Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #954

Exchange policy builds business

You may believe an exchange policy applies strictly to retail business but in this case, there is more to it than meets the eye.  The exchange policy may be applied to:

- Returns

Once you are comfortable with the process of returning items to a store or accepting return items, then it is easier to convert the idea to your other endeavors including a career change.  The successful conversations per meeting with clients or hiring managers on interviews are those that encourage an equal exchange of ideas.  In fact, when the exchange is a good fit between all parties, the conversation becomes highly energizing and motivating to move forward.  This is true whether you are the buyer or the seller.

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- Exchange of information

As you spend time participating in online groups or while networking, you will find those who are reluctant to share any knowledge and those who are receptive to revealing most of what they know.  When you find the better match, the equal exchange will help you both to grow in career or business.  The subsequent factor is that over time, you will alert one another to new ideas and developments that further enhance your endeavors.

- Exchange of testimonials and referrals

Finally, upon watching one another grow by having implemented the give and take of suggested ideas, you feel proud for having helped another.  In fact all parties become the buddies who watch one another’s back as well as openly provide referrals.

Yesterday, in conversation with the woman who originally helped to get me published, I suggested that should she ever need help at a future BEA Fair for authors and publishers, I gladly volunteer my services.  The point made was that it would be exhilarating to participate in the event that earmarked the beginning of my journey as a writer and catapulted Smooth Sale.  You can bet, I frequently recommend the services of Randy Peyser, CEO of Author One Stop.

When you hear of people in need of a service and you know of an excellent service provider, make it a practice to introduce the two parties. The more you do this, the more the same will take place for you.

The equal exchange policy will most definitely lead you to the Smooth Sale!

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #953

Diversity wins workplace and conversation

Diversity comes in so many varieties that it’s important to understand how some of the aspects lead to both an improved career as well as business.  Anthropology and archaeology are wonderful studies to comprehend the journey of mankind.  History, language and cultural differences also provide insights as to how to best communicate with people different from us.

The key to growth however, is not just understanding or recognizing differences, but to incorporate the best of what others know into our own arsenal of knowledge.  Doing so provides more of a 360 degree perspective of how to improve our endeavors to find greater success.  The only caution is to be well aware of your personal values and priorities as you begin to truly listen to others in order. This is so you will know which of their insights to implement.

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Remaining true to yourself becomes the development of your personal brand. As your brand becomes recognized, like-minded others will find and promote you to those they know.  And as others see you openly discussing and sharing your ideas and those of others, you begin to attract a wider audience and ultimately clientele.  In fact, you step into a position of leader.

A perfect example is that of my belonging to an online sales group.  Although we are each in the same endeavor, we hold unique talent, approaches, and specialize in a variety of areas in the sales arena.  Frequently, questions are posed for better usage of a site or how to advance an idea.  There is a string of communication that follows.  Each member, having built a strong brand and business foundation over the years, brings to the email a wider variety of perspective to the subject matter.  The discussion enables each of us to grow tremendously.

The question today is, how diverse is your program or open is your willingness to consider new ideas different from your own?

You will find that inter-mixing with people from around the world including many cultures, will do wonders for your career and business opportunities ahead.  In fact, it will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #952

Influencing the Sales Funnel With Social Media 

Guest post by Russel Cooke

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

As e-commerce and online shopping become ever more integrated into the modern business world, the entire concept of the “sales funnel” has been redefined. Today, a business needs to do more than just install another lane of cash registers in order to optimize its checkout process. Now, with the help of A/B testing and analytics, every single place along the sales funnel can be optimized and tweaked endlessly. Increasingly, this starts with a strong and organized strategy even before beginning the traditional sales funnel: in social media.

This infographic examines how your brand can leverage social media to increase conversions, user engagement, and nurture a strong sense of brand loyalty amongst your fans. Read on.

