Monday, May 27, 2019



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Podcast with Francisco Serrano about why an agile leader is key to success

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 20, 2019

Francisco Serrano, CEO, 121

Francisco Serrano, CEO, 121

Photo: Jesus Lara

A podcast interview with Francisco Serrano, CEO, 121 is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, he discusses why an agile leader is key to success with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.

Francisco, who is also president and chief speed officer of 121, is a branding specialist with over twenty years of experience in mid-to-large-sized national and international organizations. He has worked primarily in corporate and product development, brand strategy and brand architecture, packaging as well as in video and web development.

Prior to starting 121, Francisco worked as the director of Client Services at Alazraki, a leading advertising agency in Mexico. He also served in leadership roles at C&A, a European retail store conglomerate, where he headed communications management and new product development. Francisco has been a key player in international brand implementations for McCormick, Bayer, Heineken, Cadbury, OxiClean, Ferrero Rocher, and Hershey’s. He has worked in the launch strategy campaigns for RB’s Lysol and Air Wick.

To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Francisco Serrano” and click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the play button and podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the May 2019 section of the podcast archive.



Sales specialist touts importance of transparency

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 8, 2019

The Transparency Sale
The Transparency Sale

Photos: Todd Caponi

Buyers want to know what the flaws are in a product. So much so that they favor bad reviews over good ones, according to Todd Caponi. He cares about sales methodology, learning theory and decision science. He is convinced that the key to sales success is transparency. In his first book, The Transparency Sale (Ideapress Publishing, $24.95) published last year, he seeks “to arm the modern seller with the knowledge, ideas, tools and actionable techniques to ready themselves for the future of sales; radical transparency.”

“The short answer is eighteen months, however, it’s not that simple,” Caponi said by email via his publicist when asked how many months or years the book required. “I first wrote about the idea for a publication back in May of 2017, and it went viral. The concept definitely resonated, so that signaled the beginning of the process. When you decide to write a book, the first step should always be to write a proposal, even if you’re intention is the self publish. It helps you vet out the likelihood of a successful book, and lays out your plan. I completed the proposal in November of 2017. The contract with my publisher, Ideapress, was signed in February of 2018, which kicked off the full-time writing process. The book officially launched in November of 2018.”

When asked whether is was his first book and what prompted him to write a new one book in an already crowded field he replied, “Yes, it is my first book, and yes, there are so many sales books out there. As a student of those books combined with years of experience as a seller and leader, I recognized a non-obvious evolution taking place in the world of sales. The proliferation of ratings, reviews and the accessibility of peer feedback is changing the way we buy. Beginning with Amazon’s launch in 1995, the idea of providing both positive and negative peer provided reviews appeared to help buyers predict what their experience will be following a purchase. In the twenty-four years since, reviews and feedback have permeated every meaningful purchase we make, from the products we buy, the experiences we select (restaurants, hotels, even Uber rides) and the apps we download. Buyers have come to rely on reviews and feedback, seeking reviews in 95 percent of their substantive purchases.

And, those reviews and feedback are no longer confined to just to B2C purchases. They are now inflating their way into the world of B2B, where a simple Google search allows buyers to easily review peer provided feedback on products through companies like G2Crowd, TrustRadius, and many others. Buyers can also peek inside the culture of the companies they’re considering making a purchase from through websites like Glassdoor.

Sellers have always been taught to sell perfection, that their product or service is perfect for the client. However due to this evolution, you can no longer hide your flaws and expect to get away with it. It must change the way we position and sell our products or services to build the trust necessary to end in a long-term successful outcome.”

Todd Caponi, author, The Transparency Sale

Todd Caponi, author, The Transparency Sale

When asked about the title of the book he replied, “The Transparency Sale is about giving buyers all of the information their brain requires to feel confident in making a buying decision. It starts with a better understanding of our buying brain in how we make decisions as consumers. Beyond reviews, building a better understanding of how decision making really works is key to improving your ability to sell anything to anyone. It begins with transparency, in that leading with your product’s flaws, with authenticity and honesty, sells better than positioning perfection.”

The primary target audience for the book? “The concepts of this book, all the way down to the way we position, present and negotiate, are immediately applicable and actionable to anyone who’s role requires them to influence other people to do something different tomorrow than they are doing today. That is primary sales professionals, but the feedback from cross-functional executives, recruiters, realtors, financial planners and marketers has been amazing.”

