Author: Joseph Schaefer, PhD

Has the Internet Brought On the Death of a Salesman?   Internet vs The Salesman In the past, buyers relied on vendors or salesmen to supply them with product information so that the buyer could then make an informed decision whether or not to purchase. Salespeople needed some flyers and a nice presentation, though they didn’t necessarily need to understand their product to sell it. They need some psychological knowledge of how to build customer rapport, but not much else.  With the web, however, a potential customer can thoroughly research all product information, pricing, and customer reviews in the comfort of their own home and at any time of the day or night. They can compare products, warranties and prices online – even customer service reviews, resulting in an informed decision. This has driven prices downward as well,  because most customers will purchase...

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Don’t fall in love with your product, fall in love with your client. Your company has a certain customer service DNA and it is based on the hierarchy of what’s most important to you, the emotional stake in your product or your client. If you love your product first and foremost, you might become contentious, argumentative and confrontational with a client while defending your product. What the client will hear is “I don’t care about your problems, my product is more important”. Instead the client wants to hear “all I care about is fixing your problems, nothing else matters”. Customer service challenges are the biggest opportunities we have as a company to show what we’re truly made of. We can shine in those moments and give our clients something to write home about. When they hear that we are willing to sacrifice...

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A Great Leader Knows How to Inspire Those Led   It’s well known, and backed up by research, that happy employees equal productive employees. There are many ways this can be achieved and they often differ from company to company, but if YOU don’t believe it’s something worth your time and attention, it will never become the priority that it should. And even though methods differ between companies, research has shown that there are at least 3 common rules that bring about employee fulfillment and inspiration.  1.    Thankless Jobs Need to be Appreciated Too Every level within your company is important to production/service or the job wouldn’t exist. Even if some of the jobs in the company aren’t as “sexy” as others, or don’t seem to be involved in closing deals, they are still very important. You must acknowledge that importance in every level...

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While researching online browsing/searching behaviors for a car insurance company, the research company, Bunnyfoot, discovered that 81% of their test subjects click on Pay-Per-Click ads and 41% didn’t realize that they were paid advertisements. In fact, these people thought the top results were in that position because they were the most authoritative. PPC Pays Google’s Bills This of course is not by accident. The shading surrounding the top three PPC spots is not even visible on many laptops due to the angle of the screen. Also of note, local map listings, video results and other additions to the search engine results page (SERP) have pushed organic results further down the page while the PPC listings have not moved. At the same time expanded listings, “places” location information and other features have made the PPC listings even more attractive and more like organic...

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  Things change fast these days, really fast. And the initial use and misuse of social media have rapidly undergone changes as well.  The original purpose of social media was an online “place” to be social. It quickly evolved into a numbers game for many to build an audience that they could “sell” to, whether it was product, philosophy or just opinion. Methods of following included use of autofollow and autopublish programs, emassing tons of followers who may or may not have been interested in anything you had to say or sell. Twitter has slowed practices like those considerably with overfollowing suspensions or cancellations of your account, though it still continues at a lesser rate. But the concept of the numbers game in social media is quickly turning into a dinosaur as social media evolves into what it was originally intended for...

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Start by asking yourself this question. What makes the best book; the book you can’t put down until you’re finished and are left wanting more, the book that makes you remember that author’s name so you can see if they have other books you might want to read? Consider the following two sentences: They were sad and disappointed by the loss of the family fortune. The future had suddenly become an unknown and frightening place. My brother and I huddled under a blanket at the foot of the stairs and listened to our mother crying in the kitchen. Tony held tightly to his teddy bear and I wondered if we would ever get another toy or blanket or Christmas dinner ever again, now that we were losing everything. My tummy hurt and Tony was shaking as he clutched his little bear close.   Show...

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Scammers Have the Real Secret to Getting People to "Click"   We intelligent business-owner-types can smell a scam a mile away. And yet, how many times did you STILL go ahead and click that button? The one that said, “Did you see this nasty picture of you on twitter?” or “How Rachel Ray lost 30 pounds in a month” or “Look who just unfriended you on FB”. How can seemy scammers get people to open mail, when we experts can’t? How Do They Do It? Aside from a lack of morals and taste (which accounts for some of it) in their strategies, they employ techniques that appeal to one of our basest behaviors – curiosity. Evidently, our curiosity overrides our common sense and knowledge, because we often go ahead and open that ad or email because it just might….have valuable information in it.   How Can WE Do...

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Ways To Get Your Emails Opened The art of direct mail marketing (snail mail) is decades old. There are tried and true practices if you want to see success. Response rates can vary wildly depending on many variables. That being the case, you would invest your time and money on a direct mail campaign without consulting with or hiring someone who knew how to make sure you made money from it.  What Time To Send It If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it….you know the rest. The same applies to emails. If they arrive in inboxes and do not get opened, you just wasted time and money. The best time to get higher open rates varies between industries but in general it follows the behavioral patterns of normal humans, people just like you. So when lots...

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How to Project an Image of Success All the Time   Some people seem blessed with all the self-assurance and knowledge of how to present a successful image in any situation. Most of us, however,  have to study and cultivate it. Here are a few tips on how to project a successful image thereby improving your success in business, relationships, job interviews, whatever your heart desires.   Appearances are Not Deceiving Your clothing should be appropriate for the occasion. If you don’t have a clue, hire a style expert and don’t forget grooming. Trim, clean nails and hair are crucial to impress. Write and Speak Correctly Use proper grammar when you speak, don’t bellow but don’t whisper either. Improve your vocabulary but speak like a human, not a dictionary. When writing, check your spelling and grammar before you send the communication and avoid jargon. If it is...

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You Have to Work to Make Your Marriage a Success And a Partnership is No Different    Whether an informal pairing of two people or a coming together of two small companies to make a greater one, a partnership requires some basic attention to detail to ensure success. Partners Share the Pitfalls and the Power Entrepreneurs generally want to run the show since they are the primary person who is “on the line”. When there are two of you, as in a partnership, you have to be prepared to share the control, since you are also now sharing the responsibility.    Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses Honestly assess your own strengths and weaknesses of what you bring to the company and make sure your would-be partner is the yin to your yang, balancing those traits. Be honest with yourself to ensure company success. Be sure your potential partner...

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