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Sunday, December 30, 2012

6 Ways Business Could Change in 2013 | Inc.com

6 Ways Business Could Change in 2013 | Inc.com:
At long last, the fax machine may finally die. Read on for more shifts next year that may change how you do business.
Fax machine on the street 2
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Creating the Ultimate Housework Workout - NYTimes.com

Creating the Ultimate Housework Workout - NYTimes.com:
A challenge to create the ultimate housework workout.


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Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Cell Phones Available from Solavei | Solavei

New Cell Phones Available from Solavei | Solavei:

FREE phone and FREE month of contract-free Unlimited Voice, Text, and Data for new Solavei members. Free phones while supplies last, so share the great deal with your friends this holiday season and get them started on the opportunity to earn monthly income by sharing a great mobile service.
For more info visit: www.solavei.com/georgesbay and/or call me @ 407-923-9904 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            407-923-9904      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

                                                 
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Too Young to Have a Heart Attack - NYTimes.com

Too Young to Have a Heart Attack - NYTimes.com:
Diane Harrington, top row third from right, poses with family and friends at the lakeside cottage several years before her heart attack.

Proving to my teenage sons that 48 isn't too old for fun, I had hung on for dear life as I zoomed behind a speedboat on a ski tube. The next day, when my left arm started hurting, I tried to reassure myself that this wasn't a heart attack.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

Solavei | Unlimited Voice Text and Data, Free 1st Month and SIM Card

Solavei | Unlimited Voice Text and Data, Free 1st Month and SIM Card:
FREE phone and FREE month of contract-free unlimited mobile service for new Solavei members. Free phones while supplies last, so share the great deal with your friends this holiday season and get them started on the opportunity to earn income by sharing a great mobile service. Click for details.
Visit: www.solavei.com/georgesbay and/or call me @ 407-923-9904 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting                 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
                                                 
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Sunday of Sorrow in Newtown - NYTimes.com

A Sunday of Sorrow in Newtown - NYTimes.com:
      

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Seeking solace amid overwhelming grief, residents of Newtown flocked to church services and vigils on Sunday, struggling to comprehend a tragedy that left so many children dead, even as the national conversation turned sharply toward gun control.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

7 retirement planning myths debunked | LifeHealthPro

7 retirement planning myths debunked | LifeHealthPro:
From working in retirement to deciding when to claim Social Security, many Americans have misguided hopes for their golden years.
                             One in four adults in the U.S. is a grandparent, including Eileen and Doug Flockhart of Exeter, N.H. Many are staying in the workforce. AP Photo/Elise Amendola
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Cell Phones Available from Solavei | Solavei

New Cell Phones Available from Solavei | Solavei:
¡Compre el ZTE Origin por solo $99 con inscripción y activación nueva de Servicio Móvil de Solavei! Inscríbase al Servicio Móvil de Solavei antes del 31 de Diciembre y reciba su primer mes y tarjeta SIM GRATIS. Luego disfrute de Voz, Textos y Datos Ilimitado por solo $49 al mes sin contrato. La oferta termina el 31 de Diciembre.
Visit: www.solavei.com/georgesbay  y/o llame me @  407-923-9904

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'Dallas' plans funeral for J.R. - MSN TV News

'Dallas' plans funeral for J.R. - MSN TV News:
                 Larry Hagman

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Running in Reverse - NYTimes.com

Running in Reverse - NYTimes.com:

Backward running, also known as reverse or retro running, is not as celebrated as barefoot running and will never be mistaken for the natural way to run. But a small body of science suggests that backward running enables people to avoid or recover from common injuries, burn extra calories, sharpen balance and, not least, mix up their daily routine...
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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Solavei | Unlimited Voice Text and Data, Free 1st Month and SIM Card

Solavei | Unlimited Voice Text and Data, Free 1st Month and SIM Card:
‘Tis the season for FREE! Switch to Solavei Mobile Service by Dec. 31 and get your first month of service and SIM card FREE when you bring your own phone- save $78! Then enjoy Unlimited Voice, Text, and Data on a 4G nationwide network for only $49/month.
Visit:www.solavei.com/georgesbay or call me Georges Bayardelle @ 407-923-9904

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Sharpen your value creation BY ANTHONY IANNARINO DECEMBER 7, 2012

You’ve been told that your dream client wants to give you his business, but one of your competitors has come in at a lower price. If you want to win, you will have to do better. But does that mean you have to reduce your price? You have two choices: You can sharpen your pencil or you can sharpen your value creation.

A few points to consider. First, you have to keep in mind that it’s your dream client’s responsibility to get the best deal he can. He has to check. He has to ask you for a lower price or he wouldn’t be doing his job. It would be irresponsible of him not to try.

Second, most of the time, your dream client is willing to invest more to get the results she needs. But she needs your help in justifying the greater investment. The more you can quantify and explain how a greater investment results in greater returns, the more likely you are to keep your pricing intact. But you need to sell it. Keep these points in mind before you cave in on price.

