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Webinar to Focus on C-Suite Relationships

January 15, 2010 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus

Mark HunterWe live in a world in which technology allows us to connect with each other at an unprecedented level. It is important, even while taking advantage of new communication channels, that we do not turn our backs on tried and true relationship building skills. In the next NARMS Webinar - C-Suite Status — Building Relationships that Build Business – Mark Hunter will show you how to use a blend of old and new communication techniques to break down walls and be seen as the go to person with whom CEOs, COOs, CMOs and CFOs want to connect. The Webinar is on Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM CST. The NARMS Webinar series, another in the NARMS-U educational platform, is sponsored by NaturalInsight and brought to you through the technology of ReadyTalk.

Our technology-saturated world can never out-do the time-tested skill of building relationships. Jump start 2010 by connecting with the people who can have the greatest impact on your business — the C-Suite decision makers. This one-hour session will teach you about the importance of these relationships and how to develop them from consultative selling expert Mark Hunter.

Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” helps individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He spent 18 years working in the sales divisions of three Fortune 100 companies. His clients include British Petroleum, Coca-Cola, Sara Lee and Mattel. To find out more about Mark’s selling philosophy and to receive his weekly sales tip, visit

The NARMS Webinar Series is a free member benefit and is available to non-members at a nominal fee. This topic has already generated a lot of interest. If you haven’t already done so, we urge you to register for this, the first NARMS Webinar of the new decade. Connecting with your fellow members today is the first step toward building better business relationships tomorrow.

Next Webinar to Identify Retail Trends

June 26, 2009 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus

markhuntercloseupAs we go through the process of managing our day to day business, we sometimes forget to take a few steps back and view the battleground from a high vantage point. The next installment of the NARMS Webinar series – Emerging Retail Trends – takes just such a look into the near future and examines the happenings that will shape the marketplace. Join Mark Hunter on Tuesday, June 30 at 1:00 pm CDT as he shares updates on economic data and how it will impact our business in the 2nd half of 2009.

The economy continues to alter the retail landscape. Consumers and retailers are now being impacted in ways we have never seen before. This hour-long session will provide a closer look at how each trading partner will be affected and will allow you to be proactive in how you manage your at-retail merchandising and marketing business. After his presentation, Hunter will answer all your questions via a live chat function. The NARMS Webinar series is sponsored by NaturalInsight and brought to you through the technological prowess of associate member ReadyTalk.

Hunter is well positioned to address “2009 Emerging Retail Trends”. He has routinely fulfilled the challenge of looking towards the future at the NARMS Spring Conference, bringing his insights and depth of personal experiences to bear. Hunter is a frequent speaker on the subject of sales and sales motivation who helps companies and salespeople find and retain better customers. He works with companies ranging from Fortune 100 to small, one-person firms to help them grow their top-line sales and bottom-line profits

The Webinar Series has proven to be an extremely popular and beneficial educational service to our members. Some of our member companies gather in their conference rooms to take in the session as a group. The session is complimentary to NARMS members but is also made available to other interested persons at a non-member rate of $99.95. We encourage you to share this invitation with other co-workers and anyone else who might gain value from this information-sharing opportunity. We hope you will join the many of your association brethren who have already registered for this event. You can register by clicking here.

New Podcasts Available on NARMS Radio

May 15, 2009 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus

Things have been moving pretty fast at NARMS International as your trade association continues to uncover new offerings to bring even more value to the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing industry. If you feel out of the loop or just want more information, a great way to catch up on new programs, speakers and events is to tune into the podcasts available at The podcasts, otherwise known as NARMS Radio, are quick six to ten minute radio style interviews designed to inform educate and entertain the listener.

Recently a whole new suite of podcasts have been added to the website. Here is a rundown on the new programs, hosted by Mark Hunter, now at NARMS Radio, “The Voice of the Retail Industry”

In, “The Effectiveness of Sampling,” Dr. Ken Herbst from Wake Forest University explains how a sampling event leads to greater customer loyalty and satisfaction. He discusses a recent demo he conducted and the various results that occurred.

“The First Six Feet of the Sale,” features Kreta Chandler of Retail Brand Strategies as she explains the concept of the “first 6 feet of the sale.” She states that 80% of consumers research, shop, and make their purchasing decisions based off of the information they obtain from the internet before they ever get to a store.

