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 past year.
For most of the
history of selling, one could present their product or service to
the prospect and they either bought it or didn�t. By seeing enough
prospects you could make a profit. But with our present competitive
world, and messaging that bombards our every waking moment, this is
no longer sufficient.
There�s a major
paradigm shift that should be recognized and addressed if one is to
stay on top of the curve and win customers for the long term. It�s
not suggesting that this is new. Many organizations have been
shifting to this format for some time. It is increasingly becoming
not only the norm, but necessary. Major corporations of both
products and services are finding the way of the future in defining
each prospects� needs, and then tailoring their product/service to
meet those needs. Find the niche and fill it!
This has been a particular application used in the barter world, as
our true function is to improve business for our clients. Solve
their problems and you�ll have a long time relationship. Throw them
into a network and expect things to happen�.and some things will
happen. But neither we, nor our client, will realize the full
potential of participating in a barter network. We�ll all leave
money on the table.
application of this theory should extend throughout our client
relationship, it really begins in the selling process. Are we
presenting our program to anyone who will listen, or are we finding
out what issues the prospect is challenged with and then solving the
issues? Are we knocking on doors that every other B2B marketing
effort is messaging, or are we approaching a prospect that we will
have a �transactional� or �relational� basis with?
If we take the
approach of solution selling, a number of elements take place that
have ancillary benefits:
the prospect is significantly easier. It�s not the whole world, it
is someone we have a specific issue with that needs to be addressed.
2. Getting the
prospect to respond to the initial contact will tend to be
immediate, as we are approaching someone that we have business for
or that we can solve a problem for. This touches the very essence of
why people make buying decisions�to either make a gain, or prevent a
loss. Present the option of a new customer (with a specific order)
or conservation of cash on a specific purchase, and you have a
reason to meet.
3. The prospect
is more willing to spend time in understanding our program. It will
have immediate impact on his business.
4. The decision
process is shortened and �I�ll think about it� isn�t an option.
transactions occur quickly, there is instant gratification for both
parties. It not only creates transaction fees for the barter
company, but gets the client engaged as well. This is essential
toward improving the �business life cycle� of a client.
do we apply this? By focusing on a specific approach to a specific
prospect. And where do these come from? Our current clients. We work
for our clients. Whether your base is one client, 100 clients or
1,000 clients, our clients� needs direct us. Thus, we become
�partners� with our clients. We work together toward the goal.
Carry out this
philosophy as a core business strategy and you�ll never run out of
prospects, transactions, or satisfied customers.