Sharpen your value creation. When you are asked to lower your price, you need to push back by pointing to the value you are creating. Sharpen your argument around value before you sharpen your pencil.

Instead of allowing your dream client to under-invest in the results he needs, remind him that your pricing model was built on getting him the results he needs and point out the risks of under-investing.

Remind your dream client that the reason she hasn’t been able to achieve the results she has sought in the past is because there wasn’t enough value being created. Something needed to change for results to change.

Point your dream client back to the higher cost he will pay if he chooses your competitor based on price. Explain that cost is different from price.

One last thing. As I write this, I am reminded of how many clients I have seen over the years switch providers expecting different results only to be continually disappointed. They believed the big lie that they could produce better results and pay a lower price. Until they didn’t believe it anymore.

You can’t blame your dream client for choosing a lower price if you didn’t do everything in your power to sharpen your message around the value you create. If you don’t help them to defend your price by defending it yourself, you’re going to have to sharpen your pencil instead.

S. Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go http://thesalesblog.com/s-anthony-iannarino/

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Importance Of Optimizing Your Local Business Listing - Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The Importance Of Optimizing Your Local Business Listing - Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Google and other search engines have started to target a user’s search results with local listings. A few years ago search engines realized that over 70% of Internet searches were for local business services and products...
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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn - LinkedInSite - LinkedIn Resources and Marketing for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Sales Professionals

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn - LinkedInSite - LinkedIn Resources and Marketing for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Sales Professionals:
                                               
                                          
With more than 175 million users, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for professionals as well as one of the top social networks overall. Are you using it to its fullest potential? While Facebook, Twitter, Google+

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New Cell Phones Available from Solavei | Solavei

New Cell Phones Available from Solavei | Solavei:
Get the ZTE Origin for only $99 with new enrollment and Solavei Mobile Service activation! * Sign up for Solavei Mobile Service by 12/31 and get your 1st month and SIM card FREE. Then enjoy Unlimited Voice, Text, and Data for only $49/mo with no contracts. Offer expires 12/31.Visit:  www.solavei.com/georgesbay
                                                     ZTE Origin

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Who Let This Man Die on the Subway? - National - The Atlantic Wire

Who Let This Man Die on the Subway? - National - The Atlantic Wire:

                           
There's one big question about today's intense cover of the New York Post: Why didn't anyone help him? If there's enough time to capture a dying man's last moments before getting hit by an oncoming train...


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A Health Insurance Detective Story - NYTimes.com

A Health Insurance Detective Story - NYTimes.com:

I’VE had a long career as a business journalist, beginning at Forbes and including eight years as the editor of Money, a personal finance magazine. But I’ve never faced a more confounding reporting challenge than the one I’m engaged in now: What will I pay next year for the pill that controls my blood cancer?

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Eddy Bayardelle: Dr. Eddy Bayardelle Named Bronx Community College’s Vice ... - newsle

Eddy Bayardelle: Dr. Eddy Bayardelle Named Bronx Community College’s Vice ... - newsle:
                                                        
October 16, 2012—Dr. Carole Berotte Joseph, President of Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, has appointed Dr. Eddy Bayardelle as BCC’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement. In this capacity, he will serve as the college’s primary steward of the BCC

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The Genius of Starting a Company Without Outside Capital By AMI KASSAR

                      Evil Genius: A brewer with no brewery.
                                                                                                                                                                                Courtesy of Evil Genius.
                                    Evil Genius: A brewer with no brewery.


I wonder how many millions of small-business owners and entrepreneurs are sitting out there at this very moment, thinking about the money they need to finance their companies and ideas. The approach an owner chooses can make or break a business. It’s a decision that can change your life.

The first question owners need to ask — and challenge themselves on — is how much money they really need. My experience is that most entrepreneurs think they need much more money than they really do. There is almost always a cheaper way to get things done. And here’s the point a lot of entrepreneurs overlook: Every month that they are on the hunt for money instead of developing and marketing their product or service, they are wasting valuable time.

I recently met with Luke Bowen, founder of Evil Genius Beer Company, who has managed to finance his growing business without taking on debt or handing out equity. The following conversation, in which he explains how he’s done this, has been condensed and edited.

Q.
When did you start your business?

A.
In late 2009 while my original partner and I were in graduate school at Villanova getting our M.B.A.’s.

Q.
Why did you choose to start a business instead of getting a job?

A.
At the time, we saw a lot of businesses laying off people and our prospects for gainful employment as we graduated were pretty slim. We felt at that time — and we still do — that there are tremendous opportunities in recessions to start companies.

Q.
What did you do first?

A.
We took a look at four or five different ideas based on our expertise and our experience as employees and we thought we could make a difference or start our own business. We did feasibility studies on all of them and really found that none of them had as much potential as the craft beer idea.

Q.
So once you decided on beer, what were your options?

A.
Well, our option in the very beginning was to build a brewery, and that’s how most of the craft breweries of this country started. In the late ’80s, ’90s they started small nano breweries and kind of expanded from there, and when we ran the numbers on basically the amount of beer we were going to be able to produce and the profitability from that small amount of beer, we realized that wasn’t feasible.

