Tips For Making You More Successful

But no matter what you consider to be successful, there are some habits that will help you to get there. We’re going to discuss five of them in this article. Not only are these habits extremely helpful in becoming successful at business and life in general, they are also easy to incorporate into your life – so easy, that you can start using them tomorrow if you want.

Get Up Earlier

One of the things that you can do to be more successful is to give yourself more time to work on stuff. That can be easily done by getting up an hour earlier. Some of the world’s most successful people aren’t morning people at all, but they get up early to get things accomplished.

Learn Something Useful

You can also start learning something that will help you to be more successful in the future. This might be how to budget better, how to improve your credit, or a brand new skill that you think might be useful later. Make a list of things that you think you’ll need to know to be successful and choose one.

Save Money

Another great way to prepare for future success is to save money. Think about saving several times a day. If you are about to go get a coffee, think about putting that money into your savings account instead. Check with your bank and see if they can automatically transfer money to savings or if they have any other tools that might help you to save money.

Make Friends with Like-Minded People

You may want to make some new friends, particularly people who like you have a goal to become successful, wealthy or well known in business. Join a meetup group if you don’t know where to find these friends. Talk to people and find out what they are striving for and try to spend time with those people who you think can motivate you.

Be Open to New Ideas

You should also try to keep an open mind about new ideas that might come along. If you are prepared, you will have a much easier time recognizing a genius inspiration when you have one.

How Being Nice to People Makes Your Business Grow

Pop quiz. When you think about all of the personality traits or habits that you could develop to be successful in business, which one doesn’t come to mind. Whether or not you are nice to people does not seem to matter much in business at all on the surface. But the truth is somewhat different.

In this article, we’ll discuss why some of the richest, most successful and famous people in the world consider being nice to others as one of their top business priorities. You’ll find out just what the benefits are, and what can happen in business if you aren’t nice to others.

The Successful Businessman

The shark investor or the grouchy businessman are common themes in books and movies, but the truth is, most successful people are well known for being nice to other people. That’s because they have learned that in the long run, it nets them more rewards. If you look at Bill Gates, Larry Page or any of the big tech millionaires out there, you’ll find that they value kindness and decency in themselves and people around them just as much as programming ability or education.

So, why is this the case? Simple leadership. When you are nice to other people, but still stand out as someone to be respected and admired, you have figured out one of the most effective leadership models out there. People will follow someone that treats them with kindness. They will work harder for you. They won’t mind sharing their ideas with you. In general, you just do better in business when this happens.

What Happens When You’re Not Nice?

So, what happens when you are not nice? You might be able to get people to work harder for you for a while, but when you aren’t looking they are going to be slacking. If you treat people horribly then they will find little ways to get back at you, and they certainly aren’t going to come to you with their best ideas, which means that you could miss out big.

Finally, think about the people around you right now. If you were mean to them would it come back to bite you at some point down the road. If you treat people well, there is a good chance that they will be valuable to you if you should encounter them somewhere down the road.

All About Inspirational Business Ideas

You just have to know how to become open to inspiration and then figure out how to recognize that inspiration when it does come along.

The first thing that you’ll need to do is get rid of your preconceived notions. That is much easier said than done, but it is possible. You’ll start with identifying your preconceptions and determining which of them might keep you from being open to an idea when it comes along. Then, get rid of that assumption entirely. This way, you have nothing blocking the path if a good idea should come along.

Next, you’ll need to start paying more attention to your surroundings. It is very easy to become so used to your regular routine that you don’t notice the things around you. But those things are going to be what inspires your business ideas. As you go about your daily life, look for things that are related to business. In particular, look for niches that have to be filled, for needs that are not being met. These are where you will find the best business ideas.

You also have to know how to recognize the good ideas and sift out the bad ones. This requires that you think through an idea thoroughly before you do any work towards it. You need to determine exactly how the idea will work and what sort of pitfalls you can expect to find. Sometimes, an idea that looks great on the surface will turn out to be terrible, and sometimes the opposite is true.

The most important thing that you can do is to continually think about things from a business perspective until it becomes so much of a habit that you are unable to turn it off. That is when you will start coming up with amazing ideas, one of which could just make you a millionaire if you put in the work. But the idea has to come first so get to thinking about things!

