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November 24,  2009

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer...11/24/2009

Sales Update On Restaurants

The National Restaurant Association reports that sales at full-service will hit $182.9 billion, up 1% over 2008. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s will see sales of $163.8 billion this year, up 4% over 2008.

How Deep Is The Foreclosure Crisis?

Recently, 158 foreclosed condo units 6 miles from downtown Miami were sold at $113,009 per unit. The sales price was $109 per square-foot about 33% of construction costs, which are estimated at $300 per square-foot. (Average condo prices in the Miami area have fallen by 37% over the past year to $137,900.)

Trader Takes Advantage Of Opportunities In Depressed Real Estate Market

Joe Stanley, located in the Denver area, saw an opportunity and took advantage of it. As a previous buyer of the BarterNews Fast-Start Barter Program, Stanley finalized a trade for one year’s accommodation of a one-bedroom furnished apartment complete with maid service.

Estate Of Barter Entrepreneur Taken Off The Market

In Los Angeles the $125 million Fleur de Lys estate (a 53,000 square-foot palatial compound) was taken off the market after 940 days of being listed. The Versailles-flavored estate is owned by Suzanne Saperstein, ex-wife of Texas barter entrepreneur David Saperstein who built a fortune supplying radio traffic reports.

Bartering Frequent Flier Miles For Face Lift

Finnair, Finland’s largest airline, is now offering plastic surgery as part of its loyalty rewards program. Have enough points (miles) and one can get a hair replacement, breast augmentation, or a facelift from Nordstroem Hospital in Helsinki. (Millions of miles are needed for each procedure.)

Sony’s Change In Procurements Expected To Save $5.6 Billion!

Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer recently outlined the company’s turnaround strategy at the electronics giant’s Tokyo headquarters. This is the first time since its 1958 public listing that it has incurred losses for two years running.

Sony has been uniting its sprawling business, bringing together purchasing for parts and other supplies that were previously divided and less efficient. The restructuring is expected to save the company $5.6 billion in procurement costs—a 20% improvement from the previous fiscal year.

All back issues of "From the Desk...” can be accessed by clicking here.

(Please feel free to forward our newsletter to your friends and colleagues. We have a “box” at the end of the newsletter for your convenience. See you next week. . .)


The “Complete Idiot’s Guide To Barter & Trade Exchanges” Hits Bookstores!

Jerry Howell, Founder & President of the Midwest Business Exchange, has written a book which will be released December 1 at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other independent book sellers nationwide.

It’s titled the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Barter & Trade Exchanges and is published by Penguin Books. The book is aimed at businesses that are either members of trade exchanges, or considering joining one.

Topics include a history of barter, alternative currencies, and how trade exchanges work. The book challenges the reader to learn strategies, both basic and advanced, as they make their memberships work for them. In doing so, it also offers valuable insight to brokers of trade exchanges.

Howell is an excellent writer with a well-known sense of humor. Given these attributes, along with having a major publisher and national distribution, should provide significant exposure and opportunities for the commercial barter industry.


Attention Trade Exchange Owners. . .It’s GROW OR GO!

The magic bullet for growth is sales, always has been and always will be...yet the industry’s overall growth is anemic. Why? Maybe it’s because we’re not providing on-going education about our unique way of doing business. Knowledge is always a pre-requisite to taking sustained action.

And for those newcomers, the lifeblood of an exchange, awareness of and understanding about the value of trading is even more important.

If you expect prospects to come aboard and your members to be more active traders, but you are perplexed when the results are less than you desire...there’s a good reason. You must continually educate and motivate every month--month after month after month!

Such action is necessary because, let’s face it, more cash business, not trade, is of paramount importance to your members. You must break through this “cash only” focus and redirect their thinking toward barter. Although most exchanges don’t see the importance of doing so, many industry leaders are taking action and so can you.

As the owner of your own operation, there is an easy and inexpensive solution for moving forward...look into using The Competitive Edge newsletter. It’s a camera-ready, 4-page, professionally written, informational marketing tool...available in PDF format as well as print. So regardless of how you reach your prospects and clients, you will have the necessary vehicle.

Written especially for you, the busy trade exchange owner, I am certain it will be the best investment you ever make.

For more information about The Competitive Edge, and how it can benefit you click here.


Your Company Is In The Business Of Customer Development!

Intimate knowledge of your customers is very valuable because they provide you with a profile of the type of customer you desire! Taken one step further, spend time analyzing that 20% of your customer base which provides your company with 80% of the business. This expenditure of time can be the most productive time ever spent!

The first step to leveraging your customer base, for faster growth and more profit requires that you (regardless of what you’re selling) make a concerted effort to obtain the name, address, phone number and likes of every customer. Armed with this information you can develop the “best customer” profile and then move to a higher level.

You do so by spending your efforts acquiring new prospects who are clones of your best customers — ones with the same profile as your best 20% customers. Once you identify who they are, communicate with them in the most productive ways that your company has developed.

If you haven’t been communicating, this will require a degree of testing to see what works and what doesn’t. Ideally, you will appeal to them with advertising that not only invites a response, bringing them one step closer to the sale, but one that deepens your relationship with them. This is usually accomplished by your follow-up advertising and sales promotions.

After obtaining their name and address, add them to your customer database. Then stay in touch with them through newsletters and other forms of communications, so you will be able to develop a long-term relationship. And for maximum success, you must continue an on-going search for new clone prospects.

As your business becomes established this will be obtainable, more and more, through referrals. The final step to keep in mind is that these necessary steps must continually be repeated. Obviously, how fast you build your customer base depends upon your resources as well as your commitment. With effort, cash, and trade you can move quickly to gain exposure and new prospects as a minimal cost.

Utilize Your Trade Exchange

With customer development a top priority, the person in charge of this effort should certainly be aware of the trade exchange’s services to stretch your company’s cash. This means being apprised of the media available, as well as using the professional services for designing ads, direct mail offers, etc.

The barter concept will continually surface in the acquisition of more prospects. For example, in cooperative advertising opportunities when working with local non-competitors (who have a customer profile list similar to yours) where you exchange mailing lists. You can also get together on a piggyback arrangement, where you insert each other’s brochures with every order filled.

It can be used when you go one step further, by making a mailing using an outside rented list and sharing the costs, such as splitting the costs for postage, envelopes, lettership services, and mailing lists. In such a co-op venture your company should volunteer to handle all of the details, because it’ll then be easier to convince the other party to cooperate.

By so doing, you “cash convert” your trade dollars when obtaining some or all of the services and materials on trade. The other party pays you for their share of the costs in cash. Many manufacturers offer co-op advertising programs, too. It’s another way to “cash convert” by securing local advertising with trade dollars, and then collecting the cash reimbursement payments from the manufacturer.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that we’re all in the business of developing new customers. Once done, however, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. Rather, we should leverage our customer base for faster growth and greater profits!

* * ANNOUNCEMENT * *

25 Years Of BarterNews Issues Now In Digital Format

Welcome to the largest repository of barter contacts, strategies, and barter techniques in the world. All 64 issues of BarterNews now available in digital format at http://www.barternews-ezine.com.


·         International visitors look for BARTER CONTACTS in our Global Barter Section. If YOUR exchange isn’t listed see the forms on the lower left of the page. (Click here.)

·         Attention trade exchange owners...thousands of visitors every month visit our BARTER CONTACTS section on our web site where we have names & addresses of barter companies in the USA. If YOUR exchange isn’t listed, or the information is incorrect, you can correct the situation by using the forms to the lower left of the USA map. (Click here.) 

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