Posts Tagged ‘decision making’


PRSA Counselors Academy 2010: Carol Greenwald, Marketing Partners, Interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, everyone, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and I’m here at the PRSA Counselors Academy. I’m here with Carol.

Carol, will you please introduce yourself?

CAROL GREENWALD: Hi, I’m Carol Greenwald. I’m the owner and president of Marketing Partners. And what we do is three kinds of things. We work with people on targeting and strategies so that they can get richer faster and more effectively. I do research so that we can ground decisions in fact instead of fancy. And I do coaching to help people learn better selling behaviors.

BURKE: Can you talk about, for those people that weren’t privileged enough to be able to be in your session moments ago, what’s the most important thing that marketers can use when they’re talking to prospects and clients about identifying and creating some attachment to their brand and to their product?

GREENWALD: What they need to remember is, is that there is no such thing as a rational decision. Decisions–the best decisions are made in the context of emotional thought that brings together all past memories, past experiences, past activities, past responses, brings them together so that they focus on whatever the decision is. So if you have a brand and you want somebody to do something, what you have to think about is what is the context in which you want them to do it? What’s happening in their world that’s relevant to this?

What kind of goal would they have to do it? What kind of past memories would they need so that they could understand what it is that you want them to do? Everybody understands new knowledge, new thoughts, in the context of old knowledge. That’s why whatever your mother did when you were five is probably still relevant today because memories are built up. Every time you have a problem or you face something, your brain goes back into the unconscious memories, pulls out the ones it thinks are relevant, tries to create a pattern that is similar to the pattern that you’re facing; then the cognitive part, the smallest part and the youngest, the most fragile part of your brain, the cortex, takes those patterns that’re offered to it, takes the best one of them and says, `This is the one we’re going to use because this is the one that answers the question, fits how we feel about the past and moves us forward into the present.’

So as a marketer, as a PR person, as a communicator, you have the ability, by setting the entire emotional stage, to influence not only how people feel about your product, but how they use it, what they do with it and, finally, if they buy it.

BURKE: Carol, thank you so much. Can you tell us your website, or where else people might be able to find you?

GREENWALD: Sure. www.greenwaldconsulting.com.

BURKE: Great. Thank you so much.

GREENWALD: And I’m on Facebook. 

Relationships and Referrals: Making the Most of Your Two Most Important Business Assets

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Early on in my career I received a phone call from a client who began the conversation with, “Hey Valerie, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine…”

I very much enjoyed and respected this client and was thrilled that he wanted to introduce me to his friend. In my mind I fantasized about his intentions. Perhaps we would all go out for dinner, or maybe he was setting me up on a date… my thoughts were interrupted by the words “director of corporate communications” and “in charge of media monitoring.” My heart began to pound as I realized what was happening. I was getting my first referral!

Today I regularly receive such phone calls, but the thrill has yet to go away. While Relationships and Referralsreferrals add up to quantitative results of your efforts to build relationships, they also offer bona fide proof that your relationship is one of trust and confidence (Cue Sally Fields, “They like me, they really like me!!!)

In order to earn new business, you’ll need to invest both time and resources and maximize your opportunities in the most efficient manner. Below are 5 steps to help you become more strategic in your relationship building and increase the number of referrals you receive:

1. Perform a SWOT analysis. Identify your own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and then clearly identify the organizations you are targeting. As you consider different prospects and prospect categories, evaluate the customer needs against your analysis. Brad Douglas, vice president of sales and marketing with Shipley Associates, offers some excellent considerations to help you better assess your opportunities for targeting the right customers.

2. Determine the influencers you need to reach. As mentioned in this post from the Harvard Business Review, you may think you know the decision maker, “the one that is described in the RFP or articulated by those who actively participate in the formal decision-making process.” However, there are often key influencers within the organization who carry informal power as it relates to your opportunity. Take the time to uncover and develop those relationships.