Why Health & Financial Success Are Related

Are financial success and health actually related? The answer is yes. Science has found correlations between someone’s physical fitness or health and their success in business or other areas of their life. The simple fact is, healthier people make more money and achieve more of their goals than those who are not as healthy. Let’s look at five reasons why that’s the case.

You release endorphins by working out first thing in the morning

When you work out first thing the morning, you release a bunch of endorphins that stay with you for hours. This means that you head to work with a glow about you and an easier time focusing on tasks and getting things done.

You have more energy when you are eating right

You also have more energy when you are eating the right foods. Fast food, carbohydrate overload and other habits that people fall into can actually zap your energy, make you tired and cause you to get less accomplished throughout the day. People who get the right nutrients from their diet and who do not overeat are much more able to get things done and have the energy that is required for reaching goals.

You have more confidence to accomplish goals

You also have more confidence when it comes to the goals that you set for yourself. That’s because you know that you can achieve difficult things already, thanks to the goals that you’ve set for yourself when it comes to health and fitness.

You are respected more by your peers

You also get more respect from people when you are fit and healthy. Unfortunately, that’s just a fact of life. People that are fit and obviously healthy get jobs more often than people who are not, they get higher salaries, they make more friends and of course, they have an easier time with romantic partners.

You save money through diet and exercise

You might not have thought about it, but one of the big benefits of getting healthy is that you actually save money. Not only do you save money on food if you stop overeating, but you also save money on things like life insurance, and getting healthy now could prevent some huge hospital bills down the road. There is every reason to get healthy, but now you know that there are reasons that actually affect how successful you’ll be in business.

Common Mistakes From Personal Branding

There’s no denying consumers crave a deeper connection with the companies they do business with. And that’s why these days having a fancy website and logo isn’t enough to define your brand.

Therefore, it’s very important to thoughtfully create a personal brand that truly shares who you are and what you stand for.

If a brand isn’t appealing to your audience or not genuine, it can repel customers. But the process of creating a brand can be intimidating for some.

So how do you avoid personal branding blunders when it comes to helping instead of harming your business?

Here’s the biggest personal branding mistakes to avoid:

1. Thinking you don’t need a Personal Brand

Whether you intentionally create a brand or not, every communication and experience you have with customers and potential customers is shaping your brand.

That’s why it’s critical to create a positive brand communication. If you don’t take time to define your brand, your message can get wishy washy. That lack of clarity will hurt your marketing efforts.

2. Using Copycat Branding.

Often when people start out in business they feel like imitating their top competitors is a good idea. Don’t imitate, instead innovate.

Accentuate what makes you unique. Differentiate yourself. Show why your differences make you a better choice.

Do this by creating signature systems, products and messaging that sets you apart.

3. Not Being Authentic.

Some people take a dress-up approach to branding. They feel like they must be something they are not in order to attract customers.

Authenticity in marketing matters more than ever before. Being honest and transparent builds trust.

A brand should be genuine and always maintain consistent messaging that is in alignment with your personality and brand.

4. Lacking Consistency.

Your personal brand promise and message should be clear with every communication.

The more consistent your brand is, the stronger it will attract followers. So as you write blog posts, eBooks and social media posts etc., make sure the thoughts, opinions and information shared is consistent with your personal brand.

Every communication should reflect your brand personality and values.

5. Not Writing Your Own Stuff.

Content marketing helps you develop leadership in your industry. Your fans want to hear from you – not the same old thing that everyone else is writing.

Every time you write it’s a communication that builds a relationship with your followers. They experience your personality and voice. Make time to write your own tips, checklists, guides and freebies for your content marketing efforts.

Writing unique articles also boost your website SEO.

6. Not Defining Your Niche.

No business can be all things to all people. It’s really important to define your target market. Period.

The more narrowly you can define your target market the better; otherwise, you risk confusing your customers and you’ll have a harder time attracting the right kind of clientele that you want to serve most.

7. Not Loving Your Tribe.

Your tribe is a group of people where an unconditional love and connection exists.

Raving fans will tell the world how amazing you are. That’s why it’s important to give special treatment to your tribe.

Find your tribe. Love them hard. Give them special offers. Allow them behind the scene’s peaks. Share advanced notice about things coming down the pipes.

8. Forgetting Quality and Professionalism.

The Internet knows all so if you make a mistake, someone’s going to catch it.

When you send a newsletter with typos or broken links it reflects poorly on your brand. When your customer has a problem and calls customer service, they want their issue resolved.

