Who should attend your user-group meetings? Should it be software developers? Should it be channel resellers? Should it be product end-users? Some combination thereof? And how can you sell your company's sales and marketing people on your ideas? Find the answer to these questions and more in The New Strategic Selling, by Stephen E. Heiman, Diane Sanchez, and Tad Tujela, published by Warner Books.
If you've ever wondered where the concept of "win-win" selling comes from, here's your chance to find out. In 1986, the original edition of this book changed conventional thinking about sales and marketing. Heiman and his cohorts at Miller Heiman, a sales consulting practice based in Reno, Nev., were the first to demonstrate that the "sales techniques" of the day were really a collection of slick moves that actually encouraged salespeople to be deceitful, and that such practices simply would not work in a complex sale, where two or more buyers were involved or long-term relationships were important. In high technology, that's just about every single sale.
Instead, they laid out not a sales theory but a practical structure for having everyone involved in a purchase get what they need from it. Visit the offices of your most successful salespeople, and you'll probably find a well-worn copy of the book close at hand.
The new edition of this business classic confronts the rapidly evolving world of business-to-business sales. It includes new real-world examples, new strategies for confronting competition, and a special section featuring the most commonly asked questions from the Miller Heiman workshops.
In addition to helping non-salespeople understand how sales and marketing people think, The New Strategic Selling can be a terrific resource for event managers who need help selling their own ideas They'll find this to be a low pressure, ethics-based approach to selling. For more information, visit www.millerheiman.com.
Even experienced travelers can always learn something new, as a visit to www.travelsecrets.com proves. This is one ugly Web site, with irritating yellow check marks that flash on and off, and lots of blue and red type. But hang in there: In the lower left corner of the screen is the legend "New & Old Tricks for the Shrewd Traveler." Click on it and discover some of the stuff no one ever tells you about: Why you should never, ever fly on Turkish Airlines, or how to get the State Department to give you a second passport (so even if you've visited Israel you can still go to the United Arab Emirates).
Here's one example of this site's Dirty Tricks Department style. It describes how to increase the odds of having an empty seat next to you: "Ask for a window or aisle seat in a row where the window or aisle is already reserved by a single. The middle seat between two singles is least likely to fill up. Desperation measure: Say you're very overweight and need an empty seat next to you so you won't crowd the other passengers."
The site is hardly comprehensive, and it dribbles off into advice about gambling, but there are probably a dozen items here that are worth your while.
E-Mail news Special Delivery I DNets' Berst Alert is the tech news equivalent of a chew- able multivitamin. You get a daily dose of what you need, and it tastes good, too. The Berst Alert arrives every day via e-mail with headlines and teaser copy for IT articles that range from hard news to commentary: During a week's time in late January you could have followed reports of the Microsoft trial, learned that the Vatican now has a Smart Card payment option, and found out that server prices are on their way down. And that's hardly a sample.
The headlines are hyperlinked to the full story at the ZDNet's tech news Web site. One drawback: occasionally the links don't work, so you need to copy and paste the address onto your browser. The service is free and fun to read; to subscribe, go to www.zdnet.com/anchordesk.
Special Delivery II Another e-mail news service worth your time is the Event-Web newsletter, delivered weekly from the desk of Doug Fox, a voracious Web surfer who reviews meeting Web sites and delivers news and prognostications about event industry technology developments.
Fox has a casual style, and he's never shy with his opinions. In a recent Web review he wrote, "Visitors can link to Web sites for participating hotels. But, except for Hilton, attendees can't book a room online. What on earth is taking hotels so long to catch up to the Internet age?" Other items from that issue: news of one association's Internet-enabled booth selection process; MPI's recent Internet broadcast; and a meeting management firm's software spin-off. To subscribe to the free newsletter, go to www.eventweb.com/subscribe.html.