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10 Ways to Add QR Codes to Your Company’s Marketing Mix

by  TashaCunningham

Have you ever heard of a QR code or Microsoft Tag? If those terms sound likes a foreign language to you, you\’re not alone. While major brands like Kraft Foods, Procter and Gamble and Macy\’s have embraced them in their marketing campaigns recently, the average small business owner doesn\’t have a clue about using QR codes to drive customers to their products and services.

Although they\’ve have been around since the early 90s, QR codes didn\’t catch on in the United States until recently. QR or Quick Response codes are 2-dimensional bar codes, similar to ones you would find on a price tag at the clothing store. Using a scanner or reader available on your smartphone, your potential customers can scan the code and see where it takes them. Major brands use QR codes to take customers to discounts, freebies and special promotions.  A Microsoft Tag works just like a QR code, but can only be scanned with a Microsoft Tag Reader.

‘QR codes have helped us introduce our company to an entirely new customer base,’ said Amy Bergeron, director of marketing at the Kursch Group, a commercial real estate company in Victorville, California. ‘We\’ve put QR codes in storefronts of properties we are marketing. Now when potential buyers scan the QR codes with their smart phones, it takes them to a website that is set to showcase a particular location. They can see pictures of the property, get details such as square footage and price and contact a realtor all without having to make a phone call or search the Internet.’

qrcode

Guerzo Business Solutions QR Code

While QR codes and Microsoft Tags can be used to educate potential customers about a product or service, they can also be used to reward them for their interest in your brand. Major corporations like Best Buy, Starbucks and Nike are using QR codes to cultivate new customers and thank existing ones who have been loyal to the respective brand.

‘We\’re seeing marketers using QR codes to create buzz and get consumers excited about their brands,’ said Matthias Galica, creator of ShareSquare, a founder and CEO of ShareSquare, a platform that allows anyone to create, share and market QR codes. ‘QR codes have been around for a long time and are in use around the world, but in the U.S., they\’ve taken off because now there is an installation base. As long as you have a smart phone, you can install a QR code reader. That has caused an explosion in the popularity of QR codes.’

So how can you use QR codes and Microsoft Tags in your business? Here are 10 ideas to get you started and remember, when potential customers go to the trouble of scanning your QR codes or tags, it is imperative that you give them something they can use.

1. GIVE THEM A DISCOUNT. When customers scan your code, reward them with a coupon for a 20discount off their next purchase.

2. GIVE THEM A DAILY DEAL. Encourage customers to scan the same QR code every day for a week to get a daily deal good for discounts, freebies and other rewards. This will create constant buzz about your product or service and keep your customers coming back.

3. GIVE THEM A FREEBIE. When customers scan your QR code, give them something free like a product sample or a 2-for-1 deal.

4. REWARD THEM FOR TAKING ACTION. Use QR codes to build your Facebook fan page or e-mail newsletter list. When customers scan your QR code, take them to a website where they can sign up for your e-mail newsletter or like your Facebook page. Once they complete the call to action, send them an e-mail with a discount, freebie or special promotion.

5. GIVE THEM A FREE DOWNLOAD. If you use e-books to market your business, use QR codes to distribute them. When customers scan the code, give them a free e-book download and the opportunity to sign-up to receive future special promotions from your company.

6. GIVE THEM FREE TICKETS. If you use event marketing to promote your business, use QR codes to hand out free tickets. When the code is scanned, make sure it leads to a website where potential customers can download their free tickets.

7. GIVE THEM EXCLUSIVE ACCESS. QR codes can be used to give potential and existing customers exclusive VIP access to events, sales and special promotions. When the code is scanned ensure that it leads to a website, video, text message or phone number that will allow customers to enjoy their exclusive access.

8. GIVE THEM A HEADS UP. If you want to pique a customer\’s interest in a specific product or service that you\’re planning to offer on sale, use QR codes and tags to tell them about it in advance. Place a QR code on your printed marketing materials that leads to a website where customers can get details about the sale and even pre-order.

9. GIVE THEM AN INVITATION. Use QR codes or tags in your event marketing to invite potential customers to events. If you\’re having a launch party for a new product, create a QR code that leads to the event invite and a way for customers to RSVP.

10. GIVE THEM SOME HELP. Use QR codes or tags to give customers more information about your product or service. Put a QR code or Microsoft Tag on your website, printed marketing materials or promotion items that leads to an FAQ web page where customers can get answers to their questions via e-mail or live chat.

