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You’ve spent hours prospecting and have finally found a potential client. After a few calls they seem interested so you setup an in person meeting. Things are going great, the deal is coming together, and you can already taste the commission. Then, at the last minute they decide to go with one of your competitors instead.
This scenario is all too common in sales. This is why it’s one of the toughest positions in business. You have to be able to brush off rejection and move on to the next prospect. While there’s no way to guarantee success in sales, there are definitely ways you can increase your chances of closing prospects.
Here are four sales hacks you can use to improve your conversions:
Teach Prospects Something New About Your Industry
When you’re pitching prospects for the first time it’s imperative that you come off as knowledgeable. Nobody wants to do business with someone who sells without substance. First and foremost you need to know your industry like the back of your hand. This one may sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many salespeople lack basic knowledge about their industries.
A great way to convey your knowledge is to try and teach your prospect something new during your initial conversation. For example, if you work in the payments industry you can help them understand some of the regulatory hurdles of partnering with a payments provider. It shows you’re willing to go the extra mile to help them understand the industry and that you’re very knowledgeable about the space.
Emphasize Stellar Customer Service
One of the best ways to outshine your competition is to provide standout customer service. It’s common for sales people to get overwhelmed with clients and forget about their new prospects. This leads to late or missed follow-ups, and a lack of overall communication in general.
If you aren’t using a CRM software to manage clients and prospects you should at least use a spreadsheet to keep track. This way you can see who to follow up with and when. When you follow up make sure you personalize everything and be respectful. A simple please and thank you can go a long way in sales.
Automate Your Scheduling
Time is money. That said, every client or potential client respects someone who is efficient with their time. A great way to be efficient around your time is to automate your scheduling.
If you haven’t done so already you should utilize a calendar application to manage your scheduling. This way you can eliminate any back and forth between you and the prospect to book your meeting.
Book Lunch Meetings
When you finally get the chance to meet the prospect in person you should always try and book a lunch meeting. When meeting at a restaurant it puts you and the prospect on equal terms. It removes most work-related distractions and allows you to truly connect one on one. In addition, it gives you a flexible time frame for the meeting. If you meet at an office there’s typically a hard stop and the conversation typically stops after business is done.
At lunch you can use any extra time you have to connect with the prospect on a personal level. People love to do business with people they know and trust. Lunch meetings are a great opportunity to accomplish exactly that.
The four sales hacks above are only a handful of tips that will help improve your conversions. If you’re struggling to close deals I strongly suggest one or all of the tips above. You won’t be disappointed.
“Where should we go for lunch?” “Should I get this pair of shoes, or this pair of shoes?” “When are we meeting?” If you’ve ever tried to ask these questions, or questions like these, over email, messenger clients, or most social media networks, you’ve probably been frustrated by either a delayed reply, or a lack of reply entirely. Whether it’s because the question got buried and missed among the dozens of other posts in their feed – or messages in their inbox or chat window – or it was seen and added as one of many To Dos that day and simply fell through the cracks, I think we’ve all been there, waiting for an answer to an often time-sensitive question. Queskr, a new social networking app, solves that need like no other social or chat platform does – allowing people to quickly ask questions and get answers.
Founded in 2016 and launched on January 31st of this year, Queskr is a social networking app built around Q&A that hopes to “[change] the way the world communicates, one question at a time.” The app allows users to create visually-rich questions which can be answered in one click by their family, friends and colleagues. Answers are then consolidated into easily reviewed results, and users can then chat in the context of the question. Using Queskr rather than text or email makes it quicker and easier to query your contacts and get answers for your review, without risking that your question gets lost in the shuffle.
While Queskr is simple in its endeavor and focus, it isn’t lacking in features or functionality. The app allows users to:
Quickly and intuitively create questions, by giving the option of 10 types of questions to choose from. These predetermined question templates are customizable and have the option for adding pics, places, times, and links with a click of a button.
Share questions with friends, family, and colleagues, one at a time or as a group – and whether or not they’ve downloaded the app – using your contact list.
Answer questions with just one click, whether it’s using the left or right icon for an either-or situation, choosing a photo from a selected gallery, or selecting from a list of dates or places.
Create personal Q&A groups and join professional Q&A groups.
Easily see consolidated results as well as drill down to see how each individual answered your question.
