Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Email Campaign Providers--Take your pick!

I am in the beginnings of starting an email newsletter and was researching the best autoresponder to go with. I got this information off of LinkedIn. I was so awed by his details that I thought it was a definite plus for my readers. He even lists the cost of each provider. Thanks, Ethan, for detailing this for someone searching for an Email Campaign provider.

As far as email service providers go, here's a breakdown:

AWeber: The industry leader in autoresponders and also one of the most reliable and economical email service providers. The interface is on the lo-fi side and there is less hand-holding than with Constant Contact, but if you don't require that, they are potentially the best option. They, like most of the options have a very high deliverability rate, plenty of templates and successful email marketing tutorials. $19.95 per month with no setup fee. This covers 10,000 subscribers and you can email them as much as you like. Each extra 10,000 subscribers is $9.95 per month.

Constant Contact: Very customer friendly and non-technically-oriented. Lots of templates and tools and online assistance to help you succeed with your email marketing. $15 per month gets you 0-500 subscribers with unlimited emails. The pricing scales from there, with 10,001 to 25,000 email addresses costing you $150 per month.

Get Response: Another non-techy option similar to Constant Contact. $17.95 per month for 10,000 addresses. $4.50 per month for each 5000 addresses over that. Unlimited emails and campaigns.

Campaign Monitor: A very polished, slick aesthetic earns this one all the kudos from the design crowd. Many good tools and templates to help with your email campaign's success. They use a price per email model instead of a total subscriber model. You pay $5 for each campaign and then 1¢ per recipient. You can get discounts of up to 50% by pre-purchasing email credit.

SparkList: This is the hosted service of Lyris, the makers of one of the more high profile email marketing software systems, ListManager. It is much more expensive than the others but carries the Lyris brand behind it and is much more suited to high volume emailers. It also offers a familiar interface if you are already using ListManager somewhere else. $175 setup, $100 per month for 5000 email messages up to $500 setup and $1000 per month for 500,000 messages.

A very important consideration given if you have an existing email list has to do with importing the list into their system and opt-in confirmation. In order to maintain the positive nature of their relationships with the ISPs, these email service providers want to make sure that you have obtained permission to send email to these addresses. If they require you to re-confirm the opt-in status for each email address, they will send a new request to the address. Since roughly 50 to 60% of email subscribers never confirm their subscriptions, this will erode a fair bit of your list. However, many of these people were probably not receiving/viewing your email anyway, given that they did not respond to the confirmation request.

AWeber: Re-confirmation is required. Each email address will receive a customized message asking them to re-confirm permission. Constant Contact requires you to state that the list is permission based and they will penalize you if your bounce/spam numbers get too high. They offer a free 60 day trial of up to 100 email addresses. Campaign Monitor requires you to state that the imported email addresses are 100% permission based, they were not purchased and they were not scraped from emails/websites. SparkList also requires that a re-confirmation email to be sent to each address. Get Response will also not require that you reconfirm each email's permission.

More info and vendor links at Ethan Pierse's website below.

"Pat on the Back" Powerpoint Presentations

Are you working on a presentation? Many people give presentations everyday and quickly put together a powerpoint presentation without thinking about the audience but trying to achieve completion. Don't let your presentation be a sleeper. This article below is how to effectively capture your audience's attention and keep it. And maybe by the time you get done everyone will be patting you on the back saying "Well done"!

Utterly Droolworthy Power Point Presentations
By Joseph Plazo

You can sell Benzes to refugees during war time.

You easily part a nun from her vow of chastity.

No doubt- you’re the greatest at influencing people one-on-one.

But can you conduct killer power point presentations?

If you’re like 99% of all the presentors out there, I bet you ‘re a veteran at observing the MEGO Syndrome in audiences.


“Mine Eyes Glaze Over”

That’s right. Three minutes into the powerpoint presentation, the audience is restless. Some begin sneaking out the door. The more polite ones just pretend to listen behind dark spectacles. But you know where their minds went.