Additional Tips:

  • Educate your customers about QR codes and how they can use them to get access to discounts, special offers and other promotions that will save them money on your product or service.
  • Show your customers where they can download QR code readers for iPhone, Android and Blackberry to unlock your company\’s QR codes.
  • Place links to popular code readers on your marketing materials to make it easy for customers to unlock your QR codes.
  • Use one of these five free tools to generate QR codes for your business

ShareSquarehttp://www.GetShareSquare.com

BeQRious http://www.beqrious.com/

Delivrhttp://delivr.com/

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Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/marketing-tips-articles/10-ways-to-add-qr-codes-to-your-companys-marketing-mix-4890165.html

About the Author

Tasha Cunningham is a newspaper columnist and technology expert who has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and numerous other media outlets.

Laptops? So ‘00s!

  by Patricia Guerzo 

You just got your head around social media, and now something new has popped up on the marketing radar screen.  What is this new thing?  It’s a phone!

Smartphones are everywhere in the news, with stories about new tasks a phone can do, beyond making calls.  Smartphones are becoming the new PC.  It is predicted that October 2012 will be the tipping point where smartphones equal “function phones.” (Asymco 8/10/11 article, “155 Million Mobile Phone Users Don’t Use Smartphones”)

This change in technology has created an opportunity for businesses to tweak their marketing strategy and stand out to consumers.  While the whole area of smartphone marketing is new, I would like to share a “primer” to get you started.

First, get ready to be seen.  Unless your website is new, it may not be formatted for mobile viewing.  A smartphone will see just 10-15% of the page at any time.  Your web resource can easily format your site for smartphone viewing.

While this may seem insignificant, fast forward to next October, when more than half of all phone users may give a brand “halo” to companies that aim to be visually appealing on their phone.  Like the absence of a social media presence today, by next year any company whose site does not display properly on a smartphone could be viewed as behind the times.

Next, get a QR code, and link it to your Facebook Page.  Use this little picture on your print materials to link to a reader to your page using the smartphone that is probably within their reach.  QR stands for quick response, the time it can take from a visual cue to a connection to a URL.

A word of caution – it takes about 45 seconds to scan the code, and open the URL.  So don’t expect drivers to scan it while moving.  In some states, QR reading is the same as texting while driving – illegal for safety reasons.  Place it instead in locations where people are waiting – restaurant table, waiting room.

Once your URL has been loaded into someone’s phone, they can access it in their history.  Your site becomes one of several dozen in their handheld device’s history, separating you from the three trillion other websites.

Now, make it portable.  Apply your QR code to a tabletop vinyl display and put it up whenever your company has an event.  Leave it up in your lobby or window at other times.

Because these codes are so new, many advertisers surround their QR codes with text that tells the reader what that code will access – “Watch this video.”  This helps introduce the technology by providing benefits, so consider this simple technique to increase the activity on your code.

I love these tactics, because they are cost-effective (QR codes are free) and piggyback on the smartphone popularity that will last for the foreseeable future.  QR Codes may breathe new life into print and postcards, too.  Take an hour or two to work ON your business and get into the phones of your new customers!

Top 10 SEO Facebook Strategies

by batteriescompany

facebook-logoFacebook is more and more becoming a ‘second home page’ for organizations on the web and has recently developed a number of innovative options for Pages to get increased traffic through the tried and true techniques of search engine optimization. Making use of important web optimization tactics on your Facebook Page can help you to progressively acquire more Facebook devotees. Search engine optimization reveals your Facebook Page to Facebook\’s total user base. In fact, Facebook has taken big steps to improve its own web optimization in recent weeks and months, increasing its own worth and creating opportunities for Page managers to benefit immediately.

Listed below are TEN SEO techniques and tactics every Facebook Page user will need to understand:

1. Decide on the Best Title for Your Facebook Page – and Don\’t Ever Change It

Choosing the right identity on your Facebook Page is crucial. For instance, if your name appears too spammy, people will probably be less likely to talk about it with their associates on their own page and more likely to conceal your updates from their Facebook feed. Secondly, don\’t give into the temptation to choose a completely common page title. Facebook\’s intention for Pages is that they legitimately characterize businesses and brand names, as well as stars. Recently, Facebook has been disabling updates for common Pages.

