|Friday, December 13, 2013|
|Quick & Useful Tips for Creating Compelling Direct Mail Copy|
Direct mail continues to work for those businesses who do it right. The mailing list, the creative, and the offer are the “Big 3” you need to get right.
It’s not easy to create direct mail copy that works. We can learn by trial and error or we can simply go with what works.
These tips will help you trim your copy and make it more effective.
- Know your objective and have a clear call to action for the reader (e.g. Call 1-800-XXX-XXXX today…or Order today for your Free Gift).
- Always include a P.S. Many people read the P.S. first, so don’t waste it. It always lifts response.
- Create a sense of urgency.
- Read your copy out loud and get rid of all the extra words
that you don’t use when you talk. “That” is the most overused word – it can almost always be eliminated.
- It’s OK to start a sentence with “and” or “but.”
- Keep sentences short.
- Use bullets with active words. We’ve all learned to skim. Make it easy for your reader to read & understand your message and act on it quickly
For more information about Direct Marketing Lists or Direct Mail response, please visit the Dataman Group website, e-mail email@example.com or call the Dataman Group office at (561) 451-9302.
Dataman Group has been a member of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce for 27+ years.
|Monday, December 2, 2013|
|Are We Looking Through Our Own Glasses?|
There is a glass sitting on a table with water filled halfway up the glass. Some see the glass half full, some half empty. Which is correct? Neither. Both. This old saying is a terrific illustration of seeing things through your own filter. Most things in life are subjective, merely subjective. When you hear a salesperson say, “I had a great meeting and this guy is very interested. I feel like it’s 95% closed”. You analyze the account yourself and realize it really wasn’t qualified properly, your salesperson didn’t discuss the dollars it would take to get the job done and most importantly, he isn’t truly the decision maker. You would put a 50/50 chance on this at best.
The salesperson was bonding with the guy. They talked baseball for 25 minutes of the meeting, then laughed about their toddlers and how into the team they are already. This convinced him that he would buy. On the other hand, You feel since the proper questions weren’t asked and the proper presentation wasn’t done, it is bound for failure or luck, alone. Who is right, who is wrong? No one really knows which makes forecasting pretty difficult and illustrates the point that we see things the way we see them.
Why do they see this sales call so differently? Mostly it is because of those glasses. The sales guy sees the bonding as a huge buying sign because that is what he looks for when he buys. The sales manager sees the technique of the call and without the proper steps it can‘t work except for luck. He is a guy that doesn’t believe in luck, he believes in fact and process. All of the tees need to be crossed and the I’s dotted then and only they will buy.
So who is correct? Not that there is necessarily a right answer besides the fact that everyone sees things very different. How important is that to know? Well let’s take this from a few angles. First, as a sales manager. Do you see how an enthusiastic salesperson can paint a picture so rosey that you have it practically booked and it isn’t even close? Or a salesperson says the prospect doesn’t like her, but really she is calling on a quiet, deep-thinker type and he was just going through the questions he felt were important, quietly and consciously. Actually he had all intentions in buying the product but the glasses she sees through is, “he doesn’t like me” which to her means, no sale.
As a salesperson, we do this most often in the presentation stage. We give all of the “features and benefits” of the product as we see them or worse as someone in corporate decided the benefits should be.
This reminds me of a car sales encounter I had years ago. I was looking for an SUV. After looking at several of the “this car reminds me of something that totes a small village” type, I looked at a smaller version. I began telling this salesmen a little about my situation. He obviously had some training because he did ask me a few questions. “Is anyone in your family tall?” No, no one’s tall” I curiously answered while walking toward the car. I got in the car to drive and he proudly started telling me about the 12 extra inches of headroom that this car had as opposed to the other I had been looking at.
He asked me the question, but didn’t truly listen to the answer because someone in “Marketing felt this was an important feature”.
Back to our rose colored glasses, apparently his were made at the big and tall shop.
Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For more sales training tips and tools, please sign up for her free tips at www.schulzbusiness.com or join her new online sales training course at www.b2bsalesplaybook.com.
|Monday, November 25, 2013|
|Give a Like to Give Back|
With the holiday season approaching, it’s not only a time for year-end reviews and planning, but also a time to give back to the community and to those less fortunate. From canned food collections to toy drives to monetary donations, there are many ways to turn this hectic time of year into something so much more meaningful.
This year, following an incredible presentation from James S. Gavrilos, Executive Director of Boca Helping Hands, a community-based 501© (3) organization that provides help for people in crisis situations including meals, the Tilson PR team jumped at the opportunity in giving back to this group. Every week, the team volunteers at the Boca Helping Hands facility. From working the front desk to warehouse support to bagging groceries, the Tilson team is ready to roll up their sleeves to make a difference.
To continue their support, Tilson PR is launching a “Give a Like to Give Back” campaign on their Facebook page. For every new “Like” on the Tilson PR Facebook page, they will donate $1, up to $250, to Boca Helping Hands just in time for the holidays. Additionally, they are collecting canned goods for Boca Helping Hands annual Thanksgiving Basket Brigade – another simple yet meaningful way to make a difference.
Tilson PR is committed to not only our clients but also the betterment of our community. Never underestimate the power of people dedicated to accomplishing what others see as impossible. If Tilson can do it, so can you.
|Tuesday, October 29, 2013|
|Want To Succeed with B2B Telemarketing for Lead Generation? Start a Conversation.|
Many marketers have a hard time mastering the fine art of the conversation. We are so excited when we get our prospect on the phone we tend to flood them with information. We want them to know all about our business, our offering, and what we can do to help them reach their goals.
Sure that will give them a lot of details, but how sure are you that they want to know that much that quickly? Truth to be told, they will most likely hang up the phone.
That’s because we used a sales pitch on them. While a sales pitch is useful in guiding the conversation (and some companies insist that you follow the sales pitch verbatim), this rarely works in today’s highly information-dense audience. Our prospects are deluged with information every minute of their day. Adding a zippy telemarketing sales talk will not help matters. This may cause them to resent us, close their ears and their doors, and turn your B2B campaign into a failure.
Even if the prospect is willing (and they actually need our service), they will not buy from you because you just flooded their minds with gibberish. There’s got to be a better way….
According to Belinda Summers the easiest, most production solution is to simply start a conversation. It does not have to be long. It just has to be easy and social enough to compel your audience to listen to you. Remember, you are not telling them all the details yet. You are gauging reaction and feeling them out. For example:
You: Hello, I’m (your name) from (name of your company). Is this a good time to talk?
Prospect: Yes (or No).
You: I see. Well, I’ll make this short. IT companies call us to help increase their visibility in their target markets through offline means. May I know how your company is doing this?
This is a good conversation starter for appointment setting. It does not really need to tell everything at the start, but it does set the stage for you and your team to continue the conversation. Ask them the right questions and get the information you need. From what you learn here, you can then craft an effective solution to their problems. Just take it slowly and let the conversation take its course. Build rapport first and establish your relationship with them. The Master of Direct Mail Copywriting, Herschel Gordon Lewis always talks about building rapport to create that direct mail dialogue. Building rapport on the phone works the same way.
Once you have that rapport, it becomes much easier to ask your prospect for more information so you can ask for the sale. Don’t rush the process. B2B lead generation can take several calls or conversations before the final stage is reached.
For more information about B2B Lists or any Direct Marketing Lists, please visit the Dataman Group website, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Dataman Group office at (561) 451-9302.
|Friday, October 11, 2013|
|Type II Diabetes and The Holidays- A Survivors Guide|
With celebrities like Tom Hanks recent announcing that he has Type II Diabetes, this important health topic is continually being brought front and center in the news. According to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet from the American Diabetes Association, approximately 1.9 Million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year.
If you are among those who live with Type II Diabetes the holidays can be a significant challenge to navigate. Following a structured meal plan, and keeping portions under control at home or at an office party, takes diligence and a dedication in the face of tempting treats that come around once a year.