Now that interaction with the consumer happens in their home and on their phones, social media strategy is a round-the-clock process. No more are customer interactions limited to the time the customer spends physically in the store: if you tweet, they’ll hear it, wherever they are. Today a brand is in constant dialogue with a customer, and in turn, the customer looks to the brand for updates, news, and even entertainment!


Social media can be used to enhance the brand-customer relationship and build it into one that benefits each party. When someone follows you on Twitter, likes your brand on Facebook, or subscribes to your videos on YouTube, you enter into a persistent conversation with that person. While a physical store needs to rely on the person’s memory or expensive mailers to get them coming in the door, a social marketer can constantly refresh the customer’s memory of your brand and in that way, reinforce the relationship.

Image Courtesy of Shutterstock

This paradigm-shift has not gone unnoticed. Indeed, there now exists a suite of tools to help the enterprising social marketer. We’ll go through a few of the various ways you can interact and build each step of the social sales funnel, enhancing your conversions and building up user engagement numbers.

Social media’s advanced user targeting abilities far surpass anything offered in the past. Simply take a look at the demographics of the people who are already your fans, subscribers, and followers using each service’s built-in analytics. Combining that with your own analytics data, from your website, gives you a very complete picture of what your user targets should look like. Then it’s just about plugging those parameters into your ad platform of choice, and you have the ability to run a campaign precisely-targeted at exactly the type of people most likely to be interested in your brand.

Remarketing pixels help you with user retention. Essentially, once a user visits your site, the remarketing pixel allows your brand to continue the marketing opportunity outside of your own website, providing for multiple chances for engagement. This helps dampen the threat posed by “bouncing” users, those who open your website and quickly exit. Even if they don’t initially convert, your remarketing pixel ensures their repeated exposure to your marketing and brand and maximizes the chances of an eventual conversion.

Community building tools allow you to coordinate your social media efforts across multiple platforms. They can include scheduling tools to let you write posts in advance, which can be used in conjunction with an “editorial calendar” to ensure a seamless and bulletproof social media coverage.

Modern sales is a lot different than the game your parents played. No more is it about cold-calling through lists of contacts. Now, with the ability to build a meaningful and enduring relationship with the consumer, brands have the opportunity to create lasting connections and develop long-term brand evangelicals. Check the infographic for more information about how to best take advantage of this new access you have to the consumer.

Russel Cooke is a CRM wizard and journalist based in Los Angeles, CA. His work often discusses big data, content marketing, and software engineering. Follow him on Twitter @RusselCooke2.

NOTE:  Using Russel Cooke’s strategies for both career eadvancement and business will lead you to the Smooth Sale!

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Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #951

4 Data Backup Steps Every Entrepreneur Should Take

Guest post by Andrew Lisa

Business speaker after business speaker will talk about how integrated marketing and big data are the wave of the future. But big or small, data is useless if it isn’t protected. Your sales technique can be perfect and your books can be balanced, but if your data isn’t secure, your business is at risk. The same is true for ensuring a spiraling upward career.  Follow these steps to securing your data.

Data loss can be catastrophic for businesses – develop a backup strategy now!

Take it Seriously

Data protection is one of those things that too many people and businesses plan to get to tomorrow. We know the threat is real, we know the consequences can be disastrous, but like waiting until your car breaks down to get it serviced, data backup can’t be put off. According to one report, nearly half of all businesses lost data in the cloud and had to resort to backups. Sixty-six percent of them failed in their recovery efforts – and that’s just the cloud. Between unintentional leaks, hardware failure and intentional attacks, data loss must be addressed by every responsible business.

Physical Backup in Case of Cloud Failure

There is no feeling that leaves a business owner more secure than successfully completing a backup onto a physical, external drive. A physical data backup (something that you can touch, see and lock up) is reassurance against the vague and mysterious cloud – which is actually a third-party host who you never get to meet and whose facilities and servers you never get to see. Reputable cloud hosts are reliable, and their services are changing the game, no doubt. But just in case, there is no substitute for physical redundancy.

