by Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic™
Your company has too much money. I understand. It’s a common problem. Clearly, you need to get rid of some of it. But how?
But not just any marketing—it has to be bad marketing.
Because good marketing is actually an investment—it will generate more sales, making you more money. And you wouldn’t want that, now would you?
So here are nine ways to ensure your marketing dollars go straight down the drain.
1. Direct your marketing at the wrong people
Most people aren’t your buyers. Which means the broader you direct your message, the lower the odds that anyone will respond to it. Better yet, spend some money on research to determine who and where your ideal prospects are…and ignore it! Believe it or not, it’s a time-tested way to waste a marketing budget. Continue Reading
by K.J. McCorry
Most productivity applications like Outlook, Gmail, and Lotus Notes have task list capabilities within their programs. However, some users may not like the task functionality and/or want a cloud-based task tool that can be seen from any device. Below are a few new suggestions for task list applications. Also see a prior blog post from July 2013 called ”Recommended Task Management Apps.” Continue Reading
by Shari Harley
You’ve undoubtedly heard that it takes fewer than 30 seconds to form a first impression. The question is how frequently is your first impression wrong?
If the person sitting next to you on a plane doesn’t speak to you during the entire flight, you may initially think he is unfriendly, only to strike up a conversation as the plane is landing and find out that’s not the case. If a job candidate is outgoing, you may decide she has good people skills, only to experience contrary behavior when she starts the job. If someone is late to arrive for an initial meeting, you may decide he has an issue with time management, versus he was just running late that day.
Many things go into forming a first impression. People who are tall and attractive – by societal standards – are typically perceived as likable and credible. It’s assumed that people with degrees from good schools are smart. But we all know people who went to good schools who we wouldn’t hire.
Your first impression may be right and it may be wrong, but it takes more than 30 seconds to be sure. Continue Reading
by Christina Haxton
Your brain is not designed to hold ideas, your brain is designed to have ideas.– Robert Allen, “Getting Things Done”
Because you are paid to think, to prioritize, to make the right decisions quickly … if you are a senior manager, your brain is your greatest asset. Especially if you want avoid burning up or burning out in your career.
An informal survey of 150 senior managers who attended my last Sustainable Leaders Strategy workshop revealed the biggest challenge they faced was “having too much to do in too little time with fewer resources than ever before.” The speed with which business must get done today is light years faster than even 15 or 20 years ago. In many industries (technology), change happens too quickly and if you only strive to keep up, you will be out of business faster than you can say “Buck Rogers.”
There are only 24 hours in a day and you cannot create “more time” in a day. The solution for most senior managers is to work longer and harder to get the job done. The only problem with that solution is that it is a recipe for burn out. What if you broke the rules and shifted your beliefs to recognize this truth: Time is a limited resource & Energy is an infinitely unlimited resource. You cannot create more time. You can, however, create more energy by taking control not only of your time, but where your attention is within that time frame.
My personal observation is that Sustainable Leaders who feel happy, satisfied and productive at the end of each day actively focus on BOTH how much they DO and DON’T DO to conserve brain power and leverage energy successfully. Continue Reading
by Julie Miller
Technical writing sounds overwhelming and complex — and maybe even boring — to many business communicators. The truth is you probably do a little technical writing as part of your job duties without realizing it.
Have you ever communicated using the web or social media? Bingo! How about writing a “how-to” manual or memo for employees? Yep, that activity has technical writing, well, written all over it.
Though most people who can call themselves full-time technical writers work for manufacturers, government agencies or other organizations and focus mostly on communicating specialized and technical topics, we all conduct a little bit of technical communication.
In other words, we often have to take information that’s complex or more easily understood by one audience and write about it in such a way that another audience can understand it. Continue Reading
by Tiffany Dahlberg
Well, that may be a bit ambitious; however, you can improve the productiveness and effectiveness of your meetings making them a valuable use of time with five simple yet proven steps:
1) Have an agenda. It never ceases to amaze me how many meetings people attend without an agenda. Every meeting must have a purpose and desired outcomes. Build your agenda to accomplish both or risk wasting everyone’s time. Continue Reading
by Tara Powers
Solid strategic plans, strong work relationships, high morale and improved performance are all byproducts of good questions. This potent communication tool can help you discover important information about your work, yourself, your team, your customers – and create insights that otherwise might have remained hidden.
Below are just a few questions that can have powerful effects on your work as a leader. Ask your questions without leading, prompting or interrupting, and suspend any assumptions. And then be sure to LISTEN to the answers.
1. What is it that you’d like to see accomplished and how do you see it happening?
2. What are your thoughts? Your concerns?
3. What’s the most important priority to you with this and why?
4. What would you like to see improved? Continue Reading
by Avish Parashar
Challenge: Come up with a brilliant, innovative idea right now.
Ready, set GO!
So, did you do it?
Of course not. It’s a ridiculous challenge, to force instant innovation. And yet, this is the type of thing we ask ourselves, our teams, and our organizations to do all the time.
The problem is that innovation and the creative process are hard to “force.” A far better approach is to develop a mentality of innovation that understands that great ideas are often built up, one step at a time. Continue Reading
by Don Cooper, The Sales Heretic™
The term “Relationship Selling” has become a cliché. Sales speakers and trainers throw the term around as if it’s a panacea for poor sales performance.
There’s a problem with the cliché of relationship selling, though—prospects don’t actually want a relationship.
That’s not what they’re there for. A relationship might develop, but that’s not their goal. It’s not even on their radar. Continue Reading
by K.J. McCorry
The following are some time management apps that can help workers manage, track and prioritize their time.
Prioritize: Priority Matrix centers on project lists. Once a project is set up then associated tasks are affiliated with the projects. The difference with this app is that you then must categorize each task into one of four quadrants based on Stephen Covey’s, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “urgent vs. important” model. The default quadrants are: critical and immediate, critical but not immediate, not critical but immediate, and not critical and not immediate. Priority Matrix provides this prioritizing structure that certain users might find useful to help them focus on the important vs. urgent task items.
Time Tracking: Harvest is a time tracking app that helps users determine how they are spending their time during the workday. It can track individual tasks, client billing or projects. If you use Harvest to track billable hours it has the ability to export a category of hours QuickBooks. It also has the ability to do reports and provide analysis of how and where users spend their time. Continue Reading