Saturday, March 31, 2012

Romance After Marriage

Romance After Marriage

The sky is the limit when it comes to romance. The word romance elicits a multitude of images to travel through our minds - roses, poetry, sunsets, getaways, candlelit dinners, and the list goes on and on. Running out of ideas is not what stops us from achieving romance (all you need to do is browse the countless web sites on the Internet for tips); what stops us is a lack of time and energy. Between work, bills, groceries, family, homework, dinner, exercise and social events, let alone the emotional burden of making sure everybody around us is happy, it is practically impossible to even get in the mood. The reality is that it is not that hard to lose enthusiasm for romance, since there is only so much a person can do in 24 hours.

Even if we did manage to make time for romance, it would be shocking if no interruptions occurred, especially if children are living under the same roof. To prove this point, in a survey that I conducted, both men and women did rate distractions such as kids, work, and family obligations as the number one reason hindering their romance, even higher than lack of time.

It is undeniably easier for newlyweds to engage in romantic activities, provided that love is present, than couples who have been married for 10, 20 or 40 years! The challenge is how can you keep the spark ignited when the freshness, excitement and novelty wear off? It is inevitable that the flame will dwindle with time; however, try to make sure that your marriage does not get so cold that it turns to ice. There is no doubt that a complete lack of romance will cause a union to be dead and that the hustle and bustle of everyday life makes it difficult to fit in romance. Nonetheless, it is imperative to rekindle romance and bring it back to life. Both men and women in my survey could not agree more, responding that it is indeed important to have a romantic partner. Read more about the survey and learn the do's and don'ts to keep romance alive in your marriage.

#1 Communicate
Before labeling your partner as unromantic, make sure that you even know what your definition of romance is. Some people do not really know what they want and enjoy complaining that their partner is not romantic enough. Surely, we all have experienced, at one point or another, an outing where friends openly speak about how unromantic their partners are. In fact, sometimes these gatherings can turn into 'who has the worst spouse in the romance department' competition. Sadly, many times the friends know about the dissatisfaction before even the spouse knows. It is natural to yearn for romance and it is not wrong to confide in friends; however, make sure to communicate any concerns with your spouse, not just to your friends. Even sillier, some people expect their spouse to 'just know' or to mind read. Do not assume your spouse knows what you want. Indecisiveness, complaints and a lack of communication may be the things putting a damper on romance in your life. Know what exactly makes you happy (not what others think should make you happy), communicate them with your spouse and realize that complaining never really solves anything.

# 2 Find time for each other
This is easier said than done; however, make sure to plan dates with your spouse by going tete-a-tete and having heart-to-heart talks. Even though nothing is wrong with going out in groups and maintaining an active social life, learn to say 'no' to friends and use the alone time to nurture and revive the relationship. In fact, in my survey, men and women both ranked the gift of spending time with each other as the most romantic gift; better than love letters, roses, expensive items and even gifts that they really wanted.

We tend to think of romance as something that is too burdensome and requires planning but it can be integrated into day-to-day life without too much effort. Romance does not have to be a long drawn out planned ordeal. The majority of survey respondents agreed with 71 per cent of men and 66 per cent of women thinking that romance did not require planning.

Furthermore, women ranked receiving unexpected gestures such as a kiss, hug or 'I love you' SMS as the most romantic and ranked being occasionally surprised with gifts the lowest. You see how miscommunication can affect romance? Men are led to believe, by the media, commercials and magazines, that surprising their partners with gifts, is the key to a woman's heart, when in reality, it could just be a spontaneous gesture that will bring a smile to your partner's face. In addition, romance is not always about fancy outings; sometimes, having an intimate talk with your spouse in the car after the outing is more romantic than the actual outing. Spoil your spouse with the gift of time by making it a point to find it.

#3 Give compliments
Tell your spouse when he/she looks nice when dressed up. However, do not give appearance-based compliments only; praise him/her when he/she impresses you, supports you and even when listening to you. If your spouse is a good listener, unconditionally loves you or gives you his/her utmost emotional support, show your appreciation by saying 'thank you' once in a while and never take your spouse for granted; these traits are not easy to find and are considered romantic. By the same token, complimenting instills confidence and raises motivation to be romantic. Making your partner happy will, in turn, make you happy because chances are he/she will reciprocate, thereby making the bond stronger. Make sure your partner feels admired, adored and appreciated. In my survey, both men and women ranked receiving compliments that are truly meant as more romantic than feeling like a prince or princess, signifying the importance of complimenting while being genuine at the same time.