Pay special attention to your appearance. Watch the language you share on social media. Your demeanour should be humble not arrogant. Display ethical behaviour when attending public events. Answer the phone professionally.

Take these lessons to heart and keep them at the core of your personal branding strategy. Even if you feel good about your branding efforts, it’s smart to step back and take a look at your existing strategy and double-down your efforts to protect your personal brand.

Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.

The Reason CRM Could Be Your Solution For Your Business

This is an undeniable fact that in today’s technologically progressive era, the business market is extremely competing. To survive successfully in such a vying business market, you need to stand out from the crowd by making an impressive brand value. Building a brand value for a business is not a piece of cake! It is a pretty much lengthy process. It not only engages the sales or the marketing department but involves each entity of an organisation as well.

You might know the CRM software as a tool that can track as well as manage leads effortlessly. However, a potent CRM software is capable of more than that. Here, in this article, you would get a detailed guide on how dynamic CRM solutions can benefit your business and can help you to build a strong brand value.

CRM Offers Consistency

One of the most crucial steps in the process of brand building is offering the customers remarkable consistency. All the facts that you publish or say about the brand should keep its consistency across all the channels and platforms. Any small amount of disparity in the fact can hamper the brand value. With the help of a potent CRM solution, you can easily track all type of communications between the customers and your business. If all of your business channels become able to send out notifications and alerts to the masses at the proper and right time without making any fault, that would not only bring your business prospects but obviously would increase your business brand value.

It Differentiates the Brand

You already know that in today’s scenario, if you can’t offer something special, something unique to your customers, surviving in the competing business market becomes pretty much tough. Hence, while offering any service or any offer to the customers, you need to make sure that you are offering it with the right personalised touch. How can you do that? Well, A dynamic and effective CRM software can give you a detailed insight into each customer’s preferences that would help you to understand them better. Thus, you can reach your customers with more personalised touch.

CRM Helps to Grow Brand Evangelists

The better your relationship with the customers, the better your business can grow. You need to understand that the customers are the most important aspect of any business to become successful, to flourish. Apart from accumulating new customers, retaining the existing customers is equally important. As an effective CRM software can give you a better overview of customer’s preferences, it becomes easier for you to interact with the customers. You can instantly give them a solution to their respective queries. If the customers become satisfied with your products and services, the loyalty rate increases along with the brand value of your business.

Thus, a robust and potent CRM solution can help you to transform your business and lead it to the path of success making sure your brand value boosts in the market.

Steps To Make Interesting Promo For Your Business

Consumers love to receive travel promotional items, they give them a convenience they can count on when they go out of town for work or for business. However, this is also an amazing marketing opportunity for you. Every person they see as they go about their travel plans can see your information too. This can bring you plenty of new customers without much effort.

There are quite a few travel promotional items you can consider, and they all offer value. Think about the budget you would like to spend and how you will distribute these items to those recipients. No matter which items you select, they need to be well made, your information needs to be easy to see, and you need an excellent provider to help you create them.

Try to keep these items eco-friendly because that send out a strong message about what your business view is on it. You don’t want the value of the marketing to be lost of the fact that you don’t have eco-friendly products out there. Your efforts could encourage more people to go that route. It can also encourage people to use those products as they fit their own views.

Tote Bags

One of the best concepts for travel promotional items is to go with a tote bag. It is easy enough for people to toss a few items into such a bag and take it with them. They may have a laptop or other mobile device in there they wish to take on a plan with them. They may include a book and a few snack items. The benefit of this is it is a larger type of travel promotional items.

That means you have more room to be able to share your business information on. It also means the writing can be larger than with some of the smaller items you have to pick from. Others who see the person with the tote don’t have to be very close at all in order to see it and read what it says. This can help you to reach people easily. It gives them brand recognition too.

You have quite a few options with the bag category too. You don’t necessarily have to go with a tote style. You can also offer the messenger bag option or even a duffle bag. Think about your core audience and what you feel they would find the most value with. Remember, the product only works if they use it when they travel, not if it sits in their closet!

Travel Mugs

On the go often means taking along a drink with you. Travel mugs are a wonderful choice for travel promotional items. People like to have a drink close to them, and taking what they want sure beats buying it later on. Make sure the item can be easily cleaned and it is made from quality materials. You also want to make you pick a convenient size to fit most cup holders.