The bottom line: Work with your corporation\’s true title as the name of the page and when you choose your Page\’s name, don\’t alter it. Facebook makes use of your Page name in the title of the Page, Fujitsu lifebook t4210 battery and considering that Google dings webpages when their particular titles change, changing your Facebook Page\’s name can cost you SEO points.

2. Select the Very Best URL for Your Facebook Page

Facebook recently provided the flexibility to choose a title for your Facebook Page, just about the most important SEO option on Facebook to date. Facebook wants Pages to legitimately stand for the identities of businesses. Brand names with commonly used titles have had their rights suspended previously.

The soundest solution would be to decide on a username which authentically presents your online business or company. As soon as you select a Facebook username/URL for your Page, it cannot be altered. So, look for a username you are going to be at ease, and satisfied, with for the future. If you have a company that specializes in replica watches, make the URL something to do with replica watches.

3. Use the ‘About’ box to Place Key Phrase-Thick Content at the Top of the Page

One critical SEO approach that needs to be utilized in your Facebook Page whenever achievable is inserting key phrase-thick content as close to the top of the Page as it can be. Since Facebook restricts exactly where Page managers can place substantial sections of textual content on the Wall of Facebook Pages, the ‘About’ box basically is the best location in the CSS structure of the page to incorporate custom content. You will find there\’s 250 character restriction, so choose your words, Toshiba PA3534U-1BAS Battery and phrases sensibly.

4. Use the ‘Info’ Tab to Add Extra Critical Key Phrases, Content, and High Precedence Backlinks on Your Page

Facebook creates an ‘Info’ tab for each Facebook Page which has fields made up of important illustrative data about the Page. It\’s imperative that you complete all these fields, for the reason that they provide the option to add keyword phrases, content, and hyperlinks that may improve the content material rating within your Facebook Page for many kinds of Google queries. The specific fields existing could differ based on the type you choose for your Page whenever you create it, so pick out the class which most effectively meets your business needs.

5. Develop ‘Static FBML’ Boxes and Tabs to Place Lengthy Content Material Plus More Static Backlinks on Your Page

While chances to place substantial blocks of textual content on the default tab of the Facebook Page tend to be quite restricted, Facebook enables Page managers to set-up supplemental boxes or tabs which could carry any type of subject matter, including text, images, and hyperlinks. Adding content boxes or tabs to your Page could be a terrific way to supercharge the score of your Page.

6. Publish Direct Backlinks Aimed at Your Website Inside Your Page\’s Stream

Status updates offer a highly effective solution to place direct backlinks at the top of your respective Page. Since Google boosts ranking for webpages which link to relevant internet sites – and penalizes pages which link to irrelevant web pages or that add a great number of inbound links too suddenly – posting hyperlinks in status updates can be quite an effective and reliable approach to better rank your Facebook Page.

You can find 2 methods to submit hyperlinks:

a. Including the URL within the text of the status update itself.

b. Using the ‘attach link’ function.

7. Add Pictures with Captions, Activities with Descriptions, and a Conversation Discussion Board

This almost goes without saying, yet it\’s crucial that you regularly spread useful subject matter on the Facebook Page, along with always making use of all offered illustrative fields on every single kind of content shared. When posting images apply lengthy, Bosch 2607335037 Power Tools Battery and key phrase-thick explanations. Use the resources Facebook provides for your entire gain.

8. Create Inbound Links to Your Facebook Page from the Internet by Posting Backlinks to Your Page on All Your Websites

Just as a good number of inbound links from high-authority web pages can help improve PageRank for regular internet websites, acquiring inbound links for your Facebook Page may improve its PR as well. You can accomplish this with text backlinks, but Facebook has also developed a badge which it encourages Page managers to utilize.

9. Get Intra-Facebook Inbound Links by Simply Acquiring More Facebook Supporters

The more fans you get, the more backlinks you will have to your own Page inside of Facebook. For Pages with thousands of supporters, the volume of backlinks mounts up.

10. Reinforce Intra-Facebook Linking by Getting Followers to Review and Like Content in Your Stream

Whenever supporters comment or like content in your Facebook Page\’s stream, Facebook links their name back to their own Facebook profile page. Subsequently, once the profile stubs of those supporters who\’ve put up feedback and likes on your own Page are listed, Google will discover more reciprocal links between your Page and your Page\’s followers, which it will see to be a much better relationship. This results in a cycle of enhanced link weight from the listed profile page stubs to your Page.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/seo-articles/top-10-seo-facebook-strategies-4733433.html

About the Author

www.batteries-company.com – Australia leading battery company for Toshiba laptop batteries, HP laptop batteries, Fujitsu laptop batteries, Olympus camera batteries, Canon camcorder batteries, Makita power tools batteries, Dewalt power tools batteries.

