Digital Daily

Sales professionals expect to hear, "They are not in." during a prospecting call. I did not expect to hear, "His phone doesn't work very well." when I called to speak with a referral contact last Friday. I followed with, "Not a problem, may I leave a voicemail?" I really didn't expect to hear, "I'm not sure if it's working". I can't reveal the name of the organization. All I can share is I was referred by the top executive at one of their other locations. I was attempting to connect with one of the partners.

In the digital age your organization as three opportunities to make a good first impression. The first is social media. Digital PR is where discovery happens. The second is when then respond to your Call To Action and accept your invitation to, "Visit our website". The third is when you answer the phone.

In my experience, organizations make a huge investment in the first two and zero investment in the third. I worked with a similar organization a few years ago. We identified voice communications as their primary challenge. We ditched their investment in a high-priced online lead generation platform. Instead, we developed a solid voice answer/announce platform. They doubled their sales in 5 weeks.

What impression does your voice answering system leave with prospects, customers, partners? Not sure? If your system includes a recorded message, put your customer hat on, give yourself a call, and listen carefully. If your phone as a live person at the other end, ask a friend or associate to play secret shopper and share their experience with you.  

You can go to considerable expense to invest in your digital presence. If connecting by phone is your ultimate goal, invest in making a great first impression.

Resources

Will you be my secret shopper? Give me a call at 904-566-8325. Listen to my announcement. Leave me a message with a tech question and I will return your call promptly, I promise. 

 

It takes more than money in the bank to create prosperity. You have to spend it, invest it, spread it all around. The same is true of your contact database. Building a big database is impressive. It becomes valuable only once you start using it. Documenting phone calls by entering what you discussed, what was decided, what's next. Your database increases in value each time you tag a contact by their location, interests hobbies. 

In my experience, clients are reluctant to invest time adding contacts to their databases due to lack of perceived value. Don't blame your database. The yield you receive from your contact list comes from your ability to cultivate relationships through engagement.  Here are five actions you can take today to turn your contacts into gold. Each of them start with opening your contact list:

  • Scroll through your list until you find a former great client. Give them a call for no reason at all. Record what you discussed and more importantly, what you learned.
  • If your CRM platform allows, search for someone you have yet to engage, a contact with no record of interaction. Compose a reconnect email, introduce yourself, state why you are reaching out, invite them to reconnect.
  • Create value for those you serve best by Googling their topic of expertise. When you find a post of value, sent an email that includes the link. Document the link and schedule a follow-up call to confirm if it was helpful.
  • Share an attitude of gratitude moment with someone you know. Send a hand-written thank you card. Add an entry to document your action. For extra credit, snap a photo of the completed card and attach to their contact record.
  • If your CRM platform allows, search for local contacts and send them a personalized invitation for an after-work get together. 

Digital Daily Office Hours

What am I most excited about Today? Office Hours! You are invited to stop by my office later today via Live Video to chat about technology and get answers to your burning tech questions. No agenda or formal presentation, just an open channel to create value by connecting with those I serve best. Won't you join us?

Office Hours

1-2 pm Eastern 3/3/17

Via Zoom Cloud Conferencing

Visit: https://zoom.us/j/3217348168

New to Zoom?

Office hours is an easy way to get started with live video conferencing.

On your desk

  • Visit Zoom.us
  • Open a free account
  • Download the software
  • Join us

On your mobile or tablet

  • Download the App
  • Open a free account
  • Join us

 

Getting folks to like your Facebook page requires them to take a leap of faith. It is a long journey with scant chance of success. It starts with giving them directions to your page, then helping them find the Like button. For those of you who would love to increase the size of your social following, here's a thought. What if you could simply display a Like button on your webpage? 

 What's not to like about a Facebook Like button you can publish to your website? It eliminates the need for fans to visit your Facebook page and wander around looking for the Like button. All that is required is to add some code to a page on your site. The button that appears makes your page easy to follow. 

I would add one more step to help your visitors accept your invitation. Consider adding an explanation above the button. Something simple like, "Use the button below to like our Facebook Page to receive our updates, news, and event information directly to your Facebook feed."