People who live with Type II Diabetes need to develop tools and strategies for healthy living. And, particularly at this time of year it is vital to be cognoscente of, and maintain, healthy weight levels. As little as a 5-10% decrease in body weight can improve insulin action, decrease fasting glucose concentrations, and reduce the need for some diabetes medications. Overweight individuals who lose as little as 10-15 pounds and exercise at least 30 minutes a day five times a week can reduce their risk of developing diabetes by nearly 60%.
Finding a weight loss or health program that is specifically designed for diabetes patients and is monitored by a physician is a key method of staying on track and accessing the guidance and tips to be ready for any situation with strategies for having fun while maintaining a health commitment.
A doctor-monitored weightloss and Type II Diabetes specific health program will provide you with more than a “do this.” It will give you the actual health reasons specific to your own situation that lets you make educated choices and smart selections.
Another good asset to keep in mind is the eating tools available through the American Diabetes Association such as the Create Your Plate plan. (http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/planning-meals/create-your-plate/) This gives you a quick visual on how to load your plate at any event and not deviate from your health objectives. Anyone with Type II Diabetes should familiarize themselves with carb counts and sugar counts on foods that will come into their daily schedule. Before you head to a party, a restaurant, a home gathering, etc. take a moment to do some research so that you will know what foods are OK and which to avoid. While sugary snacks may be an obvious problem, hidden sugars in sauces, salad dressings, holiday punch beverages, and the “white foods” of potatoes, breads, pasta, rice which turn to sugar when digested are all items that can negatively affect blood levels.
Again, working with a physician supervised program allows you to talk through upcoming pitfalls to have the understanding of how to not avoid gatherings, but rather to tailor them to your unique requirements. Go in with a game plan and you will be able to enjoy the holidays with a lot of fun—and, a lot of health!
About MediWeightloss- MediWeightloss offers physician supervised weightloss programs, including the Acute DM program that can help those with diabetes manage the disease through nutrition and fitness education as well as behavior modification. Acute DM can help people with Type II diabetes and prediabetes lose weight and lower their blood sugar levels.
555 No. Federal Highway Boca Raton, FL 33432 561 299 3881
|The Case for and Against Out of State Contractors|
The purpose of this article is to alert property owners who have suffered major property losses and to help them avoid the pitfalls of dealing with unscrupulous, unlicensed and uninsured Catastrophe Contractors (Cat contractors) whether they are local or from out of state.
This article exposes Cat Contractors who roll into town after a disaster seeking to take advantage of homeowners in an emotional state of mind and to land as many jobs as possible to justify their mobilization costs and profit expectations.
I am a local Disaster Restoration Contractor exclusively serving the South Florida market. As a professional in this industry, I enjoy helping people recover from a property loss due to floods, fire, windstorm, and mold. As a company we continually train and educate of our staff in the latest disaster restoration techniques.
There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes from helping restore people's property after they've experience a disaster. When your primary focus is looking after the customer's best interest and providing quality results the money comes relatively easy. As a member of the local community in South Florida, I have a service obligation to my customers and any individuals that might refer my company to friends, family and business associates. We do not go out of state unless specifically solicited by a friend, relative or business prospect.
Shortly after the flood crest in spring of 2011 I took a trip to Branson, Missouri to assist my nephew who is a very reputable local home builder in the areas where the floods occurred. The purpose of the trip was to provide expert advice on the technical aspects of drying out water damaged homes, mold remediation and also to seek work as a subcontractor. As my airplane approached my final destination I could see the flood gates of the TableRock Dam still open as they poured millions of gallons of water into the Taneycomo River. Once I was out of the airport I was astounded by the beauty of the hills, the 75 degree temperature and the quiet laid back atmosphere that is typical of a small rural town. You could hardly have guessed that such a disaster had occurred.
