Wednesday, March 28, 2012

4 Ways to Lose a Lead

As we prepare to launch LogMyCalls we are reaching out to various outlets to discuss marketing and advertising opportunities. We are focused on reaching out to marketers and are looking for outlets that can easily get us in front of the correct audiences. Long story short: we are looking to spend money. We want someone to sell advertising to us.

In some cases thought, stunningly, that isn't happening. In one case we have made a decision about moving forward and are ready to buy but a sales person won't respond to my emails. Now, I'm second-guessing whether to advertise through this outlet at all. Here's how they lost a lead (us) in 4 steps.
  1. They were very slow to respond. I emailed the sales manager of a large marketing publication indicating my interest in buying advertising from them. I sent the email early one morning. I didn't receive a response until the following day. It almost seemed like they weren't interested in talking.
  2. Assumed I wasn't interested. When I finally spoke to the sales rep she made a false assumption. She had viewed our corporate website (which brands us a Sales Training company) and assumed I was mistaken when I reached out to her. I wasn't. She failed to look at which firmly positions us as a marketing analytics and technology company. Because she made an assumption, she could have lost the sale before she had a chance to make it.
  3. Shot me down. After we talked about their products and pricing I asked if there were volume discounts (i.e. if we bought a lot of advertising would that lower the price). I was told unequivocally that, no, there weren't volume discounts. There was no negotiation, no 'I'll check with my boss' or 'I'll see what I can do.' There was a flat 'no.' That annoyed me.
  4. Failure fo Follow-Up. I sent an email on Friday morning saying that we were interested in moving forward. It is now Monday afternoon and I still haven't received a reply.
Is she trying to lose the lead?

ContactPoint NGA WDDA

Monday, March 26, 2012

NGA Webinars Have Value: Marketing

Frank Reed, Managing Editor of leading Internet marketing blog, Marketing Pilgrim, led a webinar for NGA members early this month.  This webinar was free to all members. Frank went over the basics of social media for local business and ave an overview of the social media landscape including Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and location based services like Foursquare.
NGA members can view Frank's session anytime! And can attend the NGA member webinar series for free.
  • If you would like to watch the Social Media webinar, click here and enter the password ngamember.
  • If you want to learn more from Frank, you can download his July 2011 webinar: Maximize Your Local Marketing Efforts with Google Places. Click here and enter the password ngamember to download the recording.
Visit to view a webinar schedule. These webinars and are only available to NGA members. Webinars are just one of the benefits you get by being an NGA member. Learn more about your NGA membership benefits.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NGA Members Receive 1-Year FREE LogMyCalls Account

NGA is excited to announce a partnership with ContactPoint, to offer every NGA member a FREE
1-year subscription to and a FREE local or toll free phone number. An account of this nature is normally $29 a month, but all NGA members will receive it for free for 12 months*. To sign up visit
LogMyCalls is a tool that allows NGA members to track which marketing methods are generating phone calls and, conversely, which are wasting money. LogMyCalls also records the calls and then allows NGA members to listen to the calls, just by logging in.
What You Get With Your FREE NGA LogMyCalls Account:  
  • FREE 1-year subscription to
  • FREE local or toll free phone number with 150 recording minutes
  • Vital marketing data that shows you which campaigns are generating phone calls and which are wasting your time and money.
  • FREE Call Recording to gauge customer feedback in real-time and improve your ability to sell and book appointments over the phone.
  • FREE Advanced Call Routing – This feature allows you to take business calls at home, or on a cell phone, during the evening and on weekends. Additionally, if you have multiple locations you can automatically route callers to the location nearest them.

To sign up, you simply visit This is a sanctioned NGA website created exclusively for you.  If you have questions just call 866-811-8880.

*The account is totally FREE for 1 year, but you will be asked for a credit card number during sign up. This is in case you go over the 150 minutes allotted, you will be charged up to 6 cents a minute. You may cancel at any time. Only NGA members who are Main Locations qualify for this offer.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Harness the power of earned media

It's harder than ever to break through the competitive clutter.  Traditional advertising is becoming more and more expensive, and less and less effective.