This is one of the most popular of the travel promotional items because it does work. It is also cost effective. However, you need to make sure the writing isn’t going to rub off with washing or even running it through a dishwasher. If that happens, then the value of the marketing is no longer there. Talk to the provider to see what they offer to safeguard against such an issue.

Think about items that will be wonderful to share and also easy to get your business information on. This can be a wonderful way to get more people interested in what you offer. It also serves as a remind to previous buyers about what you offer.

How To Keep Your Business With Digital Identity

Nearly half the world has internet access, which provides a gateway for small businesses to now enter a global market. It is more important than ever before that businesses not only have a digital identity, but one that is present and relevant. In many cases, the digital identity will impact the success and longevity of a business. Here are five tips to consider when establishing your digital identity or enhancing your presence via social media platforms.

1. Research Platforms
Research the platform(s) you are considering, and the primary audience engaged with the platform. User demographics can be easily found for notable platforms. Due diligence in understanding the nuances of each platform is integral to your success. Do not simply learn about the demographics, you should also learn about the common trends and behaviors of the users. How often do users login daily versus monthly or weekly? How long does the average user stay logged in during a single sign-in? When using the platform, what features of the platform are used most? Are users more drawn to posts, updates, videos, or graphics? The answers to those questions and others, will assist in determining when a platform is appropriate for your business or personal brand, as well as how you can use the platform to its full potential.

Once a platform is chosen, exploring analytics options to track who and how people are engaging with you or your business is highly recommended. Many platforms will provide a range of analytics for free to all users, and have options to enhance the type and amount of information tracked. Free analytics, provided by the platform are robust in the information provided to users.

2. Know Your Purpose
While the platform may be a current trendy option, that cannot not be the sole purpose for a business to utilize the application. Some businesses will use certain platforms to be strictly informational and serve as one-way communication to their consumers, like utility companies.

In most scenarios it is in the best interest not to, but some businesses may choose to link their social media accounts, so that the same post will appear on multiple platforms. It sounds good in theory, but as you learned in step one, different platforms have varying demographics and behaviors. The deliverable needs to be presented in a way that resonates with users and aligns with the trends or behaviors of the platform in use. The appearance of being present and in the moment, is integral to the establishment of your digital identity. Often, viewers can see if a post was made from another platform and will choose to disengage with the content presented.

Expansion of consumer base is another common purpose for establishing a digital identity. The demographics of a specific platform are typically easily accessible, and can be used to target a new consumer audience. Businesses will also consider ways to enhance public relations through their digital identity. Professional sports teams and organizations may select to highlight their engagement with community and fans domestically and globally.

3. Voice and Content
Once you have selected the platform(s) of choice, consider your content and voice. The beauty of social media is that it allows people to be tangible and engage with others. Consider how you want to interact with your viewers and potential consumers. What type of content should you share and how often? Social media generally is most effective as moments are happening or shortly after. Limited posts or interaction with others generally will lead to a downtrend in followers and engagement.

Social media marketing campaigns and hashtags serve a dual purpose. Both are great ways to drive content that can be shared, and attract new users to your digital presence. The other way it should be used is to conduct market research within the norms or social activity of the platform. Voice is extremely important because it represents your digital personality. Explore your timeline or news feed to explore users that have an engaging voice. Consider being informative, diverse in content, and providing a selective amount of individuality. Voice and content should give the illusion that user interaction is with a person instead of an office or corporation.

4. Brand Alignment
Purpose, voice, content, and platform(s) of choice should align with your overall brand. Your brand is a holistic development strategy for the success of your business over an extended period. Digital identity is just one of the many components that comprise a brand. Colors, content, voice, shapes, sounds, logos, typography, and a host of other elements are all things that should be considered when establishing your brand and digital identity. Brand recognition is key! Think about major brands or fast food companies. Regardless of how and where their content is delivered, the viewer or user at some point recognizes the brand, whether it be by sounds, logos, colors, or other features.

5. Be Creative
Innovation is almost a necessity for the success of your business and its relevance. As technology continues to advance, so will your business’ digital presence. Be mindful of the integral components, mentioned in steps one through four, which comprise your digital framework: platform(s), purpose, voice, content, and overall brand. Be open and willing to explore new platforms, and options within them, for the betterment of your business. Regular evaluation of your digital identity is essential to ensure that it is consistent and relevant to current standards. Explore effective ways to engage with your viewers and consumers that your competitors have not. Being an entrepreneur requires taking a certain amount of risk, and so will establishing a successful digital identity.