#4 Learn how to be romantic
Did you ever wonder if being romantic comes more natural to some than others? I do not know if a romantic gene exists out there... if whether some people are more genetically prone to be romantic, while others may not have a single romantic bone in their body. For example, unconditional love takes work, especially for perfectionist personalities who have trouble 'letting go'. They might miss out on opportunities to achieve romance because it is difficult for them to see anything less than perfect; they may have to try extra hard or train themselves to accept their partner's faults in order to experience romance, rather than it coming naturally. There is no doubt that some people may be more inherently romantic than others, but romance can definitely be learned. In fact, 46 per cent of females thought that romance can be learned while a higher percentage of males, 52 per cent, believed it could be learned. Interestingly, more women than men thought that romance is a trait someone is born with. With that being said, there is neither a magic potion you need to possess nor something extraordinary you need to have in order for sparks to fly.

There is no special way to be romantic - there is no right or wrong way. According to the website, romance is 'an ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people', which holds such a broad definition that it can mean absolutely anything! Knowing and acknowledging your partner's likes and dislikes, in and of its self, can be romantic. Honesty, empathy and open-mindedness can be romantic, not just material things. Sometimes, the way a gift is presented is more romantic than the actual gift. Pay attention when your partner expresses interest in something, like a CD, movie or a book. Isn't it more romantic to get what you really want, even if it's simple, rather than getting a random not-thought-about expensive item? In fact, in my survey both men and women ranked receiving a gift you always wanted as more romantic than an expensive one. Getting something of extreme interest is a sign that your partner really pays attention to you, and is not just trying to appease you.

#5 Accept your partner
Do not try to turn your partner into something they could never be or try to change something that cannot be changed. For example, if you secretly always wanted a taller or more intelligent partner, just keep your thoughts to yourself to avoid creating unnecessary insecurities. Always look at your partner in a positive light and you might see romance begin to sizzle. If you try to program your mind to see the good in things, you will see your partner as more romantic. Try to accept and understand the needs of your partner. Sometimes, a person just admitting when he/she is wrong can be a romantic gesture; it would not be surprising if there was a study out there showing that a give-and-take relationship had more romance than a stubborn one-sided one. If there is no acceptance, there is no compromise; if there is no compromise, there is no romance. If your partner tries to be romantic, never put he/she down by saying 'it is not good enough'; this will surely kill any desire for your partner to be romantic in the future with you. Romance is a mutual effort - it should not lie on just one person's shoulder. Do not just wait around for your partner to be romantic because you might be waiting a long time; take the initiate to be romantic because romance breeds more romance. If you know that your partner is going through a difficult time, do not expect the romance to be on high gear. Sometimes, just showing support will lead to a spontaneous romantic move when you least expect it!

#1 Be boring
Do not be rigid with your perceptions of romance - they change with time, should be flexible and are individualistic. Defining romance is one of the hardest things to do and there are an infinite number of ways to describe it. Did you ever think that having a nice conversation could be a romantic moment? Eloquently put, Andre Maurois's quote reads: 'A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short'. When surveyed, 65 per cent of men and exactly the same percentage of women voted 'yes' to this quote when asked if it was romantic. A further finding which is not unexpected, given that we associate flowers with females, was that men ranked having a deep conversation in the car as more romantic than being surprised by flowers; however, women, on the other hand, ranked flowers almost the same as a meaningful talk! To add salt to the wound, women even ranked watching a movie together with their partners as less romantic than getting flowers. I guess this is why florist shops, probably, make a lot of money. No offense to flowers as they are beautiful and lovely; however, there is also nothing wrong with changing it up a little and branching out into new territory.

#2 Be materialistic
Do not expect the world from your partner. If you do not expect much, you will not get disappointed. Be realistic. Do not always expect an expensive gift from your partner because if your idea of romantic is only based on material things, you might be disappointed, especially that times might be tight during this economic downturn. Do not expect your partner to do what celebrities do for their significant others. Be aware of your partner's financial status and try to be understanding. Keep in mind, even if you can afford it, that romance is not measured by cost or how fancy something is, but by how much meaning something holds and how relevant it is to that person. It is also not about abundance: women ranked a single rose equally romantic as a dozen roses, while men ranked a single rose as more special than a dozen. Try not to get side-tracked with material things, because you might lose the real significance of romance.