Instead of raising all this capital in the middle of a recession for a company that had never sold a pint of beer, we decided to use our internally developed recipes and brands and basically outsource the production to a third-party manufacturer.

Q.
What were your start-up costs?

A.
We started this business with less than $35,000.

Q.
Did you get any loans or take any equity from anyone?

A.
No, we took no equity partners and the start-up capital for the business was contributed by the three owners.

Q.
What happened next?

A.
We started selling in Philadelphia. That was our first market. We did a lot of things well and some things not so well but we were always striving to develop the best quality product that we could. Not only did we focus on product quality but we focused on innovative packages, innovative branding, innovative marketing.

Q.
How long did it take before you were generating cash flow?

A.
Because we’re a contract brewery we were able to be cash-flow positive in a very short amount of time minus the initial outlay for packaging and ingredient costs, which were obviously funded by the start-up capital that we put in. We were able to really be cash-flow positive within the first six to eight weeks of operation and have been profitable on paper since our second or third batch of beer.

Q.
Where do you stand today?

A.
We’ve now expanded to 10 wholesalers in three states. Every month we’re growing and selling more beer than the month before.

Q.
What are you thinking about doing next?

A.
We’re coming up at a point where our demand is greater than our supply, so soon we’re going to have to raise the capital to build our own facility.

Q.
How big do you think you’ll get?

A.
Ultimately, my goal is to be as big as Sam Adams.

Ami Kassar founded MultiFunding, which is based near Philadelphia and helps small businesses find the right sources of financing for their companies.



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Salad Days (and Nights) - NYTimes.com

Salad Days (and Nights) - NYTimes.com:

         Roasted sweet potato and crispy kale salad with Roquefort dressing.
With Thanksgiving behind us and weeks of December holiday eating on its way, it’s a good time for some lighter fare. Martha Rose Shulman offers five new salads that are worth celebrating.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Small Employers Weigh Impact of Providing Health Insurance - NYTimes.com

Small Employers Weigh Impact of Providing Health Insurance - NYTimes.com:


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Solavei | Unlimited Voice Text and Data, Free 1st Month and SIM Card

Solavei | Unlimited Voice Text and Data, Free 1st Month and SIM Card:

‘Tis the season for FREE! Switch to Solavei Mobile Service by Dec. 31 and get your first month of service and SIM card FREE when you bring your own phone- save $78! Then enjoy Unlimited Voice, Text, and Data on a 4G nationwide network for only $49/month.

     

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GeorgesBay's Positive Outlook

GeorgesBay's Positive Outlook:


Affiliated Companies:
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*United Ameican Insurance Co.: Medicare Supplement
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*Visit: http://www.georgesbayspositiveoutlook.com/


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Birth of the Federal Reserve – by G. Edward Griffin | DEBT DIAGNOSIS

The Birth of the Federal Reserve – by G. Edward Griffin | DEBT DIAGNOSIS:

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DAILY BOOST OF POSITIVITY

ChoicesCHOICES  November 29, 2012
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale used to compare negative thoughts to birds flying overhead. "We can't keep the birds from flying over our heads," he said. "But we can prevent them from building a nest in our hair." We all have the power to choose what kinds of thoughts take up space in our mind. The fact that you sometimes produce negative thoughts doesn't mean you have to accept them unconditionally.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar dies at 86 | Fox News

Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar dies at 86 | Fox News:


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Actions speak louder than words BY KELLEY ROBERTSON NOVEMBER 27, 2012

My wife and I are in the beginning stages of buying another car. Being the planner that she is, my wife invested some time looking online at the inventories and pricing of the car we were thinking of buying.

We visited one dealership, looked at a few cars and spoke to a salesman there. Boy, did this guy stand out! Not only did he ask us a few questions to determine our needs, but he was relaxed and comfortable and engaged us in conversation. He knew we were familiar with the car (we already own the same model), so he didn’t waste time talking about its features.

Although he knew he wasn’t going to make a sale that day, he nevertheless treated us well. But it was his actions after we left the dealership that truly caught our attention.

Thirty minutes after speaking with the salesman, my wife received this email:

Dear Louise & Kelley,

I just wanted to say thank you for your time earlier today. It was a pleasure to have met the both of you, and I truly appreciated the opportunity.

A vehicle purchase is a very important decision and I hope to earn your confidence and gain your business when the time comes.

Plus, I wanted to assure you that as soon as a vehicle matching your requirements arrives, you will be contacted directly.

Thanks again, and I hope to meet up again soon.

At the bottom of the email, he included a picture of the car we had seen at the dealership.

Did this take a lot of effort? Of course not. But it did take initiative. I can honestly say that I have never encountered another salesperson willing to make this kind of effort.

If he follows through and contacts us when a vehicle matching our requirements arrives, my wife and I will be more than pleased to give him our business, even though this dealership is a one-hour drive from our house. We will drive past another dealership located 15 minutes away because of the personalized attention paid to us by this salesperson.

His actions showed his dedication to us and were worth more than any words he could have said.