My nephew and I soon approached Foggy River Rd which is located just a few miles down the river from Table Rock Dam. By the time we got there the flood waters had already receded but we could still see the strong river flowing downstream. I was curious about the topography so I located it on Google Maps which immediately gave me a better perspective on the unfamiliar location. It was a very sad scene indeed. Many homes had suffered severe water damage .
As we drove along Foggy River Rd I saw the familiar sight of restoration trucks and trailers with crews already working on some of the water damaged homes. We also saw a significant number of residents taking matters into their hands and filling dumpsters quickly. They looked tired and clearly very upset with their flooded homes.
We arrived at our destination of a nice 4,000 sq ft river front chalet with four levels. Three levels had been completely flooded with muddy water, a true Category 3 flood. The house had had two 2 car garages front and back and the flooring was a mix of tile, carpet, and wood throughout the entertainment rooms. There were 14 rooms in this house that needed to be entirely gutted, cleaned, disinfected and thoroughly dried before any reconstruction could take place.
We knew that this particular homeowner (we will call him Mr. Jones) wanted an estimate. So we provided an estimate based on our knowledge of construction and utilizing Industry standard pricing matched to the area. The detailed 40 page itemized estimate came in north of $50,000.00 and included the demolition of all affected areas, cleaning, drying and remediation of all the mold that had been growing for a week and a half.
We met with the homeowner the next morning, gave him our background information, who we were, where we were from, why we were there (invited by my nephew the builder) and showed him our proposal. To my dismay Mr. Jones looked at my estimate and said,
"You will not be getting these figures anywhere around here."
I asked him what he meant and he replied that he had received an estimate from a contractor from Wichita, Kansas for $18,000.00 to do all the work. Mr. Jones then showed me the contractor's "estimate" which was presented to him a day earlier. I almost choked. It was a one page document in BIG BOLD letters titled "Pricing Guidelines" and the blanks were filled in by hand. As I read further into the document I saw the fine print at the bottom that said "This is not the final price. This is a price guideline which is based on preliminary visual observations."
Having seen this happen before I immediately had suspicions of what the Cat contractor was doing. I pointed out the fine print to the homeowner and he said,
"I understand but unfortunately we are not going to be able to sign up with you because we are not really sure."
I said, "Not a problem Mr. Jones, I thank you for the opportunity and good luck." I gave him a copy of my estimate and asked him to please keep it as a reference for what the proper indicated remediation would require. Our policy is honesty and consistency so we tell the customer up front what the job requires to remediate properly even if that means no signed contract.
The example above describes an all too common scenario in the industry that makes me extremely upset. The contractor appeared to present the customer with a low "guideline" estimate in order to get the contract. It will no doubt inevitably be raised. Unfortunately, by the time Mr. Jones realizes, it will likely be too late. The contractor was from out of state, but does that matter?
Catastrophe Contractors are a unique business segment that responds to major disasters across the country. Many are credible businesses with long established service records. Some however are not. Some of these contractors have no interest in future customers or sources of referrals because they move from one state to the next chasing the next fast cash opportunity. They are not licensed in many states that they travel into, and they are not trained nor certified on the type of work they do. The unethical Catastrophe Contractor will bill you for work they didn't do, will not deliver quality services or products, cut corners, and certainly do not guarantee their work. How can they when they're not around? They may also send the bill to the homeowner and if not paid will go to attorneys for collection or place liens on the property. Unscrupulous contractors are expert salesman capable of starring a homeowner in the eye and telling him or her everything that they want to hear so that they can get that customer to sign a contract.
RestoreMax is a legitimate Disaster Restoration contractor that has a name, reputation, and responsibility to our customers, employees and their families. In this case we had to walk away from helping another customer. One might ask "How can our price be so much higher than the other contractors?" The homeowner will no doubt reach his own conclusions as he sees the results. The truth is that nothing comes cheaply in the Disaster Restoration industry. It costs thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars to supply the infrastructure and man power available to attend a disaster zone. The old saying, "you get what you pay for," applies here.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has warned.
"Unfortunately, in disaster situations, certain individuals are often ready to take advantage of the misfortunes of others," said Garcia Szczech, FEMA federal coordinating officer.
