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Business to Business Online Expos


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Just Ask for the Sale

justaskToday’s ditty is gonna be short and sweet.

ASK FOR THE SALE

Too many sales people work on their pitch and master their craft only to severely fail and drop the ball by missing the most important step in the process.

The boldness of actually asking something like this:

“Assuming all the numbers are agreeable is it fair to say that I can expect to earn your business today?”

Oh my gosh! What if they say, “No”???

Then you know where you stand and you become a salesperson and help them change their mind.

No games, no mystery…just the facts. When they decline to do business with you it’s time to immediately ask them why not. See where your presentation failed and do your best to recover.

Don’t be afraid. That bold approach sometimes forces an unsure customer to move forward.

Go get ’em Tiger!

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Can you be their ‘Boss’ and their ‘Friend’?

bossfriendMy father has always owned several businesses. He is a genius when it comes to filling a need and providing a service with supreme excellence. He is a self taught man and does methodical research in every venture he goes after. You could seriously use the expression, “everything he touches turns to gold” with this guy.

I worked for dad in a few of his companies and whenever I was asked to fill managerial roles, he always told me this:  You can’t be their boss and their friend!

That phrase used to bother me. It’s one of the reasons I never took over any of his businesses and always moved on to do my own thing. I love people. I care about people. I like having relationships with people. It’s very hard for me to be the big bad boss and distance myself from social communication.

I understand where my dad is coming from to a certain degree. As a boss you need to make sure that your employees understand that their main role in the company is to be submitted under your authority and whatever you say goes. Sometimes when you get too chummy with a staffer, they may get a little ‘comfortable’ and not put in as much effort. Sometimes they may feel like they can get away with things another employee may not be able to pull because they’re tight with the big cheese.

On the other side of the coin, I believe that to get the most out of an employee, it’s imperative that you take an interest in their personal lives. I’m not talking about creepy, love interest kind of stuff. I’m talking about their health, their spouses’ job, how their kids are doing in school and the standings of their recreational softball team. Stuff like that.

And don’t make it just about them. Share something with them about your personal life. Show them that you trust their opinion or consider them important enough to trust them with some personal info. Don’t go overboard and pour out you’re whole heart all over their desk. You do have to still maintain a leadership role. But leaders go through things too. And it’s awesome for your team to see you overcome things at work and in your personal life.

If you genuinely care for your employees, I believe they will bring more effort and loyalty to you and your company. People want to be loved. Especially now-a-days when most of them were raised by video games and nannys.

But you have to be careful. You have to have a good balance because if you’re too friendly and your employee has come to a place where they feel like they are equals, when you ask them to perform a task, they may give you trouble. Or if you actually have to ‘be the boss’ and discipline them, things can get ugly here because the employee now has a little bit of a defensive, entitlement attitude. “Who do you think you are telling me what to do?!” I’ve been there before. It’s twisted. Right up to the point where the guy was so offended by me asking him to do his job that he filed for disability and tried to sue us for mental anguish. Thankfully, our insurance company found him out partying and living it up when he was supposed to be home on stress-rest, but it could have been very expensive.

Establish the guidelines right from the day employees are hired.  You can easily have a BOSS/FRIEND relationship which will keep the working environment friendly and the staff productive.  I believe if you keep your social office friendly, fun and within the guidelines of the law, your business will be very successful!

Go get ’em Tiger!


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To Work from Home; or Not to Work from Home

homeofficeTo work from home; or not to work from home. That is the question.

I like going to work by going to work. Ya know what I mean?

What I’m trying to say is, I like to wake up, say my prayers, read my Bible, take a shower and drive to an office.  Generally, I think that an environment focused on just the company is productive in today’s workforce.

But am I right?

According to Forbes.com, “Employees Who Work At Home Are More Productive Than Office-Dwellers.”

In an article written by William Craig of WebPageFX, a Stanford University study that was performed by economics professor, Nicholas Bloom was quoted.