When asked about the controversy surrounding fake reviews and review sites that sell ads he replied, “The push for sellers to encourage, or even pay for fake reviews is ultimately doing themselves a disservice. It may sound counter intuitive, but negative reviews sell better than positive ones: As mentioned above, 95 percent of consumers read reviews before making an unfamiliar purchase of substance, and that number is growing; 82 percent of consumers seek out negative reviews, and that number is growing as well, which leads to the fundamental statistic driving the need to change. Purchase likelihood peaks when a product whose reviews are in the 4.2 to 4.5 star range. A 4.2 sells better than a product with a perfect five-star rating!

Sellers that cram as many 5-star reviews are actually eroding the trust they’re buyers have in them. Buyers are smart. They seek out the negative reviews, which actually HELP the buyer make a purchase. It happens with reviews in B2C, but also when we, as sellers, present our solutions as perfect. We’re driving buyers to find the flaws themselves. Own the conversation, lead with the flaws, build trust, shorten sales cycles, win more often.

In other words, in this non-obvious evolution happening in the world of sales, not only is leading with your solution’s flaws a requirement given the proliferation of reviews and feedback on everything we do, buy and experience, as it turns out (backed by brain science), it is also the fastest path to lasting trust, so regardless of reviews, it’s the right thing to do, anyway, having magical impacts on your results.”

The 193-page hardcover book is divided into five sections and 14 chapters. The author is keynote speaker, workshop leader and trainer as well as principal and founder of Sales Melon LLC.


The Transparency Sale

Click to buy The Transparency Sale


The Global Employee Engagement Crisis

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 1, 2019

By Javier O. Delgado
Chief executive officer of PeopleToo LLC

Javier O. Delgado, CEO, PeopleToo LLC

Javier O. Delgado, CEO, PeopleToo LLC

Photo: Javier O. Delgado

Article Takeaways

  • Employee engagement has barely budged in years
  • Measuring engagement isn’t sufficient to improve it
  • Five proven strategies can improve employee engagement

The world has an employee engagement crisis, with serious and potentially lasting repercussions for the global economy.

Though companies and leaders worldwide recognize the advantages of engagement, and many have instituted surveys to measure engagement — employee engagement has barely budged in 18 years. Click to read the entire Guest Article: The Global Employee Engagement Crisis

Podcast with Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars And Sense about behavior economics

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 22, 2019

Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars And Sense

Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars And Sense

Photo: Betsy Bell

A podcast interview with Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars And Sense (see Authors explore behavioral economics issues) is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, he discusses behavioral economics with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.

Kreisler’s bio describes him as “just a typical Princeton educated lawyer turned award-winning comedian, best-selling author and champion for behavioral economics.” His second book is Dollars And Sense: How We Misthink Money and How To Spend Smarter co-authored with Dan Ariely. He tries to use behavioral science, practical experience and humor to understand, explain and change the world.

Kreisler is editor-in-chief of PeopleScience.com. He won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, writes for TV, politicians and chief executive officers.

To listen to the interview, scroll down until you see “Podcast” on the right hand side, then select “HMPR Jeff Kreisler” and click on the play button below or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the play button and podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the April 2019 section of the podcast archive.

Authors explore behavioral economics issues

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 10, 2019

Dollars and Sense

Dollars and Sense

Photos: cover art by Leah Carlson-Stanisic, Jeff Kreisler photo by Betsy Bell

In Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter (Harper Paperbacks, $16.99), a 275-page softcover book published in 2018, Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler explore how we spend our funds. The authors question our financial decisions and basic assumptions about money. They suggest ways we might override long held habits and our own instincts to make better financial choices.

From idea to publication the project required four years. The book, filled with humorous touches, is easy to read. It is divided into three main parts and 18 chapters.

When asked about the primary target audience for the book Kreisler replied by email via his publicist, “Anyone who’s ever used money.”

Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars and Sense

Jeff Kreisler, co-author, Dollars and Sense

Asked what expertise he has in behavioral economics and what drove him to write about the topic he said, “I’d worked with Dan Ariely on several projects and my past work – including Get Rich Cheating had touched on behavioral principles. I wanted to write about it because I became a convert to the way behavioral science combines traditional economic decision making with real human psychology to explain our flawed irrationality and to FIX EVERYTHING (maybe).”

Regarding promotional efforts for the book he said he was relying on “traditional publishing, interviews, speaking, HispanicMPR.”

