Most people if not everyone in the world has his/her dream motorcycle. It is exciting when you start riding your…Continue Reading ...
“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesperson, not the attitude of the prospect”
This is a lesson I learned very quickly in my first year of ad sales. being a recent Saint Mary’s university grad and having just less than two years experience in ad sales, I quickly realized that the learning curve in sales is ongoing. knowing the customer, being consistent and persistent, and maintaining a positive attitude (especially towards clients) are some of the key lessons I have learned.
A bit of advice for all of you recent grads and ad boys and girls: don’t think you’ll learn everything you need to know in school or in a textbook.You may learn the basics that way- teamwork, theory, ad models, but the key to being successful in sales is to find a good mentor to continue learning.
My employer and mentor, Jeff brooks, once told me, “you have to make twenty-two calls a day to get five maybes, and out of those five maybes, you might get two sales”. This is another lesson that I would like to pass along tosalesnewcomers:thinkingeveryone will say yes, then getting discouraged when they don’t is counterproductive. knowing your customer starts with knowing yourself. Admitting your knowledge gaps (a hard concept to swallow) will tremendously improve how you interact with your clients.
One last piece of advice: clients know what they want and they usually have a vision in their head. It’s your job to work with them. You can give them advice along the way, but trying to change their vision entirely will only frustrate your client and discourage you if they resist your suggestions.Continue Reading ...
In today’s local economy we are experiencing declining labour market pools, an aging market and a shortage of skilled workers. Consequently, employers are looking for highly developed employees who can do the job coming out of the gate rather than looking at what they may have the potential of doing.
historically, interviews explored an applicant’s education, skills and experience. The wild card in the process came in determining that applicant’s fit with the organization, as well as their fit for the specific job for which they were being considered. The current trend we are seeing is employers asking about the “bona fide occupational requirements” of the job.
bona fide occupational requirements are the qualities or attributes associated with a job that employers are allowed to consider when making hiring decisions.These qualities or attributes, when considered in other contexts, might constitute discrimination and breach the intent of the human rights Act.
Consider the following scenario: you hire an employee who will be required to regularly lift up to 50lbs only to have that new employee provide you with a doctor’s note indicating that they cannot, in fact, lift because of a medical condition.
If you found yourself in a situation like this, it would mostly likely be because the recruiter failed to ask about the applicant’s ability to carry out bona fide occupational requirements during the formal interview. Without confirming an applicant’s ability to meet those occupational requirements, employers risk experiencing scheduling issues, gaps in operations, and perceived favouritism. If not managed correctly, employers might also face costly human rights complaints.
In Nova Scotia there are 14 Prohibited Grounds of Discrimination; age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, irrational fear of contracting an illness or disease, ethnic/national/aboriginal orientation, family status, source of income, marital status, political belief or association with an individual or class of individuals.
Interview strategies should include bona fide occupational requirement questions. To be legal, those questions must directly tie the requirement- for example, a physical requirement- to the actual job duties as outlined within the job description. When formulated correctly, employees are bound to honestly answer bona fide occupational requirement questions, providing an assurance to the employer that they are making the best hiring decision, and alleviating the possibility of a human rights complaint.
Knowing and documenting the bona fide occupational requirements of the job, and respecting obligations set out within the human Rights Act, are necessary pillars of strong recruitment strategies and tools.Continue Reading ...
Delivering a positive customer experience is one of the top priorities for every business (or at least every business that wants to stay in business). however, the ways in which businesses deliver customer care has been shifting with the increase in online communication.
The customer experience is no longer limited to what happens at a retail location or at home behind closed doors.There are no closed doors any longer – social media has blown them wide open.
The customer experience happens largely online.Accordingto2012figuresfromThe huffington Post, 77% of b2C* companies and 43% of b2b** companies acquired customers in 2012 through social media.
In addition to that, one in three social media users would rather address their customer concerns through social media than by contacting a company by phone. (Nielson 2012)
Why, then, are 56% of customers’ tweets to companies being ignored?
If your company is not participating in the social media world, how can you be sure you are delivering the level of customer care you’re committed to delivering?