“Over a nine month period in which he studied a Chinese travel center called Ctrip, Bloom found that the company’s at-home employees didn’t just “measure up” to the on-site employees – they handily outperformed them. Bloom and his team discovered that the employees who worked from home were quite a bit more productive in a given week than they’d been at the office; at-home employees made, on average, 13.5% more calls per week than their counterparts in the office. This translated into roughly a whole extra work day every week, and all because of a simple change in scenery. Maybe it goes without saying, but the company’s at-home employees also boasted a higher rate of job satisfaction.”

For me there are factors and/or circumstances involved that help or hurt my production level when I’m working from home. Below I’ve listed some Advantages and Disadvantages:

DISADVANTAGE: DISTRACTIONS

As I get older, I’m getting much better at keeping my focus and not making the mistake of putting on the TV or getting involved in personal projects. However, other distractions can come from unplanned places like children, spouses, neighbors ringing the doorbell, etc.  The only way I can effectively beat these odds and keep productive is to ensure that my wife and kids won’t be there to interrupt my day.

ADVANTAGE: NO DRIVE TIME

I discovered this recently and noticed a huge difference in my production. As of now, my average daily drive time is two hours. That’s two hours less sleep or two hours less family or two hours less me time. In addition to the drive time, add another hour for grooming time. If I don’t have to walk out all those steps, a few positive scenarios happen:

  • I can get more sleep. As Americans, none of us get enough sleep and I’m no exception. I average 5-6 hours a night–maximum.
  • I can get started sooner and either finish sooner or work longer.
  • I don’t take as many breaks. If I’m sitting in front of my home computer in my PJs, I have unlimited coffee and food available, I’m more relaxed and have a better overall peace around me. That calm demeanor produces positive results.
  • I’m more inclined to open my home office ‘after hours’ and get ahead of the next day’s work duties or catch up on anything I’m behind in.

DISADVANTAGE: STAYING CONNECTED

Yes, with e-mail, text and video conferencing, we can pretty much stay connected to our employers and employees anywhere we go. Unfortunately, while we can keep in contact, there is still a little bit of a disconnect when it comes to collaboration or team driven activities.

ADVANTAGE: CREATIVITY

As a creative person, when I feel pushed and someone is over my shoulders, my production slows down. I can use the task-driven side of my mind if I’m doing a specific job that requires very basic thinking and focuses on fast levels of production. But if I’m working in a career role where I need to invent and create, I do much better when I’m working in an environment that supports that. One of the biggest companies on the planet completely understands this principal. Google gives “employees plenty of time to play with their own ideas.” Seattle PI wrote. “Engineers are encouraged to spend up to twenty percent of their work hours (a full day per week) doing whatever they want – which can range from taking time off to pouring their hearts into projects they passionately believe in. The policy is rather part of a conscious effort to optimize creativity.”

 

In his Forbes piece, Craig applauded some distractions. He said working from home “you have the means to allow yourself minor distractions, whether it’s taking a walk around the block to clear your head or spending some time each day playing with your cat. Indulging in these distractions once in a while might actually work in your favor.”

Having worked from home almost once a week the last couple of months, I’ve noticed a change in my opinion on the subject as I’ve actually gotten more done on those days than I do when I’m at the office.

Something to think about!  Have a great day!


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Does Anyone Pick Up the Phone Anymore?

iphoneI remember when we used to let the phone ring because we thought that it “might” be someone we didn’t want to talk to. Okay, I know I’m dating myself but I’ve been there for a few blank stares at my grandmother’s old rotary phone as it rang up a party seeking to communicate.

I also remember a short few years later waiting until a device called “an answer machine” kicked on so we could listen to hear who’s voice it was. Then we would decide to pick it up or not.

As time went by, we got to see a person’s phone number on a little LED screen to help us in our ‘should we pick up’ decision making process. That led into seeing their names with something called “caller ID”, then the digital phone age really started kicking into full speed and a variety of ‘avoid your call’ options came to light.