Kelley RobertsonKelley Robertson
Kelley Robertson helps sales professionals master their sales conversations so they can win more business at higher profits. Get a free copy of “100 Ways to Increase Your Sales” and “Sales Blunders That Cost You Money” at http://www.Fearless-Selling.ca.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Unlocked Galaxy S3 Mini arrives at Amazon | Mobile - CNET News

Unlocked Galaxy S3 Mini arrives at Amazon | Mobile - CNET News:
The recently announced Samsung smartphone quietly sneaks into the U.S. via the online retailer.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

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Casey B. Mulligan: Employer-Provided Health Insurance and the Market - NYTimes.com

Casey B. Mulligan: Employer-Provided Health Insurance and the Market - NYTimes.com: "The future of employer-provided health insurance is better considered together with the future of total employee compensation, both cash and fringe benefits like health insurance. From that perspective, the likelihood that most employers will continue to offer health insurance is not necessarily good news for employees."

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Solavei - Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP)

Solavei - Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP):
Get great mobile service at a great price on the phone you already have! If you BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) to Solavei, it only takes a few minutes to get set up and start enjoying unlimited 4G voice, text and data mobile service for only $49 - or free.
Visit: www.solavei.com/georgesbay
                                                    

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DAILY BOOST OF POSITIVITY

boost-enthusiasm.gifENTHUSIASM  November 26, 2012
Dr. Wayne Dyer once said that in order to be good at selling, you have to first fall in love with what you do. "You don't sell your product, because every product in the world has some validity, and there is another product out there that will satisfy the customer's need just as well." What quality do successful salespeople have that others don't? According to Dyer, the answer is serenity. They work for the customer's quota, not the quota their companies set. They're always asking, "How can I serve you?" Whether making a presentation, following up with customers, prospecting, networking, or closing, the difference between your average performer and your top performer will always be enthusiasm. "When you are filled with enthusiasm for what you sell and can convey that, it doesn't matter what product you're offering, the people will want it."

The Golden Rules of Weight Loss | Fitbie

The Golden Rules of Weight Loss | Fitbie:
Running keeps you fit, healthy, and happy, but to lose real weight, you also have to focus on what you eat. Heed these key nutrition principles and slim down for good
                                                          The Golden Rules of Weight Loss // feet on bathroom scale © Thinkstock
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

DAILY BOOST OF POSITIVITY

boost-moods2.gifMOODS  November 22, 2012
Want to save time? Learn to master your moods. Feelings of depression, sadness, and disappointment can weigh so heavily that you lose forward momentum in important areas of your life. The good news is that these feelings can be overcome in a number of ways if you pay consistent and careful attention to them. Often, they can be diminished at least in small part by something as simple as getting enough sunlight, creating opportunities for laughter, and taking brief walks. Then you can make the transition to working on the root cause of your down mood.

Sign Up, Log In, or Learn More | Solavei

Sign Up, Log In, or Learn More | Solavei:
I'm excited about Solavei - UNLIMITED 4G voice, text and data for $49, or free. You have the opportunity to earn real money when you share Solavei with others. Message me and I'll tell you how.
VISIT: www.solavei.com/georgesbay
                                                   

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Motivation and Habits Are Key to Staying Organized

Knowing your motivation and good habits will affect your ability to stay organized.
Written Sep 17, 2012, read 508 times since then.
Linda ClevengerDo you struggle with the ability to get organized - and then stay organized?  We are driven by motivation to get things organized but what happens?  Everything can sometimes fall through the cracks.  Jim Rohn describes Motivation and Habits as follows:  "Motivation is what gets you started and habit keeps you there".
So what is motivating you to get organized?  I love to pretend that family is coming to visit (and will be spending the night).  This is motivation to organize a specific space - not just throw it into the never-ending, piled high guest bedroom!  It is really interesting how we value what others think of our space and our ability to be organized.  And for your office, the first impression that people have of your office speaks volumes. 
I remember visiting a print company years ago and felt embarrassed for them.  They had a customer come in to make copies on a specific type of paper - a paper that this company bragged about carrying!  And, when the customer went into the store front, they ended up helping the owner look for the box of paper.  I was appalled!!  What in the world?  How unprofessional is that?  You are, after all, a printing company...right! 
Motivation is the driving force that allows us to get more done in less time.  Stop procrastinating and be productive.  This morning, while on an Organized Mom phone call, the first words from  my "moms" mouth were...Today my focus is to catch-up on a few things from over the weekend and my goal is to complete my school work by Thursday.  Because...my mother is coming into town to visit this weekend and I want to make sure that I have time to spend with her, without being stressed out!   Absolutely amazing!  I was so proud of her.  This is the same person that would have give me a yes, but....for everything just a few short weeks ago.  She felt driven, responsible and (more than anything else) responsible for reaching her goals.  This is partially because of her new habit - she holds a Sunday night meeting with her family to talk about what is on the schedule for the week.  She knows in advance what is expected and how she can handle everything.  I'm so proud.
Motivation is excitement and a positive attitude and will keep you moving forward to reach your goals - no matter what may come up!  Motivation results in the completion of productive work and activities vs. the incompletion of useless, ineffective and meaningless activities.  Motivation also helps produce beneficial habits that you can use every day to get more done.  Habits are the result of motivation and a benefit to our everyday lives. 
Motivation and the development of habits also helps increase the awareness of our ability to reach our goals and dreams.  Sitting around and waiting for something, anything to happen results in just that...nothing happening.  What are you motivated to do for your home and/or business that will have a positive impact on your daily lives?  I'm anxious to hear your comments. 
I am motivated to develop and build my online business to help both myself and others reach their dreams.  To our Success! 
Linda Clevenger, Professional Organizer
Organization Direct
Owner 
Fredericksburg, Virginia 
Linda ClevengerAn UnOrganized Mind does nothing - an Organized Mind Achieves Results.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3 cold calling strategies that work BY JILL KONRATH NOVEMBER 20, 2012

