Business As Usual


Tim J. Smith, PhD
Founder and CEO, Wiglaf Pricing

Published July 9, 2003

In recent days we’ve been inundated with media coverage and information regarding The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) National Do Not Call Registry. President Bush signed the Do Not Call Implementation Act on March 11, 2003. As consumers we can now block interruptive telemarketing calls at our homes.

As marketers of products or services to businesses, we need to review what this act means in the conduct of business-to-business activity. The answer is, Business as Usual.

The implementation of the National Do Not Call Registry does not preclude businesses from conducting revenue generating sales and marketing campaigns directed to other businesses. Fortunately, the strategies used by businesses for prospect reaching are ethical and varied in design and approach. Business marketing uncovers opportunity, investigates opportunity, creates awareness, assists with decision-making options, and provides a positive experience for the purchase-to-delivery of products or services.

The FTC’s roll-out does not prevent businesses from utilizing well established marketing practices directed to business customers such as rolodex marketing, cold calling, direct mail, and print advertising. Target marketing by business-to-business firms is historically focused on performance execution.

Businesses, attempting to improve their revenue streams, prospect during normal business hours. The callers identify themselves by name, company affiliation, the objective of the call, followed by a presentation of product or service. In most cases the caller knows the decision maker, has established a by-name relationship, and/or is implementing a follow-up procedure based on a pre-introductory considerations.

The FTC recognizes that best practice sales and marketing strategies used for business-to-business development are effective and efficient when properly designed, developed, implemented, and performance measured. That is why the FTC has listed “calls from one business to another unless nondurable office or cleaning supplies are being offered” as an exception to the new regulation.

In the conduct of establishing business-to-business relationships, fraudulent practices, scams, or misrepresentations are unacceptable. These practices are a path to business demise.

The defensive strategies described for consumer protection aren’t generally required for the business-to-business market and relationship building effort. These relationships are based on the mutual need, and delivery of a product or service. The outcome is economic growth and employment stabilization.

For Business Markets, it’s BUSINESS AS USUAL.

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About The Author

Tim J. Smith, PhD, is the founder and CEO of Wiglaf Pricing, an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Economics at DePaul University, and the author of Pricing Done Right (Wiley 2016) and Pricing Strategy (Cengage 2012). At Wiglaf Pricing, Tim leads client engagements. Smith’s popular business book, Pricing Done Right: The Pricing Framework Proven Successful by the World’s Most Profitable Companies, was noted by Dennis Stone, CEO of Overhead Door Corp, as "Essential reading… While many books cover the concepts of pricing, Pricing Done Right goes the additional step of applying the concepts in the real world." Tim’s textbook, Pricing Strategy: Setting Price Levels, Managing Price Discounts, & Establishing Price Structures, has been described by independent reviewers as “the most comprehensive pricing strategy book” on the market. As well as serving as the Academic Advisor to the Professional Pricing Society’s Certified Pricing Professional program, Tim is a member of the American Marketing Association and American Physical Society. He holds a BS in Physics and Chemistry from Southern Methodist University, a BA in Mathematics from Southern Methodist University, a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Chicago, and an MBA with high honors in Strategy and Marketing from the University of Chicago GSB.