Dan Ariely, co-author, Dollars and Sense
Dan Ariely, co-author, Dollars and Sense

“To help people make better decisions about money, or at least understand their decision making process which, in turn, would help reduce the stress and worry associated with not understanding money… and that, I hope, would lead them to live better lives,” he replied when asked about his main goal in writing the book.

Ariely is the James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He publishes in scholarly journals in economics, psychology, and business. He splits his time between Durham North Carolina and the rest of the world.

Kreisler is editor-in-chief of PeopleScience.com. He won the Bill Hicks Spirit Award for Thought Provoking Comedy, writes for television, politicians and chief executive officers. He tries to use behavioral science, practical experience and humor to understand, explain and change the world.


Dollars and Sense

Click to buy Dollars and Sense


Publisher releases Spanish language edition of children’s book

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 3, 2019

Si mi mama fuera ornitorrinco

Si mi mama fuera ornitorrinco

Photos: Science Naturally

Seventeen years after the publication of If My Mom Were a Platypus Science Naturally published a Spanish translation of the children’s book. Si mi mama fuera ornitorrinco (Science Naturally, $12.95), the 64-page softcover title written by Dia L. Michels, translated by The Spanish Group and illustrated by Andrew Barthelmes is filled with color illustrations and journal style sketches of animal babies and their families on most pages.

Author Dia Michels

Author Dia Michels

“The inspiration for the book came out of pregnancy misery,” said Michels when asked how the book came about. “I was so excited about being pregnant and becoming a mother – but my joy was soon mollified by round-the-clock morning sickness, frightening nightmares, and general wretchedness. I started researching other mammals to see who did pregnancy better than humans. Long story short, I decided that, for the purposes of pregnancy and breastfeeding, nothing could be better than being a platypus. The only way I could survive being pregnant was to could channel my inner-platypus. This desire to know how other mammals reproduced continued past the birth of my daughter, and pretty soon, I knew enough about mammal birth and breastfeeding to create a book. Many years of research went into parsing down which mammals to include. All it all, it took about a dozen years from idea to publication.”

She explained the book is used most frequently in a classroom setting, suggesting it might make a good addition to a home library for nature-minded children or gift for mothers with new babies. It works well as a read aloud option for children ages six to eight and as an independent reading reference text for ages eight to twelve and above. The publisher released free downloadable Teacher’s Guides, with hands-on activities, in English and Spanish.

Andrew Barthelmes, illustrator, Si mi mama fuera un ornitorrincoAndrew Barthelmes, illustrator, Si mi mama fuera un ornitorrinco

“I love learning about patterns and oddities in the mammal world, from hippos being the only mammal whose eyesight is just as good above water as below, to lions being among the only mammals that will wet nurse,” Michels said regarding the weirdes random fact about the mammals in the book. “My favorite random fact is that hooded seals, who spend their lives swimming in arctic waters, will only breed, whelp, and breastfeed on land. Why is that weird? They live where there is no land. The only way the species can survive is by procreating on sea ice—and hoping it doesn’t melt before they’re done!”

An inside page from the book

When asked how they are promoting the title Michels replied, “We are promoting this title at bilingual education conferences, parenting events, and STEM symposiums nationwide. We’ve also circulated a digital press release, advertised directly to our previous Spanish/bilingual customers, and reached out to those who bought the English edition of the book. We also sent an extensive pre-release mailing to libraries, media, and medical professionals. Additionally, we’ve partnered with literacy organizations, including First Book, to make the title available to students in Title I schools at a highly discounted price.”

The title reveals how fourteen mammals navigate the path from helpless infants to mature adults. It was designed for readers ages 10 to 14 and younger Read-Aloud listeners. The seals along the top of cover represent some of the awards it has won. The “NSTA Recommends” designation means it was endorsed by the National Science Teacher’s Association. The yellow seal is an award from Creative Child Magazine, a national publication for parents. The book was chosen by a panel of parents and educators for the Book of the Year award. The blue award is a Young Voices Foundation Seal of Approval, which honors books that inspire, mentor, and/or educate readers of all ages.

Author shares his life lessons in latest book

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 28, 2019

Wise Guy

Wise Guy by Guy Kawasaki

Photo: Guy Kawasaki

In his newest title Guy Kawasaki, author of 14 books, shares the insights he has learned over his lifetime. Wise Guy Lessons from a Life (Portfolio, Penguin, $28), a 246-page hardcover book, was published this year. It is divided into 11 chapters and begins with the emigration of the author’s grandparents to Hawaii.

