Category Archives: Efficient Sunday

Skills Training

Skills Training – How do we learn?

This week instead of Efficient Sunday; the topic will be skills training.

The one skill I didn’t have until five years ago (this past week) was sales.

Now, I’m a cold caller & conversation with strangers doesn’t bother me.

However; sales was my lifelong fear.

Did so well making cold calls for information; workplaces would move me into a more phone sales role.

I’d tell them no. Why? Because I knew I’d fail (they always replied you’ll do great).

Finally, six years around this time took some sales skills training designed for women.

It took another year to fully realize I’d gotten over that fear.

What I learned was that the trouble wasn’t sales; it was my fear being unsure of myself.
Even though I’d worked as a cashier, vendor & telemarketing.

Cashier ring purchases through & don’t sell a product to customers.

Woman at one workplace said school doesn’t teach lifelong learning.
Only basics of Reading, Writing & Math; the rest is up to us.

Told this once to a friend who then asked: Ok, WHY do we learn things?

I reply: To gain knowledge & teach others?

My friend said learning based on our interests.

When we lack interest, don’t pay attention.

Learning happens when we take interest to do so.

When I feared tech going from MacIntosh to Windows; that took help learning.

I never knew where to take sales training & no one ever told me where.

Did find a company once; it was $10K for a 1yr program.

Didn’t have money to invest for what I didn’t think I could learn.

Last Dec; needed to learn Infusionsoft. I’m reasonably tech & sometimes think I can learn something.

Couldn’t figure it out; so hired an expert to teach me.

All skills learned can be taught; if we take the time.

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.

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.

Social media productivity habit

Productivity Habit – Social Media

Getting ahead of schedule iS a productivity habit not everybody does often but should.

When you were in school did you ever have to study harder on what you hadn’t learned yet?

I did!

My Father was a stickler for that; no matter how much I protested.

Then when the Teacher had that lesson ready for the class; I was prepared.

Our Entrepreneurial lives get so focused on work that we think nothing else.

Holidays and days off that we once cherished as employees; we’re now slaves to.

End of last summer; we took one work day off & then Labour Day long weekend.

Decided that a little extra time would be spent Getting Ahead.

From our own blog posts to pre-scheduling social media for ourselves and clients.

Just did a quick check in; both morning & evening less than five minutes each time.

It was almost like back to the old life of working a job and how it felt to have a day off again.

Many people say “scheduled posts” don’t have the same engagement as manual postings; haven’t noticed that in our social networks or clients. Scheduled content has gotten re-tweets, likes, comments & shares.

It’s quite a productivity habit & time saver to schedule posts worry free, knowing they’ll go out at their scheduled time.

Our VISION: Grow a business that allows utilizing skills in a profitable manner, gain a steady stream of income by assisting others & decrease global poverty by employing others.

MISSION: To be Top choice as service provider aiming Virtual Assistant companies by helping small business owners increase their ROI. Giving them back their time to work ON their business; not IN it. Decreasing their stress by handling the small tasks that weigh them down; allowing them to be able to enjoy their leisure time worry free.

What is the cloud?

Cloud – What is that exactly?

Chances are you may have heard people talk about “the cloud”.

What is it though? And how do you use it? Where do you find it?

The cloud is when your digital documents or files are stored in “online servers” so you can access them anywhere.

One woman had asked this question. Gave her the example of “online storage” services as Dropbox, Microsoft Office Online, Google Drive & Amazon S3.

It saves you space on your computer hard drive, can be shared with other users and you can access them from anywhere that you have internet access.

Working in it can also be productive. You don’t have to worry about losing hours of work if you’re computer crashes or file gets corrupted.

Your changes are saved immediately & if needed multiple people can work on the same document. You can see each other’s comments & even timestamps of when changes were made. It’s in “real time”, no having to send files back & forth to multiple people or waiting to get the document sent back to you.

You automatically have a backup copy in the cloud.

All you have to do is log into your account & it’s accessible just as it always was.

There was a comical image I saw online. The first guy his computer is on fire & the second guy asks him – Your computer is on fire! What about all your files?

The first guy replies I’m not worried, I backed up all my files by putting them into Dropbox.

Geeks will understand the joke!

Think of this way; imagine the clouds in the sky. Now think of them holding rain & snow inside them until they are ready to “open” them.

Or if you’ve ever had a storage locker; it holds your items securely until you are ready to retrieve them.

Now think of that as digital.

Where documents are “stored” in your own “file storage locker”.

Offline backups of materials

Offline backups and efficiency

Offline backups should be a necessity.

Here’s a situation that happened recently and that ruffled the feathers of my inner geek.

Three weeks ago had gone out on the weekend & as usual with my laptop in tow.

Had gone to visit someone at their home and thought I could get some personal work done.

In the interest of higher learning, goal setting and personal development have a few digital books both on the hard drive as well as in the Kindle Reader app. Not to mention online storage such as Google Docs and Dropbox.

The area usually has quite a few open internet networks showing as available.

Not this day though!

One would show, connect and then signal would drop or not connect at all.

Or show good signal strength but then the strength meter would say the signal was too low.

Spent the next few hours turning off wireless, then enabling, tried turning off the computer & more.

Nothing would make the Internet work & that meant I couldn’t access anything.

For a Geek who is trying to be productive; that is pure death by agony.

Taught me a lesson about being a Geek & productivity with having offline backups.

If we want to be more productive and lead an efficient business or even life; we don’t need to always depend on technology.

At least one of books I wanted to read and work on; is also available as a print copy at the bookstore.

Two summers ago had given that same suggestion to another who said their computer was out for repair so they couldn’t look up a store website to find out if a book they needed was available.

Yes, time to take my own suggestion: Pen & paper notebook work just as well. They don’t stop working when the Internet signal is weak.