Andrew Rudin

Customer Retention is Overrated

Remember the listening game you played in elementary school - the one where the first kid introduced a word or phrase to the group by whispering it to the next kid, and that kid whispered what he heard to the next kid, and so...

#wayfairwalkout: Employee Activism Collides with Revenue Growth

Peter Drucker’s pithy idea, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer,” has been drummed into the marketing psyche for as long as I can remember. But when Drucker referred to customer creation, I wonder if he had immigrant detention centers in...

Voicing Values: Employee Exposes Seamy Sales Training

The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs reports that in 2019, more than 50% of its complaints about solar energy companies involve deceptive sales practices. And this month, a local TV station appears to have uncovered at least one smoking gun. At a sales...

Employee Values: Filling the Gap between Business Dream and Decision Reality

In business, we exhort ourselves to achieve dreams. “Client interests come first!” and “We are committed to full and fair disclosure!” These are dreams because business doesn’t work this way. When the decision rubber hits the road, there’s conflict. When executing strategy and tactics, we...

Giving Voice to Values: Essential Nutrition for the Fiscally Fit Organization

Suppose you were at a large networking event and accidentally dropped a priceless piece of jewelry on the floor. Your favorite whatever, and now it's lost. You need help finding it, and you want someone who would be unlikely to keep the item for...

Revenue Generation: A Little Hope is a Precious Thing

Business developers know about scarcity: paltry lead flow, tight marketing budgets, and not enough time. I could go on. Thankfully, we’re optimistic people. Optimistic about closing deals, optimistic that customer decisions will go our way, and optimistic that we will prevail in achieving our...

No, This is Not the Age of the Customer

Astrologers peg the Age of Aquarius between 1447 and 3597 CE – a range of 2,150 years, give or take. The Age of Enlightenment happened in Europe in the 18th century, around the same time as the emergence of the industrial age. And so...

Top Global Risks in 2019: Coming Soon to Your Community!

Whenever I visit a chain grocery store like Safeway, Albertsons, or Publix, I experience sameness. Same layout, same products, same experience - regardless which location I’m shopping. But Wegmans, an east-coast grocery chain based in Rochester, New York, is different. The store...

Sales Process: Stick to the Path or Go Your Own Way?

Ask a top sales producer about keys to success, and they’ll share insights like “prioritize your work,” “maintain a good opportunity pipeline,” “serve the customer,” and “be like a duck.” “Be like a duck” seemed weird the first time I read it. But the explanation...

Feeling Morally Queasy at Work? Tips for Voicing Your Values

I’d like to encircle the workplace with yellow safety tape. Long ribbons of it. “Caution! Do not enter!” That would give others an inkling of the dangers lurking within. I’m not talking about back pain, eyestrain, and paper cuts. I’m talking exploitation, harassment, and passive…

Five Elements that Create Service Stress for Customers

Despite rigorous measurements and sentiment analysis, the number of bad customer experiences that occur every second isn’t known. How many living trees currently populate our planet? We should know these things. For now, I’ll speculate that they are both large numbers, and one is escalating…

Revenue Growth: Don’t Let the Funnel Fool Ya!

Sales funnels symbolize a widely-known reality among marketers: s*** happens. Funnels instantly remind us that interactions between buyers and sellers are fraught with risks – not that we need any reminding. Funnels also represent our fear that we can assiduously attempt to convert a prospect…

One Sales Interview Question Best Unasked

Every day, I read articles online that I disagree with. No biggy. Much rarer is when I read business advice so ill-conceived, so dangerous, so off-the-wall, that I react with my forehead colliding with my keyboard. “awfjsoefivfdljkmdvfl;jkvxcljkvxcljk;m,..,m.” You can quote me. It happened today when…

How to Execute Better Strategy

In these tumultuous times, I lust for every bit of surety I can find. I search for rules, immutable truths, and superlatives. My motive is patently self-serving. Limiting my perspectives saves time. Nuance? Things to consider? Outliers and exceptions? Too squishy! Give me something concrete…

Acquisition and Retention: The Yin and Yang of Customer Strategy

For customer retention, which of the following do vendors commonly perform: Provide outstanding service and loyalty benefits Impose switching costs through technological impediments and contractual restrictions Engineer convoluted pathways for customers who want to terminate services All of these The correct answer, of course, is…

Sears: Bankruptcy through Management by Magazine

Sears, the company that gave the world Kenmore appliances, Craftsman tools, Sears houses, and catalog retailing “limped into bankruptcy” on October 15, according to The Wall Street Journal (Sears, Once Retail Colossus, Enters Painful New Era).  As one who grew up near two Sears anchor…

Hiring Sales Talent? Seek Evidence of These Three Skills

As a strategist, I look for performance gaps. They are often concealed within operating statistics, and can require sleuthing to flush out.  For me, an adrenaline rush comes from finding a subtle gem and elevating it to the conference room white board. “Strategic priorities for…

Nike and Kaepernick: Oh Baby, Show Me The Money

I’ve often wondered why companies hammer sharp social stakes into the ground. Ben and Jerry’s. Hobby Lobby. Chick-fil-a. Lately, Levi’s – my jeans brand – has advocated for gun restrictions. Gasp! Strongly advocating a social agenda is antithetical to what I’ve learned about marketing. Don’t…

Three Myths about Customer Loyalty

The characters in the HBO series Silicon Valley make us laugh because we’ve met them in real life. The sardonic, whip-smart software developer Gilfoyle. The dweebie, hoodie-wearing tech entrepreneur Richard Hendricks. The Type A-on-steroids venture capitalist Russ Hanneman. The over-the-top greedy, predacious CEO Gavin Belson.…

Marketing for Business Growth, Forty Years on

The temperature in Washington, DC is steamy hot, and my dogs don’t bother lifting their heads when the UPS truck rolls up. Not even a tepid growl leaves their throats. That would take energy. Every August, DC’s torrid pace abates, providing me an opportunity to…

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