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There’s one simple question that many individuals overlook. In fact, if a salesperson knows the answer to this simple question, they’re much more likely to seal the deal and close the sale. The question is so simple it’s just one word – “Why?” Knowing “why” a customer would desire a service or product enables you to ascertain their motivations. If you know why a potential client or customer might want or need something, you will always have the advantage when trying to push a product. In general, people make purchases to solve a problem of some kind. Once you determine what problem your audience may have, you can pitch your product in a way that lets them see it as a solution. Once you know the “why” in the equation, not only will your sale go more smoothly, it will come about...

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Pinterest, a photo-sharing social media site on the Internet, is home to close to 50 million users, with close to 25 million unique monthly visits. With its expansive reach, businesses are now looking to use Pinterest to market their expertise and create brand recognition. A presence on Pinterest is a critical component of successful social media marketing. A powerful way to use Pinterest is to establish your business as an authority in your field. You create Pinterest boards that provide timely and useful information, while at the same time promoting or featuring your own products and services. It is not necessary to create all the content yourself; a more manageable strategy is to share content from other vetted sources. The combination of your own content with high-quality second-party content ensures that your followers get the best mix of information. With its large...

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For decades, sales force teams have relied upon cold calling to contact potential customers. More and more, however, this approach is declining. In its place, companies are turning to social media to generate leads, nurture relationships, and make sales. Business leaders and innovators tout this new concept of “social selling” as the preferred path for improving the bottom line. One example of the emergence of a social sales force is the use of LinkedIn to create targeted lead lists based on a variety of criteria. LinkedIn allows sales teams to develop search criteria and, more importantly, to save the searches for future automated processing. As new businesses join LinkedIn, your automated search determines if they meet your criteria. This automated processing saves time and allows the sales team to devote more energy to nurturing relationships and closing deals. As sales teams grow...

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Social media marketing is a red-hot topic in the business world. For example, the rise in social media tools allows the marketing department direct contact with clients and potential consumers. Companies have invested in the technology tools to make this happen, but these same companies do not have the systems in place to allow colleagues to share important information across business divisions. Experts advise that this lack of infrastructure is a liability as companies compete to respond to more demanding and technologically perceptive customers. In years past, common wisdom suggests the company culture is the culprit for disjointed communication across different divisions. However, recent evidence suggests that an investment in technology can aid in these previously hindered conversations. Adding social collaboration layers across sales, marketing, and customer services helps all aspects of a business. Rebecca Dye, a social media manager with...

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The emotional benefit of a business is an often overlooked aspect of transforming your business from a run-of-the-mill operation into something special. Much focus is paid to rational elements of businesses; these rational elements include cost-savings, product claims, and detailed specifications. However, increasing evidence suggests that what makes a product succeed is more than the sum of its part. The success of product, its transformation into a brand, is based in the emotional attachment it creates with potential users. This approach of securing business via an emotional attachment pays dividends for the small business owner. Creating a brand people can trust, that they feel they need to support and use, is the key ingredient in long-term viability. This branding does not take the place of creating a product with the necessary features and benefits; instead, this branding allows you to separate...

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For the past few years, many people have made big bucks by “gaming” Google. SEO professionals would seek out particular keywords and search terms, and use them in their links as a powerful strategy to improve their search engine ranking position. Using the same search phrases led to some pretty silly looking sentences as people tried to stuff their keywords into their sentences everywhere they could. Unfortunately for a lot of people’s SEO strategies, Google caught up with this trend and implemented penalties for content that overused certain search terms and keywords. When linking, it’s much better to make sure your content looks natural. So what does this mean? In short, it means that it isn’t the best idea to use the same keywords over and over when linking to your site. Overuse of the search term in content can actually...

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If you work for yourself or run a small business, chances are you keep a tight watch over your work. This means you seldom take vacation, often believing that if you walk away, the ship sinks. You are not alone. Most business owners fail to properly empower or motivate their employees, thereby creating an environment that is unsustainable in your absence. However, with proper planning and motivational techniques, you can create an environment that is sustainable when you leave and you can enjoy a well-deserved getaway while your business hums along. Consider the following strategies: A Winning Culture That Allows Failure You need partners and employees to take action, but they need to have enough room to fail. When an employee errs, do not focus solely on scolding. Instead celebrate the intent of action, while educating others in the cost of such...

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If you own a small business, it can be difficult to select what kinds of advertising you invest in, especially with a limited budget. You might think that you wouldn’t be able to afford outside assistance from an email marketing agency, or perhaps you’d rather take care of this type of marketing yourself. However, there is great news – email marketing can be quite affordable these days regardless of the way you choose to do it. Read on to see some of the Do’s and Don'ts of email marketing. DO – Target a specific market niche Different marketing tactics appeal to different types of consumers. There is no rule that you need one message to get everyone, so don’t be afraid of tailoring your emails to different types of consumers. Try tweaking your email messages to different types of buyer personas, and...

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How Video Has Kept Up With Generations Y & Z People often point to the shorter attention spans of each new generation, citing television, videogames, mobile devices, and being inundated with technology in general as the leading cause for concern. Whether technology is the actual cause of this problem (or whether or not it is an actual, quantifiable problem to begin with) is a moot point - Technology, media, and advertising are not going to slow down any time soon because certain individuals perceive a growing problem. Instead, advertisers will find ways to adapt to these perceived changes in society and keep up with them in any way possible. With the rise of social networking, different components that have traditionally been used in advertising and marketing materials have been introduced one by one. While none of these components were initially introduced to...

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When customers come to your web site, the goal is to gain a customer. When this doesn’t happen consistently, it’s time to reconsider your conversion optimization strategies. You want to create a favorable experience that increases the chances of that visitor transforming into a customer. Hard work is required, but the efforts at improving your conversion optimization pay off in business growth. Here are some approaches to optimization that create opportunities for quick wins. Be Concise You know you must have an effective verbal and written pitch. Review the conversion pages on your site and honestly ask if your average potential customer can scan and understand your copy in a minute. No matter what your answer, the goal is simple: cut, cut, cut all the extraneous, unnecessary fluff from your conversion pages. Be concise and strong. Improve Forms Many websites require potential customers to...

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