6 Tips and 9 People That Will Help You Win More Often

How To Stack the Deck in Your Favor to Win More Often


Experts agree that the ROI of winning awards is tangible. There is value in the award itself as a motivator, publicity engine and for goodwill. There is also value in the process of nominating your company product or executive. Lots of people write on this topic so I would simply recommend reading some of those articles and ours on the topic: The ROI of Winning an Award and The ROI of NOT Winning an Award.

Since the Big Award for Business deadline is fast approaching we wanted to instead provide some advice for those applying. This is broad advice meant to help you win any award, from a Peabody to a Razzie, you need to know what to consider to improve your odds of winning and to secure your position in the top of your field.

Pick a Winner!

How you find out about award programs and contests and how to decide to nominate are both important considerations. There is actually a few good locations to find lists of awards, usually by type of award and by date. This makes it incredibly easy to also filter in or filter out competitions. Pick your contests well. Look at all your competitors and see what awards they win. Make sure you have a good chance of winning based on your strengths.

Here are a few places to check:

Don't be shy, ask for help!.

It is human nature to be shy about asking questions, but the act of asking means your listening (most of the time), engaged and interested. So asking for help can improve your odds. Asking for help can actually take two forms.

  1. If you are confused or have questions, ask the company running the program. Clarification will only help you narrow your focus and make your nomination clearer to the judges and more on target. If you competitors don't ask the basic questions, think how their nominations will suffer! There is no shame in asking questions.
  2. If you need help because you are not great writers or have not been successful writing nominations, looks outside. The ROI of winning will still hold true if you work with a PR agency or a company like Boost Marketing to help you put the right words on paper. Boost Marketing for instance is 100% focused on awards. They are specialists, experts! They know better than anyone what it takes to win!

Devil in the Details

Make sure you use real data to inform your judges of actual facts. There is nothing worse than getting a fluffy marketing nomination that lacks an impact statement or any real data backing up the claims. Prove your claims of increased revenue with dollars. Did you increase productivity? OK, by how much? How did you measure. Tell us! It helps not only the judges but also your peers who are looking to you as experts.

Tell a Story

Be interesting! While facts have their place, we are not statisticians who only love data. Our judges are experts in their field, real people with real jobs. They are also volunteers so time spent helping you and us is money out of their pockets. Judges want to understand the impact on humans and the feel good stories of your efforts. What did customers say? What did employees do differently? What are their names? These small details make your story human and more worthy of an award.

Be In It To Win It

One way to improve your odds is to apply often. Like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. Rarely can you win an award you don't apply for. This goes for applying for lots of different awards, as well as applying for multiple awards within the same program. If your nominations are good, leverage that and win more than one award. There is NO harm in being awarded Product and Company of the Year, ask 2012 winner TubeMogul.

Follow the Leader(s)

There are lots of experts in the world of business awards, advice and leadership. These are a few of our favorites. Get inspired and connect.

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Better Business Through Improved Customer Service

Surprise: Better Business Through Improved Customer Service

It should really comes as no surprise that improving customer service increases revenue by activating worth of mouth campaigns and improving customer retention or loyalty.

Think of all the great service experience you have and then think of how often you recommend that experience to a friend or relative. Very often!

Here are a few customer service experiences I recommend where the service is tremendous.

  • Nordstrom - Take back anything, any time. Mobile checkout.Personal recommendtaions. 
  • Wegman's - 40 checkout lanes open on Sunday! Recommendations galore. Everything under 1 roof.
  • Capital Grill - Personal service, great food.
  • Apple (retail) - Lots of questions before they give an answer. Helpful without overselling and relentless service.

While others are looking to shave, or even slash, the costs associated with customer service, doubling down can often prove more valuable in the long run.

So how do you get there?

Here are some tips on how others are investing their customer service dollars.

Better Business

Are Small Businesses Stalling the Economy?

What Should Be Done to Fuel Small Businesses Growth?

Most experts agree that small businesses fuel the economic recovery. Hence all the anxiety from many about ObamaCare and other taxes proposed to those "rich" individuals in upper income brackets.

The reality is that those individuals, the "rich", are the wood that fuel for the economy. Those are the small business owners and executives that employ others, drive innovation and the open their wallets for new spending.

Barbara Weltman, a 2012 Big Awards judge, tweeted:

As business executives, leaders and owners, you should work to get ahead of the curve downward, starting with reading the report.      