You’ve probably heard lots of people tell you that cold calling is dead, dead, dead. That’s simply not true. Lots of people are still doing it, but they’re no longer just dialing for dollars.
Here are three savvy cold calling strategies you can use to get new opportunities:
  1. Do your homework. Research a prospective company to understand which decision-makers you’ll be calling on and to learn about the company’s key issues and concerns.
  2. Craft targeted messages. These should focus on the specific business issues a prospect may be facing.
  3. Plan a campaign. Create a series of 10 to 12 targeted messages using a variety of media, such as emails and phone calls, because these days you rarely get in the door with just a single call.
Cold calling is alive and well for smart, savvy sales people. Intelligent salespeople operate more slowly but are more effective, because they have a depth of understanding that shows through in their marketing messages and conversations.

Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.

DAILY BOOST OF POSITIVITY

boost-hope2.gifHOPE  November 20, 2012
Hope and opportunity go hand in hand for sales professionals. Hope can kick-start a great day, which can snowball into a great week, month, year, and beyond. With the power of hope, you create your own opportunities. Whenever you think you have nothing, stop and reconsider. Hope is something that can't be taken away from you. If you don't feel it, go and find it. Just around the corner from hope lies the opportunity you've been waiting for.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Solavei International Long Distance

Need to keep in touch with family & friends outside the U.S.? Solavei now offers prepaid international long distance calling worldwide at competitive rates. This is a great add-on to Solavei Mobile Service allowing members to call landline and mobile numbers by purchasing minutes in $10 increments. Visit: www.solavei.com/georgesbay

                                                    

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mobile Telephone Startup Solavei Avoids Ads, Relies on Customers for Sales Leads Oct 24, 2012 4:45 AM EDT

   Companies like Groupon, which rely on bargain-seeking consumers to spread the word, have enjoyed rapid growth. Mobile startup Solavei aims to become the next “social business.”                

Editor’s Note: In an era of slow growth, smart companies seek to appeal to penny-pinching consumers while avoiding expensive upfront costs and capital expenditures. This article is the first in a series, The Austerity Economy, that highlights innovative business models that are attuned to the zeitgeist. Send your nominees for companies we should be highlighting to: business@newsweekthedailybeast.com.

The slow-motion recovery is now in its fourth year. Consumer-oriented companies are reluctant to spend on marketing, and consumers are looking for ways to spend less on vital goods and services. Solavei, a startup mobile-phone company based in Bellevue, Wash., is tapping into both impulses by eschewing traditional advertising campaigns and offering cash to customers who bring in new users.

“We believe the greatest advertising in the world is you and me,” said Ryan Wuerch, founder and CEO of Solavei.

Launched in the beginning of October, Solavei is a 4G mobile-phone network partnered with T-Mobile that charges customers $49 per month for unlimited calling, texting, and data.

But for some, the service is completely free, because Solavei pays customers for referrals. For every three people, or trio, a customer gets to join Solavei, that customer gets paid $20 dollars every month for as long as the trio uses the service.

The business model is a new spin on the concept of social commerce, in which companies utilize customer-to-customer marketing instead of traditional means of advertising, like ads and commercials, to grow a brand.

For Solavei, its customers function as billboards. “What do you do when you like something? You tell someone about it. We put all the tools in your hand and you get rewarded in return,” Wuerch said of Solavei’s business model.

The rewards can be great. Solavei users who tell friends about the company through word of mouth or social media have the opportunity to get cellular service for free—and to earn additional money. The paybacks start at the first trio of friends a user gets to sign up for the service. Then the user also gets paid every time their friend refers a new trio. “My son is at Mississippi State and he has gotten over 500 people already who have signed up for the service,” Wuerch said. “We have individuals already making several thousand dollars a month.”