The MEGO Syndrome arises from five monumental presentation mistakes. Do the opposite and you’ll deliver utterly drool worthy power point presentations- and influence the socks out of your crowd.

1. Keeping Them Guessing. Many speakers fail to give a roadmap of their speech. So throughout the presentation, the crowd is asking ‘huh? What’s his point? Where’s this leading to?’ Guide them by the hand. Before the actual presentation, outline exactly what you’ll cover and let them know when you’ll finish.

2. Failing to Connect At the Beginning. Audiences don’t like to be preached to. They’d prefer to be talked with. Keep your style interactive. Open the talk by asking a rhetorical question, launching an anecdote, or saying a shocking statement- then invite a comment! You’ll draw them in like Pirahnnas to a pork buffet.

3. Looking at the Floor and Closing Your Body. I’ve seen it so often. The speaker assumes a closed body language. Guilty of this? Hands in pocket. Arms crossed. Legs tight together. Look stiff, and you alienate the audience. To invite the audience to appreciate your power point presentation, move around. Gesture. Smile!

4. DataDumping. I’ve attended hundreds of business presentations where the speaker fills the slide with size 9 font text crammed to the margin. Then they read each line. Good lord! We’re attending a presentation, not an online reading course! The best slides follow the 4 by 4 rule. Four words across, four bullets down.

5. Forgetting the Call of Action. At the end, the speaker jumps to “any questions?” without giving the audience a specific command. Is it to buy? To invest? To visit a website? Without the call to action, the audience is left wondering what you yammered about for the last 20 minutes of their valuable time.

So here’s my call to action for you: create drool worthy powerpoint presentations. Right now.

Your audience deserves it.

About the Author: More of Joseph Plazo's killer articles: Art of Unstoppable Persuasion, Sneaky Negotiation Techniques, and finding Jobs in the Philippines
Source: http://www.isnare.com/

Monday, July 30, 2007

Unfog the Day!

It's Monday! Welcome to a new work week. In an article for a local business journal I wrote some tips for a productive day. Here is my suggestions to get the most accomplished in a day:

  1. First thing in the day, make a list of what needs to be accomplished.
  2. Set a priority to the list.
  3. Shut off the world by closing doors, turning off radio, etc., until most important is accomplished.
  4. Mark off items as you proceed.

You may not accomplish all that is written but the purpose is to plan. If you plan effectively in your daily projects, as well as in your business, you have a roadmap to follow with goals for the outcome.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Business Card Overflow: What to do?

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Attended any networking events or luncheons lately? I attended a luncheon not too long ago that was new to me. When you walked in the door it was almost like a 5 minute dating game to see how many people you could talk to about their business. Another meeting I attended had a contest to see who could collect the most business cards in the room. And another event had us exchange cards with every person at the table (table of 8) and also played a game where you found people in various professions in the room.

What do you do with all these business cards? When I first started attending these type functions my intentions were good. When I first got home I tried to enter all the information in different categories in Outlook and then contact them via email. I did this a couple of times but then I procrastinated and the stack got put on my desk and by the time I got around to entering the information in my contact file I had to be creative in the way I contacted them so they would remember who I was.

Now I do things a little differently than I did in the beginning. Here are a few suggestions on ways I have improved and utilize business cards:

  • Within one day review the cards received. If a connection was made with someone, contact them immediately (email, phone call, snail mail, text message, whatever). Just do it.

  • For those cards received and no real connection was made, utilize them for direct mail purposes. Write a letter, send a postcard or a note; whatever you do personalize it with a message stating you enjoyed meeting them.

  • Save the cards for future reference. After entering the information in my Contacts file, I save all cards received in a plastic container. Several times when working with clients I have searched through this container looking for a card of someone I had met. Eventually you will have to cull out the old but until it fills up no need.

I hope some of these tips I wrote help you to better organize your contacts and also get more benefit out of cards that were given in passing and no real connection was made. Utilize them to your benefit. You never know what may come of your follow up techniques.