Many companies have learned that a sophisticated public relations campaign -- designed to generate news coverage of their people, their company and their products and services -- can provide a much bigger bang for their buck than advertising.  Positive PR can give a needed boost to your next product launch, generate new customer leads, increase your top-of-mind awareness and dramatically improve your search engine visibility. 

Champion Management specializes in providing marketing and public relations support to small- and mid-sized businesses that don't have the internal expertise or resources to do it themselves. Champion has designed a package of public relations services exclusively for WDDA and NGA members. We can also customize services to address your unique market challenges, starting with a strategic assessment of your marketing/public relations approach. All consulting services will be discounted at least 25% for NGA and WDDA members.

Contact us to get started today, and be sure to tell us you're an NGA or WDDA member for your special rate.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Ladd Biro, President
Champion Management

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

News & Links for March 2012

Here's what's happening with the NGA and WDDA this month.
  1. Lee & Cates is NGA’s March 2012 Member of the Month!
  2. NGA is now offering free training to veterans on  All NGA member companies qualify.
  3. Sign up to exhibit for GlassBuild America!  View 2012 floor plan and Exhibitor list or learn more in the Road to GlassBuild America.
  4. What is Call Tracking? NGA and ContactPoint are announcing LogMyCalls for NGA members next week.  Watch your inbox for details!
  5. All new NGA members in 2012 qualify for a free subscription to! Take advantage of either Auto Glass or Glass Installer training - a $350.00 value! 
  6. Check out the NGA blog for tips and tricks for your business: High Expectations for Strategic Plans
  7. Upcoming NGA Chapter Events: Glass Texpo April 12-13, Glass Day New England April 27, and Mid-Atlantic Glass Association’s Glass Expo May 2.
  8. Nominations for the Glass Magazine Awards: The People, Products and Projects are due April 16. 
  9. Free Member Webinar April 2, 2012 on Transportation Costs & Shipping with UPS. Sign up today!
  10. Welcome new NGA members!
  11. Evotech Industrial Coatings, Infinity from Marvin to Sponsor 2012 Window & Door Dealers Forum.
  12. Beacon Windows is WDDA’s March 2012 Member of the Month.
  13. Window & Door’s Dealer Perspective: Benchmarking for Success.
  14. Senate Bill Would Pare Back LRRP Rule.
  15. FTC Reaches Settlement with Five Window Sellers.
  16. Attend the Window & Door Dealers Forum and you can participate in WDDA benchmarking for free!  Early bird registration starts May 1!
  17. Better customer service can help you save.  Here are 4 ways you can lose a sale.
  18. Train your staff with industry best training on new WDDA and NGA members!

Monday, March 12, 2012

High Expectations for Strategic Plans

In establishing Action Plans with employees make sure to guard against ones that are expected of them in the normal course of doing their jobs. Here are some examples:
  • 100% to Sales Plan is Expected
  • 100% to Profit Plan is Expected
  • Living within Budget should be a Given
  • Good Quality is Expected
  • Good Customer Service is Expected
Rather than establishing Action Plans that are expected, establish Action Plans that make it happen. For example:
  • Meet face-to-face with general contractors after bidding projects. (That will increase sales.)
  • Identify cost savings in my job. (That will contribute to living within budget.)
Both the employee and manager should have high expectations about completing Action Plans. Here are some guidelines on making it happen:
  • Added Initiative may be Necessary
  • Make Action Plans Challenging
  • Avoid Setting “Artificial” Action Plans 
  • Think Positively
  • Talk Positively
  • Make it Known that Results Count
  • Have High Expectations for Yourself and Employees
  • Have High Expectations for Completing Action Plans
Interesting in learning more about strategic planning? Contact me at  You can also view the presentaiton I recently gave for NGA members:  Management System Self-Evaluation Seminar.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What is Call Tracking?

At its most basic level, call tracking tells an organization which marketing methods and advertising campaigns are generating phone calls, and which aren’t.

Many businesses market and then hope…maybe assume, that their marketing is working. But they simply don’t know which advertising campaigns, or which forms of marketing, are generating phone calls. They don’t know if potential customers are calling because they found a listing on Google, if they’re calling because they got a flier in the mail, clicked on an Internet banner ad or because they heard an ad on the radio. They just don’t know which form of advertising generated that phone call.

