June 2, 2015
by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews
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Cabo San Lucas Selected For 36th
Annual IRTA Convention
The International Reciprocal Trade
Association is thrilled to announce that this year’s convention will
be held at the five-star all-inclusive Solmar Resort in Cabo San
Lucas, Mexico, from September 17 through September 20, 2015.
Solmar Resort is being offered at the amazing 3-day/3-night rate of
$559 cash and 500-UC trade per person, and there are shoulder rooms
available to extend your stay 3 days before the convention and 3
days after the convention at below internet cash rates.*
Solmar Resort has a 93% approval rating on Tripadvisor, and most
reviews concur with this one:
Stayed at this resort with friends for a week in May 2015. Amazing
resort! The room had a breath taking view of the ocean and of resort
pools. The food from either restaurant is delicious, especially
their breakfast buffets!"
Don't miss-out on this year’s amazing
2015 convention, to register now, click HERE.
Please Note: The click-through link contains a new two-page digital
registration form with automatic fill-ins to calculate the cash &
trade totals. Make sure to click to page 2 on the panel to the left
of the form to go to the auto-fill booking form.
For more information contact Ron Whitney
or Patty Weston at
are available subject to availability. All convention Solmar
bookings must be made through IRTA —subject to a per-person
$795 cash and 600 UC registration fee.
BarterNews.com — World's Largest
Hundreds of valuable articles,
techniques, and strategies are found in the following various barter
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Categories are found on the horizontal bar at the top - 3rd
button from right.)
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Ready To Take That Quick Weekend
The paradox of planning a trip is that it often makes life more
stressful, not less. That's why the newest type of vacation —
the quick get-away — is so popular. Today's time-starved
couples can relax and enjoy a weekend jaunt to an urban hotel, then
return home refreshed and energized.
According to the
Travel Industry Association, the number of weekend trips that people
take has jumped 70% in the last decade. And getaways of
one-to-five-days now account for about half of all U.S. travel.
Hotels have long marketed to hometown clientele, by offering
"romantic" weekends away from the kids. The latest perk comes from
hoteliers and retailers working in tandem, providing various
discounts and incentives for hotel guests at nearby stores.
So, whether you want to get away for a quiet weekend, indulge in a
romantic interlude, or have some time to shop — you'll want to
check with your trade broker on the availability of nearby hotels
Is Your Trade Exchange Missing Out On
Valuable New Business?
your barter company's listing on BarterNews.com isn't current, you
are definitely missing out on new business. The web site
BarterNews.com receives heavy traffic - with over 150,000 page-views
every month. Entrepreneurs and corporate executives check the
thousands of articles, the weekly "Tuesday
Report," and the "Contacts
Section" of our site. They use the latter to find barter
companies with which to do business.
Is your barter company's listing up-to-date?
To keep your listing current is very easy. See the links below to (A)
update any changes to your company's listing, such as new location,
phone number, web site or other information, and (B) if your company
has not been listed.
Here's how to get on board:
make changes to your listing
Seven Things Your Customers Can Do
Better Than You
By Bill Lee
I want you to see your customers in a (lucrative) new light. The
old paradigm works like this: Your company produces goods and
services that help customers get a job done. In return, the
customers pay you money. You take that money and invest a good
portion of it in traditional sales and marketing efforts—including
product developers, creative people, and salespeople, all of whom
are paid to figure out what buyers want and to say good things about
your company—in a quest to get even more customers.
Wouldn't it be far more effective to let the customers drive
your sales and marketing efforts and fuel your growth?
The new approach makes so much more sense. No matter how much
money you spend on third party marketing people, they're still a
layer removed from those who buy. They can never really understand
customers because they aren't customers themselves. The
organizations that achieve rapid growth are those that don’t just
think of customers as "buyers of stuff" but as advocates,
influencers, and contributors.
In my book, The Hidden Wealth of Customers: Realizing the
Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset, I offer a
compelling vision for a more reliable way to grow a business by
maximizing "return on relationship" with what I call "rock star"
customers. When this is done right, a company’s best customers will
prospect for the firm while also speeding product adoption and
improving customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
all part of a virtuous cycle: Companies improve what they offer
customers, which allows customers to gain more value from products
and services, and thereby improves what customers can offer
The truth is, your customers are incredibly well
equipped to market, sell, and even develop your products and
services. Here are seven things they can do better than you:
(I) Attract high-value information from other customers. This
"inside knowledge" of their peers creates stratospheric value.
Facebook is the quintessential example. Imagine a traditional
company that tried to generate the kind of information Facebook
generates: real-time data on what movies people are watching, what
restaurants they're visiting, what vacations they're taking, and
what books they're reading. Facebook dispensed with all the research
most companies would have tried to dig up, and instead focused on
letting customers provide it.
Westlaw, which provides legal
research services for law firms, is another example. It realized
that its clients were interested in how they and the markets they
serviced stacked up to other firms and markets. So Westlaw created
Peer Monitor, which aggregates anonymized data on firms' financial
and operational performance, collected from participating clients
with their permission — and this turned into a lucrative new
(II) Believably promote your product. It's
this simple: You've got something to sell. Your customers don't.
This makes them far more credible to other potential customers than
agencies or internal employees. SAS Canada is a good case in point.
The company was having a noticeable customer retention issue several
years ago. Retention rates had declined from the high 90s to the mid
80s (percentages), which senior management felt they needed to
SAS software was doing an excellent job of
keeping up with customer needs. Unfortunately, the customers didn't
seem to realize this. So a small group within SAS built a team of
250 "customer champions" along with 50 "super champions" to spread
the word for them.
