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Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
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Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
Cane Miracle
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Cane Miracle


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This book is a little parable on selling to older adults. Its called "The Cane Miracle" and is totally electronic and interactive. Check it out

This book is a little parable on selling to older adults. Its called "The Cane Miracle" and is totally electronic and interactive. Check it out

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  • 1. The Cane Miracle
    A Parable on Selling to the Older Adult
    Adriane Berg
    Generation Bold
    Copyright 2010 (908)236-4148
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 2. Ham Jackson
    Hamilton “Ham” Jackson was a natural-born salesman. At age five he sold his sister’s Pound Puppy to a kindergarten mate, causing a family feud that has not healed to this day. Legend has it that Ham sold it above the retail price.
    By age twelve Ham had every book ZigZiglar and Thomas Stanley had ever written. Yes, it was widely accepted that Ham was destined to be the world’s greatest salesman.
    And then, at nineteen, something unexpected happened. Hamilton Jackson, adept at selling himself through college essays and interviews, was offered a full scholarship to The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania—a business school so prominent that it was called only Wharton. Anyone hearing the name imagined a dapper youth in an Armani suit heading for a week in the Hamptons in their company’s, or even his or her own, private jet.
    Click to Read More
    Pound Puppy
    Thomas Stanley
    Wharton School
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 3. Click to Read More
    Pineider Power
    Technical Marketing Terms
    All seemed perfect, except that Wharton does not educate salesmen. That is learned only in the world outside its walls. So, with his brand-new Pineider Power briefcase and a smile on his cumlaude face, Ham exited the university a marketing and branding professional. Somewhere between taking the SATs and graduation, Ham had forgotten how to sell.
    Undeniably, Ham was a good student. He knew all about testing, metrics, market research, ROI, imaging, market position, first to market, customer care, viral buzz, brand loyalty, consumer centricity, market share, sloganeering, and more that qualified him mightily as a brand developer. He knew too about viral marketing, social marketing, SEO, e-blasts, SPAM laws, client appreciation programs, internet landing pages, tipping points, copywriting, the importance of e-mail subject heads, direct marketing, snail mail, copywriting, web development, the blogosphere, webinars, teleseminars, avatars, when to Tweet and when not to Tweet and what to Tweet, couponing, calls to action, offer creation, messaging, and how to write a business letter.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 4. And even with all this important knowledge, he had lost what he intuitively knew in kindergarten—the secret of selling.
    Fortunately, Ham had a half-dozen great job offers, all from adoring firms waiting for that sweet honeymoon period where they might just have guessed correctly and found the “hot” candidate to mold into greatness.
    Yes, Ham was sought after by many worthy firms, but none so rarefied as Young, Younger and Youngest, with offices in New York, Seattle, London, and Sao Paulo.
    Ham accepted their offer for two reasons. First was the chance to work under the indefatigable and highly powered Elaine Younger, the middle partner. She was said to have singlehandedly turned around a failing soda brand by redesigning the cans to sport a pre-printed smudge of lipstick at the rim, thus stimulating thoughts beyond mere thirst in the twelve-to fourteen-year-old boys that accounted for the largest market share in the carbonated beverage space.
    Young, Younger & Youngest
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 5. She too was credited with the turnaround of a soon-to-go-bankrupt exercise empire by converting the chain to Doggie Gyms and a high-fashion shoe company poised to lose its shirt by suggesting the “Day and Night Shoe,” where heels could be lowered and heightened in a trice. (She owns the patent.)
    Second, because the firm offered Ham a position as the manager of a brand-new department: The Mature Market Division, or maybe The Older Adult Unit, or maybe the Boomer and More Department, or maybe the 50+
    or 50 plus, or Next Stage or Next Age, or Longevity Cohort or whatever he could come up with to call it.
    Whatever the marketing gurus knew about the aging population, it knew one thing for sure; this was the cohort that could not speak its name.
    As Ham walked to his new office, really a cubicle, there was a buzz of excitement in the halls. No one at Young, Younger and Youngest had as yet dealt in any depth with the Elder Market, or the Post Retiree Demog or the . . . well, you get the idea.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 6. Ham had come to make his mark. “You will find your feet,” said his proud father. “They’ll give you your head,” said his devoted mother. So from tip to toe Ham was ready, willing, and able (he thought) when Elaine Younger called him into her office to bestow upon him his very first assignment.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 7. Elaine Younger
    Elaine Younger’s office was as posh and impressive as she herself was. Trophies, plaques, and photos of her with the glitterati chronicling her active and admirable life were on display in carefully selected frames in interior designer-arranged order. Although her environment was perfect, it was not as perfect as Elaine herself.
    Nurtured, polished, highly manicured, power pursed, Chanel  ready, simultaneously formidable and adorable, Ham wanted only to be part of her life. He knew in the corners of his still-immature soul that he had that power, simply by successfully promoting the business of his new client— whomever that might be.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 8. Ham could not help but speculate. Would the client be in the digital health care space? Telehealth? Assistive technology? Universal design? Perhaps someone had created an algorithm for the GPS that adjusted your route depending if you had a bad shoulder and preferred to turn left or right, or a hearing or vision device that would finally make us bionic.  
    He had heard that the Quality of Life Institute at the University of Pittsburgh was working on just such things. Were they ready for him? Better yet, maybe the new client had a cosmetic that actually erased wrinkles. This would be the sweetest possibility of all.
    Click to Read More
    Assistive Technology
    Universal Design
    Quality of Life Institute
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 9. HAPPY DAY. He was head of the New Age Market Division, and the world was his oyster.
    Ham had chosen the name New Age Market, as he had read that Boomers and older adults were reinventing themselves left and right. Everyone agreed there was a new frontier of aging, a new age, a new age of aging. So Ham, unaware that New Age was associated by those in the current New Age with the crystals, tie dyes, free love, organic peanut butter, Tibetan singing bowls, trips to ashrams in upstate New York, Vermont, and if at all possible Katmandu of the old new age, through which they all consciously, unconsciously, or in a drugged stupor had lived. But as Ham had not yet been born by the old new age, it was understandable that he might see the new New Age as something contemporary and clever.