Hiring Employees – With an Attitude!

By Dr. Ben A. Carlsen

With the employment market tightening and jobs scarce, employers seek employees with the “right” attitude. Identifying these candidates can be a little “tricky,” as the selection process is almost invariably not designed to measure these attributes.

Before discussing the hiring matter, we need to examine the underlying reasons for the hiring need in the first place, along with a framework for dealing with them.

NEW EMPLOYEES ARE COSTLY

Employers hate employee turnover. If the turnover rate is high the company will notice a negative impact on the “bottom line.”   The costs of recruitment, selection, hiring and training new employees are high.  And, depending on the complexity of the job, lower productivity, while new employees gain necessary experience, is another costly factor. Experienced employees lost to the competition are an even greater threat.  These employees may know business philosophies, practices, techniques, trade secrets, and strategies which could strengthen your competition. Considering all of these negatives, savvy management does its best to retain their valued staff.

KEEPING VALUED EMPLOYEES

Experienced, qualified and productive employees are an asset, but keeping them can be challenging. Loyalty to employers hasn’t been the norm for many years. Of course companies can do a number of things to keep the good ones.

Many years ago a researcher named Frederick Herzberg (The Motivation to Work, 1959) developed a theory that divided job satisfaction into two major components: Motivational factors and Hygiene factors; with the motivational factors such as interesting work, challenge, recognition, and variety being, by far, the more powerful. On the other hand, the job features we all expect, such as pay and benefits or working conditions are nowhere near as important, except to serve as potential causes for dissatisfaction.    These findings may be counter-intuitive, but as we all know, we will spend hours doing the things we like to do, with people we like to do them with. Conversely, unchallenging tasks, or work performed in a non-supportive, or uninteresting environment, will typically not evoke our best efforts

So making your workplace a challenging, exciting, and supportive place will greatly help in reducing or limiting avoidable turnover. As an important added benefit the customers will have a better relationship with a motivated, helpful, satisfied workforce.

Now that we’ve examined the background, let’s look at hiring new employees. While it’s obvious that it is best to retain employees, turnover will occur, and businesses may grow. This being the case, a superior recruitment plan is essential, as it will help accomplish several things:  hire the “best,” have a good fit between employee and job, lessen the need for discipline or discharge, reduce turnover, and provide a competitive edge.

THE RIGHT STUFF

Employers tell us that the most important characteristic to look for in a new employee is the “right” attitude. What is the right attitude and how do we hire people with it?   The right attitude, according to most employers, consists of several qualities:

–  Positivity (doesn’t focus on negatives)

– Open-mindedness

–  Flexibility

–  Superior interpersonal skills / a liking of people

–  Desire to learn

–  Willingness to work, (and work hard)

–  Dependability – Desire to accept challenges

–  Team player

With these characteristics the employee should exhibit a “good attitude” toward his employer, fellow employees and your customers.

FINDING AND HIRING EMPLOYEES WITH THE “RIGHT ATTITUDE”

Considering  the above attributes, be serious about your hiring process, as you know the headaches resulting from poor decisions.   Here are some suggestions:

–Identify the essential characteristics required for success on the job.

–Incorporate behavioral and attitudinal qualities into your selection criteria.

–Include these requirements in your job bulletins, advertising, employment agency  requisitions, etc.

–Carefully examine employment, educational and personal history (to the extent permitted by the law).

–Conduct a background check on candidates.

–At the interview, observe the candidate’s behavior, general attitude and demeanor, body language, posture, facial expressions, eye contact, etc. (You may want to try an interview panel to guard against subjectivity and “blind spots”).

–Consider using role-playing, situational questions (e.g., “What would you do if?), and performance simulations.

–Make sure the candidate is someone you will be comfortable around, as you may spend more time with him/her than with your spouse.

–Look for a “smile.”

Copyright ©, 2008, Dr. Ben A. Carlsen, MBA. All Rights Reserved Worldwide for all Media. You may reprint this article in your ezine, newsletter, newspaper, magazine, website, etc. as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, leave my name and bio box intact, and you follow all of the EzineArticles Terms of Service for Publishers.

