Will You Succumb To Negative Processing?


“What lies behind you and what lies before you are small matters compared to what lies within you.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Negative Processing. You’ll never find the term in Webster’s dictionary but you’ll definitely find it deep in the hearts and minds of millions of people. It is defined as having a negative attitude about the majority of things that occur in one’s past, present or future. Simply said, it’s continually possessing a victim mentality and viewing life in a very negative way. For these individuals, when events happen, or when they are about to happen, they process them in their mind as negative outcomes.

One of the most famous cartoons every created was that of Pogo when he said, “We have met the enemy and it is us.” So very often we are our own worst enemy and the first challenge we must overcome is negative thinking. As Charles Swindoll stated, “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” This following story illustrates my point.

A crafty old man appeared before the king with his hands cupped as if holding something very delicate. Unknown to anyone, the old man had requested this appearance before the king in the hope that he could embarrass the king and prove that he was not as wise a ruler as others in the kingdom believed.

“Oh great and astute master,” he began, “your wisdom is known throughout the kingdom. I come before you today knowing you are wise in all things to ask a very simple question in the presence of this vast assembly. I have in my hand a butterfly and inquire from you to tell me, and all who are here, whether the butterfly is dead or alive.”

The king was aware that the butterfly was alive; but he also knew that if he said the butterfly was alive, the old man would secretly and quickly crush the butterfly as he opened his hands. If the king said that the butterfly was dead, then the old man would simply release the butterfly into the air, demonstrating to the assembly that the king was wrong.

The king placed his hand on his chin and then leaned forward to give his answer. He boldly proclaimed, “The answer to whether the butterfly is alive or dead lies in your hands. For in this situation, as in most circumstances our lives, we have the power over the outcome.”

Every day we cradle the day’s events in our hands, and we have the power over how these events will effect us. We have the choice to live in liberation or bondage. We have the choice to act as Victims or to act with an Ownership Spirit.

Victims of Negative Processing blame others and/or the world for what happens to them. Those who have an Ownership Spirit try to see value in everything that happens to them—even those things which seem to be hurtful.
Individuals who have a victim mentality possess a sense of entitlement. They feel that they simply deserve certain things that, in reality, should be gained by working hard to receive.

Owners do not have this sense of entitlement but understand that they must work hard for everything they want. Owners believe that luck is what happens when opportunity, hard work, and preparation all come together.

“Take ownership of your life and write your name in kindness, love and mercy on the hearts of those you come in contact with.”

Negative Processors feel that they have learned just about all they need to know; whereas those who have an Ownership Spirit are continually learning, reading, sharing, meditating, challenging ideas, questioning, re-inventing, and contemplating new possibilities. Victims bring problems; Owners offer possible solutions.

The greatest gift we have is the gift of free will – the freedom of choice. We can choose our actions and reactions, our outlook on life, our attitude. Thomas Chalmers encouraged the following: “Live for something. Do good and leave behind you a monument of virtue which the storms of time can never destroy. Take ownership of your life and write your name in kindness, love and mercy on the heats of those who come in contact with you and you will never be forgotten. Good deeds will shine as brightly on earth as in the stars in heaven.”

JL’s Moral: Liberation or bondage? Victim or Owner? The choice has always been ours to make and to live accordingly.

P.S. A Personal Note. The Gulf Oil Disaster is absolutely heartbreaking. I have conducted workshops for newspapers in the Gulf area as well as public workshops for the business communities that are there. It is extremely difficult for me to watch what is taking place.
Later this summer, I will be traveling to the Gulf area to conduct free workshops for both the business community as well as the newspaper advertising salespeople. It is my small contribution to help those in need during this terrible crisis.

I realize that it is very difficult to imagine today what tremendous good will eventually develop from this tragedy sometime in the distant future. However, I truly believe that good will one day somehow surface. I am confident that those in charge will soon be able to permanently stop the leak and take measures that a similar accident will never happen again. Please pray for their success.

Are You Slogan Savvy?

1. Milk’s favorite cookie
2. Life well spent
3. The best seat in the house
4. Because I’m worth it
5. The joy of _________
6. I loved it so much I bought the company.
7. Can you hear me now? Good!!!
8. Keep Walking
9. You too can have a body like mine.
10. Put a tiger in your tank.

Answers are found at the bottom of this newsletter.

Reasons To Advertise Frequently

1. People have different wants and needs every day. Very few people need any specific merchandise item on any given day. Frequent advertising reaches this thin market when they are ready to buy, not just when the merchant is ready to sell.

2. Frequent advertising reaches customers regardless of reading habits. Frequency builds awareness, awareness builds familiarity, and familiarity builds trust. Just like dieting, advertising gets the best results over time. Each ad builds on prior brand recognition.

3. Frequency offers the advertiser the best rates. Newspapers recognize the need for frequency and encourage customers to use it.