    Elaine welcomed him with a studied, practiced handshake. But her wide smile belied uncharacteristic concern. She sized Ham up as a go-getter with a good spirit and a fine education, but little experience.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 10. It had been this lack of experience that she valued over all else. When it came to the mature market, Elaine understood the potential of owning the space. The financial statistics were close to obscene, with one billion people worldwide in the demographic.
    But the real bliss would come when she beat the competition that, in her estimation, sold to the market through platitudes and stereotypes. She was struck time and again by the inconsistencies of messages and the contra-indications of the surveys and outcomes.
    Boomers were constantly reinventing themselves, so why then did they opt to age in place? Parental care giving was the new parenting, so why did they fail to see themselves as caregivers?
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 11. And the senior market, euphemistically now older adult or old old, was even more puzzling. They wanted lifelong independence, but refused to wear their alert pendants or remove their scatter rugs.
    Lifelong driving was an independence must, so why were safe driving classes not more demanded or better attended?
    Those who sold to older adults knew no better.
    Take fashion, for example. Fashion for the seventy-plus woman was mired in elastic waistbands, caftans, frog shoes, sweat suits with pictures of birds, and brightly cheerful holiday sweaters.
    Eavesdropping at her gym, Elaine overheard the lively ladies of sixty-five plus planning to de-clutter their closets but hesitating at the task. Perhaps something decent to wear would be a motivation to get rid of blouses with Dallas-style shoulders and embroidered reindeers.
    Elaine Younger thought that perhaps fresh Tabula Rosa thinking would crack the code.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 12. Elaine Younger was not, in her estimation, in the marketing or even branding business. She was in the freedom of choice business. But to make a living, the very big living to which Elaine was so accustomed, she needed to represent products that were already ripe for choosing and to then promote the hell out of them. The later was easy.
    Internet stores, advertising, spokespersons, TV and radio coverage, e-blasts, and white papers were the daily fodder of promotions, sponsorship, underwriting, the good business story, and of course identification with a cause.
    But the former, finding a product the market craved—that was hard.
    One thing that Elaine Younger knew with absolute certainty was that the product that Ham was about to encounter was not, in any of its many incarnations, what the older adult, or anyone else for that matter, would ever crave.
    “Sit down, Ham.” She offered him the best seat in the office, except hers, of course.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 13. After reviewing the portfolio of his first client, its corporate history, and the bios of the leadership personnel, Ham checked his watch. Thank heaven it was after noon, and he would not have to break his rule about drinking in the morning. It was all right. He was free to have a double scotch.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 14. 1857
    Aquarius Winter, so named by his Boston Brahmin mother in honor of her deep love for astrology, was a man of values. Paramount among them was to never, ever do business with anyone even remotely associated with the slave trade.
    He was hard pressed in that time of robust shipping, rum triangles, and African kidnappings to be sure that the exotic woods so necessary to produce his product would arrive at Boston Harbor untainted with what he called The Hellish Practice.
    ”Why, slaves could have been chained to the hold, laboring in shackles on the deck, starving and ill.” His inner voice revolted at the thought. He wondered about the truth to himself every time he unloaded his cargo.
    By the time his crates arrived at Boston Harbor, all smell of the Hellish Practice would have been washed away. So how could he know?
    Click to Read More
    Boston Brahmin
    Boston Harbor, Massachusetts &
    The Hellish Practice
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 15. Aquarius enjoyed gazing at his company logo, a picture of him, top hat and all, framed by a beige oval. There was never a picture of his product on any crate, packaging, box, storefront, storage unit, or company stationery.
    The logo was comprised solely of a picture of the man himself. The message was clear: “Buy my product and you will be as handsome and prosperous as I am.” Of course, that was not the real slogan, just his idea of it. What the public actually read in the penny papers and on the ads in certain gentlemen’s literary magazines was this:
    “You are never fully dressed without your Aquarius Cane.”
    Many a dapper man and his goodly wife took this admonishment seriously, making Aquarius Winter the largest purveyor of exotic wood, silver-tipped canes in the American Northeast, which we all know includes parts of Canada.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 16. Sitting bolt upright in bed one fine spring night, Aquarius knew what he had to do to assure the slaveless transport of his precious cargo. Within months he had purchased his own ship with personnel on board from port to port to keep a watchful eye that the Hellish Practice would never plague his enterprise.
    Then the war came. North against South, South against North. Aquarius offered his ships to the Union army. By then, he had a small commercial fleet useful for bringing in supplies and carrying needed manufacturing material for clothes and weapons. He worked with many entrepreneurs to whom slavery was also abhorrent and became their business leader. Many of them, to his initial surprise, were from the South.
    And here he became very useful to the Union strategists as he acquainted them with pro-North Southern industrials and merchants.
    By the time the war was over and thousands of men were disabled or lame, Aquarius had been awarded government contracts that would make him one of the richest men in all of the Americas.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 17. Click to Read More
    That is why, when the fashion tide turned and the cane was no longer the pivot point of men’s stylish attire, the Aquarius Cane Company was impervious to the change. His company was larger than ever, vertically integrated, owned its own raw materials, acres of forestry on three continents, and a shipping fleet to bring raw materials to its factories.
    Through the following decades one family member or another took over the helm and systematically wrecked the company. By 1965, no one, absolutely no one at all, save a remote family member, seemed interested in the fate of Aquarius Canes.
    First, they sold off the shipping business. Then, they closed a few plants. Next, they cut down their line.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 18. Finally, they were about to call Aquarius quits, each having pocketed a personal fortune, when a young family member asked for a reprieve. “Let’s try one market push, just one more try, please,” implored Aquarius Winter Rosswold, a fellow perfectly able to live the life of Reilly on his trust fund income alone.