It’s imperative that businesses listen to their customers, and in order to listen to them, companies must be where their customers are. Find out if your customers are on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or linkedIn, then make sure your company is there.
It isn’t enough to have a page or a profile. You need to be participating in the conversation.
How can a company offer good social care?
1. Be present. have pages and profiles on relevant social networks.
2. Listen. be aware of what users are posting about your company.
3. think before you speak. have guidelines that define how to respond to a variety of situations, and make sure all team members understand the guidelines.
4. Respond. Answer every post, every tweet, every comment with personalized responses that address audience concerns and follow the company’s engagement parameters.
5. engage. be proactive about sharing content and information that will help provide a consistently positive online customer experience.
Social media communication is part of the overall customer experience. use that as a guide. Consider what type of customer experience you want your customers to have, and use social care to help make that happen.Continue Reading ...
Who wouldn’t want to be laughing all the way to the bank when you look at your year-end figures? Perhaps, if you gave your market a little mirth, profits would improve.
Consumers love to be entertained rather than pitched, and humour can be injected into a whole realm of marketing endeavours. If done really well, a campaign with comedy can have great longevity as consumers continue to discover and share it. Who knows, maybe you’ll have the next viral hit on YouTube or the tweet that circulates ad infinitum.
When it comes to humour, it can be applied to almost any situation in marketing. Humour can:
• help a brand break through and get noticed, maybe even after they’ve fallen off of the consumer radar (remember Diamond Shreddies?)
• help a brand talk about issues that are potentially sensitive (Philips Bodygroom is a great example)
• give a brand personality (has certainly worked well for Virgin over the years…)
• help a brand reach a new audience (Samsung’s recent Galaxy S3 campaign has certainly helped introduce the brand to Apple devotees)
Simply put, not taking yourself so seriously can sometimes be an awfully serious way of improving your bottom line.
A FEW TIPS:
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
Put in the time and research to know your potential market. Reduce the risk of your humour falling flat by anticipating what your audience will think. Unfunny is annoying, but then again not everyone has a sense of humour.
Impeccable tact is paramount. In this big old www dot world, your content must be tasteful to the masses. Know what is politically correct, and know when sexy becomes lewd.
Poke fun at situations not people, and do it in an original and genuine way. Study what has worked for other companies and what different types of humour (whether dark, parody, satire, etc.) work best for selling different products or services.
TEST IT.Continue Reading ...
Whether friends, colleagues, or focus groups, test your humour first. Is it really funny? Is it relevant, thought provoking and inoffensive? Eliminate the need for damage control at the front end.
It wasn’t that long ago that Dooley’s was the marquee of barrington Street. I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about the doom and gloom of our “hollowed-out core”, which is strewn with vacant lots and store fronts. This depiction, while colourful, does not in any way accurately reflect the current condition or the economic state of our downtown. Nor does it give any credit to all the good things that have occurred in our downtown over the past decade.
Yes, we have vacant storefronts, but most are vacant because they are being redeveloped or plan to be redeveloped in the very near future. And yes, there is turnover as some businesses just don’t survive, but that is not a problem unique to Downtown halifax. We have more great shops in our downtown than a decade ago and things will only improve in the coming years.
Is our downtown perfect? No. Can and should it be better? Yes. But put things into perspective: there is currently more development and redevelopment happening in downtown halifax than at any point over the past 20 years.The rumours of its demise are far from true.
New hotels, office buildings, a convention centre, residential and retail spaces are all being created – right now. Yes, office vacancy rates are up, but there is also more office being accounted for and any increase is temporary. The positive impact these developments will have will affect the downtown for decades and will be a catalyst for more businesses and people who move to downtown.
We do need more public infrastructure and beautification in our core, but make no mistake, private companies continue to invest in downtown and more will be coming. Downtown is convenient, has lots of amenities, and since 1749 has been the heart of halifax – suburbs be damned!Continue Reading ...
If the expression “beach bodies” conjures up images of sculpted, lithe physiques glistening in the sun, don’t chastise yourself. You are programmed to think that way; a lifetime of media-defined images is hard to ignore.