Ben A. Carlsen, Ed.D, MBA, is an experienced CEO and manager. Dr. Carlsen has over 30 years experience in management, consulting, and teaching. Currently the Head of the Business Department at Everest Institute, Hialeah, FL., he was Chairman of the Los Angeles County Productivity Managers Network and President of the Association for Systems Management (So. Calif. Chapter). Additional information can be obtained at http://drben.info

Employment Matchmaking

by Patricia Guerzo 

So you’ve finally decided to take the plunge, and add a new person to your team.  This is an area where how you go about it – process – makes a big difference in finding and retaining the right person.

In a small business, recruiting is one activity that happens so infrequently that it’s unlikely the owner will be good at it.  Plus, the multitude of steps required to find, screen, interview, and orient them can be overwhelming.

If you choose to do it yourself, here are some steps that will save time, weed out poor fits, and increase the likelihood that your chosen candidate will be a long-term contributor to your business.

Know what you want.  This is obvious, right?  Not really.  Most times, an owner will think of every trait they want, creating a superhuman expectation that cannot be fulfilled.  Write down what you want, and see if you know anyone with all those skills.  Separate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves.

Create an ad to match those must-have needs.  You will get the highest number of qualified applicants if you “bait your hook” with the right bait.  Your bait is the words in the ad.

If the person will be expected to take orders or support others, you may not want someone who responds to “self-motivated” or “self-starter.”  Try using “team player” and “diplomatic” instead.

If you need a business development “hunter,” skip the references to a team environment.  Your ideal candidate will identify with “highly driven,” “excellent opportunity,” and “growing company looking for new markets.”

Match the recruiting process with the job.  Do you want someone to make cold calls?  Then have them respond by calling you.  If you want someone to follow instructions, create a process that requires them to follow instructions.  This is a sure-fire way to weed out people who don’t have the personality for the job, even before they interview.

Prepare interview questions in advance.  The stakes are too high to rely on a resume’ or to use a gut feel to make a decision.  People can hire professional resume’ writers, and unfortunately, desperate people might be less than truthful.

Questions should produce a SOAR response:  Situation, Obstacles, Actions, Results.  Keep this acronym in mind during the interview, and prompt the candidate for missing pieces.

Have an orientation plan.  After you find the right person, make them successful.  Too often, owners believe that “the right person” will know what to do.  Give your new employee the best chance to succeed, by painting a picture of what they need to learn and do within their probationary period.

If you have other employees, make sure they know how to support the new hire.  Set the expectation that they will help them succeed, and find unique ways each person can contribute.  Is there a role for a mentor, resource for questions, or even a schedule to take the new person to lunch?  These things can keep internal dynamics on track.

Remember, increased staff is necessary to grow.  By focusing on the hiring process, you will find and then create your winning team.

To use this article in your newsletter or blog- you must include the following: Patricia Guerzo, President of GBSC, is an accomplished business executive with a proven record of enhancing bottom line results.  http://guerzo.com

Power – It’s a Good Thing

by Patricia Guerzo 

Think about the last time you were frustrated.  The problem was probably something outside of your control.  Being hit with a life challenge in one part of your life can sometimes make you feel powerless, and that feeling can linger.  If you could just flip a mental “switch” and get your mojo back!

While I have not found a switch per se, I have learned, observed, and practiced some techniques that can push away those frustrated, powerless feelings.

It’s helpful to look at the sources of power we can have.  The most obvious are reward power, and coercive power – the power of a bully.  While effective in the short-term, they are rarely appropriate for everyday situations.

Positional power is awarded to the boss.  Even if someone is not a powerful person, their title gives them power.  There’s not much one can do to tap into this source right away.  Fortunately, there are others.

Referent power is the power to attract others and build loyalty.  People with charisma, good looks, and interpersonal skills have a lot of this power.  They are powerful because people want to be around them.  Employees with referent power can stall company changes, or help them succeed.  Management needs to identify people on their team with this power source, and make sure they manage them.

Similarly, expert power comes from what you know.  People are drawn to your valuable expertise.  Experts are needed beyond their organizational chain of command, and may have a public presence.

Unlike positional power, referent and expert power are available for anyone to own.  You can become smarter, get into better shape, and learn how to be motivating for others.  Most of the ways to increase your power are free.  Books, blogs, and newsletters everywhere can tell you how to be a better listener, lose 5 pounds, or where to find your industry’s latest white paper.

So the next time you feel frustrated because things aren’t going your way, challenge yourself to increase your personal power.  Take a walk, read an article, call a friend to listen; they all will help.