Technology is disruptive behavior that attempts to satisfy a want or need. It is no wonder that social media platforms are forever changing. The difficulty as an entrepreneur is identifying which platforms will set global or domestic trends over time and when that will happen. In my experience, small businesses and numerous entrepreneurs struggle to establish their digital identity, especially as popular trends change over time. Large companies generally will have branding, communications, or marketing departments that can better assess which trends are worth committing to and for how long. Countless individuals and businesses will struggle to reach the full potential of their digital identity.

All About Financial Fraud

Business fraud can have a monumental impact on an organization. There are many types of fraud that go by different names, such as financial statement fraud, bribery and corruption and asset misappropriation. It is often the case that fraud instigated by an employee will involve more than one type of fraud. Also, business fraud is not always easy to detect because it does not always show up in a company’s official accounts system. In general, the most typical way to detect this type of fraud is by receiving a tip from an employee, a customer, or an outside vendor.

Here is an overview of the different financial fraud in business:

Asset misappropriation

Asset misappropriation is the type of fraud that involves a member of staff who uses their position to take from their employers. This fraud is often committed by those trusted to manage the interests and assets of a company, which can include board members, employees or directors.

This type of fraud activity can include theft of company formulas, patents, or sensitive data, theft of credit notes or vouchers, inventory theft, theft of money or check forgery.

Any company that suffers from asset misappropriation will experience cash flow issues in some form. Plus, it can also have a negative impact on staff morale and the company’s reputation. It is believed that over 90% of business fraud is related to asset misappropriation which makes it by far the most common issue. On average, the lost from this type of fraud is in the region of $150,000 per case.

Bribery and corruption

Bribery and corruption is the next most common issue related to fraud in a business environment. Even though this type of fraud is less common than asset misappropriation, the average cost of a bribery scheme is significantly higher, and likely to exceed over half a million dollars per case.

The type of schemes involved in this area are quite broad and can include substitution of inferior goods, manipulation of contracts, bribes to influence decision-making, shell company schemes and kickbacks.

Financial statement fraud

Financial statement fraud takes place less frequently, but is almost certainly to be the most experience per case. On average, this type of fraud can lead to a company losing up to $2 million per case. This fraud involves an entity or individual falsifying earnings or income statements in an attempt to make a financial gain for them.

This type of fraud can include manipulating a company’s records in relation to more favorable loan terms, an improvement in year-end bonuses, or influencing the stock price.

How To Make Your Business Thrive

A new year is here and along with it comes a new set of goals and purpose for your business. The trends of the year are already heating up, and your company needs to form early adoption to ensure you make the most of these moneymaking opportunities. Consider investing in these trends of 2018 to help your business startup flourish throughout the year.

Local Advertising

Reaching your local customers has never been easier or more important as localized advertising takes this promotional activity to a whole new level. Through advanced search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you are able to make your business startup visible to the exact base of customers that have interest in your product. Using local landing pages, city keyword search terms, and the use of pages such as Google MyBusiness, you can allow your company to be found by those that are searching for a business near them. This personalized approach to reaching customers is hot for 2018 and is a sound way to market your business throughout the year.

Advanced Technologies

Hardly a day goes by without a mention of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), or Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are allowing business startups to interface with their customers in a new and exciting way. Adding these advanced technologies into your business not only can improve the customer experience for consumers, but it can also streamline and make your operations more efficient.

Higher Wages

For 2018, you’ll see a surge in the minimum wage being paid to workers. Increasing your wage earnings for your employees can make your business a more attractive place to work and help garner talent that would otherwise not have been possible. Your employees are a direct reflection of your business startup and paying them a little more can go a long way in ensuring that you have a workforce that maintains your company vision and brand.

Remote Workforce

More and more employees are signing up a for positions that offer remote working environments. As your business grows, you can expand your presence globally through a remote workforce. This will allow your business startup to secure top talent from around the world and keep your operations flowing 24/7. You’ll be able to maintain a lower overhead with a remote team and give your employees a position that is highly desirable and sought after in 2018.

Millennials

The focus of the New Year is on Millennials as this large population of customers has come of age and has an immense buying power to wield with business startups. This gaggle of buyers is focused and ready to make buying decisions that can help to increase your business startup’s revenue. Understanding and honing in on this generation of consumers can provide a generous bump in your profits as you target them with technology-enhanced products and services that you market to them on the very channels they submerge themselves in. Emphasizing Millennials for 2018 can add to your business startup’s bottom line and increase your fan base and followers throughout the year.