4. Today’s ad may influence, but tomorrow’s ad will close the deal for a lukewarm prospect. Similar to pushing a huge rock up a hill, it is much better to push at a steady pace rather than to push quickly and run out of energy halfway up the hill.

5. Frequent advertising helps the business beat the competition. If a business is not advertising as much as its competition, it will likely miss customers who are in the market to purchase.

Continued next month…

Industry Background: Nursery/Garden Stores

General Information
Nursery and garden stores are struggling to sprout new growth as they battle the poor economy and face stiff competition from big box stores, hardware, and home improvement stores. Products and techniques have experienced tremendous change in the past twenty years and a continuous shift towards environmentally friendly products. The majority of changes have centered around organic gardening, using natural products such as compost.

Annual Sales Per Location
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest Economic Census and figures from 16,703 nursery and garden center stores throughout the United States, the average annual sales per location for Nursery and Garden Center stores is $1.93 million.

Top Advertising Media Used
Nurseries use a variety of media, such as newspaper, newspaper inserts, direct mail, cable TV, radio, websites, and yellow pages. However, a 2008 survey found that garden retail respondents use newspapers most to advertise the business. The results of the 2008 Lawn and Garden Retailer Survey were: Newspaper, 63.6%; In-house email campaigns, 37.2%; Online, 36.4%; Loyalty programs, 31.6%; Radio, 32.6%.

Peaks and Valleys
According to research conducted by Ad-ology in 2009 on the peaks and valleys of nursery stores, the results look like this:

January: 6.7%
February: 6.7%
March: 7.9%
April: 9.5%
May: 10.6%
June: 9.7%
July: 9.5%
August: 8.4%
September: 8.3%
October: 8.6%
November: 7.2%
December: 6.9%

Advertising As A Percent of Gross Sales For Nurseries
Even after extensive research, we were not able to find any company that publishes the percent of gross sales for advertising for the garden and nursery industry. However, when I was an advertising sales representative for the Arizona Republic, I had several Nursery/Garden Store accounts. They invested between 2% to 3% of gross sales for their advertising budget.

Coupons Continue As Integral Part Of Sales

Denver, May 26, 2010 /PRNewswire – The shopper experience study currently underway by The Integer Group Research revealed in their recent newsletter, The Checkout, that 60 percent of shoppers look for coupons before entering a store. This indicates that coupons are still an important pre-planning mechanism.

Coupons have a considerable influence on brand selection, with over 86 percent of shoppers reporting that coupons are “somewhat influential.” Females still tend to be more influenced by coupons than males, with 49 percent indicating that coupons are “extremely” or “very” important, versus males at 39 percent.

“Coupon value is ranked as the highest motivating factor driving a consumer to switch from their preferred brand,” said Craig Elston, senior vice president, Integer Group. “Shoppers also want simple, clean, and easy-to-redeem coupons, which increases the likelihood of their use by three times.”

Data for The Checkout comes from a national ongoing survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers were asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog, www.ShopperCulture.com.

Advertising As A Percentage Of Gross Sales

Accident and Health Insurance: 0.6%
Advertising Agencies: 0.7%
Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration: 1.2%
Amusement Parks: 8.4%
Apparel and Accessory Stores: 4.2%
Auto and Home Supply Stores: 2.9%
Auto Rental Companies: 2.1%
Auto Repair Services: 3.3%
Beverages: 7.8%
Source: Schonfeld & Associates, 2007

Continued next month…

Co-Op Opportunities

Paul Mitchell Signature/Focus Salons. These salons will begin to advertise Limited Edition Products, Free Travel Bag Promotion.

Trane Heating & Cooling Dealers. To advertise 2010 Spring Customer Rebate promotion. Your independent Trane dealer may qualify to have a portion of their advertising costs reimbursed through Trane’s Co-op advertising funds and their local distributor.

Winchester Firearms Dealers. To advertise ‘SX3 Shopping Spree’ offer with 100% Co-op.

Politicians and Political Parties. A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that heavy local and state media spending is expected from now through early November. Start working with state and local party media contacts to put ad campaigns in place before the September primaries begin.

Excellent Workshops On Co-op Conducted By Jeff Greene

If you want to learn how to more effectively use Co-Op, get in touch with my friend, Jeff Greene. He conducts excellent sessions for both newspaper staff and the business community on Co-op, Retailing, and Selling. You can reach him at jeff6542@aol.com or 208-887-9644. His website address is www.thegreenegroup.com.

Test Your Knowledge

1. Research on advertising placement indicates that when an ad appears on the back of a section, readership increases:

a. 5%
b. 10%
c. 15%
d. 20%

2. Being the first ad to appear in a section boosts attention by more than:

a. 25%
b. 30%
c. 35%
d. 40%

3. Full color ads don’t just get the advertiser’s ad noticed. It boosts in-depth reading 40% compared to two-color ads and more than _______% compared to black and white ads.

a. 47%
b. 53%
c. 57%
d. 60%

Find the answers to Test Your Knowledge at the bottom of this newsletter.

