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Charles L Martin's Blog






Charles L Martin has spent a lifetime experiencing hard won sales and marketing battles in the fashion (7th Avenue), film (Hollywood), food & beverage (Worldwide), and social marketing (SoCal) industries. He enjoyed working as an assistant to Liz Ortenberg (Claiborne), Tommy Hilfiger, and producer Scott Rudin, among others. He has worked for Esprit, D.F. Sanders & Co., more than 25 other A-List actors and producers, Rhino Chaser's Beer, EarthLink, United Tranz Actions, OpenTable and now LivingSocial, which is the coolest gig around.

The concept of Anticipation Marketing is his specialty. He loves marketers and sales hacks. He loves (or dislikes) your company. His rants on hotheadblog.com may inspire you. They may ignite you. Either way, it's all good. Follow Charles on Twitter @vendorcloud

Charles is a 4-time marathoner with a 3:58 PR. He also enjoys loads of time with his awesome family as well as advocating in modernist architecture, fine wine, craft beer, master Japanese gardens, xeriscape, politics, and music. email him at vendorcloud@gmail.com .

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Thanks Seth Godin

By Charles Martin | June 10, 2013

Thanks Seth Godin for: The lead to my favorite new Dafen painting which we affectionately named "Uncle Fester" Uncle Fester Thanks also for taking the time to bring the obvious (but overlooked) to the forefront every day.I love this recent post -  So many of us in or related to call-center driven companies should think about this.

Topics: Greats in business | No Comments »

Hello I’m Adele

By Charles Martin | February 6, 2013

Like most of us I love Adele. Talent times a million. I recently got her Royal Albert Hall DVD and in the intro before the first song she says "I'm Adele and I'm gonna entertain you tonight". Obviously people in the audience knew who she was, but it struck me that Adele will go on as a superstar for eons because she has the center to reintroduce herself and almost say "I'm just one of you and I hope you like my songs..." I felt, after seeing her banter along with the audience, that she understands staying grounded and "just like us" will propel her along to even greater heights. If you're a rock star. Stay grounded. And be brilliant.

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The Tipper

By Charles Martin | February 6, 2013

Listening to: The Kuge Soft Rocker by the astute audiophile and friend Mike Kuge. In sales we are always in search of The Tipper.  No, not the lady who gives 15% to her favorite waiter. The Tipper is the guy who is that last piece to the grand puzzle.  The guy who makes all your important deals become a reality.  Without him, it just doesn't fit.  The movement in your sales universe by knowing him or her is oh-so-small, but once they put their stamp of approval on what you do, it's a different world.  He "tips" the universe in your direction every so slightly.  Remember folks, there's a big difference between 95 and 100. In the recent months, I finally made a connection to the tipper in my market for restaurants.  Restaurants happen to be the mother lode for what I do in the daily deal dance.  This guy and his family have owned restaurants around here for more than 40 years.  Most aren't the $50 white table cloth kind of restaurants.  They're the stay-in-business-for-forty-years kinds of places. Luckily he had a need (Rule number 1 to any introduction) and he finally acquiesced to my incessant calling and emails.  Rule number 2 to any strong tipper relationship is that any mega-client worth having will only waltz around the dance floor for one easy dance with none of the arms over shoulders snuggling that we ultimately yearn for.  He will try you out.  After all, someone that builds a restaurant empire doesn't do it in a day. Deal one was a blaring success.  I put my all into the mechanics and made sure the team was ready for every turn. Dance number two came a few months later when we tried one of his older establishments that is actually a white table cloth place with a higher price point.  It's one of those British houses with lots of prime rib and good beer that LA was famous for a long time ago.  It was another grand success. I had been yearning to work on deal number three and we just recently completed it to another roaring success. And then the whole world tipped. Friend of said Tipper opened my 32nd email and with the stroke of a big YES put a deal together with me. Tipper's friend is as big and has a heart of gold. His deal was as successful - if not more - than the Tipper's. Now the engine roars and calls continue to be answered and doors continue to open. Just today I mentioned said gang of happy that I have on my side to someone on the fence and he got into action and invited me over next week. The key is to really figure out the combination of how you approach the people that can change your universe. It's not simple -- that's why we get the big bucks. But, it's a nice puzzle that I relish and it makes the day different when you've got to decide how to approach possibly the biggest deal of your life (or a combination that equals the biggest deals of your life). Good luck out there.