Influencers and Experts

In 2018, the need to have a subject matter expert or influencer support your business startup’s products or services can boost your brand’s visibility with consumers. These experts have clout with customers and are often the reason that they choose your business startup over your competitors. Consumers are turning to subject matter experts and influencers to give them advice and provide them with the solutions to their everyday problems with your products and services. Th opinions of these experts matter to the masses and can help bolster your business startup in 2018.

Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of blockchain, you soon will as the technology is making strong headway in 2018. This technology allows for real-time, safe documentation and monitoring and can help your business startup become more transparent with your customers. The ability to hold digital transactions in a more friendly and accountable way makes blockchain a technology that can literally change the way that you do business in 2018 and beyond.

E-Commerce

The need for a brick and mortar store has literally become passé as consumers choose to do the majority of their shopping online. E-commerce is taking over, and more business startups are making a foray into online sales in lieu of a physical store location. Consumers are responding with resounding acceptance making it possible for your business startup to thrive in the e-commerce space and gain consumer loyalty with online sales.

Values

The trend in 2018 for businesses alike is a focus on values. Consumers are turning to brands that have the same values that align with their own and foregoing the ones that don’t. Outlining the values that your business startup stands for early on can give you traction with customers that are like minded and believe in the same morals as your company does. Keeping your values front and center with your customer base is a new way to attract clients to your business and keep them coming back for the long haul to buy your products and services.

Customer Experience

In 2018, the customer experience also becomes more important as consumer look to brands that provide them a positive buying experience. Interacting and engaging with your customers can help achieve loyalty with them. When buying from your business startup is an occurrence that a consumer enjoys, they are more likely to return to your business for a second, third, and fourth purchase. They spread the word that your business startup is one to frequent and keeps your company top of mind with many new customers.

Keep these trends in mind as your business moves in 2018 to help it achieve maximum success in the New Year. You’ll reap the rewards of staying on top of the trends that your customers are demanding and increase your revenue with vigor as you find these new ways to promote your business startup and interact with your customer base. Good luck and continued success in 2018!

How To Avoid Lies From Your Team

I was recently reminded of a story about Alan Mulally. One September in 2006, he walked into the offices of the legendary car manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, to assume the role of president and CEO. Before this point, he had been the chief that turned Boeing around from lackluster performance, and Ford was hoping he would deliver the same kind of magic to Ford.

At the time, Ford was on the brink of bankruptcy and things were grim for the American auto-maker. As he reflected in a subsequent interview, “In September ’06, when I arrived, the first forecast I saw for profitability was a $17 billion loss. And we achieved it.”*

Remarkably, the first meeting he had with his senior team produced a different picture for Mulally. During the meeting, Mulally patiently sat through presentations where senior company executives presented reports that looked great. Everyone, it seemed, was hitting their targets. He couldn’t believe it.

He then reminded them that they had wholly succeeded–at losing billions of dollars.

He then asked them to try again.

(Pause)

Finally, one executive spoke up and began to provide Mulally with the less than rosy picture, which happened to be the real and raw truth. The executive then asked for help.

What do you think happened next?

Do you think Mulally ripped into the executive?

On the contrary, he stood up and applauded the person who dared to tell him the truth.

The Most Valuable Player

As a CEO of multiple brands, I don’t want to hear from my team about how good we’re doing. Nothing is perfect, and I know it. I want to be challenged and want everyone on my team to do better, and the only way that happens is if all of us hear the truth. The most valuable player on my team is not the top salesperson, it’s the person who dares to bring ideas to the table where he or she sees room for improvement.

What Would You Have Done?

If you were faced with a turn-around situation of any kind and you walked into your first meeting as Mulally did years ago, what would you have done? The reality is that good management practice begins with the leader. Would you have done what Mulally did and publicly support the person that spoke up or would you have done something different, like shoot the messenger? Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen too often. The best teams don’t only focus on what the leadership wants to hear; they trust in their leaders and the environment that allows them to speak about what’s not working so it can be improved.

