|Wednesday, May 1, 2013|
|3 Platforms Every Business Should Be On|
Creating and maintaining a robust and versatile social presence is imperative if your organization hopes to achieve online and overall branding success. Emerging media drives results in diverse areas of business including, marketing, public relations, customer service, reputation management and much more!
A lack of presence on social media channels can result in a biased, one-sided perception of an organization. While organizations never entirely control online conversations, they can be aware of, participate in and influence them.
Tilson PR has identified three key platforms for organizations hoping to create an effective online presence: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
Facebook has successfully maintained its title as the most popular social platform for several years. As of April 2013 it’s reported there are 1.06 billion monthly active users and 680 million mobile users. With numbers like this it’s likely your target audience engages on Facebook. As a result great time and attention should be given to your business presence on this hugely popular social network.
Simply creating a Facebook Page for your business will not be sufficient. EdgeRank and upcoming changes to the Facebook News Feed must be considered when crafting your Facebook strategy. Another key platform within Facebook is Instagram. Finding creative ways to build a community within this sub-platform can further launch your business’ Facebook success.
Twitter provides a seamless way for current and potential customers to access your brand and vice versa. This popular platform aids in fast communication, simple searches and a massive community. The opportunities Twitter offers are endless.
Tilson PR works with many brands to optimize their Twitter presence. Working with our clients, we focus on making it as easy as possible for the Twitter community to find and engage with the brand throughout the web and social world.
We’ve learned that Twitter is more than a platform to send out messages in 140 characters. Effective hashtags target the right audience, chats help establish relationships, consistency increases search engine optimization (SEO) and lists allow you to keep a finger on the pulse of your industry.
The number of people using Twitter is exciting but that can also make it difficult to stand out. The goal for any businesses using Twitter should be to grab people’s attention and then drive them to a platform where you deliver on what you’ve promised.
Like Facebook, Twitter has sub-platforms that, if used correctly, can further aide your business in reaching success. Recently, Tracy Tilson shared her thoughts and insight on how Twitter’s Vine can be used to catapult any business’ public relations.
LinkedIn is the largest online network of professionals in the world! There are over 187 million members in more than 200 countries. LinkedIn membership is very different from that of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. The focus is on professional networking, and because of this, it’s a platform that offers unique relationship opportunities.
There are many ways to leverage LinkedIn as a business. LinkedIn’s Personal Profile allows you to highlight yourself and your role within the business. This is an opportunity to showcase the more human side of your company. Company Pages provide an opportunity to officially highlight your business and the services you offer. The new format encourages the use of images, job postings, insight into company culture and even products. Finally, Groups allow you to engage with other industry influencers, expose your business to many and search top-talent.
These three platforms offer extremely different ways to connect, engage and grow your business. Utilizing all three is essential to get the most out of social networks, and taking the next step and fusing the three uncovers even more potential.
Tracy Tilson, President
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter: http://tilsonpr.com/subscribe
|Wednesday, April 17, 2013|
|Hear it through the grapeVINE? - Tips of the Trade|
Twitter's Vine launched to tons of fanfare just a few short months ago, and for brands looking for quick and relevant ways to tell their story, it’s already proving to be a valuable tool. But like any new social network, brands are trying to figure out how to make Vine work for them, testing the waters to see what works—and what sticks.
For those not familiar with Vine, its best described as a mini-video sharing app that allows users to quickly capture and push out content via six-second video feeds. Like other leading social channels, Vine allows users to search for content using the popular hashtag feature that’s become commonplace today.
You’re probably asking yourself – what could we possible say in six seconds? The answer is: A LOT!
At Tilson we’ve seen a ton of creativity stemming from Vine. From eager job candidates pitching themselves to prospective employers and media pioneers like Rolling Stone promoting music content to brands like Urban Outfitters turning to Vine to air their new ads, brands are experimenting with Vine each and every day.
From a PR perspective Vine has a lot of potential as well. Video pitching journalists is already taking place—and many savvy practitioners are turning to Vine as a new and more progressive alternative to the traditional press release. After all, when it comes to the pitch you’ve got 30 seconds to grab a journalists attention or your message will go lost.
Imagine being able to have your head of innovation directly speak to targeted media about a new product launch or other development in the pipeline. Or having the ability to immediately respond to a crisis or issue via a short video update that helps your brand stay in control of your master narrative. Vine can support or even supplement a traditional press release to augment your message in a refreshing way.
Because Vine is a virtual “elevator” pitch last only last six-seconds, many are struggling to figure out what they can do with such a short window for communication. So here are three tips for starters:
- Don’t forget the age-old adage good things come in small packages. As with all communication, give it your best college go. Put some time and energy into the videos you produce. You don’t want to push out content that looks like you threw something together without much thought.
- As with any media interview, think in sound bites – Since Vine videos are short and sweet, don’t muddy your message by getting too creative. Stick to simple camera angles and shots. You’re not trying to win this year’s best cinematography award; you’re trying to get your message heard.
- In the end, it all comes back to engagement – whether you’re using Vine to preview a new product, to invite your loyal followers to an event, or to spark a movement or hashtag that gets people talking, it’s still about engagement. Don’t just push content—create opportunities to pull consumers in.
As a final takeaway, ask those responsible for your brand communications how Vine fits into your media mix. After all, if a picture’s worth a thousand words what’s video worth to your bottom line?
Tracy Tilson, President
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter: http://tilsonpr.com/subscribe
|Tuesday, February 19, 2013|
|The mechanics of funny|
As a new member of the Boca Chamber, I’ve been asked a number of times already about joke writing, “being” funny or tips on public speaking. If your intent is to make someone laugh, it’s important to understand the mechanics of funny. This way, you can provoke laughter on purpose in your next presentation, meeting or assembly.
1. Laughter is involuntary – It’s impossible to make yourself laugh. Try it. It will always feel forced. Speakers crave the sound of laughter because of this. Nothing is more rewarding than the sound of involuntary praise.
2. The sound of Laughter provokes laughter – Big crowds will typically laugh more simply because the likelihood of hearing someone laugh is greater. We rationalize that a small crowd just might be “polite”. This isn’t the truth. A smaller crowd has a smaller chance of hearing laughter to evoke more of it. As a speaker, if you are interesting and engaging, you need to understand that just because a crowd isn’t laughing, doesn’t mean they aren’t enjoying themselves. You should present with the same dedication and passion for a crowd of 2 as you would for a house of 1500. An audience doesn’t need to hear laughter to have a good time. Trust in your work, tape yourself and take the time to watch yourself objectively.
3. Laughing is a sign of relief – A father sets up a teeball and turns to his son who is holding the bat. Nothing funny here. No intro. No tension. The son takes a swing before the father has time to step away from the tee. Our brain immediately senses something is wrong. Tension. FIRE! PANIC! PAIN! HURT!. Tag. Dad gets hit in a less than optimal location. But that’s not why we laugh. For a brief moment, our human brains are concerned for the man. He could really be hurt. Then we see immediately a familiar pose of a grown man hunched over barely putting two sentences together… which means he’s going to be okay. There is no malice involved, so the tension runs out of us in the form of a laugh… it’s comforting and instantaneous. We actually release chemicals into our body that calm us and lower our blood pressure. Laughter is healthy. If you are writing jokes, it’s important to always have a setup, followed by the relief, aka, a punch line. Writers often make the mistake of noting their humorous observation first, then wonder why nobody laughs. You have to create tension, then release it by revealing the true objective of the set up. You also can’t drag your set up too long. If people sense that you are trying to make a joke, get to it. The longer you set up, the bigger the expectation of a great punch line. Trust me. No joke is funny enough to support a 5 minute backstory.