Topics: Greats in business | No Comments »

Help us help Sandy Victims

By Charles Martin | December 10, 2012

We're going this weekend for some fun and holiday frolic, but also to help the folks in Staten Island.  If we're rained out or can't get on a team, we will still give them a check with all your wishes rolled into one. We're meeting with Steve Martino. Check out his website. http://themovementsi.com/hurricane_sandy_relief_page.html
Thank you -

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Do you do windows?

By Charles Martin | July 9, 2012

I was thinking that probably the most effective part of how I sell is that I do windows. I do the extra.  I say something and it happens.  I will stay late.  I will make a call on your behalf or fight for your cause if it's truly worth it.  After all, we're in this together. Someone I know uses the addage "how much are you going to make an hour if you do that something extra?" I think that's a nice mantra for an old-line copier salesman, but not now.  Not today when 1% of whatever MORE is, is... MORE. I'm not saying be reckless with your time.  But if you're a pro, you know how to focus on the things that matter to your bottom line and you also understand what keeps your pipeline full. The chords you strike.  The words and actions that are real.  --  Those things matter most long term. I'm on a different track.  I can't show immediate "today" results to my bottom line for the little extras I do, but I can surely show them in a month, a quarter, or even next week.  I can also show solid referrals because of the windows I've cleaned. Start doing windows.

Topics: Sales Acumen | No Comments »

Back Selling

By Charles Martin | June 19, 2012

Now Playing: "Jump" by Van Halen on Spotify very loud with a glass of Trader Joe's Sweet Tea   Thankfully, we're focused on more and more revenue generating opportunities than ever before. But change is often difficult to deal with.  My bosses can tell you about the stressful phone calls and emails they've received from colleagues as we change course. We're moving from an active unit-based sales approach to a more effective revenue based one this year and beyond.  My company has invested millions in infrastructure and the benefits to merchants are already apparent in everything we do. It's time to balance things so everyone - especially the subscribers we serve - get the very best deals in the universe.  That's ok with me. And as I work through and refresh relationships that began in 2011, I am given the opportunity (and privilege) to assess the outcomes and optimize the future with some of the best small and medium-sized businesses in the world.  My little corner of Southern California is special in that we have a little bit of everything to offer - great restaurants, exciting entertainment venues -- indoors and out --  and all sorts of personal development opportunities. Along the way, and like any salesperson, I have to work with my client to price things appropriately and fairly while maximizing the revenue for the company I represent.  It's part of the job.  I try to embrace it.  Some people avoid it. I also have been deciding to not work on deals that were flat and pointless before.  I now work on deals that are powerful from top to bottom.  That keeps me interested and reinvigorated.  I do better work in that confine.  Everyone wins. But in that transition part -- especially the soft middle of transitions like these - it's often difficult.  Within this new focus there are challenges I enjoy.  When you work like I do in a multi-transactional month, keeping it interesting is how you succeed long term.  While I've hit my stride, I look for new ways to stand behind the value of a price increase and make sure my time is well spent along the way.  All of us sellers look back on deals and assess time spent vs results.  Many times, it's disappointing news. If you happen to have an aversion to discussing price, you aren't alone.  After all, most of us don't like to discuss finances with our spouse, let alone people that control our ultimate professional destiny.  It would be easier to simply sell things that have fixed and commodity pricing like gasoline.  Some of us do.  But, most of us don't.  Calling someone and letting them know that something they paid $1 for last time costs $2 today can be a wall for many. Scale that wall. After all, price increases are actually something most of us sustain every day.  When has your new car cost less than the one before it?   Your grocer is always asking for more.  In life, this is a constant. So working with a new price book that is chock full of opportunity and value for my customers is a nice challenge I welcome and it's fun at the end of the day.  It's not easy but when you have new and often increased pricing that you cannot control, it can help to follow these tips:
Good luck out there and keep on closing!
 

Topics: Sales Acumen | No Comments »

Hothead Blog Update

By Charles Martin | June 18, 2012

Hi Guys, Been very busy with all things work/family/life. Coming back with more frequent posts that are centered on discussions about the world of sales. Enjoy!

Topics: Sales Acumen | No Comments »

Soma For Sale

By Charles Martin | March 2, 2012

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By Charles Martin | January 6, 2012

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That's not reality, Buy Zithromax Without Prescription. Online buy Zithromax without a prescription,  And we're still one of the best solutions to hyper-local marketing around.

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I work for a company like Apple.  I wake every day knowing that the captain up in the tower is probably not sleeping as much and is worrying much more than I about how to make it all work.  I can guarantee you that the solution for tracking and making it easier for people to repeat their visits to your business is on the horizon.  We understand that it's the mother lode.  They don't share these ideas with me, but I know we're on this track because of the type of company I work for.

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By Charles Martin | December 24, 2011

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