Carole DeJarnatt

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's tuff in the real world

This entry has nothing to do with business. It has to do with my son. I shared with you in a previous post that he is going through some growing pains and most of it is dealing with "The Need for Speed"!

I can relate to his "need for speed". We both drive Cobra's, his being a '95, mine being an '01. Today I saw an '03 and all I wanted to do was show this guy I had as "bad" a car as his. What is wrong with me? I am an adult (or so I think), but I was overcome with this desire to show my stuff.

If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you will know that I did nothing. Not that I'm chicken (but I am really am), but I am a responsible adult. I know the outcome (if you are caught) and really, what is the purpose? Nothing. People do not care what you have. Some may envy but most do not care.
Being a mother, it is as hard for me as it is for my son, when it comes to him not having a license. We are close so he shares with me his anguish and disappointment in himself and the lack of driving. Today I wrote him a poem as I emailed him about an article from "The Wall Street Journal". This is what I wrote:

Can we turn back the clock
So we can start again?
You are growing up so fast
I do not know where we began!

I want to help you and guide,
But it is beyond my control
You are a man now,
With all your own goals.

May God bless you and guide you,
Do not stray from His side,
He is there when you need Him,
He’s along for the ride.

I wanted to share with my subscribers because most of us realize business is tough but so is family and life. I'm sure some of you can relate.


Making the best of Voicemail

Opportunity knocks in the form of a voicemail. A friend of mine that sells Aflac took the opportunity to educate a few friends this morning on the advantages to be taken when leaving a voicemail. I am not one to coldcall so had never thought about being prepared for leaving voicemails or how to create intrigue by leaving a not so common voicemail.

Here are three steps she recommends to design an intriguing statement:

  1. List a Feature (a fact about your product)~~I offer business advisory and coaching services
  2. What is The Benefit (value to your prospect, what's in it for them)~~We help you to find solutions to the situations that impede your business growth
  3. Now, Make it Intriguing (make them curious, keep it clear and short)~~If I could guarantee positive results or your money is returned, would you be interested in talking?

She also gave 10 advantages to using voice mail but the list is too long to go into here. What I most appreciated was her efforts to bring people together to interact and be a sounding board for others who may make cold calls.

What I took away from it was: Be prepared, Be Upbeat, and Have a message of interest. They may not call you back but if you do make cold calls your chances are better of a return call if you sound like a person who is fun to work with.

Thank you, Becky, for educating this non-coldcalling person about the importance of voicemails.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Cost of Poor Service

We have all been there at one time or another. You've experienced the poorest service you have ever received. We do not forget either. Today I still remember the episode referenced below as if it were yesterday.

Calculating the Cost of Poor Customer Service
By: Carole DeJarnatt, Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Have you ever thought about how much money has been lost due to poor customer service? Is it happening within the organization you are affiliated? Or perhaps you are the owner and are not aware of the practices of your employees.

A few months ago I had decided to purchase a new laptop. Being a business owner and from a small town, I try to frequent the local businesses if they have what meets my needs. This timeframe happened to be the week after Christmas so I am thinking there are lots of sales going on and I should be able to purchase something at a decent price. I tried the local store that claimed to have new computers and laptops.

I decided to call first so I could talk with someone on the telephone. An answering machine answered the telephone and informed “they were busy with a customer and would return the call.” I did not leave a message. I tried again an hour later and the same scenario. Finally on the third call I left a message stating “I wonder how many customers you have lost due to no response.” I did not leave any contact information. Later that day I decide to drive to the store since it was only a few miles from my home. When I arrived at the store, I find out the store is not open at all. It was closed for the week!

To say the least I did not purchase my laptop from this store, nor will I purchase from them in the future. I did send them a letter notifying them of situation that occurred and how I could help them improve on their services. I never heard from them.

What do you think this cost that company? I spent approximately $700 on my computer, but was I the only customer that tried to contact them that week? Probably not. Being the only local store to have the services and items they claim to carry, there were probably some inquiries.