In, “Return on Retail Investment (RORI) Initiative,” Bart Flaherty of GroupM Business Science explains the industry initiative called Return on Retail Investment (RORI). It involves creating a framework built around how to make better shopper marketing decisions and measuring the return that each constituent gets from their shopper marketing activity.

“The RORI Project,” features Phil Lauria of Pelco Advisors as he discusses the relationship between NARMS, the University of Wisconsin Madison, and the RORI Project (Return on Retail Investment). He explains that NARMS members will be able to greatly benefit from the information obtained through the initiative.

In, “Personalizing Your Message for the Remote Employee,” WorkLife Performance Consulting’s David and Laura Butler discuss how to connect with and engage your employees when they are all over the world. They propose different ways to personalize your message through the use of technology.

“Trends in the Organic Food Industry,” spotlights Natural and Organic Food Industry consultant Ken Vickerstaff as he discusses the highlights of what a panel shared at the 2009 NARMS Convention. He defines the term “organic” and how the label is regulated.

In, “Income Statement” vs. “Balance Sheet” Shoppers,” Bryan Gildenberg of MVI explains the difference between two types of consumers: the “income statement” shopper and the “balance sheet” shopper. He shares how these varied perspectives influence the purchasing decisions of the consumer.

“The In-Store Implementation Network,” features Jamie Tenser as he discusses the big findings of the In-Store Implementation Network. He details the current overstock and out-of-stock issues, and proposes ways to deal with them in the future.

In, “Winning the Battle for Shopper Dollars,” Alex Richardson of Selling Machine Partners explains what he sees currently happening at retail. He shares how the state of the economy has made it a battleground for shopper dollars and then explains the ways he believes retailers can win over their competition.

And in, “ and Other Benefits on the Web,” Gerard McLean of Rivershark, Inc, explains many ways that the site benefits the NARMS membership and shares some of its recent statistics. McLean gives advice on how members can take advantage of the web and how to best merchandise your website.

You can listen to NARMS Radio by clicking on the podcasts tab located on the upper left of NARMS home page.

Value Provides the Ultimate Competitive Edge

October 22, 2008 by Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

The Tampa Bay Rays seemed to have everything going their way with a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox, and a 7-0 lead late in game 5. That is about the time when the force of nature known as the Red Sox mighty offense caused a significant shift in the competitive environment. The Sox came back to win game 5 and game 6 to force a pivotal game 7. But this didn’t turn out to be a crash and burn story for the Rays. They overcame the momentum shift and got back to the doing the things; namely starting pitching, solid fielding and timely hitting; that helped them win the American League East title. The result is that they are going to their first World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. There are many CPG companies who have experienced the same thing recently. Good times have been derailed by force of nature type economic factors and unprecedented competitive forces. The October issue of Willard Bishop Consulting’s Competitive Edge suggests that manufacturers can follow the Rays example by sticking to the knitting (or hitting as it were). In this case it is providing value to their customers. Doing so can help them overcome the tough times and ultimately win the day.

As we were reminded in yesterday’s monthly NARMS webinar hosted by Mark Hunter, “Winning Sales Strategies in Difficult Times,” value is defined not by what the customer pays for a good or service, but by the benefit they derive from the service. Mark reminded us that this is quickly forgotten as competitive pressures mount. In the article for Competitive Edge, author Jim Hertel concurs, “Economic pressures on retailers can quickly translate into margin pressures and price increase pushback for suppliers. As a result, suppliers need to understand, improve, and get credit for the total value they create beyond product and price.” Hertel says there are four major levers that suppliers can use to add value and get credit for it: increase demand, reduce cost, increase merchandising impact and develop an effective go-to-market approach. It is in the latter two where NARMS members have an opportunity to add value to our customers, as they add value to theirs.

Hertel goes on to say that in order to accomplish this, suppliers may need to change the way they engage their customer, and key among these are shopper insight and shopper marketing capabilities. Again, NARMS member ears perk up.

Now that we have the point in scoring position, it’s time for the big two-out hit. Tuning in to resources like the NARMS Webinar Series, Willard Bishop’s Competitive Edge, and other such studies and publications can be a great aid in identifying areas where we can help our customers add value. In doing so, we establish our companies as a vital and reliable part of the go-to-market system and not just a switch-on service that is far too susceptible to competitive and economic pressures.