    “Why the enthusiasm, Aquarius?” asked a vice president who was all too ready to receive his golden parachute. He was nearly finished packing for his second home in Costa Rica, which he had wisely purchased on the Pacific side, and the thought of “just one more try” was very trying on him.
    And so, Ham Jackson and Aquarius Winter Rosswold found themselves face to face in the small conference room at Young, Younger and Youngest, blankly looking at each other like two potentially friendly bloodhounds at the first exploratory sniff.
    In front of them, laid at an angle, upon the glass and chrome conference room table, body about to be embalmed, was a single cane, casting a dark and seemingly ominous shadow on the wooden office floor.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 19. Crazy Harry and the Chimps
    Harry Bernstein was older than most of the researchers at Younger. He was in charge of, among other things, focus groups, both b-to-b and consumer. He was the master of surveys and other related market research initiatives.
    He knew that his research would make Young, Younger and Youngest more money than any client, brand, or project.
    He was particularly smart in analyzing online data and predicting consumer behavior from it. Harry held the patent or had patents pending for six software systems used by most marketing firms to track buying habits, patterns, response to offers, stickiness of websites, referral sources, reasons for returning visits, click-throughs, buyer response, what consumers were likely to buy in the future, the composition of the dirt between their fingernails, and the dark thoughts in their hearts.
    Harry could buy and sell the entire Young, Younger and Youngest agency with income from the patents. He outearned Elaine Younger, Jimmy Choo shoes and all.
    Click to Read More
    Innovative Consumer Online Buying Technology
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 20. Yet, it was understood throughout the firm that Harry was crazy.
    Sometimes he didn’t speak a word. This might last for weeks on end. Then without warning, he would begin to chat, then gibber, then tell bad jokes. Everyone laughed with relief from the silence, so he kept on telling them, until he grew silent again. For how long, no one knew. Some said he was bipolar, others that he was on drugs. Some thought the condition was related to a Korean War head injury.
    Eventually, all those who really knew him came to the same conclusion:
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 21. Click to Read More
    Survey Monkey
    Planet of the Apes
    Because of his survey prowess, colleagues began to call Harry the Survey Monkey after the web application. They called his team the Chimps. Then they left off calling Harry the Survey Monkey and shortened his appellation back to Harry. But the Chimps stuck. So now the department was collectively called Harry and the Chimps. Soon no one remembered the origin of the Chimp tag, and even the Chimps called themselves by that name in referring to each other.
    At the Halloween party they dressed like characters from Planet of the Apes and were a hit.
    Harry was in a no-talk zone that holiday, so he did not participate.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 22. Click to Read More
    It was his genius reputation that drew Ham to gingerly enter Harry’s office in the hope of finding him in a talking mood. He peeked through the door and sighed with relief, as he saw Harry on the telephone. Ham blurted out, “Let’s ask a sampling of seniors----ah, older adults, relevant questions about their cane buying habits, experiences, preferences and price point selections.”
    Ham mimicked the language of his college text on surveys and focus groups, and felt confident that he had chosen the factors to which attention must be paid.
    In any case, Harry would know what to do about open- and closed-ended questions, statistically relevant sample size, and diversity of subject. Harry had it under control by the time Ham left the office. Surely he would crack the code of what the older adult wants when it came to canes.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 23. It was a dark and stormy night. Harry bent over his computer in the tradition of the mad scientist in Gothic adventures of yore, fingers flying and hair standing on end. He made his graphs and charts, checked his computations. His eyes bulged. He could not believe what he saw.
    At 4 a.m. he called. “Ham, are you sitting down?” “It’s four in the morning, Harry, I’m lying down. But it’s okay, what have you got?”
    “Nothing. I have nothing. One thousand six hundred subjects and nothing correlates, nothing is statistically relevant. Nothing scans.”
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 24. “Hundreds of pairs trials, comparatives, and controls and I have nothing concrete to tell you regarding preference to size, style, color, material, use or habit. Thousands of permutations and nothing... I looked at experience factors, geographic factors, health factors, pricing modalities. There are no patterns,” he added with happy excitement, “and I can’t give you anything upon which to base a design model.”
    “Hell,” screeched Ham, grabbing his pillow and punching it. “You found nothing at all to tell me?”
    “I didn’t say that,” replied Harry. “What I said was that I found there is no correlation.” He sounded giddy, as if a sly smile had crossed his face, which it most certainly had. “That, my dear boy, should tell you everything.”
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 25. What Would ANITA Do?
    In July of 1878, a day after the Aquarius Cane Company celebrated the Fourth of July with a company picnic, a British industrialist incorporated the Bell Punch Co., Limited, with authorized capital of £30,000. The aim was to acquire the patent rights to the American hand registering ticket punch, to liberate the constraints of one-fare ticketing for all time and for all means of transportation. As Wikipedia quotes the official mission statement: “For the first time mak(ing) it possible for overlapping fare stages to be introduced, thus granting passengers full value in the form of distance to be traveled for the fair paid.”
    In 1884, one Mr. John Melton Black became Managing Director and restructured the company with an infusion of an additional £100,000 to vertically integrate the company so that it could stop the importing of punch machines and do its own onsite manufacturing. It was this single step that laid the groundwork, in 1961, for the birth of ANITA, an acronym for A New Inspiration To Arithmetic, or alternatively, ANew Inspiration To Accounting, or Anita for the designer’s wife.
    Click to Read More
    Bell Punch Company
    ANITA Calculators
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 26. In any case, ANITA was the very first electronic desktop calculator, all those before having used cold-cathode or vacuum tubes.
    ANITA sold very well and with mathematical integrity—or as ANITA Team Leader Norbert Kitz is reported to have declared, “No binary stunts here.”