In my opinion, this company could be more appealing than the Best Buys and Circuit City’s of the world. Being a local company, they have the opportunity to show their customer they are the one stop shop for all their computer needs with the home town appeal. I much prefer to buy from a local company than one of the bigger ones when their customer service is the personal touch. All of us want the personal touch when dealing with companies and I believe the smaller business has the greatest opportunity to apply and show they care.

The big companies also have the opportunity for personal touch but I have not come across one yet that does it well. Customer service is so important, no matter whether you are big or small. People want to buy from companies they know who will take care of them but also care about them. It is not about what they do but it is about what they do for you! Take care of your customers’ everyday as if it were their birthday! Do we not try to be nice to people on their birthdays if we are aware?

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!

I know you have heard "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff". In this post I am not referring to the book of the same name, I am referring to happenings within your lives that happen and you have no control.

I am a supporter of a local Christian radio station, WAY Radio, 550AM. I have been running a spot with them for about a month and today I receive a call from the station manager. In my radio spot I direct the listening people to a website: http://www.thegenesisdvd.com/ that offers a no-obligation DVD about a workshop I facilitate. It seems the listeners only hear the phrase "genesisdvd.com". If you choose to check out the website, you will find out that it is a direct link to a non-Christian sight.

Fortunate for me, a couple of listeners tried to visit my site and called the station to alert them to the situation. The good thing is I am getting hits on my link due to the spot running, the bad thing was it was not clearly communicated.

Today I learned the meaning of "don't sweat the small stuff". For some people this could be a torrential downpour of bad news from a bad situation (how many people have tried to visit in the past month and reached the wrong website?); to me it is an opportunity for improvement. Upon receipt of the call, I went to the station and re-recorded the spot with a better defined, clearly communicated, radio spot.

My suggestion/tip/idea for you is to "don't sweat the small stuff" and if something does happen, create a better situation/environment. Take advantage of the opportunity before you. Instead of seeing the bad of the situation, bring out the good and utilize it to your fullest advantage!

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Be the Best You Can Be: Management Style

Are you a management candidate or in management presently? Here is an article I wrote on tips to be good at what you do.

Be the Best You Can Be Management Style
By: Carole DeJarnatt, Alliance Advisors, Inc.

What makes a good manager? If you are presently a manager you probably ask yourself this question frequently. If not and you are being considered for the position, take heed to the skills that are needed to be all you can be.

Why would someone who is presently a manager think or worry about what it takes to be a good manager? In all positions of life, whether work related or personal, we should want to put our best efforts forward for everyone to recognize. If you are recognized as a good manager, you have skills several people in the business world do not possess. Good skills lead to good referrals for promotions or opening doors for other positions of influence.

Not too long ago I had a Supervisor of a call center ask me for suggestions on how to improve in their position. At the time I was the Director of a department of 17 Regional Area Representatives. Here are some of the suggestions I gave:

    1. Listen—Listen to everything your subordinates have to say. That does not mean you have to agree with them but have an ear for listening. I tried to keep an open ear to listen to everyone whether what was heard was good or bad.
    2. Share—Keep everyone updated on department and company developments. If asked to keep confidentiality, you can share the department goals and progress the department is making on a weekly and/or monthly basis in their achievements. Sharing is communicating. You must communicate with your people on a daily basis. I emailed frequently and communicated via telephone weekly. I have to say I believe they preferred the telephone over the email. Everyone loves the personal touch!
    3. Engage—Let the group be involved in the decision-making process. When it comes to working with department decisions, engage the team and let them share their thoughts and ideas with you. I recommend conference calls if people are in distant locations so everyone is able to have an input. Again, that does not mean you have to agree but you are listening to their suggestions. If you choose to overrule that is your decision as a manager.
    4. Interact—As often as you feel necessary, schedule a time away from the office for lunch, after-hours social, retreat, or training. It is important that the department feel you are as much a part of them as you are their supervisor. I had worked with people in the past who felt it was not good to intermingle with the people they managed. I believe it helps you to know the persons work ethic, personality, integrity, and also made me more accessible to them. I believe almost everyone I supervised would tell you I treated them as an equal. I do not believe in the superiority complex.