FRIDAY FOCUS - Webinar Coaches Winning Sales Strategies in Difficult Times

October 17, 2008 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus

No doubt we are living and selling in difficult economic times. If you don’t believe it, just tune in to any presidential debate. Chances are, those will be the first words out of the mouths of the candidates. For NARMS members, the challenge is what to do about it as we present our at-retail merchandising and marketing services to the marketplace. This will be the topic of the third NARMS webinar on Monday, October 20, 2008 at 1 p.m. CDT. Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter, will lead us through the topic: Winning Sales Strategies in Difficult Times.

During the 1 hour event, Hunter will instruct on how to establish maximum value for the price you are offering. In today’s volatile economy, it’s even more of a challenge. For most NARMS member companies, costs are increasing, yet the ability to pass them along to the customer is fraught with numerous roadblocks. Strategies will be discussed to counter these roadblocks and helps you begin to develop the confidence you need to obtain the maximum price, despite these difficult times. The event is sponsored by NaturalInsight and powered by ReadyTalk.

Key to the message in this webinar is that businesses don’t just buy, they invest. Now more than ever, it is important to show investors the value of your services and base your pricing on that value and not on the cost of delivering the service. Value is defined as how the customer will benefit, not what they will pay.

Although the webinar is Monday, there is still time to register. Click on this link to sign up for the event. The session is complimentary to NARMS members but is also available to other interested persons at a non-member rate of $99.95. We encourage you to share this invitation with co-workers or anyone who might gain value from this information-sharing opportunity. In the past, we’ve had conference rooms full of people at some of our member’s offices and we have already had a great response to this session.

Mark Hunter helps companies and salespeople find and retain better customers. Hunter works with companies ranging from Fortune 100 to small one-person firms to help them grow their top-line sales and bottom-line profits. He is known for his sales development strategies and consultative selling approach to business

Webinar: Mounting Evidence Finds NARMS Members Guilty of Filling the At-Retail Gap

September 12, 2008 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus

Since the middle of the last decade, a cavalcade of facts, figures, studies and stories have been produced all trying to figure out one thing: What is the impact of the failure to execute at retail? In our second in a series of monthly webinars entitled, The Value of At-Retail Marketing Implementation Using A NARMS Member Company, Vickie Alarie of Alarie Consulting, built the case for employing third-party at-retail marketing companies. Alarie compiled all the best information on the subject, presented it to the audience and then showed attendees precisely how to use the findings in conversations with customers. The verdict is a compelling value proposition offered by our members to their customers.

Over 80 individuals registered for the second in NARMS monthly webinar series. By the time the attendees and those who took in the event as a group in their conference rooms are counted, over 50 people were witness to a well documented and well constructed argument on behalf of our members. Several outside sources put the OOS rate at 8% with distribution voids totaling an additional 5-10%. One source quoted by Alarie put the total lost opportunities at retail at $15 billion in lost sales. Several manufacturer and industry groups have identified lack of at-retail execution as the culprit for this amazing amount of slippage. As Alarie pointed out, it’s not just the dollars and cents that add up. Lack of execution can result in category management decisions being skewed, forecasting can be affected, brand loyalty eroded and an opportunity can be created for purchase of a competitor’s product.

On a case by case basis, this study takes all the identified failures and gaps at retail and systematically shows not only the adverse effects, but also how the services of NARMS members address each situation. Within minutes of the webinar, attendees received an executive summary document of the study and a deck of Plug and Play slides that members can easily integrate into their own sales presentations. If you were not able to attend the webinar, don’t fret. All the information will be available at on the InfoShare page and a recording of the session is available.

Members are finding these monthly webinars of great interest and benefit to their businesses. Don’t be guilty of missing the educational opportunity offered in this remarkable forum. Coming up in the months ahead, Mark Hunter of MJH Associates will head a discussion entitled: Winning Sales Strategies in Difficult Times on October 20th. Russell A. Hollrah, ESQ will give a presentation on November 20th entitled: Independent Contractor Status in 2009 and beyond. And this just in, another webinar has been added for December 11 featuring Rob Winston of Arbitron.

Eventually, we are all judged in the marketplace. The Value of At-Retail Marketing Implementation Using A NARMS Member Companyand other such research efforts can give us a competitive advantage as we make our compelling case to our customers.


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