• SALES: VISION, BRANDING, QUALITY, MARKETING, STRATEGY

    “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.

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  • SEND IN A CLOWN

    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.

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  • SOCIAL CARE IN 2013 – SOCIAL MEDIA + CUSTOMER CARE = SOCIAL CARE.

    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.

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  • SALES CONFAB

    “What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

    In defining our goals and dreams, a few friends and I decided to start a Think and Grow Rich workshopbased on the book written by Napoleon Hill back in 1937. Hill was hired on a 20 year contract to interview 500 wealthy business people to determine what made them successful. As a result of that study, he wrote Think and Grow Rich, in which he outlined 13 principles. The book remains a best seller today, over 70 years later.

    The first step focuses on how to take your dreams and map them into goals. The workshop has been very helpful to us and has given us the tools to follow our dreams. For example, one of our group was selling jewellery part time at a local market. When she started the workshop, her best day had been about $300 in sales; halfway through the course, her sales were over $1,600. She is making her dreams a reality.

    I hope everyone is enjoying the fabulous weather that we are having this summer. It is a great time to relax and quietly reflect on whether we are living the life we want, something we don’t always get the opportunity to do.

    If you would like to find out more about the Think and Grow Rich workshop, please email me for details. It is free for Mingle readers.

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  • INSITE THE BEST OF TECH: NEST – THE SMARTER WAY TO KEEP WARM.

    For those of you that haven’t heard about it before, Nest -“The learning Thermostat”- is exactly what it says on the tin. No more waking up freezing cold, trying to avoid frost bite while running barefoot to the thermostat, in an attempt to avoid the high and sometimes crippling costs associated with heating your home.

    Nest Thermostat learns the way you live your life: when you leave for work, when you come home, when you go to bed and (more importantly) when you get up in the morning. It learns as you control it, changing the temperature until it knows your schedule.What makes it even better is that it can be controlled from your phone! Okay, maybe not the most exciting thing anymore, being able to control something from your phone (are there even just phones anymore?), but we’re talking about complete control over your heating. being able to jump in the car after work and, if the weather is colder or hotter than expected, changing your in-home thermostat with the touch of a button on your phone.

    And DIY fans, according to Nest “If you’re comfortable installing a light fixture you can install Nest yourself. Three out of four people install Nest in 30 minutes or less”.

    So what can you save? Well according to Nest, if you properly configure the Nest Thermostat you can save up to 20% on your home heating and cooling bill. Not something to be sniffed at. And Nest works with different heating systems. Most thermostats are made for forced air systems but with System Match “Nest activates custom energy saving features, depending on the system you have”.

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