When asked how long the project took to complete he replied by email, “It depends on how you want to look at it. From the time I decided to write the book until it was on the shelf was about eighteen months, but it took me sixty-four years to accumulate the wisdom to write the book. So the answer is between eighteen months and sixty four years.” And to a question about the audience for the book, he replied, “The primary audience is anyone with $20.”

“My publisher used the traditional methods of PR, ad buys, distribution through a salesforce, and social media,” the author replied to a question about promotion. “I used social media to recruit testers and reviewers; I spoke about it anywhere that I could; and I tapped my relationships with influencers. In general, we left very few stones unturned.”

The book is written in chronological and topical order. Kawasaki explains at the beginning of the book that he believes wisdom isn’t linear or quick. Each chapter includes a story and a section of what the author considers the lesson or wisdom to be gained. It is easy to identify as it is marked with a shaka or Hawaiian surfing hand symbol.

“My main goal was to empower people by telling them stories and then explaining the significance and wisdom underlying each story,” he replied when asked why he wrote the book. “This is not to say that every story in the book is a success story. I discuss many of my mistakes because they are highly educational. I hope, at least, that people will make different mistakes than the ones I made.”

When asked whether people can learn from anyone’s experiences he replied, “People can absolutely learn from the experiences of others. Otherwise 90 percent of books are a waste of trees and time. Are those people saying that they can’t learn that they should wear seat belts without being in a car accident?”

When asked if he is planning another book he replied, “I’ve written fifteen books. When I finished the first one, I told myself that I didn’t have any more books in me. I’ve now done that fifteen times. I don’t find topics. Topics find me. When the next topic finds me, I’ll write it.”


Wise Guy

Click to buy Wise Guy: Lessons from a Life


Swiss watch shop and bar opens in Miami

Posted by Elena del Valle on March 20, 2019

 Maison F.P.Journe

Although the space is called Maison F.P. Journe the sign above the store reads F.P. Journe Invenit et fecit.

Photos: Kris Tamburello

Last month Francois Paul Journe and Pierre Halimi Lacharlotte opened Maison F.P. Journe, a watch boutique offering upscale liquor and Petrossian snacks, in
Miami (270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Suite 101, Miami, Florida 33131, 305-993-4747, miami@fpjourne.com). The 3,200 square foot space will sell 15 Swiss watch models in different iterations. The shop has seating capacity for 42. It includes 10 bar seats and two lounges inside the boutique, as well as seating for 20 on the outside Terraza Astondoa, a cigar lounge. The exterior sign of the store reads: F.P. Journe Invenit et fecit. The last three words, according to a spokesperson, translate to “invented and made” from Latin, and is meant to certify that “each of the watches carrying FPJ’s name results from an entirely original conception with rigorous craftsmanship.”

Inside the shop

The shop has seating capacity for 42.

The owners expect the shop to attract affluent people in Miami, liquor connoisseurs, watch aficionados, caviar fans and “anyone who enjoys an elevated bar and retail experience.” The space includes Bar Journe, an upscale bar that serves curated bites, Petrossian caviar and rare liquors. The outdoor lounge area outfitted by Spanish yacht-maker Astondoa is described as offering stunning views of Miami and cigars by La Flor Dominicana.

François-Paul Journe, co-owner, Maison F.P.Journe

François-Paul Journe, co-owner, Maison F.P. Journe

A “fine and rare” collection includes about 24 antique and aged items. Watch prices range from $11,000 for the Electro Mechanical Elegante in 40 millimeters for ladies or men to 711,000 Swiss francs. Prices are offered in Swiss francs “because the price in USD is given at the time of purchase to accurately reflect the conversion,” according to a company spokesperson. One watch, the Tourbillon on a baguette set platinum case and bracelet, sells for $939,900.

Sample prices for liquor, spirits and wine include $8 for a beer, $55 for a 2 ounce serving of 1942 Don Julio Añejo on the rocks and $385 for a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. The caviar is from different farms around the world and prices range from $98 to $990. The shop sells three types of caviar, Royal Shassetra, Alberta President and Ossetra President, at 30 grams or 125 grams accompanied by yuca chips. There is also a suggested pairings for each caviar and a tasting menu priced at $485.