Do You Need A GPS?
By Doug Dagenais
(When BarterCorp was
sold in 1999 to Intagio, Doug Dagenais became the new National Sales
Manager handling their retail and national accounts. He also took
over management of the Chicago Corporate owned location.
In 2003 he left to build
the barter division of Shell Vacations Club. There, he coordinated
$1 million annually in room-night trades with many exchange groups
as well as direct vendor transactions.
Contacted by Steve White
in 2007 to compliment the organic growth of ITEX, he was brought
onboard as National Sales Manager. Subsequently, new nationwide
account registrations for the company have exceeded 30% over the
we all attempt to manage and grow our business, sometimes we’re
challenged in finding the way. For a barter network, when it comes
to new account registrations—the key to growth—losing the way can be
devastating. We search for prospects by networking, cold calling,
advertising, getting referrals, and talking to anyone we know. It’s
much like the advertising industry in the past, promote your
products to everyone and see what sticks. This approach has passed
by in the advertising industry and it should have passed us by as
Target Market Segmentation has proven to be the most cost effective
approach to growing a business. This means defining the market that
your core business works well with, and messaging your
products/services to those targets through the medium they respond
to. A simple statement, but it has a host of implications to the
Defining the market:
What business are we in? One of the great opportunities about our
industry is that barter can be applied to most every business. This
is also one of our great challenges. What customer do we serve and
serve well? What customer segment do we have the resources to
support? Small business services? Mid market manufacturing? Media?
Travel? National accounts? All of these?
experience tells me that we build communities, no matter what
industry or size business we serve. Communities based on a clients’
needs and offerings. If we move in this direction, it results in an
immediate transaction, benefit to our customer, and an urgency for
the prospect to move forward quickly. No matter what segment we
choose, we need to be focused on filling the customer needs. If our
prospecting carries us outside of this, we’re taking the wrong
direction and need to look at our map.
Once we define our market segment, can we define our core strength
in serving that market? Do we focus on supply chain transactions or
ancillary expense categories? Are we in the membership business or
are we creating one time transactions? When we define our core
business, we best understand how we can serve customers and can
thus, in fact, deliver our promises and exceed expectations. Do this
and we can build on our customer relationships, rather than churn
through prospects that we should have never sought out.
Knowing our market segment and how our customers perceive us begins
to define our core essence. (Our core business is what we
think we provide our customers. Our core essence is what our
customers think we provide them.) Understanding what our
customer expects from us helps define our message—our value
this can be defined, our message can be loud and clear. We will
truly be providing solutions and be valued by our prospect. Without
this, barter can be a blur of misunderstood options and processes
that eventually erode the customer benefit. And hence, continue to
drive us toward continuing to prospect in areas where we have no
don’t believe the barter industry has experienced great market
penetration with traditional advertising. I would suggest that our
industry is ripe to experience viral marketing...creating a “buzz”
generated by our customers. Again, a conclusion that should drive us
to grow our business based on our current customers’ needs.
we can focus on these elements, we should never be challenged for
finding prospects that result in a smooth path to growing our
business. And, if we execute properly, not only will we find the
right prospect, but as well, enhance our ability to close the
prospect and ultimately create customer satisfaction. And that will
give us “buzz.”
turn on the GPS and never get lost again!
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
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
TTi Reports $80 Million Trading
TeleTrade international announces through the first 11 months of
2008 for barter/trading activity that volume is nearly $80 million
for worldwide transactions through its online platforms for
independent trade exchanges. The total of all online activity since
1999 when TTi took its technology online now exceeds 642 million.
eValues system for independent barter/trade exchanges reflects
nearly 50 million in transaction volume during this period. EValues
online totals reached an activity level of almost 356 million since
coming online in 2000.
has its swipe-card terminal technology program available to all U.S.
based exchanges, and can create a system for local exchanges
worldwide to have this capability. For the U.S. exchanges, TTi has
been able to secure a relationship with the country’s fourth largest
private merchant service provider to give participating exchanges
the “guaranteed lowest credit and debit processing rates.” From a
single terminal, merchants have the combined ability to process
credit, debit, discount, and barter programs.
more information contact CEO Gary Lasater at (303) 840-7172 ext 1,
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
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
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Full Service Ad Agency Opens Barter
RJPalmer, headquartered in New York, is a
privately held ad agency with some $650 million in annual billings.
The company launched a corporate barter department—Trade X Media,
headed by Senior VP Vince Laraia.
Laraia, formerly of Interpublic’s MAGNA Global
Trading, was their Executive VP, Worldwide Director. Throughout his
career he has assisted a plethora of Fortune 500 companies with
strategic corporate barter solutions.
For more information go to
Money-Making Reports Available From BarterNews
Former Russian Multi-Millionaire
Promotes Commodity Bartering
German Sterligor, 41, is promoting an electronic barter idea for
commodities, that he claims could save Russia’s foundering financial
Sterligor made his first million at age 24 but exited from the high
life when he challenged then-President Putin in his 2004 re-election
bid. At the time he was a tycoon with hundreds-of-millions of
dollars in the bank, dozens of businesses, offices on Wall Street
and in London, and a villa in Rublyovka, a Moscow suburb for the
Now, living on a farm outside of Moscow, he along with a former
business associate have set-up an “anti-crisis commodity
transactions center for commodity bartering.” It’s an electronic
substitute for money that’s not linked with the dollar, euro or
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