Merrill Dubrow’s tips for creating more sales opportunities Featured

8:01pm EDT May 31, 2011
Merrill Dubrow, President and CEO, M/A/R/C Research Merrill Dubrow, President and CEO, M/A/R/C Research

I just had a great weekend in Texas. The sun was shining, the kids were laughing and many memories were formed. My boys played some baseball and, yes, as the good dad, I had camera in hand and clicked away with their every movement.

Even though I am not that artistic, I was confident I got some great candid shots. A few hours later, as I was running a bunch of errands, I decided to go to CVS and get the pictures developed. I walked over to the machine with my CD and a big grin on my face and started to view my pictures. I felt really good as I viewed one great picture after another.

I viewed all the pictures and chose the ones I wanted with a few different sizes and then hit the finish button. As the machine is printing out my code, a message on the machine mysteriously appears and reads, “We have made you a special gift.” OK, so I lose all my senses of where I am, and as I am feeling a little special I actually start talking to myself. Haven’t we all done that?

As I gain my composure the screen says, “Here is your special gift.” I look, and basically they took my 30 pictures and put them in a beautiful book. The book is formatted very nicely, and the machine lets me review the book, page by page, and also will allow me the opportunity to customize the book. Although it was great — beautiful and very thoughtful (thanks CVS) — I didn’t purchase the book for $19.99.

I then had another CD and wanted to print five more pictures. I went through the same process, and, again, after I was finished the machine said, “We have made you a special gift.” I was like, ‘I know — another book — and thanks but no thanks!’ Much to my surprise, that wasn’t the case at all. Apparently CVS has more than one special gift that they will offer customers. This special gift was a collage — they took the five pictures and placed them on an 8-by-10 picture, made them different sizes and actually had one of them as a background for all of the other pictures. It was really nice and cost $6.99. I paused for maybe three seconds and, with a smile on my face, hit the purchase button. I actually couldn’t wait to get a frame and show the kids.

So please join me up in the clouds — in fact, way up in the clouds — and relate this story and what CVS did and how that might relate to your business.

In my mind, CVS was amazing, and as a customer, it made me feel very special. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Did the business give me a few choices?
  • Did the business show me the finished product?
  • Did the business make it easy for me to buy?

For me, the answer to those three questions were all yes. This forced me to really think about my business, what changes we need to make to ensure we can teach every member of our team to create more revenue as we are creating revenue.

In fact, think about a few more things CVS did:

  • It used technology.
  • It was creating more revenue for itself in a very creative way — not only did the store try and sell me a book and collage (the special gifts), I also bought a frame for the collage in the store.
  • All of this was done in a very quick manner.

So I ask you, shouldn’t every business be more like CVS? I look forward to hearing from you and seeing how your business is like CVS.

Merrill Dubrow is president and CEO of Dallas-based M/A/R/C Research, one of the top 25 market research companies in the U.S. Merrill is a sought-after speaker and has been writing a blog for more than four years. He can be reached at or at (972) 983-0416.