#3 Compare
Do not compare the romantic level of your partner with other people because you might be overlooking something very special in your partner. What is romantic to you might be so unromantic to somebody else. For example, one person might think that the most romantic gesture is to send roses to their partner's work, whereas, another person might get embarrassed if roses were sent. If you think flowers and going out to fancy places are not romantic, do not force it because other people might think they are. You cannot compare romance between people because it is like comparing apples and oranges. The meaning of romance can range from somebody who thinks being showered with gifts is a must all the way to somebody who thinks that being called a silly nickname is romantic. As you can imagine, everybody holds their own idea of what tickles their fancy.

#4 Think of romance as fairy tales
Starting from childhood, we have been indoctrinated by pop culture, soap operas, film and television to believe that romance is when a prince falls madly in love with a princess, goes off into the sunset together, and lives happily ever after. This could not be further from the truth. If you are dreaming of a Prince Charming, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Let's face it - more women than men wish to have that perfect mate to sweep them off their feet; whereas, men seem to be a bit more realistic. Twenty-nine percent of men said 'yes' when asked if their partners had unrealistic expectations, while only 22 percent of women voted 'yes'. However, oftentimes, men do have unrealistic expectations where the wife must be perfect in everything - good looking, good cook, good lover, and a good mother. Marriage and romance is not easy, takes work and you should not use fairy tales as your guide to romance. Holding unrealistic views of romance can leave a person feeling unloved, lonely and even deceived if the fantasized expectations are not met. Fairy tales are not meant to be real; they are make-believe stories that are entertainment for our children, not a manual for romance.

#5 Think romance is hard
Marriage can get monotonous and mundane and even hectic while trying to juggle between romance, kids and career. Try to get out of the same routine and take a break once in a while. Take a trip, have a picnic outside, go for a walk or just send the children to grandma's house for a change - whatever it is, try to do something different. Although very easy to do, avoid falling into a stagnant 'we are together only for the kids' kind of marriage by keeping your relationship fulfilling, exciting and alive. Sometimes, it seems as if romance in marriages is a rare commodity, and this is because romance, oftentimes, is perceived as hard work. A staggering ninety per cent of females, in my survey, voted 'yes' when asked if a couple must work hard in keeping romance, while 77 per cent of males thought it was hard. Here is a thought to ponder... given that the majority of respondents voted that romance did not require planning, then why should it be viewed as hard work to maintain? Maybe if we changed our thinking patterns and did not view romance as such a huge task, maybe we can do more of it.

Try not to put romance on the back burner because you think it is too cumbersome. Remember that when it comes to romance, it is not about the big things, it is the little things that count when it comes to making your partner feel loved, special and desired. Check out all the complete survey results on my blog. Maybe the results will shed some light on how romance is perceived and - not perceived. Your perspective on how men and women view romance might even be changed. The results speak for themselves.

Dr Sandy Zabaneh is a US board-certified Doctor in Pharmacy who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiology from University of California, Davis. She is the Health Editor of U Magazine, clinical pharmacy consultant and life coach. Dr Sandy likes to follow the motto set forth by the World Health Organization in 1948: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Check out her blog at

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Friday, March 30, 2012

How to Become a Trusted Advisor: Capitalizing on a Critical Trust Event

How to Become a Trusted Advisor: Capitalizing on a Critical Trust Event

Every sales professional wants to become a trusted advisor, someone who customers call when they need help. A trusted advisor delivers solid, valuable advice that shortcuts finding a solution so that the customer can focus on what they do best by letting the sales pro deliver the services they do best. Read on to learn about the Critical Trust Event, the situation that transforms an ordinary sales person into a trusted advisor.

What creates trust in your customers? Is it your promises? Is it your guarantee? Is it your customer list? Is it your market share? If you are counting on any of these to create trust, you are sadly mistaken.

Customers don't really trust what you've done for others. They only really trust what you've done for them in challenging situations.

Trust Comes From Performance

It takes eleven positive events to overcome a single negative event. This means you must build up many positive situations to create trust. Your customers can only trust you after they see personal evidence of trustworthy behavior. This means you have to perform to gain trust. Show up on time: get a trust point. Deliver your proposal on time: gain a trust point. Keep your word: gain a trust point. Be viewed as having integrity: gain a trust point. When you perform to the expectations you set with your customer, you get a trust point. Miss that expectation and you lose eleven points.