I believe every person has something to offer. It is up to the manager/supervisor to find and reveal the qualities. If after finding the qualities and they do not fit what is necessary for success in the position, the manager has to do what is necessary to correct the mistake. Every good manager is willing to admit they make mistakes. The best manager is the one who corrects the mistakes!

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Market with Every Email you Send

This is an article I received and thought it was worth sharing. It has good information and suggestions on how to market thru your email signature. It is definitely worth trying.

Market With Every E-mail You Send

The best way to market yourself with every e-mail you send is to have your own e-mail address at your own domain name. It helps build your brand and reinforce the products and services you offer your clients. However, even if you don't have your own domain name, there are some innovative ways to market with every e-mail using signature files.

Signature Files

Signature files are a quick and easy way to send a marketing message with every e-mail you send, even if you don't have your own domain name. A signature file is set up within your e-mail package and is automatically attached to every outgoing message. Even if people know you well and call you often, they often go to a recent e-mail as the easiest, and fastest, way to access your phone number, street address, or even fax number.

The set-up window for signature files is usually in the Tools section of the window bar at the top of the screen when you're in your e-mail software. By clicking on Signature in the Tools window will open a new window and allow you to create a new signature file or edit the signature files you've already made.

Your standard signature file can include your name, company name, phone number, e-mail address, and web site. You can also include your street address, and a short, 10-15 word, marketing message.

Your signature file will give your reader all of your contact information and be reminded of the kind of services or products you offer. Most e-mail programs let you have a large number of signature files. Set up several to help automate the little tasks you need to do regularly.

Use a signature file when you regularly need to send out the same information to multiple people at different times. Simply open your Signature Tools file, click on New and write the information you want to relay.

Entourage and Outlook both allow very large signature files. This means you can include detailed instructions for a meeting announcement and arrangements, explain how to use the product you've sold, or explain what people need to do to get on your mailing list. Be sure to include your contact information at the bottom of these "information files."

Signature File Marketing Messages

Use the short marketing message of a signature file to encourage people to sign up for your ezine by offering a sign-up bonus. In later chapters we'll discuss how to use your one-page web site to deliver bonus items, products, audio files, client services, and even marketing packages. Many Internet-savvy one-person business owners have found combining your offer with a sign-up bonus can significantly increase the size of your database.

I've found signature files to be very effective in marketing my monthly complimentary teleseminars. Others have used them to announce their latest book or other products, direct readers to their blogs, and by using their affiliate links, profit from marketing other people's products or services.

Because signature files are forwarded with their messages, your marketing messages get forwarded when your recipients pass on the messages you send. This puts your message in front of people you would otherwise never reach, or even know.

Signature files are crucial for those professionals who haven't yet installed their own domain names as part of their e-mail system. When your e-mail comes through Yahoo, and your address is some version of yourfirstname732926@yahoo.com, you can clearly indicate who you are, how to contact you, and what you offer with a signature file.

The lesson is clear. Don't send naked e-mail!

Need to get your small business more strategic, organized, automated? Click here => http://www.1personbusiness.com/ for Pat Wiklund’s complimentary introductory course on How to Run a One-Person Business Without It Running You.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Should you Start Your Own Work At Home Business?

Check out this blog entry that I found while searching. I do not know the lady who wrote it but thought she put some excellent points that should be considered when thinking about taking the plunge.

Should You Start Your Own Work at Home Business?

Hope you enjoyed her writing. I know I did!

Alliance Advisors, Inc.

The Snowball Effect

In my occupation as a business advisor, I see many business owners who struggle to make ends meet, try to do everything themselves, and ultimately they either lose business to the point they finally seek guidance or they end up out of business. Part of the problem is the inability to delegate but also lacking the knowledge to be aware that an investment now will reap greater rewards in the future if guidance is accepted and followed.