4. We don’t laugh at jokes, we laugh at people – If you’ve ever tried to tell a joke, you are told “it’s all in the delivery”. Maybe. Not really. It’s all in the relationship with your audience. We laugh at people for two reasons. We like them or we hate them. If we like them AND their delivery is good AND their jokes are good, you will trigger an unconscious response that shows our approval. If we hate you, we will only laugh if you legitimately hurt yourself physically or emotionally and we laugh because we are relieved that karma works. Your most important role as a speaker is to win the trust and love of your audience. Nothing does this quicker than stage presence. You must own your space and you must be bold in your decisions. If you ever wonder why your speech didn’t go over well, but your delivery and material was exactly the same as the last time, review the very first thing you did when you entered the stage. It’s more important than you think.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to help add value to this community. I hope it was helpful.
Owner – Sick Puppies Comedy
|Wednesday, November 21, 2012|
|Tips to Get the Most Out of Massage|
As health care costs continue to increase, consumers are looking towards alternative therapies to treat pain and stress. According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), 44 percent of adult Americans who received a massage between July 2010 and July 2011 received it for medical or health reasons compared to 35 percent the previous year. However, many consumers still have misconceptions about massage and how to make the most of their experience. It’s to be expected – there’s a sense of vulnerability when it comes to getting a massage, and many are reluctant to seek clarification.
Get the most out of your massage by following these simple tips:
- Speak up! At restaurants, we’re quick to request dressing on the side. At the drycleaners, we’re not afraid to ask for extra starch. Yet when it comes to receiving a customized massage, many consumers are hesitant to ask for what they want. It’s essential to clearly communicate your goals, so don’t be afraid to tell a massage therapist to spend more time on a certain area, or to alter their technique to be more gentle or firm.
- Undress to your comfort level: The customer has free range to undress as much, or as little, as he/she likes. Modesty is always accepted, so if you feel most comfortable in shorts and a T-shirt, wear it!
- Talk... or Don’t: You can chit chat during the treatment or be still, as you choose. The massage therapist will follow your lead.
- Rehydrate: Even though you’re laying still while receiving a massage, your muscles are being worked and they need to recharge. Always drink plenty of water following a massage. An hour-long massage works your muscles similar to that of an hour spent at the gym.
Michael from Elements Therapeutic Massage provides these tips to help you enjoy your massage no matter where you go to get one.
5030 Champion Blvd.
Boca Raton, FL 33496
|Wednesday, November 7, 2012|
Recently at a Boca Chamber networking event Tasha Hirsch mentioned she had an antique piano that she was no longer in need of. Penny Morey was in on the conversation and commented that she remembered that The Boca Children’s Museum was looking for a piano. Tasha contacted Dr. Denise Bell, Executive Director of The Boca Children’s Museum, sent her photos and asked if she would be interested in having a piano donated. Dr. Bell was excited to receive the piano. Tasha attempted to find a mover to safely transport the piano. After several unsuccessful attempts to find a mover Tasha called Sharon Ramsey and told her of the predicament. Sharon recommended a Chamber member who not only was a family owned local mover, but specialized in pianos and antiques. The next day Theresa Bonnie of Joe Bonnie & Son Moving and Storage called Tasha to donate their services and scheduled the move. The move was done quickly and professionally!
Now that the piano is in it's new home The Boca Children's Museum is looking for a piano tuner!
Story by: Tasha Hirsch (Credomatic Merchant Services) and Penny Morey (RemarkaAbleHr)
|Friday, October 19, 2012|
|Why Your Business Should Be On Google+|
In the year or so since it was launched, Google+ has quickly become an essential part of any business’s social media strategy. It is up to a reported 250 million users, and this number is sure to continue growing as Google is making a Google+ account mandatory for all Gmail users.
The free SEO boost that your site will get is the primary reason that your business should be on Google+. When someone Google’s you or your businesses’ name, your Google+ profile will come up as a good result, and there’s a better chance that your site will show up quicker in organic search results. Consider it an extra opportunity to get some fresh content out there about you. Because your Google+ information will rank high, this also can also come in handy if you want to push a different search result down to the second page (a result that you don’t own, or something that might be negative).
Another benefit of the social network is that it integrates with all of Google’s other (extremely successful and popular) public-facing services including search, Google Places, Google Shopping, Google Maps and more. If you run a small business, such as a pet shop or laundromat, having a Google+ page will help add valuable data to your Google Places pages. Google’s recent Zagat acquisition also gives restaurants a boost by posting their rating in the results.
Google+’s integration with the search engine’s other products can also be used as a powerful tool for a small business to communicate internally. It allows you to do a variety of tasks within the same platform. For example, while writing on Gmail, you can hop on to Google+ to communicate ideas with co-workers in real-time. You don’t have to jump from Facebook to Hotmail to Skype just to communicate because Google has it all. It makes swapping information, documents and ideas easier among the employees within your business.
The last reason that your business should absolutely be using Google+ is because it’s there and it’s free. It’s relatively quick and easy to set up and use, so why not? You have nothing to lose, and who doesn’t like an increased presence in the search engines?
Casey Kurlander is a search marketing specialist at BMI Elite, a full service digital advertising agency in Delray Beach, Florida. For more online marketing tips or to ask Casey a question, check out www.bmielite.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Friday, June 29, 2012|
|Is it Easier to Sell a Product or a Service?|
Is it easier to sell a product or service? “It’s easier to sell a product because you have something you can actually show the prospect”. “Oh no, it’s much easier to sell a service because you can really sell them on the features and benefits!”.
Guess what, you’re both wrong! You are never selling a product or a service, you are only selling what the product or service can do for your prospect. The solution your customer perceives is the problem to the problem they are experiencing is the only one that matters. What your product or service does is irrelevant, until the prospect tells you what actually is relevant.
We have a friend named Rich. Rich and I had a discussion one night at dinner on this very subject. Rich told me he could ‘never’ (and I love that word) sell a service because a product is so much easier. “Why is that?” I asked.
“It’s just easier to compare when you have something in your hands. You can show your products ‘features and benefits’, (another of my favorite terms) and really compare apples to apples against your competitor” Rich stated proudly.
“Rich, how do you know what ‘apples’ they want in the first place? What if they want oranges? “Oh I ask them up front what their needs are and then I show the differences”.
“So, I’m confused, why can’t you do that with a service?”
“Well Greta I guess you can but it’s easier with a service”...
“OK Rich, I got it” even though I didn’t but at this point, my husband was kicking me under the table to leave it alone.
In sales you are a matchmaker of sorts. Your job is to uncover as much about the prospects issues as they see them and the effect these issues are having on them and their company. Additionally if nothing changes, what are the re-percussions of that? Once you have a good understanding of what that is, you will recommend the proper solution, irrespective of the product or service.
Often salespeople misunderstand the word “benefits” for solutions. Feature and benefits selling is typically is a pre-set dissertation of what the prospect should see as a benefit, not what they decide is a benefit. For example if you say “the feature
of this copy-machine is the speed of the copies and the benefit is you can get them faster and have your copies ready earlier”. Well, if you don’t have an issue with time and you issue is something completely different like ease of use, who really cares about your “benefit”?
If you are selling properly, it shouldn’t matter whether it is a product or a service because what you are really selling is what the client is ultimately looking for, not how you get there.