If you’re excited to finally get your questions answered the easy way (and all in one place), Queskr is the social networking app for you. It’s currently available in Beta for both Android and iOS, with a web app scheduled to be released in a few weeks.
If you’re like most Americans you were probably watching the Super Bowl last Sunday. If you weren’t watching for the game you may have been watching for commercials. One commercial that struck me was a commercial by E-trade. While it was entertaining it was also a bit alarming. Towards the end of the commercial they flash a statistic that states 1/3 of Americans aren’t saving for retirement.
The truth is, it’s becoming harder to put money away every month. If you want to truly build wealthyou need to earn an income outside of your standard salary. Luckily for you, there are plenty of opportunities out there where you can earn some extra money on the side. If you’re looking to earn some extra cash but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are five online business ideas you can launch as a side hustle:
It’s no secret that we live in a digital world. This makes it extremely important for a business to have a website so they can drive more online sales. Regardless if you have technical experience, this can be an industry you can enter that will likely never die.
Website builders like WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix give you tons of tools to create beautiful websites. In addition, these platforms are much easier to manage and edit compared to custom built websites (for non-technical business owners).
Business of all sizes need graphic designers to help them establish and build their brand. If you think you have a knack for design then it may be worth it to familiarize yourself with a graphics program. The most common one is Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. If you use an Apple computer and want to design for the Apple OS, then you should look into Sketch.
If you consider yourself an expert (or close to it) in a certain area of knowledge, then you may want to consider becoming an online tutor. Tutoring platforms like Chegg allow you to get set-up online and will do most of the matching for you. Online tutoring is much cheaper and easier to get setup doing compared to tutoring in person. Just make sure you’re also an expert in patience!
Health and fitness is a booming industry right now. It seems like everyone wants to start that diet or get those abs they’ve always dreamed of having. Have you ever heard the term abs are made in the kitchen? Well it’s true.
The majority of people either don’t have the time to meal plan or just don’t know where to start. There’s tons of free knowledge online about what foods are best for fat loss and muscle building. Your success here will be almost all results driven. If you can create success stories out of your clients, you’ll have more work than you can handle.
If you’ve been on the internet in the past three months or so you’ve probably read some crazy stories about people making money trading cryptocurrencies. While they are definitely crazy, most of them are probably true. If you’re interested in getting started with cryptocurrencies I suggest you do a ton of research. First and foremost you should understand the technology that underpins these currencies called the blockchain.
Launching an online business these days is easy. Making it worth your while is the tough part. If you’re interested in making some cash on the side I suggest exploring one or all of the opportunities listed above.
[Disclaimer: Nothing in this article is to be construed as investment advice. Invest at your own risk after doing your own research.]
As a business owner, time is the most valuable thing you have. I find that when business owners finally understand this, they actually start making some money. The reason is that they learn to set boundaries and command respect. You can do this too when you learn how to protect your time.
How People Waste Our Time
We’ve all been there. We’re in a meeting and we’re hopeful of the outcome. Before we know it, we’ve spent four hours there and this prospective client says they don’t want to hire us. Or, we’ve all been in a situation where we’re definitely not getting paid enough for the amount of work we’re putting in.
The truth is people will try to waste your time. It’s just the way it is. That being said, the onus is on you to learn how to protect your time as a business owner. Here are a few ways you can start.
Stop taking meetings in person.
I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you want people to stop wasting your time, you need to stop giving them the opportunity to do so. One way I see this happen all the time is when business owners who don’t need to take meetings in person do it anyway.
I learned early on that in-person meetings end up wasting more time than necessary because I don’t have as much control over the situation. I also do everything online so there isn’t even a need to meet in person. Because of this, I’m very strict about meetings. They are on the phone or no dice.
Be more assertive.
Another way you can protect your time as a business owner is to be more assertive. I often see this is lacking in beginning business owners and, as a result, it becomes easy for someone to waste their time.
For example, if you want something, ask for it. Otherwise, people aren’t going to know what it is you are looking for and may look you over for opportunities. In this case, it’s not that they are trying to waste your time on purpose, it’s just that you haven’t communicated what you need from them.
This is because of another lesson I learned the hard way: People who aren’t ready to buy from you are wasting your time. Again, they aren’t doing it on purpose, it’s just that you’ve given them the opportunity.
By creating an application process, you can weed these people out and save your time. You can also make sure you’re only giving your time to worthy prospects.
Block people who deserve it.