Objection Of The Month

I’ve had very bad experiences with salespeople. They come in here and promise me all kinds of things and never deliver on their promises. How do I know what you say about the power of newspaper is accurate, that you will follow up on what you promise, etc.?

Newspaper Media Consultant:
I’m very sorry you have had bad experiences with salespeople in the past and I can understand your fear that I may be telling you things just to get you to advertise in the newspaper. However, let me assure you that I have sales integrity and ask you to call any of my accounts and inquire how I threat them. I will even provide you with a list of my accounts with the phone numbers.
I know that my reputation is the foundation for success in the sales profession as it is in all professions. I work hard every day to protect that reputation. I also know that you will most likely not get a huge response from just one ad. Most of the time, it takes a series of ads—an advertising campaign. It’s like exercise. We see results after staying at it for some time. Therefore, I plan to be with you for a very long time and during this time I will prove my sales integrity to you.

I hope you consider me to be your business partner and I’ll do everything possible to earn and keep your trust.

Sales Tip Of The Month

Joining the Chamber of Commerce can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your sales career. Usually the “movers and shakers” belong to the Chamber and getting to know these individuals on a personal basis can really help your sales career.

By joining, it also demonstrates to the members that you want to help the community grow and prosper, not just take take revenue from the merchants of the community.

Ad Layout And Copy Suggestions

Steps To Creating Effective Ads (From the 2010 NAA Planbook)

Step 5: Newspaper readers are information seekers. They respond best to ads that help them decide how and where to shop. The more price information included the better. Ads that list 10 to 12 prices are noted over 80 percent more often than ads that list fewer than seven prices.

But don’t go price crazy. List too many prices and you’ll run the risk of confusing readers. If the business is advertising a sale, be sure to list the sale prices. Ads including sales prices are noticed 23 percent more often than ads without, and readers pay more attention to sale ads, too.

Step 6: It’s no surprise that larger newspaper ads increase readership. For example, full page ads are noticed 39 percent more often than quarter page ads. And much like ads with color, larger ads also result in greater in-depth reading.

Continued next month…

Media & Marketing Terms

Dating – (Sales Promotion Definition) A type of trade sales promotion in which the retailer is allowed to buy a certain amount of product from the manufacturer and then pay that product over a prolonged period of time. (Retailing Definition) The dates in which discounts can be taken or the full invoice amount is due.

DAR – (Day After Recall) A method of testing the response or performance of an ad or commercial whereby members of the audience are surveyed one day after the exposure of an ad or commercial in an advertising vehicle to determine how many of the audience members remember remember encountering that specific advertising message in that vehicle.

Dayparting – The ability to specify different times of the day or days of the week for advertising in order to target consumers more specifically.

Workshops We Conduct

Seven Steps To More Successful Selling
Selling Against The Broadcast Media
Improving Formal Sales Presentation Skills
Mastering Negotiation Skills
Mastering The Sales Skills For Newspaper Web Sites
Improving Telemarketing Sales Skills
Improving Ad Layout and Design Skills
Overcoming The Fear of Public Speaking
Perfecting Public Speaking Skills
Creating Customer Delight For Advertisers
Selling Against The Competition
Creating Ad Campaigns For Larger Accounts
Developing Team Building Skills
Overcoming Objections With Skill Practice Exercises
Improving Time Management Skills
Understanding The Principles Of Marketing
Twelve Steps To More Effective Leadership
Operation Tri-Plan: 3 Month Planning With Large Accounts

Learn more about our Workshops

Public Workshop: Generating Business During Tough Times
Public Workshop: 7 Steps To Brand Your Company
Public Workshop: 7 Remedies For Business Survival in 2010
Public Workshop: 7 Steps To A Successful Advertising Program
Public Workshop: 7 Steps To More Successful Selling
Public Workshop: How To Provide Outstanding Customer Service
Public Workshop: How To Create A Solid Business Plan

Learn more about our Public Workshops


Answers To Our Two Tests

Are You Slogan Savvy?
1. Oreo Cookies
2. Sears
3. Jockey Underwear
4. L’Oreal
5. Pepsi
6. Remington
7. Verizon Wireless
8. Johnny Walker
9. Charles Atlas Body Building Program
10. Esso Gasoline

Test Your Knowledge
1. (c) 15%
2. (d) 40%
3. (d) 60%

A Notice To Our Readers:

We’re honored to send you the AdVisions Newsletter each month. Please send us the e-mail address of anyone you feel would also enjoy receiving it. If for any reason you do not want to continue to receive our newsletter, please let us know.

We welcome your suggestions and comments. Lindsey & Associates has been conducting Sales and Management Workshops for hundreds of newspapers throughout the United States and Canada since 1987. Please call or e-mail us for a detailed outline of our classes and for a list of the many newspapers and newspaper associations where we have conducted workshops.