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Done Deal

Dan is a stellar seller. You know him; every sales office has at least one. A charming human bulldozer, he doesn't take no for an answer, and always volunteers to take on the “impossible” client. His coworkers look to him for input and suggestions, and he gladly shares his knowledge and experiences. Simply put, Dan is well-trained in his profession. When you know your product backwards and forwards, it comes across to potential clients immediately. It shows them that you have done your research and have taken the time to familiarize yourself with what you're promoting.

The Rise and Rise of Infographics

Infographics are one of the coolest ways to show the world what’s going on with your business. Who wants to look at a bar graph or pie chart anymore when you can better understand something with a clear and colorful pictorial? These data-filled graphics illustrate information in a fun way, making the content more memorable for future reference.

Sales as Art and Science

Can something be both a science and an art simultaneously? Although seemingly contradictory camps, there’s more overlap than meets the eye. Take sales, for instance. There’s a definite artistic component of practicing effective persuasion strategies, along with asking the right questions to determine what the customer seeks.

Hello, My Name Is...

One of the most challenging jobs out there has always been that of a salesperson.
You really can’t take rejection personally or you’re in the wrong
business. Whether selling ad space over the phone or reaching out to
prospective customers in person, few methods are more intimidating than cold
calling. The people in this line of work must always be “on,” regardless
of whatever else is happening in the rest of their lives. Imagine having
to sound perky and excited, making call after call, eight hours a day, five days

Start, Refresh, Adapt, Evolve

Why do so many companies fail? The beginning is always an exciting journey, from hiring employees to new innovations and, finally, landing that first big deal. But fast-forward a year, and that hip tech start-up is no more. What went wrong? Plenty. A riveting New York Times blog by Jay Goltz cites the top 10 reasons small businesses go under. From out-of-control growth to poor accounting, there are many ways organizations engage in self-sabotage. One of Goltz’s most prominent postulations is operational inefficiencies.

Verbal Enchantment

Words have power. The vocabulary choices we make each day instantly alert the people with whom we interact about our background. Did he say “ambled” instead of “ran?” He must spend a lot of downtime perusing the thesaurus. Conversely, this doesn’t mean that those who aren't well-spoken are not college graduates or avid readers. Some individuals are more comfortable in a written context, as talking with others can be difficult for the shy and easily tongue-tied. A million years ago, in summer school at the tender age of eight, my friend Veronica was one of the quiet ones.

Change is in the Air

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. If author Daniel Defoe was alive today, he’d likely be amazed at the staying power of his proverb. Change is necessary to grow and learn, but rarely is it willingly embraced. When things are going well, why rock the boat unnecessarily? Sometimes there isn’t a choice, like when the employees at Marie Callender’s in Elk Grove showed up for work on a Monday morning in June 2011, only to find the doors locked and the restaurant dark.

Speech, Speech!

Some people are born talkers. You know the type. These folks are always the first ones to volunteer for karaoke, tell a story around the water cooler or yap with that stranger on the plane. For these Chatty Cathys, the spotlight feels at home; a natural place to shine. Woe be to you if you're more of a wallflower than sunflower, and have to talk in front of others. It's no wonder speech class is a college graduation requirement.

Motivation vs. Discipline

Who among us hasn’t made a New Year’s Resolution? Every December 31 we excitedly jot down a list of proclamations--work harder, be more punctual, get organized--and have every intention of following through with our chosen self-improvements. For the first few weeks everything’s dandy, and we’re on a roll with extreme productivity, being early for every appointment, enjoying a clean desk, and feeling pretty darn virtuous.

Appearances Are Everything

We’ve all seen it: businesses closing left and right for a myriad of reasons. Yet there are always a couple of places which thrive regardless of economic climate. Chipotle and Walmart are as busy as ever, seemingly immune to hard times. What are they doing right? One of the keys to a successful business is effective presentation. Create a product or service with mass appeal, and show it in a way that will garner interest.

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