How to Add a Facebook Like Button

Use the resource links below to all the details. There's even a video tutorial:

You see the signs everywhere, "Todays Special". Street-side signs have been used by established businesses, many from their opening day. The concept is simple, capture the attention of those who drive-by the business location. What about those who use the Internet "Highway"? Restaurants, flower shops, or weekly events are great candidates for capture and post treatment. It's a quick, simple and inexpensive way to extend your reach beyond your street. For restaurants, start with specials boards, and move on to photos of plated meals. For the ultimate, move to the kitchen and reveal the secrets that make your best dish special.

The process is so simple you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before. Update your specials board or changable text street sign. Snap a quick photo, publish on social to share with your loyal community of shoppers.  

When the Smith Brothers Butcher Shop returned to downtown Savannah, they launched a Facebook page instead of a website. Each morning they would publish a post to Facebook. It became a mouthwatering expectation for their loyal customers. 

Tips for Turning Your Daily Specials Extra Special

  • Snap a photo immediately after your daily update
  • Post to social immediately, same platform, same time of day.
  • Include info on how to take advantage of your offer, "call now", "Limited time offer", etc. 

Using technology to extend your reach is a powerful way to create digital leverage. How will you make today special?

 

LinkedIn continues to evolve their user interface. In a blog post titled, How to Use the LinkedIn Notifications Tab to Stay Connected, LinkedIn provides an update highlighting how you can view real time info on your network. Often all you need to connect with a lead is something to talk about. Conversation Starters is a new feature you will find under the Notifications tab to help you get started. 

The other feature under this tab is Calendar Sync. It was developed to provide intelligence on those you are about to meet. I'm not so sure I want to share my calendar with LinkedIn at this point. 

For now your ability to manage notifications is limited. LinkedIn promises to give you granular control. Check out their post and did in to this new tab. Let me know what you think.

 

 

Trends are easy to spot on arrival. It's the hoopla. Embedding videos in emails started just like that. Eventually, trends lose steam, fade away, but rarely go away. Thom Winninger showed this trend the door, "The video we supplied was not getting enough click throughs". Knowing when to let go takes experience. Online marketing has become a legend in its own mind.  I sat through a seminar this week where the presenter claimed 50% of people love to receive emails containing video. Is it time to let it go? Author Ezra Fishman asks, Should You Embed Video in Email?  I think it's a definite maybe. 

An even better first question is, what are you trying to accomplish? It is much too easy to get wrapped up in the content and forget why you adopted a trend in the first place. If you embed a link in your email that takes them to your site, you've met your goal. Ezra's post outlines how to make that happen. 

Online Marketing - Too Big for its Britches

The premise, "Everybody is doing it" is a trap. We read about a new online marketing trend, eagerly grasp it with a huge hope, and hold on for dear life. Thom stepped back, took the measure of embedded video and made a choice. Be like Thom. 

I use a secure password vault. It's device independent and lives in a secure cloud. It's also expensive, and not as user-friendly as it should be. For the longest time, I simply accepted it as the price of keeping passwords secure.

All that changed yesterday when a client mentioned she keeps her passwords with her contacts. Cue the lightbulb over my head.

It never occurred to me. My contacts are organized, secure, and with me at all times. All I did was add two new fields to my CRM: Username and Password. Done and done. We all need a place to keep our passwords. This idea makes a lot of sense.

Strong Passwords

As for passwords, the best resource for creating secure passwords was written years ago by By Bruce Schneier in his post Choosing a Secure Password.

Have a safe day!

 

 

It was a single sentence in a recent BunkerLabs article that brought me to a full and complete stop. In his article, How To Master Your 2-minute Video Pitch, aAuthor Harry Alford remarked, "Public speaking has the highest ROI with the lowest amount of exertion." 

I've spoken professionally for 17 years, I've pitched, I've coached those who are about to pitch and I've seen the strange simultaneous combination of flop-sweat and dry mouth while judging pitch competitions. The lowest amount of exertion has not been my experience. Launching a startup is tough. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, you get to stand up in front of a bunch of folks with knitting needles in their hands waiting to burst your bubble.  