Cloud Backup in Case of On-Site Failure

The other side of that coin entails the physical dangers of maintaining your data backups on site. Flood, fire, burglary, theft or simple hardware failure are all realities that can and do happen. Being able to access your data from anywhere, any time and from any computer is both reassuring and functionally important in the event that anything happens to your servers.

Back Up Network Configuration

As discussed in “5 Best Practices for Network Configuration Backups,” networks go down for a variety of reasons. Not only is it important to get them up and running as quickly as possible to reduce network downtime and get back to business. But there is another, more ominous reason that it is important to have backup points to which a downed network can retreat: data loss. If the network outage knocks down a firewall or any other security barricade – and a manual reboot doesn’t include its reinstallation – your data is now exposed to a gaping hole.

Cloud backups defend against on-site loss and vice versa.

The key to data backup is redundancy. When you have a backup on site, you defend against cloud failures and vice versa. Don’t forget that network failure can lead to data loss, so always make configuration backup points part of your strategy.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance business writer. He covers digital technology and office management.

Ensuring data backup empowers the Smooth Sale!

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Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #950

Ideas that spark imagination 

There is absolutely no shortage of people telling you, “That won’t work”.  In fact, in 2008, upon announcing, I was going to join a group to learn about social media, I was told, “That will put you out of business!”

Even funnier now, years ago, we were told Silicon Valley would never get off the ground because it’s just a fantasy in someone’s mind!

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The question becomes, are you one who accepts the status quo or one who imagines the future? The difficult point for many is to ignore the advice of close family and friends.  On occasion you almost need to move away from the presence of those least supportive. Entrepreneurship requires forward thinking. Changing corporate jobs and moving a career forward require the same mindset.

When you have that a-ha moment for an idea, take time to seriously consider it from multiple angles.  Not only should it make career or business sense, but to be successful, it should also hold an element of excitement that will keep you motivated to pursue to the envisioned outcome.  Again, poor advice from others would have you going down a different path where little enjoyment is to be found.  By sticking to your intuition, and firm belief in a successful outcome, you stand a far better chance for success.

Even if your idea sounds risky in terms of whether or not it will prove to be fruitful, it may well be worth exploring as long as it won’t be costly.  The reason it would be good to explore is, failure doesn’t truly exist if you learn from the experience.  Not only will you learn what does not work, but you may also open unexpected doors of opportunity related to the idea .  You wouldn’t know any of this if you didn’t try.  It is said, the successful entrepreneur is at least 20% in over their head.

Is it time for you to try something new?  Are you up for the challenge to tell your friends and to hear what they think?  If you are in for the long haul, test the waters, talk with your peers and potentially find a new partner in business.

Working in this manner may well lead you to the Smooth Sale!

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Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #949

Amp Up Your Marketing Campaigns with Data Integration
by Andrew Lisa

If your business is marketing, you’ve probably heard the term “data integration” thrown around as if it’s some magic pill that will take your social marketing campaign to the next level. But if different marketing campaigns are created by different teams – specifically if there is a separation between digital and traditional schemes – then how much capability do you actually have to unify silos?

Data integration tools can help you organize scattered, far-flung data.

Data Integration Tools and the Power of Automation

When I first read the article “How Data Integration Tools Can Turbocharge Your Marketing,” I was surprised at how much emphasis was placed on data integration tools. But even though automation can never replace a unified strategy business-wide, it is true that only integration tools can manage the masses of big data that are required for true integration.

Cloud Integration

With more and more businesses and individuals storing much – or in many cases, all – of their data on remotely hosted cloud servers, that data needs to be synchronized with on-site data at your physical location. This – if nothing else – is cause enough to invest in data integration tools.

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is essential in a world dominated by smartphones and – increasingly – tablets. Data integration tools can help you glean valuable information not only from traditional mobile marketing strategies such as SMS, but also from apps.