Anyone can “demo” a product or talk “features and benefits” but a real pro only gives solutions to the issues the prospect is talking about, no more and no less.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida.
She is the best selling author of "To Sell is Not to Sell". Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. For more tips go to: www.schulzbusiness.com click on “Cup
|Thursday, March 29, 2012|
Choosing a ground transportation company for your organization is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. Getting executives to and from the airport on time is a responsibility that often relies on the choice of the executive assistant. Many corporate travel planners and travel agents have to think about a number of issues aside from the price of the trip. Will the car arrive on time? Is the company adequately insured? Are the chauffeurs friendly and knowledgeable? Can the company arrange ground transportation in the destination city? Does the company have the right kind of permits for the service required?
The permitting process for ground transportation vehicles is very rigorous. Taxi’s are subject to different requirements than Sedan companies and Limousine services, and different permits are required for different cities, counties and airports. The typical for hire vehicle would need approximately 5 different permits to operate legally in the South Florida area. Each County has its own permit requirements, and you must obtain that county’s permit to pick-up in that area. An airport service company located in Broward County could not legally pick up passengers in Palm Beach County without having both a Broward County license and a Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs license. Similarly a company although licensed in Palm Beach County, could not legally pick up at Palm Beach International Airport without having obtaining a Ground Transportation Permit for PBIA. Fines for non compliance are severe, and include criminal charges being leveled against the driver in the form of a second degree misdemeanor. In some jurisdictions, enforcement officials will tow the offending vehicle for not being properly licensed. Miami Dade County and Miami International Airport have some of the strictest regulations in the area.
The City of Boca Raton has its own set of ordinances for ground transportation companies. The City is very selective about the companies that are permitted to operate within the City limits. Currently there are five companies that have City of Boca Raton permits and are legally authorized to pick up passengers within the city limits. If you are not sure if the company you use for transportation is properly licensed you should call the City of Boca Raton Code Enforcement Unit at 561 393-7937. There is a serious exposure in selecting a company that does not have the proper licensing. In the event of an accident the insurance company may elect to disavow coverage because the vehicle was not properly licensed. A company may be fully licensed in Palm Beach County but still not be legally authorized to pick up customers in the City of Boca Raton. Corporations often do their due diligence before entering into an agreement with a company to provide transportation, but guests staying at Boca Raton Hotels are often duped into using unlicensed vehicles simply because the bellman or the valet selected the transportation provider for one of our biggest assets, our tourists and corporate guests.
Palm Beach County has experienced an explosion of ground transportation companies in recent years. Consumer Affairs reports that there are currently over 600 companies, with almost 2200 vehicle registered here. This has resulted in a super saturation of providers chasing fewer and fewer fares. Broward County by comparison has only 90 companies and Miami Dade county has even fewer. County commissioners are studying ways to bring order to the chaos and shrink the number of companies to a more manageable number. They have created a For Hire Vehicle Advisory Board to find ways to raise the bar for transportation operators in order to provide the residents and businesses of Palm Beach County with better more qualified transportation companies. For questions or comments concerning the county’s regulations please contact Palm Beach County Consumer Affairs, Betty Hartman. Her email is email@example.com
A1A Airport & Limousine Service
1990 NW Boca Raton Blvd
Boca Raton FL 33432
|Thursday, March 22, 2012|
|Economic Uncertainty…or Excuse Making?|
Are you still nervous about the economy? Have you come to the conclusion that we are all in the dark about when it will actually be open? Are the upcoming elections causing you to tighten the ole’ belt? This is not a time for anxiety, but a time to be realistic and acknowledge that tough times lay ahead. Adjustments have to be made in your sales team and in the way they approach sales. If you don’t do it now, the competition certainly will.
During the past in our economic “high,” I’m sure your sales team and numbers grew exponentially. But seeing as though your longer term salespeople had been used to sales falling in their lap, have they fully adjusted to the new reality or are they still using the economy as an excuse for not making those adjustments? With the recession still lingering, what should we expect from our “order takers” of the past? Probably not a whole bunch!
Right now, the weak part of your company is probably still your sales team. Companies are becoming aggravated very quickly when their salespeople aren’t selling for reasons you think are out of their control. Sales people, too, are getting discouraged when they don’t close sales, not knowing that their sales in the previous bull market were simply coming to them with little to no work involved.
A lot of companies wait until they’re desperate, then layoffs and cost cutting will start. The smart companies know that they should evaluate their sales force now, finding out who really has effective selling skills to utilize in the slump that we’re about to face. When assessing your team, remember to ask yourself the following questions:
What are the necessary elements for selling in this economy?
Who has these elements?
Who does not have these skills and should we replace them?
Who should we replace them with?
Don’t fall victim your salesperson’s beliefs that “people are spending less” and “it’s an election year.” Excuses, excuses, excuses! Don’t believe that just because they’ve done well in the past, they may be right. If they’re not strong enough to make it through tough times, they probably don’t belong on your team! You must ask yourself, “have they really been selling or were they just order takers that got lucky?” If you’re not sure, you have to evaluate their skills! Go on a sales call with them and see how they do in the “real world.” Another option is having them take an assessment that shows the skills they truly have…and the ones they don’t. Masked weaknesses show themselves when you least expect it.
Hold your ground and act as though the economy is flourishing! I know you think I’m crazy, but hear me out. If you remember that the economy is cyclical, you won’t fall prey to the negative thoughts about our current situation. When things are bad, nothing should change. Then you’re not falling into a slump, but simply continuing to work hard until things come back around (which they always do!). If you turn “fat and happy,” you’ll never make it through.
Neither our mortgage lender, our bank nor the power company will accept the excuse of the economy for non-payment. Why should we? Should we make some adjustments? Possibly, but now the real sales professionals will shine through the excuse makers. You will see real creativity and out of the box thinking like never before. Now you will really see what separates the men…well, you know the cliché.
WRITTEN BY Greta Schulz is Sales Consultant for Businesses and Entrepreneurs. For more Sales Training Tips and Tools or to ask Greta a question that may appear in a future column go to at http://SchulzBusiness.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Wednesday, February 15, 2012|
This is Bunny. She is a 4 year old Pointer Mix who loves
to be around people and is waiting for her forever home. She is located at Tri
County Humane Society, 21287 Boca Rio Road, Boca Raton, FL 33433. 561-482-8110.
|Tuesday, January 3, 2012|
|Top Five NetworkingTraits|
I came across a survey that I found very interesting and right on the money. The survey was taken in several different parts of the country and even some parts of the world and the results were almost identical to what I believe and talk about regularly!
Even though most of us know we should be giving referrals and helping others, it is often hard to remember since we are worried about making our own quotas when it comes to closing sales. I promise you, being more “aggressive” in trying to make the sale is not the answer. I do believe it is important to have a plan of activities for yourself to proactively go after new business but these 5 traits are what will keep them coming and must be a part of your overall activity plan.
1) Follows Up on all Referrals. It seems to be a “no-brainer” to follow-up on referrals that are given to you but believe it or not this the number one reason we get more referrals. Don’t just receive a referral with a thank you but really follow-up on it. If you don’t get anywhere, contact the referral giver back and let them know what happened and ask for their help.
2) A Positive Attitude. Enthusiastic people and ones who look at the bright side before the dark are people others want to be around. Being positive is a trait that will help you look past things like, a soft economy, a new competitor and other walls that seem to be put up all around. The glasses you look through are up to you. Choose to be positive and remember it is a choice.