When The Chips are Down, Amplify Trust

You can gain many, many points if you can deliver in an emergency. This is a Critical Trust Event. Your customer has to get a new product on line in the next 24 hours. With your help, you can get them back on line. You have tickets to see your favorite band in concert this evening. What do you do? You get to choose.

If you forgo the show (give the tickets to another customer and you get double points) and get your customer on line, you've just generated 100 trust points. And if you play your cards right, you might get the boss to hire your favorite band to play at Presidents Club. (It's happened!)

Guard Trust Like it's Solid Gold

Do everything you can to keep all the trust points you can. This means you can't take your eye off the ball. A few moments of inattention and you can destroy all that work you've done. This is why sales professionals don't like to take like to take vacations. (Although if you create your backup systems, you can. That's another article.)

Mark S. A. Smith is an electrical engineer, computer programmer, hardware salesman, software marketer, and business owner who now works with IT sales professionals to sell disruptive technologies.

Mark has written 11 books and sales guides on a wide variety of IT technology targeting government, educational, healthcare and the private sector. He has authored more than 350 magazine articles.

With his engineering, sales, and business background, he can teach technical information in a way that sales people and management understand so that they can clearly communicate with their customers at all levels.

In this article, Mark just wants to share his insights into dealing with rapidly growing technology capabilities.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do You Dream Of Having A Well Trained Sales Force?

Do You Dream Of Having A Well Trained Sales Force?

Is a good salesperson born or made? It could possibly be a little of both. While particular trait qualities like extroversion and talkativeness will certainly consistently serve a salesman well, there are specified selling talents that are able to just be educated. That's where sales training invests a look, and it is available in 2 tastes.

A salesperson can be trained either in the general mechanics of selling or, alternatively, in methods specific to the company by which he or she is employed. Regardless of the type of training, it goes without saying that all salespeople can benefit from a little of both. This is true for the experienced and inexperienced alike. A refresher course will never hurt.

Training the New Salesperson

The new salesperson in the firm will, first and foremost, require training in the company's signature methods. While some new hires will already have some general selling experience, they will most likely be unfamiliar with the specific sales methods your company prefers, and they will almost certainly have little or no acquaintance with your company's particular products.

Call in the Troops: the Customer Service Team

It makes sense when you think about it. Nobody knows more about your company's products than your customer service team. When it comes to the items they specifically support, they have heard it all from the users. Who better, then, to familiarize your new salespeople with the particular products that they will be selling? A customer service rep can acquaint them with the positive points that should be emphasized and give them forewarning on the trouble spots that they'll need to either mention up front or ignore.

The customer service reps can also provide the salespeople with any pertinent documentation on the company's products. This material should be studied until the information it contains is committed to memory. If the salesperson cannot answer a client's questions in an immediate and knowledgeable manner, he's not going to make that sale.

An Experienced Salesman is the Best Teacher

Let your trainee learn from the best. To start, he can sit with one of your top salesmen and listen as he makes calls. He can travel with him to meet potential clients. As time goes on, the experienced salesman's skills and verbiage should begin to rub off on the trainee.

As they begin picking up the required technique, the trainees can begin making some of those calls and dealing with clients personally. This should always be done under the watchful eye of a senior salesperson or manager. In that way, any weaknesses will become apparent. When these faults have been identified, it's time for basic training.

Back to the Selling Basics

There are several ways in which a company can address the weak spots of a particular salesperson. Initially, it may seem more cost effective to have this training done internally, but that may prove to be a false economy. You would naturally want the new people trained by the best salespeople on your force, but when those people are busy training others, they are not making your company any sales. The other option is to get your fledgling sales force enrolled in outside training.

The best approach is often a combination of the two. Once the salesperson has completed the external lessons, you can set up some internal role-playing sessions. When you are satisfied that they are ready, the new sales force can begin meeting with clients.

Remember that each salesperson a company employs is also one of its advertisements. When your sales force is trained correctly, it can only be positive for you.

Business sales training is available for all types of business, the fundamental principles are the same but, there are niche sales training companies available in your market sector.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From Negotiator to Successful Negotiator In 5 Steps

From Negotiator to Successful Negotiator In 5 Steps

was never a good negotiator and in my junior days I simply hated negotiating. I used to laugh at my mother, who by the way is a master negotiator, for negotiating to the bone. Anytime we went into a store for a purchase, she'd negotiate, and I'd walk away in embarrassment.