My husband and I have a friend who is in the automotive business. The rates are very good and the work ethic is great. We have been utilizing these services over two years and I promote it to all of our friends and business acquaintances. In the last few months, the business is very busy and they are having employee problems. Unfortunately, part of the outcome to the situation is the service has diminished to the point of no call backs on customer inquiries. This business is now affecting my credibility from a referral process. It has become a snowball effect:

  1. Lack of service from business ~ Loss of customers
  2. Complaints to me as the person referring ~ Affects my credibility
  3. No more referrals from me ~ Loss of customers
  4. Word of mouth on poor service ~ Loss of customers

From my point of view this business cycle is due to a lack of poor planning. At this point the business owner is grasping at anything possible to put a band-aid on the problem. With proper guidance and a plan for vision and goals, the steps to achieve success will become clearer.

The planning process is not easy but it is essential. There are several sources for business planning tools:

  • Internet
  • Small Business Development Centers
  • Books
  • Computer software
  • Business advisor
There are numerous sources so choose the one that fits your needs best.

Do not become a statistic. The time and investment in your business today could mean greater success in the future if applied effectively. Seek the guidance you need to write a plan that will be your roadmap to a successful future.

Alliance Advisors, Inc.

      Wednesday, July 18, 2007

      Suggestion for the day!

      The title of my blog being Tips from the Biz World, I decided to give you my tip for today----Do not over-commit yourself. I believe if you are able to do something and people are not aware, what better way for them to find out then to volunteer your services to complete a job needed done. Well, I have over committed myself and now am stressing over it.

      I have volunteered to write a script for a video taping, a press release, and also take calls on a phone line that is taking donations. I do have a business and have some clients I am also working with so my days are very long due to my own fault. (Not to mention trying to keep my readers interested in my blog).

      My recommendation is to think before you open your mouth and volunteer. If you over commit a worse case scenario can happen and I could fail to accomplish all. If anyone knows me, failure is not in my vocabulary so I will do the hours necessary to complete all on time. But if I build awareness that over committing is not beneficial, then I have done my job with todays blog.

      Carole DeJarnatt
      Alliance Advisors, Inc.

      Monday, July 16, 2007

      Dreams Come True!

      Today was a special day for one of my clients. The ladies had a dream of starting their own interior/exterior plant design and maintenance company. While envisioning this dream they donated time, energy, and supplies to several local victim advocate agencies in Clay County, FL. Today they did a launch of 50 butterflies in a garden they designed and created for Quigley House. Not only did they launch the butterflies successfully but they also bid and was awarded their first job with their new company, Look @ Your View.

      It is a pleasure to work with these two ladies. They eagerly listen and initiate my advice as they set up and develop goals for their company. Their dedication and hard work are paying off as they also give willingly of their expertise to the community. Congratulations girls!

      Your friend and business advisor, Carole

      Friday, July 13, 2007

      Possibilities are endless!

      While sitting in my hotel room searching thru YouTube, I found this really cool video. What it speaks to me is that anything is possible when you think outside of the box. The normal person would see a latte; the person serving the drink saw art in progress.

      Perhaps today is the day you should look at what you are doing in a different light? Is there a little bit of art in what you do? If not, is there a way you can think outside of the box to add creativity and interest to what you do?

      I am off to my 30th class reunion this weekend. I will strive to think outside of the box and come up with a way to leave a lasting positive impression as I meet and greet people from my past.

      Carole DeJarnatt
      Alliance Advisors, Inc.

      Wednesday, July 11, 2007

      Referring others is fun!

      Over the past three days I have done my share of referring others that I have a trust in and believe in their work. These referrals are all in the name of goodwill (I am not compensated in anyway). It gives me great satisfaction to know I can connect one person with another and they both benefit. I believe it is better to give than to receive. But when you do give, it will be returned two-fold. But in writing that, I do not expect any return it just happens. People like to work with people who like to work with them.

      If you have never given referrals, you should try it! Giving to others is enjoyable and isn't that what referring someone is? You are referring business to them. Another thing starts happening when you refer good people---others look at you as an expert. Word gets out and people think you know everyone or know someone who does. I do not mind that kind of recognition. :)

      Carole DeJarnatt
      Alliance Advisors, Inc.