Leanne McKenzie is one Solavei customer who is already making money off of her cellphone plan. A mother of four who lives in Middletown, Md., McKenzie joined Solavei when a friend posted about the company on Facebook. “It was the price that attracted me first. I’m a stay-at-home mom so we are a single-income family. We were paying $183 for three phones. So $49 for the service, especially when I have a teenager, was a great price for me,” McKenzie said.
                  Solavei Launch
Solavei team members listen to founder and CEO Ryan Wuerch, far left, speak, moments before launch in Seattle, Sept. 21, 2012. (Stephen Brashear / Invision / AP Images)

McKenzie joined during Solavei’s testing stage. Six weeks after getting started, she has enrolled 26 people and has made $650 back in onetime rewards, which users get when signing up friends within their first 60 days of service. She also expects to earn even more money as her friends’ networks grow. “My bill is already being paid for, that’s already more [money] than I even paid for my new phone,” McKenzie said. “It doesn’t cost me anything but my time at this point.”
The concept of customer-to-customer marketing is not a new one. “Word of mouth is much more effective than traditional advertising,” said Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On. “[Social commerce] is more persuasive so we are more likely to listen to our friends and it’s more targeted. No one is going to tell you about baby products if you don’t have a baby.”
And trust is also an important factor. According to information compiled by Tabjuice, 90 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 50 percent of shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation through a social-media network.
Solavei isn’t the first company that has made stabs at utilizing social commerce to make a profit. Living Social and Direct TV are two examples of companies that use the technique, specifically through referrals. Living Social’s “Me+3” promotion encourages customers to share deals with friends and in turn get their deal for free. Direct TV offers $10 off the monthly cable bill when a customer refers a friend to the service. But unlike Solavei, Direct TV’s discounts last only 10 months.
Solavei’s customer-to-customer marketing model not only helps the company gain more trusting customers, it also helps them save money. Big brands can spend billions each year in advertising. In 2010 General Motors spent $4.2 billion on marketing alone. And for mobile-phone companies, the number is just as big. In 2011 cellular companies spent $5.3 billion on global advertising.
...............................................................................................................................................
Solavei users who tell friends about the company through word of mouth or social media have the opportunity to get cellular service for free—and to earn additional money.
...............................................................................................................................................

Instead Solavei utilizes a more grassroots marketing campaign. The company has made YouTube videos for their customers to spread on Facebook, maintains its own social-media accounts, and is conducting a countrywide van tour.

Companies like Solavei, which invest most of their money in clients instead of advertising, are reliant on their customers. They bank on the fact that users want to make additional money by referring friends, and they hope they are successful at doing so. “It should be all about return on investment in our opinion,” said Brad Klaus, CEO of marketing company Extole, which helps brands with social commerce. “New high-value customers are what companies can derive from this.”

Many say that figuring out how to tap into a client’s social network is the marketing strategy of the future. “In every new marketing campaign that you run as a brand, you should be considering how to make it go viral,” Klaus said. “Companies that embrace that will be able to drive more word of mouth and greater results.”

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Your Network: Professional Context vs. Personal Context by Reid Hoffman

In my previous post, I wrote about why relationships matter in your career. Yet, “relationship” can mean many things. It can be long-distance or proximate, project-only or long-term, emotionally close or purely professional. There are bosses, coworkers, colleagues, and subordinates. There are friends, neighbors, family members, and long-lost acquaintances. There are people you relate to out of love, out of friendship, out of respect, and out of necessity. There are people you work with based on a detailed contract that legally specifies roles and responsibilities; there are people you work with where nothing is written down. The universality of the word “relationship” makes sense: the essence of how human beings relate to one another transcends situational differences.

That said, there are key differences in how relationships function based on the context. There are people you know solely in a personal context. These include close personal friends and family. These are the people you call on a Saturday night, but not on a busy Monday morning at work. These are your childhood, high school or college friends who may be dear to you but are not necessarily on an even remotely similar career trajectory. These are the people with whom a shared spirituality and alignment of core values may matter. Online, you connect with these friends and family on Facebook. You share photos of last night's party and play CityVille or Texas Hold'Em. Your Facebook profile picture might be kooky, and whether you are single or in a relationship is a point of interest for all.

Then there are those you know solely in a professional context. These include colleagues, industry acquaintances, customers, allies, business advisors, and service providers like your accountant or lawyer. You email these folks from your work address, not your personal Yahoo or Gmail account. Shared business goals and professional interests bring you together. Online, LinkedIn is where you connect with these trusted colleagues and valued acquaintances whom you recommend for jobs, collaborate with on professional projects, and tap for industry advice. It’s where you share detailed information about your skill sets and work experience. Your headshot is professional. No one cares who you are or are not dating on LinkedIn. (Recent LinkedIn research reveals in more depth how mindset differences play out on different social networks.)

Generally, you know people primarily in a personal or a professional context. The simple reason is etiquette and expectations. It’s awkward if a co-worker confesses marital infidelity while standing around the proverbial water cooler. (Cue a scene from the TV show "The Office"...) And your idea of a fun weekend might not involve playing in a sandbox with your co-worker’s kids. The more important reason why personal and professional are separate relates to conflict of loyalties. For example, suppose a co-worker you consider a personal friend is screwing up on a big work project. If you don’t speak up, you will be letting down other team members and your company (and therefore hurting your professional reputation); if you do speak up, your friend may resent you. Or suppose you and a co-worker are both up for promotion. When one of you advances and the other does not, it strains the friendship. For these reasons, it can be tricky to ask a close personal friend for career help because you’re asking them to negotiate dueling loyalties: their duties as a professional and their duties as a friend.