    After a series of takeovers and divisions, the Bell Punch Company was divided off. It finally closed its doors in 1986, when Hamilton Jackson was five years old and just learning to read, by use of his father’s newspapers.
    For some unaccountable reason, the newspaper story of the company's closure were the very words with which Ham struggled one Sunday morning to make sense of his ABCs. And so as the kindergartner cut his vocabulary teeth on words and concepts like 10,000 units sold, historicaltakeover, major corporate development, and unit cost, his father dutifully tried to explain each phrase with the pride of an industrialist, himself, at his scion’s eagerness to learn.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 27. Perhaps, less unaccountably, Ham sold his sister’s Pound Puppy the very next day, to a busmate, for well over the retail price.
    And from that day forward, when in a jam, Ham would take a deep and thoughtful breath and ask himself, “What would ANITA do?”
    And so Ham retreated to the world of METRICS to see what he could do to sell canes.
    So states Lord Kelvin, Popular Lectures and Addresses 1891-94, as quoted in the second edition of Marketing and Metrics, The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance, by Farris, Bendle, Pfeifer and Reibstein, Wharton School Publishing. The tome was dedicated to their students, of which Ham was one.
    Ham dug in with relish starting at page 109, Chapter 4, “Product and Portfolio Management.”
    Click to Read More
    Lord Kelvin
    “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science.”
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 28. Click to Read More
    Conjoint Utilities
    Cannibalizaton Rate
    Fair Share Draw
    In the wee hours of the morning with nothing but a Red Bull and the white noise of several anti-aging cosmetic miracle infomercials, he reviewed old friends such as conjoint utilities (how customers evaluate different product attributes), volume projection, segmentation, consumer preference measures, cannibalization rate, fair share draw, market penetration, volume projections, and brand equity.
    “What do customers really want and what will they sacrifice to obtain it?” Those are the questions.
    Assumptions are critical to an accurate conclusion, and if Harry had failed, then some fundamental assumption must be wrong. But what was the incorrect assumption in the projections, the projections that were so statistically irrelevant? Correct the assumption and some valid data could be gathered.
    Was that what Harry meant when he said, “That should tell you everything, my boy”?
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 29. Until four in the morning, Ham analyzed the mountain of material he had received from Harry. Rather than surveying with open-ended questions on what the older adult subjects liked and disliked, Harry had deconstructed the product into attributes and compared their interest in these attributes. He figured that the designers could tweak the product accordingly.
    Conjoint Preference Linear Form (1) = (partworth of attribute to individual (I)*Attribute Level (I)) + (partworth of Attribute2 to Individual (I) * Attribute Level (2)) + (partworth of Attribute Level 3 to Individual (I) * Attribute Level 93)) + etc.
    Maybe Harry, genius that he was, had nevertheless missed an important attribute to explore.
    Why for example, did Janey buy that Pound Puppy over retail price? Or more correctly, what caused her to scream and cry until her mother consented to pay the price despite reason, as the same doll was available new at the toy store around the corner?
    Click to Read More
    Conjoint Utilities
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 30. A smile crossed Ham’s face. He knew at last what made Janey tick.
    The little girl had a crush on the little boy, as only the innocent could. The puppy was an entry into his world.
    What attractive worlds might one enter because one carries an Aquarius Cane?
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 31. Strategic Alliance or
    Let’s Have Some Fun
    Beth Lynn Allen suffers from an obscure affliction.
    She cannot remember names or faces, except for family and friends that she sees on a regular basis. Even then she can forget quickly, if they sidle out of her life for an extended period of time.
    Beth Lynn didn’t realize that she was afflicted until first grade when her kindergarten teacher said hello to her in the hall. “Who is that?” she asked her playmate. “It’s Mrs. Kushner, from last year. Don’t you remember her?” “Sure,” Beth Lynn lied, but she felt scared.
    Many times she met a relative or friend of her mother or father who pinched her cheek or patted her head and addressed her as if they knew her. She had presents from aunts and uncles given to her at parties she could easily recall, but not their presence. But it was only when she went to school and emerged from the cocoon of toddlerhood that she realized something was different about her.
    Click to Read More
    Memory Loss
    Cognitive Fitness
    CogniFit Personal Coach
    Tricks for Remembering Names
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 32. Through her teens she tried to hide the affliction and fake it. She would make little mental notes about everyone she met and say something personal to them, if she suspected she had encountered them before. It worked as often as not.
    But when it failed, it was to her mortal embarrassment; such as the time she was asked to dance by a very handsome boy and asked him with confidence about his sister. He replied, “What sister?” Or at a job interview when she presumed her interrogator was the same woman she had met at the preliminary interview.
    “How is the pregnancy going?” she gushed warmly. The woman was sitting down, had blonde hair just like her predecessor, and was wearing the same sort of power suit. Beth Lynn did not get the boy or the job.
    After several years of hit and miss faking, Beth Lynn came to a life-altering conclusion. She decided to admit that she did not recognize people, to treat everyone as if she was meeting them for the first time. She would treat everyone equally; make no judgments based on their education, dress, race, color, creed, or economic status. The young and the old, the tall and the short, the male and the female, the Republican and the Democrat, treated all the same by her, and always careful to make no first judgments.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 33. Beth Lynn’s decision to never judge placed her in a world of perfects 10s. And everyone responded to her accordingly. Beth Lynn was well loved wherever she went. Moreover, Beth Lynn met many people that few others ever engaged in conversation; the billionaire movie producer who dressed like a slob;
    the madam who knows the secrets of hundreds of Wall Streeters but looked like a schoolteacher. Many sensed that she would forget them and confided in her with ease, others felt elevated by her largesse, and were willing to grant her favors they would do for few others.
    Like the visually impaired who have superhuman hearing, Beth Lynn’s memory was also compensatory. As she was unable to remember faces and names for any length of time, she could remember the minutest details of any conversation, the particulars of any outfit of clothing, the minutia of any incident she witnessed—and she never forgot any of it.