3) A Good Listener/Asks Questions. There is a reason that you have 2 ears and one mouth, use proportionally. People bond with people that show a genuine interest in them. You show an interest by asking about them; their job, their family etc. It’s not about you, until it’s about them.
4) Trustworthy. Interestingly enough, people trust you when you show a genuine interest in them. Make sure you can go to bed at night knowing that you did the right thing. When you can say that, others will feel that as well. Trust comes from this concept.
5) Recognize and align yourself with others who you can give referrals to and understand the exchange of referrals and how it works, in other words, people who are good strategic alliances for you.
I am going to add one that I don’t see here which is ASK! If we aren’t getting referrals it is because we aren’t asking and even more often not asking properly. Make sure when asking for referrals you are specific in your description of what a good referral is. Create a picture in someone’s mind so when they see or hear something it will trigger you for a referral.
When you think about who you know that is a great networker, someone who not only does business by referrals but you would be proud and happy to give a referral to them, do they have these traits? I am betting they do.
Keep these in mind and ask yourself, “Do I have all of these traits?”
WRITTEN BY: Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the author of "To Sell is Not to Sell" and a columnist for business journals around the country. Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. www.schulzbusiness.com
|Monday, December 5, 2011|
|How to Land Your Dream Job|
Since the end of the year is here, we often think about changing jobs. We are scared this year to even think about that in light of the job opportunity outlook. Don’t be. Companies will often find a place for someone who can prove their worth. How? Here are some ideas.
I recently had the opportunity to be a guest on a radio show. I was caught a little off guard when I was asked, while on the air, how to use “selling skills” to get a job. I hesitated, since that really isn’t what I do. Since the radio host was familiar with my program, he felt there was a lot of synergy. After I did the show, I got to thinking about the idea he brought up, and how getting a job really is so similar to sales … and life.
Here are five steps to help you land the job of your dreams:
- Network. Use the contacts that you have as extra eyes. Let them know what you are looking for. Be specific and get out there.
- Set up one-on-one meetings with people that you know. Get coffee, a drink, etc. Help people understand what you are looking for, and give examples of the type of organizations and specific job descriptions. Again, make sure you are specific. People can’t think for you, even though you think they can.
- When applying for a job, you must do something unique. Today, there are just too many people looking for the same job you are applying for. So, how do you rise above the rest? Sending a resume is so last century. I would suggest that you try to be different. One way is to send your information (resume, if you must) in a unique way. For example, I was once applying for a job with Procter & Gamble. I was in college (about 100 years ago), and the career center had the interviews set up, but P&G booked up quickly. So, I called ahead and found out who was coming to do the interviews. I silk-screened my resume onto a T-shirt, rolled it up and slid it into a Colgate toothpaste box, and mailed it to the sales director, signature required. I got the interview.
- When you are set up to be interviewed, do lots of research in advance. Spend time researching the company and interviewer. Create questions about the organization’s vision, what customers/clients say about them and what competitors say about them. Ask the interviewer about their experience with the company, what they like best about the organization, their job, etc. This gives lots of good insight to how the employees feel, and shows you have a real interest in them, too.
- Follow up. There are several ways to do this. I think e-mail is fine, but does that really differentiate you? Here’s an idea: a talking e-mail. You can talk into a video e-mail message and really make an impression. Try www.talkinemail.com. I love it and have been using it a ton.
Remember, the best time to look for a job is when you already have one. If you are in a situation where you are out of work, your job is to look for a job eight hours a day, five days a week!
Greta Schulz is Sales Consultant for Businesses and Entrepreneurs. For more Sales Training Tips and Tools, please sign up for her free newsletter at http://SchulzBusiness.com or join her new Online Sales Training Course at http://B2BSalesPlayBook.com
|Friday, November 18, 2011|
|The Healing Power of... Water!|
Water is one of the most common healers. If you think about it, you probably already use water to heal—ice packs for injuries... steam inhalation for congestion... and a soak in a hot tub to ease sore muscles.
But did you know that constitutional hydrotherapy, a treatment that involves applying hot- and cold-water-soaked towels to the body, is an incredibly effective and easy-to-do treatment that can relieve symptoms for conditions as diverse as...
•Cancer (improves immunity by increasing white blood cell count and supports detoxification during conventional treatments)
•Digestive conditions (constipation, Crohn’s disease, ulcers and ulcerative colitis)
•Headaches and sinusitis
•Respiratory tract conditions (colds and bronchitis)
•Skin conditions (rashes)
I think you’ll be surprised to learn of the many health benefits that this technique offers, among them...
•Enhancing digestion and detoxification
HOW CONSTITUTIONAL HYDROTHERAPY WORKS
The contrast between the application of hot and cold towels—and the body’s response to these changes in temperature—is what makes constitutional hydrotherapy so effective. Heat dilates the blood vessels, cold contracts them. The alternating dilation and contraction creates a pumping action that improves circulation through the blood vessels to the skin and internal organs. With improved circulation comes a reduction in congestion and inflammation. I have even used this treatment for patients with pneumonia as one component of an overall treatment program.
Constitutional hydrotherapy helps the body...
•Fight off infection
•Clear mucus from deep in the lungs
HOW TO DO IT
You can do hydrotherapy at home by yourself, although it is easier (and less messy!) with the help of someone who can place the hot and cold towels on various parts of your body. Note that this method works for all conditions mentioned. Here’s how...
•Lie on your back in bed or on the floor if it is comfortable for you. (If you are worried about getting the bed wet, use a water-resistant covering on top of the bed.)
•Have the helper cover your bare chest and abdomen with one thick (bath) towel that has been soaked in hot water and wrung out (as hot as is tolerable). The towel should be moist. Be careful not to burn your skin.
•Cover the hot wet towel with a dry towel.
•Place a blanket on top of the dry towel. Remain bundled up in these layers for five minutes.
•Next, replace the hot towel with thin towels that have been soaked in cold water (as cold as you can tolerate) and wrung out—the towels should still be moist.
•Cover the cold towels with a dry towel and the blanket. This phase of the treatment should take about 10 minutes, the time it takes for the towels to reach body temperature.
•Turn over onto your stomach and repeat the process, this time with the towels placed on your back. Again, five minutes of hot-towel treatment should be followed by 10 minutes covered with thin, cold towels.
•After the treatment, drink at least eight ounces of water and rest for at least 15 minutes. The water helps flush out any toxins that have been released during the treatment. Rest allows you to readjust to room temperature before standing up.
If you have an acute condition such as bronchitis, do constitutional hydrotherapy once or twice daily. For a chronic condition such as arthritis or for detoxification, use constitutional hydrotherapy five times weekly. Constitutional hydrotherapy can be used safely by patients of all ages. However, consult with a holistic physician when using hydrotherapy with an infant, when pregnant or if you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or asthma.
WRITTEN BY: Simply Earth Visit www.simplyearth.net or call 855.60EARTH for more!
|Thursday, November 3, 2011|
|Gut it Out – It Will Pay Off|
“I really can’t say that what you’ve shown me, Bob, does anything for me,” stated the prospect. “In fact,” he went on, “your choice of colors is nowhere as extensive as your competitor’s, who was just in here this morning, by the way.”
Bob hated this type of prospect; the type that raises a hundred objections that he had to beat down one after another. And for some reason, the past five months had been filled with them.
“I didn’t know you were looking at anyone else,” responded Bob, as he thought to himself what a ridiculous way this was to make a living.
“Well, it’s what I should do. And I’ll tell you this now, right upfront; her prices are extremely favorable. I doubt you could beat them.”