3. Utilize ALL of your current relationships. While most organizations have a sales team or business development group, I am a firm believer that everyone in an organization, regardless of title or department, should consider themselves a member of the sales team. If you are proud of your organization and even if you are not (though you may want to ask yourself why are you working there?), it is your responsibility to help your company grow. Communication and collaboration between the sales team and other departments is essential. Beyond your organization, consider your vendors, partners and affiliates, clients, industry contacts, and even personal networks. If you aren’t actively using LinkedIn it is a great place to start organizing and expanding your network.

4. Ask for the referral! It is interesting that many people shy away from asking for a referral when they need/want it. Consider what’s stopping you. Are you afraid of creating an uncomfortable or potentially annoying situation? If yes, then that is good because it means you are thinking about and potentially being considerate of the person you wish to ask. And that is what distinguishes a “pushy salesman” from a friend you want to help. So be professional to and respectful of the person you are asking, their relationship, and their reputation. But don’t let that stop you from asking. After all, if you have real relationships, qualified targets, and a product/service you believe in, the person you’re asking should have no issue referring you and the person you’re introduced to will soon be thanking your friend for making the introduction.

5. Beyond ABC’s… ABH. While I certainly understand and appreciate the need to “Always Be Closing,” my personal philosophy is to “Always Be Helping.” In sales, and perhaps maybe in life, your reputation is everything. So be the person you want to be perceived to be – whether or not it meets an immediate business goal. In this case, that person is one who is helpful and informative and acutely aware of the needs and goals of his/her clients, prospects, colleagues, friends and family. In other words, take every opportunity to add real value and help them achieve their goals.

How are you making the most of one of your most precious resources – your relationship with others? Do you find it easy to ask for referrals and network when needed? What tips would you add to the list? If you are having trouble, what do you think is holding you back? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Are You Making Rational Decisions?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

by Colleen Flood*

Flickr Image: lapolab

Flickr Image: lapolab

When I am making decisions or working with decision makers I am often reminded of the PRSA Counselors Academy conference back in May.  During the breakout session, “The Emotional Context of Rational Thought,” led by Carol Schiro Greenwald, I learned about how the brain works and how emotions influence the way we hear and process information.  This in turn influences our decisions, as well as those our clients make.

Greenwald was informative, filling us in on facts about the brain: 

  1. it weighs 3lbs.
  2. is 7-10 million years old
  3. it does not fully develop until we are approx. 20 years old. 

These facts were interesting, but what Greenwald went on to say got me thinking.  She explained that we can only do one thing at a time!  Despite our best efforts, we cannot multi-task – I guess this why she would not let us tweet during her session. 

She explained that the mind is linear and has not evolved…yet.  Perhaps future generations will evolve in to doing more than one thing at a time since they will be raised in a multi-tasking society with all the new technology.  (So for now, stop trying to do other things and stick to one thing at a time – like concentrating on reading this blog.) 

Greenwald said we can only retain 7-10 pieces of information at a time and we forget 95 percent of what we know.  She also explained 80 percent of brain thoughts are unconscious!  Therefore, for good decision making it is important to “underload in the society of information overload.”  How can we do this? 

  • Begin with a big idea and add the details later.
  • Tell a story. We learn through visuals, pictures – so make it real.
  • Don’t overload the consumer.  Over thinking shuts out emotional context; it cuts out all the knowledge.  Whatever you think is the proper length, shorten it Greenwald says. 
  • Provide all the need to know information rather than the nice to know. Again shorter is better.
  • We see what our brain tells us to see. Keep it lively.
  • Memory is a creative product of our encounters. Make sure you make an impression.

What emotional connections do you see influencing seemingly rational choices or decisions with your clients?  In the workplace? Please share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas. 

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*Bio: Colleen Flood has been a sales consultant with BurrellesLuce for over 12 years and is eager to become a more integrated part of the social-public relations community. She primarily handles agency relations in the New York and New Jersey metro-area. She is not only passionate about work, but also about family, friends, and the Jersey Shore. Twitter: @cgflood LinkedIn: Colleen Flood Facebook: BurrellesLuce