"People should be especially alert," she said, "for phone or door-to-door solicitors who hand out flyers and promise to speed up the insurance or building permit process, and those who ask for large cash deposits or advance payments in full."
She added that some contractors may claim to be "FEMA certified," when in fact FEMA neither certifies nor endorses any business for repairs. FEMA provides the following guidelines for consumers including tips for hiring contractors and scam avoidance.
Consumers should be wary of contractors who:
· Lack proper identification;
· Go door-to-door;
· Charge fees to put customers on a list or to fill out forms;
· Offer to increase the amount of your disaster claim – usually a sure sign of a scam;
· Ask for cash up front.
Tips for hiring contractors include:
· Get a written estimate. Compare services and prices before making a final decision. Also, read the fine print. Some contractors charge a fee for a written estimate, which is often applied to the cost of subsequent repairs they make.
· Check references. Contractors should be willing to provide names of previous customers. Call several former customers who had similar work done to make sure they were satisfied with the job.
· Ask for proof of insurance. Make sure the contractor carries general liability insurance and workers' compensation. If the contractor is not insured, the homeowner may be liable for accidents that occur on the property.
· Use reliable, licensed contractors. Call your local Better Business Bureau (and other local sources) to inquire about a business before signing a contract.
· Insist on a written contract. A complete contract should state clearly all tasks to be performed, all associated costs and the payment schedule. Never sign a blank contract or one with blank spaces. Make sure a contract clearly states who will apply for the necessary permits or licenses. Have a lawyer review the contract if substantial costs are involved, and keep a copy for your records.
· Get guarantees in writing. Any guarantees made by the contractor should be written into the contract. The guarantee should state clearly what is guaranteed, who is responsible for the guarantee and how long the guarantee is valid.
· Obtain a local building permit, if required. Permits may be required for site work, including demolition and reconstruction. Contact your local government for permit information.
· Make final payments when the work is completed. Do not sign completion papers or make the final payment until the work is completed to your satisfaction. A reputable contractor will not threaten you or pressure you to sign if the job is not finished properly.
· Pay by check. Avoid on-the-spot cash payments. The safest route is to write a check to the contracting company. A reasonable down payment is 30 percent of the total cost of the project to be paid upon initial delivery of materials. Federal law gives consumers a three-day "cooling off" period for unsolicited door-to-door sales of more than $25.
· If necessary, cancel a contract in the proper manner. This should be done within three business days of signing. Be sure to follow the procedures for cancellation that are set out in the contract. Send the notification by registered mail with a return receipt to be signed by the contractor.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders and to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to recover from, and mitigate all hazards.
Ten Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed:
1. Take your time in choosing a contractor to repair your home.
2. Get estimates from several licensed, bonded contractors.
3. Check their credentials with your local Better Business Bureau or Home Builders Association.
4. Inspect contractors' licenses and proof of liability insurance.
5. Get a contract in writing.
6. Avoid paying money up-front. Some reputable contractors will require partial, up-front payment, but these pre-work payments shouldn't exceed the cost of materials or 20 percent of the total estimate.
7. Follow local building codes and inspection procedures.
8. If anyone performs unauthorized work on your house or property and demands payment, consider contacting local authorities.
9. Don't sign over an insurance settlement check to the contractor.
10. Immediately report any suspicious behavior to your local police, sheriff's department or your state's Department of Insurance.
|Wednesday, September 25, 2013|
|Sign of the times - efficient retail marketing|
Sign of the times - efficient retail marketing
By Mary Sol Gonzalez, owner, Image360-Boca Raton
No matter the state of the economy, growing your business can sometimes be a challenge. With the end of the year fast approaching, many organizations are busy setting their budgets for 2014. Marketing is an area of attention when considering where your dollars will be spent, as it accounts for most of the new business that comes through your door.
A good way to get more out of your marketing dollars is to shift them to a more efficient medium. For example, consider making more use of signage and less of print and broadcast media. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, no other form of advertising is as efficient and cost-effective as the humble, on-premises sign. Graphics help customers find your business and make purchasing decisions.