"Give me your best price on this...." and "I'll pay cash and you take the taxes off.." were some of the classic lines she used. Some sales people wouldn't give in, that's until she turns around and pretends to be walking out the store, only to get chased down and given what she negotiated for.

Eventually through the years I became wiser and started to get more comfortable with negotiating. Bigger purchases like furniture, cars and my first home really did put me in the driver's seat of negotiating and gave me enough courage to become a more comfortable negotiator.

Finally I started my own cleaning business and had no choice but to negotiate contracts, pricing and schedules with customers. I learned to cut the best deals possible for my business through persistence, honesty and most importantly confidence.

Most people think of negotiating as a fight where you defeat your opponent by getting the better of the deal, however it's anything but that. The best deals are those that are fair to both sides, so they can be can be renewed again and again. This is called repeat business, and if you think back to Marketing 101, it's referred to as the "80/20 Rule".

In spirit of negotiating and becoming better negotiators, whether you're negotiating for your business or for your new furniture purchase, here are five steps to masterful deal-making.

1. A Humble You Goes A Long Way

Put your ego aside and just be humble. Stop trying to be that "tough" guy character. One of the toughest parts of negotiating any deal is to be humble but firm at the same time.

If you're a business owner, customer will purposely try and get the better of you. They want to see you flop. Don't give in, stay the course and just be you.

We're all human after all, so respect the positions of the other people involved in your negotiations. Express genuine respect for the other parties and what they have accomplished, even if you don't really mean it.

2. Know Your Value

If you're a business owner knowing your value is tres important. What can your business do to help your customer? What do you do differently versus your competition? These are some of the questions you should be able to answer instantaneously.

While you can't know every possible result that the other party would want, be sure to understand what your offer can do for them. This means researching all the ways that your business, product and/or service can help your customer, whether it is solve their problem, increase earning potential, or simply make life more convenient and enjoyable.

3. Create A Personal Relationship

A sales rep that I work with in my day job has a very interesting approach to all of his customers versus the rest of sales staff. He works immensely on creating a personal relationship.

Often his conversations with new and existing customers begin around topics of fishing, golfing, family, kids, the kids hockey, life at home, travel and anything else that he shares a common interest with the party.

After spending a little while and building up the relationship, he'll flip back to selling, often by asking "By the way Joe, you called about this product...." And by now he has the customer holding onto every word he says. Why? Simply because he installed trust trough building a personal relationship.

4. Finesse

No matter how large or small your potential customer may be, reaching deals requires finesse-the combination of poise and diplomacy where skill and natural ability meet.Finesse really means stepping outside of your comfort zone and thinking outside of the box.

Finesse is most effective when there is a comfort level between two parties, and a mutual interest at hand. For top sales people finesse comes naturally, unfortunately for most of us, including my self, it just doesn't come naturally. However, not all is doomed, a little work on developing your charm and creativity will get you all the finesse you need.

5. Swagger

A little swagger can go a long way. Swagger is all about you being you and different from everyone else. It's something that others remember you by, not so much for what you do, but rather how you do it. Swagger is about being commanding and authoritative without being arrogant or pretentious.

Swagger is showing off your success and fearlessness without ever compromising your integrity or general likability.

Reader, what do you think makes President Obama so successful?

Answer: Swagger


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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ethics "Training" For Organizational Change

Ethics "Training" For Organizational Change

Ethics is not something that lends itself to training. You can train a dog to sit and roll over. You cannot train a person to be decent and do the right thing.

There seems to be a bias in corporate circles toward the word "training" versus "education". My speculation is that training connotes a process at the end of which is a person who is now more capable of performing a certain task or job. This lines up nicely with the notion of ROI: money is spent to train employees and in return the employees are better equipped to do the jobs they've been assigned, or are capable of performing additional tasks within their jobs. One might train an auto mechanic, for example, to rebuild a clutch. The time and money invested in training the mechanic will be recouped by the mechanic's ability now to rebuild clutches for paying customers. Every time the shop bills someone $800 for a clutch job performed by this mechanic, the returns are easy to see and can be measured against the cost of the training. It's pretty simple.

But how do you train someone to be ethical? And, many ask, what will you receive in return?