You probably also imagine a health and fitness coach to fit the mold of buff parts and toned muscles, too. Molds, however, can be broken and Tara MacDonald is determined to bust that one. She is on a very public journey toward a healthier self and, no stranger to entrepreneurism, she sees possibilities for making the journey a profitable one, financially as well as physically.
An important factor in having your own business is passion for what you do. Another is finding your market. Tara is passionate about getting in shape and, as a plus-size woman, she recognizes a plus- sized niche market she can tap into. If those of us who are average-sized are coyed by the nubile-looking, yoga-bodied instructors that urge us to push our bodies, what must it be like for those who have a very long way to go before ever being considered lithe or sculpted? Statistically, they are a large percentage of our North American population. In Nova Scotia alone, the rate of obesity doubled between 1987 and 1995.Tara is right about market potential, and she has first-hand knowledge of what is motivating that market.
Tara graduated with a degree in english literature from Trent university, then did a six year stint in Toronto working for a publishing house. She came back east to do Marketing and Management at Mount Saint Vincent. While at the Mount, she came to terms with the fact that she was gaining too much weight, too fast. As she says, “size 26 went by, and passed”. She needed to do something. She had been strong and active through high school, playing rugby and other sports. however, too many years sitting in front of a computer for work and school, combined with unhealthy eating habits, had caught up with her. Determined to make changes, she started a non-profit for plus-size women called NSFIT4u. She had a trainer design a program for them, and made it available for free.They worked out for 6 weeks.
When she graduated in 2006, she decided to go to banff to work for the summer because “everything was uphill”. She was 400lbs, and something had to give. The hills would force her activity level. It was while she was there that she came across the beach body® products. She and her friends were trying to get in better shape and saw the ads for the Turbo Jam® DVD on the Shopping Channel. She ordered the DVD and became a beach body® member.
Losing her dad to a heart attack that same year was the first serious wake-up call. She came back to Dartmouth to go to film school and to start her film production business, Charlie Mac Productions, named in his honour. Tara invested heavily in it over the first two years, and while getting the business off the ground, she continued to try to get herself grounded.Through a combination of personal trainers, workout DVDs and new approaches to nutrition, she dropped 115lbs. Charlie Mac was doing well. She teamed up with a l.A.-based producer with whom she had connected through linked In, and they specialized in film shorts- videos, trailers, ads. She also had a direct selling business on the side, representing a Canadian jewellery line called Fifth Avenue Collection, and used her income from sales to finance her love of travel.
She was still losing weight, albeit sporadically, but her energy was more focused on her business than on herself or her health. Then came another wake-up call. This time it was the death of a beloved aunt, whom she describes as having been “a rock”. her aunt had been primary caregiver for Tara’s grandmother, and had been devoted to her. Shortly after her grandmother passed away last year (at 102 years old),Tara’s aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had denied the symptoms, and not gone for care or investigations. That was october 2012. She died a month later.
This sudden death has been a huge motivator, not only for Tara but for many in her family, to be more proactive about their health.Tara had had her beach body® membership status for years when she discovered through her own coach that beach body® was bringing their direct selling business to Canada. She sold her Fifth Avenue stock, and signed on with beach body® .
So now Tara MacDonald is a beach body® coach. beach body® is responsible for products like P90X® , Shakeology® , and Turbo Jam® . In her role as a coach, she reps the products and helps to keep people on track with their fitness goals. beach body® uses a team and buddy support system that Tara finds tremendously helpful. buddies email each other daily and are accountable to each other.
She uses her website and blog, Facebook page and the beach body® coach site to reach clients. With the online buddy system, her clients can be anywhere. She knows that her market is with the plus-size men and women who find her approachable because of her own goals. The biggest obstacle her clients face is the same one many businesses face: not seeing instant results. but she advises “goals need to be measurable, there are always set backs. have a big vision goal.”
There are the nay-sayers. When people say “you’re overweight, how can you call yourself a beach body® coach?” she’s ready for it.“Success stories” she says,“only happen if you start somewhere. I’m already a success because I’ve lost 5 pounds.”