Purchase History and the POS Example

So if it’s true that your social marketing tools aren’t worth anything without the data integration tools to back them up, then how are separate data silos broken down into actionable content? The answer is purchase history.

Take the example of a business using its POS system to track which customers redeem coupons and how often. With data integration tools, the amount of useable data is dramatically amplified. Instead of just knowing who redeemed and when, the entire life cycle of the coupon can be tracked. When they redeemed it, how they redeemed it – even when they first opened it can all be analyzed.

Demographics: The Big Payoff

It’s obvious that so much marketing is based on demographics. But what may not be so obvious is that age/gender/income/whatever-based polling creates mountains of data that is simply not possible to sort into actionable research without data integration tools. Not only can automated tools sort this information, but they can help you cross-reference it against actual purchase and repeat-business data.

Real-Time Marketing

If your social marketing tools don’t enable you to engage in real-time marketing, then you’re not engaging in genuine social marketing. When branding and marketing is scattered across multiple teams and multiple departments, real-time cohesion is simply not possible without the aid of automated tools that can harness far-flung information into a cohesive, useable chunk of data.

Your mobile marketing strategy will get a boost from data integration.

It’s not possible to gain real, actionable data from scattered, un-connected silos across several departments without the use of data-integration tools. Your social marketing campaign relies on real-time information and a complete data picture. In other words, you need data integration, which can’t be achieved without data integration tools.

Andrew Lisa is a freelance marketing writer. Follow him on Twitter.

NOTE:  For job seekers and entrepreneurs working on a smaller scale, integration of all you do similarly empowers your marketing and branding effort to attract the right job or the Smooth Sale!

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #948

Admitting the unknown opens possibility

The title produces a two-sided conversation.  As a businessperson or a job seeker on an interview, keep in mind that your jargon (industry knowledge) is not familiar to everyone else.  So before you lunge into using words unique to your trade, ask if the other party is familiar with the term.  If you witness someone squirming upon being asked, then kindly offer your “new” perspective regarding it, to bring the person up to date.

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For some reason most people are uncomfortable admitting they don’t know something or they misunderstood what was said.  But once you grasp the benefit of admitting you need clarification, it becomes a great business development strategy, and your personal brand comes across in the unique way that it should.

Today’s example is that of having our home water tested because our area is infamous for water being heavily chlorinated.  This morning, I received a message stating the number measured for our water – end of story.  I’m not a scientist and have nothing to go on that explains the meaning of the number.  I called the person back to explain I have no familiarity with his field of study, and asked he explain his message.  I felt relief upon hearing the test proved our water to be perfect.

The give and take of exchanging ideas and helping one another to learn new knowledge is one of the better strategies for building relationships and sales.  Being candid in conversation will help you to land the desired job.  The reason is it builds both likeability and trust in you; two keys required for obtaining the sale. And when you have a truly open conversation, new ideas abound leading to improved possibility.

The truth leads to the Smooth Sale!

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #947

Doing what's right for you yields best results

Have you ever felt badly that you hadn’t yet implemented what you thought you should do? 

"Charlene" was expressing frustration with herself for not having concentrated on writing her first book.  Upon asking why, I learned she was challenged by all of the “have to do’s” in order for the finished book to sell well.  The information is both overwhelming and complicated with limited time to research all of it.

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After Charlene finished her explanation, I immediately asked, "Do you like to write?"  This was followed by, “Which subjects do you most enjoy writing about?"  The tone of the conversation completely changed.  Enthusiasm could once again be heard in Charlene's voice.  

Doing what is right for you stands the best chance for success.  It is a wonderful idea to explore new thought and strategy to improve upon what you already have in place.  This is true for personal life, career and business. But not all advice is perfect for who we are and what we wish to accomplish.  Most often, it needs to be modified or discarded.  If the enthusiasm on your part is not there, most likely you will not succeed.  But once the idea captures your imagination, then you will be headed in the better direction.