Here goes, thought Bob, start knocking them down. “Let’s talk about the colors; our colors are by far…”
Two hours later, Bob crawled out of the office with a signed purchase order. Totally exhausted, he got into his car, called the office, and read them the order.
“Good work,” the sales manager responded, “but how come he’s ordering less than before?”
“The competition has a proposal on the table,” responded Bob, “and you wouldn’t believe what I had to do to get what we did.” With a feeling of dread he added, “I’m going back next week to see if I can knock the competitor out of the picture completely.”
No one can fault Bob for his dedication to task. And most salespeople and sales managers would agree that in the above story (which happens in “real life” every day), there was nothing else to do but “gut it out.”
Bob was so afraid that he was going to lose the client that he was prepared to do just about anything to keep him. Bob had the guts to spend another two hours butting heads, but he did not have the guts to find out if he really needed to do this.
Picture this alternate scenario: Before Bob launched into meeting his prospect’s every objection, he could have done something very simple. He could have said, “You might not realize what you are telling me; I want to make sure that I have it right. The competition has more colors, their price is good, they were here this morning. I guess it’s over for me. When you gave the order to the salesperson this morning, was she excited?”
And then wait for a response from the prospect, no matter how long it takes.
Using this approach of ‘taking a sale away,’ taking yourself out of the running, and then waiting for a response from the prospect/customer, takes real guts.
NOTE: This is not a technique for those with weak knees. In order for this technique to work, you really have to be prepared to “walk out the door” and not look back. If you cannot do this, this technique will blow up in your face. However, if you are truly prepared to walk away, this technique is incredibly powerful at eliminating objections.
There are a multitude of words and gestures that you can use to “take it away” depending on what you are trying to accomplish and with whom.
Customers and prospects alike are famous for stating, in so many words, that the other guy can do better for less. In essence, you want to mirror back to them what they just told you and then state (not ask), “You did place the order.” Then do not speak until you get a response. Either the order has been placed or not. If the order has been placed, more likely than not it is over for you. If it hasn’t, then you deserve to know the reasons why. And when you find out why, you are now learning what you need to do to get the order or keep the order.
Prospects who have given all the indications of being ready to buy, but who just resist closing, are especially susceptible to having it taken away. When dealing with this type of prospect, you need to be firm. “Bill, you have given every indication that you are ready to buy. But for some reason you just aren’t sharing; you keep stopping short. I think I should leave.” Then wait for a response.
MORAL: Take it away ONLY if you are prepared to walk out the door. Once you take it away, wait for a response regardless of how long it takes. Gutting it out will pay off!
Greta Schulz is Sales Consultant for Businesses and Entrepreneurs. For more Sales Training Tips and Tools, please sign up for her free newsletter at http://SchulzBusiness.com or get more Free Sales Tips.com at http://FreeB2BSalesTips.com
|Tuesday, August 23, 2011|
|The Truth About ProfNet and HARO: Every Trade Has Its Tools|
Public relations professionals can make media contacts very easily if they know how to create angles that would spark a journalist’s interest. Usually, once you’ve worked with an editor or producer, you can re-approach them if you have another newsworthy angle to pitch them. Just make sure it’s topical and engaging and not just you hoping for a favor. That’s not how the media rolls!
Monitoring queries form services such as ProfNet, HARO, Sourcebottle and using social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter are your best bet to hitting media targets. Bullseye for ProfNet. Bullseye for HARO. Those are the best resources out there. How do I know? Happy clients!
Someone once told me, “Advertising you pay for; PR you pray for.” I’ll leave that to religious and Biblical scholars. Just know if you’re holding a media conference for a client, make sure the President isn’t in town because they will surely be heading where he’s going and not to Rock Hard Taco, a fast food eatery by the beach in Boca Raton where we’re planning a media event to introduce their delicious food and meet the owner.
So you think you might be able to create an angle that would get your media contacts to want to “cover” your clients? Let me illustrate with a client example, in this a case, a sunscreen product. There must be 100 different sunscreens out in the market and on the shelves. What makes your client’s sunscreen different from the rest and why would it be a story?
Dig into the background of the inventor, in this case, the most respected name in Israel, Dr. Fischer. Gather testimonials about the product (Dr. Fischer’s ULTRASOL® Sunscreen), create events, get involved with charities, do giveaways and contests. This is all great to keep a buzz but an article written about the product and who’s behind the product is what a PR pro wants.
To continue the client example, Dr. Fischer’s sunscreen product has components for age-control, sunburn defense, antioxidants and a dehydration defense. These are all components that are backed by scientific research, which add validity to pitching stories to the medical trades, blogs, new product listings, etc.
A ProfNet query comes thru from a blogger interested in doing a giveaway. The first thing to do is check their Google ranking. Usually a 3 or more ranking proves to be worth sending samples to in return for a review. Then, I explain to my client that it’s a terrific way to go viral and generate more media review resource. I write to the blogger and inquire about where most of their readers are located—what’s their following, etc. Soon, I find out the blogger was based in Florida with a strong following in sunny Florida. The sunscreen capital. Bullseye! Dr. Fischer’s products are sold throughout Florida. After some back and forth about a review, it turns out the blogger shared that she was recently diagnosed with skin cancer.
Bingo. We ship samples to her and she loves the product and all that it offers for her condition. We now have another story!
Yes, after being a publicist for so many years, I do have contacts—but using ProfNet and HARO keeps a steady flow of new contacts. And while I use both services, I must say that ProfNet is my preferred of these handy “Tools of the Trade.”
Adrienne has spearheaded successful PR campaigns such as grand openings, film festivals, book campaigns, new product launches, placing expert speakers and more for clients world-wide. TransMedia Group is a multi-lingual firm serving clients worldwide since 1981.
|Thursday, August 11, 2011|
|Chamber Breakfast Events - The Value Within|
This morning I attended The Greater Boca Raton monthly breakfast networking meeting. The room was packed, there must have been 250 people in attendance to hear the Mayor of Boca Raton speak. At my table there were 2 financial planners, 1 attorney, 1 computer repair company, 1 business coach and 1 digital media professional. We all interacted with one another quite nicely and I am setting up a meeting with the Coach as well as the attorney. We all exchanged business cards at the table and had an opportunity to give one another our "30 second elevator introduction".
Prior to the breakfast I was able to network with several people I know (including several Residential and Commercial Realtors) and gave out numerous business cards to other individuals who I had not previously met.
One of the most fulfilling parts of the event was when there was an announcement regarding a new program for 11-18 year olds which help them develop their entrepreneurial skills. Upon hearing about the creation of this program (Called "YEA" - Young Entrepreneurial Association) I immediately signed up to volunteer. I'm really excited to volunteer for this project which, it's my understanding is, a United States Chamber of Commerce Project.
I'm often asked whether attending these functions will result in increased business opportunities for me. This meeting is somewhat similar to the other Chamber Breakfast's I have been attending over the past few years. The answer is simple -- yes, it's very well worth the time and effort. I have met some extremely interesting individual and business leaders and have made some genuine friends during these events. I actually look forward to these networking occasions and am getting ready to sign up for next month's breakfast!