First, the question of "What will you receive in return?" is slightly misguided. The proper way to phrase it would be "If our people don't behave ethically, what will it cost us?" The implication in the first question is that ethics "training" is a waste of time if it doesn't produce some kind of tangible benefit. If having an employee pool full of decent human beings isn't enough of a benefit, then consider the costs associated with unethical behavior and the business practices that typically accompany it: fraudulent accounting, dubious marketing tactics, customer service functions with an "us-versus-them" bent, theft and embezzlement, waste and abuse of company resources... the list goes on and on. These are all measured in real dollar terms.

How do you train someone to be ethical? Is there a training process a person can undergo, after which they can be "certified" as ethical, and after which no other training is required? Once a mechanic learns to rebuild a clutch, he doesn't need clutch-rebuild training anymore. But the same can't be said of ethics. If we want to do the right things on a regular basis, we must practice. Just as there's no such thing as a perfect cabinet maker or a perfect quarterback, there's no such thing as a perfect person. Some of us are good, some of us are bad, but no matter our current condition, we can always be better. It's the process of improvement, the practicing, that allows us to produce a good cabinet or perform well in the Super Bowl. The same is true of being a good person... practice, practice, practice!

One-and-done "training" seminars are merely a gesture toward building an ethical organizational environment. It's something that needs constant and regular attention, not just drive-by acknowledgement.

John Puckett

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Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Restore Passion in Your Relationship?

How to Restore Passion in Your Relationship?

No passion in my relationship! How can I restore passion in my relationship?

Passion is the heart of every successful relationship. Each relationship goes through many phases. There are times where we feel so passionate about each other and there are other times where intimacy and passion subside. Unfortunately if you don't nurture you relationship daily, passion will start to fade.

In the beginning stages of a relationship, passion will be common between couples, but as we go further in our relationship, our focus shifts from what we have to other negative aspects due to life challenges, stress, and anxiety.

How to restore passion in a relationship

If your relationship lacks passion and intimacy and want to learn how to restore passion in your relationship, then follow the guide below:

1. Remember the happy past

Remember and focus on the time when you two were very passionate about one another. When couples get involved in a relationship, they will be dreaming of having a harmonious, happy, and intimate relationship. However, as times goes on, most tend to forget those early days and stop giving the care and time that the relationship needs.

When you start focusing once again on the blissful days, you will bring passion back to your relationship.

2. Surprise each other

One of the best proven methods to restore and bring back passion to a relationship is to surprise each other in an unusual ways. Here are some ways you can do to surprise your partner:
• Write a note and put it in your partner's pocket or car
• Send a balloon to your partner's work
• Read a romantic poem for your lover

These are great steps you can take right now to help bring back passion in your relationship.

3. Seek a counselor

It is very sad that many relationships end without making an effort to talk to a relationship counselor or coach as many start blaming the other instead of looking for ways to make the relationship work last and grow.

Talking to a counselor on the ways you can use to restore passion in your relationship could be very beneficial for you.

Talking to a counselor or a coach can not only help you bring passion back to your relationship, but it can take your relationship to the next level.

4. Source of compassion

Every time you look at your lover, see your partner as a source of compassion that radiates love, peace, and affection. This is actually one of the best methods that I personally use to increase passion in my relationship.

Whenever you feel that your relationship lacks intimacy and passion, start to imagine your partner as a source of compassion and love. When you visualize your partner radiating love, you will be more likely to bring back the passion once again to your relationship.

Dia Thabet

Do you know that only 3% of the world's population manage to plan and reach their goals? The main goal for is to help you become from the top 3% of the world's population who know how to achieve any goal they desire in all areas of life. If you have a specific goal that you want to accomplish or want to improve an area of your life, but do not know how or why you are not getting any result, then this is the place for you.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

10 Free Marketing Strategies - That Cost Virtually Nothing

10 Free Marketing Strategies - That Cost Virtually Nothing

1 - Reduce your advertising and marketing budget by 50%. This obviously seems a bold statement BUT the truth is that more than likely 20% of your budget accounts for 80% of your return on investment. If you're using 5 different channels of advertising and marketing then statistically 2 of those channels are dominating your results, so dump the other 3. Alternately we can use the money that we save on looking into new avenues for internet marketing. Be sure to speak with your media advertiser and ask/demand a discount, in this unstable economy they are very likely to give you a large discount.