As far as all of the "must implement" components that Charlene read about, I advised that she begin in the simplest way with which she was already familiar, and to write frequently as that is what she enjoys doing.  As the process becomes habit, then that will be the time to explore the "must do's" one at a time.  

For any endeavor, the foundation needs to be set first before the add-ons can begin.  Following this simple logic for a new job or entrepreneurship, you will find the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #946

Suduko models business experience

You may think the title of today's blog is a bit nutty, but for me it holds much merit.  Even more surprising is that given my creative mind continually working, I find Sudoku very relaxing.  In order to solve the Sudoku problem, careful concentration is required.  And this is where the similarity between business and Sudoku come into play.

Ask for help?
As one begins their career or entrepreneurship, confidence is lacking as is the overwhelming sense of having to learn so much in a very short timeframe.  Upon first learning the art of solving the Suduko puzzles, I asked someone more experienced for their insight on how to begin.  

Likewise, my best strategy for becoming a super-star, on each new sales job, was to ask the top producer in each office what they viewed as their secrets to success.  

Practice makes perfect?
Over time, the success secrets became my best strategies for a successful career.  Admitting what you don't know, seeking help and implementing the better answers are the fastest route to achieving your goals.  This is true whether you are a job seeker, sales professional or astute businessperson.  While some may sneer at you for having to ask, others will admire your business development and growth. Your personal brand becomes "one who perseveres against all odds."

Nothing is ever truly "perfect".  Perfection is seen when you adapt the suggestions to your style and vocabulary for them to come across as authentic.  Authenticity builds trust, and the trust builds sales.

It was to my delight that I was handed a "very tricky" Sudoku puzzle to complete as if it were on a dare.  About 20 minutes later, I had proudly solved the puzzle.

This brought to mind that as beginning entrepreneurs, we lack confidence.  So we seek ways in which to speak that others do not doubt our ability.  But with trial and error of implementing new ideas, to find the better paths, we succeed.  One day you find that people are looking to you for your expertise.

When others seek you out, you have landed at the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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Attract the Right Job or Clientele: Sales Tip #945

Buddy system magically grows business

Today's conversation, with a good friend and peer, found me doing something I never did before.  Prior to hanging up the phone, I gave her three assignments to be completed before we speak again.  She was in need of new direction and ideas for moving forward.  Earlier in the conversation "Jessa" shared what she enjoys most and by the end, I knew how to direct her.  Instead of being upset, she was thankful that I was genuinely doing my best to be of help.

Our conversation brought back an old sales training tip from a predecessor, Hank Trisler, to develop a buddy system.  The idea is to hold one another accountable for actions and to increase motivation for doing the more difficult tasks.  This idea applies very well to job seekers and those wishing to advance their career.

One of the funny examples provided by Hank, was that of an angry prospect disturbed by a phone call.  The prospect asked, in an angry voice, who told you to call?  The salesman provided the name of his buddy. His answer stopped the prospect in his tracks, and the two experienced a good conversation.

By keeping one another accountable and on track, you push one another to move forward.  You share the best of what you know as well as new information learned.  Given you are also friends with the other person, it becomes embarrassing to admit for example, you were afraid to pick up the phone to make the needed calls.  The buddy system becomes your motivating force for further business development and sales.

The next time you have an opportunity to create your own buddy system, try these steps:

1.  Exchange conversation regarding future accomplishments and where you may be stumbling.

2.  By the end of the conversation, offer at least 3 assignments to be completed by a target date

3.  Establish a specified date to reconnect.

Not only will you accomplish more, but you will find yourself moving at a faster pace and more easily growing business.  The momentum leverages possibility and serves to build a recognizable personal brand.

 Ultimately the buddy system enables the Smooth Sale

Read Addtional Strategies and Techniques:

Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results, Sourcebooks

HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews, Career Press

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