Call tracking allows businesses to know that information for sure, and stop wasting money on marketing that isn’t working.

Well, let’s look at the most basic exampleof how call tracking works. You’re a medium sized business. You do occasional direct mail ads, you do radio commercials, you are listed on an online directory, you do banner ads online and you have a Google PPC campaign.

LogMyCalls assigns a unique phone number to each of those elements and then shows you which phone numbers are generating phone calls and which are not. There is no tracking ‘code’ to enter after the call is connected, or coupon to bring in to the store. You put tracking phone numbers (available on on various pieces of marketing and advertising and then, wait and see what’s working and what isn’t. And all NGA members can sign up for LogMyCalls for Free!

To be frank, if you’re not tracking your marketing in this way, you are almost certainly wasting money.
If you’ve ever received a call from a potential customer or a current customer—ever—you could benefit from call tracking. Some of your marketing spending is going to waste, you just don’t know it. LogMyCalls will show you exactly what is working and what isn’t. Let me be clear: you are wasting money if you don’t know where your calls are coming from.

LogMyCalls is replete with charts and graphs and lists that show you which tracking numbers (thus, which marketing campaigns) are generating phone calls. You can see full caller ID information, the time of day people are calling, peak call times, peak call days, average call length, total calls, missed calls, repeat callers and unique callers. You can even see how many calls you are generating from each zip code, area code and state.

Here are features of LogMyCalls—in addition to the standard call tracking stuff I mentioned above—that will change the way you market and save you money. It’s that simple.
  1. Call Recording – LogMyCalls records every call that comes into your business. How You Could Use It – You can use call recording to gather real-time customer feedback, hold employees accountable, improve customer service, improve sales skills and performance, and gather valuable marketing data.
  2. Call Tagging – In addition to recording calls, LogMyCalls allows you to tag (label) calls based on marketing lead quality. For example, if a caller is just interested in checking price or getting information but isn’t very interested in buying, you could tag the call ‘cold lead’ or ‘far away from sale.’ Tag it anything you want. Later you can group calls and sort them based on the tags. How You Could Use It – Let’s say that one tracking number associated with a direct mail coupon is generating 77% of your phone calls. That’s great! But then you start tagging your calls and you notice that only 2% of those calls are actually hot leads. The rest are garbage. This information tells you that, perhaps, this great direct mail ad that is generating 77% of your phone calls is not so hot afterall. The leads that come through the number stink!
  3. Lead Scoring – LogMyCalls also allows you to score every call on specific criteria that you choose to measure lead quality. How You Could Use It - You can measure whether or not the person is ready to buy in 30 days, whether they have the money to buy now, or if they are just gathering information. LogMyCalls will show you these scores for each tracking number so you can know precisely which advertising campaigns and marketing methods are generating high quality leads and which aren’t.
  4. Goals and Alerts – LogMyCalls allows you to set goals for campaign ROI and even individual call value. How You Could Use It – Set a goal to make a certain amount of money from a specific ad campaign. Or set a goal to close a certain number of calls from a certain campaign. LogMyCalls will track this for you and even alert you via email or text message when your deadline is approaching or when your goal has been met. Talk about holding your advertising accountable! You’ll never waste another penny on advertising that doesn’t work!
Find out more about the NGA and ContactPoint. To sign up for your free LogMyCalls account visit or contact Jimmy Lea,, 866-811-8880.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Lee & Cates Glass is NGA's Member of the Month

Lee & Cates Glass was founded in 1926 by the brother-in-law combination of Thomas Lee and Raymond Cates. We are celebrating our 86th year in business this year with many fourth generation individuals involved in the operation of the business. We currently have fourteen retail locations providing a full service product line of auto glass, residential glass & mirror products, and commercial replacement and repair. Along with the retail centers we operate a central mobile auto glass division, a commercial glazing division, and a flat glass fabrication plant serving that all serve the Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia markets.

Our involvement in the National Glass Association goes back as far as I can remember. My guess is some 50 years or so. I readily remember my father attending the glass association national meetings in such glamorous locations as Detroit, Michigan. My father’s active involvement in the association was a precursor to my getting heavily involved including a stint on national board of directors. The NGA offers a tremendous line of products and services to member glass companies along with the annual trade show now called Glassbuild.

