Monthly Archives: November 2016

Holiday Season Networking

Holiday Season Networking – Leads

Holiday Season Networking isn’t just attending business groups.
The same as with regular life; leads are everywhere.

Dr. Ivan Misner Founder of Business Networking International (BNI) & otherwise known as my Business God, says Word Of Mouth is the oldest & strongest form of marketing.

He’s absolutely right. Look at our daily lives & buying decisions influenced by those we know or wanting the same products as them.

When it comes to special occasions & “spend days”; we are inundated with advertising. Flowers, chocolates, candy, soft drinks & ice cream in the summer. While in the winter; it’s about helping the less fortunate.

Our casual holiday dinner conversations bring up what we bought, where we went etc.

They say more leads happen casually than they do at networking.

I have what I call the Commission Story that I’ll share in future.

Think about this way, how did you hear about Facebook or Craigslist? Why did you buy that phone?
The last restaurant you went to, why did you decide to dine there?

Word Of Mouth is everywhere & so is advertising.

Sometimes it’s just a need revealed in a phone conversation or when out having a relaxing time.

Friend of another said to me once that those who aren’t in business network MORE than those of us who are.

This past summer when our slow season hit; was working outside in a famous tourist area.

I cannot tell you how many vendor booths, car advertising, ice cream truck, marketing companies giving away freebies & people that I knew from networking that I ran into.

Gaining leads is about who or what we think of to help solve a problem.

In our business; the clients we seek are overstressed small business owners with no regular office support staff.

What is YOURS?

Firecracker-ology Slogan ~Be UnProfessional and UnConventional ~

Phone call saves time

Today’s digital world; much business is lacking the personal touch with customers or prospects.
Making a phone call saves time & increases how a company looks. We’re about Back 2 Basics here.

Few weeks ago was having a conversation with someone. Asked them for a regular email to send information that they’d requested & asked them to make sure they check their junk mail folder – just in case.

Their answer was they used to work in I.T. & dealt with this problem a lot.

At least someone understands my pain!

So many people have email or social media even cell phones but don’t know how to use them but still won’t pick up the phone.

On Thursday evening someone had responded to one of our ads on Facebook & we responded to the message. If you read yesterday’s Tech Tip then you know about changes to Facebook Messaging system.

Was able to find what company the person was with on their profile. So, picked up the phone & called them.
They wanted to see the ad again to refresh their memory. After a short phone conversation; they were happy to learn they could use the service advertised.

Picking up the phone stopped back & forth “message tag” of waiting & wondering if they got the message or if it was missed. As it turned out; they aren’t so technical and might need that help too!

It was also the weekend & our office is closed. We don’t work weekends, answer emails or calls unless urgent.

When it comes to productivity; making a phone call saves time, headache & answers any questions.

After a third email back & forth on things; my rule is pick up the phone.
It really cuts down waiting time on getting a response. Skype calls are only for International calls or the rare client interview across Canada.

Facebook Message Requests

Facebook Message Requests

Facebook Message

For a long time; people who weren’t a Facebook friend could still send you a message.

It would come to your regular inbox.

Now since “Facebook messaging” has become “Facebook Messenger” it’s become more of a chat program such as an Instant Messenger.

Most people call messages “Texting” as it’s an app on their phone. Messages are sent & received in an instant; right after sending. Hence Instant Messenger.

Sometimes messages from people who aren’t a Facebook Friend would go to your “Other inbox” which was like junk mail folder you have in your regular email.

Just as you should check junk mail in your regular email (Hotmail,Gmail,Yahoo, AOL) the same applies on Facebook.

In the last year or so the “Other inbox” on Facebook has been renamed “Message Requests”.

This is where messages from people not on your friends list are found.

How do you find your message requests?

If on a desktop computer, tablet or laptop look at the diagram below. See the dark circle? That’s where you go to your inbox & see Message Requests.

Facebook Message Requests

Messages on Facebook from people not on your friends list go into Facebook Message Requests box

It’s there you can accept or decline a message. The person who sent it won’t know you’ve read it until you press “Accept”.

If using a Smartphone then go to Facebook Messenger app & open it.
On the bottom right corner you should see “Settings”. Tap that.
Next select the option that says “People” & then “Message Requests”

Whether using a computer or mobile phone; also check for “Filtered requests” which are what Facebook considers heavy “junk mail”.