It’s not surprising how often business owners overlook their signs as an important part of customer service. While most recognize the importance of bringing customers to the front door, many don’t realize how much signs can contribute to their clients’ positive experience once they have entered the business. In addition to helping customers remember your location, products and services, signs and graphics can change consumers' purchasing decisions and buying habits. It’s all a matter of planning, good design and placement. Signs also play an important role in customer convenience and safety. Look around your business and consider whether your signs are boosting sales and delivering a better experience for customers.
Ideas to wake up your business and build sales
A study conducted by the University of San Diego reveals that the addition of new signage to previously unsigned buildings, and the replacement of existing signage typically can produce sales increases of 5 percent. Also, the study showed that adding a single, additional on-premises sign bumped sales up an average of 4.75 percent. It’s easy to see that a relatively small investment in new signs can produce a significant increase in revenue.
Well-placed and easy to read signs are a great way increase sales and impulse purchases. Today’s technologies provide creative new ways to grab a consumer’s attention, with options including:
Graphic elements — Full color digital graphics and dimensional elements are a great way to ensure that your sign draws attention. To keep a fresh look, changeable sign elements and temporary window signs work well.
Lightweight materials—Resources now make it safe and easy to suspend signs from the ceiling, catching the direct attention of your clients. Also, using floor graphics provides a fresh and exciting way to deliver your message. Don’t forget counter cards, lobby signs and other point-of-purchase materials.
Take your show on the road — Vehicle graphics are among the least expensive advertising options when you look at the cost per impression. Full-color digital wraps make this the most exciting new advertising medium in decades.
There are plenty of ways to stretch your marketing dollars and endless opportunities to maximize your businesses message with point-of-purchase displays, vehicle graphics and other on site signage. Contact your signage professional for some creative ideas.
Mary Sol Gonzalez is the owner of Image360 in Boca Raton, and she consults with businesses and organizations about their strategic marketing initiatives. Gonzalez has been helping businesses develop their signage and other graphic communications tools for more than five years. For information, visit the company’s website at www.image360bocaraton.com or email at email@example.com.
|Tuesday, August 20, 2013|
|Increase in Home Sales Means More New Prospects|
The number of new homeowner transactions keeps climbing.
In March 2013, there was a 2% increase. In April the increase ticked up to 2.3%
These are the highest increases we’ve seen in years!
One of the newspapers reported a 29% increase for April 2013 over April 2012. I was so excited about the increased new homeowner numbers they reported that I decided to run some counts in our own new home owner count system to see if they were right.
Comparing new homeowner transactions:
1/1/2013 through 5/30/2013 – 565,611
1/1/2012 through 5/30/2012 – 339,370
This increase in new homeowner quantity is a real boon for businesses that sell anything in the home industry, whether it be window treatments, water filters, closet upgrades, garage cabinets, pool, pest or lawn services. Insurance agents, financial planners, schools, hospitals and medical practices also benefit from new homeowner data.
When looking for new homeowner data list look for one that lets you select your data by dwelling unit type, home purchase price and date. The list should be a hotline file, offering updates on a weekly or monthly basis or ordered "as needed."
Blog written by Dale “DataDale” Filhaber, president of Dataman Group Direct in Boca Raton.
Dataman Group has been providing New Homeowner mailing lists since 1980 and is a 27 year member of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. Call the Dataman Group office at 561-451-9302 or e-mail Dale for more information.
|Tuesday, August 13, 2013|
|What do we do when potential prospects give us excuses?|
What do we do when potential prospects give us excuses?
Ashley, a sales representative for a regional software company, makes several calls a week to new potential prospects to request a meeting to demonstrate her product. She gets lots of voice mails, speaks to lots of gatekeepers and sends a lot of emails with no response.
Every once in a while – statically five out of 100 – she will reach a potential prospect live. When she does, she is so excited that she doesn’t even recognize the excuse.