Better yet, make a list of things you always wanted to learn, appearance-enhancing steps you might want to try, and ways you can improve your interpersonal skills.  Then when life delivers a challenge, you can select a way to regain some power and control.

To use this article in your newsletter or blog- you must include the following: Patricia Guerzo, President of GBSC, is an accomplished business executive with a proven record of enhancing bottom line results.  http://guerzo.com

Assertive Communication – 6 Tips For Effective Use

By Lee Hopkins

What IS assertive communication?

Assertive communication is the ability to express positive and negative ideas and feelings in an  open, honest and direct way. It recognizes our rights whilst still respecting the rights of others. It allows us to take responsibility for ourselves and our actions without judging or blaming other people. And it allows us to constructively confront and find a mutually satisfying solution where conflict exists.

So why use assertive communication?

All of us use assertive behavior at times… quite often when we feel vulnerable or unsure of ourselves we may resort to submissive, manipulative or aggressive behavior.

Yet being trained in assertive communication actually increases the appropriate use of this sort of behavior. It enables us to swap old behavior patterns for a more positive approach to life. I’ve found that changing my response to others (be they work colleagues, clients or even my own family) can be exciting and stimulating.

The advantages of assertive communication

There are many advantages of assertive communication, most notably these:

  • It helps us feel good about ourselves and others
  • It leads to the development of mutual respect with others
  • It increases our self-esteem
  • It helps us achieve our goals
  • It minimizes hurting and alienating other people
  • It reduces anxiety
  • It protects us from being taken advantage of by others
  • It enables us to make decisions and free choices in life
  • It enables us to express, both verbally and non-verbally, a wide range of feelings and thoughts, both positive and negative

There are, of course, disadvantages…

Disadvantages of assertive communication

Others may not approve of this style of communication, or may not approve of the views you express. Also, having a healthy regard for another person’s rights means that you won’t always get what YOU want. You may also find out that you were wrong about a viewpoint that you held. But most importantly, as mentioned earlier, it involves the risk that others may not understand and therefore not accept this style of communication.

What assertive communication is not…

Assertive communication is definitely NOT a lifestyle! It’s NOT a guarantee that you will get what you want. It’s definitely NOT an acceptable style of communication with everyone, but at least it’s NOT being aggressive.

But it IS about choice

Four behavioral choices

There are, as I see it, four choices you can make about which style of communication you can employ. These types are:

direct aggression: bossy, arrogant, bulldozing, intolerant, opinionated, and overbearing

indirect aggression: sarcastic, deceiving, ambiguous, insinuating, manipulative, and guilt-inducing

submissive: wailing, moaning, helpless, passive, indecisive, and apologetic

assertive: direct, honest, accepting, responsible, and spontaneous

Characteristics of assertive communication

There are six main characteristics of assertive communication. These are:

  • eye contact: demonstrates interest, shows sincerity
  • body posture: congruent body language will improve the significance of the message
  • gestures: appropriate gestures help to add emphasis
  • voice: a level, well modulated tone is more convincing and acceptable, and is not intimidating
  • timing: use your judgment to maximize receptivity and impact
  • content: how, where and when you choose to comment is probably more important than WHAT you say

The importance of “I” statements

Part of being assertive involves the ability to appropriately express your needs and feelings. You can accomplish this by using “I” statements. These indicate ownership, do not attribute blame, focuses on behavior, identifies the effect of behavior, is direct and honest, and contributes to the growth of your relationship with each other.

Strong “I” statements have three specific elements:

  • Behavior
  • Feeling
  • Tangible effect (consequence to you)

Example: “I feel frustrated when you are late for meetings. I don’t like having to repeat information.”

Six techniques for assertive communication

There are six assertive techniques – let’s look at each of them in turn.

1. Behavior Rehearsal: which is literally practicing how you want to look and sound. It is a very useful technique when you first want to use “I” statements, as it helps dissipate any emotion associated with an experience and allows you to accurately identify the behavior you wish to confront.

2. Repeated Assertion (the ‘broken record’): this technique allows you to feel comfortable by ignoring manipulative verbal side traps, argumentative baiting and irrelevant logic while sticking to your point. To most effectively use this technique use calm repetition, and say what you want and stay focused on the issue. You’ll find that there is no need to rehearse this technique, and no need to ‘hype yourself up’ to deal with others.