I recently had a situation where someone got through my application and booked a consult with me. About five minutes in, I realized they were using the opportunity to try to sell something to me. They are now blocked from my calendar.
There are several more strategies you can use to protect your time, but these are a good place to start. The most important thing to remember is that you have to respect your own time in order for others to respect it as well.
This article was originally published on Calendar by Amanda Abella.
There’s a reason why every parent says their child grows up too fast. Before they know it, their 6-month old infant who was just starting to crawl is suddenly packing their things and moving away to college. A child’s experiences during the early years of their development are critical and can make lasting impressions. Parents want to be involved every step of the way, but many work full-time and struggle to balance work commitments and family time.
As working parents with two children, My Imagination Mail co-founders Holly and Mike Roper recognized the need to have meaningful playtimes and interactions so their children could grow up fondly reminiscing “remember when we did…” Which is why they created My Imagination Mail: a subscription-based service geared towards young children and their families that delivers monthly seasonal items and weekly postcards throughout the whole year.
Curated boxes are delivered once a month and contain seasonal toys, crafts, stickers, family activities and more that parents can use to create lasting experiences with their children.
Monthly box delivery including letter from a holiday character;
Weekly postcard delivery from famous fictional characters (Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Mother Nature, etc.)
Fun, engaging, seasonal/holiday-themed family activities
Encourages positive family interactions and playtimes
My Imagination Mail was created to be a fun, engaging, and magical experience for each child and their families. Parents often do not have the time to coordinate activities or are not sure where to begin. This imaginative service takes the guesswork out of planning fun interactions with their children and delivers it directly to their doorstep.
These creative boxes are also a wonderful gift alternative for a child. If a grandparent or other family member is unsure what the child would like or they are given instructions by the parents to gift something small, My Imagination Mail makes it easy to register and select the desired package.
My Imagination Mail is bringing a unique experience for each child to promote healthy, happy and engaging family time. Let the magical memories begin …. before your child grows up!
Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat. Deciding on the right legal structure for your business is a common challenge you might face. So if you’re going to legitimize your business, which option should you choose? Sole proprietor, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or corporation? Here are 5 key benefits of incorporating your business and using it to boost your bottom line.
1. Personal Asset Protection
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership, a corporation is completely separate from its owners from a legal standpoint. This means that your personal liabilities and debts are separate from that of your business. This separation is key when protecting your own personal assets like your home, car, retirement account etc.
If in an extreme case, you’re unable to pay a business debt or someone sues your business, they won’t be able to seize your personal assets.
2. Tax Benefits
Certain tax benefits make corporations very appealing to entrepreneurs because self-employment taxes can be pretty brutal if you are operating as a sole proprietorship or even an LLC.
Generally, a corporation pays the standard corporate tax rate on its taxable income and the owners pay income tax on their personal earnings from the business. Yes, this is double taxation but it can be beneficial given the fact that only the owner(s)’ salary is subject to self-employment taxes instead of all your earnings.
If you can run a successful business and legally save on taxes, why wouldn’t you want to keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket?
3. Automatic Protection For Your Business Name
When you incorporate your business, the business name automatically becomes protected in the state you registered the company in. This means that no other company or LLC in the state that sells similar products or services can use the same name as your business.
If you want to protect your business name throughout the U.S., you must file a trademark but incorporating your business is a good first start especially if you do a lot of local, in-state work.
4. Opportunity to Get Shareholders
One of the cool perks of having a corporation is that you can sell stock ownership of your company to raise money. This could be a nice alternative to taking out a loan to grow your business. With a C-corporation, you can have an unlimited number of shareholders
5. Instant Credibility
Finally, I’m going to be blunt and say that incorporating your business will most likely provide instant credibility which is what you want as you expand your operation.
When you take the time out to formally register your business, it can make finding prospective clients, customers, and vendors easier. Even if you’re great at what you do, it’s difficult to trust people these days and there are tons of scams out there that others want to avoid (rightfully so). You want to give the best first impression when you meet people and network.
Having a formal and organized business tells people that you care about your company and are serious about working with them in some capacity.
Incorporating your business is a big decision so it will require some thought, planning, and a discussion with your attorney and accountant if you think it’s necessary. If you do choose to move forward, you’ll need to make sure your business meets all the legal and financial requirements. Then, you can start filling out the registration paperwork.