Rick Schuster, Licensed Real Estate Broker - Jaycee Realty, Inc., Licensed Title Insurance Agent - Home Guardian Title, Inc., Licensed Mortgage Broker - Leading Edge Mortgage Corp
20283 State Road 7 - Ste 400
Boca Raton, FL 33498
561-206-2835 - via Google Voice
|Thursday, July 21, 2011|
|How to Create a Logo for FREE (W/O Having Expensive Software or a Designer)|
As a designer myself, I would recommend hiring a professional to create your logo or business cards or flyers, but sometimes you just have to get things done on the cheap – you know, like when you have no money to spend. So in those desperate situations, you have to find a solution for your problem that you can do yourself; and in the situation of creating a logo without having access to Photoshop or a graphic designer, I found just the solution. HP loves to create software and hardware that allows the small business to do just about anything from creating rocket ships to pretty darn good logos or stationery etc – And Marketsplash.com is no exception. If you want to create a logo for free, this website is the place. It allows you to browse from a large database of images organized by category, and then add text and even change the colors on the image and the text and lay it out on a Photoshop’ish program, which doesn’t require an iq comparable to Einstein to use. You can then download the finished logo free of charge and use it anywhere you want, and HP offers a variety of products you can print your logo on such as appointment cards, newsletters, business cards or flyers, which they are more than happy to provide you for just a small fee. I have taken the liberty of going through the process of creating my own logo and taking screenshots along the way, to show you how easy it is to have your own bonafide and somewhat professional (would be much better of course if we designed it for you ;) LOGO….
- Go to the Marketsplash.com website. There are also free templates to create a free brochure, loyalty card, appointment card, business card, flyer, or newsletter. But for the purpose of this article click on ‘LOGO’.
- You are now taken to a page with tons of clip art which is organized by category. BEWARE… Most of this clipart is a bit cheesy and I definitely try to avoid using clipart in my graphic designs at all costs. But with logos, you are trying to go for a simple design which is catchy and professional and relevant to your business, which also has a good color scheme. If you have a bit of creativity and a good eye for what looks good, you can probably find a piece of clipart, uggghh, that isn’t half bad, which you can use to create a nice and professional logo (of course if you hired us, we could make something far more professional and eye catching, tailored for your company and exact needs - & did I mention we are also very affordable too? ;)
- Find a clipart design that you like and click on ‘Start Now’. You are now brought to a web based program kind of like Photoshop or Illustrator, but with out all the bells and whistles and much easier to use. There are 3 text boxes you can use to type your own text and then change the font, the color, the size etc. Position the text wherever you want. You can also click on the clipart and change the size or the color of it. If there is more than one color in the clipart, click on the exact color you want to change and it will start blinking – you can then go up to the color selection tool and either click on the drop down menu to choose a color, or click on the eye dropper and then click anywhere on your document to sample a specific color.
- Once you have created your knock em dead stone cold logo, which is in your opinion almost as good as one we could have created for you, go ahead and save your design, and then click on ‘Complete’.
You will now be taken to a form where they want your information. Don’t be too concerned – this is just modern day business practices. Plus, giving them an email address and password allows you to log back into this site again and have access to your logo and make changes to it, or create a new one (you don’t have to opt in to their marketing mumbo jumbo emails to get your logo either).
CONGRATULATIONS!!! You have just created your very own FREE logo. You can download it in either jpeg, png, or pdf format. I recommend getting one in jpeg for websites. One slight problem though ---- The image is huge. You will now have to find a way to re-size your image for use on the web (the subject of another article) – you could also hire us to do it for you ;)
WRITTEN BY: Jared Braverman from Sound Proof Design. Sound Proof Design is a professional Graphic Design Firm located in Boca Raton, FL. Sound Proof also does website design, SEO (Search Engine Optimization – increase visitors to a website), and Photography Services.
|Monday, July 18, 2011|
|Letting the presentation get in the way of the Sale|
Salespeople devote tremendous amounts of time and energy in creating compelling presentations. The problem is, most of this is more impressive to you and your company then the prospect.
If you are a salesperson I can guarantee you are not happy with this article so far. And I bet as a manager or executive, you are scratching your head. Better yet I bet you’re saying, well in some businesses that’s true but in ours, the better our presentation, the better our chance of getting the business….wrong!
Presentations are certainly important in some aspects. Some sort of demonstration of the usage of your product or service is imperative at some point. The problem is in most of our organizations we put so much time and energy into creating a way to tell the prospect why they should buy our product, we often forget to find out why they would. The presentation of our best “features and benefits” is an assumption that what we perceive as our real assets may mean nothing to them! (remember what happens when we assume!)
What’s more, your competitors are doing the exact same thing –giving the same kind of presentations and making the same claims. If you are saying to yourself right now, “well Greta’s right but we’re different and our competitors can’t claim they do what we do” then answer me this, if you are so unique and your presentation is so compelling then why aren’t you closing every deal? Better yet, if it’s that good, fire all of your sales people and just send you presentations to every decision maker in town!
The old adage of sales was, cold call someone and browbeat them to get the appointment. On the appointment ask a few questions but then get right down to your presentation. Once they see that, they’ll be sold. Trial close or send them a proposal and wait. And how’s that workin’ for ya?
So what needs to be done to make your presentations great? All of the pre-work before you present anything. And maybe after the pre-work you will decide not to present at all. Really.
Here are some very important things to do when selling. First, stop selling! What? Yes that’s right. What I mean by that is the old adage I talked about earlier is typically what we see. Stop that now.
Begin with prospecting through referrals. Cold calling is typically not your best source for good prospects. Networking and referrals are the #1 way to get to the right person and get there quicker.
When you do get someone on the phone begin with the end in mind. Let them know what you do and why you are calling them. Do some research ahead of time so you will be able to develop good questions. Let them know If at the end of your conversation it makes sense to get together then you can set that up, but if it doesn’t that’s ok too and you can end the call there.
If you get an appointment go into the appointment armed with your research on the organization and some thought provoking big-picture questions that you have prepared.
A pen and pad is all you will need here. After asking those questions and really learning about their issues, summarize those to make sure you have understood them, have a discussion upfront about the investment it might take to solve the issues they have and if you can present a viable solution, what would happen at that point.
Here is where you can present but only present the solutions to the issues they have, not everything that you do. People are “selfish”. I don’t mean that negatively but they just look inwardly first at how they will be affected with this solution. If there is some wonderful feature that isn’t necessarily wonderful to them, don’t present it. The more you present, the more they have to go back and think about how they might use it. There will begin your long selling cycle scenario.
So spend more time in preparing for each call and do the real work at the beginning. Don’t depend on some great “dog and pony show” presentation to do the work for you. Most people know who they will choose before they even see the presentations. Make your best impression from the great questions you ask, not your company boasting.
WRITTEN BY Greta Schulz is the President of Proactive Training and Consulting, A West Palm Beach based sales training company. For questions or comments; www.proactivetraining.biz
|Tuesday, July 12, 2011|
|Telling Isn’t Selling|
Jim arrived at the office of Bob Simmons, President of the ABC tool and Dye Company early so he could sit in the parking lot and review in his head what he wanted to say. Jim practiced each step of his presentation in his head and exactly what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it. He knew that his power point slides were perfectly in order and were just want he needed to land this account. He knew what this company needed because he has called on other companies like this and helped them just like he can help this one. Jim took a deep breath and walked into the building, “I’ve got this one down” he thought and proceeded in the door.
Once the pleasantries were over Jim got right down to business. “Mr. Simmons, I have been with my company for the past 3 years and our company has been in business for over 50 years. We are the leader in our industry and have worked with lots of companies like yours and have been able to meet the needs that you have”.
“Well, that’s why I agreed to meet with you, Jim. We do have a need for a product like yours and this might be a good fit” stated Bob Simmons.