Example:

“I would like to show you some of our products”
“No thank you, I’m not interested”
“I really have a great range to offer you”
“That may be true, but I’m not interested at the moment”
“Is there someone else here who would be interested?”
“I don’t want any of these products”
“Okay, would you take this brochure and think about it?”
“Yes, I will take a brochure”
“Thank you”
“You’re welcome”

3. Fogging: this technique allows you to receive criticism comfortably, without getting anxious or defensive, and without rewarding manipulative criticism. To do this you need to acknowledge the criticism, agree that there may be some truth to what they say, but remain the judge of your choice of action. An example of this could be, “I agree that there are probably times when I don’t give you answers to your questions.

4. Negative inquiry: this technique seeks out criticism about yourself in close relationships by prompting the expression of honest, negative feelings to improve communication. To use if effectively you need to listen for critical comments, clarify your understanding of those criticisms, use the information if it will be helpful or ignore the information if it is manipulative. An example of this technique would be, “So you think/believe that I am not interested?”

5. Negative assertion: this technique lets you look more comfortably at negatives in your own behavior or personality without feeling defensive or anxious, this also reduces your critics’ hostility. You should accept your errors or faults, but not apologize. Instead, tentatively and sympathetically agree with hostile criticism of your negative qualities. An example would be, “Yes, you’re right. I don’t always listen closely to what you have to say.”

6. Workable compromise: when you feel that your self-respect is not in question, consider a workable compromise with the other person. You can always bargain for your material goals unless the compromise affects your personal feelings of self-respect. However, if the end goal involves a matter of your self-worth and self-respect, THERE CAN BE NO COMPROMISE. An example of this technique would be, “I understand that you have a need to talk and I need to finish what I’m doing. So what about meeting in half an hour?”

Conclusion

Assertiveness is a useful communication tool. It’s application is contextual and it’s not appropriate to be assertive in all situations. Remember, your sudden use of assertiveness may be perceived as an act of aggression by others.

There’s also no guarantee of success, even when you use assertive communication styles appropriately.

“Nothing on earth can stop the individual with the right mental attitude from achieving their goal; nothing on earth can help the individual with the wrong mental attitude” W.W. Ziege

When you match consumer psychology with effective communication styles you get a powerful combination. Lee Hopkins can show you how to communicate better for better business results. At Hopkins-Business-Communication-Training.com you can find the secrets to communication success.

Proper Etiquette For Your Business Power Lunch

By Don Doman

Power lunches don’t just happen. If you leave them to chance you might end up at half-power. As in all business communications, power lunches start well before you sit down to talk . . . or eat.

Here’s what to do before your client arrives for lunch:

          • If it is up to you to suggest the restaurant, have one in mind that will be conducive to conversation. A sports bar just doesn’t make it.
          • Call and make reservations. If you are familiar with the restaurant and the staff, ask for a table that will suit your meeting.
          • Call your client to confirm. Inform the client that reservations have been made under your name.
      • Arrive early so you can make sure everything is in order.
      • Talk to your waitperson and give them your credit card. Learn the waitperson’s name.
      • Look over the menu and decide on your order.
      • Order something non-alcoholic to drink while you wait.
      • Be well aware of your client’s interests so you can easily slide in and out of small talk.
      • Keep your cell phone on vibrate in case your client needs to cancel. This way you’ll not be kept waiting at the table through lunch.

Before you even think about a power lunch you should of course brush up on your table manners. If you are in doubt, and even if you are pretty sure, it never hurts to review proper dining etiquette. One of my favorite etiquette training programs is called The Art of Dining: The Business Lunch. The video covers the basics and acts as a good reminder for the steps involved as well as table manners.

“Hosted by Marjabella Young Stewart, this program dramatically increases your social confidence when dining as a host or guest.

The business lunch includes setting up your appointment, choosing the restaurant, ordering the meal, managing hard-to-handle foods, tipping and ending the meeting. Stewart is internationally known through her television appearances on “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show.”

This video will help stop you from making the wrong moves and pave the way for an enjoyable business lunch that should make good friends and good clients.”

– Ad copy for The Art of Dining: The Business Lunch

For less than hundred dollars this wonderful training video will repay you many times over. You can share the video with your fellow employees, or keep it to yourself.

The next step involved in the business or power lunch begins when your client arrives. The waitperson will probably show your client to your table and then take drink orders.

