Why Isn’t Your Free Trial Really Free?

Why Isn’t Your Free Trial Really Free?

Communication, Featured
You've developed a killer product. You want people to try it so you offer a 30-day free trial. Of course you don't want people to just use the free trial so you ask them for a credit card so you can bill them at the end of the trial. That's where you made your big mistake. What's the message you just sent your customer? When you ask for a payment method for a "free" trial, the customer is immediately suspicious. The message that you just sent is that your product isn't that good and you're relying on people to forget to cancel the trial so you can charge them for a product they don't really want. Is that the first impression you want to make? If you want to offer…
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Be Honest About Your Work

Be Honest About Your Work

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
It's been said over and over. People do business with people they know, like and trust. How are people supposed to trust you if you are not honest about what you do? Over the past several weeks I have met a number of people introducing themselves as coaches, consultants, and specialists who will teach me how to multiple my earnings. Each of them fell into one of three categories: network marketers, forex investors, and cryptocurrency investors. None of these people had any skills that would qualify as a coach or consultant. Additionally, not only did they not want to say what they did, they did not want to name the company they worked for. Even if you are self-employed, you work for a company. It may be Your name, Inc.…
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4 Rules to Help Your Team Disagree Productively

4 Rules to Help Your Team Disagree Productively

Communication, Featured
Conflict can be uncomfortable, but we can’t find the best ideas or reach the best solutions if we agree with each other all the time. As a manager, it’s your job to help team members learn how to disagree productively. Here are some rules for keeping debates professional and on topic: Remember you’re all on the same team. The goal of the conversation isn’t for one person to be proven right or to “win” the argument. The goal is to solve the problem at hand — together.Stick to facts. Make sure people are defending their ideas with clear, sound logic, not with rhetorical tactics or by being the loudest.Don’t make it personal. No name-calling, personal attacks, or questions like “How could you believe that?” Assume that everyone’s intentions are good.Be intellectually humble. Respect everyone’s…
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Succeed At Networking Events by Being Generous

Succeed At Networking Events by Being Generous

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
You're not the only one who walks into a networking mixer full of dread. Before you make a run for the door, try a different approach. Tell yourself that it isn't about you. Instead of trying to meet potential clients, or making another connection that will advance your career, focus exclusively on what you can do for the other attendees. Refrain from telling anyone about your own area of expertise and think about how you can help others in the room. Introduce yourself and immediately ask about them — who they are, why they're there, and what they're looking to achieve that evening. Then think about what connections you can make, what favors you might offer, what introductions you might broker. Not only will the event be more fun but…
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During A Virtual Meeting, Make Sure Everyone Understands The Discussion

During A Virtual Meeting, Make Sure Everyone Understands The Discussion

Communication, Featured
We all know how hard it can be to follow along on a conference call. When facilitating a virtual meeting, it’s your job to make sure everyone fully understands what’s going on. Compensate for any difficulties by acting as a moderator. Try the following: After each comment or question, briefly paraphrase what was said. For example, you might say: “That’s an important question. I agree that the production facility’s capacity is a major risk in this plan. Here’s what we know…” Summarize a comment: “So, in your experience, this research technique requires a lot of resources, maybe more than we have. What does everyone else think about that?” These summaries may slow down your meeting, but making sure everyone understands the discussion will save you time in the long run.
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The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

The Entrepreneur And The Side Hustle

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured, Focus, Planning
The gig economy provides new ways for entrepreneurs to enhance their earning and in some cases provide funding for their ventures. A side hustle can be an amazing tool for entrepreneurs. More than money, they can offer new ways to meet people and a way to exercise different skills and abilities. There is, however, a downside. Depending on what your side hustle is, it may impede your ability to establish yourself in your entrepreneurial field. If your side hustle came first, you have (if you've been successful) created a brand for yourself in hat side hustle. You'll need to expand that brand or target a different audience. If you've been selling essential oils, that audience may not accept you as a web designer. Target different markets for each job. If…
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Communicating According To Your Clients Needs

Communicating According To Your Clients Needs

Communication, Featured
Communications is an integral part of your customer relationships. Customers need to feel that you are accessible when they need you. Problems occur when communications preferences get in the way. As a business person, you need to be able to handle whatever your clients prefer. While phone and email have been standard in business for decades, communications has changed as business does. Online companies have stopped providing phone numbers, much to the aggravation of their customers. As millennials entered the workforce, they used text messaging as their primary communications. Even more recently, Facebook Messenger has emerged as a channel for customers trying to reach your business. Your business needs to have communications channels open. You should be ready to add communications channels, but just as important let people know how…
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Listening Is Not Waiting To Speak

Listening Is Not Waiting To Speak

Communication, Featured
There's an old saying that you should listen twice as much as you speak. This assumes you are really listening. Most people, when not talking, are thinking about what they will say next. This is not listening. To be an effective listener, try these tips: Focus on what is being said: Put your focus on the conversation. Try to visualize what is being said. Pick out key ideas as they are presented.Take a minute: When it is your turn to talk, if you need to think about what you want to say take a breath. Pause. You can say something like, "That's very interesting," or "let me think about that for a moment," before jumping in.Don't push your point of view: Obviously you will have your own opinions and point…
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When Talking to Customers, Be Confident and Show Your Expertise

When Talking to Customers, Be Confident and Show Your Expertise

Attitude and Mindset, Communication, Featured
Are you an expert in your field? If not, why should I use your product or service? Customers expect the best and you give the impression that you can't give it, they will go elsewhere. You need to project the image that you are an expert. That requires using the right words, especially since more and more customer interactions take place through writing (email, live chat, even Twitter). Start the conversation by establishing a personal rapport. Show the customer that you’re listening to their problem or complaint, and then shift to a take-charge attitude, using confident, assertive language. Research shows that customer satisfaction is higher when you avoid deferential words (“afraid,” “mistake”) and use dominant language instead (“must,” “confirm,” “action”). In addition, customers will see you as more helpful if…
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Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Networking Is Not About The Numbers

Communication, Featured
If you have been to a networking event, you have probably seen Joe Businesscard. Joe runs around the event giving out his card and collecting as many as possible. He's playing a numbers game. Getting in front of as many people as possible, without actually getting to know anyone or interacting with them. At a networking event I was at a financial advisor came with a friend of his. Instead of talking to people at the cocktail hour that preceded the event, he spoke with his friend. When the event started, he decided to leave, telling people there weren't enough people for him. Had he stayed, he would have learned that two of the attendees were venture capitalists and two others were on corporate boards of directors. These were exactly…
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