“I’m glad you did” Jim said proudly. “Our product line has the best reputation for least failures on the job therefore downtime is at the lowest in the industry which will keep you up and running more efficiently”.
“Great Jim, but our service department isn’t sure if they can retrofit your model into our existing equipment”.
“Oh I wouldn’t worry about that we do it all of the time and with companies who have bigger problems then yours. As a matter of fact I brought a power-point presentation that I believe will help you understand why we’re number one in the industry”.
After the presentation, Mr. Simmons said, “Thanks for the presentation Jim but I am still a little concerned about our existing equipment and the retrofit we’ll need to do. We can’t afford any downtime with the change or production could be compromised”.
“Mr. Simmons, I understand that is a concern but we do this all of the time and don’t worry we can handle it.”
Fifteen minutes later Jim said goodbye to Mr. Simmons and promised him a proposal in a few days. After he left, Mr. Simmons buzzed his assistant and said when that proposal comes in just round file it.
What happened? Jim ignored the real issue that Mr. Simmons wanted addressed and kept telling him what he felt was important. Guess what? No one cares what you think is important, only as it applies to them. Jim missed lots of opportunity to really deeply understand what his prospects issues were and assure him that not only he could solve the problem but help Mr. Simmons understand how.
The result? Jim may very well have the best product for Mr. Simmons but he didn’t see it that way. When a prospect gives you a hint of a need address that need by asking really good pointed questions for example;
Tell me more about the retrofit concern?
Have you had that issue in the past in looking to change products?
What did you do it address it at that time?
How did it effect production and at what cost?
These types of questions would not only have given Jim a real insight to the issue it would have also given Mr. Simmons confidence that Jim knew and could address HIS issue.
Quick wrap up;
- Stop telling about how great you and your company are (no one cares)
- Ask what some of their concerns are and then dig deeper to truly understand the issue
- Don’t be so quick with a solution, even if it is correct, you haven’t earned the right so early in the process to give one.
- Listening is you best sales tool, not your product knowledge
WRITTEN BY Greta Schulz is the President of Proactive Training and Consulting, A West Palm Beach based sales training company. For questions or comments; www.proactivetraining.biz
|Monday, June 20, 2011|
|Ethical Direct Marketing|
We all know it’s tough out there. We want people to take notice of our marketing materials, open them – read what we’re mailing…. and we know that sometimes shock value works. Does anything go? Is that what we’ve come to in the world of marketing?
Not everyone agrees that marketers bear responsibility for what and how they sell. Obviously, the prospective buyer is free to check facts. But search the how-to literature of direct mail. It’s full of advice on building credibility, winning trust and giving readers information for taking immediate action. We urge readers to buy now. We provide great offers to entice them to do that.
As you decide how you want to move forward, here are six points to think about that I pulled out of USPS Deliver Magazine. When it’s time to finalize your offer and copy, these points may help your conscience.
- Does the small type contradict the large? Not all fly type is underhanded. Much of it is useful and appropriate. But when what’s buried in fly type is the antithesis of what’s conveyed in headlines, subheads and body copy, it suggests something about the overall integrity of the piece. Not to mention of the advertiser.
- How many weasels will you indulge? Here’s a revealing exercise: count the use of terms like “may,” “can,” “believed to,” “said to,” “no claim is made,” “not evaluated by,” “not intended to,” “not typical,” “may vary,” “not verified by” and so forth. See if the total falls within your personal limit.
- Get real. Come on. You know when “results may vary” means “works nine out of 10 times in properly conducted, controlled tests” vs. “works no better than you’d expect from randomness.”
- Does evidence back the claim? If your client and 1 million passionate customers assert, but cannot demonstrate, a claim — on demand and repeatedly — you have testimonials, but not evidence. Given the power of testimonials in direct mail, that’s good reason to check the evidence before using them.
- Do you use the product? Does the client? When a company selling a get-rich-quick scheme contacted me, I found it telling that none of their employees — even those who were great at selling the product on the phone — used the product themselves.
- Would you recommend the product to your kids? How about to your aging, fixed-income parents?
Most direct marketing is aboveboard and honorable. But, there are still some bad apples in the barrel who use deceptive marketing strategies to increase their business at the risk of others.
WRITTEN BY: Dale Filhaber, President of Dataman Group Direct Mail & Telemarketing Lists, a direct marketing company based in Boca Raton, Florida.
For further information, she can be reached at email@example.com.
|Sunday, January 23, 2011|
|A Plan for Economic Renewal|
Written By: Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber federation was tested like never before in 2010—a faltering economy, huge policy battles, and an aggressive campaign to vilify the business community, divide it against itself, and silence our voice in the political process. I’m pleased to say that by standing together and speaking with a united voice on the big issues, we made a tremendous impact. But our work is far from over—in 2011, we must redouble our efforts to revitalize the economy and put Americans back to work.
We’ve already observed the big changes that can take place in a single year. In January 2010, we worried about the possibility of a double-dip recession. Today, the state of American business has improved. This is due to both the impressive resilience of our economy and the enactment of the tax relief package in late December. For these reasons, the Chamber projects that the economy will enjoy solid growth in 2011.
Although our economy is improving, the recovery is fragile and we still face many significant challenges. Foremost among these challenges is unemployment, which has exceeded 9% for 20 consecutive months. That hasn’t happened since the 1930s. Next, our nation must contend with unprecedented competitive challenges as other countries race to implement pro-growth reforms. Finally, America faces unsustainable long-term financial burdens—massive deficits, runaway entitlements, and unfunded public employee obligations at all levels of government.
Overcoming these challenges requires a multifaceted approach. Four areas will be among the business communities’ priorities in 2011—reining in excessive regulations, expanding American trade, rebuilding our economic foundation, and reducing deficits and debt.
First, we must restrain excessive regulation while reforming the regulatory process. At the federal level alone, regulations already fill 150,000 pages of fine-print text and cost Americans $1.7 trillion a year. In recent years, we have seen an explosion of new regulatory activity that is simply unprecedented. This regulatory tsunami poses, in our view, the single biggest challenge to jobs, our global competitiveness, and the future of American free enterprise.
Second, we will fight to advance a pro-America trade agenda with the goal of doubling exports in five years and creating millions of new jobs. Many Americans, regrettably, think that trade agreements kill jobs—that foreign investment and immigration threaten our national sovereignty and U.S. jobs. To change these misperceptions, we’ll soon launch a major initiative to educate citizens and policymakers on trade that will clearly link global engagement to American jobs.
Third, we must make it a priority to rebuild the country’s economic foundation. Roads, bridges, rail and mass transit networks, airports, and air transport systems must be modernized. Broadband capacity, power generation, and water supplies must be expanded. At the same time, we must recommit ourselves to developing our human capital by reforming education and training programs.
Last, businesses, like all Americans, must do their part to help address another defining challenge of our times—the expansion of government spending and entitlements, and with it, the explosion of government debt. Conventional wisdom says that no effort to address deficits will be considered until after the 2012 elections. We can’t wait that long. At the very least, a serious down payment on bringing deficits and debt under control should be made this year. The Chamber will support congressional efforts to reduce spending, even if we don’t like all the details.
These are challenging times and I can’t thank you enough for your continued support of this organization. Our strength doesn’t reside in a building made of marble and stone—it comes from our network of state and local chambers and the grassroots activism of their members. If, in the days ahead, the Chamber federation remains united, there is no limit to what we can achieve on behalf of our members.