Best Strategy to Make People Speak Up

Want to know what’s one of the best things you can do if you’re a manager and want your team to be frank and candid with you? Create the space and environment that fosters collaboration and discussion. That means that as a manager, you have to talk less and listen more. If someone brings you a challenge or an area in need of improvement, listen to what this person has to say. And, then ask questions.

Digging Deeper

I’ve been in sales for almost my entire life, and the best sales professionals and also leaders understand that listening is one of the best skills they can cultivate. However, along with being open to what your team has to say, you also want to dig deeper so you can gain a thorough understanding of an issue and perhaps even help develop strategic solutions. You can accomplish this by asking first, second and third level questions and you don’t have to know sales to get to the heart of the matter.

First, Second and Third Level Questions

When you’re presented with new information, get in the habit of asking questions and listen carefully to the responses. First level questions help you understand the situation and clarify the issue. They are top-line questions, that deal with what, when and how? Second level questions go a little deeper and are follow-up questions and primarily deal with why. These questions are asking for insight into why decisions were made. Finally, third level questions address emotion: fear of missing out or desiring reward. These questions are excellent to ask when you’re trying to understand the emotional barrier that has prevented a solution to a problem, such as a direct report that does not want to go around his manager when he has reported a problem, but the manager has not addressed it. A leader can uncover these emotions (and drivers for action and inaction) by saying things like, “If I were to look at this program for myself, do you think I’d see what you see?” Another one could be, “If you were given everything you needed to make sure the job got done, how would you do it and what would you need to get the job done?”

If you’re a manager, ask yourself if you’re the kind of leader who–had you been in Mulally’s place–shot the messenger when the person spoke up or if you would have listened so you can foster a business environment that supports transparency, accountability, trust, and teamwork. Get yourself in the habit of listening more and asking more in-depth questions, and it will go a long way toward helping you achieve excellent results.

How To Engage Customer With Email

Automated marketing and CRM software is a powerful tool that gets you more leads and sales by increasing your engagement with business prospects. Rather than sending the same one-size-fits-all marketing message to everyone, you can tailor and tweak your marketing to deliver a more personalized message to smaller groups of individuals. Personalization can be a labor intensive process. However, software automation does much of the work for you rapidly and efficiently.

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools for many businesses. Consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. Email Marketing is also a way to reinforce relationships through special offers or bonus content and to keep your product or service top-of-mind.

This is particularly useful when email marketing, which you can make more effective by segmenting your lists according to individual behaviors, and then engaging each segment with personalized emails. Part of grouping customers for targeted email marketing involves knowing their calculated lifetime value (CLV). It computes how many customers you have, the average dollar for every sale, and other factors. By coming up with your CLV, you can predict the average value of your customers should you keep them around.

Retaining these customers can be done through targeted email marketing. The fact that around 80% of businesses utilize email marketing to keep customers means you’re not the only one who shares this belief. Sending customers emails that “speak” to them will generate better reception from them. As a result, it increases the chances of them staying with you as long as you provide them with excellent service.

However, even with the software’s help, the effectiveness of your campaigns will heavily depend on the content you write in your emails. Like blogging, email campaigns require content creation. So how do you do this on an ongoing basis? By understanding and mastering the different types of email. Here are three of them:

The FAQ Email

The barriers holding back some prospects from becoming customers are unanswered questions about your product, service, or policies. An FAQ email answers the questions you often get over the phone, in your contact forms, in email correspondence, and in your blog comments. While some people will directly approach you with these questions, many won’t and will sit on the fence. An FAQ email will clear up the specific difficulties or objections that hold these people back.

The Blog Post Notification Email

If you have a blog, you shouldn’t rely on your followers to seek out your latest post on their own. Too many things in their lives can get in the way of their remembering. Instead, you should take the initiative by sending an email to your list with an introduction to the topic covered by your post, followed by a link. Make an effort to “sell” the post in your email.

The Case Study Email

If you receive enthusiastic feedback from a customer, ask if you can write a case study about the person’s success with your product or service. Get the facts you need from the customer, write it up, let her review it, and then send it to your list. The case study email acts as a testimonial that includes in-depth detail about the customer’s personal experiences. By presenting it in a story format, you get all the elements of high converting content.

If you want to succeed with targeted email marketing, then you need to value what email marketing brings to the table. It’s one thing to acknowledge its benefits to your business. It’s another to take action on your email list by segmenting each one of them correctly. Doing the latter helps optimize your email marketing so you can send optimized messages to the right people, which will lead to higher conversions.