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Showing posts from April, 2018

5 Meeting Rules You'll Actually Want to Adopt

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Are meetings something that you would consider magical at your organization? No? Why not? Aren't meetings a place to collaborate, share ideas, dream big dreams and then make things happen?
Few business people would describe meetings using terms like actionable, positive, critical and focused . . . yet those are the terms that help define success in moving the organization forward.
Communication methods are imperfect as a whole. While you can create a business plan via a series of emails, it's inefficient and the plan will often lack creativity. The same goes for one-on-one meetings. Team meetings are the ideal way to build energy and enthusiasm for a new idea and generate actionable outcomes, but without the proper structure, even these meetings can be considered wasted time.
Here are 5 rules that will help keep your meetings on pace, on target, and provide you with the successful outcomes that you need from your time together. 
1. Start With An Agenda
No, you shouldn't begin w…

4 Ways to Stop Your Team from Falling Apart

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There are times in every supervisor's work life that you can feel everything going off the rails -- projects don't sync up as they should, laughter feels forced within your team, and the energy levels are low.
While it may feel like everything is falling apart at the seams, and you're not sure what you can do, don't give up! There are ways to bring teamwork back to your team, but it will take some work to rebuild trust between team members and realign your focus to the future.
Even the most high-performing teams have moments of doubt that can be introduced by stress or fear. These negative emotions could overtake a team or its leader, but the first step is re-imagining the future and then casting that vision to your team. 
Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
While it may be too late if your team has already entered a downward spiral, preventing negativity from happening is always the best alternative to a team that's coming apart at the seams. Getting to know your team…

Post-Show Followup Techniques You Will Want to "Borrow"

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Trade shows are one of the most exhausting, yet exhilarating, ways to spend your marketing dollars. You not only get to meet with your customers face-to-face, but you can also see what your competitors are up to, get great ideas for the future, and generally feed off the energy on the show floor. However, if you're not using the time after you return to the office effectively, you may be wasting much of the goodwill that you created at the show. Here are some great tips and techniques from marketers that will help you knock your post-show communication out of the park. 
Capture Contacts Logically
Before you even start to pull together samples and brochures for your event, you need to determine the best way to capture contacts for later follow-up. This could be anything from a name badge scanner provided by the event coordinators to the low-tech solution of a giveaway fishbowl where contacts drop in their business cards. Simply gathering the information isn't enough, you need a s…

How to Turn Negativity into Inspiration

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It's easy to look at successful businesspeople and feel jealous of what they've accomplished. They make it look so easy that you wonder why you're not having the same level of success in your life and career. However, what you may not see is the hundreds of times they've had their ideas shot down, been passed over for a promotion, and just generally rejected in their lives. No one is immune to the soul-crushing feeling of harsh criticisms, but how you react to these situations is what makes the difference. From taking a leap into the unknown to dealing with difficult situations, these stories of overcoming negative situations will inspire you to achieve more than you could possibly imagine. 
Stirring Generations of Moviegoers
George Lucas tried to sell his Star Wars script with studios for nearly five years before he finally received his first chance. It's almost unimaginable that without one 20th Century Fox executive who believed in his vision, generations of child…

The Dignity of Work

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Down But Not Out
Albert Serur was just a young man when he passed out cold in his client’s office. Only four months into his job, a previously undiagnosed heart condition might have sidelined him permanently. But Serur didn’t go down without a fight. Rather than recovering from emergency surgery at home, he hired a driver so he could sleep in the car between sales calls.
“Adversity helps you deal with who you are,” he says. “If you can start preparing for things proactively both personally and professionally, you’re going to be ready, and you’re going to be a better leader.”
“Will-Set” that Trumps a Skill Set
At 28, Serur is the youngest state director at American Income Life and chief executive of its Wilmington subsidiary. Serur Agencies brings weekly employee training sessions that focus less on technical abilities and more on workplace camaraderie, helping people develop a “will-set” with emotional tools to handle challenging situations. These offerings are a timely response to a felt…

Stay in the Game

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Finding the Off Switch
Do you ever lay awake at night feeling restless about work? Do you take projects home each evening or over the weekend? When the day is over, is it difficult for you to quiet your racing thoughts?
You work hard. And you enjoy it. But in this mobile generation, devices meant to create freedom have tethered us to the desk as we toe the line between productivity and workaholism. A study of 3,000 UK workers showed that 69 percent regularly work outside their office hours, and the average worker fails to use six days of paid leave each year. In the midst of an overwork epidemic, are you preserving your own well-being?
Digging Your Own Grave
While our parents said “hard work never killed anyone,” research says otherwise. Men who are unable to mentally relax after work nearly triple their risk of heart disease and psychologist Mark Cropley, studying health and stress at the University of Surrey, says an inability to detach brings disastrous consequences:
“Inadequate psychol…

Here's Why Visual Communication Works

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According to a recent study, the average person gets distracted in just eight seconds - although, for some people, just 2.8 seconds is enough. When you operate predominantly in the print-based marketing world, you've already got something of an advantage over most people: print is something tangible. It exists in the real world. People can hold a flyer in their hands or share it with friends and family members if they'd like to, and it's already something that's harder to get distracted from than a computer screen. One way to take the benefit of print and extend it even further involves using the full power of visual communication to your advantage.
Visual Marketing: Breaking It Down
Human beings are visual learners - they always have been, they always will be. It's not necessarily a sign of intelligence but about how the human brain operates. By making sure that all of your collateral includes a healthy blend of both text AND visual elements, you can absolutely make…

3 Opportunities for Better Customer Follow-up

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Have you ever considered an online purchase but been put off by taxes or shipping costs? That’s what a Reddit user (Doug D.) experienced when he fell in love with a sweatshirt from Archrival Clothing. Doug, a UK resident, added the item to his cart, but was disappointed to find he couldn’t get Archrival’s alluringly low shipping prices since the company was based in the US.
Winning Follow-up
Game over? Not quite. Someone from Archrival took note of Doug’s abandoned “Shopping Cart” and realized the shipping prices were probably to blame. This resourceful employee immediately e-mailed Doug, offering several alternatives to ship the order for less, including a FedEx International Economy option, Delayed First Class Overseas Mail (on the company’s dime), or European purchasing options.
Doug’s reaction? Rave online reviews for the company itself:
“Wow. My mind is blown. This is potentially the best customer service I have ever experienced. You definitely deserve a purchase just for this e-mail…

Break the Rules; It's Okay as a Market Disruptor

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Who are the folks who really define a market these days? It's definitely not those companies who follow the market rules and play nice with everyone. More often than not, the key players and new leaders of the pack are the ones who are writing their own rules on how to operate, sell, and grow - the market disruptors.
Being a disruptor is not to be confused with being an anarchist. Unlike the political zealot, the disruptor is not fixated on tearing things down. Instead, this is a company that wants to redesign the stage to work in its favor, not the existing market.
More Than Traditional
Take the example of Growup Urban Farms. In the food business, the idea is to produce food or distribute food products from producers. This assumes that one is either a traditional manufacturer as a grower or making a profit on someone else's work either growing plants in soil or raising animals on a farm. But what happens when someone decides to create food in an unorthodox method that doesn'…