The challenges facing us this year are big—but so are the opportunities. Throughout it all, the business community will lead the way.
|Thursday, December 9, 2010|
|Investing in Bonds for Retirement Income, Where do I start?|
Retirement means stop working and start living off of your investments. However, what are those investments and more importantly, can we count on them to meet our goals? Where does your income come from now? Will this income be steady during your retirement? Probably not. Most likely, your current income stream is coming from your 40 hour a week job. Where will your income come from later, during retirement?
According to a survey by Merrill Lynch, 53% of affluent respondents claim that they are worried about losing their assets*. Americans 50 and older now represent nearly 30% of all delinquencies and foreclosures nationwide and are in fear of losing their nest egg. Retiree’s need steady income and many have a fear that their income isn’t as steady as it once was. In fact 23% of Americans have postponed paying their bills for fear of not having enough money later.
So now you are retired. Ask yourself, “Will your retirement assets last throughout your life span?” How could they if many Americans have already withdrawn funds from their retirement accounts early. IRA, 401k, 403b, whatever it is one may have, those accounts are intended to be used on retirement. When you withdraw early, not only are you penalized, but you will not have it later when you truly need it.
Don’t be foolish, plan for retirement! Many retirees’ have not saved for their retirement and need to make up for loss of income. One can do this with corporate, government and municipal bonds because bonds are used for a current income stream. When one needs a steady and reliable income stream, bonds could be the way to go.
WRIITEN BY: Bob Child, Boca Raton Wealth Manager. Visit www.ChildWealthManagement.com for more information.
*Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly Survey Finds New Retirement Sensibilities and Priorities Emerging Among Affluent Americans, Merrill Lynch Affluent Insights Quarterly/BofA, 1/14/10; 3 Ways Baby Boomers and Seniors are Coping with Recession, US News and World Report Jan 2009
By investing in bonds you may be subjected to price volatility based on fluctuations in issuer and credit quality. When investing in bonds, you are subject, but not limited to, the interest rate, inflation and credit risks associated with the bonds. Bonds may be worth less than original cost upon redemption or maturity.
|Monday, November 29, 2010|
|Oh, My Aching Back!|
More than 100 million Americans suffer from lower-back pain, and nearly 25 billion dollars is spent in search of relief annually. A 2003 study shows that massage therapy produces better results and reduces the need for painkillers by 36 percent when compared to other therapies, including acupuncture and spinal manipulations*.
Therapeutic massage can indeed be an effective way to ease the pain of a wide variety of spinal conditions including: muscle tension, spasms, inflammation, aches, stiffness and pain. A skilled massage therapist will knead, rub and manipulate the affected muscles to increase blood flow (circulation) throughout the body. This will deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and helps eliminate any acids or other waste products that accumulates in the affected area. The outcome is pain relief.
WRITTEN BY: Michael Church, www.touchofelements.com/bocaraton
At Elements Therapeutic Massage, our therapeutic approach is designed to match you with the therapist and the specific technique that’s best for your unique health and wellness situation. We also use a proprietary numbering system that indicates the level of work a therapist does, which is very important when dealing with back pain.
*Annals of Internal Medicine, June 2003
|The Holiday Brush Off|
Maureen is making her calls to potential prospects to begin to fill her calendar with appointments. She has spoken to lots and lots of people and with an agreement of interest in her product she asks for the appointment. “Well Maureen, I think it might make sense to talk further. Why don’t you call me after the holidays and we can get together then…”
Maureen is feeling excited with all of the interest but a bit frustrated with the procrastination. She speaks to her manager and others on her team and they say, “oh yeah, that’s par for the course this time of year. That’s just the way it is”.
What!! I don’t know about you but I am already getting booked up for January and beyond. If I waited until after the first of the year to book appointments, I wouldn’t be working very inefficiently. I also am going to guess that with the level of business executives who are reading this publication, If you looked at your blackberry or whatever form of calendar that you use, I would bet a million bucks (OK not really since this is in print) that you have at least a half a dozen appointments already set well into 2008.
So why am I pointing this out? Because if you are selling anything or even trying to make an appointment for another reason and someone asks you to call after the first of the year, are you accepting this blow off?
Here is how you need to handle this call. When you get to the point in the conversation to ask for an appointment and the prospect says, “you know, that sounds good, why don’t you call me after the holidays and we’ll set something up”, If it were me I would say,” I appreciate that Bob, but it’ll be so crazy after the first of the year with all of our calendars filling up, let’s go ahead and set something now so we can have it already done”. At this point, if Bob still asks to have you call later, I would say, “I’ve got to tell you, Bob, when someone tries to make appointment with me and I am really not interested in meeting, I find a reason to put it off and the holidays are what I use this time of the year as a believable excuse. Please be clear, if you don’t feel like we have some things to talk about that could really be worth our while, let’s just say that now and not set anything. I am a big girl Bob, I can take it. But if we do feel like we want to talk further, let’s go ahead and set it, either way is fine with me. So Bob, what do you think?”
Some of you are not feeling good about this answer because you believe that you then lose your opportunity. Guess what, you really didn’t have one anyway. Once you get real with a prospect and they understand where you are coming from they will set the appointment, or they will respect you for being honest about it. Wouldn’t you?
WRITTEN BY: Greta Schulz, President of Schulz Training. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.schulztraining.com
|Wednesday, November 17, 2010|
|You’ve Got a Video, Now What? Exploring All the Places You Can Showcase Your Production|
You may have chosen to produce a video for a specific reason—maybe a trade show, a presentation or even a fundraising event. While your initial purpose for you video may have passed, you can still get of mileage out of it. There are plenty of online outlets to showcase your video, and many of them are free! Just take a few moments to sign up to these sites and you’re well on your way to promoting your businesses through video.
YouTube is the grandfather of online video. Not only does it give you a free place to host your video, it also lets you embed it in other places, like your own website. YouTube has its own search engine, so by tagging your video with keywords anyone interested in a topic related to your business can find you with ease. YouTube also keeps track of how many views your clip gets; whether it’s viewed through YouTube itself or it’s embedded in another site. Brilliant!
Twitter now has a sister site called TwitVid (visit www.twitvid.com), which is dedicated to the videos of Tweeters. When you upload a video on TwitVid, it generates an automatic Tweet directing your followers to view your video. Like YouTube, TwitVid has its own search engine so users can browse videos using keywords.
Facebook lets you add videos to your personal profile or business fan page with ease. What makes Facebook great is that you can “tag” your Facebook friends in your videos. By tagging them, (even if they don’t actually appear in the video) your video appears on your friends’ profiles, meaning their Facebook friends will see it as well. It’s an amazingly efficient way to get exposure.
Vimeo offers very high resolution playback but doesn’t allow commercial content. However, if you’ve sponsored an educational video or you’re a non profit, Vimeo is another great online outlet. Their Basic membership is free and their Plus membership (which features higher quality video and unlimited uploads) has an annual fee.
No matter what original format your video is in, always, ALWAYS ask your editor to compress it for you for web use. You’ll be glad you did.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Boynton Beach, FL, United States
Plum Productions is headed by award-winning producer Jennifer Seremetis. Jennifer has worked as a television professional for a decade. She’s written and produced projects for Bentley Motors, Cotton Incorporated, Nissan and MGM Mirage in Las Vegas. Jennifer’s projects have taken her all over the United States, from Boston to the Big Island. She has interviewed many notable persons including former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, racing legend Derek Bell and Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart. Jennifer can be reached at email@example.com.