      Tuesday, July 10, 2007

      What has happened to Common Courtesy?

      A friend of mine has a luncheon at least quarterly, if not monthly, and invites business women from various industries. She opens her home and makes a luncheon to feed everyone to give them an opportunity to make a connection and do business with each other. When she does an invitation she normally sends it out 3 weeks in advance asking for a RSVP. This past luncheon she invited 58 people. Do you know how many RSVP's she received? Sixteen! Some just told her about it when she ran into them in a public situation and she asked whether they were coming.

      What has happened to courtesy in this world today? This lady opens her doors, feeds a group, trying to promote businesses within the group, and not even half responded. Why? In my opinion, it is very unprofessional to not respond and to take someone for granted. If you are the person who receives an invitation, you should be proud someone would want to include you in their circle of influence and respond. Even if you cannot accept, at least recognize their efforts. In the past, I have held social gatherings and if I get no response to my invitation I do not invite again. Doors close when you treat people with little respect and lack of appreciation.

      If you are reading this, do not be the person who does not respond. It may be your last invitation and as I have written before, you never know who you may meet and what doors may open at each social or business event you attend.

      Carole DeJarnatt
      Alliance Advisors, Inc.
      Guiding you from Vision to Success!

      Monday, July 9, 2007

      More training: Selling is for everyone

      I recently attended a sales seminar put on by our local Chamber of Commerce. I went because I try to support the efforts of our chamber. I expected the speaker to be mediocre and having been thru sales training in October of last year did not expect it to beneficial.

      I was wrong. The speaker was Hal Becker. I was lucky enough to have dinner with him from the night before so had an opportunity to experience his personality, as well as his speaking skills. I would highly recommend him to any company considering sales training. His website is: halbecker.com. He offers tools on his website to help you get better at selling and closing. He is also a customer service speaker but if you are needing one of those give me an opportunity.

      Here are three things I wrote down from Hal's presentation:

      1. Learn your product
      2. Know the competition
      3. Work harder (work harder than your competition).

      I recognize that these are the basics of selling but most sales people are not taught the basics. They are taught that anyone with a personality can sell and are thrown out on the streets to generate sales for a company. If this is your company, check out Hal's website. He has reading material to offer for free and also has written some books and it might be of interest to you.

      There are others out there also that are good and you probably have heard of some but I personally have experienced his technics and recommend checking out his materials. Good luck in your sales processes!

      Carole DeJarnatt
      Alliance Advisors, Inc.

      Sunday, July 8, 2007

      Responsibility and Procrastination, Not a good combo!

      These past few weeks my son has been taught the hard way that ignoring things or procrastinating on tasks you are responsible for comes back to haunt you. To make a long story short, he had several tickets he left unpaid or ignored and his license got suspended. The last time he got pulled over was a little more serious than just procrastinating.

      What if we chose to run our business or do our jobs in this fashion? If we successfully brought in new clients and then procrastinated or ignored the need to complete the job, the consequences are more than likely you will lose clients, be reprimanded, or as in my sons case, lose your job (he lost his license for a year)!

      Stop putting off to tomorrow what you can accomplish today! Steps to proceed:

      1. Baby Steps---(Ever seen the movie What About Bob?) Start on the project or task completing one step at a time and before long you are almost complete.
      2. Thoroughly check and recheck your work. Do not leave out any of the steps. Make sure the tasks are correct and complete.
      3. Completion to satisfaction. If the task is for someone else, make sure they are satisfied. If for you, you have to be satisfied just in the fact that you have the task out of the way!

      If you have been procrastinating on tasks that fall under your responsibility, start today! Do not let your reputation be ruined by lack of motivation. As I watch my son grow up and hopefully into a responsible adult, I strive to be a role-model for him. Be a role model for those around you.

      Carole DeJarnatt
      Alliance Advisors, Inc.