When you are a new business owner you have an energy and enthusiasm level that is hard for anyone else to match. You are excited about your new adventure and have tons of plans and projects you can’t wait to dive into.
But after the shiny wears off, what you are left with is lots of work and demands on your time. As a result, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day responsibilities and not recognize when your business ceases to thrive and grow.
Fortunately, you can take measures to keep your business from becoming stagnant.
1. Set New Goals
A good way to keep your business from becoming stagnant is to set new goals. If you created a goals list the year before, look it over and determine how many of them you met.
Are there some you need to carry over to your new goals list? If not, remove them along with those that have already been met.
Add your new goals to those that you are carrying over. This list should be reviewed at least once per month to ensure you are making progress.
2. Change Your Website
When you feel that your business is not growing you may need to make some updates to your website. Look it over to make sure everything is accurate and well written.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s far better to have a simple website that is easy to read and navigate for your customers.
Make sure your site is mobile friendly. Many people, about half of all internet users, in fact, use their phones when they search or shop. If your site is not cell phone friendly you could be losing business.
3. Add New Products or Services
Sometimes one of the easiest ways to keep your business from becoming stagnant is to add new products or services. Doing this one simple thing can increase growth and profit margins.
If you aren’t sure what to add to your business to enhance it, why not ask your customers? They can be an invaluable resource to help you determine what more you could be doing in your business.
4. Survey Your Customers
When you need to know what your customers think about your business, create a survey and request that they send it back. To ensure they complete it, pair it with a sale in which you draw completed surveys for a prize.
Finding out what customers want assists you with providing it to them and taking your business to the next level.
5. Host an Event
Rather than having the same old sales events every year, change things up. Host an event where you have a guest speaker who demonstrates a new product you carry.
Or, hold a one-of-a-kind sale to celebrate your business’ birthday, for example. There’s no limit to the ideas you can come up with to hold a special event.
If your business is primarily online, have a guest speaker create a video you can post on your website. Do some social media marketing ahead of time and you will likely get some increased web traffic.
As a business owner your time is valuable. Make the most of it by making good changes to keep your business from becoming stagnant.
This article was originally published on Due by Kayla Sloan.
If you ask my loved ones to describe me, two of the things that you’d hear from everyone without fail are that I love to travel and that I have a packed social schedule. Through years of international living and travel, I’ve noticed that it can be difficult to have the foresight – or ability – to record your favorite spots when you stumble across them. On the flip side, after over two decades in the same town, I struggle with finding places I’m excited to go when I want to have a night on the town with friends. Glintter – a simple, practical, and cooperative address book and social network that lets you share locations (with pictures!) through a simple and playful UI – sets out to solve both those issues.
Founded in 2017, Glintter is a free social network where users can save their favorite places and share them with their friends. If you’re lacking inspiration while trying to figure out a place to meet up with friends, the app allows you to easily discover new places that have been recommended by your friends. Can’t remember that amazing spot you went to last summer with your friends, or want to share your favorite spots with friends, whether at home or abroad? Glintter’s app is here for it – and you.
How It Works
The Glintter app has a number of practical functions, including:
Save & Organize Your Addresses – The app allows you to add your favorite addresses, so if you unexpectedly come across a great place but lack time to drop in, you can save it to discover later. Glintter also lets you organize your addresses based on categories.
Share Your Discoveries – Share all your great finds – that unconventional restaurant, that secret bar, that stunning boutique – or discover those gold nuggets from friends, family, and peers.
Invite Your Friends – Organize an gathering with your friends ahead of time, or throw together an event on the spot. Share your favorite places with your friends and create unforgettable memories. The app lets you choose an address, write a quick invitation, and select guests from your contact list. Then, you can follow their reply and chat in real-time.
Explore While Traveling – Taking a trip, and hope to explore those local gems? Glintter has got you covered. The app lets you discover your local friends’ best addresses and share new spots you found in exchange, and even add points of interest before you leave in order to return to them more easily. Glintter even lets you add data when you’re sans internet connection – the app will synch it as soon as possible.
Whether you’re looking for that local hidden gem or want to share a sweet spot you found on your travels, head over to the App Store for iOS or the Play Store for Android to download the Glintter app and save your best addresses and share your discoveries!