Last year Tara brought back NSFit4u, formalizing it with a board of directors and running a program through 360fit in Dartmouth. She hopes to keep it going. She still has Charlie Mac Productions but now has an employee run it. She says this is her “year to make it happen”.Continue Reading ...
Pity the clown, dressed as a giant peanut, who meets his demise when an elephant attempts to shell him. That premise set the unforgettable scene for the funeral of Chuckles the Clown in the Emmy award-winning episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Prim and proper Mary helplessly fights to contain her laughter during the service; this after chastising her colleagues for their previous uncontrollable laughter and insensitive joke-making. But, as Mary was encouraged to realize, this was what Chuckles would have wanted.
Halifax has it’s own brand of award winning clown humour in Milo “T.” Clown (the “T” stands for “the”). The clever man behind the clown is Miles Leahy. Miles has been entertaining for over 25 years and has won awards in Canada and abroad, representing Canadian clowns internationally. He brings giggles and guffaws to parties, special events, large corporate events, and seniors’ houses- wherever a clown is needed (and that’s everywhere)- and always customizes his act to his audiences. Charitable work has Milo T. Clown performing for the IWK Telethon and Kermesse, the Children’s Wish Foundation, the Red Cross, and other organizations.
An instructor-level balloon artist, Milo offers an extensive array of clown antics: comedy magic, comedy skits, face painting, strolling entertainment, puppets. Then there’s his wildly popular Bubble Thing that produces bubbles up to 3 feet across. Good clean fun! Milo and his unique Milocycle even made an appearance in the locally filmed movie “The Real Howard Spitz”, starring Kelsey Grammar.
Watch for his bright red clownmobile around town; he’d love for you to give him a wave. To find out more or to book a Milo T. Clown engagement visit www.milotclown.com. And to quote Victor Borge, “laughter is the shortest distance between two people”. Remember that at your next tense business meeting.Continue Reading ...
SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE OTHER KIND
Grab your yoga mat or a towel, find a quiet spot and get down on the ground for this one.
1. Start with laying down on a comfortable mat or carpet. Place hands under your hips. Extend legs outwards with a slight bend in the knees.
2. Next you will need to tighten and tense your abs. Bring your legs towards your chest. Do bring the legs as close to your chest as possible. When you can no longer bring them any closer you will need to bring your hips off the ground to give yourself a final ‘push’.
3. Lastly you will need to lower your legs back down. Do this slowly and in a controlled manner, keeping your abs tight as you go.
4. Repeat 10-15 times.Continue Reading ...
So business is booming and you’ve got more money than you know what to do. Tap into the most expensive mobile application in the world, iVIP black, the millionaires’ app. For a mere $999.99, you’ll gain access to premium luxur y goods and services. You know, in case you’re looking for a butler, or a penthouse, or maybe a private island. book a private jet or (better yet) buy one.To gain access to this exclusivity, you need only prove that you are worth at least $1.6 million.
For those of you who are not so monetarily monumental, and might just be looking to catch up on some sleep, iNap@Work might be what you’re are looking for. enjoy a peaceful workplace slumber, and let this nifty app do the work for you. Or at least pretend to.Through the sound of your closed door, passersby will hear random office sounds like mouse clicks, typing, paper crumpling, stapling, and page turning. Depending on the level of busyness that you care to simulate, you can turn up the productivity level. Just don’t forget to program the alarm, or you may risk napping through coffee break.
All joking aside, growth of the mobile application market has been massive. Technology research bigwig Gartner Inc. predicts that in 2013, mobile applications will pass PCs to be the most common web access tools, and Marketsandmarkets. com states that by 2015 it will be a $25 billion dollar per year market.
Locally you can ride this wave by signing your business up for a listing on the Visit halifax mobile application. Close to 2,000 businesses are categorically listed there in a show of strength of all things local, making it a great tool for the app happy traveler. Take advantage and add your free business profile; visit www.destinationhalifax.com/taptheapp.Continue Reading ...