Andrew Rudin

Would an Idiot Do That? A Practical Guide for Ethical Marketing Decisions

In the fall of 2016, my son headed off for his first year in college. Compared to today, it was a halcyon time to leave the nest. I envisioned him frequenting bacchanalian block parties before Summer faded into Fall and his classes reduced the time…

Let’s Restore Sanity to Stretch Goals

Stretch goals are “deliberately challenging or ambitious aims or objectives.” Known colloquially as BHAG’s – Big Hairy Audacious Goals – they are ubiquitous in revenue planning and deeply entrenched in sales culture. Fittingly, stretch goals themselves carry a bold sales pitch: Outsize performance reaps outsize…

The Road to Trust Begins with Intent

In the 1980’s, I demonstrated my company’s accounting software to a prospective buyer, the CEO of a large lumber and plywood wholesaler in Virginia. A few minutes into our meeting, I showed him how a credit hold worked. “If an account is delinquent,” I said,…

Time to Re-Think Your Company’s Sales Compensation Plan

Years ago, a recruiter for an IT company asked me for details about my earnings history in a prior sales role. Although many hiring managers make the same request, hers went further. She wanted copies of my past three years of W-2’s. “It’s part of…

On My Honor as a Salesperson. A New Look at Why Sales Ethics Matter

Which risk poses the greatest threat to a company’s market value – Pandemics and natural disasters? Terrorism? Product defects? Patent infringement? Theft of intellectual property? Lack of moral boundaries? If you answered anything but the last choice, think again. The decimation of market value at…

Are Your Decisions Risk-Informed? Six Missteps to Avoid

“In April 2017, Kevin Johnson took over the reigns as CEO of Starbucks, the iconic coffee giant. He faced a number of key decisions to keep the global retail giant competitive, but one in particular loomed large . . . Were there certain...

Why Good Salespeople Do Bad Things. And How They Can Avoid Going Astray

Most salespeople believe they are ethical and committed to customer success. Our mantra: “Treat customers like you would like to be treated.” If we could, we’d brush our teeth thrice daily with these words. Unfortunately, companies worshipping at the Maximize Shareholder Value altar have...

Fired Boeing CEO’s Severance Defies Explanation

This past December, I envisioned an article I wanted to write titled Things in Business That Defy Explanation. I had artifacts in mind, including why consumers buy Vegemite more than once, how the Pontiac Aztec ever got into production, and why Boeing CEO...

Discounting Belongs in Every Marketing/Sales Toolkit

Discounting gets a bad rap, and it just isn’t fair. Critics consider it an act of desperation, a reflexive last-ditch tactic vendors try when buyers seem reticent. Discounting is a Sure Sign of Sales Failure, proclaims one recent headline. Others reflect similar disdain: Salespeople...

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…

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