SAS saw that it would be futile for the
company to keep pointing out how great they were. However, they knew
that defecting customers might listen to what other SAS customers
had to say. With support from the SAS team, customer-champions
established regular events in more than 20 major cities, set the
agendas, selected speakers (and made presentations themselves), and
stayed in touch afterwards via online forums and e-newsletters. As a
result, retention rates rebounded back up to the high 90%s.
(III) Close the sale. Your customers make better
salespeople than you do, precisely because they don't have any
(obvious) skin in the game. Plus, they can honestly say, "This
product or service worked for me. It can work for you, too." Marc
Benioff realized the persuasive power of customers in the early days
of building Salesforce.com. Lacking the multi-million-dollar budgets
of competitors like Oracle and SAP, he relied instead on
face-to-face meetings with prospects and customers in major city
He was surprised to find that prospects at such
events were much more interested in talking with his customers than
with him and his executive team. And he was delighted to find that
80% of prospects who attended the events — and interacted with
customers in such ways — wound up becoming customers
themselves. That's an amazing close rate for any offering. And
unlike salespeople, the customers didn't require a bit of training.
(IV) Understand buyer needs. Many leaders
believe that customers can't articulate their needs, much less
develop ideas for products to satisfy them. This is just not true. A
substantial body of well-established research has shown that many if
not most successful innovations are customer-originated. In one
compilation of studies of 1,193 commercially successful innovations
across nine industries by MIT's Eric von Hippel, 737 (60 percent)
came from customers. That's why companies that struggle with product
development should consider looking outside to customer innovators.
3M's Medical-Surgical Markets Division tried a last-gasp
project in the 1990s to kick-start its consistently poor innovation
record. It formed a team designed to bypass the internal innovation
process and search for breakthrough innovations being created by
outside lead-users. When the results were compared with ordinary
product development projects at 3M, the differences were dramatic:
Lead-user innovations achieved average revenue of $146 million in
their fifth year, compared with $18 million for internally generated
(V) Connect with your prospects, a.k.a.
peers. By nature, most all of us are open to creative new
ways to affiliate with our friends and peers. On the other hand,
we're not that excited about getting close to companies — a
mistake many companies make when they set out to form communities
around their brand. (Let's face it: Corporate logos and official
spokespersons don't exactly promote the warm and fuzzy connections
that invite confidences!) The key is to figure out a way to foster a
dialogue between customers and their peers that touches on issues
related to your products.
Procter & Gamble's BeingGirl
community for teen and pre-teen girls was initially formed to
promote feminine hygiene products. Because P&G knew TV and print ads
made its young audience uncomfortable, it enlisted experts to
When this created little interest, P&G
established forums so that girls could talk to each other about the
issues and challenges of growing into young womanhood. Finally, the
site took off. Girls from around the world were eager to get into
the conversation — and P&G was able to market its products
more subtly and effectively than before. The bottom line is that
customers are more apt to trust and care about information when it
comes from a peer rather than an organization.
Energize your online and social media marketing. Many firms
are getting nowhere with their web and social media marketing
efforts. That's often because they're trying to adapt traditional
marketing to fit these mediums. They need to get creative about
bringing customers into these programs.
Intel, for example,
credits well-designed customer testimonials and other customer
content for an explosion in the creation of qualified prospective
customer interest and inquiries through its once-lagging social
media and web marketing efforts. The company can't share the numbers
publicly, but I can say that within a few years, it expects to bring
in a significant percentage of all its new business through its
website efforts and the key to this growth is content from its
cut traditional lead generation spending by 69% while increasing
spending on customer videos and social media. One early result from
that was an increase in contacts generated by social media of 400%.
(VII) Help you penetrate new markets. When
seeking to penetrate new markets, firms typically recruit some mix
of local employees or agencies into their marketing and sales
efforts. How about local customers?
perfected the art of finding and engaging with local MVP (Most
Valuable Professional) customers who play a central role. An example
is "Mr. Excel," who runs a website by that name, which on some days
attracts more visitors than Microsoft's own Excel page!
Many companies would have issued a cease and desist order or filed a
lawsuit. But Microsoft embraces and supports such customers —
now numbering some 4,000 around the world. These customers provide
the firm with highly effective marketing communications and superb
product testing and feedback. They also provide exceptional, and
free, customer support — which has saved Microsoft hundreds of
millions of dollars in support costs.
Companies often assert: customers are our best assets. But most
of the value of these assets lies fallow. Now, with the advent of
social media and a global marketplace, more and more companies are
starting to harvest these assets and are propelling their
organizations to rapid and sustained growth.
Bill Lee, author
of The Hidden Wealth of Customers:
Realizing the Untapped Value of Your Most Important Asset,
helps organizations reinvent customer relationships and accelerate
growth through the creation of engaged, passionate customer
advocates and communities. He pioneered the concept that return on
relationship is the key to organic growth in organizations of any
size, public or private.
How To Get More Sales In
Our street-smart restaurant
marketing report shows proven ways to rapidly boost your
restaurant's sales & profits.
The Growth and Use of Secondary
Capital (New Money) Creates Unprecedented Wealth In Today's New Age
There are many forms of secondary
capital — which can be defined as any financial instrument that
measures and communicates value in a common language. Would you like
to see and learn more about the many forms of secondary capital?
We have 70 free, informative and
inspiring, articles for you in our "Secondary Capital Section."
Check it out...
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