All the good programs aside my biggest gain out of the association has to be the friendships and contacts I have made along the way. The ability to call a friend in Texas, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, and many other states is invaluable not only as business confidants but friends as well. We all have the same issues it is just a different magnitude depending on the sizes of our markets and businesses. Conversations may have lengthy time spans in between but when they occur it is with the knowledge that we are trying to give one another quality feedback. This not only helps me professionally but more importantly keeping my personal life in check. With this roller coaster of an economy and all its happenings a faith in God along with good friends and family will get you through times that are not for the squeamish.

Tom Lee, III
Lee & Cates Glass
40 Year NGA

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beacon Windows is the March 2012

What an honor chosen as the 3rd  WDDA Member of the Month!  Relatively new to the industry, Beacon Windows started in the midst of one of the most challenging economies many of us have experienced in our lifetime.  As a new business I was thrilled to find out about the WDDA. To me, the WDDA represented solidarity of purpose, a voice in a crowd that could speak for us as dealers. 

Beacon Windows History: My history in the window industry began 8 years ago as a sales rep for others.  5 years ago I became sales rep/project manager for another company and singlehandedly completed over 1.5 million in sales/project management within an 18 month period of time.

Armed with that experience, I took my own license and in 2009 Beacon Windows was born!

Things were a little challenging at first, but throughout the learning curve of putting together a business from scratch came some amazing life lessons.  Here’s one idea I’d like to share with other window and door dealers. Consider doing some repair work alongside your installation work.  We live in a beach community area with a LOT of high rise condos and hotels.  Because of this, we have a lot of older sliding glass doors that have aggressive corrosion issues.  Due to the economy, most people are not seriously considering replacing with high impact sliders.

One day one of my commercial door buddies suggested to me that we consider repairing sliding glass doors.  I thought he was crazy until he told me how much he made in a morning all by himself.  So, with a little effort we learned the repair business.  We launched this division just over a year ago.  You could say “Business is on a ROLL!”  No matter what troubles our clients might have, we get them “back on track” and we certainly can “get a handle on it!”

The funny thing was that using the same diligence and excellence in our slider repair business that we require in the window and door installation side has had an unexpected blessing.  We have been covered up with calls for window installation.  We aren’t even advertising for this, but the word of mouth has been tremendous.  They meet us for the slider repair, learn about our window side, and the calls just come in.  Because we have established ourselves with excellence on the initial call, we have a very high probability of being the ONLY one they ask for a quote.

Another great way to establish a strong connection with the clients is to become a center of influence for them.  Personally, I LOVE connecting people to their dream referrals.  Active in several networking groups locally, I make it a point to mention this to each and every client we have.  We help them find solutions to other things they need and we do this selflessly.  This creates a sense of loyalty with our clients and many of them become friends that we keep in touch with for years.  In addition, if they have a business, I try to connect them to ways that will make them money.  One of my favorite games to play is to see if I can “make” them more money through connections I assist them with than it cost for our services.

As you can see, connecting is in my blood.  With that have come some absolutely amazing stories from clients I have met.  One just recently involved a slider repair client that has a fantastic building system.  You may be familiar with SIPs systems, but this particular company makes one that is not only highly insulated, light weight, easy to install, fire and mildew resistant, but also HURRICANE and Earthquake resistant. This was pretty awesome news for a Florida gal who needs an impact product to sell.  This one has Miami/Dade certification. What a find! All because of a little fishing on the initial call to see what connections he needed.  I have already connected him to some great developers and builders and look forward to connecting him to many others.  Keep in mind that many of these connections become additional sources of income for our company.

So let me ask YOU… what is your dream referral and how can I help YOU find it?  Let me know what you need and you never know… I might just bring it on.  I am connected to many businesses throughout the US and also have one tremendous connection that does international sourcing.  Close your eyes, turn around 3 times and point, and I can get that item made for you in volume.  If you can get me a sample, I can get you a quote.

To me, the WDDA represents a group with a common interest that seeks to help one another.  It’s up to us to pool our resources to the greater good of our industry. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to connect with me. 

Thank you WDDA for being there for all of us and I look forward to growing with your membership!

Lizette LaForge
President & Master Connector
Beacon Windows
727-641-8106 cell