Category Archives: Announcements


Marketing Mondays – Avoiding “Sales Prevention Strategies”

Recently, the American Express Open Forum posted an article by Ivana Taylor.  While these poor strategies are often of little consequence in times of prosperity, taking the time to correct them when “every sale counts” may make all the difference in the world:

A couple of years ago I was in a meeting with a client when he asked me what I thought of his “Sales Prevention Manager.” After a delayed reaction and in the middle of his next sentence I started to giggle, and then do one of those suppressed snorting laughs that suddenly overcomes you in the middle of church.

“Sales Prevention Manager.” When I gave that some thought I realized how many times a day we run into businesses and companies that probably have some stellar performers in the sales prevention management role.

So I thought I’d make a list of just a few sales prevention strategies to avoid during a time when every sale counts:

You can’t take it with you – This is an actual policy at one of our local restaurants. Every day they run specials (which are reasonably priced and NOT give-a ways). But you’d better not order more than you can eat – because they won’t let you take it home. What is up with THAT? If a dozen hot wings are say $5.00 and I want to order four dozen, eat one and take the rest home – what do YOU CARE? This restaurant would obviously rather make $5 than $20. Besides, more wings mean more beer – so what’s the problem? There is nothing worse than creating a policy that stops your customers from giving you money.

Salespeople who don’t sell – Since when did a sales person become just a warm body? Sales people are there to sell and help customers choose the product and/or service that best meets their needs. There is a reason why the things we sell are called “OFFERINGS.” We are supposed to OFFER them to people; actually present them as a potential targeted solution to a customer need. Maybe it’s the self-service culture we’ve become accustomed to, but maybe it’s just plain oversight of the obvious opportunity to sell more. The first sale to a customer is a significantly lower margin than each additional sale. If each of your customers just bought one more thing – how much more money would you make?

Gift Certificates and coupons that don’t work – If someone takes the time, effort and energy to come to you and offer you money using a gift certificate or coupon, TAKE IT. If the gift certificate is expired – take it anyway? It’s a gift certificate. That means you’ve already taken and had their money. Chances are good that they are spending more money than the gift certificate is for which is money you didn’t have before. You can argue a policy or you can take their money and increase your sales. It’s up to you.

How to be sure you are getting every sale:

  • List all your customer policies and ask yourself the question “Are these making it easier or harder for customer to give me money?”
  • Take a look at all your offerings and look for simple ways that keep people from buying or buying more. Is your phone number and web site listed on every page, at the bottom, at the top, in the copy?
  • What are your customers purchasing? Are there products or services that they may not have considered that would improve their purchase and purchase experience? If they are buying clothing – are there accessories that can go with it? If they are buying services – are there complementary products that they can use to enhance the service experience?
  • Create product and service bundles and train your sales people on what things could go together. Up-sell, cross-sell. Just Sell. It also makes sense to hire sales people that like and enjoy your product or service so that they can enthusiastically share their combinations and experiences. New research shows that people are more likely to purchase based on recommendation than advertising.

CommUnity Celebration 2009


clip_image002The Diversity Business Council of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the CommUnity Celebration keynote speaker will be Betty Nguyen, the weekend anchor of CNN Newsroom.

A Charismatic, gifted speaker, Betty Nguyen will speak on “Diversity: Don’t Hide From it, Celebrate it!” Diversity is all around us – in our schools, in our offices, and in our communities. Often, what sets us apart is what makes us great. By pooling together our diverse backgrounds and experiences, we increase our knowledge and find new solutions to the problems we all face… as humans. Noted diversity speaker Betty Nguyen shares stories of how diversity has enriched the media and our lives.


The CommUnity Celebration is designed to celebrate our differences. Audiences throughout the years have left the event uplifted and encouraged by the experience. Corporate tables are available as well as individual tickets and reservations can be made online through the Chamber’s Store.

Nguyen anchors the weekend edition of CNN Newsroom. Since joining the network in April 2004, she has provided in-depth reports on Anderson Cooper 360° and other CNN programs.

Nguyen’s work with CNN has taken her around the globe. In 2007, she traveled to Africa to cover the presidential elections in Sierra Leone, the political and economic crises in Zimbabwe, and apartheid-era prosecutions in South Africa. In September 2005, Nguyen reported from the Houston Astrodome, where thousands of Hurricane Katrina victims were seeking shelter from the devastation. That same month, she went on assignment in Vietnam to cover the deadly flooding caused by annual monsoons.