A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to take a state contract. The catch? I needed business insurance. As a mid-20s writing and social media freelancer, I hadn’t even considered needing insurance (what was going to happen – I’d get a paper cut?), and had no idea how to go about obtaining it. I ended up having to pass on the contract for other reasons, but I have to admit that to this day, I still feel at a loss when it comes to business insurance. So it feels particularly fortuitous that as I’m launching full force into self-employment, Pogo Insurance fell into my lap.
Founded in 2017, Pogo Insurance lives up to its motto “Business is hard. Insurance doesn’t have to be” by making online business insurance from top insurers easily accessibly online for freelancers and other folk who are self-employed. The founders, and a husband and wife team, launched the online business insruance tool to cater to those who are changing the workforce: freelancers, ‘solopreneurs’, entrepreneur, 1099ers, independent contractors, startups, and so forth. Their goal? Simplifying insurance: what it is, why you need it, and how to get it.
How It Works
Freelancers and contractors can go to the Pogo Insurance website and sign up. From there, the site compares quotes from top insurance companies for you based on your needs, whether it’s general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation, or anything in between. The team at Pogo Insurance works to find the right insurance plan for your company, because they believe that when it comes to insurance policies, there’s no one-size-fits-all.
They guarantee that their team of experts is:
Qualified – With over 30 years of experience helping people find the right insurance at the right price, you can be sure that the Pogo Insurance team will help you find the best deal for your needs.
Human – Despite being an online business insurance service, Pogo guarantees that you will be able to reach a living, breathing person by phone if you need to.
Free – Pogo Insurance comes at no cost to the user. Instead of charging you, they get a commission from the insurance companies they work with.
If you’re interested in working with a company dedicated to helping freelancers and entrepreneurs get the best business insurance for their value – for free to you – then head over to their website. You’re an expert in your field – and they’re experts in theirs, so let them help you succeed.
The gig economy is alive and well. Many individuals are ditching the typical nine to five workday and pursuing careers in freelancing. There are two types of freelancers. Those who work a side job to make a supplemental income and those who take on freelancing full-time. Becoming a full time freelancer is a much more daunting task and it takes a lot of preparation and thought before committing. Here are five ways to know you’re ready to give it a shot:
You’re a Self Starter
In traditional jobs you’re typically accountable to a boss or manager. If you’re a freelancer you’re the boss. Whether it’s scheduling meetings, bookkeeping, sales, or marketing it’s up to you to take care of it. Many individuals who pursue freelance careers were managers once before. They are natural self starters and like to take the reigns as much as possible.
If you enjoy taking on responsibility and like to ‘produce first ask later’, then you’re cut out for freelancing.
You’re Looking to Make a Career Change
It’s difficult to know what career you want to pursue right away. Often times when individuals graduate college they go into careers they end up losing interest in. While it’s common it’s not always so easy to change careers once you start.
The great part about freelancing is that you aren’t reliant on going through a hiring process at another company. That said, freelancing is one of the easiest ways to make a quick career change. It allows you to test the waters and see if the new career is a better fit for you.
You Value Flexibility
One of the biggest benefits of freelancing full-time is the flexibility. Since you manage your own schedule you aren’t required to adhere to traditional work hours. Your workload really depends on how many clients you’re working with and or how many projects you have on at once. You can schedule meetings and work hours however it best fits your day.
That all said I’d still recommend making yourself available during traditional work hours. Just because you’re on a different time schedule doesn’t mean the rest of the workforce is.
You’re a Natural Salesperson
The ability to close a deal is a skill that will pay dividends in both business and in life. When it comes to freelancing you need to sell all the time. You need to acquire new clients. You need to reengage existing ones. You’ll need to convince clients that you’re worth your rates. The list truly goes on.
If you’re a natural salesperson then you’ll have a huge leg up when you start your freelance career. If you’re able to close new clients and build a network of referrals from your existing ones you’ll have more work than you can handle.
You Don’t Want to Cap Your Earning Potential
In a traditional job you’re paid a salary and most of the time awarded various benefits. In addition you have the opportunity to earn a bonus if you and or the company performs well. Beyond that however there aren’t a ton of opportunities to earn more than your salary.
As a freelancer you can determine how much you earn in a year. Depending on how many clients you have and what prices you charge you have the potential to earn much more than if you were working a traditional job.
Those earnings don’t come easy however, you need to build strong relationships and continue to hustle while others sleep. If this and the other four things listed above align with who you then you may want to consider freelancing full-time.