    By the time Beth Lynn became Director of the Strategic Alliance Division of Young, Younger and Youngest, she had a full-time assistant at work and a devoted husband at home, both of whom took notes on whom she met publicly and privately. And with Beth’s perfect 10 view of whomever she met and a clear memory of all they said, wore, or cared about, she shined a light on the other guy and was no match for anyone who considered saying “no” to her for anything she desired.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 34. Ham called on Beth for her thoughts on how she would approach the Aquarius Cane campaign. He correctly expected that neither research nor metrics would enter the picture. Within a day or two Ham received the following memo:
    Hamilton’s eyes filled with tears. This was true marketing. Maybe he was finally on to something. If so, it would be more than necessary to be sure that the buzz would begin if any of Beth Lynn’s Top Ten came to pass.
    • “Ace of Cakes” TV episode will be devoted to making an Aquarius Cane cake for the producer of the annual Tap Dance America Fourth of July Event.
    • 35. will add the cane recipe to its APPs
    • “American Idol” will assign “Songs of Fred Astaire” with all contestants required to sing to the cane.
    • 36. Backup plan if “Idol” is off the air—“Runway” designs garments with cane users in mind.
    • 37. “Cane for the Cure”: I have several causes in mind for a Half Marathon Cane Walk in Boston, New York, Washington DC, and Chicago (Does Aquarius make pink canes?)
    • 38. Sponsorship and promotion of this year’s Charlie Chaplin Festival at Sundance (no festival is planned, but I am sure I can persuade Robert to give it a go. He’s 74 now and did you know his real name is Charlie?)
    • 39. Partner with Titlist to create the Aquarius Open
    • 40. And of course, Aquarius Cane Day at Yankee Stadium
    Young, Younger & Youngest
    Re: Strategic Alliance Strategy for the Aquarius Cane
    To: Hamilton Jackson, Director of the New Age Division
    From: Beth Lynn Allen, Director of the Strategic Alliance Division
    Re: Gestalt
    The idea is to create a new familiarity with the cane as a cultural object. Canes are viewed as old-fashioned and therefore out of fashion. They are also not associated with digital health, and the new millennium of longevity. By linking the cane with overt and subliminal images of successful aging we create a buzz and a desire.
    I have already contacted and can bring on board the following strategic partners:
    • The Rocketteswill include the Aquarius cane as part of the Christmas dance routine. If I call in a favor, that’s the image you will see on the poster outside of Radio City Music Hall.
    • 41. Sean Connery will use an Aquarius Cane in his next film as a lethal weapon against co-star Hugh Jackman, his evil opponent, who is armed only with greater youth and an ordinary .22.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 42. Buzz Lightfoot Tweets the Cane
    Remarkably no one alluded to Buzz Lightfoot as Buzz Light Year or any other buzz for that matter, perhaps because he was such a serious person. This particular Buzz was 75 percent Native American and thus entitled to a share in the takings of two casinos that were doing quite well, thank you.
    What was remarkable, even to Buzz, was his penchant for storytelling and how those stories translated into online quips, suggestions, and assorted tidbits of such general interest that they became viral.
    Buzz, with his ADD temperament, had little patience for the long and drawn-out. He was a minuteman, a 140- character man, and a texting man, by natural instinct. He was also a helpmate and an advisor.
    What he was not was a marketer, and that made all the online difference.
    Click to Read More
    ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder
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  • 43. Buzz strode into the conference room and perused the Aquarius Cane. At his age he did not associate it with disability. Somehow it spoke to him as in days of old. A dapper man, a metrosexual, would carry such a cane. Such a cane could be a real scene-stealer. Heaven knows Buzz needed a little jolt with the ladies.
    What if he could be a man about town? He might be a nerd, but he had as yet failed to garnish his revenge.
    Buzz felt a peculiar jealously in his heart of hearts.
    The cane might have a better social life than he. Certainly it had a better social history. Where might the cane have been in the 1800s as it strolled the avenues of Boston on the arm of a fine gentleman?
    Buzz was in the zone.
    He sat at his computer as in a trance. A compulsion to tell the story was expressed in the following Tweets made in the name of Aquarius Cane.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 44. Aquarius Cane
    Aquarius Cane
    Going out with Buddy tonight, hope we got tux pressed
    Tux fine, Buddy wonders should he leave tie open like Hugh Jackman
    Girls hot, Buddy feels old. I feel fine
    Go for the blonde, Buddy
    Blonde accepts drink from Buddy, but she’s looking at me Moment of truth, she digs me
    “How long have you carried a cane?” I knew she was interested in me
    “Since I started watching House.” Good, make her laugh
    Hugh Laurie, Hugh Jackman, I will change my name to Hugh
    At her apartment, Buddy uses me to shut bedroom door. Nice touch
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 45. Back in the conference room, Ham and Buzz privately wondered at the possibility that the Cane might actually be a chick magnet. You never know. It’s a risk using social media to create a viral younger demographic for a traditionally old-school product.
    But it could be done, even without nostalgia. And was this finally what Harry meant when he said that he couldn’t get a bead from the older adult focus groups? Was “I have nothing” code for “skew young where you can peg consumer habits with some precision?”
    Ham decided to ask Beth Lynn to position Aquarius on Glee. That and the social media could make AC a phenomenon.
    Ham slept that night assured in the contented belief that he was a marketing genius.
    Click to Read More
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  • 46. Genius that he was, Ham was reluctant to approach the next and last department he must consult, the direct mail and direct marketing group. It was the group most in touch with the older demographic, as the conventional wisdom is that older adults open their mail.
    If so, would they negate his present plan?