How often should you check? Well, with regular email junk mail, every other day & same goes for Facebook. Check it at least once a week.

Regular Customer Discounts

Regular Customer Discounts

Recently we had written a post about Customer Retention & Loyalty.
Well, to continue on that same topic especially for this upcoming weekend is Regular Customer Discounts.

In the last few years’ another few overly commercial holidays such as Black Friday & Cyber Monday have launched in Canada. They were already in the USA & start the day after US Thanksgiving.

Everybody loves discounts, freebies & special offers but it tends to mess with people’s minds.

Why we believe in regular customer discounts.

Having worked in call centres (as previously discussed) knew all the disgruntled customers who had been loyal subscribers of a service & many of them for a long time of up to 10 years at times.

Yet when there was a free offer or lower priced deal – it went to new customers. The long time customers felt cheated as if they weren’t important.

Our prices here at VYA Online are quite reasonable to begin with. Secondly, we underpromise & overdelive; so our clients get more than their money’s worth when they work with us.
Thirdly, new customers haven’t built a working relationship with us yet.

Lastly, don’t believe in commercialism & undercutting or undervaluing our services.

In the summer had learned that a service I belonged to as a paid customer was giving a special offer to new customers. And long time of my paying monthly apparently meant nothing.
I considered cancelling but didn’t.

Then they changed some of their features & services; that made my decision to leave easier.

At times; we do have special unadvertised deals but again they are for people who have supported us.

We don’t want you to go elsewhere; we want you to stay with us and hopefully forever!

Business Advertising Exposure

Business Advertising Exposure

Few years back heard that it takes people seeing an advertisement 3-6X before people make a decision from Business Advertising Exposure for your company.

We can’t get away from ads. They are all around us wherever we look.

Quite a few years back had a bunch of broken electronic equipment that all need parts in order to fix.
Would go into online parts classifieds looking for the parts I needed.
Finally; one person got curious seeing the frequent ads for parts & emailed me asking Did I own an electronics store? He’d seen my ads looking for parts.

I laughed as I replied saying No, broken electronics needing parts so they’d work properly again.

Then about two or three years ago; there were so many commercials for a Samsung smartphone on YouTube.
I had no interest in purchasing it. Saw the commercials so often that I knew all the features & benefits of having that phone after seeing the commercials ten times.

Even got tempted to want to buy it after seeing the commercials non-stop.

Same applies to our business & even networking groups.

Many times people see ads online Craigslist, Facebook, Google and after a while it raises their curiousity.

I’d seen an ad quite a few times.
Kept telling myself that I should contact them; their service was a complimentary fit for a project that we were working on. Finally after six months; my curiousity hit the maximum level & finally contacted them.

This past Monday; the same thing happened.

Client Project we’ve been assisting recently & there was a company on the must contact radar.

Well, had seen another share a blog article from this company & that was the signal to finally get in contact.

Called them up to speak with them.

Business Advertising Exposure helps us remember.

Firecracker-ology Slogan ~Be UnProfessional and UnConventional ~

Phone Meetings – Great time saver

Meeting Face to Face is a great way to get things done; we see their expressions & manner. Sometimes it’s easier to deal with what needs doing by having phone meetings instead.

I don’t do evening business meetings because simply put that’s not a business meeting. Nor am I a fan of late ending networking events where everyone stands around not wanting to leave or the

Asking to have a business meeting at 8pm isn’t usually “business”.

Never thought it was a good idea, to start with & they ended up having too many restrictions which kept them from turning into clients so I stopped altogether.

Key factors in a phone meeting are that you don’t have to travel, you can speak to them from wherever you (or they) are at that moment.

Nor worry about squeezing them into your tight schedule or in between other time commitments.

I’m also not big on constant back & forth flying of emails or text messages to your phone.

In fact, it annoys me to no end.

Once had contacted a company about a job & 15-20 mins of the woman asking me questions by text messaging then me finding out that the schedule they wanted; wasn’t what I was able to work.

Had she picked up the phone to call me; all could’ve & would’ve been solved in five minutes or even less.

In the absence of meeting in person; phone meetings will do in a pinch.

When people are trained on anything by us; they are offered a phone refresher if needed to help guide them.

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