Most recently, she reported on Pope Benedict XVI’s historic trip to the United States. She provided live coverage as the pope celebrated Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, performed a blessing at Ground Zero and concluded his trip with a Mass at Yankee Stadium.

Nguyen has anchored during several breaking news events, including the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005 and the London bombing attacks in July 2005. She also anchored portions of CNN’s coverage of the tsunami disaster in South Asia, the Iraqi elections in January 2005 and the June 2004 handover of sovereignty to Iraq. Additionally, she contributed to the network’s comprehensive coverage of Florida hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne.

Before joining CNN, Nguyen was an anchor at KTVT in Dallas. While at the CBS affiliate, she covered numerous breaking news events including the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York. In 2003, she won a regional Emmy award for “Outstanding Noon Newscast,” was named a Great Women of Texas Honoree, and won the Legacy of Women Award.

Nguyen began her career as a morning anchor and reporter at KWTX in Waco, Texas. During her tenure with the CBS affiliate, she received an Associated Press Award for breaking news coverage. She also served as a freelance correspondent for E! Entertainment Television during the 2003 California gubernatorial election.

In 2007, the Smithsonian Institute recognized Nguyen as the first Vietnamese-American to anchor a national television news broadcast in the United States. She was featured in the “Exit Saigon, Enter Little Saigon” exhibit. Nguyen is also the co-founder of Help the Hungry, a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian aid to poverty-stricken families.

While conducting several humanitarian aid trips to her birth country of Vietnam, she provided extensive coverage of the destructive flooding along the Mekong Delta. Her philanthropic work earned her a spot in the Philanthropy in Texas Hall of Fame.

Nguyen graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. In 2008, she received the Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award.

CommUnity Celebration will be at the Lakeland Center:

March 19, 2009, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM, Doors open at 11:00 AM

Cost is $500 for Corporate Tables, $300 for 1/2 Corporate tables, or $25 for individual seats.

Sign up now to attend!








LEADS Groups

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce offers members the opportunity to grow their business and create new relationships by its sponsorship of LEADS groups.  Membership is limited to one business of each type in order to create the best value for members.  In addition to the great leads and information you get, membership in a Chamber LEADS group includes free admission to Business After Hours for a year! The cost of membership in a LEADS group is $50/year; if you are an active participant at Business After Hours, membership will save you $70/year!

Our current LEADS group meets Wednesdays at noon at the Chamber offices on Lake Morton.  There are more than 30 members, ranging from entrepreneurs to employees of major corporations.  With a wide variety of businesses represented, there is always new information to be had and new leads to be shared.  Perhaps most importantly, the members truly care about each others’ well-being; to prove how much they care, many members dressed in costume for the September Business After Hours to help promote a fellow member.

If you are interested in joining a Chamber LEADS group, please email Matthew Wengerd.  If Wednesday lunches do not work for you or you cannot participate in the Wednesday group because it would be in competition with a current member, please note:  We are currently creating a list of members interested in joining a second LEADS goup.  The day an time of this group have yet to be determined.


RC – Americom | American Communications, Inc.


Americom, the leader in Central Florida in the cellular retail agency business was founded in October of 1995 and was initially started as an exclusive agent of GTE Wireless Products. In the successive years, Americom has evolved into an entity that now represents one of today’s most popular wireless carrier…Sprint (together with Nextel). Since its inception, Americom has focused on customer service. With its central focus of identifying and fulfilling the customer’s wireless needs on a daily basis, Americom has continued to grow through the fine efforts of an experienced and knowledgeable sales staff that collectively has over 50 years of wireless experience. This focus has allowed Americom to excel as a leading sales agent for Sprint in the Florida region. Americom currently operates eight locations in three major metro markets. Americom’s past success allows us to be positioned to continue providing a high standard of excellent customer service and the facilitation of wireless data and other related wireless applications.


RC – Ramada Inn

The new Ramada in Lakeland anxiously awaited opening and finally did so on November 21, 2008. The property is at 4620 Socrum Loop Road beside Wendy’s & Five Guys Burgers and Fries. There are 77 rooms available at this property including two room and connecting room suites. There are also rooms with Jacuzzi tubs in the bathrooms and some off of the bedroom area. All of the rooms have queen or king size beds, microwave ovens, refrigerators, iron and iron and ironing boards, coffee makers and many other amenities you would expect to find at home.

The property serves a Continental Breakfast daily and also has a fitness center and an outdoor pool. There is a computer available for guests use, and the property offers wireless capabilities all provided free of charge. The staff is readily available to help when need is required.

Congratulations to the Ramada Inn on their open.