Marketing Pilgrim tells the story best. Read all about it.

See, I told you so, Dwain! I’m a Twitterite.