2 - Public relations - PR. As we know, most people believe what they read in the papers, see on TV and hear on the Radio so if we can expertly position ourselves where we are able to incorporate these aspects then 'technically' we are considered an expert. For example you could write a small article or column for your local newspaper, most local newspapers are in need of good quality content. Most local newspapers are able to afford freelance writers so are very likely to welcome your input.

3 - Upselling. Many business owners are cautious about asking their customer to buy more. The idea that they have purchased anyway seems to most owners acceptable, but true success and momentum comes from selling the customer add-ons and 'up-graded' versions of the same product. If you sell a car, the idea is to also sell the alloy wheels, air-conditioning, the cleansing products etc. Remember - if you don't ask, you don't get.

4 - Know your customers. And I mean personally. Contact your top 20 customers and ask to meet, buy them a coffee or lunch and have a chat. We are not trying to sell them anything but we are going to ask them for referrals and to tell their friends about us. Now this may seem over the top and not something that is usual practice BUT remember, we are trying to defy the norm here - if no one else is doing this then it is the perfect reason for us to do it. Knowing your customers is one of the best free marketing strategies that one can do.

5 - Networking. Go to where your target market or synergistic businesses socialise and do business. I'm not on about spending money on joining a Networking Club or a Business Coffee Afternoon but anywhere they are, you should be too. Networking is an incredibly powerful business growth strategy that can take your business to the next level and the greatest thing about it cost's nothing.

6 - Public Speaking. Now, for the more timid individual out there this may seem like a complete no go, but this must not be overlooked. Anytime you get the opportunity to speak in front of a large crowd - really what you're doing is Marketing. Along our business success journey we will encounter many opportunities to speak in public - we must stay aware of these and grab them with both hands. Are you still going to be shy when you realize it may make you 20K in sales?

7 - Sales skills. One thing that no one can ever take away from us is knowledge. We can never have enough knowledge. Read, read, read, learn, learn, learn. There are tons of books out there that will give you the extra skills needed to make even more sales. Becoming a great salesman will be the difference between a mediocre business and a very successful business. Books are relatively cheap, or you can go to the library - but we must learn as much as we can about selling. We must always be prepared to heavily invest in ourselves.

8 - Emails. Emails are FREE and an incredible way to contact and to stay in contact with our customers. If you are not emailing your customers at least once a week then you are not clearing up the money that is being left behind. At least once a week may seem excessive but remember that they don't (and shouldn't) be sales emails. Email them news, info, promotions something that will make them smile and that they can use. Trust me they will love it and it is one of the best free marketing strategies out there - as long as your not hard selling...all of the time!

9 - Joint ventures. What I'm referring to is non-competitive businesses that share the same customer. Lets say that you are in the Pet/animal industry & sell Pet grooming products. Now if you where to refer some off your customers to the local veterinarians then more than likely they will allow you to put some promotional material in their waiting room. You are both in the same industry with the same customer BUT you are not competing for the same customer. Be clever and work together.

10 - Internet Marketing. Become an expert in Online Marketing. Understand that there are thousands of ways to reach and attract new customers for free, via the internet. Research into this and become an expert to really take your business to the next level. There are also hundreds of thousands of sites that will teach you and give you all the tools and information needed including this site ;-) to become at expert in Online Marketing.

I hope you can make good use of these 10 Free Marketing Strategies.

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

6 Marketing Materials That Should Have Your Logo

6 Marketing Materials That Should Have Your Logo

Contrary to popular perception, website, email, and digital letters are not the only way to promote a successful brand and business these days. Even in today's electronic age traditional printed marketing pieces still form the backbone of the marketing channel. Their relevance is still noteworthy especially in terms of making an impact and leaving a personal and lasting impression on people.

To make a marketing campaign exceptionally effective, it's crucial to have a logo that will represent the business all across mediums. The logo is an important branding element that will reflect a business's vision and brand. This material should be present on all marketing pieces, printed or electronic, to achieve a seamless campaign. Let's take a look at some of the important printed marketing materials that should always contain your logo.

• Business cards. This is an important marketing tool that every business owner should have. No matter how small or big the company is, the business card should form part of their campaign. Prominently laid out on the card is the logo. Neither big nor small, it should be designed well and placed on a good location where it will be seen easily. Ask the help of commercial printing services to help you with your business cards.

• Brochures. These are designed to provide valuable details to people. If you can create an attractive package, you can easily promote your brand. Put your logo on the cover and even the inside pages so you can keep your brand in front of your target customers.