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 47. Tea and Sympathy
    Norman Cobalt was the only department head at Younger that was actually in a Hall of Fame. Since 1978, when the Direct Marketing Association had first decided to induct four stellar leaders a year into a Hall of Fame, this had been a coveted award. The DMA was an association of legends. Much that was legendary began with an uncanny sense of what made the human psyche tick, and started around the same time as God handed the Tablets to Moses to disseminate the greatest direct sales letter ever written.
    Consider that the Commandments were succinct, compelling, and hard to throw away. They made not one but ten calls to action, some negative and some positive. Choosing Moses, a soft-spoken trusted friend with a speech impediment, to endorse the product was a nice touch. And the benefits, eternal salvation, prosperity, and proliferation of a people created the perfect irresistible offer.
    Click to Read More
    Direct Martketing Association
    Hall of Fame
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  • 48. Click to Read More
    Cross Selling
    The whole thing was a study in selling the invisible. And the bonus, especially if you selected the upsell program by accepting the Bible, was prayer at will, with a 24-hour customer service center. You could call upon God at any time and ask what you wished of him.
    Never mind that you might never get it or that some other customer had been awarded the last of what you sought, just the possibility that the fulfillment house might ship your order was enough for over three millennia of worldwide business, including spin-offs, numerous divisions, denominations, and one rather legendary cross-sell.
    Ham found Norman in his office drinking coffee from a cup he must have randomly chosen from the pile of inverted receptacles left to dry in the office kitchen, as the cup read, ”We Love You, Mom.”  
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 49. Norman was oblivious to words if they were not written for sales copy. When Ham approached, Norman was deep in thought creating a long-form sales letter in e-prime.
    The letter was to accompany a magalog on precious metals. It was an upsell to newsletter subscribers from one of the largest hard metal dealers on three continents.
    Norman had completed the first paragraph of a twenty-three page letter. When it came to snail mail sales letter copy, he was of the old school—more is more—and tended to weigh his letters
    E-Prime (short for English-Prime, sometimes spelled E′) is a form of the English language in which the verb to be in all its forms does not exist. Thus, E-Prime does not contain the words "be", "is", "am", "are", "was", "were", "been" and "being", nor does it contain their contractions "'m", "'s", and "'re". E-Prime therefore uses alternate means to express most statements which use the passive voice, thus encouraging writers and speakers to clearly state an action's agent.[1] E-Prime can be based[by whom?] on any dialect of English[citation needed].
    Some people use E-Prime as a mental discipline to filter speech and translate the speech of others.[2] For example, the sentence "The movie was good" could translate into E-Prime as "I liked the movie" or as "The movie made me laugh." The E-Prime versions communicate the speaker's experience rather than judgment, making it harder for the writer or reader to confuse opinion with fact. Wickipedia
    by the pound, or more accurately by the amount of money the recipient was asked to shell out to accept an offer. In this case, it was ten grand, so length was no object.
    Norman would draft over eighty titles for the piece, understanding that it was the single most important part of the letter. He liked copy to evoke the ZEIGARNIK effect, which postulates that the human mind remembers best what is incomplete. It is compelled to seek closure. So, if you want to be read, pose questions in your copy that feeds the reader’s obsession to find answers.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 50. Here is what Norman had so far:
    Click to Read More
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 51. “Mr. —ah— Norman, I have an appointment to see you about the Aquarius Cane account. May I come in?”
    Norman waved Ham in without a word.
    “What’s another word for excellent?”
    He looked at Ham expectantly.
    “Perfect?” Ham was tentative.
    “Nonsense,” Norman said, “nothing is perfect and everybody knows that, except maybe their grandchild. What else?”
    “The best?” Ham tried again.
    “Hyperbole and improvable,” Norman snorted. “Next?”
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 52. “I guess there is no substitute for excellent.” Ham’s spirits sank; he had blown the challenge.
    “Right. Sit down. ‘There is no substitute for excellence.’
    You see, I didn’t say the product was excellent, just that there is no substitute for that. So one can assume the product must be excellent. Of course, it also happens to be, so never imply anything that’s not true. See?”
    “Not exactly. If a product is actually excellent, why just imply excellence?”
    “Because we want the consumer to judge for themselves, after they try the product. If they already know it’s definitely excellent, then they judge by whether they need it or not. And what do we really need in life? Food, clothing, and shelter, that will do it, plus a bunch of stuff not sold on the Internet or anywhere else.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 53. “A pet step that makes it easier for Fluffy to jump on your couch does not fall into the category of the big three necessities. Give the consumer the power to judge whether something is excellent, and they will buy it just to form an opinion, and for that reason alone.
    Also give them the right to return it, no questions asked. That’s important. Most people don’t really respect their own opinions; still they like to make them. So, don’t embarrass them by asking why they want a refund. It’s rude. Don’t be a stingy miser. Empower people. See?”
    “Um, I guess so. I came to ask you whether you feel you have the time to write copy for the Aquarius Cane. Also I was thinking of a landing page and sales copy for the online marketing. We could test some long and short sales letters, and choose lists that make sense…”
    Norman raised his hand once again, this time to silence Ham.
    Click to Read More
    Landing Page
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  • 54. “Harry called me when he heard you were coming in. He told me everything. From that I was able to create the whole sales package.”
    Norman opened a large document drawer and took out a portfolio case. He was an artist and liked to shop where artists shopped. He often used oils to draft out colors and drove the graphics department crazy trying to match sepia and burnt umber.
    The portfolio was bursting. There were catalog pictures and Web copy for the Aquarius cane, sale letters, split test lists, pricing trials, premiums, coupons, envelopes with calls to action, and descriptions of wood so luscious that they read like a gourmet menu for termites.
    “Look at this.” Norman tossed a box of tea at Ham, who caught it with a startled look on his face.
    “Do you know what this symbolizes?” asked Norman.
    Click to Read More
    Split Tests
    Pricing Trials
    Calls to Action
    Burnt Umber
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  • 55. Ham was speechless.