  • If your client orders an alcoholic drink you should consider ordering one, but no more.
  • The time it takes for the waitperson to reappear is time for small talk about the food, about the weather, about the client’s interests.
  • If the client asks what’s tasty and well prepared at the restaurant, you can offer your favorites.
  • While the client looks over the menu, turn your cell phone completely off.
  • When the waitperson returns ask them to list the specials, and place your order.
  • After the order has been placed you may begin talking about business.

Enjoy the meal, enjoy the conversation, and enjoy your business dealings. You both should be in a good mood following a well thought-out business power lunch.

Don Doman is a published author, video producer, and corporate trainer. He owns the business training site Ideas and Training (http://www.ideasandtraining.com), which he says is the home of the no-hassle “free preview” for business training videos. He also owns Human Resources Radio (http://www.humanresourcesradio.com), which broadcasts HR and business training information, program previews, and training samples from some of the world’s great training speakers twenty-four hours a day. You can listen and learn on Human Resources Radio.

Try a Virtual Assistant

by Keridak Kae Silk

Virtual Assistants are usually home-based workers, who have a wide variety of expertise valuable to businesses.  In this way business can have the luxury of a secretary, a “Girl Friday”, a greeter, gate keeper, book keeper, social net-worker, techie… and on the list can go. Each VA has their own set of skills and abilities.

Owning and running any business is time consuming.   It is important to decide how best to spend your time.  Isn’t  it best spent making money, working directly with clients?  Wouldn’t you rather spend your time following your passion? If so, make a list of all the tasks that are needed to successfully run your business. Include all the tasks that you wish you had time to get to.

Perhaps, you’d like to start a blog or create a following with twitter. Perhaps, you are ready to create an event. (With all the possibilities of receiving payment, keeping track of ticket sales, marketing the event, and what if there is a chicken or fish option?) How to you find the time?

The great thing is that you don’t have to. Virtual Assistants fill the gaps and free you up to do the things that you do best.  Most businesses don’t think twice about hiring an accountant or book keeper.  Use that same freeing way of thinking for the other tasks you may have been avoiding or just haven’t had the time to get to.  Take your list and look for a VA to fill the gap.

Virtual Assistants range from the new & less experienced to those with strong, well managed, high tech skills.  Fees also have a wide range.  You need to decide your budget, the level of expertise you will need and the level of professionalism.  Is your business best served by a bargain basement VA or are you ready to work with higher end, high skilled professionals?

Once you have a list of needs; go through and rate each with how important it is to your business success.  Then go through the list again and place a star next to the things that you either love to do or feel you cannot let go of.  All the tasks that are left are possible tasks that a VA can take off your hands.

This article may be published in your blog or newsletter by including the following:

Authored by Keridak Kae Silk, MS, DTM: Virtual Freedom VA Services/Funding Success Grant Services, 866-279-8666, keri@fundingsuccess.us , http://www.fundingsuccess.us/wp/

Letting Go to Grow

by Patricia Guerzo

To achieve more, aspire to do less yourself, and more through others. This is such basic advice, why is it so hard to do?

One reason – you’re too close to the story to see the plot.  You have a one-man play instead of a production.

Another reason – you form new relationships with the service providers.  This takes time, yet results are needed right away.  Break-in time period can be awkward, and requires structure that might not exist.  More work!

Yet another reason – it takes time to locate the right resource for you.  Friends and family can be tempting, but carry high risks.  Do you really want your mother to be angry because you fired your payroll firm?

I help business owners see where their time is best spent, and what can be outsourced.  We create a plan to prepare for the transition.  I then work the plan to make the outsourcing successful.

What keeps businesses from outsourcing?  The answers may surprise you.  Here are a few that surprised the owners themselves.

  • If rules are communicated orally, contractors will produce inconsistent work.  Procedures must be written down, boring as that may sound.
  •  Owners become managers of the outsourced work.  This is a new skill for some, and requires some structure to help the owners succeed.
  • It is even more helpful to have an adviser after outsourcing.  The business is bigger.  New opportunities can now be pursued.

If you feel like there are not enough hours in the day, find someone to talk through your options.  There are many service providers with low minimum requirements and reasonable rates. Be sure to check out more than one option, and look on social media sites to validate the website and brochures.  Or contact your friendly business adviser, who specializes in knowing those providers.

What would you most like to outsource in your business?

To use this article in your newsletter or blog- you must include the following: Patricia Guerzo, President of GBSC, is an accomplished business executive with a proven record of enhancing bottom line results.  http://guerzo.com

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