• Newsletters. Aside from a digital newsletter, you still have to produce printed newsletters. This will help you connect well with your existing customers and keep them updated of your business. If you want personal connection and build people's trust, be sure to create printed newsletter with your logo printed prominently on it. Put it in front on the top left corner. This will ensure you that the logo will be seen immediately.

• Stationery. The business stationery includes several materials such as the letterhead, envelope, and presentation folder. It is important that your logo should be printed on all these materials. Be sure that the design is appropriate so you can effectively promote your image and brand.

• Calendar. If you want long term marketing, you need a material that will stay with your customers for a long time. An attractively designed calendar will help you with this. Design an effective and high quality calendar that will remind people of your business name and brand for a long time. You can opt for a tent, wall, or pocket calendar depending on your need. Whichever you need, make sure you make the design captivating so people will be encouraged to display it on their home or office.

• Door hangers. These may be simple materials, but they prove to be effective in putting your brand in front of people. You distribute them personally or include them on your mailers. Don't forget to print your logo on the material to ensure your brand is well promoted.

These printed marketing materials play an important role in establishing your brand. With the help of a Dallas commercial printing service, you can be sure your materials will effectively promote your logo and your brand. Include printed materials on your campaign today and accomplish a successful marketing campaign.

For more information and inquiries about the article feel free to visit: Commercial Printing Services and Dallas Commercial Printing.

John Ray Daniels is a specialist of brochure printing and is also a web designer. He is knowledgeable in printing and continues to support the developments in the field to help out companies in their business marketing needs.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

5 Important Characteristics to Look For When Hiring a Sales Person

5 Important Characteristics to Look For When Hiring a Sales Person

Some of the best company cultures in the world are built on the concept of treating your employees like family. So when looking to add to your sales team, you better make sure that they fit the mold of people that you can count on to represent your business well and get the job done. These 5 character traits are common in most successful sales people:

1. Focused and determined
When interviewing a potential candidate, pay attention to whether or not the person sitting in front of you looks you in the eye. This is the first sign of someone who is truly focused on the speaker. Ask about their career goals and where they see themselves in five years. Ask about a previous job or life experience where the odds were against them and they still managed to succeed. Try to find their reputation of winning to make sure this is someone you want on your team.

2. Great listening skills
People often forget that listening is often more important than talking when it comes to selling. As you speak to the potential candidate, ask questions about points you made 5-10 minutes ago to make sure they are focused on your every word. Ask about a time in their life where they had to listen to a friend or a co-worker to better understand the problem. Find out how they have used their listening skills in the past to uncover a need during a sales call. Pay attention to their body language as you speak to see if they are in the moment and honed into your words.

3. Smooth communication skills
Great sales people do not have to be the most eloquent or smartest people in the world. They do need to have smooth communication skills and transition from one idea to the next. During an interview, bounce around to a few different topics and see how the candidate can respond to each. Sales people often have to talk about a multitude of subjects without it coming across as BS. Role play with the person, have them sell you an imaginative project to understand their creative thinking abilities and make sure they at least appear comfortable talking about anything, something that every sales person has to encounter.

4. Persistence and asking "why"
Today, it's more often for sales people to accept taking "no" for an answer. The truth is, sales people will encounter the "no", but it's how they respond that will determine their rate of success. Ask the potential candidate about times in their life when they were knocked down but had to keep getting back up. Then role play with them and you play the role of a customer who refuses to buy. Thank them for the time, tell them the price isn't the issue and flat out say you are not interested in their product. See how the person sitting in front of your responds. If they thank you for your time and ask to call back again in the future, they have failed. Make them ask you "why" you are not interested. Force them to recognize this by refusing to end the role play until they identify the real response you are looking for. This will help you uncover a person's level of persistence and tenacity.

5. Organized
Look at the person in front of you. How did come dressed for the interview? Did they present themselves in an organized manner? Ask about a time in their life when they had to stay organized in order to achieve a goal. Organization is the key to a sales person being able to manage the stress of juggling many different responsibilities. Make sure the person you are going to have on your team is organized with a purpose.

Be sure to consider these characteristics when hiring for your next sales position. Yes, sales skills can be taught, but personal characteristics are ingrained into people's personalities. Make sure the people you are going to hire are good people and will help you achieve your company's goals.

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