    “It is a symbol of one of the greatest direct mail campaigns in senior selling history.
    The time that tea bags were included in the envelope with a sales letter that began, ‘Please sit down and have a cup of tea with us. We have some important information for you.’
    Imagine that.
    Today the tea would be sent to the local precinct to be tested for anthrax. Those were wonderful times.”
    “So what substitutes for the tea today?” asked Ham, envisioning his grandmother’s teapot and the sympathy with which she kissed boo-boos. Did grandparents still kiss boo-boos or just send videos of themselves jumping from airplanes over the Gobi Desert or ballooning in the Outback?
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 56. Norman read his thoughts.
    “Grandparents haven’t changed, and not much has changed about grandkids, either. As for what substitutes for tea today is something we could not deliver in the 1950s. I’ll show you what gets people’s attention today.”
    Norman opened a diagram, beautifully drawn and compelling. Ham took one look and understood in a moment of extreme enlightenment and astonishment exactly what Harry had discovered, what Beth Lynn had intuited, what Buzz could generate, and what Elaine would pay for in promotions. Ham understood exactly what Norbert would calculate.
    It was a wondrous drawing of a floor plan. “Thank you, Norman, you are a true Hall of Famer.”
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 57. Bricks and Mortar
    Those passing by might have thought that a rock star was in town.
    The lines were so long and the crowd so thick that some social icon must have arrived or that maybe Idol was doing its hometown auditions.
    But no, it was Mother’s Day and the Build-A-Cane store was open for business. People of all ages clutched their Internet-downloaded and direct-mailed coupons and held brochures, post cards, and sales letters, while the visions of the ads they saw on the movie screen and on the billboards danced in their heads.
    They remembered the cane that the spokesperson for Aquarius, a character actor dressed like a human Mr. Peanut, had presented to Hugh Laurie on his birthday (on Regis’ Show), brown and curved as “Dr. House” had requested. Not since the hat worn by Aretha Franklin when she sang at the Obama inauguration had an accessory made such a splash.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 58. Ham was browsing through a Natuzzi catalog to furnish the larger office that had not yet been but would surely be awarded him, when a sexy Universal Jennifer type knocked brashly on his door.
    “I’m here from New York Magazine for the interview.” Ham took one look at her and felt twice blessed.
    Universal Jennifer sat in the best chair, crossed her no-quit legs consciously to make sure that her ankle tattoo verily glowed, leaned forward, and opened a plump-lipped mouth.
    “Why a bricks and mortar store? Why not Internet sales, or integrate the canes in other emporiums?”
    She started with serious questions, to mask the tongue-in-cheek article she had decided to write about oldsters getting their place in the New York sun.
    But Ham wanted to speak and was thrilled to let her know how it had all happened. His tone was so earnest and enthusiastic that she listened in a different way than she had intended.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 59. Read More
    Janet Sainer
    “I came across a paraphrase, or maybe a direct quote from a women named Janet Sainer, a first responder in the war against ageism.
    She said, ‘All babies are the same, but all seniors are different.’
    Apparently, Janet knew her stuff, as all our focus groups and surveys couldn’t give us a bead on consumer consensus. Sure, price and quality were fairly universal. But what should it look like? What’s the brand? We couldn’t get to that.”
    “Then I started just asking. I was amazed at how many canes were being carried and how different they all were.”
    Universal Jennifer’s great-grandfather had carried a cane. He had died only recently and the cane was found leaning against his hospital bed like a pet that wouldn’t leave its master.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 60. “So I stopped random cane carriers in the street, at the eye doctor, in the mall.”
    Ham continued, warming to the question and even more ardently to Universal Jeniffer.
    “I got a different answer from every one. Some choose their canes because they were light to carry, cheap, easily available, free, covered by insurance, suggested by the doctor, beautiful, antique, well balanced, their favorite color, felt right in their hand, matched the kitchen chair . . . what have you.
    “Then their stories came out. How they got the cane, what was wrong with their leg, diabetes, type of injury, permanent or temporary, falls, cautionary tales.
    And then the moment I was waiting for.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 61. “They told me what was wrong with the selected cane.
    If only I could find one in blue to match my church hat
    If only I could find a wooden cane as light as the aluminum one
    If only I could find a cane that played music
    …with a GPS
    …that looked like a golf club
    … that was engraved to match my WWII tattoo.
    These people took a real interest in anyone who took an interest in their canes.”
    Universal Jennifer was derailed. She had not expected stories of intimacy with an inanimate object; more thoughts of Great-grandpa. Then, her shelf filled with purses sprang in hi-def in her mind’s eye. How would it be if she had to buy her purses in a medical supply store or at the drug store? Where would be the fun in that? Would she ever buy more than one?
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 62. “So you created a place where people could go to build their own cane, like the kid’s Build-A-Bear phenomenon?”
    “Yes, exactly.
    And we have birthday parties, gift programs, support charities like Twilight Wish (a Make-a-Wish for seniors), and of course, the big kahuna is Mother’s Day.”
    J School kicked  in. “So what are people buying?”
    “Everything.  They can select the shank, the crook, the material, the color, the decoration, and the extras. They can have a pedometer, a handcrafted carving of their granddaughter’s likeness, and cane covers in Liberty of London fabrics. They can match a hat, a shoe, a tie, and a cell phone case.”
    “How about purses?”
    “I’ll write that down.”
    Read More
    Build a Bear
    Twilight Wish Foundation
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  • 63. “How are you doing on the Internet?” Universal Jennifer was strangely intrigued.
    “Unbelievably great. Let me show you.” Ham went to his favorites and showed her
    Heads together, they perused Buzz’s handiwork, Buddy’s blog and social networking pages, which had gone viral and were followed almost as ardently as Ashton Kutcher on Twitter.
    “Wow,” Universal Jennifer was a true wordsmith. “That’s impressive.”