The 2010 healthcare law contains a tax on the health insurance policies that most small businesses purchase. Although the tax is formally structured as a fee on health insurers, analysis has determined that virtually all of the tax burden will be passed on to the purchasers of insurance: employers and employees. Estimates predict the tax will raise the cost of employer-sponsored insurance by 2% - 3%, imposing a cumulative cost of nearly $5,000 per family by 2020. The NFIB Research Foundation’s BSIM model suggests that such price increases will reduce private sector employment by 146,000 to 262,000 jobs in 2022, with 59 percent of those losses falling on small business.

Then take some time and review the latest Small Business Report from March from ADP. Are Small Businesses scared to hire, scared to act and waiting for some good news?

What is the ROI of winning an award?

The ROI of Winning an Award Can Be Hard to Measure...For Some.

We often get asked about the value of winning a business award and it is hard to quantify for many people but an article was just published in Belinda Smart in the My Small Business section of The Age that seeks to measure the ROI of winning an award.

The article and the quotes from award winners focus on a few main themes that resonate with the anecdotal feedback we have gotten from previous winners.

Looking Deep and Standing Up

photo of roi-of-winning-an-award-by-emiliokuffer-via-flickrCompanies often focus on the external focus that results in winning awards, yet much of the ROI of winning awards has to do with the fact that for the first time in a long time, writing a nomination forces you to review your current progress toward goals and document what is working and what is not. This simple act can give you tremendous insight on your company so that you can better manage it in the future.

"Even without winning, you look at your business, or a certain aspect of your business, in a way you hadn't before. This regularly leads to new ideas and new approaches, which can result in market innovation and leadership." Vuki Vujasinovic, Click PR

"I probably spent around 20 hours on the 2012 application and it really allowed me to reflect on the business." Carolyn Creswell, founder, Carman Foods

Word of Mouth Works

photo of roi-word-of-mouth-by-newsbiew_pix-via-FlickrMarketing experts agree that word of mouth advertising is the best because your customers are telling others about the positive experiences with your business. So when we seek the ROI of winning awards we have to look at how our customers will now talk about us.

No one likes to buy from a loser, so winning awards allows your customers to have positive facts about your product or brand in their pre- and post-sale conversations. Imagine your customer talking, "They are great, in fact I think they just won a big award."

"Our business is well established with a good level of word of mouth referrals, but the quality of people finding their way to us has increased." Michelle Tate-Lovery, managing director, Unified Financial Services

Immediate Credibility and Differentiation

photo of trust-roi-of-winning-an-award-by-mikebaird-via-flickrWhen buyers are seeking products and services one of the major factors considered in the buying process is the credibility of your company. Regardless of the size or age of your organizations, everyone needs to be more credible. Imagine buying thousands of dollars of widgets from a company that has no experience, no online presence and no known leadership. You can't, right?

The ROI of winning an award has to include a major dose of credibility. Customers have a checklist of factors that have to be met in order to move forward. They have to know that you won't let them down and that your product or company is different that the other guys....otherwise why not buy from them?

"In our industry, where the consumer is unsure about what the financial planning process can do for them and where to go, we're finding being a multiple award-winning firm fosters trust and credibility straight away." Michelle Tate-Lovery, managing director, Unified Financial Services

"It works extremely well when we use it as a differentiator when pitching to customers. It helps us to create creditability about our innovation skills." James Eling, managing director, Extreme Networks

These are just a few reasons nominating your organization, products and people makes sense. Tell us if you think of a few more!

Images courtesy of emiliokuffer, newsbiew pix and mikebaird via Flickr. 

Want to Gain Awareness? Try Winning Business Awards!

Business Awards Winners Get Boost in PR, Web Traffic...and More!

People often ask us, "What does winning business awards get me?"

The value of winning a business awards is often hard to quantify and the benefits are seemingly endless. But the good folks at Stamford & Rutland Business Awards (follow them on twitter @LLBusinessAwards) have cracked the code. According to the UK based firm, 

  • Winners of awards get, on average, 24% more traffic to their web sites after receiving the award.
  • Winners of business awards see, on average, a rise of 40% in newspaper, web & social media coverage for the 2 mths following the event!

That is tremendous! Many companies pay thousands, or even millions, of dollars to get similar results using expensive public relations agencies, extensive work with search engine optimization guru or more.

help your company with business awards

The value of winning business awards however goes well beyond the increase in web traffic and the increase in exposure. One of the most often mentioned benefits of winning is the boost in trust that awards can give you.

When companies are evaluating potential partners during their buying process, they look for signs of "The three Es": expertise, experience and excellence. Having third-party validation of your organization is critical when your prospects evaluate potential partners. Without it, you are an unknown, un-trusted and often worse, untrustworthy.

It is simple, buyers feel good when other have validated their concerns as untrue. After all, who doesn't like working with winners!