Now, it’s good to be friends with someone you work with. It’s more fun. You may invite your coworker to your wedding. You may go winetasting with your boss and direct report over the weekend. You may link with some people on both Facebook and LinkedIn. But even in these cases, the vast majority of the time there will be limits to how much the friendship can flourish. And context will continue to govern etiquette and expectations. You say and do different things when at a bar on a Saturday night than when in the office on a Wednesday afternoon, even if you’re with the exact same friends.

In my next post, we're going to focus on the relationships that help you thrive in a professional context. In other words, this is about professional relationships, and those personal friendships that also function in a professional context.



Adapted from The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career. Join the LinkedIn group on career strategy to continue the conversation.

DAILY BOOST OF POSITIVITY

boost-disagreements.gifDISAGREEMENTS  November 15, 2012
What should a salesperson do when customers become disagreeable? This largely depends on the situation – who is this customer, how long have you had this relationship, and what's the nature of the disagreement or complaint? Very often, customers harbor complaints that can actually provide salespeople with valuable feedback about how they're communicating or what kind of products or services would be a better fit. Try looking past the tone or attitude and see if there's anything you can take away from the situation that would end up serving you well in the future. No matter what (even if you decide the customer is more trouble than he/she is worth), always maintain your professional attitude and demeanor when responding to a customer who's disgruntled. Keep a level head and do your best not to lose your cool.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What is Solavei?

What is Solavei?:

Solavei offers great mobile service at a great price - UNLIMITED 4G voice, text and data for only $49, or free. You have the opportunity to earn real money when you share Solavei with others. Watch this video for an introduction to the benefits of Solavei mobile service and membership.
                                        
                                              www.solavei.com/georgesbay



'via Blog this'

DAILY BOOST OF POSITIVITY

boost-slumps.gifSLUMPS  November 12, 2012
Sometimes, because of our personal problems, we get in a slump. Sometimes we can't handle the rejection anymore and become agitated. Sometimes we just can't do our job because there is so much going on in our lives. If you ever hit a slump, then it's time to take out the trash. Do what works for you to get back on track. You might listen to your favorite song or to a motivational presentation. You might go to the movies. You might revisit your list of goals and recommit to working on the things you've said you want in life. Take out the trash, and you'll find yourself back at work and refocused before you know it. 
CONTRIBUTED BY MICHAEL T. BOYKO

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Microsoft's Surface a worthy iPad adversary?


The venerable tech company goes all out with its new keyboard-equipped, Windows-powered tablet.

By TheWeek.com Oct 24, 2012 1:06PM
Copyright 2012 Apple IncThe booming tablet market has long been dominated by the iPad. But that's changing. Google (GOOG +1.65%) and Amazon (AMZN -0.46%) carved out a new niche with smaller, cheaper devices that forced Apple to pivot and offer its own iPad Mini. 

Still, when it comes to top-of-the-line tablets, the original iPad stands alone. Perhaps that's why tech critics were uncharacteristically​ effusive when Microsoft (MSFT +0.07%) announced the Surface --an elite, Windows-powered machine that might finally give Apple (AAPL +1.73%) some competition. 

Two versions have been announced: A model running Windows 8 Pro, and a Surface running a stripped-down Windows RT. Microsoft is betting big on the Surface, and the RT version goes on sale Friday. (The tablet costs $499, and another $100 for the optional Touch Cover keyboard.) 

Could the Surface make a real run at the iPad's throne?

It's a worthy challenger: "This is a great device," says Mat Honan at Wired. I spent several days using the Surface with a keyboard flap as my only computer and did fine, which is something you could never say about an iPad. The gesture-driven interface is "amazingly fluid," battery life is impressive, and the Touch Cover plus Microsoft Office means it can "pull double duty as a functional laptop." Of course, Surface is a "new thing, in a new space, and likely to confuse many of Microsoft's longtime customers." But once its app ecosystem gets more robust, it'll be "a viable alternative to the iPad."

Save your money: Microsoft's tablet is a huge disappointment, says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo. Don't buy it. Once you add the Touch Cover, this thing costs a jaw-dropping $600. Also: Its software is buggy, the "keyboard" is only a close approximation of the real thing, and its app ecosystem is so sparse it "feels more like a tundra" -- especially with no Twitter or Facebook apps. Maybe the kinks will be ironed out one day, "but those maybes aren't worth putting money on." Microsoft's vision of the future isn't quite here yet.

Sadly, the Surface is full of unmet potential: "I wanted to love this device," says Joshua Topolsky at The Verge. But it's not up to par yet. "The promise of the Surface was that it could deliver a best-in-class tablet experience, but then transform into the PC you needed when heavier lifting was required." But that's not what I experienced. As both a tablet and a laptop it functioned "half as well as other devices on the market, and it often makes that job harder, not easier." The Surface, instead of being a no-compromise hybrid device, often feels like a "more-compromise one."