There are several excuses that a prospect will give a salesperson. What is most interesting is that the salesperson will likely not see them as excuses and believe them.
There are some examples that are almost always an excuse and not the truth. Let’s look at them one at a time:
The excuse: “Why don’t you send me/email me something?”
The translation: “It’s easier to ignore you through email.”
If this prospect were truly interested, she would take at least a few minutes and talk to the salesperson right then, just to determine if there is a need.
The excuse: “I’m in a meeting.”
The translation: “I have no time to talk and I’m hoping this illusion of interruption will get you off of the phone quickly.”
I love this one! So, you are in an actual meeting in your office, you don’t know who’s calling, but you pick up the phone anyway? Seriously? Salespeople fall for this one all of the time! At this point, the salesperson keeps calling, but the prospect now knows the phone number through caller ID and will just avoid the call.
The excuse: “We don’t have a budget/money at this time.”
The translation: “I just don’t see the benefit, and having no money will make you go away, at least for a while.”
Money is an interesting thing. People will find money for what they determine will bring them value. We often blow this one by trying to quickly show how our product will save them/make them money. The response: Yeah, right! (It doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not; you can’t shove your idea of value down a throat on a phone call.)
The excuse: “Call me after the third quarter.”
The translation: “Wow! I just put you off for at least a few months.”
Salespeople like this one because it gives them something they can follow up on – at least in their mind. This is where followup, in my opinion, becomes stalking. The salesperson keeps calling when this date arrives, and the prospect will not even remember she told you to call, let alone meant it when she said it.
The excuse: “We’re good right now, but you can check back.”
The translation: See the previous translation.
I say gee, thank you so much for allowing me to check back! You must really like me/be interested, etc. (Yeah, right.)
The excuse: “I’ll think it over and let you know.”
The translation: “I have no intention of reaching back out to you, but I asked for the next move to be done by me.”
This is no move, but sales people happily agree and wait and wait. What’s funny is they would rather take any of these excuses than hear whatever the real truth is – most commonly a no.
If we, as salespeople, could get comfortable with asking right up front for a “no” as an option, we wouldn’t be wasting so much time, energy and our control of the sales process.
Greta Schulz is a sales consultant for businesses and entrepreneurs. For more tips and tools, or to ask her a question, go to Facebook.com/schulzbusiness or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Tuesday, August 6, 2013|
|Insurance Agents Need to Plan their Marketing Outreach for Open Enrollment|
Insurance Agents Need to Plan their Marketing Outreach for Open Enrollment
This is the time for Insurance Agents who sell supplemental medical insurance to plan their marketing outreach for the upcoming Open Enrollment period.
Medicare Open Enrollment starts on October 15th this year and runs through December 7th.
Consumers need to be aware that if they are “aging up”, they need to enroll in a plan by December 7th for coverage to begin on January 1st, 2014.This is also the time that consumers can switch between plans for the coming insurance year.
The world of Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap plans can be highly confusing for many seniors and the loved ones assisting them with their healthcare coverage choices. Consumers are also concerned about the changes that new healthcare policies will usher in and experts predict there will be a lot of movement as people check out the different policies.
The Turning 65 list allows Insurance Agents to target those Individuals who will be Turning 65 – the #1 prospect for supplemental medical insurance. The Turning 65 list is small, but mighty! The fact that the list is small gives Insurance agents a chance to really market the prospects wisely.
We recommend Insurance Agents plan a series of direct mailings to this key group - to provide general information, comparisons between the different choices, and finally set the appointment to make the actual sale.
The Insurance Agent that reaches out to individuals in their area as a Resource will be the one who writes the policies during the Open Enrollment period.
Blog written by Dale “DataDale” Filhaber, Listologist Supreme at Dataman Group Direct in Boca Raton, a 27 year Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce member. For more information about the Turning 65 List or any of the Insurance Marketing Lists offered, please visit the Insurance Marketing section of the Dataman Group website, e-mail email@example.com or call the Dataman Group office at (561) 451-9302.
|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.