    Ham thought of his new best friend, Aquarius Rosswold, who was currently on a yacht somewhere in the Caribbean—“The Cane King,” Fast Company Magazine had called him.
    He thought too of Elaine Younger and how justified she had felt in her faith in him, of Norbert with so much ROI his head was spinning, and of Harry and his Chimps with a world of research to do.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 64. Beth Lynn was no doubt making contact with the Pope so he could publicly bless an Aquarius Cane and speaking with the Chief Curator of the Smithsonian to include an original Civil War cane in the permanent collection. But, ultimately it was Norman who had made the breakthrough.
    “If we don’t know, we ask. If we can’t ask, we give the consumer a chance to show us. The world is nothing more than one big split test. Start with the premise that you don’t have the answer. That’s why I love my work. It’s the only place where you get paid for the skill of understanding that life’s a guess.”
    “You know,” said Universal Jennifer, “I would like to visit a Build-A-Cane with you and do the Mother’s Day story. Maybe there is something particular you would like to show me?”
    Ham looked at her admiringly. There was plenty in particular he would like to show her—but for the time being, he would settle for lunch.
    The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 65. The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 66. The Cane Miracle Click to Turn Page
  • 67. Leaders in Reaching Boomers, Older Adults, and Caregivers
    Generation Bold is a full-service marketing, branding, and business development firm specializing in the Boomer, Active Senior, and Caregiver Markets. Our clients include small businesses, multi-national firms, not-for-profit organizations, governmental entities, and community groups. We offer business-to-consumer and business-to-business communications, media training, message point crafting, and market positioning, as well as strategic alliance management. Our affiliates bring you the best in website design and optimization, list management, ad placement, and event creation.
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  • 68. Branding and Strategic Alliances
    Generation Bold will help you identify, connect with, and ally with those that will make a difference to your business. The proof is in our record.
    Here are just a few examples of our work:
    ・We created Golden Cuisine Direct, a division of Golden Cuisine, delivered frozen meals for seniors, and allied with hundreds of elder care professionals to create affiliates sales.
    ・Entrust, a 30-state franchise, required strategic alliances with attorneys, CPAs, and realtors. We created core strength allies, and in several documented cases, increased amounts under management 600%.
    ・We brought together the Mental Health Association of Rockland County, New York, with CogniFit, the brain fitness leaders, to fulfill a New York State Department for the Aging grant on brain health for older adults.
    ・We created all the programs, promotions, and Web and offline outreach and marketing for these alliances.
    ・We developed a Critical Path Success ™ --Growth method of opening new geographic territories for clients.
    ・We have opened the Midwest for clients including the Money Store; and Ohio/Michigan for self directed IRA custodians, etc.
    If you are facing a new territory and need to connect with clients, customers, strategic allies, or vendors, consider our 90 day open the door program which coaches your management and staff on how to get immediate insight into the idiosyncrasies of the new market, ally with the correct people, and generally establish yourself in record time.
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  • 69. Marketing That Gets Measureable Results
    At Generation Bold we believe that the purpose of marketing is to increase net profits for our clients. That is why our commitment is to provide cost-effective marketing that gets the result you want, within your time frame.
    We use a proprietary method of planning called Critical Path Success ™ Growth to plot out your marketing program, follow it, and get results along a pre-approved time line. Every client receives a manual, workbook, and audio tapes so that their entire staff is part of the process that gets results.
    Ad Creation and Placement
    We have written, produced, and placed hundreds of successful ads in the past 20 years, for radio television, print, and the Internet.
    We have developed a direct response advertising formula to use on radio and Internet broadcasts.
    We know what our target markets read, watch and listen to, so your ad dollars go right to your prospects.
    Frequency Programs
    Technology does not stand still, and neither can your company’s outreach methods.
    We understand compliance regulations in many industries.
    We have staff and freelance writers, editors, content providers, and distributors for both Internet and direct mail.
    We design frequency programs to keep in touch with clients, gate openers and strategic allies through many vehicles including teleseminars/webinars, voice mail messages, audio courses, podcasts, electronic and paper newsletters, and special reports.
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  • 70. Social Message Consulting for Not-for-Profits, Communities, Developers and Architects
    We are leaders in understanding the demands and messages that speak to both Boomers and Older Adults.
    Generation Bold has assisted communities, not-for-profits and private developers to deliver their message to change makers and to our market to reframe their offers to appeal to the new breed of older adults while adhering to their mission.
    We have conceived and designed projects such as these:
    Fit Brain, Strong Brain, Smart Brain under a New York State grant for cognitive fitness training in community venues
    Walkability studies that catalyze communities and also result in improved mobility studies
    Summit Housing upscale 55+ communities that are green, sustainable, and density-appropriate
    Generation Bold uses proven commercial marketing techniques to survey, research, and effectively design your next program.
    We also media train your spokespersons and board members or help you select a spokesperson, from inside or outside of your organization.
    If you have a message to craft, public outreach events, or advertising or marketing of your social cause, contact us for a complimentary consultation.
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  • 71. Presentations & Training for
    Award-Winning Accomplishments
    Our marketing and sales trainers use accelerated learning and self-actualization techniques including Train the Trainer, Peak Potential Certification.
    Training is preceded by intense consultation to study the target markets in which we specialize as they relate to your business. Many of our programs receive continuing education credits for CFPs, insurance professionals, CPAs, and others professionals.
    Do you need a keynote speaker, conference trainer, or workshop presenter?
    Do you need
        * Tailored live presentations?
        * Target market and message consulting?
        * Pre-event attendance enhancement?
        * Post-event follow up?
        * Audio and video production?
        * Product development?
        * Fundraising and client appreciation gifts?
    Visit and view the video. Clients include USA Today, JCC of New Jersey Metro West,  HIAS, Women’s American ORT, Swarthmore College, Merrill Lynch, Transamerica, Meals on Wheels and more.
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  • 72. We Turn Ideas Into Profits