Fast forward to today, it seems like all of the older behaviors of people like me and my generation helped groom this current generation to completely despise talking to someone on the phone.

Seriously! Nobody picks up a call anymore.

And I’m not just talking about personal calls. Even at businesses. Everything goes to people’s voicemails and call backs are rare, yet e-mails are almost immediately returned. I call businesses all the time from business phones and personal phones. Aside from a mainline phone number, most staff peeps let the calls go to voicemail as a practice.

Hey–I’m a text-a-holic so I’m no one to judge anyone’s preference for data, but I do believe there’s a huge downslide in basic communication skills today. It has become widely excepted and accepted to handle customers by using just data in business and in the personal side of our lives as well.

I’m confident that someday we will be able to just ‘think a thought’ and that brain dialogue will be sent to the receiver of our imagination. When technology brings us there, I think that I’ll be okay with that because my thoughts to a specific individual is pretty personal. I’m sharing real time emotion and feelings.  Until then however, I guess we will all have to continue to ignore each other and stay close friends with our keyboards.


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FETC 2015 Coming to Orlando

fetcFETC is the content-rich conference that brings education leaders and technology experts together to exchange techniques and strategies for teaching and learning success.

Known worldwide for its outstanding program, FETC provides educators and administrators the opportunity to explore the integration of technology across the curriculum—from kindergarten to college—through hands-on exposure to the latest hardware, software and successful strategies.

FETC offers a wealth of information for all education professions—teachers, principals and deans, district administrators, curriculum designers, media specialists, technology directors and others.

To register or get more info, visit the FETC website here.


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Turn ‘Cold Calls’ into ‘Connect Calls’

coldcallI don’t think I ever met a salesman that enjoyed making cold calls. In fact, it’s usually the entry level gig to any major sales position with a company.

I’m a salesman. I’m not gonna lie. Cold calling sucks. However, the name Cold Call doesn’t mean that you have to be cold with the person you’re speaking with. Get off the script and find a way to connect. A first time phone chat has a much better chance of converting into a future deal if the focus is on the company and person you’re calling.

Meaning, don’t call to promote your product, call them to fill a need [with the help of your product]!

Lew Hoff, President of Bartizan Mobile Apps wrote a recent piece about this on TSNN. Hoff recommends using their profiles on social media as a tool. “If you use Linkedin and Twitter your cold calls don’t have to feel like cold calls because you know something about them and can possibly relate on a human level. The prospect could be a neighbor, went to the same school, have the same hobby. Be open with the people when you call about having looked at their LinkedIn profiles. It helps break the ice. Plus it shows you’ve gone to more trouble than 90% of the other salespeople who call them every day.”

Great points, read the full story here.

Lew says Cold Calls like this are considered Connect Calls. And that makes perfect sense because you are making a connection early which dramatically improves your chances of closing the deal.

Go get ’em Tiger!

 


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3 Days Dedicated to the Monetization of Digital Content

dewDigital Entertainment World 2015 (DEW) is drawing near and organizers are putting together all the final schedules and appearances for their keynote speakers, industry experts, conferences and showcases.

DEW is slotted for February 10-12th and will be held at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

300+ Speakers  100+ Sessions

The three day event brings together leading industry executives from Games, Music, Video and Publishing to discuss, debate, deliberate and celebrate the issues, opportunities and successes driving the digital entertainment industry. The digital entertainment world is changing the way content owners, enabling technology providers, digital distribution platforms and CE manufacturers meet and engage.

DEW 2015 celebrates the visionary content creators and technology innovators who are creating the engaging products and experiences driving the future of connected entertainment.

Major players who have participated in this show in years past include, NFL, Disney, hulu, Google, Facebook, NETFLIX and Microsoft–just to name a few.

For more information, check out the DEW website here.