Once I calmed down and read to the end, I realized Harry has some great tips for you who are about to enter the pitch arena. Here's a few of my own.

The Worth of a Word

Harry's example of two minutes means you don't have 120 seconds, you have 300 words. Divide the number of words by the investment you seek and you'll discover the true worth of each word of your pitch. Suddenly, "hello", "thanks", "the" and "um" come with a high pricetag.  Here's a trick you can use to figure or the true cost of your pitch. Open a word-processing document on a mobile device. Tap the mic key and speak your pitch. Like magic, your words will be transcribed. Select your speech. Use the word-count feature to arrive at the total word count. 

You could try to speak faster to cram more words into your pitch. instead, I hope you'll consider all the words that fail to bring value to your presentation. Like a backpacker who sheds every piece of equipment they really don't need, soon you'll find yourself on an easier journey toward the funding you need.

Practice, Practice, Practice

This is going to be painful. Take your much lighter pitch and record it for your personal review. Jacksonville Certified Speaking Professional Richard Hadden says it's the only way to pick up the difference between the written and spoken word. The good news is the pain dissipates quickly as your pitch improves. Reducing the number of words infuses each those that remain with power and weight. 

I was on a call last night with 30,000 people. Less than a dozen spoke. They joined the call from around the United States. Each was positive, respectful and inclusive. Most importantly, everybody learned, in real time. each attendee showed up with their particular worldview. Before I begin, let me share my worldview. I believe digital technology can be a force for good. My big brother Lee taught me that when he found me on the Internet. I believe technology works best when it stays backstage, when it becomes invisible, allowing people to leverage the power of ideas. 

Before I begin, let me share my worldview. I believe digital technology can be a force for good. My big brother Lee taught me that when he found me on the Internet. I believe technology works best when it stays backstage, when it becomes invisible, allowing people to leverage the power of ideas. What I am most excited about is when technology helps people reach farther, bring them closer, help them move faster. This is for those of you who lead or develop leaders. It's about how technology can help you gather followers and start a movement. Here's how they used existing technology to create a customer journey/

It started at Facebook where attendees discovered the organization. The posts from the organization included a CTA (Call To Action). Following the link took folks to a landing page, where they received information relevant to their needs. The landing page included downloadable resources, 'Learn More' links to additional information and an invitation for an email subscription. Subscribers received an RSVP for the last night's conference call. Fifteen minutes before the call they received a reminder with a landing page destination.

The Call

No software to download, settings to adjust, just show up. The slides were in view, the audio used a music bed to confirm your sound was working. An MC invited folks to use the on-screen form to submit a question. They host welcomed everyone, thanked them for arriving on time and asked everyone to standby while everyone else arrived. All we heard was music and announcements. Gone were the annoying beeps as everyone joined. Everyone was muted, so no bathroom noise. It was organized, so much so that the technology disappeared. How very cool. 

The Art of Invisible

Here's what you couldn't see:

  • The organizers used a single slide deck to eliminate the ugly switching in mid-streaming. 
  • The upfront assumption was that everyone was using a mobile device.
  • Polling was conducted by pressing number keys. Poll results were delivered in real time.
  • Each presenter was scripted and timed. Each focused on teaching instead of promoting.
  • The host muted her mic to take notes on the presentations.
  • Links were provided on-screen, via upload and on-demand.

Resistance is Futile

The US is experiencing tremendous conflict right now. There is a clash of ideas, a battle for power. There is a call to just shut-up and listen to President Trump. From my experience last night. Stopping the resistance is futile. 

 

 

 

Oh, I'm sorry. I don't know their name, but you should. In a recent Daily Dairy post titled What Do You Mean - Contented Cows? author Richard Hadden proposes a method to identify that #1 (and #2) top performing individual as well as a neat way to raise up rest of your team.  

It's mind numbingly simple. Find your best, ask them why they stay, make it a rule, copy/paste. 

Here's a trick I pulled on myself after reading Richard's post. I sat down and had a similar conversation with myself. If you are a solo practitioner, try this, and write down what you learn. We all have days where we need a good talking to. Wouldn't it be great if it were a pep talk?

 

Page 2 of 3