Oct 30, 2012 - 6:00AM PT The Pinterest-ization of the e-commerce experience BY Om Malik

 Pinterest has been one of the biggest web success stories of past 12 months. Its growing influence on fashion and product oriented web sites is now extending to e-commerce sites. A growing number of e-tailers from eBay to mom-and-pop operations are adopting the grid-like look.                                                                           pinterest in japan                                                                       


One of my favorite stores is Richmond, Virginia-based clothing and fashion accessories seller, Need Supply Co. While it is no where close to where I live — that is San Francisco — I still like their online store mostly because I find their website and curated list of items on sale fun to peruse. It isn’t the largest selection, but still, it is engaging. In the past when I visited their website, I had to click through a whole bunch of links to get a better sense of what was being offered. It wasn’t easy and it was time consuming.
So a few days ago when I ended up on their website, I was pleasantly surprised. Gone was the old fashioned way of navigating through the wares. Instead, the site was offering a highly visual, grid-like layout that reminded me of, well, Pinterest. Need Supply Co isn’t the first site that is taking a cue from Pinterest’s design — several larger retailers are being influenced by the grid-style design philosophy that has been popularized by San Francisco-based Pinterest.
In addition to Pinterest, I am also seeing Fashion oriented e-commerce sites take a cue from Tumblr as well. Examples of Tumblr inspired e-commerce sites include Of A kind and Le Coq Sportiff. Tumblr and Pinterest have become the Glimmer Twins of the fashion content platforms and are major sources of attention for brands and products.
A new kind of grid
David Galbraith, an architect and serial entrepreneur who started Wists, a precursor to Pinterest, says that the “UI universe has boiled down to grids and feeds and slideshows, as far as I can see.” (His blog post for GigaOM explains it really well.) And we are likely to be married to those formats for a while, especially as digital information continues to grow exponentially.
He argues that text will be primarily a feed — a theory that was popularized by blogs. Pictures will be in grids while videos and presentations are going to take cue from the slideshows. Today, focusing data into packages that are simply understood by humans is going to be a key challenge of the next generation of the Internet — a topic we are going to be discussing at our RoadMap conference on November 5 in San Francisco. Both Tumblr’s CEO David Karp and Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silbermann will be speaking at our event.
To be honest, grid design is not new and has been around since the early days of the modern web. There was OMG from Yahoo that came to life in 2007. Tumblr had its wonderful archives. Why, even MSN had Wonderwall. (Check out these cool grid designs.) And there was NotCot.
However, Pinterest and its explosive growth has made grid-based designs more accessible to many more people. Many of Pinterest’s users also tend to be those with active interest in fashion, design and products. As a result, these people can influence the purchasing decisions.
Money makers
Today, e-commerce companies are optimizing their websites to benefit from “pinning” and “tumbling” which means they are taking their design cues from Pinterest itself and are starting to resemble the traffic generating engine.
I was reading this interview with Pinterest’s Silbermann on Fast Company’s website and I came across this comment by Leland Rechis, a director of product experience at Etsy.
“Browsing in e-commerce is a more difficult problem than search. Amazon and Google pretty much stink at browsing.”
Michael Williams, who writes the influential menswear blog, A Continuous Lean, and works in the fashion industry, believes that the growing influence of these two content sharing networks is because they are highly visual and as such drive a lot of conversions.
A report from Shareaholic identified Pinterest as driving more referral traffic that some of the other social services such as Google+ and LinkedIn. Pinterest started 2012 at about 0.85 percent of traffic visits on the web and at the end of August 2012 was at 1.84 percent of all visits. Being so visual, Pinterest also drives conversions. Williams said to me in an email: “e-commerce managers would be insane not to adapt their experience to be more like it.”
“Online shopping continues to become more of a rich experience, and the structure and set up of Tumblr and Pinterest lend themselves well to the development of shopping sites,” Williams added. “I also think that customers are more open to a visual shopping experience, and it seems like the back end technology can better support those types of experiences at this point.”
And if there was any doubt about the pinterest-ization of e-commerce, then look no further than eBay, the grandma of all commerce sites, which recently announced a grid-influenced home page. eBay Chief Technology Officer Mark Carges told AdAge that the design (aka The Feed) was a way “to combine the ease of online purchasing with the fun of window shopping.”
Sahil Lavingia, who worked at Pinterest before starting his own company (Gumroad) is of the opinion that the success of Pinterest is leading people to copy the Pinterest’s design, mostly because now the majority of the people understand how these visual grids work. But he cautions that to copy it outright is a bad idea for retailers. Why? Because while grid design is good for quick discovery of goods, it is still important to make the buyer take the final step: shop.
That topic and a whole lot of other design questions will be part of the conversation at GigaOm’sRoadMap conference that I am going to be co-hosting with Katie Fehrenbacher. You’ll hear conversations with Silbermann and Karp, as well as other e-commerce thought leaders like Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp, and Warby Parker co-CEO Dave Gilboa. More details on the conference are here. Hope you can join us.

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